Items of Interest

During January, customs receipts fell nearly six million dollars below the corresponding month of 1913. At the time of the enactment of the tariff act, treasury officials expected to see a customs falling off of about forty-five million dollars a year. For the month the excess of disbursements over receipts was about seven million dollars, while in January, 1913, the receipts exceeded the disbursements by nearly three million dollars. So far, however, there has been no return from the income tax, which is not payable until June, and it is probable that the excess of disbursements will continue until the tax comes in to offset the decrease in customs revenue.

Administration rural credit bills have been introduced in the Senate and the House by Senator Fletcher of Florida and Representative Moss of Indiana, members of the commission which President Wilson sent abroad last summer to study foreign systems. The bills are for long-term farm loans. Bills for short-term loans will be introduced later. These measures would establish in the treasury department a bureau of farm land banks under the direction of a commissioner and make provision for the formation of such banks in any state under federal charter and federal inspection.

Investigation of Argentine beef packing has been quietly started by the state department in an attempt to determine who controls the product; whether there is a combination among the Argentine packers, and to what extent American packers are parties to any combines that may exist. Orders have been sent from Washington to the diplomatic agents of the department in the Argentine Republic to make a careful inquiry into the Argentine industry, and particularly into the contracts which have been made for the delivery of beef to shippers who send it to the United States.

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Conservation of the Public Health
February 14, 1914

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