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American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government


The New York Times
April 19, 1914

Several Express Their Views to Three A's on Federal Aid.

When the United States Senate Committee on Post Offices and Post Roads reports on the Federal aid good roads measure which found approval in the House of Representatives, it will probably be followed by a thorough debate on the most effective plan obtainable, when the subject is approached from a national viewpoint.  Recent replies from Senators to a communication sent to them by George C. Diehl, Chairman of the A. A. A. National Good Roads Board, indicate a quite positive interest of the members of the other branch Congress.  Among those who have not hesitated to express pronounced views on the subject is Senator Lane of Oregon, who said recently.

"I would like to see a plan devised by which main highways of the country would be constructed by the Government, making use of the army engineers in the construction, and have the States, through use of the prisoners, build feeders to them."

Senator Smoot of Utah gave this summation of the subject:

"I will frankly state that I am opposed to the so-called Shackleford Roads bill, for I believe that it is nothing more or less than a pork-barrel measure.  I am in favor of good roads legislation, but before embarking upon it I believe it is the duty of Congress to agree on a comprehensive plan which will not only benefit the States, but the nation."

Senator Shepard of Texas said:

"I am in favor of people's legislation along this line.  I will go thoroughly into the matter at the earliest possible opportunity.  The Senate Committee on Agriculture, of which I am a member, has reported a Good Roads bill, and it is now on the calendar."

Senator Weeks of Massachusetts said:

"Personally, I believe that roads should be constructed by local communities, but I am well aware of the fact that we have reached a point where we are almost certain to have national legislation.  That being the case my desire is that the money be so appropriated, under a definite plan, that waste may be prevented and the best possible results obtained."

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