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ternational affairs have been united into a diplomatic council within the department of foreign affairs. The duties of the council are to execute the acts of Pan-American conferences, to furnish the Pan-American Union any information of use to it, and to study national questions for the guidance of the Department of Foreign Affairs.
According to figures recently made public, the population on December 31, 1921, was 662,422.
On November 15th Honduras notified the League of Nations of its intention to withdraw from the body.
A law passed by the legislature of Vera Cruz levying a 2% tax on all oil products in the state has been declared invalid by the Federal authorities on the ground that the right to tax oil belongs exclusively to the Federal Government.
Senor Gustavo Lainz de Sicilia, leader of the Fascisti movement in Mexico claims on a basis of a present estimated membership of 100,000 that within six months the organization will have more than one million members. Unlike the corresponding Italian organization, the Mexican Fascisti has not been organized on a military basis, but will confine its efforts to an economic control of the government.
Another recent political clique is a league having as its purpose the collective interests of villages relative to land titles, and the restitution of public land.
The 1923 budget calls for a larger expenditure for education than for the war department, the former being allowed 45,000,000 pesos while the latter received 33,000,000 pesos.
Rather than contract a debt of ten million dollars as advocated by the government, the National Assembly has decided to dispose of six million dollars worth of New York City real estate which had been purchased with funds obtained from the Panama Canal agreements with the United States. This action leaves Panama without national debt.
Preliminary steps have been taken toward settling boundary questions between Peru and Educator and between Peru and Colombia.
A commission, at present, is engaged in the reformation of the civil code. It has been decided that the revised code shall consist of an introduction and five sections devoted to individuals, family rights, public rights, inheritances, and obligations, and contracts.
Juan Bautista Vicini Burgos has been appointed provisional President by the Domincian Commission. American troops will not be withdrawn, however, until a constitutional government has been established.
The recent elections have placed Senor Jose Serrato, candidate of the Colorado party, in the President's chair.
On June 19, 1922, a new constitution for Venezuela was published superseding that of 1914 which had been in operation just six days more than eight years.
The National Congress has passed a law governing the appointment, promotion, suspension, and responsibility of members of the diplomatic corps.
EDITED BY B. F. WRIGHT, JR.
University of Texas
NOTES FROM ARKANSAS
PREPARED BY THEODORE G. GRONERT
University of Arkansas
Governor Thomas C. McRae's message to the Fortyfourth General Assembly stressed the problems of taxation and education. The governor called attention to the inadequacy of the present property tax to meet the educational needs of the state. The message points out that the total amount raised for educational purposes by the general property tax amounts to $11.46 per annum for each child of school age, an actual per capita levy on the total population of $5.11 per annum. The present per capita outlay for education, the governor points out, is manifestly inadequate and the way out must be found in new and better taxing methods. As a solution for the problem the message suggests that the state property tax be taken off, and each county be made an administration unit to levy such property taxes as are required for local purposes. To facilitate administration, it is further suggested that the township assessor's office be abolished and that county boards of equalization be established in their stead.
The most significant section of the message dealt with the constructive suggestions on taxation. In lieu of the state property tax the governor suggested a levy on intangibles, on corporate and individual incomes and the application of franchise and severance taxes. Regarding the revenue anticipated from the severance and business taxes the message states: “Our entire educational system should be supported by severance taxes on all our resources and, in addition a personal profit or business tax should be placed on individuals and partnerships. The fund derived from
these two taxes to be dedicated and set apart for educational purposes.” The governor calls attention to the need for constructive measures dealing with agricultural education, conservation, and child welfare. The message also emphasizes the need of constructive highway legislation if the state hopes to receive any additional Federal aid. To provide funds for such highway improvement it is suggested that the motor tax be increased, and that a sales tax be levied on gasoline.
The governor's message suggested the submission of a constitutional amendment restricting local legislation and the condition in the Forty-fourth General Assembly would seem to justify the suggestion. The records show that up to February 25 a total of 1342 bills had been introduced in the legislature, of which approximately 1300 were special or local bills.
Up to the date, February 28, very few general laws of significance have been up for final consideration. Two bills that attracted state wide attention had to do with the University. The first bill providing for the removal of the Agricultural School from Fayetteville to Russellville was warmly debated in the lower house but was defeated by a majority of fifteen. The second bill providing for a referendum on the question as to whether the University should remain at its present location or be removed to Little Rock, Little Rock to guarantee a fund of $1,000,000 for land and buildings, was also up for final consideration. After a committee of the House had acted unfavorably on the referendum, the Senate committee reported favorably and the upper house proceeded to a consideration of the bill. The opposition moved to postpone the bill indefinitely and after sharp debate the motion to postpone was carried by a vote of 17 to 15. The proponents of the measure announced after the vote that they would appeal the removal question directly to the people through the Initiative and Referendum.
A general act was passed by both houses providing that railroads within the state should furnish free passes to the members of the General Assembly. Railroad officers assert that they will be governed by the decisions of the courts on this unusual “pass legislation.”
A severance tax along the lines suggested in the governor's message was one of the first general acts passed. This law places a tax of 21/2% on practically all products severed from the soil or waters of the state. Two products, bauxite and lumber, are specifically excepted from the 21/2% levy. In lieu of such levy, bauxite is taxed at the rate of 25 cents a ton and lumber at the rate of seven cents per one thousand feet.
NOTES FROM OKLAHOMA
PREPARED BY MIRIAM E. OATMAN
OKLAHOMA'S NINTH LEGISLATURE.—After two years of experience with a state government in which the governor and the senate were Democratic while the house of representatives was Republican, Oklahoma has elected a Demus cratic governor pledged to the program of the Farmer-Labor Reconstruction League, and a legislature whose houses are both Democratic. Within the ranks in each house there is division between the “old line” Democrats, who accuse Governor Walton and his supporters of “radicalism," and the Democrats who support the administration. The latter element appears to be the stronger.
Governor Robertson's Message. On Tuesday, January 2, the Ninth Oklahoma Legislature convened in Oklahoma City. The retiring Governor, J. B. A. Robertson, sent to the legislature a lengthy message, in which he urged the establishment of intermediate courts, or district courts of appeal, in order to relieve the congestion of the supreme court docket, which is now three years behind schedule. Other recommendations include the repeal of the present law setting a limit of $200,000 to the deficiency certificates which may be certified by the governor during any fiscal year, changes in the management of the bank guaranty fund, and a general increase in the salaries of state officers,