Good roads for New Hampshire were discussed at the first state good roads convention held at Concord under the auspices of the state highway department. State, town, and county officials from all over New Hampshire were present and Gov. Robert P. Bass opened the convention, which was originally planned for one day. So much interest was shown, however, that it was decided to continue it a second day, and the scope of the convention was considerably broadened. Some of the results of the conference, in which some four hundred and fifty legislators, selectmen, town road agents, grangers, and others participated, are: A better understanding of the need of good roads in New Hampshire, a knowledge of the practical methods to be employed in making good roads, a knowledge of road-making materials and machinery, recognition of the importance of preserving the roads by continuous small appropriations for maintenance, and the desirability of a concerted movement for a change in the highway laws of New Hampshire so that the highway commission shall be a continuing board of three members, with at least two experienced members in each year.

The post office department, as a result of the investigation of the special postal commission, intends to recommend to Congress that the rate on all newspapers and periodicals be increased from one to two cents per pound and increased by degrees later on until they pay a rate nearing the cost to the government of handling them. The government is now making a surplus of $62,031,990 a year from first-class matter, including letters, while at the same time the sum of $66,336,662 is lost each year on the carrying of second-class matter. Just as soon as the rates on second-class matter are readjusted Congress will be asked to grant a one-cent rate on letters.

Immediate development of Alaska coal beds along conservation lines recommended by Gifford Pinchot as president of the National Conservation Association, is sought in three amendments to the Works Alaska bill, introduced by Senator La Follette. Provision is made for staking out a coal claim, like a placer mine, by any adult for ten years. Another amendment provides for government construction of a railroad costing three million dollars from the Matanuska or Bering Sea coal fields, using equipment discarded in Panama. Survey of a route for another government railroad from interior Alaska to the coast is provided in the third.

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December 23, 1911

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