Items of Interest

The recent piratical acts of Japanese sailors in poaching upon the Pribilof Islands has brought the question of pelagic sealing forward again prominently. Among the plans suggested for its regulation two receive chief favor. One suggests the reduction of the present herds so that pelagic sealing will be unprofitable. There could then be adopted an international agreement against the industry. The herds could then be allowed to increase to their original sizes. Another plan which has been considered is the purchase by the United States of all vessels engaged in pelagic sealing, such purchase to be made pursuant to an international agreement which would thereafter prohibit this form of sealing, it being maintained that the chief obstacles to a general international agreement on the subject are the owners of vessels engaged in sealing.

"Bad roads, no mail." is the rule the Government has adopted for the guidance of the rural free delivery service of the Post Office Department. During the past nine years, however, the Government has been too busy installing postal routes to give much emphasis to the good roads question. It is now in position to take up this question and it proposes to do it. The 35.973 rural carriers employed by the Government travel a total of 863,363 miles of country roads daily. Eventually there will undoubtedly be adopted an iron-clad rule that unless the roads over which a rural carrier travels are maintained in first-class condition the mail service will be withdrawn. The Government feels that it has an opportunity to compel local authorities to take up the question of good roads, and it proposes to exercise the authority freely.

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An Appreciative Letter
August 25, 1906
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