Items of Interest

The United States Coast and Geodetic Survey held centennial exercises on April 5 and 6 at Washington, D. C., in the National Museum. This body in its work covers the coasts of continental United States, the Philippines, and Alaska. It is the contention of the department that as soon as correct charts have been made by it of all the navigable waterways and coasts, ship-owners will send out a better class of vessels. The reasons given are that under existing conditions owners who feel it a risk to send ships on coasts such as Alaska, for example, send out cheaper and less expensive vessels. The exhibit showed surveying instruments and appliances, pictures of surveying operations and equipment, charts, and other publications of the bureau. As far as possible, the earliest instruments and appliances which were used by this bureau were exhibited beside those now in use. The earliest obtainable maps and charts of the United States were shown for comparison with the present charts issued by the bureau.

The proposal to utilize water-power for the production of nitrates for various industrial uses has developed a unique situation in Congress. A bill has been presented by the agriculture committee for the production of nitrates for fertilizer purposes; another has been presented favoring a private concern, which would furnish nitric acid to the Government for the manufacture of explosives; and an army bill proposes sites for a Government plant to manufacture nitrates for its own use. The situation involves preparedness, Government ownership, conservation, special interests, and graft. The conservationists contend that the passage of a water-power bill properly safeguarding in the interests of the nation the natural resources in water-power sites, would solve the whole controversy.

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Divine Will
April 15, 1916
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