Newspaper Page Text
THE SEMI-WEEKLV TRIBUNE. NORTH PLATTE, NEBRASKA.
G PRICES DECLARED TO BE President Addresses Congress on Subject of High Cost of Living. LAWS ARE NOT ADEQUATE Chief Executive Declares "Vicious Practices" Are Responsible for Perilous Situation Which Faces the Nation Makes Impor tant Recommendations. Washington. Addressing congress and proposing remedies to check the high cost of living, President Wilson declared that existing laws were Inade quate and that high prices were not Justified by shortage of supplies, pres ent or prospective, but were created In many cases "artificially and deliber ately" by "vicious practices." The president recommended that the food control act be extended to peace time operation and that congress exclude from Interstate as well as Intrastate shipments goods which did not comply with Its provisions. His address was us follows: Gentlemen of tho Congress: I have sought this opportunity to ad dress you because It Is clearly my duty to call your attention to tho present cost of living and to urge upon you with all the persuasive force of which 1 am capable the legislative measures which would be .most eftectlvo In controlling it and brtng lne it down. f The prices the people of this country are paying for everything that It Is necessary for them to uso In order to live are not Justified by a shortage In supply, either present or prospective, and are In many cases artificially and deliberately created by vicious practices which ought imme diately to be checked by law. They constitute a burden upon us which Is the more Unbearable because wo know that It Is wilfully Imposed by those who have the power und that It can by vigor ous public action be greatly lightened and made to squaro with tho actual conditions of supply and demand. Profiteers Lawbreakers. Botne of tho methods by which these prices are produced are already Illegal, some of them criminal, and those who employ them will bo energetically pro ceeded against. But others have not yet been brought under tho law, and should be dealt with at once by legislation. I need not rcclto tho particulars of this critical matter; tho prices demnnded and paid at tho sources of supply, at the fac tory. In tho food markets, at tho shops, In the restaurants and liotolB, alike In tho city and In tho vlllago. They are familiar to you. Thoy are tho talk of every domestic circle and of every croup of casual acquaintances oven. It is a matter of familiar knowledgo also, that a process has set In which la likely, unless something Is done, to push prices and rents and tho wholo cost of living higher and yet higher, In a vicious cycle to which there 1s no logical or natural end. With the Increase- In the prices of the necessaries o'fllfe come demands for In creases In wanes demands which are Justified If there bo no other means of enabling men to live. Upon the Increase of wages there fol lows cloao an Increaso in tho price of the products whose producers have been ac corded the Increase not a proportionate increase, for the manufacturer docs not content himself with that, but an in crease considerably greater than the added wage cost and for which tho added wugo cost Is oftentimes hardly moro than an excuse. The laborers who do not get an Increase In pay when they demand It aro likely to strike, und the strike only makes mat ters worse. It checks production; It It affects the railways It prevents distribution and strips the markets; bo that there is pres ently nothing to buy, and there is another excessive addition to prices resulting from tho scarcity. Conditions Not "Natural." These are facts and forces with which wo havo become only too familiar; but we are not Justified because of ourv-fumll-larlty with them or because of any husty and shallow conclusion that they are "natural" and inevitable, In sitting inac tively by and letting them work their fa tal results If there is anything that we can do to check, correct or reverso them. I have sought this opportunity to In form the congress what the executive is doing by way of remedy and control, and to suggest where cffectlvo legal remedies are lacking und may be supplied. We must, I think, frankly admit that there is no completo Immediate remedy to be had from legislation and executive action. Tho free processes of supply and demand will not operate of themselves, and no-legislative or executive action can force them Into full and natural operation until there Is peace. "There Is now neither peace nor war, All. tho world it waiting with what un nerving fears and haunting doubts who can adequately say? waiting to know when It shall havo peace and what kind of peace It will bo when It comes a peace In which a nation shall make shift for Itself as It can, or u peace buttressed and supported by the will and concert of the nations that have tho purposo and the power to do und to enforce what Is right. Politically, economically, socially, the world Is on the operating table, and It has not been possible to administer any anaes thettc. It Is conscious. It even watches the capital operation upon which It knows that Us hopes of healthful life depends. It cannot think Its business out or make plans or give Intelligent and provident di rection to its u flairs while In such a case. "Where there Is no peaco of mind there can be no energy In endeavor. Must Know Terms of Peace. There can he no confidence In Indus try, no calculable basis for credits, no confident buying of systematic selllnc-. no cortaln prospect of employment, no normal restoration of business, no hopeful attempt at reconstruction or a proper reassembling of tho dislocated elements of enterprise until peaco has been established, and, so far as may be. EUarantoed, Our national life has no doubt been less radically disturbed and ' dismembered than tho national life of other peoples whom the war more dl rectly affected, with nil Its terrible ravaging and destructive force, but It has been nevertheless profoundly af fected and disarranged, and our Indus trie, our credits, our productive c RIIRCIAL paelty, our economic processes nre In extricably Interwoven with those of other nations and peoples most Inti mately of all with the nations and peo ples upon whom the chief burden and confusion of the war fell and who are now most dependent upon the co operative action of the world. Exports Greatest In History. We aro Just now shipping more goods out of our ports to forolgn markets than we ever shipped before not foodstuffs merely, but stuffs and materials of every sort: but this Is no Index of what our foreign sales will continue to bo or of tho effect tho volume of our exports will have on supplies and prices. It Is Impossible yet to predict how far or how long foreign purchasers will be able to find tho money or the credit to pay for or sustain such purchases on such a scale; how soon or to what extent foreign manufacturers can rcsumo their formor production, foreign farmers get their accustomed crops from their own fields, foreign mines leauina their former output, foreign merchants set up ugaln their old machinery of trade with the ends of tho earth. All these things must remain uncertain until peace Is estab lished nnd the nations of tho world huvo concerted the methods by which normal life nnd Industry aro to be restored. All that we shnll do In the mean time to restrain profiteering am' put the life of our people upon a tolernblo footing will bo makeshift and provi sional. There can be no settled condi tion here or slsowhero until tho treaty of peace Is out of tho way and tho work of liquidating the war has be come the chief concern of our govern ment nnd of the other governments of tho world. Until then business will Inevitably remain speculative and sway now this way and again that, with heavy losses or heavy gains, as It may chance, and tho consumer must take care of both the gains nnd tho losses. Thcro can be no peace prices so long as our whole financial and cconomlo sys tem Is on a war basis, Europe Must Know Situation. "Buropo will not, cannot recoup her capital or put her restless, distracted peoples to work until she knows exact ly where she stands In respect to pence: and what we will do is for her tho chief question Upon which her qui etude of mind and confidence of pur pose depends. While there Is any pos ablllty that the peaco terms may be ' chnnged or may bo held Ions' In abey ance, or may not be enforced becauso of divisions of opinion among tho pow ers associated against Germany, It Is idle to look for permanent relief. Points Out Present Duty. Hut what wo can do wo should do, and should do at once. And thcro Is a great deal that wo can do, provision al though It be. Wheat shipments and credits to facilitate the purchase of our wheat can and will be limited and con trolled In such a way ns not to raise but rather to lower the price of flour here. Tho government has tho power, within certain limits, to regulate that. Wo cannot deny wheat to foreign peo ples who are In dire need of It, and we do not wish to do so; but, fortunately, though tho wheat crop Is not what we hoped It would be, it' Is abundant If handled with provident enre. The price of wheat Is lower in tho United Stntcs than In Europe, and with proper management can bo kept so. Immediate Relief Measures. By way of Immediate relief, surplus stocks of both food und clothing In the hands of tho government will be sold nnd of course sold at prices at which thcro is no profit. And by way of a moro per manent correction of prices surplus stocks In private hands will bo drawn out of storage and put upon the market. For tunately under the terms of tho food-con trol act tho hoarding of foodstuffs can bo checked and prevented, and they will be, with tho greatest energy. Foodstuffs can bo drawn out of storage and sold by legal action which the department of Justice will Institute wherever necessary; out as soon as the situation is systemati cally dealt with It is not likely that tho courts will often have to be resorted to. Much of the accumulating of stocks has no doubt been duo to the sort of specu lation which always results from uncer tainty. Great surpluses were accumu lated because It was Impossible to forcseo what the market would disclose and deal ors were determined to bo ready for wl)atovor might happen, us well as cngcr to reap the full advantage of rising prices. They will now see tho disadvan tage, as well as the dungcr, of holding oft from the now process of distribution. Significant Facts Quoted. Some very Interesting nnd -significant facts with regard to stocks on hnnd and tho rise of prices in tho faco of abund- anco have been disclosed by the Inquiries of tho department of agriculture, tho de partment of labor and the federal trade commission. Thoy Bocm to Justify tho statement that In tho case of many necessary commodi ties effective means have been found to prevent tho normal operation of tho law of supply and demand. It would servo as a useful examnle to the other communities of this country, as wen as greatly relieve locul dlBtrcss If tho congress were to regulate nil such mat ters very fully for tho District of Colum bia, where Its legislative authority Is without limit. Would Have Prices Plainly Marked. I would uIbo recommend that It be required that all goods destined for In terstate commerce should In every case where their fdrm or package makes It possible be plainly marked with the price at which they left the hands of the producer. Such a requirement would bear a close annlogy to cortaln provisions of tho pure food net, by which It Is required that certain detailed in formation be given on tho labels of packages of foods and drugs. And It does not seem to me that wo could conflno ourselves to detailed measures of this kind, If It is Indeed our purpose to nssumo national control of the processes of distribution. take it for grunted that that Is our purpose and our duty. Nothing loss will suffice. Wo need not hesitate to handle a national question in u na tional way. Wo should go beyond the measures I have suggested. Wo should formulate a law requiring a federal license of all corporations engaged In Interstate commerce and embodying In the license, or In tho conditions under which tt Is to bo Issued, Bpeclflo regu lations designed to secure competitive selling and prevent unconscionable profits In the method of marketing. Law Would Do Much. Such a law would afford a welcome- op portunlty to effect other much-needed re forms In the business of Interstate ship ment and in the methods of corporations which are engaged In It; but for the mo ment I confine my recommendations to the object Immediately In hand, which Is to lower the cost of living. May I not add that there Is a bill now pending before tho congress which, If passed, would do much to stop speculation and to prevent the fradulent methods of promotion by which our people aro an nually fleeced of many millions of hard- earned money. I refer to the measure proposed by the capital issues committee for the control of security Issues, it la u measure formulated by men who know the actual conditions of business, and Its adoption would serve a great and bene- ncent purpose. We are dealing, gentlemen of the con gress, I need hardly say, with very critical and very difficult matters. We should go forward with confidence along tho road we see. but we should also seek to com prehend tho whole of the sceno amidst which we net. There Is no ground for some of the fearful forecasts I hear ut tered about me, but the condition of the world Is unquestionably very grave nnd wo should face It comprohendlngly. The situation' of our own country Is excep tionally fortunate. Wo of all peoples can afford to keep our heads and to de termine upon moderate and sensible courses of action which will Insure us ngAlnst tho passions and distempers which are working such deep unhapplness for somo of the distressed nations on the other side of the sen. Hut we may be Involved In their dis tresses unless wo help, and help with en ergy and Intelligence. Disregarding tho surplus stock In the hands of tho government, there was a greater supply of foodstuffs In this coun try on June 1 of this year than nt the wtinu dale last year. In the combined to tal of a number of tho most Important foods In dry and cold storage the excess Is quite 19 per cent. And yet prlcss have risen. Tho supply of fresh eggs on hand In June of this year, for example, was grenter by nearly 10 per cent than the supply on hnnd at tho same time last year, nnd yot tho wholesale price of eggs was 40 cents a dozen, ns ugnlnst 30 cents a year ago. Tho stock of frozen fowls had lncroasod moro than 298 per cent, and yet tho prices had rlson also from 3V, conts per pound to 37 cents, Tho supply of creamery butter had Increased 129 per cent and tho price from 41 to 63 cents per pound. Tho supply of salt beef had been augmented 3 per cent nnd the price had gone up from 134 a barrel to 130 a barrel. Canned corn had Increased In stock near ly 92 per cent nnd had remalnod sub stantially the same In price. Few Price Drops' Not Enough. In a few foodstuffs the prices had de clined, but In nothing like the proportion In which the supply had Increased, For example, the stock of canned tomatoes had Increased 102 per cent, and yet the price had declined only 25 cents per dozen cans. In some cases thero had been the usual result of an Increase of price following a decrease of supply, but In almost every Instnnce tho Increase of price had been disproportionate to the decrease In stock. Law Department Active. The attorney general has been making a careful study of tho situation as a whole and of the laws that can be ap plied to better It and Is convinced that. under the stimulation and temptation of exceptional circumstances, combinations of producers and combinations of traders have been formed for the control of sup plies and of prices which ore clearly In restraint of trade, nnd against these pros ecutions will be promptly Instituted und actively pushed which will In all likeli hood havo a prompt corrective effect. Thero Is reason to bellovo that tho prices or leather, or coal, of lumber and of tex tiles havo been materially affected by forms of concert and co-operation among tho producers nnd marketers of these and othor universally necessary commodities which tt will be possible to redress. No watchful or energetic effort will be spared to accomplish this necessary re sult. I trust that there will not be many cases In which prosecution will bo neces sary. Public action will ho douht cause many who havo perhaps unwittingly adopted illegal methods to abandon them promptly and of their own motion. Publicity Will Do Much. And publicity can accomplish a treat deal. The purchaser can often take care of himself if he knows tho facts and in fluences he is dealing with, and purchas ers are not disinclined to do anything, ei ther singly or collectively, that may be necessary for their self-protection. Tho department of commerce, the department of agriculture, tho depart ment of labor and the federal trado commission can do a great deal toward supplying the public systematically and at short Intervals, with informa tion regarding the nctual supply of particular commodities that is In ex istence and available with regard to supplies which aro In existence but not with regard to the methods of price fix ing which nro being used by dealers In certain foodstuffs and other necessities. Retailers In Part to Blame. There can bo little doubt that retail ers aro In part sometimes In large part responsible for exorbitant prices; nnd tt Is quite practicable for tho gov ernment through tho agencies I havo mentioned, to supply tho public with full Information as to tho prices at which retailers buy and as to tho costs of transportation thoy pay In order that It may be known Just what mar gin of profit thoy are demanding. Opin ion and concerted action on the part of purchasers can probably do tho rest. Congress Must Supply Funds. That Is, these agencies may perform this indlsponsnblo service provided the con gress will supply them with tho neces sary funds to prosccuto their Inquiries nnd keep their prlco lists up to date. Hitherto the appropriation committees of tho house have not always, I fear, seen tho full value of these Inquiries, and the departments and commissions havo been very much straitened for means to ren der this service That adequate- funds be provided by appropriation for this pur poso, and provided as promptly us pos sible, Is ono of the means of greatly ameliorating the present distressing con ditions of livelihood that I come to urge. In this attempt to concert with you tho best ways to serve tho country In this emergency. It is one of the absolutely necessary means, underlying many others, and tan be supplied ut once, Thero lire many otner ways. Uxlsting law Is Inadequate. There nro many per fectly legitimate methods by which the government can exorcise restraint and guidance. Let me urge. In the first place, that ths present foodstuff control act should bo extended both ns to tho period of time during which It shnll remain In oporaiion nnd as to the commodities to whleh it shnll apply. Its provision against hoarding should tie made to apply not only to food but also to food stuffs, to fuel, to clothing, and to many other commodities which nre In disputably" necessaries of life. As it stands now it Is limited in operation to tho period of the war and becomes in operative upon the formal proclamation of peace. Hut I should Judgo that it wan clearly within the constitutional power of the congress to mnko similar permanent provisions and regulations with regnrd to all goods destined for Interstate com merce and to exclude them from inter state shipment If tho requirements of the law are not complied with. Soma such regulation is Imperatively necessary. Tho ubuses that have grown up in the manipulation of prices by the with holding of foodstuffs nnd other necessaries of life cannot otherwise be effectively pro vented. There can be no doubt of either tlilie necessity or tho legitimacy of such measures. May I not call attention to the fact, also, that, although the present act prohibits profiteering, tho prohibition Is accompanied by no penalty. It is clear, ly In the public Interest that a penalty should be provided which will be persua. SlVOr It would materially add to the serv iceability of the law, for tho purposo we now have In view, If It were nUo pre scribed that ftU goods released from stor age for Interstate shipment should have plainly marked upon each packago the selling or market price at which they went Into storage. Hy this means the purchaser would always be able to learn what profits stood between him and the producer or tho wholesale dealer. The world must pay for the appalling destruction wrought by the great war, and we are part of the world. Wo must pay our share. For five years now tho In dustry of all Kurope has been slack nnd disordered. The normal crops have not been produced; the normal quantity of manufactured goods has not been turned out. Not until there nro the usual crops nnd tho usual production of manufactured goods on tho othor side of tho Atlantic can Kurope return to the former condi tions; and It was upon tho former condi tions, not the present, that our economic relations with Kurope were built up. We must faco tho fact that unless wo help Kurope to get back to her normal Hfo nnd production a chaos win onsuo here whloh. will inevitably bo communi cated to this country, For the present, It Is mnnlfcBt, we must quicken, not slacken, our own production, U. S. Must Hold World Steady. Wo, and wo nlmost ulone, now hold the world steady. Upon our steadfastness and self-possession depend tho affairs of na tions everywhere. It Is In this supreme rlsls this crisis for all manklnd-that American must prove her mottle. In tho presence of a world confused, dis tracted, she must show hersolf self-possessed, self-contained, capable of sober and effective action. She saved Kurope by her action in arms; she must now save It by her action In pence. In saving Kurope she will save herself, ns sho did upon tho battlefields of the war. Tho calmncsB and capacity with which she deals with and masters tho problems of peace will be the final test nnd proof of her place among tho peoples of the world. And, if only In our own Interest, we must help tho people overseas. Kurope Is our biggest customer. We must keep her going or thousands of our shops and scores of our mines must close. There Is no Buch thing ns letting her go to ruin without ourselves sharing In the disaster. In such circumstances, faco to face with such tests, passion must be discard ed. Passion and a disregard for the rights of others have no placo In the counsels of a free people. We need light, not heat. In these solemn times of self examination and saving action. Must Be No Threats. Thero must be no threats. Lot there be only Intelligent counsel, and let the best reasons win, not tho strongest brute force. Tho world has Just destroyed tho arbitrary forco of a military Junta. It will live under no other. All that is ar bitrary and coercive Is in tho discard. Those who seek to employ it only prepare their own destruction. We cannot hastily and overnight revo lutionize all the processes of our cco nomlo Hfo. We shall not attempt to do so. These aro days of deep excitement nnd of extravagant speech, but with us these uro things of tho surface. Everyone who is in real touch with the silent masses of our great people knows that tho old strong fiber and steady self- control are still there, firm against vlo lenco or any distempered action that would throw their nffalrs Into confusion. I am serenely confident that they will readily find themselves, no matter what the circumstances, nnd that they will ad dress themselves to the tasks of peace with tho samo devotion and the same stalwart preference for what is right that they displayed to tho admiration of tho whole world in tho midst of war. Sinister Influences at Work. And I enter another confident hope. I have spoken today chiefly of measures of Imperative regulation and legal com pulsion, of prosecutions and tho sharp correction of selfish processes; and these no doubt are necessary. I3ut thero are other forces that we may count on besides those- resident in tho department of Justice. We have Just fully awakened to what has been going on und to tho Influences, manv of them very selfish and sinister, that have been producing high prices and imposing an Intolerable burden on tho mass of our people. , To havo brought It all Into the opon will accomplish the greater part of the result wo seek. I appeal with entlro confidence to our producers, our middlemen and our merchants to deal fairly with the peo ple. It is their opportunity to show that they comprehend, that they In tend to act Justly, and that they huvo the public interest sincerely at heart. And I have no doubt that house keepers all over the country, and ev eryone who buys tho things he dally stands In need of will presently exer cise a greater vigilance, a more thoughtful economy, n moro discrimi nating caro as to the market in which he tbuys or the merchant with whom he traded than ho has hitherto exer cised. Labor Must Consider. I believe, too, that tho more ex treme lenders of organized labor will presently yield to a sober second thought, nnd like tho great mass of their associates, think and net like truo Americans. They will see that strikes undertaken at this crltlcnl time nro certain to make matters worse, not better worse for them and for everybody else. The worst thing, the most fatal thing that can be done now Is to stop or Interrupt production, or to Interfere with the distribution of goods by the railways and tho shipping of tho country. We are all Involved in the dis tressing rosults of tho high cost of living and wo must unite, not divide, to correct It. There aro many things that ought to be corrected In tho relations be tween capital and labor. In respect of wages and conditions of labor und other things even more far-reaching, nnd I, for one, am ready to go Into conference about these matter with any group of my fellow countrymen who know what they nre talking about and nre willing to remedy existing conditions by frank counsel rather than by violent contest. General Interest First. No remedy Is possible while men are In n temper, and thero can be no set tlement which does not have as Its motive and standard the general In terest. Must All Work Together. Threats und undue Insistence upon the interest of u single class, make set tlement Impossible, I believe, as I havo hlthorto had occasion to say to the congress, that the Industry nnd life of our people nnd of tho world will suffer Irreparable damage if employers and workmen are to go on In a perpet ual contest, as antagonists. They must, on one plan or another, bo effec tively ussoclnted, Have wo not stead Incsa and self-possession and business sense enough to work out that result? In tho meantime now and In tho days of readjustment and recuperation that uro ahead of us lot us resort more and more to frank und Intimate counsel and mnke ourselves n grent and triumphal nation, making our selves a united force In the life of the world. It will not then have looked to us for leadership In vain. NEBRASKA HAPPENINGS CONDENSED TO A FEW LINES notification by the Nebraska legis lature of the federal prohibition amendment, is not referable to n ref erendum under tho state initiative and referendum law, accorO'r-g lo Secretary of Stute Anisberry. This was his contention In answer to a suit brought In the district court at Lin coln for writ of mandamus to compel hlni to accept and file petitions for a referendum vote on tho legislature's action. Hearing of the case was post poned lo an indefinite dale bemuse the attorney who filed the action was Injured in nn automobile accident. Governor McICclvIo lias appointed six departmental secretaries provided for under tho administrative code bill, passed by the last legislature. The appointments aro us follows: Philip P. Bross, secretary of finance. Leo A. Stuhr, secretary of agriculture. J. B. Hart, secretary of trado and commerce. Prank A. Kennedy, sec retary of labor. George 13. Johnson, secretary of public works. II. II. Antics, secretary of public welfare. Each secretary will draw a salary of $5,000 a year. Dodge county authorities swooped down upon a drink emporium at Hooper the other duy and seized 300 gallons of hard cider, said to contain from fi to 7 per cent alcohol. A man who hod drunk freely of the cider a few days bpfore the raid, was kill ed In an accident. Proprietors of tho place were arrested. Falls City business men have or ganized a home-bulldlng corporation capitalized nt $100,000. Their pur pose Is to build houses for the work ing men and sell them on easy terms. Housing facilities in tho city ore in adequate and people desiring to come to it are unuble to find plnce3 to live. The State Historical society Is urg ing ovory patriotic organization in Nebraska to send representatives to Omaha August 28, when plnns are to be perfected for a centennlnl obser vation of the first landing of United States troops in Nebraska, to be held at Port Calhoun, Sept. 28. Mrs. Anna Brown, who owns an jight-ncre farm near Nlckerson, Is said to have refused on offer of $500 an acre for the tract. Land has been Belling at $450 an acre nenr Nick erson, but none has changed hands at $500. Lack of attendance, due to hot weather, resulted In u deficit of $400 suffered by the Rod Cloud Chautauqua. ihe company announced they would expect the local guarantors to make up the shortngc. Governor McKelvIe has appointed V. A. Dllworth, Holdrege, Judge of tho Tenth state Judicial district, to ' suc ceed W. C. Dorsey, recently appointed to the state supreme court commis sion. Miss Marie Vogt, 21 years old, daughter of n wealthy farmer residing near Kennnrd, took her own life by jumping into a tank of water. Her mother killed herself In the same man ner eight days before. The stale supremo court has ruled Hi at it Is not unlawful for a person to havo a reasonable amount of liquor In their homes providing it was pur chased prior to July 1. Tho automobile department at tho state house at Lincoln took In $10, 055.02 during the month of July for the salo of number plates and other business. A large army bulloon carrying three men was forced to alight near Lexington because of tho shortage of gas. Tho craft had llown from Fort Sill, Okla. Arrangements are being made at Fremont to receive the equipment of the Midland College, which will be shipped from Atchison, Kan. Contract has been let for the con struction o a new gymnasium build ing at the Chndron Normal School. The structure will cost $100,300. Government reports reaching ihe State Hoard of Horticulture at Lin coln Indicate that prices of potatoes will Increase soon. The now Farmers' Union Co-Oper-atlve elevator at Beatrice, built at a cost of $15,000, will be ready for bus iness in a few days. Tho balance In the state treasury at the end of July was $2,070,288.41, a decrease of $14,020,01 compared to tho June balance. Nebraska, since the first of the year, has had 450 llres, entailing a loss of six lives and $471,014.01. Omaha had 210 of the fires. Laxity In tho method of keeping ac counts Is blamed for a loss of $7,000 suffered by the Jansen Equity Ex change, a Jansen organization, (luring the pnst year. An nudlt of the books of tho company revealed this loss. Governor McKelvlo won the first round of tho fight to prevent tho filing of tho referendum petitions against his code bill when the Lancaster coun ty district court denied a writ of iiinli domus to compel Secretnry of State Anisberry to accept the filing of the 20,000 signatures. J. W. Lewis, Chase county farmer, threshed from two big wheat fields, twenty-six and thirty-three bushels to tho acre. Warden Fenton of the state peniten tiary has sold the grain raised this year on the penitentiary farm south of Lincoln nnd the state treasurer re ceived n check for $0,0OS. A 000-acro wheat Held In Deuel county yielded 21,100 bushels, wlilch tested sixty-two pounds. A number of wheat fields In tho county pro duced as high as forty-five bushels to tho acre. Considerable resentment appeared to be manifest nmong officers of the Epworth Assembly during tho session nt Lincoln over tho apparent lack of Interest taken in the enterprise by tho Capital City, nnd the talk of moving It to some othor town In the stnto was heard quite frequently during tho meeting. At the beginning of tho 1010 session tho nssoinbly faced a de ficit of about $2,000, which has been Incrensed considerably, due to tho loss this year. Nine different suits Involving 3,500 acres of farm land in the vicinity of Schuyler, estimated hi value at close to a million dollnrs, have been filed In federal court at Omaha by Edward Wells against Cliauncey Abbott, Jr., and four others, as executors of tho will of Chuunrpy Abbott, deceased, late Schuyler miller. Permission has been granted tho Wyoming and Nebraska Telephone company by tho State Hallway Com mission to increase its rates 25 cents for Indlvldunl and 50 cents for bus!-ne-s phones. The company has ex changes at Chndron, Cody, Crawford, Gordon and other northwestern Ne braska towns. A near race war occurred at Lex ington the other duy when n negro, one of 175 employed on paving work In the city, wns discovered In tho home of a white man. Shots wero fired nnd great excitement prevniled for soine time. No one-was hurt. Tho negro wns locked up and most of the other darkles loft town. Following tho receipt of a number of letters of Inquiry regarding sleep ing accommodations at the National G. A. R. encampment nt Columbus, O., Assistant Adjutnnt General Bross at Lincoln Issued a statement declnring thnt ample provisions will be made for all who make the trip. Release of water from the Path finder dam to aid In Irrigated regions of Nebraska where depletion of the present supply bus taken pluce Is being sought, through an act of con gress, by citizens of North Platte, Gothenburg and several other west ern Nebraska places. Tho application for an appeal from the holding of Judge Morning of tho Lancaster district court that the ref erendum petitions ngalnst the code law wero invalid, was overruled by tho Judgo and tho case will now go to tho supremo court on appeal by tho referendum people. Threshing is on in full blast around Trenton, und wheat Is turning out much better than 'anticipated. Forty- three bushels per acre Is the highest for divide land and farmers aro figur ing on an average of twenty-five bush els per acre. The Ire of tho Lincoln city council was aroused over the littering of tho streets with propaganda by an air plane against tho Capltul beach, be cause of labor trouble, and "air laws" are expected to be adopted for tho city soon. Tho administrative code law en acted by the Inst legislature and which Is now operating, does away with practically all the state boards and commissions, which havo been conducting the various state activities. The State Railway Commission has granted the Omaha and Council Bluffs Street Railway company, which operates tho only line In the two cit ies, permission to increase fares from five to seven cents. State Engineer Johnson has let a contract for six miles of concrete rond from Fremont' to Ames. Tho pavement will be laid eighteen feet wide and will cost approximately $200,000. Lieutenant Omer Locklear, Yankee llyer, who first performed tho feat of leaping from one trying airplane to another, will do tho trick each day during tho Nebraska state fair at Lincoln. Tho University of Nebraska will, as usual, make an exhibit at th state fair at Lincoln. The exhibition this year will be shown In the old poultry building, which Is tho second door north of the fisheries. Juvenile farmers, menibors of Ne braska boys' nnd girls' clubs, nre ex pected to have moro exhibits by far at the State Pair at Lincoln this fall than ever before. The South Omaha live stock mar ket led the nation in the receipts of sheep last w.eek, when n total of 123,200 wero marketed. Corn In Nebraska has suffered from lack of rain, but damage has not as yet been serious, according to crop experts. Preparations are being made at Fullerton for the laying of twenty live blocks of paving. Omaha's official welcome-home day for soldiers and sailors has been set for August 27. A total of 772 bushels of wheat, val ued at $1,010, was harvested from a field at the Richardson county poor farm near Palls City. The Ashland Platte river bridge Is now the property of tho state and Saunders county, nnd hereafter will be freo to the public. It has been op erated as a toll bridge sli)co 1011. Tho state board of assessment has fixed the state levy at 13 mills for the year 1010. On an estimated valuation of thq state of $572,000,000 this will raise $7,420,000. Wayne Mogrue, 12-year-old Harvard Ind, wns killed when u Ford in which ho nnd a chum were riding, turned over near BIngvllle. Preparations aro being made nt Red Cloud to povo thirty-four blocks of streets and four blocks of alleys. The work will cost between $150,000 nnd $200,000. Flro -departments from Palrbury, Wymoro and Lincoln were called to Beatrice to assist In controlling u fire of unknown origin which destroyed the Pnddock hotel, at a loss ol $300,000.