TO DISCUSS IRRIGATION.
The thirteenth annual meeting of the National Irrigation congress, with more than 1,000 delegates present, representing more than four-fifths of the States in the Union, assembled on August 21 at the Lewis and Clark auditorium, Portland, Ore. Governor George C. Pardee, of California, president of the congress, called the convention to order. Governor Chamberlain, of Oregon, welcomed the delegates. Governor Pardee summarised the work before the congress in his annual address. He said in part: “A new branch of government activity, the reclamation service, has been established and is organised in a manner which gives promise of the highest efficiency. Itt it has Been assembled a force of 400 engineers, assistants and experts, all chosen absolutely without regard to politics, and appointed after competitive civil service examinations. It is, I am satisfied, the strongest single corps of the kind ever put into the field for a similar purpose. If wc have not yet obtained the money in quite such abundance as we have obtained the men, we have at least made a start, for we have $30,000,000, the proceeds of land sales in the arid States, and with this fund nearly a score of large undertakings have been started in a dozen States. Some of them already are well under way. So I am now able to congratulate you, this thirteenth National Irrigation congress, that, for the first time, we have national irrigation as an actual test, and not, as it so long remained, merely an ideal. A message from President Roosevelt to the congress was read by Gifford Pinchot, chief forester of the United States. The President reviewed the importance of reclamation work in the development of the country, and counseled patience until the operation of the reclamation act should become more extensive. The importance and wide scope of the act was dwelt on, the President pointing out that the act unites East and West, and that it enforces the principle of the greatest good to the greatest number, but gives each man land enough to support his family in comfort.’ ”
Near V isalia. Cal., an explosion of gasolene started a fire, which destroyed a dwelling place, with all its contents.