The department of justice is on the point of beginning a second great suit against the Southern Pacific railway and its transferees for the recovery of thousands of acres of oil land in Southern California. The present suit goes chiefly into the question of law as to whether title passed to the mineral products—in this case oil—when ostensibly the land was sold as agricultural realty. The case brings up an important point of law, and if decided for the government may lead to investigations looking for the recovery of other great holdings by other companies.

The use of copper salts in the "greening" of foods, principally canned peas and beans, will be prohibited after Jan. I next by a pure food decision signed by Secretary Wilson. The Remsen board, after studying the question three years, reported that "copper salts used in the greening of vegetables may have the effect of concealing inferiority" and further that "even small quantities of copper must be considered injurious to health." Vegetables "freshened" with copper salts will be considered adulterated under the pure food law.

Without a dissenting vote the Sulzer bill creating a new department of labor was passed by the House. The measure, which would add a new secretary to the President's cabinet, was passed without a roll-call. The bill makes provision to transfer the bureau of labor of the department of commerce and labor to the new executive departments and authorizes sweeping discretion for the new labor secretary to offer federal intervention in labor disputes.

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July 27, 1912

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