ITEMS OF INTEREST

The United States, before giving its consent to the transfer of the sovereignty of the Congo Free State to Belgium, asks information on the following principal demands : A specific assurance from Belgium that she will respect the Brussels act of 1890, of which the United States is a full signatory, and especially Article 2, providing for the humane treatment of the natives ; the abolition of the labor tax; the restoration to the natives formerly held by them according to native communal customs ; the institution of the freedom of trade guaranteed by the treaty of 1891 between the United States and the Congo; an agreement to submit to arbitration economic and commercial questions which shall prove especially difficult of settlement otherwise.

The Senate committee on the judiciary has reported adversely the bill of the National Civic Federation to amend the Sherman antitrust law. This action makes it plain that there shall not be interjected into the antitrust law provisions which would authorize leniency to be granted by the Interstate Commerce Commission and the Commissioner of the Bureau of Corporations in certain cases, including railroads and organized bodies such as farmers' associations and labor organizations.

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THE EXCUSE-MAKING HABIT
February 13, 1909
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