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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/166

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154
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

which could take the whole on but a small portion of its area not yet under the plow.

The only additional measure which would then be required would be one which must come in any event—namely, the neutralization of the ports of export and import of food in the United States and Great Britain and in such other countries as may choose to join, together with the neutralization of a ferry or sea way for the transportation of the food, wherein no hostile shot should be fired and no seizure of private property permitted on the part of any nation, the condition of this understanding being that if any other nation ventured to question or contest this dedication of a neutral way for the conveyance of food to the purposes of peace, the navies of Great Britain and of the United States would be united to force its acceptance, and to sweep from the ocean the fleet of every state or nation which ventured to contest this measure. That would be a suitable measure for beginning to make a right use of navies—for the protection of commerce and for the destruction of every fleet or vessel which did not accept the principle that private property not contraband of war should be exempt from seizure upon the high seas, coupled with a declaration limiting contraband of war so that it may never be made to include customary articles of commerce, especially food, not now contraband.

 

The foregoing text was set in type and one hundred advance proof sheets were supplied, which have been sent by the writer to the Secretaries of Agriculture and the chiefs of the Agricultural Experiment Stations in all the States to which we look for any considerable product of wheat. The replies are so complete and so numerous as to make it impossible to incorporate a full digest of the whole case within the limits of the present article. A supplement will be prepared for a later number of this journal, in which this information will be tabulated. For the present purpose I may avail myself only of a part of the data which have been sent to me.

1. The evidence suffices to prove that there is not a State named above which could not set apart five thousand square miles for the cultivation of wheat in a rotation of four without trenching in the slightest degree upon any other crop. 2. In previous essays, in which I have dealt with the potential of the agriculture of this country, I have very guardedly computed but one half our total area of three million square miles (omitting Alaska) as being arable land, suitable for the plow. The returns now in my hands would render it suitable to increase that area to two thirds, or two million square miles subject to cultivation. 3. The area now under the plow for the pro-