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tration of the public lands. There now stands withdrawn on the examination and recommendation of the Geological Survey, and pending proposed legislation along conservation lines, 4,469,339 acres of petroleum land; 1,423,561 acres withdrawn to protect waterpower sites; 2,514,195 acres of phosphate land. Of coal land, 81,449,223 acres stand withdrawn pending classification and valuation by the Geological Survey, and 14,682,839 acres have already been appraised as coal land at a given value of $625,944,830, which, under the former system of selling at the minimum price allowed by law, would have had a value of only $212,920,014, a difference of over $400,000,000. A total area of 33,998,199 acres included in the coal land withdrawals has been classified as non-coal land and restored to entry.
LEASING OF DEPOSITS OF PETROLEUM AND PHOSPHATE ON THE PUBLIC LANDS AND OF THE COAL LANDS OF ALASKA.
The Government yet retains title to 4,487,819 acres of known petroleum lands, and to 2,514,195 acres of known phosphate lands in the United States, exclusive of Alaska. The lands containing these immensely valuable resources are now withdrawn from all entry in aid of proposed legislation by Congress.
Petroleum land has, heretofore, been necessarily acquired under the gold placer law, an entirely inadequate statute, for since oil is mobile, flowing subterraneously from one property to another, the result has been a reckless haste and waste in production of a not inexhaustible resource. Your committee believes that a leasing law for the public oil deposits would result in conservative development, with a minimum of waste. Since the Navy is installing oil burners in its modern vessels it would seem the course of wisdom for the Government to retain title to and control of its oil deposits.
Phosphorus is one of the three essential elements of plant growth. Without it no plant can live. The principal source for fertilizer is phosphate rock, of which the world supply is comparatively limited, although the deposits on the public lands are the largest in the United States. In connection with the constant decrease in the fertility in our farm lands, due to export of agricultural products and waste in sewage, the loss of phosphorous is the greatest factor and it is believed that American farmers will require every ton of phosphate which America can produce. At present fully one-third of our output is imported to enrich the worn-out lands of Europe, our agricultural competitors. Your committee believes that prosphate conservation is one of the vital questions of the day, and that the Government should retain title to every acre of its phosphate land and provide for their development through leasehold, thus enabling the Government to prohibit exportation of the phosphate thus mined, of the fertilizer of which it is a constituent.
NEED OF ALASKAN COAL LEGISLATION.
The development of Alaska is retrogressing, notwithstanding the enormous latent mineral resources of the great Territory, which has even thus far proved a treasure-house to the American nation. This retrogression lies in the fact that there is no present provision for coal development, in spite of the estimated 16 billion tons of highgrade mineable coal and of the many other widely distributed deposits, with an aggregate enormous tonnage. The Alaskan coal situation presents the curious anomaly of-fuel, fuel, everywhere, but not a ton to burn. The development of the Territory's fuel deposits would double, if not quickly quadruple the present population, promote transportation construction and the development of the 20,000,000 or more acres of agricultural lands, decrease the cost of living in the Territory and enormously increase the output of precious metals, through the opening up of the low-grade ores which cannot be now be mined with profit. Coal is now imported into Alaska at a cost of $15 to $18 a ton, whereas it can be profitably mined for a small percentage of this. The Coast States are also badly in need of highgrade Alaskan anthracite and bituminous coals which compare favorably with the best Pennsylvania and West Virginia products. Congress is considering various phases of Alaskan coal legislation, including a leasing bill and it is the belief of your committee that the coal deposits of Alaska should be leased by the Government, which now owns all the coal lands, on short-term leases and upon such a liberal basis as to promote the greatest possible development, consistent with the least waste in production. It may be remarked that Government leasing is proving most satisfactory in the Oklahoma Indian coal lands, while leasing of private coal lands is common practice.
LEASING THE PUBLIC COAL LANDS.
The coal deposits of the United States, of which about 75,000,000 acres are on public lands, are now being classified and valued on the tonnage basis, the valuations running up to and above $400 an acre, as against the former minimum price fixed by the coal land law of $10 or $20 an acre according to their proximity to transportation lines. Your committee believes that a leasing system with shortterm leases for these lands, under which the Government would retain title thereto, would be preferable to the present method of administration, and strongly urges the enactment of appropriate legislation. Coal land sales are at present considerable and are increasing, and it should be noted that the proceeds are placed to the credit of the "Reclamation Fund" for the irrigation of the Government lands. Should a leasing system be provided by Congress for the coal lands of the United States, it should be seen to that the proceeds, over and
above expense of operation, continue to be placed to the credit of the Reclamation Fund.
WATER POWER DEVELOPMENT.
There is urgent need of comprehensive legislation which will insure the development of water power properties on the public domain and in National forests, and at the same time protect the interests of the people. The effect of the forest cover upon stream flow and, therefore, water power, throughout the entire country is fully recognized and it should be kept in mind that the development of this great natural resource, water power, which in turn tends to conserve fuel resources, is in large measure intimately dependent upon adequate forest protection.
The present developed hydro-electric horsepower in the United States is less than 6,000,000, and it is estimated by the Geological Survey that throughout the United States at least 37,000,000 of hydro-electric horsepower can be developed besides nearly 200,000,000 more that may become available through reservoiring in the future as the cost of fuel increases. The economic advantage of the development of these water powers is very great, not only to the manufacturers of the United States, but to the entire laboring class, the saving in the cost of horsepower reducing the cost of producing our manufactures thereby enabling us to maintain the higher level of wages and still compete with other countries where the cost of labor is low.
It is, therefore, of the utmost importance that the Federal and State governments bend every effort to conserve our water resources by the protection of the head-waters of streams through forestry and reservoiring measures, and as a first step they should acquire and preserve the mountain forest lands in which the streams find their
WM. S. HARVEY, Chairman.
Resolved, That the National Board of Trade reaffirms its appeal to the partiotic sentiment of all the people in all the States to use their personal influence and efforts on behalf of all National and State legislation that will help conserve the natural resources, forests, waterways, soil, coal, phosphate, oil and natural gas, so that they shall be administered as a sacred trust for all the people, but in a manner to insure their full present utilization with a maximum of efficiency and a minimum of waste;
Resolved, That the title to the several million acres of public petroleum and phosphate lands should remain in the National Government and that their development should be encouraged under a
leasing system which should allow for the fullest possible utilization of these natural resources commensurate with a minimum waste in production.
Resolved, That title to the coal lands of Alaska should remain in the National Government and that their development under a leasing system, with short-term leases, should be encouraged in every way possible by extension of the most liberal terms to operators, both large and small, to insure the development of transportation which will supply the Territory itself with cheap fuel and also the West Coast of the United States.
Resolved, That title to the coal rights of the coal lands of the United States should remain in the National Government, and that their coal development should proceed under a leasing system with short-term leases. Congress is urged to enact appropriate legislation.
Resolved, That the fine showing made by the Reclamation Service since the passage of the National Irrigation Law in 1902, whereby water, heretofore wasted, has been made available for 900,000 acres and 14,000 farm homes have been created from the desert, is deserving of high commendation; and further
Resolved, That the work of the Geological Survey in classifying and valuing the public coal lands, thereby securing to the irrigation fund a largely increased return for these lands as well as the other work of this bureau, and of the administration in conservatively administering the public domain and investigating its mineral resources, meets with the hearty approbation of the National Board of Trade.
Resolved, That the National Board of Trade takes cognizance of the splendid and heroic work done by the men of the Forest Service, as well as those of many States in fighting forest fires during the past season, and urges upon Congress and upon State Legislatures adequate appropriations to provide for future protection of our forests. We commend the excellent work done in the establishment of National and State forest nurseries and in forest planting and urge their rapid extension.
The preservation of the great forested mountain water sheds of the United States and the reforestation of denuded areas are vital to the maintenance of our inland waterways, not only to insure transportation, but to preserve and perpetuate the water powers upon which millions of dollars in manufacturing enterprises now depend; therefore be it
Resolved, That the National Board of Trade heartily commends the policy of creating National forests as a general practice and specifically urges upon Congress the speedy passage of Bill H. R. 11,798, known as the Weeks' Forestry Bill, creating a National Forest in the Appalachian and White Mountain forest areas.
Resolved, That inasmuch as the development of great water storage and power plants tends to conserve our coal resources, regulate floods and advance forestry, and that inasmuch as many such properties in the West come under Federal control by reason of portions of their canals or transmission lines crossing Government lands, Congress is urged to adopt a broad and liberal policy with reference to their regulation; it is further
Resolved, That where water powers occur on Government land the title thereto should remain in the Federal Government, but that laws and regulations should provide for the greatest possible development of this non-expendable resource, insuring maximum efficiency and minimum waste, and with full consideration for the rights of the users of the power.
Resolved, That the collection of Government revenues under all regulations or leases, incident to coal land development, water power development and phosphate and oil development, should be incidental only and subordinate to the protection of the people's interests.
Mr. REYNOLDS, of Scranton.-I move the adoption of that report.
I would like to leave with every member present this one thought that the conservation of our natural resources does not mean the development of those resources. It does mean greater economy in the use of natural resources, for the benefit of the people of Alaska, for instance, for it is a great injustice to them to be called upon to pay $15 for a ton of coal that ought to be sold for $3. At the same time it ought to be emphasized that this Government ought never to part with any title to any coal, oil or mineral lands.
The policy of the Reading Coal and Iron Company in leasing its coal lands has been this: to make short term leases so that the control and operation of its mines can at frequent intervals come into its own hands, so as to insure wise and economic conditions. The Government could well adopt the policy of so able and carefully managed a corporation as the Reading Coal and Iron Company with regard to its mining properties.
The locking up of natural resources in Alaska may be accomplished in two ways: either by a narrow Government policy preventing development, or by imposing upon prospective investors, mining corporations, conditions which will