The steam shovel men at work at the Panama Canal on March I last applied to Secretary Taft for increases as follows: Engineers from $210 to $300 per month, crane men from $185 to $250 per month, firemen from $83.33 to $110 per month. In reaching the conclusion that the present rates of pay are liberal ones, Secretary Taft says that the average pay in the United States is $163 for engineers, $110 for crane men, and $71 for firemen. Taking into consideration the hardships, and the advantages of free rent, free medical attendance, and supplies at cost, he believes the pay of the men is question is sufficient. A number of steam shovel men are entitled to three per cent increases under the plan to make these increases yearly. The demand for construction locomotive engineers for an increase in pay is also denied. Construction train conductors he raises from $170 to $190 a month.

Secretary of the Treasury Cortelyou has undertaken the solution of the difficult problem of equitably distributing the deposits of Government moneys in the National banks of the country,—how to get them out of politics and handle them systematically. He has appointed a commission of five: United States Treasurer Treat, chairman; Director Roberts of the Mint, Comptroller of the Currency Ridgley, E. W. Huntington of the Division of Loans and Currency, and E. B. Daskem of the Division of Public Moneys of the Treasury Department. There are about six thousand National banks in the United States, and of these about twelve hundred and fifty have been designated as banks in which public money is placed on deposit on giving the Treasury adequate security in the form of Government bonds or some other acceptable bonds.

Secretary Root has made public the names of eight architects who will be invited to furnish plans for the new Bureau of American Republics Building or Palace of Peace. Each of these firms will be paid $1,000 for the plans submitted and the plans will be entered in the general competition. In addition to the eight invited to compete one hundred and twenty-six other firms have registered for the competition. The building is to cost $600,000 and the interior finishings $150,000. The site, which is to be the historic Van Ness Park, has already been selected at a cost of $250,000. The Government appropriated $250,000, and Andrew Carnegie donated $750,000, with the condition that the building be known as the Pan-American Palace of Peace.

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May 18, 1907

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