Items of Interest

The constitutionality of the federal law for the protection of migratory birds is being tested in the United States Supreme Court. The case comes up on appeal from the United States court of the eastern district of Arkansas, in which on May 13, 1914, the law was held unconstitutional. The brief is signed by 26 state conservation commissions; 3 state agricultural experiment stations; 4 national agricultural organizations; 3 national live stock breeders' associations; 2 forestry organizations; 3 national conservation organizations; 45 sportsmen's organizations—local, state, and national; and 5 miscellaneous. The brief holds that the interests of the people require such a law; that it is impossible for the several states to enforce their joint rights; that migratory birds are of great assistance in destroying the insect foes of crops and forests; that Congress has the power to protect the agency which preserves the property of the United States from damage and destruction; also that migratory birds are the property of the nation. The law whose constitutionality is called into question was passed March 4, 1913, and became effective Oct. 1 of the same year.

The Pearsite Company, which is a Delaware corporation capitalized at $2,000,000, is erecting a large plant near Cannel City, Ky., where it expects to produce 10,000 pounds of dye a day to meet the scarcity of dye material. The plant, which will consist of furnaces, oil distilleries, dye-houses, and laboratories, will not be completed until Nov. 1. The company operations will total between one million five hundred thousand and two million dollars yearly. One of the joint inventors of the cannel coal process in discussing the new enterprise has said, "We have had samples of our product examined by experts, who have advised us that our dye will stand every test of fastness." The furnaces that will be used are large cylindrical tanks 10 feet or more in diameter and 40 feet high, into which crushed cannel coal is poured from the top, oil and coke resulting from the oxidation. The coke is used in the furnaces, and the oils are carried through a distillation process and then treated in the dye-house, by means of which the dyestuffs and more than fifty valuable by-products are secured.

Some time ago the excavations at Patliputra, the ancient Asokan capital near Patna, India, which have been going on for years, disclosed among other buildings a gigantic hall containing a number of pillars. The Indian archeological department states that the plan of this hall bears a striking resemblance to the famous hall of a hundred columns at Persepolis, in Persia. This great edifice remained in use for several centuries, probably till about the beginning of the Christian era. Then a great flood, caused not improbably by the Ganges River changing its course, left a deposit of eight or nine feet of silt over the level floor. The destruction of the building was apparently completed by a fire which took place about the fifth century.

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Our Dependence
October 16, 1915

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