– There was concern that, while finishing of prime livestock was a Scottish speciality for which it was justifiably world famous, much of the country's supply of store cattle had to be brought across from Ireland.

"How many farmers breed rear and fatten their own stock?," asked David McCulloch, of Aberdeen. "Comparatively few," he answered himself. This was a weakness in the Scottish livestock sector, as was the great quality gulf between its splendid pedigree cattle and the sorry-looking 'scrub' commercial cattle. If the Great War had taught us anything, suggested Mr McCulloch, it was the vital importance of the home agricultural industry in feeding the people. But there was hope that Scotland could plug its store cattle gap – the farmers of Orkney, in particular, were showing great promise in that respect, he noted.

– Bracken was spreading, and claiming more and more of the Scottish countryside, to the detriment of all, noted our correspondent Alexander Blair, of Balhaldie, Perthshire. Mr Blair recalled how, in his youth, his father had actually nurtured a small patch of bracken on the farm, as a source of bedding for pigs and covering for potato pits. How different it was by 1925, when on returning to that same spot, he found this patch spread to cover hundreds of acres! The remedy, he suggested, was that Scotland harness its 'vast armies of unemployed', who were claiming millions from the public purse, and hand a scythe or a hook to any able-bodied man or boy with nothing better to do.

– A regular subject of debate in the 1920s was the future of smallholdings, as the 'day of the motor plough and the large farm' dawned. Scotland would always need smallholdings, argued Edward Carpenter, not just for their agricultural output, but for their beneficial effects on society as a whole. "We want good human crops as well as good crops of produce, and some of the best sort of men are grown on small holdings – hardy, capable men, able to turn their hands to all sorts of work, and enjoying freedom of invention and initiative such as they could not have on larger and public undertakings," as Mr Carpenter himself put it.

– As the decade closed, and the agricultural depression began to bite, there were spirited appeals for greater agricultural organisation and co-operation, and an end to the unregulated market chaos of 'any old way, at any old time, at the buyer's price'. Our correspondent, James Lennox, noted that those benefitting most from this 'free market' argued that a regulated system would suppress the individualism that had made the nation great in the first place, and that letting every man fight for himself was, by 'accepted historical fact', the best way to organise a market. "This has been repeated so often that many people believe it, but it has not a scrap of foundation the size of a cambric needle – were it not for organisation and co-operation, we would still be wild in the forest, and painted with woad."

– "Except in a few highly specialised kinds of farming, agriculturalists all over the country are carrying on their business at a loss," wrote WW Philip, of Glasgow. "The average price of agricultural produce is now lower than at any year since 1915, whilst at the same time agricultural wages have increased by 75% above the rate of 1914. Practically everything the farmer has to buy, including machinery, implements etc, is dearer by 70%," he complained.

But small confidence could be placed in politicians to effect any remedy. None of us can forget the 'never again' cry during the war, and how it has been fulfilled..."