Secretary of the Interior Fisher submitted to the House committee on public lands last week a proposal to lease government coal lands to cities which will operate coal mines under regulations making it possible for consumers to enjoy the use of fuel at reasonable prices. The cities of Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, and Montana, and other states west of the Missouri river, would be most vitally benefited by the measure. The secretary believes that any such patent should be safeguarded by the provision that the title of the land patented shall revert to the government if any city or town to which coal land shall be patented shall at any time fail to perform any of the conditions of the patent. Secretary Fisher maintains that the aim of the federal conservation policy with respect to government owned coal lands is to insure for the public an abundant supply at prices which will yield a fair return and no more upon the capital invested in mining and handling the coal. This is impossible when a fee simple patent is granted to private persons or corporations for the commercial exploitation of the coal deposits.

The American Geographical Society has perfected plans for a transcontinental tour of a quota of its members and of European geographers. The tour will be in celebration of the sixtieth anniversary of the society's founding, and of the completion of its new building at Broadway and 156th street, New York city. Fifty representatives of geographical societies of Europe have enrolled as delegates to take part in the tour, which starts on Aug. 22. The party will cover approximately ten thousand miles, and will be gone from New York two months. A complete itinerary of the route calls for visits in order to Chicago, St. Paul, Yellowstone national park, Seattle, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Denver, Grand canyon, Phoenix, St. Louis, Birmingham, Chattanooga, and Washington.

August 24, 1912

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