Items of Interest

The largest dam in Europe has just been completed near Barcelona, Spain. It is built across the chasm through which the Noguera Pallaresa River flowed. Abutting on almost perpendicular cliffs, the dam is constructed of concrete, and measures 330 feet in height and 700 feet in length. The thickness is 230 feet at the base, gradually decreasing to 14 feet at the top. The valley above the dam was bought from the various landholders at a cost of nearly one million dollars, and now filled with water forms an artificial lake fifteen and one half miles long and three and three fourths miles wide. The water that now passes through the power house yields an electric current of 20,000 horse-power. Later it will be increased to 40,000 horse-power. The water is carried by a system of canals into an arid district, where it irrigates a surface of nearly one hundred square miles.

The new administration of Panama is thinking seriously of giving one side of the single tax plan a trial. There are immense holdings of land throughout the republic that are neither producing incomes nor paying taxes to amount to anything. Nearly every revolution in former days produced a crop of generals to be rewarded with land grants, since there was nothing else to give them. Then outsiders began to acquire large estates when the canal promoted speculative purchases. Holdings of from twenty to one hundred thousand acres are fairly common. There is a tract near Panama City of some fifty thousand acres owned by absentee landlords that does not, it is claimed, earn $500 a year, and practically pays no taxes. The total amount of land owned in Panama of this sort mounts up to several million acres.

Queensland, Australia a very large state in area, has three distinct ports of entry—Townes ville, Rockhampton, and Brisbane. Sydney serves for New South Wales, Melbourne for Victoria, Adelaide for South Australia, and Perth for West Australia. South Australia, although not nearly so large as the states of West Australia and Queensland, is some 50 per cent larger than Texas. Its population, corrected to the year 1914, is 441690, or about one tenth the population of Texas. Only 2 per cent of the land is under cultivation. The Broken Hill mines of New South Wales are large producers of lead, silver, and zinc concentrates. Adelaide, which controls the distributing trade of the big back country and of the rich mining districts, is a prosperous city, with a population of two hundred thousand within a radius of ten miles of the Town Hall.

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Rendering unto God
November 11, 1916

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