Owing to a number of disconnected causes - to the inability of the railroads to handle readily all of the freight' offered, to improvements in automobiles, and to the use of cement for road-building - more attention than ever before is now being given to water and wagon-road traffic. Thinking people are becoming convinced that the United States should no longer neglect the natural transportation facilities furnished by the Mississippi River and its tributaries. To that end the national and state governments, as well as individuals and corporations, are studying how these rivers may be used to the best advantage. The states, stimulated by the desire of owners of pleasure cars for an all-the-year-round service, are constructing hard roads. Already in some sections automobile trucks are carrying freight between neighboring cities. It is not too much to expect - in fact it has already been proved practicable - that the future will see the automobile an active competitor of railroads in hauling freight as well as passengers.