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only by such development. Nitrogen, so necessary to the farmer, now costs him thirty-five cents a pound in nitrate of soda, while in Norway nitrogen is produced by hydro-electric power at a cost of seven cents a pound.
Under the present laws, the State is prohibited from disposing of any surplus waters created by the canal improvement. The surplus power created incidentally by the construction of the canal, is now being wasted. The increasing cost of maintaining our State government is a continuing serious problem, and the direct revenue of the State can be increased without appreciable expense to it by leasing the surplus waters.
Realizing the importance of this question, I requested the State Engineer, the Attorney-General, the Superintendent of Public Works and the Conservation Commissioner to study the question and to report to me their conclusions and recommendations.
In reading the report of the committee appointed by me, whose recommendations I heartily endorse, I hope you will bear in mind the distinction between the State's selling water power and the generation of electricity which will result from the power furnished by the State. The committee is opposed to the State's entering into the hydro-electric business, but believes that the State should reserve to itself the right to dispose of the latent power of the impounded water.
The recommendations of the committee are as follows:
"Your committee has decided upon submitting to you four suggestions, the first two of which, while concrete in themselves, necessarily have a direct bearing upon the third, and in the opinion of your committee should be effected in order to permit of a proper and certain accomplishment of the third suggestion.
1. To amend the Constitution so as to take from the legis lature the power to grant away, by private bills, the water powers of the State.
2. To repeal Article 7-a of the Conservation Law which provides for river regulation by storage reservoirs.
3. The immediate passage of appropriate legislation to enable the State to develop the undeveloped water powers
of the State through a commission to be appointed by the Governor and to market the power thus developed under the direction of such commission.
4. The immediate passage of appropriate legislation authorizing the Superintendent of Public Works, with the approval of the Canal Board, to dispose for proper returns by lease, of surplus water power created as a result of the construction of the Barge Canals."
THE IMPROVED CANAL SYSTEM
The completion of the canal enlargement project, authorized by Chapter 147 of the Laws of 1903, is at hand. The new Oswego-Troy route was opened to navigation last summer, as was also the enlarged channel extending northerly to Lake Champlain. The main line connecting the Hudson river with Lake Erie will be ready for use next summer.
The canals constitute the most splendid system of waterways in the country, both from a strategical and from a commercial standpoint. They connect the Great Lakes with the seaboard. They are a part of the great line of west to east communication. They extend through one of the most densely populated sections of the United States. The population of this State is approximately ten per cent of the total population of the nation, and in a zone within twenty miles on each side of the canal line between New York and Buffalo, eight million people, or eighty per cent of the State's entire population, reside. Over one million people reside within the cities of Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Utica, Troy and Albany, and at the terminus of the waterway lies New York with a population of over five millions.
The necessity for a full use of the canals is urgent. I am reliably informed that the railroads of the country, and particularly those which traverse this State, have almost reached the limit of their capacity, and that, when such limit has been attained, more than fifteen per cent of freight will be left for movement by other means. The shipment of commodities by canal affords every advantage. If economy in movement is desired, the lower water rate will supply it. If the speedy receipt of goods is demanded, the canals will, with the certain freight congestion of next summer, excel the railroads in time of delivery.
Aside from the benefits which must accrue to the citizens of this State by the rehabilitation of canal commerce, the use of the new waterways is a military necessity. The needs of the great American army abroad must be supplied at all costs. The armies of our Allies must be served. Without the fullest use of every means of transportation, the situation which already is acute, will be most serious by midsummer. A crisis in the transportation situation is at hand. It must be met and vigorous action taken to relieve it. Relief can be provided by a full utilization of the canals. They have a capacity of at least ten million tons a year, which would be equal to the conservation of five hundred thousand freight cars annually, thus supplementing existing transportation facilities to that extent.
Next summer, the canal will be completed, but the freight problem is not solved merely by its completion. There must be ready for use at the same time new and modern freight carrying boats and operating companies, officered by energetic, capable men. The State will have provided at an expense of one hundred and fiftyfour million dollars a plant without equal in the country. It now offers it to the people toll free to be used for the purposes of commerce or national defense.
CHANGES IN THE ELECTION LAW
Inasmuch as the voters of the State have adopted the amendment to section 1 of article II of the Constitution, I urge upon you the necessity of amending the Election Law so as to provide proper machinery for allowing the women of the State to vote at the elections next spring.
It is most important that adequate and equitable provision be made immediately for the registration of women voters for the spring elections, as the present law provides one day only for the correction of the register.
Women voters should also be given an opportunity to enroll in political parties and take part in the primaries to be held next fall.
In this connection it is interesting to note that of the twelve States having equal suffrage, the States of Arizona, California, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming permit the nomination of candidates for public office by petition only, while the States of Colorado, Illinois and Utah
permit the nomination of candidates for the primaries both by petition and by political conventions. In the State of Colorado, however, all of the candidates receiving as much as 10 per cent. of the vote of a convention are placed upon the primary ticket.
RESULTS OF EXCISE LEGISLATION
In 1897, after the first elections under the Raines Law, the issuance of any kind of licenses for trafficking in liquors was forbidden in 262 towns of the State out of a total of 942.
The following table shows the number of towns in which no licenses were issued, the number of towns having partial and full licenses, the number of full license towns and the number of partial license towns on the 1st of May each year, from 1897 to 1918, those for the 1st of May, 1918, being determined at the elections during the present year.
Number of partial and full license
The following percentages are interesting as showing the growth of the sentiment in favor of no license.
In 1897 the voters in 27.8 per cent. of the towns of the State had voted in favor of no license. In 1902, the number had increased to 30.5 per cent.; in 1907, to 33 per cent. ; in 1912, to 43.3 per cent.; in 1917, to 55.6 per cent. During the year 1917, however, 65 towns voted no license, with the result that now over 62 per cent. of the rural communities of the State forbid trafficking in liquor of any kind, and the increase in the number of no-license towns since 1915 is greater than the increase in the period between 1897 and 1915.
The Superintendent of State Police immediately after his appointment on May 2d, made a personal study of the Pennsylvania Constabulary and the Canadian Mounted Police systems.
The first examination for troopers was held on June 11th. On July 16th, the recruits began their training, and on September 6th began their active duty by policing the State Fair Grounds at the time of the State Fair.
In the meantime four barracks had been prepared near the cities of Batavia, Syracuse, Albany and White Plains.
During the months of October and November, 54,000 miles of highways were patrolled, 258 arrests made, with 207 convictions.
It is gratifying to note that there has been no conflict with the local authorities and that the troopers have not taken part in any industrial disputes.
The Superintendent of State Police requests the creation of one more troop, to be called a detached post troop. He states that if this troop, consisting of 45 troopers, 2 commissioned and 17 noncommissioned officers, is created, it will be years before the department need again be increased, as 25 posts can be established, which, added to the ten stations already assigned, will make 35 stations, each with a radius of approximately 20 miles. Three men could then be placed at each station—one a motor cyclist, one on foot and one mounted. By this method practically every citizen would be within 20 miles from such post and by the use of the motor cycle, quick service could be rendered.