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American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government


The New York Times
December 3, 1922

They Are Organizing a Nation-Wide Movement to Bring About Passage of Temple Bill.

The Federated American Engineering Societies are organizing a nation-wide movement to bring about the passage by Congress of the Temple bill, introduced to meet what is called by engineers and geological experts a grave situation in topographic mapping.  The Engineering Federation is forming a State administrative committee in every State to work with State geologists.

Needless expenditures made each year in the absence of maps would pay for the complete mapping of the United States, according to a statement urging public interest made public here by Dean Mortimer E. Cooley of the University of Michigan, President of the Engineering Federation.  The Temple bill authorizes the mapping of the country within the next twenty years.  National development, it is asserted, is being retarded by the slow progress of mapping and co-operation between the Federal Government and the States is being held up.

Many millions are being spent on highways, in addition to large sums on related engineering work involving surveys, the statement points out, adding that this expense would be reduced to a minimum if standard topographic maps were available in advance.  The need is just as pressing in the thickly populated States of the East as it is in the less populous regions of the South and West.  Topographic maps, it is said, are becoming increasingly necessary in the removal of surplus water from fertile lands in valleys and swamps.  Duplication in surveys could be eliminated, land made more productive and health and sanitation improved.

It is probable that no action can be had at the special session of Congress, and an effort will be made to pass legislation at the next regular session.  Local committees in towns and cities all over the country will work with the State and national organizations set up by the Federated American Engineering Societies with the co-operation of civic bodies and individuals.  Support of Senators and Representatives will be sought.  The director of the United States Geological Survey is working with the federation, which will urge the Appropriations Committee of the House to report the Temple bill without cutting the estimates.

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