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that have been communicated with are now establishing educational departments which will enable young men having the ambition to enter the diplomatic and consular service to register their names for that purpose.
Of course, this matter is now at the option of the State Department, but they recognize the value of our suggestions, and I make this explanation so that the members will recognize the difference between our resolution of last year and the one we submit this year.
The reason we ask the approval of the general principles of the bill H. R. 31,170 is that Mr. LA LANNE, our President, has read to this Board at the opening of our first session a letter from Mr. Knox, in which Mr. Knox suggests that a bill was introduced by Mr. Lowden for the further improvement of the service. That bill is very short, but unless requested to do so, I will not read it. I move that we indorse the general principles of that bill without further remark. It simply provides for examinations by the Department of those who wish to enter the diplomatic and consular service.
It proposes to increase the salaries of some of the consuls, according to grade, and it further provides that the Department of State, at such times as may be agreeable to the Department, should recommend to the President for appointment and for promotion from the different grades of subordinate employees up to consul.
The only reason why we did not make the indorsement more positive than by way of indorsing general principles was because of the fact that it was noticeable in all the Government Departments that while they themselves do not always like the political element in appointments and decry the fact that politicians should enter into matters of this kind, yet the Departments themselves always seem to think that if members of the House and the Senate be deprived of the advantage of recommending these appointments, the Departments themselves will be free and clear to act on the merit system alone. That is one of the fallacies of human nature. It is just possible that the head of the Department may be free from such prejudices, may
be a man who will rigidly adhere to the merit system, but if we place in the hands of the Department the privilege of making these appointments, even under the merit system, it will be very easy to appoint whoever certain Congressmen or Senators may desire to have advanced-just as easy as if the matter rested with Congress.
I make that explanation to show why we only indorse the general principles of the bill.
Mr. Wilbur J. Carr in his very able address last night referred to this bill as an improvement, and I think it is.
Unless some gentleman would like to ask questions or desire to speak on the subject, I should like to move the adoption of the resolution as read.
Mr. HITCHCOCK, of Scranton.-I want to say just a word on this subject. I have had the honor to be on this committee a number of times in years gone by and we have ' in our reports always had in view the improvement of the diplomatic and consular service.
An instance occurred within my knowledge last year which brought home to me more closely than ever before the importance of the improvement of this branch of our service. A prominent gentleman of our city traveled last year in Europe with his wife and daughter. In one of the large cities of the continent he was taken suddenly ill and died, leaving a widow and daughter in great trouble suddenly and unexpectedly in a distant land, far from home and friends. They sent word to the American consul in regard to their situation and received no attention whatever from
But the British consul, without being called upon at all, was prompt to come to their rescue and took the whole situation in hand and helped these ladies out of their great distress and trouble and was of inestimable service. They felt greatly humiliated because the American consul paid no attention whatever to them. How important it is, gentlemen, that we should have such service, if possible, as the British service! Here came the British consul at once and rendered these ladies every possible assistance. He did everything and the American consul did absolutely nothing.
The PRESIDENT.-Of course, that is a sporadic instance, one that does no often occur. I know this, because I have traveled on the continent a good deal during past years and have been impressed by the increase in efficiency and ability of our American consuls, ever since that Consular Reform Convention in which Mr. Root took such an active part. The men who have been sent abroad have been men of a better class and have better represented the business interests of the country. It is also true that there have been instances where Great Britain has had drunken and miserable consuls. That fact was brought to my mind two or three years ago in an important capital of Europe where I received very careful attention. At the time I was representing the United States Government on a mission. I received, as I say, very careful attention from our American consul there, who was a new man in the position, and one of the most honorable and forceful business men I have ever met. He took me to see and introduced me to the consuls in three or four other cities in order to show me the manner of men we were represented by and he took me to an afternoon affair at the British consul's house, where that British consul got royally drunk, so that I could not avoid contrasting the difference between the British consul and the American consul, with his dignified and splendid life and conduct and energy.
I suppose all nations are sometimes unfortunate enough to be represented by bad consuls, but I do believe that the increase in efficiency of our American consular service is largely due to the efforts of this National Board of Trade. I always like to defend my country as much as I can whenever and wherever I can. [Applause.]
Mr. HITCHCOCK.-The instance I mentioned occurred in the city of Venice.
The PRESIDENT.-How long ago?
Mr. HITCHCOCK.-This last summer.
I knew that gentleman quite well. He gave me a dinner and loaned me his gondola to carry me around the city.
The PRESIDENT.-That ought to have been reported to the State Department. Gentlemen, are you ready for the question?
The report of the committee was adopted.
FORESTRY, IRRIGATION AND CONSERVATION OF NATURAL RESOURCES.
The PRESIDENT.-Mr. MITCHELL, of Washington, desires to present a report on forestry and irrigation.
Mr. MITCHELL.-Mr. President and gentlemen, in the absence of Mr. HARVEY, Chairman of the Committee on Forestry, Irrigation and the Conservation of Natural Resources, I should like to read the report in full. as it covers a number of important subject on which the National Board of Trade has placed itself on record for several years. My report may be considered partly as only in the nature of reporting progress, but it also takes up some new phases of old policies:
PRACTICAL WORK IN FORESTRY.
The aggressive work of the Forest Service in promoting the science of Forestry in the United States and in wisely administering the 192,900,000 acres of National Forests, is deserving of high commendation. During the exceptionally dry season of 1910 the Service was called upon to fight, in co-operation with State and other organizations, over 5,000 fires in the National Forests, at a cost of more than one million dollars; but the effective and heroic service rendered, in which 76 employees of the bureau lost their lives undoubtedly saved the lives of many hundreds if not thousands of people and saved hundreds of millions of dollars in property from destruction, including entire towns.
The National Forests contain over 500,000,000,000 feet of merchantable timber, demand for which is largely undeveloped. This great future supply must be safeguarded. There was cut and sold last year over 350,000,000 feet, which returned to the Government more than $1,000,000. To facilitate forest management and fire protection the Forest Service last year built 320 miles of roads, 2,225 miles of trails and 1.888 miles of telephone lines, 181 miles of fire line and 65 bridges. Its control of grazing in the National Forests involves ap
proximately 1,500,000 horses and cattle and 8,000,000 sheep with a gross output of not less than $25,000,000 annually.
The Service is not only administering the National Forests in such manner as to insure future forest crops and aforesting and reforesting the reserved areas, but it is using every endeavor to stimulate a like practice in State and privately owned forests throughout the country. Many of the States and many lumber corporations, and also pulp and papermakers have in recent years instituted similar forestry and tree-planting practices.
ACTIVE WORK IN IRRIGATION CONSTRUCTION.
In view of the fact that the National Board of Trade was the first National commercial organization to pass resolutions unequivocally endorsing the National Irrigation Bill, which later became the present law, a brief statement of the status to-day of the Government irrigation accomplishments by the Reclamation Service may be well in order.
The activities of the Reclamation Service to June 30, 1910, has been extended to some 26 projects, covering an expenditure of approximately $59,000,000. In the eight years of its work, the Service has built 5,333 miles of canals, many of which carry whole rivers. It has excavated 18 miles of tunnels.
It has completed three of the highest dams in the world. Its excavations of rock and earth amount to the enormous total of 66,122,000 cubic yards.
Its roads have a total length of 460 miles; telephones, 1,319 miles; levees, 75 miles.
It has purchased 1,153,878 barrels of cement, and has manufactured in its own mill 340,000 barrels.
The gross value of crops produced on the lands irrigated by the Government projects in 1910 was $20,000,000. As a result of the work of the Government it is estimated that land values have increased more than $105,800,000.
Approximately 14,000 families are now residing on farms which are being watered by the Government canals. Not less than 25,000 people have been added to the population of the cities, towns and villages, as a direct result of the Government work.
Last year the National Board of Trade's resolutions advocated a $30,000,000 bond issue to extend irrigation construction, and it may be noted with satisfaction that $20,000,000 was so authorized by Congress.
In practical work in conservation and in aid of proposed conservation legislation, important work is being carried out in the adminis