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3. A single war vessel of the superdreadnaught type costs about $25,000,000, or enough to pave a thousand miles of road which would last about twice as long as the vessel. Is not the fact that nations seem to find it necessary to waste such large amounts a great reflection
upon civilization and Christianity? How do you think the need of so many war vessels might be avoided ?
4. Article 10 of the League of Nations Covenant provides that · each member will respect and preserve the boundaries and independence of all members against outside aggression, the Council of the League to advise upon means of fulfilling this obligation. The United States refused to join the League because many thought this would involve the United States unduly in European conflicts. It is now proposed that instead of Article 10 each nation agree to prevent aggression upon its own continent. Should the United States enter the League of Nations with this provision ? (For copy of League Covenant see Senate Document Number 85, 1st Session, 66 Congress 1919.)
5. When a new post-office building is erected in a small town the janitor for the new building often costs as much as the rent of the former quarters. This appears extravagant. On the other hand, a new, well-ventilated, and lighted building of pleasing architecture may inspire the people of the town with respect for the government and for other civic improvements. Do you favor a government-owned post-office even if it costs more than a rented one?
6. Learn from your postmaster what is included in first-, second-, and third-class mail, and the rates on each. What articles can be sent by parcel post? Can you insure a parcel ? Send it by special delivery? Send it C. 0. D. ?
7. It has been discovered that the farmers who produce much of the food consumed in New York City get for their products only 40 per cent as much as the consumer pays for them. How can the National Government help to remedy this situation ?
8. In February, 1849, Representative J. G. Palfrey made the following appeal for a reduction in the rate of postage: “How mightily would a reduction in the rate of postage operate on the activity of business, and accordingly on the wealth of the nation! How would science, letters, invention, benevolent enterprises, rejoice in this privilege of cheap communication! What an intellectual action would it quicken in every class! I think very much of colleges. I dearly love common schools. But I shall not at present say that cheap post
age will not turn out to be an institution for education more efficient than either. It would set everybody to learning to read and write who had not already learned; and those who had, it would teach to describe, and narrate, and think, and would excite them to study and observe.
Cheap postage would cultivate affections. Friends, brothers and sisters, and even parents and children, separate to spend the rest of their lives apart. Why is it that in time many become almost strangers to one another? Why does not a letter sent and received two or three times a week keep up their interests in their homes, renew constantly a pure enjoyment, and afford the best security against every moral danger. It costs too much.
“Cheap postage would bring better mutual acquaintance of citizens of different parts of the republic, cementing the political union through their free interchange of thought.” Has Mr. Palfrey's prophecy come true?
9. Between 1913 and 1919 the general level of prices doubled, but the price for carrying a letter thousands of miles remained the same except for the temporary war tax of one cent a letter which did not go to the Post-oífice Department. Is there any connection between this fact and the before-the-war argument for penny postage ?
10. It is unlawful to use the mails for a fraudulent purpose. For instance, a few years ago a young man from a distant State went to Maryland, married a wealthy woman and persuaded her to send him to Philadelphia to study medicine. The young man was married and he used his allowance to support another woman. But, inasmuch as he had used the mails to request money fraudulently from the Maryland woman, he was prosecuted by Uncle Sam.
We have seen how the United States Government has expanded its powers through its right to regulate interstate commerce and its right of taxation. Is this right to prevent fraudulent use of the mails likely greatly to increase its powers ?
11. Have students report on different phases of the post-office. See pages 16, 18, 23, 80, 137, 141, 160. Also see “ The United States Post Office,” by D. C. Roper, 1917, and guide to periodical literature.
INTERIOR, AGRICULTURE, COMMERCE, AND LABOR
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
93. The Secretary of the Interior is the head of the Department of the Interior, which department grew out of the large accession of territory following the Mexican War. In 1849 various functions were withdrawn from the other departments to form this new department of unrelated governmental bureaus and divisions, of which the following now exist: government lands, geological survey, reclamation, mines, Indians, education, patents, and pensions.
A recent Secretary of the Interior, realizing the difficulty of supervising such unrelated bureaus, recommended that patents be placed under the department then known as the Department of Commerce and Labor; pensions under the War and Navy Departments; and that the remaining functions be consolidated with the Agricultural Department. This, however, has not as yet been done.
94. The General Land Office, the most important bureau of the department, has charge of the patrolling, surveying, and sale of several hundred million acres of public lands of the United States. In the past large tracts have been sold to land speculation companies, given to railroad corporations in order to promote the construction of railroads and thus develop the country, given to States for public schools, agri. cultural colleges, and internal improvements; but gradually the practice of giving a 160-acre homestead free, or for a small fee, to any person who will live on it has gained favor. The present policy is to preserve government lands containing minerals, timber, or water-power, and to give title to the surface of the land only.
95. The Geological Survey, during the past thirty years, has made topographic and geologic maps of more than one-third of the surface of the United States; and because of this work
we not only know the height of hills and the volume of water which flows in streams, but we know where valuable minerals occur below the surface.
As an illustration of the value of this work, a few years ago when the Lackawanna Railroad relocated thirty-four miles of its main line the engineer of construction sat comfortably at his office desk and ran all the preliminary surveys, and even made the final location for the
$ 12,000,000 improvement UNITED STATES GEOLOGICAL SURVEYOR from the data contained AT WORK.
on the topographic sheet. 96. The Reclamation Bureau's most important work is irrigating the desert places of the Western States. By an act of Congress passed in 1902 a fund received from the sale of public lands in certain Western States, except five per cent set aside for educational purposes, is to be used permanently for the reclamation of arid lands. In 1919 the fund was about $97,000,000. Some idea of the vastness of this work can be gathered from the fact that in one Colorado plant a tunnel six miles long had to be dug through a mountain. The reclaimed
as any other
land is sold to farmers in forty-acre tracts on easy terms, and the money derived therefrom is used in the furtherance of this work.
97. The Commissioner of Indian Affairs has charge of the lands, moneys, schools, and general welfare of 300,000 Indians now living on reservations in the United States. As soon as Indians become able to perform the social, political, and legal duties of citizens they are given tracts of land and made responsible as other citizens; but the land which is assigned them may not be sold for a certain number of years, at the end of which time it is hoped they will not squander the proceeds. After that, each will have to "hoe his own row citizen of the State in which he lives.
98. The Bureau of Education is a national clearing house” for educational information. The annual report of the Commissioner of Education contains extensive statistics of colleges, and of common and high schools. This report also contains accounts of experiments made in some one State. For example, if a certain community makes an exceptional success in the transportation of pupils to rural schools, the bureau will have experts investigate the details, and print the findings for educators all over the country.
99. The Bureau of Patents, with a Commissioner of Patents at its head, issues patents and registers trade-marks, prints, labels, and the like. More than a million patents have been granted by the United States, including 8000 by women and 500 by colored persons.
Among the early important patents are Eli Whitney's cotton gin (1793) and Robert Fulton's steam-boat (1809). When the Wright Brothers invented the biplane air-ship they took out numerous patents, one covering every variety of the invention, so that no one else could manufacture a biplane similar to their invention without paying a royalty. Thomas A. Edison has more than three hundred patents. He spends about $ 300,000 annually on experiments carried on in his laboratories. Some corporations purchase all promising patente