Enlarged application of the leasing principle as applied to public domain, especially a liberal leasing law for the development of the mineral resources of Alaska, particularly its coal lands, and immediate consideration by Congress of the whole subject of water-power development and control, are the most important recommendations contained in the annual report of Secretary of the Interior Fisher. "The great public movement for the conservation of our national resources," says Secretary Fisher, "is not in any way opposed to prompt and wise development of the public domain. The essential thing is to see that under the guise of settlement we do not permit mere exploitation, which in the last analysis retards both settlement and development."

Governor Dix of New York, in outlining his opinion as to what should be done to utilize the waters of the state, which he believes up to this time have been wasted, says the reservoirs in the different watersheds should be built at the expense of the power users, and their bonds for the construction of dams should be guaranteed to the state after such users release to the state all of their title to surplus waters. The bonds the Governor would have run for fifty years, after which the property, the water and the power generated, should be the property of the state and continue so forever. The plan is similar to that under which the subways of New York are being constructed.

A nation-wide investigation of the food supply of the United States, with special reference to the increased cost of living, has been inaugurated under the personal supervision of Commissioner of Labor Charles P. Neill. This inquiry, ordered by Secretary of Commerce and Labor Nagel, will be the most comprehensive ever undertaken in this or any other country, and will last for several months. Experts will be sent over the country to visit fields, factories, and stores. Each important article of food will be traced from its beginning to the door of the consumer, and then the department statisticians will prepare a report for the government and the public.

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January 20, 1912

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