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west of the vicarage. The vicarage well showed on analysis undoubted sewage pollution from the house drains, and the stable well between the vicarage and close to the churchyard no pollution whatever.

In the great Tilbury Docks arbitration it was sought to prove whether the material in which the docks were excavated should have been called “mud” or “clay.” The word “clay” means "cleaving,” “that cleaves or “sticks :" "mud” means “wet.” Clay is shortly defined as "plastic earth," mud as earth or material that is so mixed with water as to be of insufficient substance to sustain the footsteps of man. Clay is a stuff-denoting word, mud denotes only a state or condition for the time being. As regards external characters, in all ages and countries a clay is an earth that will make a pot, and as regards internal characters it is chemically an hydrated silicate of alumina. I therefore had analyses made of samples, and 175 pots made from the material taken from different depths in the docks, which proved that the stuff in question was physically and chemically a clay. It was the variety known as marsh clay, and contained well-preserved remains of reeds and beds of shells. The condition of these animal and vegetable remains proved the matrix to be clay, as no other earth would preserve the epidermis as well as the iridescent colours and minute markings of the shells or the greenness of the reeds. The condition of the latter varied from mere carbon smuts to perfect greenness, those below the thick peat being fresher than those above it. Being entombed alive they were smothered, respiration and the elimination of superfluous carbon ceased, the decomposition of the insoluble chlorophyl was arrested, and they were actually pickled in the presence of antiseptic carbon in excess, the carbonic acid gas being prevented

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from escaping by the fine unctuous blue clay in which the reeds exclusively occur. In the more silty portions there are no reeds. The etiolation of the chlorophyl in some of the reeds, and the complete reduction of others to a carbon smut, is due to the access of water where the material has been of less density than that of the blue clay in which the well-preserved reeds occur.

I made a large number of borings both at Tilbury and Crossness.

EPSOM MEDICAL COLLEGE.

Up to the completion of additional works recently carried out at Epsom College, the water had been supplied partly from a well in the chalk and partly from the town water works. The well was 130 feet 8 inches deep, the old 3-throw pumps were fixed at 116 feet from the surface, and the suction-rose was on the bottom of the well. On October 2, 1894, the well was dry. Contracts were therefore entered into for deepening the well 20 feet and lowering the old pumps to 122 feet from the surface, and fixing a new set of 53-inch 3-throw pumps 12-inch stroke at the same level, and a new 10 H. P. gas engine to drive them. On attempting, however, to excavate the chalk in August and September, 1895, the springs proved so strong that it was found to be impossible with the aid of an 8 H. P. steam engine and 8-inch deep well pump with 15-inch stroke working 25 strokes per minute to take off more than one foot. A 12-inch boring was therefore substituted for the shaft and carried to a depth of 152 feet 5 inches from the surface, and the suction pipes of both old and new pumps were carried down it to a depth of 147 feet from the surface. The old pumps were 3 inches diameter, 10-inch stroke, driven by a 3

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H. P. Otto gas engine, and were inadequate for the work of supplying the college. The new pumps, which were designed to throw 20,000 gallons in 5 hours, are driven by the new 10 H. P. gas engine, the old 3-inch rising main was replaced in the well by a 4-inch, and the college is entirely supplied by the well now and for many years to come.

When the new pumps were started, a quantity of sharp grit was sucked up out of the bore, in consequence of which 6 feet of the suction pipe were temporarily taken off. I then had three | inch gun-metal liners, with special buckets provided with socket valves, made for the pumps for temporary use With the aid of these, and no other tackle than a common crab, 3 feet more of chalk were taken off the bottom of the well in 10 days in the autumn of 1896, by Mr. J. R. Harding, C.E., and myself, after the 6 feet of suction pipe had been replaced. The liners and special buckets were then removed, but at any dry time the well can be further deepened by their aid to the limit of suction. Some foul air, which had gathered in the well in October 1885, to 58 feet from the surface, was cleared out in one hour by simply throwing down in handfuls six pennyworth of powdered lime.

Joseph LUCAS, Professional Associate.

SECTION II.

COMMUNICATIONS REFERRING TO PAPERS IN

THE “TRANSACTIONS," &c.

On Mr. Tualter C. Ryde's Paper on “The

Agricultural Rates Act, 1896."

(" Transactions," Vol. XXIX., pp. 155-168.)

(A.) Now that this Act has been some time in force, a few remarks on it may not be out of place.

The Act was certainly the first practical endeavour to relieve agriculture, which has suffered for so long a time from fearful depression; and as this kind of relief was strongly recommended by a large majority of the Royal Commission on Agriculture, it was probably only right that the Government of the day should test its efficacy.

It possesses, however, several great defects:
(1.) It gives most relief where the least is needed.
(2.) It casts a further (though small) direct burden

on other ratepayers in relieving agriculture.
(3.) It does not allow the occupier, as such, to have

any voice in the division of the assessment

between buildings and land. Although it might have been difficult to define accommodation land, it does seem very unjust that such land, the value of which arises from circumstances entirely extrinsic, should benefit, as it does in many cases, to ten times the extent of purely agricultural land of a poor quality, and having heavy tithe rent-charge on it.

It is difficult to see why the grant should have been confined to a “spending authority,” and not have included the expenses of parish councils, parish neetings, and overseers. This omission, though not serious in itself, has created so much irritation that it would be wise to amend the Act, so that these expenses may no longer be excluded from its operations.

The consequence of not allowing the occupier to have any right of objection or appeal in the original division of the assessment existing in 1896 between land and buildings, is that in all cases where he considers too much has been allocated to buildings he objects to the assessment, and if he obtains relief the half-rate on such reduction is cast on the other ratepayers.

It seems curious that he should have been debarred the right to object when the correction he desires would have caused no injustice, and have been given the right to do so when any alteration made would injure others.

The chief difficulty in carrying out the Act has been the question of glass houses: while the regrettable decision in the Worthing case remains law it is difficult to see why they should not be treated as agricultural land.

Unfortunately some assessment committees have dealt with them as buildings, and appeals by the ratepayers are now pending, and if the appellants are successful the burden of the half-rate will fall on the other ratepayers.

It seems clear that the primary object of this Act, viz. to encourage agriculture and entice back the labourer to the soil, will not be accomplished.

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