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the soil all over the country. You might think, to go out on these beautiful prairies, that the soil is all alike. Well, it isn't; any prairie has probably a hundred different soils, some of them best adapted to grow one plant and some another, some needing one kind of treatment and some another; and the great fundamental question that we must study now is the American soil and its power to produce. (Applause) With regard to the literature of the farm : There was none when I was a young fellow; there was no college for farmers. I had to get what I did get from observation and from a store of recollection of older men. But now we have an agricultural college in each State. We have an experiment station in each State. We have 3,000 men making research in the Department of Agriculture at Washington, all specialists, the foremost in their lines in the world. When one of those men makes inquiry into something and reports, we put his name to it and print it and send it out to the people without expense. We sent out 20,000,000 pieces last year (applause). And any of you who want anything we have, no matter whether you are farmers or not, you are welcome to it. Some of the best encouragement that we have comes from those who are not farmers at all. I have told you of the genesis of the soil-robber; is he here in the Mississippi valley The old-time farmer educated his children, but he educated them to do anything under the sun but farm. When the boy graduated, when he got through with his education, he went anywhere but to the farm. That was until within a few years the custom. The other day I wrote to the dean of the Iowa Agricultural College that several people had applied to me for men to superintend farms, and that a newspaper man wanted a farm expert to go into his office at a good salary, and asked—“How many young men do you graduate this year in a four-year agricultural course?” He replied, and I think he said “We graduated some seventy in a four-year course, but none of them left the State; they are all going back to the farm” (great applause and cry of “Good!”). Those men know something. Now, are you doing that in Minnesota? You have always had a fine agricultural school here connected with your State University, and you have an open door into the four-year academic course in the University; you are doing much for agriculture and education. Yet we are where we are today with regard to scarce food and dear meat because we didn't begin educating the young farmer sooner. But he is going to catch on. There would be a universal introduction of agricultural education into the common and secondary schools of the country if teachers could be found. That is the great difficulty. Fifty years ago, when Congress endowed agricultural colleges, that was the trouble. They could start the college, they could erect a building, but there was no library, there was no professor who knew anything about agriculture, and the great trouble is a man can only teach what he knows himself. But now, after half a century of effort on the part of the farmers, on the part of friends of the farms, on the part of farseeing men like James J. Hill (applause), we are getting a creditable agricultural education in this country. Do not be uneasy about the forests; at the last session, Congress gave me $400,000 more than they had ever given me before to take care of the forests. Do not be uneasy about the coal, the gas, the oil, and the phosphates; President Taft has withdrawn all those until Congress indicates what shall be done with them. But the soil, Gentlemen, the soil; the big price for meat, the big price for bread; these are things to study. We can improve our soil. One of our speakers this afternoon told us that you cannot grow soil. I believe that, once you wash it away. But you can reduce it, beyond the point of profitable production of crops; that you can do, and that is being done. The soil-robber works in Iowa, and I fear he is at work in Minnesota. The old folks have gone to town; and the Lord knows nobody wants them there, because when you want to improve the town with gas and sewer and water and things of that kind, the farmer won't vote for them; he is regarded as a nuisance; everybody wishes he would stay on the farm, and I wish he would. And when the old farmer and his wife go to town, they sell off everything; they rent the farm to a man who has no means to stock it with cattle and sheep, hogs and poultry; he grows grain to sell, he grows hay to sell, and those farms grow worse and worse every year. That is the situation we are in. (Applause) We are making some progress, some headway. The Government gave to the emigrant from abroad, to everybody who wanted it as long as they lasted, a claim in the rainy belt; but there are no lands left for giving away in the rainy belt. Something can be done in regard to our dry-land farming; something can be done in regard to irrigation. As Mr Hill intimated (in fact, he delivered a great deal of my speech), there is not much being done in the line of irrigation. Take a trip out West and watch the rivers as you cross them, and you will see that we are wasting far more water than we are using—though in certain neighborhoods in Colorado highly intelligent people are every year building more dams away up in the mountains and saving their winter and spring-flood waters. That is going on and on, and it should go on until all the waters in the mountains are saved for application to the land. Do you remember the history of irrigation in the valley of the Po, in Italy: There are more people to the square mile there than are found in almost any other part of the world. They began at the headwaters of the tributaries and built great dams to hold up the water to an amount suitable for the growing of crops, something like twenty inches or more; and they built on down to the mouth of the Po. Now when there comes a drought like we had this year, they let water out on the fields, and thus get a maximum crop. Without that extra water, at a time of drought their crop would wither and fail. I understand Minnesota has more lakes, more natural reservoirs for holding water than any other State in the Union. Look to it, you Minnesota people; you can, by using that water in a dry year, grow maximum crops. How do the people of the Old World raise big crops? If you followed Mr Hill's statistics you learned they didn't know as much there once as they do now, for they have raised their crop production from 20 to 30 bushels an acre. He also alluded to the Danes, who by good farming are enabled to sell enormous amounts of farm products. How do they keep that land up? I will tell you what a great many of them are doing. They buy mill-feeds from the United States; they buy bran and shorts, they buy the cottonseed of the South and the flaxseed of Minnesota, and feed their dairy cows. That is a highly intellectual job, isn't it, for an American citizen, to grow food for a Danish cow? But the Dane has his eyes open; he knows. He sells $40,000,000 worth of butter and cheese to England every year, but puts back all the fertility on the farm; and that is what has brought up his little fifteenacre farm, or his forty-acre farm. He has brought it up by keeping and feeding his cows on our mill-feeds, mind you; and he is prosperous—and we are not so prosperous only because we rob ourselves. A VOICE—Bran doesn't cost any more in Denmark than in America. Secretary WILSON.—It is American bran, though. And let me tell you something else. The meats you grow up here cost hardly any more in Europe than they cost here, because the retailer over there hasn't got all the frills that the retail dealer has here, and is satisfied with a smaller profit. (Applause) Now, Ladies and Gentlemen, I am merely outlining some of the remarks that I prepared and gave to the newspaper people; and I have no doubt you have listened to me as long as you care to (cries of “Go on, go on”). I have enjoyed my visit here. I am on record as saying that these northwestern States, beginning here and extending on west, are the healthiest we have; their waters are good; their climate is fine; they are going to grow vigorous men and handsome women. If we are going to have all their benefits you should conserve your soil, so that your great-grandchildren will have better soil than you have today. Down in Iowa, where I have lived for 46 years, the soil grows bigger crops today than it did fifty years ago; and it is still improving. You have extended to me the greatest compliment a hospitable people can bestow on a stranger, and that is to give me your attention. I thank you. (Great applause.)
Chairman CLApr–Ladies and Gentlemen: We will now listen to a discussion by Honorable F. C. Stevens, Member of Congress from this district. (Applause)
Representative STEVENs—Mr Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen: You are fortunate this afternoon, so far as my discussion is concerned. I was assigned to discuss an address by Senator Dolliver, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry, on the subject of “Cattle, Food, and Leather.” We greatly regret the enforced absence of Senator Dolliver, because he is informed on that subject and could have given us a discussion of great benefit. I congratulate myself that I am not obliged to follow him, because I know too little about his subject. So I shall briefly discuss something I do know about.
In the very able address of Mr Hill, and in the very bright discussion of Mr Wallace which followed, there was a general criticism of Congress for undue expenditures of public money. I want to tell this audience that Congress, instead of being extravagant, is often unduly economical of the people's money. The money we spend is what the people want us to spend, and we do not spend nearly as much as they want us to. The estimates that were sent in by the heads of the departments (of which Secretary Wilson is one) aggregated nearly two hundred millions of dollars more than the expenditures which Congress authorized, and the estimates which came from the field officers to the heads of these great departments, for example, like that of Secretary Wilson; from the post-offices scattered throughout the country; from the officers of the War and Navy Departments, scattered all over the world; and from the officers of the State and other departments, were, I will venture to say, nearly two hundred million dollars more still: so that Congress actually did not spend more than twothirds as much as the people of the United States in their respective localities wanted spent. There is not a single large convention in the United States similar to this—which is one of the most magnificent in the history of this section of the country—that does not call upon Congress for the expenditure of large sums of money, and I will venture to predict that the resolutions, which will be adopted by this Congress will call for a large appropriation from the National treasury. We have in Washington every year a Rivers and Harbors Congress, composed of 4,000 of the brightest, broadest, most patriotic business men of the United States, who go there as delegates, spend their own money to go, and then ask large expenditures from the people's treasury. Scattered all over this country, meeting probably in every State in the Union, are various voluntary assemblages of our people demanding various improvements by the Federal Government, and every one asking for expenditures of the people's money. You never yet have heard of a convention which has met anywhere at anybody's expense asking for a cutting down of expenditures. If there is any one man who is popular in the United States it is the man who calls for the expenditure of the people's money; the men who are the most unpopular, and are condemned and criticised in public life, are those who try to cut down the expenses and be economical with the people's money (applause). I think there ought to be some reform (and I have had some experience); we are extravagant; we do spend more money than we ought to, but it is spent honestly, it is spent with the best of intention, it is spent because the people want us to spend it, and we do not go nearly as far as they ask us to. Just one suggestion more: It is easy to criticise and ridicule something that a man knows but little about, and I have noticed that in this discussion of Conservation each man is almighty anxious to conserve that which interests him; and one of the latest examples of that was afforded by the statement of Mr Wallace in condemnation of the dam between Saint Paul and Minneapolis. Now, in advance I want to state that I am not responsible for that dam; it was there before I entered public life. But there is one thing we are trying to do; we are trying to enforce the principle of practical Conservation, and I wish to call attention to that as a sample of ridicule sometimes seen in the discussion of a subject that really interests the people. The United States thirty years ago started, at the headwaters of the Mississippi, six of the largest storage reservoirs for water in the world, with a capacity of many thousands of millions of gallons of water, designed to improve the navigation of the river and raise it in times of drought eighteen inches here at the levee of Saint Paul. That enormous storage of water in the river should be utilized for the practical benefit of the people of the United States. That is the practical basis for all theories of Conservation. A board of engineers was ordered by Congress to make an investigation of the use of the dam at the Twin Cities, and they have reported that a dam can be built and it has been ordered by Congress and is under construction (it is the one ridiculed). It will be thirty feet high and will yield 15,000 horsepower of electrical energy, worth here $25 per horsepower-year. making a total value of $375,000 per annum, at an expenditure in all not to exceed $2,000,000. It will pay the United States the money that it invests in that dam. It is expected that the United States will sell, for a reasonable price, that electrical energy to the cities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis and the University of Minnesota; these cities can be the best lighted in the world and save a hundred thousand dollars each annually (applause); and, more than that, we will have there the most beautiful lake in the world, extending from the historical falls of Minnehaha below to the great and beautiful University of Minnesota above. That is a practical example of Conservation (applause). Before any of these gentlemen come forward flippantly to ridicule the public works going on in any part of the country, they should realize that there may be some things they don't know about. (Applause) Only one suggestion more (because we all want to hear from Professor Bailey): It is easy to criticise Congress as a whole; it is fashionable to do it; Congress hasn't any friends anywhere: but just remember this: it is a necessary evil; it is the concrete voice of