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PRISON TWINE PLANT.

It is needless to refer here to the success of the Prison Twine Plant, to speak of its benefits to our large agricultural interests, and, as well, to the State itself. It is, however, necessary to call your attention and that of the Legislature to the efforts that are being made to turn its success into failure, and our farmers over to the tender mercies of the combination that seeks its undoing.

It is an open secret that the efforts of this combination to manufacture a binding twine from flax fibre are directed solely against the plant at the Prison, and are not for the benefit of the great agricultural interests of the Northwest, as it would have us believe.

Stimulated by the success of the Prison twine plant in Minnesota, other states are, and still others are contemplating, installing similar plants for the purpose of supplying twine for local consumption. No one has been more quick to see in these rapidly-developing conditions its speedy downfall than has the twine trust, and no expense or effort is being spared to stem the tide so steadily and surely setting against it. It is not only expending millions of dollars, but has a small army of men employed investigating, experimenting and inventing new machinery in the hope that it may yet be able to compel the State to retire from business by the introduction of a flax fibre twine at so low a price that the State cannot compete. If it succeeds, it hopes to recoup its experimental expenses and add largely to its profits by raising prices, which experience tells us the Farm Machinery Combination, of which the twine trust is an offspring, is not slow to do when opportunity is given. Even now, such is the feeling of the Farm Machinery Combinaton against the Prison Plant that some of its agents are refusing to supply their customers with repairs for harvesters unless they use the trust twine in their operation. What, then, will prevent it from still further avenging itself upon those patrons of prison twine who have failed for so many years to pay tribute to it by doubling present prices once the Prison Plant is out of existence ?

It is true that the Combination strenuously maintains that it is working solely for the public good; that it has no hostility to the prison· made twine, etc., etc., but actions in this case, as in many others, speak

louder than words. It knows that the law requiring the sale of Prison twine in this state, as it now stands, is a serious handicap to those in charge; that the twine cannot be sold to dealers until May 1 and outside of the state until July 1; that in all its contracts with the farmers the State guarantees prices and that orders may be canceled at any time before shipment. It is also within its knowledge that no prudent farmer or wide-awake dealer waits for May 1 or July 1 to provide for his supply

of bindng twine. It proposes to fill surrounding states with twine and twine orders early in the season, and then concentrate its attack upon the Minnesota twine plant, bound hand and foot by the above provisions, when it looks for an easy victory.

We most earnestly but respectfully ask that all restrictions as to the sale of Prison twine without the state be removed by law; that it be left to the Board of Control and the Warden of the Prison to determine when and to what extent it shall be so sold. If we must have war with the twine trust, give us "an open field and a fair fight." No one has the interests of the twine plant more at heart than the Board and the Warden; they will take no radical action unless forced to do so.

We further recommend a modification of the present law authorizing the sale of twine to dealers on and after March 1. It is proposed to increase the output from four to six million pounds during the coming two years. This should and will enable us to supply many of the retail dealers throughout the state.

The retail dealers in agricultural implements are a large body of representative citizens, as a rule friendly to the state plant and entitled to consideration. With the proposed increase in output we believe sales can be made to them on and after March 1 without materially interfering with individual and club orders. There is a growing feeling among consumers that it is better, easier, and in the long run cheaper to pay the dealers the 1c profit allowed by law than to be put to the trouble and annoyance incident to club orders.

MANUFACTURE OF AGRICULTURAL MACHINERY.

The question of the manufacture of agricultural machinery at the Prison was a live issue during the last session of the Legislature, but no definite action was taken. The question is an important one and deserves attention of the law-making powers. If the Farm Machinery Combination, through its agents, persists in refusing to sell extras to those using Prison twine, it may become necessary for the State to take some action looking to a supply from other sources.

We recommend that the Board of Control and the Warden be directed to carefully investigate conditions as they now are or may hereafter develop, and if in their judgment such step is necessary and for the best interests of the State, they shall submit their conclusions, with such information as may have been obtained, to the Governor, and upon his written approval be empowered to enter upon the manufacture of such machinery in connection with the twine plant, using such portion of the accumulated revolving fund thereof as may be necessary for that purpose and as may be approved by the Governor.

INMATES' FUNDS.

There is at the present time in the hands of the Superintendents of the twelve institutions under this Board nearly fifty thousand dollars belonging to these funds. The Superintendents are personally liable for the safe-keeping of these separate funds, and give bonds therefor. This practice entails upon them a large degree of responsibility for which they receive no compensation, and in the case of bank failures or other misfortune by which the money is lost, works great hardship upon them.

The place for these funds is in the state treasury. A law permitting so large a sum of money, for which the State is morally, at least, responsible, to unnecessarily remain in the hands of our superintendents, is founded upon error, and should be repealed.

We recommend that a law be passed requiring all such funds to be turned into the state treasury monthly, as are other miscellaneous receipts, and treated as a special fund, to be paid out only upon proper vouchers approved by the Board. The law should provide for the usual contingent fund in an amount to be fixed by the Board.

DORMITORIES FOR NURSES.

The two dormitories for women nurses authorized to be built at Fergus Falls and St. Peter are rapidly nearing completion, and will soon be occupied. The necessity for these buildings having been fully established, we have no doubt the coming Legislature will authorize the construction and equipment of a companion building at the Rochester Hospital where it is as much of a necessity as at the other institutions.

INDUSTRIAL SCHOOL FOR GIRLS.

Treating this subject in our last biennial report, we said in part:

"We sincerely trust that the Legislature at the coming session will provide for the removal of the girls now committed to the State Training School to an institution to be provided for and known as 'State Industrial School for Girls.' The Legislature of 1901, without opposition, inserted in the General Appropriation Act a paragraph directing and empowering the Board of Control of State Institutions to establish such school, and appropriating money therefor.

"The Board called for proposals for sites for such school, receiving many desirable responses thereto, and were about to establish the same upon one of such sites, when prevented from so doing by action in court commenced by the citizens of Red Wing. We especially regret this action on their part, as the law did not contemplate, or the board intend to remove any buildings or property from Red Wing, simply the wayward girls and their personal belongings. The court, however, decided that the paragraph in question was unconstitutional because of defective title to the act, and so prevented further action on the part of the board.

"The proximity of the girls' department to that of the boys is not only detrimental, but a positive hindrance to the success of either. They should be entirely and effectually separated from each other by long distance, so that a meeting between the sexes, while inmates of the institution, or in going to‘or returning from the same, would be a physical impossibility.”

Experience confirms us in the position then taken. There is a strong, growing public sentiment throughout the state favorable to the establishment of such an institution, and we believe immediate action should be taken by the Legislature favorable thereto.

The building now occupied by the girls can be used to good advantage after it is vacated by them. A gymnasium is badly needed for the boys; also additional dormitories and playgrounds, to enable a better and more intellgent classification and consequent effective separation of the vicious classes from those more responsive to reformatory influences.

REIMBURSEMENT OF THE SUPERINTENDENT OF THE SCHOOL FOR FEEBLE

MINDED AND COLONY FOR EPILEPTICS.

Until two years ago, when a change in the system was made by the Legislature, the Superintendent of this institution had to assume the duty of receiving and becoming responsible for the clothing fund and miscellaneous receipts at his institution. These funds were by him deposited in the First National Bank of Faribault, which failed. At the time of the failure there was $6,756.32 in the clothing fund and $745.43 in miscellaneous funds, The following is an account of the dividends received and the balance that will be due on the dates stated :

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(al 6 per cent interest from June 4, 1906, to Feb. 4, 1917. on $1.267.99, at Security Bank, and same interest from same period on $1.267.518 at Citizen's National Bank, Faribault.

(b) 5 per cent interest on $596.35 at Citizen's National Bank from Nov. 9, 1905, to Jan. 22, 126.

(c) 6 per cent interest on $110.00 at Citizen's National Bank from Jan. 22, 1906. to Feb. 4, 1917.

There will be an additional dividend declared, somewhat reducing this loss. It is supposed that this final dividend will be 20 per cent, but no one knows exactly.

We would request that the necessary appropriation be made to reimburse the Superintendent for this loss, as it would hardly be fair to expect him to assume the burden of this loss, since it would take his salary for upwards of a year.

The necessary appropriation is asked for in the general table.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR APPROPRIATIONS.

Sec. 1883, Revised Laws 1905, requires the Board of Control to “prepare for the use of the legislature biennial estimates of appropriations necessary or expedient for the support of said several institutions," etc., etc.

In complying with this provision of the law, we have in all cases been actuated by a desire to recommend only such appropriations as in our judgment were actually necessary and in line with modern ideas of caring for state charges; to give due consideration to the necessities of institutions other than those under our charge; to have in mind all other purposes for which appropriations must be made; and at the same time keep well within the available resources of the state. To this course we shall steadily adhere, whatever the results may be.

It has been the hope of the board that by pursuing this conservative course it might in time gain the confidence of the people and the legislature to the extent that its recommendations based upon experience and a careful study of the situation would have more than ordinary consideration.

The legislatures of 1903 and 1905 in their wisdom made appropriations aggregating $890,384.42 for increasing the capacity as to numbers of the university, the experiment station and the normal schools, being an average of $127,197.77, while for the five institutions for the insane, school for feeble-minded and colony for epileptics, state public school, state train. ing school, schools for the blind and the deaf, prison and the reformatory, twelve in all, but $448,120 was allowed, being an average of $37,343.33, which means that practically 6612 per cent of the available resources of the state for these purposes went to the seven educational institutions mentioned, while but 3342 per cent was left for the other twelve charitable institutions of the state.

Whether this policy shall continue, whether it is right or along humanitarian lines, is a question that only the legislature and the governor have power to determine. Whatever appropriations are given us for the purpose will be expended economically; as many people will be cared for as crowded limits permit and as well clothed and fed as the amount allowed us will warrant, leaving all responsibility as to lack of accommodations with the powers upon which it is conferred by law.

To the subject of recommendations for appropriations for new buildings and repairs for the coming biennial period the board has given the

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