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The Transportation Problem.
During a portion of last week a National Rivers and Harbors Congress was in session at Washington and in the course of its proceedings it jnade its in itial recommendation to the Congress of the United States. It asked for an annual appropriation of $50, 000,000 for the improvement of rivers, harbors and other waterways. It recommended the issue of Government bonds in the interest of the improve ments suggested when money is not available from current receipts, to the end that the improvements might be continuous and all projects completed with out interruption after having been instituted. A year ago a rivers and harbors congress made pub lic its intentions through a resolution, which the people of the United States took under consideration. That the people gave to those intentions a hearty endorsement was made evident by the response. In the congress of last week thirty-seven States were represented by 2,000 delegates, chosen from com mercial, producing and consuming classes. The action of the congress was based primarily upon the proposition that the railroads of the country are unable to handle the transportation of the coun try and that heavy losses are accruing from the con gested condition of traffic. From high railroad au thority it was ascertained that the carrying business of the country has increased 100 per cent in ten years, while the handling capacity of the railroads has increased only 20 per cent. Meanwhile the natural water highways of the country have been almost wholly neglected and trans portation facilities driven out by ill-advised and de structive competition on the part of the railroads whenever efforts were made to employ the water courses. Through the rivers and harbors committee of the House, Congress authorizes the expenditure of about $22,000,000 a year for the improvement of waterways in the several States and all to little purpose. No system has been followed. Projects of importance have been begun, left unfinished and finally destroyed by the floods they were designed to control or by the gnawing tooth of time. Usually the work ordered by Congress, through the rivers and harbors committee, has been of little consequence, the money expended thereon being dis tributed among Senators and Representatives as sops to their constituents, to be paraded as arguments for the reelection-of Senators and Representatives. So nearly valueless have been these appropriations that the river and harbor appropriation bill is com monly referred to as "the pork barrel," and so highly scandalous is the rush for "slices" that Congress omits its distribution of money for the improvement of waterways in Presidential years, fearing that the voter may take notice. To such treatment has the most important public interest of the country been subjected for many and during that time transportation facilities years have been becoming more and more inadequate until actual suffering has become the penalty, along with general inconvenience. Through the intervention of the rivers and har bors congress that has just closed an important ses sion in Washington it may confidently be expected that respectability will be conferred upon measures that authorize the expenditure of money for the im provement of the National waterways. No project could appeal more strongly to the pub lic. Real internal improvement is always beneficial. Apart from its utility, it affords employment to the industrious and the needy and effects a distribution of money that enters immediately into the channels of trade. The country is being continuously urged to confer subsidies upon ships that ride the seas in the interest of the wealth of corporations. Much more popular would become subsidies to labor, which, while be ing relieved, would construct natural highways for the benefit of congested commerce. The annual work recommended by the Washing conference of delegates should be turned over ton to a competent corps of engineers, both in the plan ning and the execution, and members of Congress should be absolved from all responsibility in the dis tribution of the appropriations and the location of the improvements. Under a comprehensive program of operations, pursued with fidelity to the public interest, the great er and lesser rivers of the country, the lakes and the tide water avenues can be made to perform their part in the solution of the transportation problem that is looming larger and larger as development progresses among the resources of the land. God On the Coins. The statement made by President Roosevelt that there was no warrant for placing on the coins of the country the words, "In God We Trust," naturally provoked research. The authority has finally been found in an authorization by congress of such de vices on the coined jnoney as should be fixed by the director of the mint, with the approval of the sec tary of the treasury. The suggestion of the recognition of the Deity on the coins came from a Pennsylvania minister of the gospel, who addressed Secretary Salmon P. Chase, then President Lincoln's secretary of the treasury, on the subject. Under date of the 20th of November, 1861, Mr. Chase wrote a letter to the director of the mint, in which he said : No Nation can be strong except in the strength of God, or safe except in his defense. The trust of our people in God should be declared on our national coins. You will cause a device to be prepared without unnecessary delay with a motto expressing in the fewest and tersest words possible this national re cognition. There was then no authority for compliance with the directions of the secretary of the treasury and the matter was held in abeyance until 1864, when congress authorized the coinage of two-cent pieces bearing the motto, "In God We Trust, In 1865 congress provided that the same legend might be placed on other coins, with the approval of the Sec retary of the Treasury. The coinage act of February 12, 1873, authorized the Secretary of the Treasury to place the same words on all coins that would admit of their reproduction. The authority appears to be ample and there has been no objection to the recognition of God in the coinage until now and it comes from the President of the United States. Opposing His Co-Workers. Mr. Roosevelt, the President, never complains about the amount of work he has on his hands, seeming to like industry so well that he is contin ually entering upon new projects. In the midst of a strenuous effort to crush' the Hughes presidential boom in New York, he discerned the rising of a La Follette boom in the West and gave his attention to Wisconsin politics, in collusion with ex-Senator Spooner, the distinguished corporation lawyer. To gether, they are assailing the sentiment that seeks to give the Badger State to LaFollette. Mr. Roosevelt is not favorable to booms, other than those of his own creation, and he is especially hostile to men as fully distinguished for reform ten dencies as he is. One would suppose that he would welcome the coming of a Hughes or a LaFollette, knowing that the principles he seems to favor would be safe in their hands. He has taken advantage of many opportunities to humble Mr. LaFollette, using the Wisconsin ex Senator as his instrument, knowing that the ex Senator is inherently and irrevocably opposed to the beliefs Mr. Roosevelt shares in common with Mr. LaFollette. It is presumed that the President is piqued at Governor Hughes because the Governor has refused to dovetail the political manipulation of his State into the political manipulation by the administration, but in the case of Senator LaFollette there is no such incentive to hostility. Possibly the latter has sinned in endeavoring to out-Roosevelt Roosevelt along those lines of reform that the President calls his own. Discussing the Roosevelt-Hughes case, the Spring field (Mass.) Republican says: It will have to be admitted that in this matter the President exhibits the unlovely characteristics of a spoiled child. He vigorously and even viciously con tends that no reform shall come unless according to his plans and bearing his stamp. Strength of personality is to be admired within reasonable lim its, but when it proceeds to this extreme it cannot command the respect of men of sense. It is there fore of great importance that one man has arisen somewhere in the United States who is thinking for himself, doing his public work according to his best judgment, and permitting nobodv to dictate to him, whether the New York Legislature or the President of the United States, but at the same time is seeking no boss-ship over any public work save his own. In relation to the hostility between Roosevelt and LaFollette, a Milwaukee dispatch has this to say : An announcement is made that there is to be op position to the movement now in progress to secure a delegation for Senator Robert M. LaFollette as a presidential candidate, and it is stated that the op position is being engineered from the White House. President Roosevelt is the alleged leader. The initial steps, it is said, were taken at the time of the visit of ex-Senator John C. Spooner to Wash ington two months ago. The avowed support of the proposed organization will be given Secretary of War Taft. If it is within the privilege of a President to in fluence the choice of his successor, Mr. LaFollette should have the ample support of the White House and Mr. Hughes should receive every encourage ment from the same source. Yet this man who is called remarkable is uniting with the enemies of his policies for the overthrow of the friends of his policies. Withdrawn From the Harket. Just what is the matter is not explained, though it is alleged that- the financial situation has greatly im proved. At any rate the Secretary of the Treasury has withdrawn from the market $25,000,000 of the $50,000,000 Panama bond issue and $85,000,000 of the $100,000,000 indebtedness certificate issue. Perhaps he has concluded that selling $150,000,000 in evidences of indebtedness to national bankers and then giving them back the money they pay is not going to result in an increase of the circulating medium. The strongest critics of the Roosevelt Cortelyou plan for the relief of the country were Republicans and they may have convinced the admin istration that its patient would recover more quickly under a discontinuance of the nostrums prescribed by Dr. J. Pierpont Morgan. The Secretary of Treasury says, however, that the improvement in business conditions following the announcement of his measures for relief warrant him in reducing the issues of bonds and notes. Every body will hope that he is right—that conditions have improved, but there is a general suspicion that the administration has taken a Humpty Dumpty fall from the high wall of finance. Idaho, Oregon and Washington lumbermen are at the national capital as witnesses before the Inter state Commerce Commission in the interest of the petitioners against an increase in lumber rates by the railroads. The complainants state that they are prepared to prove that the existence of the lumber business in the Northwest depends on a decision favorable to them. Production has been so largely curtailed in Washington State on account of the financial stringency that 30,000 men are already out of employment and if the high freight rates are maintained so many mills must close that general prostration in labor circles will ensue. Most of the Middle West depends largely on the Pacific coast for its lumber, making the decision of the commis sion of wide spread importance.