Items of Interest

Foremost among the problems to be solved by the constitutional government, when once it is fully established at Mexico City, Mexico, is the distribution of land. It is expected that some authority will be asked to draft a measure that will facilitate the transfer of lands from the present large holdings to individuals who will be required to till the soil. The local governments of the different states, including nearly all the important public offices, are almost always in the hands of, or controlled by, wealthy families owning large tracts of land. These owners look after their own interests entirely. Large estates, called haciendas, pay only 10 per cent of the taxes levied by law, as a result of misrepresenting the value of the property; while the small landholder is obliged to pay the whole tax imposed, as he is unable successfully to misrepresent the value of his small holdings and lacks the political influence to obtain reductions. As the result of this system of inequitable taxation, there has come the gradual disappearance of small holdings, which were absorbed by the large estates.

The section of railway joining the lines of Mecca and Bagdad was recently completed, and railway service has already been inaugurated. The ceremony of the inauguration of this line was attended by many notable people, speeches were made by the Vali, by the railway authorities, and by many guests of the Turkish government. The Oriental Railways Company has presented a petition for a concession to construct the railway line from Mouradli to Rodosto, and the minister of public works has ordered that this project be examined immediately, in order that the concession be granted without delay, should the project meet with approval. The minister of finance has been asked to consider this project and to submit a report on the matter, which will be the subject of a subsequent discussion at a ministerial council.

Mind's Activities
September 5, 1914

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