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Address by Honorable Franklin K. Lane, Secretary of the Interior at Conference of Regional Chairmen of the Highways Transport Committee Council of National Defense
written by "United States. Council of National Defense. Highways Transport Committee"
...ly requires large capital. Then come farther east and take these lands that are swamp, that need draining, and build ditches and dikes and put these lands into the service of America. This is what I call the making of the nation. That land should tie up with all other land. Means of communication should be a part of that general scheme. We should have as good roads between the little farms in Mississippi or in South Carolina or in Northern Minnesota as we have in Maryland or in California. There is a work—the work that I have in mind, and for which Congress has made a small and tentative appropriation—the work of surveying this country and seeing how many of this Nation's land resources have not been mobilized and how best they can be used for providing homes for these men who come back, as well as adding to the wealth of the world. There is a work that ties up directly with your work, because I want to have small communities in which men have small acreages of land, not to speculate with but to cultivate; and these acreages are to center in small communities where men can talk together and profit by their own mistakes and their own successes and where those small communities will be tied up with all neighboring communities, so that there will be easy access between all parts of the country. Good roads and a rural express must be had. If you can help the Government in building good roads for little money or show how a rural express can be most profitably developed, you will be helping in the making of a new America. And I can conceive of a United States that will be as rich per acre as France; in which the people will be divided into small communities, industrial communities as well as agricultural; for every one [7]of these little places ought to have its own creamery, its own cannery. The farmer is the poorest man in the world to develop any kind of cooperative scheme. He needs assistance and is always hampered by the ...

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