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its decrease in productive power, together with the spread of weeds, of injurious insects, and of diseases of animals and plants, the close composition necessitating the production of varied crops, have so increased the difficulties of farming as to render an accurate and scientific knowledge of these various sciences an absolute necessity for the highest success in agriculture.
2. Agriculture requires careful study. It is true that agriculture has been successfully engaged in by many well-meaning people, who have given no study to their methods. Recently a farmer with much pride, called the writer's attention to a field which had successfully produced oats for the past twenty-five years. He confessed that the crops were gradually becoming lighter, that the soil was gradually decreasing in productive power. The thoughtful student of agriculture is familiar with the wastes of burning sand, lands which once smiled with abundant harvests when occupied by the great empires of Assyria, Media and Phoenicia, seats of the greatest civilization of their day. The once fertile lands of Europe are becoming exhausted! Recently the writer received a publication from a Board of Agriculture of one of our eastern states, entitled "Abandoned Farms." The lack of information regarding the proper method of handling the soil for the retention of its fertility has led to a soil exhaustion, and consequent abandonment of excellent homesteads. The writer maintains that we have no right to exhaust the soil of its food supply in one generation, when, by intelligent methods of culture and proper rotation of crops, the farm can pass on to succeeding generations with a better supply of plant food than it had in its virgin state. The farmer who does not make a study of his business is still planting his crop in the "dark of the moon," while he who is in line with the research work which has been done along these lines, plants his crop in the light of all the laws which control the development of crops.
3. Agricultural operations can be carried on in accordance with scientific principles. The one fundamental labor of agriculture is the stirring and mixing of the soil. The effects of this simple practice are most numerous, complex and far-reaching, and the problems associated with it seem to be beyond the comprehension of most farmers. When should the land be plowed; what is
the purpse of the soil mulch and when should it be established? These are farm operations requiring the highest order of intelligence for their successful solution. In the operation of plowing alone, the questions involved are numerous. What will be the effect on the soil moisture, on the loss or gain of plant food, on the temperature of the soil, on its storage capacity, the effect of a more thorough aeration, of a more rapid nitrification, etc? These are questions the answer for which can only be found in an intimate knowledge of the soil.
Fifteen years ago, from five to twenty percent of the butter fat was lost in the skim milk, and five to ten percent more in the butter-milk. Scientific methods have been brought to bear on the handling of milk, and this loss has been almost entirely checked. In seeding grasses and cereals, in feeding live stock, in applying fertilizers to the soil, in fact, in all farm operations we have an opportunity to adopt scientific methods, and instances are on record where the adoption of these methods has saved thousands of dollars to the farmer.
It is hoped that in the above, sufficient evidence is presented to establish the fact that agriculture is a profession. It is worthy of the best efforts of the brightest minds among the young men of our communities. With this thought in view, let us strive faithfully to work in harmony with nature's mode of action, and the bars which guard the wealth of soil and the accumulation of man's toil will fly open at our bidding.
Check the tongue and curb the temper,
Hold no malice 'gainst another,
Learn to have true charity.
GEORGE W. CROCHERON.
SOME LEADING EVENTS IN THE CURRENT
STORY OF THE WORLD.
BY DR. J. M. TANNER, SUPERINTENDENT OF CHURCH SCHOOLS.
The Revolution in Panama.
Panama is one of the states forming the republic of Colombia, with which country the United States entered into a treaty for the construction of a canal across the isthmus of Panama at its narrowest place. In dealing with the republic, the United States have been most generous; besides an annual rent, this country offered to pay down ten million dollars. When the treaty thus formed was submitted to the Colombian congress at Bogota, its capital, the treaty, though generous in every respect, was treated with a haughty disdain, and an almost silent contempt. Colombia wanted more. For while it acted as though it was not certain whether it wanted a canal dug across the isthmus at all, notwithstanding its great importance to the world's commerce.
This Colombian congress adjourned on the last of October, but just before adjournment gave its President power to make other treaties or contracts for the construction of the canal. It wanted twenty million dollars, instead of ten million. It wanted one hundred and fifty thousand dollars a year till 1967, and four hundred thousand a year thereafter; and at the end of one hundred years, Colombia was to have the canal. Such terms, of course, were impossible. The people of this country felt generally as though it were a system of blackmail, and the Colombians were given to understand that their demands were entirely out of ques
On the third of November, only four days after the adjourn
ment of the congress, the state of Panama revolted, and set up an independent government. Its reasons for the separation was the refusal of Colombia to ratify the treaty with the United States. The people of the isthmus declared that Colombia had wholly ignored their interests, and they asked that their separate and independent government be recognized by the United States.
This country, as soon as Panama had established a government of its own, complied with Panama's request, and at once sent her battleships to the isthmus for the purpose of enforcing treaty obligations entered into in 1846 with the United States and New Granada (now known as Colombia). Those treaty stipulations are as follows:
The United States guarantee positively and efficaciously to New Granada the perfect neutrality of the before-mentioned isthmus, with the view that the free transit from the one to the other sea may not be interrupted or embarrassed in any future time while this treaty exists; and in consequence, the United States also guarantee in the same manner the rights of sovereignty and property which New Granada has and possesses over the said territory.
In pursuance of the above stipulations, the United States now proposes that there shall be no bloodshed or civil war on the isthmus; that means that Panama shall be guaranteed her independence by the United States. Two results may come from the present situation: the United States may enter into new treaties with Panama for the construction of a canal, after her independence has been recognized, or steps may be taken culminating in the annexation of the isthmus by this country. In any event, Colombia's attempt to hold up this country will prove wholly unsuccessful, and she will lose all that she might otherwise have enjoyed. by the generous offer made to her by the United States.
As the United States has recognized the government of Panama, and declared its intention to prevent war between the revolutionists and the parent government, Colombia is virtually informed that she must keep her hands off Panama. It is not likely, under the circumstances, that the latter will undertake to coerce the state of Panama into subjection. The only practical access that Colombia would have to the isthmus would be by sea, as the coun
try between Bogota, the capital of Colombia, and Panama, is almost impassable. In case of war, troops would have to be transported by land from Bogota to Buena Ventura, and then by sea to some one of the ports along the isthmus. Our ships would undoutedly prevent the landing of any Colombian troops, and thus we have really assured Panama her independence. The question naturally arises, would we have pursued a similar course if the treaty for the construction of the Panama canal had not been up for consideration and been rejected by the Colombians? Would we have regarded it as a domestic turmoil in which we had no particular interest, so long as the traffic by railroad across the isthmus was not disturbed?
The announcement from Washington, November 12, that Democratic senators had determined to oppose the ratification of a canal treaty with the new republic of Panama, should the administration enter into treaty stipulations with that country, plainly indicates that our position with respect to Panama is likely to become an issue between the leading political parties of this country.
Foreign governments are not at all likely to interfere, although it is said an appeal was made to Germany. France will be very glad to recognize the new republic, providing its canal company rights are acknowledged. This country was to have paid France forty million dollars for the work already done, but the republic of Colombia demands, in case of a treaty between this country and Colombia, that the French company pay the latter ten million dollars. Now that we have these South American difficulties on our hands, it is hardly likely that we shall be so persistent in pressing our claims upon Russia for an open door policy in Manchuria; especially will this be true if we annex Panama. It would really appear as if the present policy of the United States were the entering wedge of our direct interference in the interests of peace, order, and commerce in the republics of Central and South America.
Dowie in New York.
John Alexander Dowie is a Scotchman who left his native country and went to Australia, and who, about the time of the