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A VERSE FOR TODAY
And the Lord said unto Moses, Take thee27:18._________________________________
Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the
spirit, and lay thine hand upon hem.--Numbers
Opportunities in the cultivation of medicinal plants, growing out of the wartime blocades, centers at- tention upon the experimental garden of the School
of Pharmacy at the University of Florida, particular-
ly since Prof. E. H. Wirth of the University of Illi-
nois College of Pharmacy called attention a few days
ago to the possibilities awaiting agricultural special-
ists in this connection.
The Florida School of Pharmacy has cultivated an experimental garden for years in which are raised many medicinal plants for the purpose of familiarizing students with their appearance and properties.
Attention previously has been directed in these columns to the industry that has been developed in Florida in the gathering and marketing of medicinal plants that grow wild in almost every part of the State. This industry has been making some headway
for many years, and the State Department of Agriculture has published a special booklet in which descriptions, in words and pictures are given of most of the plants.
But because it is a highly specialized business from which the returns are not sufficient to attract "gold rushes," the gathering of the medicinal plants has not progressed to the point that is possible under the urge of national need in an emergency. Even now, as the Illinois professor points out, although prices have skyrocketed since the war blocked the Nation's normal source of plant drugs produced by cheap European labor, the growing of such specialties is no gold mine for the inexperienced.
He warns that the cultivation of such plants is a scientific agricultural project. Drug plants are subject to the same diseases and are affected by variations in soil and climate as other crops.
They require considerable labor in soil preparation, cultivation, and weeding, and perhaps more than other crops in harvesting and drying. Also prices, which are high now, may drop sharply when the war ends and foreign sources are reopened.
Some medicinal leaves which were selling for 19 and 15 cents a pound five years ago are now bringing from $2.25 to $2.75, but even this lure should not lead anyone to get into the business without careful investigation and planning......
The Hartford Courant says that the confiscation of the Government of all automobiles, trucks and tires now privately owned is not as entirely fantastic prospect. "The possibilities exist that before the war is over the need of the armed forces and of the in -dustrial workers providing them with materials of war maybe so pressing as to require the transfer to them of the vehicles and tires now being used byindividuals who can, in a pinch, get about by other means."
The Courant tells of a bill offered in the Senate by Mr. Downey, of California, which would empower
the Government to requisition such property on pay- ment of compensation not to exceed a total of five billion dollars. The idea is advanced by Mr. Downey's proposal, that the Government may need the automo- biles, besides the hundreds of thousands which it continues to build for the armed forces and em- ployees. And it very naturally sets up the possibility
if not the probability, of such a movement. The fact that the Government probably could take anything and everything the people have, if needed for war, doesn't seem to have occurred to the California senator.
"Whether or not Senator Downey's bill will be passed by Congress may depend upon the attitude of the rationing autorities," the Courant sugggests, "but the situation is not so urgent as to require instant action. It is thought that there would be opportunity for a more thorough investigation of the problem than has been made in other similar matters. Certainly no action should be taken legislative or otherwise, until a convincing case has been made for the need of it."
"Not only is requisitioning a grave step in itself," says the Connecticut newspaper. "When it involves automobiles it involves a possession that has more than usual significance. An automobile is property
of considerable value. Furthermore, it is an almost indespensible means of transportation for many in modern conditions. In addition, it has come to have social significance; it is a symbol of security and of prestige greater, in many minds, than ownership of a home.
We don't believe that the Courant's suggestion that the automobile is of such social importance is far; but the automobile is very necessary for many who have bought or built homes in the suburbs, and depend upon the private motor vehicle for necessary visits to town and elsewhere. The people of the country would make no protest if the Government really needed their cars. The people have not protested to any great extent when threatened with a limited use of gasoline. But they will chafe under regulations which prevent their using the family car, for business or pleasure, by taking the cars away from them, when seeing the Government driving thousands and thousands of cars around while continuing to make them for the armed forces............
The Titusville Star-Advocate, commenting upon a matter of major interst to many Floridia commun- ities, states: "You can rent your house during tourist season and still claim it is your homestead and there- by benefit from the State's homestead tax exemp- tion law. This interesting point in law was made official last week by the Florida Supreme Court.
It is a practice among many Florida home owners in tourist centers to move out of their homes for a portion or all of the Winter tourist season, benefitting from the handsome rentals many Northern people are willing to pay for short occupancy. The highest court in the State expressed the opinion that because the family always returns to their home, the practice does not constitute abandonment of the homestead.
"An estimated three million tons of scrap metal, available for war uses," comments The Key West Citizen, "is now laying around American homes and farmyards, although some openhearths and electic furnaces are idle for lack of scrap. Despite much publicity, there has been no organized effort to col- lect scrap metal in many sections of the United States, particularly in the smaller towns and cities of the Middle WEst and South. In manyh of these places, there are no commercial dealers in scrap metal available for the war effort. The same sit- uation exists, to a large extent, in regard to efforts to salvage scrap paper, fats and other materials. The program developed by those in authority may be ideally devised for metropolitan areas, but apparently overlooks conditions that exist in thousands of small cities and towns in the country.
At least one of Florida's early railroads, the Tal-
ahassee-St Marks Railroad, seems to have prospered from its beginning. It was operated at first by horse -drawn equipment. But in a year or thereabout, in consequence of the increased business in transporta -tion, a steam locomotive was procured and put in service, sometime in December, 1837. The engine performed so well on the first trip or two; how-
ever, on December 28, 1837, just as it was starting from the Tallahassee depot for the run to St. Marks the cap of the boiler exploded with a deafening re- port. Fortunately no one was injured by the acci-
dent though bystanders fled in panice believing the worse was yet to come. The explosion was caused
by a defect in workmanship, the iron being too thin with a small fracture left in the cap. Several days were required to repair the engine for service. So
far as we know this was the first steam railroad accident in Florida. ---T. FREDERICK DAVIS.
In an interesting editorial dealing with represen- tation of veterans and sons of veterans in the Na-
tion's armed services, The Bartow Record recently noted a condition which is doubtless being dupli-
cated many times over throught America. Said
The Record: The Knowles G. Oglesby Post of the American Legion and its junior organization, Sons of the Legion, possess an imposing record of represen- tation in the armed forces. In fact, the record is so impressive it provides an ambitious mark for most
of the Legion posts in the State. A little more than
a week ago, Bartow was the scene of the first district Legion conference and at that assembly one of the Tampa posts -- much larger, incidentally, than the one here -- good naturedly jibed the Bartowans be-
cause they were representated by 19 Sons of the Legion members in the armed services whereas Bartow 's total was 18........
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