The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, December 01, 1914, Page 8, Image 8

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The Commoner
VOL. 14, NO. 12
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The Work of the President's Cabinet
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'Got Together" is the slogan of Secretary Lane
In all tho activities of the reclamation service.
It is tho rallying cry not only for tho executivo
and field forces hut for all tho individual farm
ers now living on tho government projects.
A policy of broad and intelligent sympathy
towards tho people who have taken up homes
on the public domain has characterized his ad
ministration from tho beginning. This policy has
developed a hearty spirit of co-operation on all
tho projects.
Encouragement has been given in many ways
toward tho development of a community spirit
which is apparent in the successful initiation of
numerous enterprises for producing and market
ing, in consolidation of schools, in good roads
work in town and county planning for improve
ments of all kinds and in the promotion of the
most agreeable and pleasing conditions of so
cial life.
By reason of his personal interest in the wel
fare of the settlers, Secretary Lane has secured
tho active aid of the valuable forces of the de
partment of agriculture, and a number of its
experts are permanently located on tho projects
as advisors and counselors. Numerous tracts
of land have been sot aside for demonstration
farms, for consolidated schools in which ele
mentary agriculture is taught and for libraries
and otheiv public and community buildings.
Under theso stimulating influences, the set
tlors are buckling down to real work. They are
making tho great desert blossom. In the history
of national reclamation, no greater progress in
agricultural development has been made than
during the past two years.
Tho reclamation service is a highly organized
bureau, and tho magnitude and efficiency of its
work has been commended by leading engineers
of this and foreign countries. Although only a
young bureau, its record of excavations of rock
and earth amounts to the magnificent total of
113,300,000 cubic yards. It has dug 24 miles of
tunnels, mostly in the mountain country. Its
canals now have a length of 8,000 miles and its
drains 548 miles. Its reservoirs annually store
5,460,510 acre feet, or more than enough to
submerge the state of Massachusetts- a foot
deep. It has built 733 miles of wagon road, it
has built and operates 78 miles of railroad,
2,376 miles of telephone linos, 374 miles of
transmission lines. It has- constructed 1,018
buildings such as powerhouses, pumping sta
tions, residences, etc.
The irrigable area of tho projects now under
irrigation or completed, embraces nearly 3,000,
000 acres divided into 60,000 farms which will
support 300,000 people. Tho area supplied with
water this season produced a crop valued at
more than $15,000,000, an average of $25 for
each acre cropped. This yield, while by no
meanB the ultimate return which will reward the
irrigation farmer after his lands are properly
prepared, is a fair showing wlnn compared with
tho average for all farms in this country, or
$16.80 per acre.
, An especially important result of Secretary
Lane's policy of co-operation is becoming evi
1 in the closer relations which now exist be-
N ,... on ihe several western states and the fed
eral government in co-ordinating all forces to
ward tho larger development of the natural re
sources. It is a distinct departure from past
conditions for the states and the government,
with joint appropriations, to undertake huge
enterprises. It is also a splendid commendation
of the federal bureau whose services are thus
demanded for the actual prosecution of this
important work.
Tho secretary of agriculture' signed an order
on November 20 lifting tho quarantine against
Canada on account of the f.oot-and-raouth dis
ease, and this is regarded as encouraging evi
dence that the authorities are "on the outside
oi the disease." This means that there aje
grounds for the belief that quarantines already
declared have been sufficient to stop the move
ment of infected cattle and that the disease can
now be held within the limits of the areas al
ready quarantined. It is quite possible, of
course, that sporadic cases may be found in one
or two more states, but it is hoped that even if
this does occur tho damage will not be serious.
At tho present timo the states most seriously
affected are Ohio, northern Illinois, Indiana", and
Pennsylvania. Thes0 aro all feeding states;
that is, states in which farmers make a practice
of buying cattle .and swine and finishing them
for market. The quarantines, which not only
prohibit the export and import of livo stock
from infected states, but also the import of
cattle from uninfected areas Tor any purpose
except immediate slaughter, interfere, of course,
with this business. This implies considerable
loss to the farmer in addition to the expense in
curred by the government in the slaughter of
tho actually infected herds.
Outside of this belt the three New England
states of Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massa
chusetts are perhaps the subject of as great con
cern as any. These are small, densely-populated
states. Although the actual number of cattle
already infected is comparatively small, it will
probably be some time before any of the quar
antines can be lifted in this region.
The anxiety that has been expressed in sev
eral quarters in regard to the effect upon human
health of the present outbreak of the foot-and-mouth
disease is regarded by government au
thorities as somewhat exaggerated. The most
common fear is that the milk supply might be
come contaminated, but in view of the precau
tions that the local authorities An the infected
areas are very generally taking, there is com
paratively little danger of this. Milk from in
fected farms is not permitted to be shipped at
all. The only danger is, therefore, that before
tho disease has manifested itself some infected
milk might reach the market. For this reason
experts in the department recommend pasteur
ization. As a1 matter of fact, however, pasteur
ization is recommended by the department any
way, for all milk that is not very high grade
and from tuberculin-tested cows.
In this country the foot-and-mouth disease
has been so rare that there are few recorded
cases of its transmission to human beings. In
1902 a" few cases were reported in New England
and in 1908 in a few instances eruptions were
found in tho mouths of children, which, were
believed to have been caused by contaminated
milk. Itf-both of these outbreaks the sale of
milk was stopped as soon as the disease was
found among the cattle. As long, therefore, as
the disease can be confined by rigid quarantine
to certain, specified areas the danger from this
source is very small. Should the pestilence
spread all over this country and become as gen-
oral as it has been at various times in large
areas in Europe, the problem would become
more serious. Under any circumstances, how
ever, pasteurization would bo an efficient rem
edy. Where pasteurization is not possible and
where there is any reason to suspect that the
disease may exist the precaution of boiling milk
might be advisable.
An entirely erroneous impression that the
federal government, in quarantining for the foot
and mouth disease, has prevented the shipment
of dressed poultry into or out of quarantined
states has had a very serious effect on the turkev
industry of the United States, according to the
poultry specialists of the department. Studies
of the Thanksgiving turkey markets in New
York Boston, and Philadelphia indicated that
the turkeys were somewhat scaTce, and as n.
r8u 5rlceB ruled nigh on a very firm market
All that saved a great scarcity was the fact that
there were a quantity of turkeys in excellent
condition held over in cold storage from last
December. This somewhat relieved the pressure
The department, wishing to save farmers in
the important turkey-growing states of Tennes
see, Kentucky, Missouri, Texas, Indiana and Il
linois, reiterates its previous announcement that
there is no federal quarantine or restriction on
shipping dressed turkeys or other poultry from
uninfected farms in quarantined states, and ab
solutely no federal restriction as to shipment
of dressed poultry into quarantined states. Tho
federal authorities are, of course, opposed to
the movement of any produce from a farm which
Is quarantined because of the actual presence on
the farm of the foot-and-mouth disease.
In all these cases, however, the state author
ities, in addition to the' general county and fed
eral quarantines, put a rigid quarantine around
the farms actually infected. Tho number of
farms so quarantined, however, is so small as
not to affect appreciably the poultry supply of
tho country.
Because of the damage that has been done in
the past by explosions in grain mills and in in
dustrial plants, the public is urged to report
every occurrence of this kind, no matter how
small the explosion may be, to the Bureau of
Chemistry of tho United States Department of'
' In co-operation with the bureau of mines of
the department of the Interior, tho bureau of
chemistry is now making a study of the explosi
bility of grain and other forms of carbanaceous
dusts, except coal dust, which is being investi
gated by the former bureau. Up to the present
a great deal of difficulty has been experienced in
obtaining definite teports of the explosions at
the time of their occurrence. Mill owners, su
perintendents, and the public in general can,
therefore, be of material assistance by sending
in full information in regard to every explosion
with the least possible delay.
Federal, state and city authorities are now
actively co-operating in Illinois to put an end
to the illegal traffic in rotten eggs. From evi
dence already gathered, there seems to be a
definite market in Chicago for "rots and spots"
at $2.00 a case of 30 dozen.. In consequence,
rots and spots from all over the surrounding
country have been coming into Chicago in large
numbers. In the past, the delay necessary to
secure authorization from "Washington to make
the seizures under the Federal Food and Drugs
act has proved a serious handicap in breaking
up the traffic. With the co-operation, of the state
authorities, however, the delay is how largely
obviated. f
Under the detention section 'of the state law
governing this matter, state inspectors are able
to hold suspicious shipments for examination
and further investigation-. The state authori
ties being on the spot are able to act with great
promptness. In this Tvay not only are seizures
made possible, but the necessary steps toward
criminal prosecution are also facilitated. One
of the firms in Chicago handling these bad eggs
has already been tried by a vstate court and
found guilty. Shipments of bad eggs are also
being reported to the authorities in Chicago by
federal, state and city inspectors in other states,
in order that these eggs may be traced to their
ultimate destination; '
The quarantine against . CanRdian potatoes,
which was laid December 22, 1913,. has been
lifted. Hereafter Canadian potatoes will be
permitted to enter the United States upon com
pliance with the , regulations governing the im
portation of potatoes, issued by the secretary of
agriculture, December 30, 1913, as modified by
Plant Quarantine Decision No. 7, issued Novem
ber 30, 1914. Decision No. 7, provides that, in
the case of foreign countries contiguous to the
United States, potatoes that have been grown
from clean seed, on land which has not pro
duced a diseased crop, or that have not been
inspected and certified under regulations ap
proved by the federal horticultural board, may
bo admitted.
The special present point of interest in the
department of commerce is the earnest appeal of
th0 secretary that funds shall be provided to do
away with three old worn out and unsafe ships
In the coast and geodetic survey, and to provide
that service with the necessary equipment to
make surveys in the dangerous waters of tho
northwest and Alaska, in order to stop the ap
palling series of wrecks that have taken place
on that coast.
" 710 American people do. not understand that
their government is obliged for lack' of money to