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(All inquiries for information from this Department should be addressed to 210 Twelfth Aye. N, Seattle.) The Ranch stands for the welfare of the people who live on the ranches. It it did not it would belie its name. One of the things that the people liv ing in the country have been calliug for is the parcels post. It goes with out saying that the voice of the resi dents in the rural districts is unani mous lor this long felt need but their pleadings have thus far been without avail. Nearly every other civilized country on the face of the globe has the parcels post aud the farmers of the United States are denied this privilege. Just the other day I clip ped the following statement from one of our daily papers: "Postmaster General Hitchcock has orderod that placard! be posted in all United States post-offices calling public at tentioD to the parcels post service to foreign countries. During the past few months parcels post conventions have been entered into by this country with practically every civilized nation of the world." Some one may want to say, "Why is not that a evidence of the use of the parcels post?" Yes, it proves that we can use it with other countries while wo are denied this privilege in our own country. Let mo quote the following from the Housekeeper: '"The largest pac&Sge one can send through the mails (from Minneapolis to St. Paul for instance is four pounds weight, and for this you are asked to pay sixteen cents a pound. But if you want to send a package to anyone ol twenty-four foreign countries you can sond it for twelve cents a pound and the postmaster will let you send a parcel weighing cloven pounds." Let me further illustrate this point: I could mail a package weighing four pounds from Seattle to Paris for 48 J}Mi)Jfeadif Lillys ml BoH HV«, Established J9 Fp Xfc *^^t /'''' \Y/ ' 74 V BMMH^^k^&JLKr 1 ■"-'' HI I I Lilly's MBBaLuFzyyo^ . ' . -:I** IJ I ' Seattle ««y/^^^^k / / for / / /^ The Ft>anchk Horticultural Department Edited by F. Walden. cents, 17 miles away, would be obliged to pay 04 cents. Thus it appears that it is a misfortune to be an American In America so far as sending packages through the mail is concerned. But people living in England, Germany and France and most other oivilized countries, have a very decided advan tage over the people of the United States in the use of the paicels post, both as to rates and the amount to be sent. I again quote from the House keeper as follows: "In London the Government runs motor wagons in all directions into the country for the delivery of parcels, and this service is being extended until presently it will cover the entire country. Parcels up to the weight of eleven pounds are carried through the British mails, while in some other countries the limit is much higher. Italy, Chile, Cuba, the Netherlands and New Zealand are the only other countries holding the weight of the same maxi mum as Britten. In Germany and Austria packages weighing 110 pounds are received and in Belgium the limit is 182 pounds. In France it is 32 pounds. In the United States alone the limit is as low as four pounds, while the rate is so high, sixteen cents a pound, as to make the service pro hibitive for ordinary use. A broad the rates vary, but they are always aimed to be not much above cost. " This is a very fair presentation of the case. Practically we have no parcels post at all. Why is it, we may ask, that the farmers of this country, constituting a large majority of the population, boasting at the same time that this is a "government of the people, and hy the people and or the people," can not get what they demand and what they certainly ought to have? This is a burning question and the answer should be given. It is not a very difficult matter to answer this ques- tion. Someone has very pertinently answered that there are rive reasons why the great mass of the people are denied this privilege which is enjoyed by the citizens of the most despotic nations on the face of the globe. And pray, what are these five reasons? They are the tlve express companies of the United States. Is it true that these corporations protected by the laws of this freo land, are able to keep the people from enjoying this great blessing? Such is most certain ly the case. The question may again be asked, "How can these five com panies whioh do not contain one per ceut of the people, manage to still hold on to this special privilege? We can better understand the answer to this last question when we learn who the people are that make up these express companies. They are, iv a large majority of cases, the directors of the various railroads of the coun try. Don't be mislead at this point. The railroads do not own these ex press companies. Usually the di rectors organize these express com panies as private enterprises, separate and apart from the railroad companies and whatever profits are deiived from the express business, goes into the pockets of these directors. These ex press companies do not own much stock and are capitalized at a vory low late, but the profits are enormous. 1 want here to copy a very sensible editorial recently appearing in the Se attle Post Intelligencer, entitled "Cutting a Big Melon." "In the language of Wall street, Wells, Faigo & Co, have cut a melon of gigantic proportions. The minority stockholders have been protesting vigorously for many years that the profits of the company were not divided up, as they should be, not withstanding that the stock of the company has always paid a regular dividend of 10 per cent, on its capital ization, nominally of $8,000,000. Now the company has divided among its stockholders $24,000,000, or three times the par value of its stock. It has also tripled its capital and offered the new stock to the holders of the present stock at par. This is probahly the record in melon cutting. "The interesting thing to the public, about this distribution of accumulated earnings is that the company which has made such tremendous profits on its ostensible capitaliaztion has little tanigble property of any kind in the nature of a plant. Its assets of value consist merely of its contracts with the railroads and other transportation companies to do carrying for it. The company owns no transportation and none of the plant through which it carries on its operations. There is nothing tangible or assessable about the properties through which it ac cumulated undivided piofits of enor mous amounts. "The groat profits of this and other express companies are made throng* the fact that, iv the absence of a par cels post, such as is enjoyed by the people of other_countries, the express 10 companies furnish the only convenient medium for the transmission of small parcels from one place to another. The express companies, with a very small investment in tangible property, furnish this convenience and exact, in the aggregate, from the public a price disproportionately high to the cost and to the capital investment. Through contracts with the trans portation lines they have a practical monopoly of this field. The only break in the monoply will come when congress provides for a parcels post service at least as liberal as that en joyed by people in other countiies." This Is a very clear presentation of this matter and the farmers of the United States should be very grateful that so able an ally as the P. I. has been enlisted in this war. Just think of it: capital of $8,000,000 paying a regular dividend of 10 per cent and at the same time accumulating a sur plus of 524,000,000. But when we remember that these express com panies are largely composed of the directors of the railroad companies, we can see how the thing has been done. These express company mana gers have virtually made a contract with themselves and of course on very liberal terms for the express com panies. Honest and plain people have often wondered why such railroad managers as Harriman, Hill and many others starting as poor men, have be come immensey wealthy in a very few years. Ah, for tricks of the trade, the Standard Oil company is not the "only pebble on the snore." We must revise Bret Harte's quaint saying and make it road "For ways that are dark and tiicks that are vain the heathen Chinese is not peculiar." Lot us remember that this big melon with its §24,000,000 surplus represents only one or' the five companies. We have no reason to doubt but the others did equally well. Think of these com panies paying its stockholders 10 per cent and then piling up a surplus of §120,000,000. No wonder that these express companies have "moved heaven and earth and hell itself" to prevent congress from passing reason able parcels post law. But when we remember the com position of these express companies and these enormous profits they have accumulated, tnere is no great wonder that President Roosevelt and his Post master General, Moyei. failed to get through Congress a very moderate and reasonable bill for B parce.'s post. The whole railroad system of the country with its untold millions had to be reckoned with and the railroads won. Senator Pratt, of New York, so feeble that he had to be lead to this seat, had power enough to defeat any measure that looked to the establish ment of the parOdJ post. Behind him was the greatest and most powerful (Continued on pag^e 14) Send in your name for our new 191© Seed I^Qfdlno 1 ■"■•" Ready January l^j^tlUjWWkyJjJiW 124 PAGES New Illustrations New Varieties prtjiM New Information (A ,k for No .wo) re-wrltten—rearranged- down to date.