Taft decides to guard public lands as T.R. did

WASHINGTON, May 8, 1909 (UP) - It was learned Saturday that President Taft and his cabinet discussed thoroughly the whole Roosevelt conservation policy when the dispute between Secretary Wilson and Secretary Ballinger came up Friday in cabinet meeting. It is said that the president told his advisors he wanted it understood that he favored the Roosevelt idea, and wanted all of his official family to work to that end.

Conservation, he said, was one of the greatest policies that had been evolved by the past president.


Ballinger agreed again to withdraw from entry the large tracts of land he restored as soon as he had information that they contained water power sites.

The president, it is understood, told the secretary of the interior he wanted no more restorations made until congress should have time to act. The lands had been withdrawn and the mistake made, if there was a mistake, he held, and it was unnecessary to take any action that would permit land-grabbers to get hold of such public domain as the administration wanted to conserve for the people.

Secretary Ballinger is understood to have told the president and cabinet he would be glad to follow out this suggestion.


No decision was reached on the question of legality Friday, because both sides wanted more time to file briefs giving their interpretation of the government's right to withdraw lands.

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