Experiments by the postoffice department for the last ten weeks show that the government can effect an immense saving by shipping a large part of its second-class mail matter by freight cars rather than in mail cars, as heretofore. The class of mail in which the change will first be tried is the semimonthly and monthly publications of the East, which it is planned to bring to six distributing points in freight cars. These six points are St. Louis, Cincinnati, Chicago, Kansas City, St. Paul, and Omaha. Bids from the railroads for the freight car service have been asked, to begin July 1. The saving effected at St. Louis alone, where the trial has been made, will mean an annual saving of eight hundred thousand dollars to the government.

As a result of geologic field examinations the administration has withdrawn 62,140,548 acres of probable coal land and has restored to agricultural entry 18,777,756 acres of noncoal land, which had been withdrawn from entry pending the geological survey's determination of its character. A single Montana withdrawal, made last July, included 20,208,-865 acres. The amount of coal contained in this area is almost incredibly great. A single forty-acre tract, for example, contains over two million five hundred thousand tons of coal. The present outstanding withdrawals awaiting geologic classification aggregate 80,-007,688 acres.

Extension of the time to arrange general arbitration treaties will be necessitated by Germany's expressed willingness to enter nenegotiations. It is assumed that each of the four powers engaged, France, Great Britain, Germany, and the United States, will insist upon knowing what the others are doing at every step, in order to make sure that no one power secures any undue advantage, and this will complicate the work.

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June 10, 1911

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