Items of Interest

Abandonment of the conflicting water power bills now before Congress, and the creation of an ex officio commission with power to grant leases for the use of all public lands and streams, is suggested by Secretary of the Interior Lane as a solution of the water power question. Secretary Lane proposes that the secretary of war, the secretary of the interior, and the secretary of agriculture shall compose a water power commission, under shall have power to make leases, under such terms and conditions as they shall prescribe, for not longer than fifty years. By this plan the administration would be held responsible for whatever terms and conditions were made as to such leases; the terms and conditions would be known and fixed before the lease was made; and they could be made so as to draw a distinction between the use of navigable waters and others, so that controversies in Congress over details would be eliminated.

Before the labor committee of the United States House of Representatives recently Prof. Elwood Mead spoke in favor of the Crosser colonization bill, which he characterizes as "representing great economic advance" and which its friends are confident of having favorably reported by the committee. A basic feature of the bill is a provision that all Government owned land may be leased to farmers, giving them perpetual right to its use at an annual rental not to exceed 3 per cent of the cost of the land to the Government.

Prayer That Is Scientific
January 20, 1917

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