Before adjournment of Congress Aug. 17, it is likely that the House will pass the Lever bill, providing for the establishment of agricultural extension departments, and if this should be the case, the bill will be brought up for passage in the Senate at the session next winter. It seems certain that within the next year or two Congress is to take steps for the development of agriculture, as a partial remedy for high prices and also with a view to checking to some degree the rush of country boys and young men to the cities. The Lever bill supplements existing laws intended to encourage agricultural colleges, and greatly extends and enlarges the scope of those laws. Ten thousand dollars a year is to be given each state assenting to the provisions of the proposed law, making an aggregate of four hundred and eighty thousand dollars a year if all the states come in. The additional sum of three hundred thousand dollars is appropriated for the fiscal year 1914, which sum is to be increased three hundred thousand dollars a year for a period of nine years, or until the total appropriation comes up to three million dollars, at which point it is to stand thereafter.

Governor McGovern of Wisconsin has appointed a committee to investigate a proposition laid before the state board of public affairs which has to do with the solution of the land problem in Wisconsin. It has been proposed to that board that the state start a colony of its own on a new and original plan. It is also proposed that the state acquire land at its cheapest wholesale price, sell it to colonists for its fair market value, the entire profit to be converted into a communal fund for the benefit of the colonists. This is to cut out the petty speculator and place the land in the hands of bona fide settlers at wholesale prices. It is intended also to multiply the efficiency of individual savings by using them cooperatively and to encourage a community spirit, for the administration of the communal fund is left in the hands of the colonists themselves, subject to the veto power of the board of commissioners to insure against unwise action.

August 17, 1912

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