Items of Interest

The general leasing bill for oil, coal, gas, phosphate, potassium, or sodium deposits has been ordered favorably reported by the House committee on public lands, but is still under consideration in the Senate committee. Of this bill Secretary Lane says:—

This bill provides for the opening of the rich natural resources in the public domain now largely withheld from use. Vast areas of coal and oil lands have been withdrawn from entry to save their exploitation by monopoly. Great natural stores of phosphates and potash, needed for our agricultural development, are unworked because of the inadequacy or inapplicability of present laws for their disposition. These resources belong to the people of the United States. The people have need of them and are entitled to their use. The purpose of this bill is to open up these deposits for use, on terms and conditions which will prevent their waste, insure proper methods of operation, encourage exploration, reward development, and protect the public against monopoly. The methods provided are designed to make it easy and profitable for competitive enterprise to mine and market these minerals, and to discourage the holding of unworked mineral lands for speculative purposes. The bill safeguards the interests of the consumer by insuring competition in production. It offers to the operator of small capital the same opportunity as to the giant corporation. It gives incentive to development and the establishment of new industries, makes it desirable to work their deposits, and closes the door on those who hope to acquire these lands and hold them without development.

What Constitutes Friendship?
May 23, 1914

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