The Southern Pacific Railroad Company has filed its answer in the suit of the United States, to declare forfeited to the government for alleged violations of the conditions of the grant, 2,373,000 acres of timber and agricultural land, valued at sixty million dollars. The contentions set forth in the answer are that the United States for forty years has failed to protest against the sale of this land in tracts larger than one hundred and sixty acres and at a price exceeding $2.50 an acre; that the government has freely used the railway for transporting troops and munitions of war; that it accepted $1,827,234 for taxes upon this land, in addition to large sums for surveying and patenting.

The Southern Pacific Railway Company, through its vice-president and director of maintenance and operation of the Harriman lines, absolutely rejected a demand for recognition of the Federation of Shop Employees, comprising five shop craft unions and twenty-five thousand men. That such recognition, with its implications, would hamper the company in performing its duty to the public was the position taken by its officials. Union leaders asked for it on grounds of economy and expedition, and admittedly because of a feeling that greater centralization of capital and power made corresponding centralization among various unions desirable.

The state department is having difficulty in finding suitable sites for embassy and legation sites abroad. When Congress passed the bill for purchase by this government of such buildings it named one hundred and fifty thousand dollars as the maximum price which could be paid for any one building. From estimates submitted to the department it now appears that this restriction may prevent the United States from owning homes for its diplomatic officers in any of the big foreign cities. It is only at the smaller posts, it is said, that the government will be able to purchase sites within this figure.

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September 16, 1911

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