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South Africa: Make Crime Pay

 The above is the title of an article by the Johannesburg correspondent of the Economist, which in its issue of September 6th, presents us with an interesting sidelight on labour relations in South African agriculture. It appears that in the Kroonstad district of the Orange Free State,

      “the new goldfields nearby are drawing labour away from the farms; and in any case the Africans are showing an increasing aversion to farm work. Under the masters and servants act, a farmer can still pursue a runaway worker, and have him first fined, and then forced back to work. But the Africans, it seems, now resent this."

 Obviously the good farmers of Kroonstad had got to find a solution to this distressing dilemma. They might raise wages, and thus make farm work more attractive. (They might, but not if they could avoid it.) There must (they reasoned) be some way out of the difficulty. And there was.

Book Review: Slaves of the Farm U.S.A.

Seldom do town workers have an opportunity of seeing for themselves the conditions of life of their fellow beings, the farm' workers. Mr. C. McWilliams, in “Ill Fares the Land” (Faber and Faber), gives valuable information regarding the conditions obtaining in rural U.S.A., that great land of “opportunity, freedom and democracy.”

 The author was a member of the La Follette Committee, which was self up to investigate the disclosures of another book, “Grapes of Wrath,’ by J. Steinbeck. That book was fiction, whereas this one is an authoritive statement on the effects of large-scale big-business farming on the agricultural community.

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