Saturday 15 January 2011

CWS Co-operative Farming & Forests1924

The Co-operative Year Book for 1924 records a number of a Cooperative Wholesale Society (CWS) farms/estates acquired by various societies to produce food for its extensive network of shops.

Co-operative Farming
In 1924 the co-operative movement owned 63, 254 acres of land and rented a further 11,003 acres.

In total over one hundred and seventy three co-operative societies were involved in farming (food production)

North West 59 societies held 23,234 acres
Midlands 38 societies held 19,118 acres
Scottish 20 societies 14 681 acres

Ireland 1 Society 177 acres

CWS Co-operative Estates 1924
Roden (Salop) 1039
Marden (Hereford) 127
Coldham Cambs) 3205
Clithroe (Lancs) 1550
Rixton (Lancs) 160
Warburton (Cheshire) 1777
Crewe (Cheshire) 3806
Adlingfleet, Goole (Yorks) 3927
Down Ampney (Glouc) 4061
Compton Bassett (Wilts) 4687
Stoughton (Leic) 5345
Hetton & Holburn (Northumerland) 3862


The Co-operative wholesale Society (CWS) also had a number of Forests and saw mills in 1924 at
Wymondham (Norfolk)
Manchester (Saw Mill)
Salford (Saw Mill established December 1919)

Woods were also acquired at Dareham, Norfolk March 1919

Agricultural Organisation Society
40 Broadway Sw1
Exists for the purpose of advocating the principles of co-operation amongst agriculturalist of all classes, including allotment holders.

Irish Agricultural Society
The Plunkett House, Dublin founded 1894 for the organisation of co-operation among Irish farmers and farm labourers.

Scottish Agricultural Society
5 St Andrews Square, Edinburgh

Bulletin - Monthly magazine of the All Russian Central Union of Consumers Societies "Centrosojus"
Hazlett House, 43-46 Southampton Buildings, Holburn WC2

B.A Crysin director of London of the All Russia Central Union of Consumers Societies died 3 January 1923

Note 1919 Forest
Co-operative CWS The People's Year Book 1919


Good Opportunity

WHAT an essential commodity timber really is has been amply demonstrated during the war. Without it we could not
possibly have housed during the period of training the millions of men who have passed into our armies,
nor have had transported to them the vast quantities of ammunition, food, clothing, and other supplies required
on the various battle fronts. The experience of the past four and a half years has again directed attention to
the question of afforestation — a subject that has been periodically " sat on "
by Commissions and Inquiry Committees for generations. In the past these Commissions have duly issued
reports, making academical recommendations, but, beyond that, next to nothing of practical value has been

The latest inquiry — born of war exporiencos — is that of the Forestry Sub-committee of the Ministry of
Reconstruction, appointed in July, 1916. The committee was composed of fourteen gentlemen, and its terms
of reference were "' to consider and report upon the best means of conserving and developing the wood-
land and forestry resources of the United Kingdom, having regard to *ho experience gained during the war."
The committee duly issued a report in May, 1917, and a final report has been published this year.

Before dealing with the report it will bo an advantage to examine briefly, and by means of statistical
illustration, the position of the timber supplies of this country previous to 1914: importations, home production
comparison with other countries, &c.

Taking the last completed year before the war, 1913, our timber imports were, approximately, as
follows:^ — Loads.

Sawn and Planed Timbers 6,636,137

Hewn and Pitprops 4,380,321

Staves, Mahogany, and

Hardwoods 573,353

Total 11,58J,'811

for State Enterprise.

For the year 1917 the imports
had fallen to: —

Sawn and Planed Tim- Loads

bers 1,720. 9*^77

Hewn and Pitprops 1,049, 150

Staves, Mahogany, and

Hardwoods 105.0 1 6

Total 2,875,143

This big decline in the imports was brought about as the result of the appointment of a Timber Control
Department and an Advisory Committee, who prohibited all imports of softwoods, except on a licence granted
by the Timber Controller. This was considered essential in order to divert tonnage to other pm-poses, timber
being bulky cargo compared with some other commodities urgently required for war purposes.

Importation of timber thus being curtailed, it was necessary that our own resources should be developed.
One class of timber in particular was required, namely, pitwood. On a plentiful supply of mining timber
depends ovu- coal output. , It is estimated that in maintaining an output of 250.000,000 tons of coal
about 3,500,000 tons of pitprops and mining timber are consumed. Previous to the war wo obtained the bulk of
our mining timber from North European countries outside Great Britain. Therefore, it became im-
perative, when timber imports were o drastically restricted, that we should attempt to tap home sources.

Operations weie accordingly commenced, and, taking again the twoyears 1913 and 1917, wo find the home
productions of all classes of timber as approximately: —

1913 1,000,000 loads

1917 3,500,000 „

This was an increase of three and a half times in 1917 over 1913, and it is estimated, at the rate of foiling that
has taken place for the ton months, January-October, the production of native timbers for 1918 will be nearly

6,000,000 loads, of which half will be pitwood.

This achievement of production is more remarkable really than the figures indicate. It has been accomplished
in the face of extraordinary difficulties, and in the main by men — and women —
inexperienced in the handling of native timbers, and with little or no knowledge
of forestry or woodcraft. And it isonly the beginning — if this country is wise. Conservative estimates put the
present available quantity of home-grown pitwood — -to name only one class of timber — at moro than
18,000,000 loads, exclusive of young plantations not yet of pitwood size.
This represents about six years' supply, but practical foresters give a much higher estimate, one authority
putting the available quantity as high as twenty years' supply.

The anomalous part of the situation is that we were, just previous to August ,1914, paying about £40,000,000
a year for imported timbers, a big proportion of which can be grown in the United Kingdom. For our neglect
of forestry in the past we have been compelled to pay something like £50,000,000 more for timber imported
during the war for smaller quantities, owing to high freights, adverse rato of exchanges, and war risk insurances.

Great Britain, in this matter, has lagged behind almost every other country in the world, as will l)o seen
by the appended table of forest areas in (1) timber-exporting countries and {2) non-exporting countri(is, who,
while having to import a portion of their timber requirements, yet have aconsiderable home production. The
ar<3a>,i nnn

(in Asia) . . .250,000,000) i.J'^^'."""

Sweden 50,000,000 1,000,000

Finland 52,000,000 r)50.000

Norway 20,000.000 350,000

Canada 500,000.000 2.500.000

United States 550,000.000 20.000.000

Of the non-exporting countries France has about 20,750,000 acres of forests, of which 1 1 per cent are State
forests and 23 pfjr cent communal, the remainder being privately owned but utilised for commercial purposes.
From her State and communal forests of about 7,000,000 acres France draws a net revenue of something like
£1,000,000 annually. Germany also has vast forests. State owned, and the
spruce forests of Saxony are said to be the most productive in Europe. In 70 years the timber yield in
Germany and the Prussian States has increased ninefold, and the money yield tenfold. The five chief German
States have an annual net income from their forests of £6,000,000. These
figures indicate that, properly developed, a policy of State (or State-controlled) forestry can be made an
economically sound investment, whilst a comprehensive scheme of afforestation is a measure of national safety.

Experts in both imported and home-grown timbers are unanimous that practically the whole of the
softwoods — and many hardwoods —commonly used can be grown within the British Isles. It is stated that
three native hardwoods (oak, ash, and elm) are of a quality unsurpassedl)y any of thesis varieties imported
from abroad. Of the softwoods, Scotch pinf^ and larch are quite equal for most purposes to, and have now
been used instead of, On^gon pine, Baltic redwood, or pitch pine; British black spruce is «>qual to Canadian
St. John spruce. Silver fir is another native wood growing to immmis" size.
It is a capital timtxT for constructional purposes. One could go on and give a whole range of honv -grown timbers
which arc at least equal in every respect — quality, size, and uses — to imported timbers.

The doubt arises in many minds, however, as to whetlier thi>y can bo produced here in sullicient quantities
to satisfy our neivls. IV'rhaps not imintHliately. tln>ugh th«> production during the war — puns and privates individuals assisted
by grants. The estimat<>d cost for the first ton years is put at £3,425,000, and the committee think it may be
necessary to invest £15,000,000 altogether in afforestation during the first forty years, after which time the
scheme should bo self-supporting.

Such, in brief outline, are the chief recommendations contained in this report. They cannot be said to be
.very heroic, and tho total oxpondituro over forty years is less than the cost
of two days of war.

There are three alternative schemes of afforestation which have been advocated from time to time by those
who have given any study to the subject: 1st, entire State owned and controlled; 2nd, leasing land, and
paying not only a rent to the land-owner but also a bonus on profits from the undertaking; 3rd, by loans
to landowners for planting purposes^to be repaid, after a lapse of forty years, in twenty annual instalments
calculated on compoiuid interest at 2h per 'Cent.

Of these three proposals the first only is worth real consideration. Not £15,000,000 but £50,000,000 should bo
invested in the enterprise. Forestry is a real business. Timber is a necessity, as the war has proved
conclusively. As stated, this country has been mulcted to the tune of £50,000,000 more for its timber to
provide for war purposes than if the timber had been produced in this country, and if foresight had been
exercised thirty or forty years ago, or since the Select Committee of 1885 first reported on afforestation from a
national standpoint.
Tho only method, therefore, of securing anything like a satisfactory safeguard against an inadequate
supply of timber is a full scheme of State ownership of forests, planted and fostered by well-paid and experienced
foresters. To accomplish this a Central State Forestry Department should be set up, with a practical man
as head. This Central Board should have ample powers to acqtiire, compulsorily if need be, all the waste
lands suitable for afforestation, as ell as the existing woodlands, many of which are being depleted and
need replanting. It should establish fully-equipped schools of forestry, demonstration forests for practical
training, and nurseries for the cultivation of young plants and seedlings.

Since 1885 there does appear to have been afloat from time to time a hazy idea that afforestation is a
desirable field for State enterprise.Small woodlands have been acquired,and forestry schools on a small scale
established. In 1899 the first

academically-trained forest officer was appointed to the Crown service, and the Hafod Fawr Estate of 1,180 acres was purchased for afforestation purposes.
The following year the Teyt«m Woods (3,000 acres), and in 1907 the Inverlier Estate in Argyll, comprising 12,600
acres, was acquired for the same purpose. Schools for woodmen have been established in the Forest of Dean
and in Ireland. Money has been voted from time to time for afforestation evelopments, but only in small
sums, and apparently chiefly regarded as experimental.

There is ample evidence, however, that from every point of view a bold scheme of afforestation would
pay. The Liverpool Corporation, in connection with its waterworks undertakings, has planted something
like 3,600,000 trees on 1,383 acres of land, and with good results. Even with all the difficulties^'of^ haphazard
and hasty war emergency methods of exploiting our home forests, we have been successful in supplying an
appreciable part of the country's needs.
But the scheme of afforestation should be a national one, State owned and controlled; such a scheme,properly organised, would be of
incalculable Ijenefit. In any policy of reconstruction, therefore, afforestation
should find a foremost place. Tho advent of peace among the nations is an opportune moment for the
launching of this enterprise. Amongst other advantages it would provide occupation for thousands of de-
mobilised men — and women — to whom the thought of mill, mine, worlcshop, or office is distasteful after the
strenuous, though health giving, open- air life they have lived since 1914.