Items of Interest

Ninety per cent of the registration and license fees paid in the United States in 1915 by automobilists to the different states, or $16,213,387, was spent for the building and maintenance of county and state roads. In all 2,445,664 motor vehicles were registered in that year, and their owners paid a total of $18,245,713 for registrations and drivers' and dealers' licenses. Automobile fees now defray nearly 7 per cent of the total amount spent on rural road and bridge building, whereas in 1906 the income from this source was less than three tenths of 1 per cent of the total expenditure. The relation between cars and road mileage varies widely in different sections. There is only one motor-car for every six miles of rural road in Nevada, but nearly six motor-cars for every mile of such road in New Jersey. There is an average of one motor-car registration for every forty-four persons in the United States. Iowa apparently leads, however, with one motor-car for every sixteen persons, while one for every two hundred persons is registered for Alabama.

One of the provisions of the Federal aid road bill, which was signed by the Persident on July 11, appropriates $1,000,000 a year for ten years to be spent by the secretary of agriculture for the construction and maintenance of roads and trails within or partly within the national forests. The bill provides that upon request of the proper officers of the states or counties the money shall be used for building roads and trails which are necessary for the use and development of resources upon which communities within or near the national forests are dependent. The work is to be done in cooperation with the various states and counties, and not more than 10 per cent of the value of the timber and forage resources of the national forests within the respective county or counties in which the roads or trails will be constructed may be spent. Provision is made for the return of the money to the treasury by applying 10 per cent of the annual receipts of the national forests in the state or county until the amount advanced is covered.

A writer in the World Outlook says: "You think of Bolivia as a little country. It is as big as Germany, Austria, and England. Peru is as large as all the United States from Nova Scotia to Indiana, from Canada south to the Gulf. Argentina equals all the United States west of Omaha. Brazil is a United States with another Texas added. The resources of that vast area are in keeping with the bigness of the continent. You know, at least vaguely, of the minerals,—gold, silver, tin, copper, vanadium, bismuth, tungsten, the diamond mines of Brazil, and the emerald mines of Colombia. Chile and Bolivia have been selling $130,000,000 worth of nitrates every year to fertilize the sugar-beet fields of Germany. The black, rich alluvial soil of Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay is as good as the best in Illinois and Iowa. Corn grows seventy bushels to the acre; wheat, fifty bushels; alfalfa, six crops a year.

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"Always follow the kindest course"
August 12, 1916

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