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 Vast areas of coal and oil lands have been withdrawn from entry to save their exploitation by monopoly.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.

The formation of the Maritime League of Chile has been accomplished after years of discussion with regard to the necessity of concerted action by Chilean commercial and industrial interests to unite for national development. Ship-building is to be fostered by the Maritime League. There is to be more complete instruction for young men who desire to become sea-men. The navy also is to be looked after. One of the important matters for the league is the organizing in leading ports of sailors' homes, where provision may be made for the comfort of seafaring men while they are on shore. The fishing industry along the Chilean coast is to be placed on so firm a foundation that it not only will help to furnish food articles on a much larger scale for home consumption, but will become an important factor in export trade.

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What Constitutes Friendship?
May 23, 1914

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