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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Feb. 22, 1901)
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VOL. I. NO. 5.
LINCOLN, NEBRASKA, FEBRUARY 22, 1901.
$1.00 a Year.
Afllietm J. Bryarii
Editor and Proprietor.
A Prosperous Trust.
The par value of a share of stock in the Stand
Oil Company is $100. Since the republican vic
tory of 1890, the market value of Standard Oil
stock has "been steadily increasing. Soon after
the election of 1890 this stock was quoted at 200
per share. In February, 1899, it sold for $439
per share; in February, 1900, it sold at $512 per
share; in September of 1900 it dropped back to
$500 per share. But after "confidence" was
once more restored by a republican victory, this
stock went u? to $000 per share. In January,
1001, it sold for $'794. On February 4, it sold at
$805, and the latest quotation at hand is $815.
When one reads the record of recent dividends
declared by this great concern, it is not difficult
to understand why the market value of the stock
has increased so rapidly.
The capital stock of the Standard Oil Company
is $100,000,000. In 1891, 1892, 1893, 1894
and 1895, the Standard Oil Company paid divi
dends amounting for each year to $12 on each
share of stock. In 1890 the dividends amounted to
$31 per share; in 1897 they were $33 per share; in
the month of January, 1900, they were $20 per
share; in April, 1000, the dividends amounted to
$10 per share; in July, $8 per share; in Novem
ber, $10 per share; and the company has now de
clared a dividend payable March 15th of $20 per
This latest dividend means the payment of
$20,000,000 upon the $100,000,000 of capital
The total dividends paid by this company
for the entire year of 1900 amounted to $48,000,
000. 'The dividends to be paid on March 15th brings
the aggregate up to $08,000,000 of dividendspaid
upon a capital stock of $100,000,000 during a
period of fourteen months and fifteen days.
. It will be readily understood from the figures
why Standard Oil stock is quoted so high in the
But where will wo find an explanation, of a
condition that within a period of less than fifteen
months a concern whoso working capital is $100,
000,000 is enabled to roll up profits to the extent
This certainly indicates that the stockholders
of the Standard Oil Company are prosperous.
But someone must have paid this $08,000,000.
Who paid it?
The Representative's Duty.
The action of Hon. Soth W. Brown, a re
publican member of Congress from Ohio, in
introducing a Philippine resolution antagonistic
to the policy of his party raises the question:
What is the duty of a representative?
If Mr. Brown had been elected upon a plat
form declaring in favor of the permanent reten
tion of the Philippines bo could not have
introduced the resolution that he did (a resolution
promising independence to the Filipinos when a
capable and stable free government is established,)
without repudiating' the promises made to his
constituents. A platform is worse than useless
if it is not binding upon the conscience of the
representative, for if it is not obeyed it deceives the
voters. So longas the people are the sovereigns and
the representatives are the servants chosen, not to
think for them but to act for them, a platform
pledge should be sacredly observed. But Mr.
Brown was elected to congress in 1898 and was
not re-elected last year. At the time of his elec
tion the treaty with Spain had not been made and
his party had not announced any policy on the
Philippine question. The introduction, there
fore, of a resolution in lino with the democratic
position, but antagonistic to the position of the
administration cannot be considered as a betrayal
of the confidence of his constituents.
Mr. Brown also warns his party against any
attempt to repudiate the promise of independence
made to Cuba. Speaking of the resolutions
adopted by congress, ho says:
The roan who says we should have resorted to
this double dealing- in April, 1898, now very logically
and very naturally gops a 'step further and says, we
ought to violate the pledge we then made and take
Cuba whether she wants to come to us or not. What
more miserable, more inhuman, more unpatriotic
course could bo advocated? It is the climax of greed,
without one spark of conscience. It is the acme of
avarice, without a single redeeming feature. It is
the doctrine of a freebooter of the world. It is a code
of the pirate of all the seas.
In administering this warning the representa
tive from Ohio is also within his legal rights be
cause his party unanimously approved of the
pledge made in April, 1898, and has never openly
repudiated the pledge. As late as last summer
the republican national convention formally re
newed the promise. It is. encouraging to find a
republican member of Congress farsightcd enough
to see the dangers into which the administration
is hurrying the country.
Ex-Attorney General Harmon, of Mr. Cleve
land's cabinet, and Ex-Attorney General Miller,
of Mr. Harrison's cabinet, have recently suggested
the free list as a remedy for trusts. Such sug
gestions, coming from such high authority and
from such opposite sources, are encouraging as
showing a reaction against the high tariff doc
trine which has dominated republican councils.
That the trusts take advantage of a tariff wall is
no longer open to question; neither can it be dis
puted that much, extortion would be prevented by
placing every trust made article on the free list,
but this must not be accepted as a complete rem
edy. We find ourselves exporting every year a
larger variety of American manufactures, and
wherever a trust can export it can live and flourish
without the aid of a protective tariff. Whilo the
free list remedy would bo a step in the right direc
tion it must bo accompanied by other legislation
if private monopolies are to be exterminated. Aside
from tho imposition practiced upon the public in
the way of high prices, tho trust destroys indus
trial independence and places all employes in that
line of work at tho mercy of one employer.
A remedy to bo complete and satisfactory must
prevent tho establishment of a monopoly, for whilo
extortionate prices arc bad, a private monopoly was
declared by the Kansas City platform to bo both
indefensible and intolerable. Let trust made arti
cles be placed on tho free list, but to stop there
would bo a disappointment to those who are in
earnest in their opposition to private monopolies.
Let the Legislatures Act.
The people are nearly unanimous in their sup
port of tho proposition that United States Senator
should bo elected by a direct vote of the people.
Tho National House of Representatives has
three times adopted a resolution, practically with
out opposition, submitting the necessary consti
tutional amendment; a resolution is now before
the Senate and could be acted upon'ina few hours.
It is hardly probable that any senator would make
an argument against the resolution and certainly
no group of senators would filibuster against
it. If the state legislatures now in session would
act at once and urge their senators to call up tho
resolution and insist upon immediate action, tho
amendment might be submitted by this Congress.
It is worth while to try.
By What Authority ?
We are told that an extra session of Congress
will be necessary in order that tho Gubau consti
tution may be "ratified" or "rejected."
By what authority does-thc American Con
gress presume to pass upon the Cuban constitu
tion ? Unless the United States has sovereignty,
jurisdiction or control over the island of Cuba,
no such authority exists. And it will be
remembered that the war resolutions distinctly
stated that the United States would not exercise
"sovereignty, jurisdiction or control over said
island except for the pacification thereof."
With the adoption of these resolutions Con
gress delivered the Cuban question over to the
executive who is charged with the disposition of
that question according to the terms of the war
Since the Spaniards were driven out, all au
thority in the island of Cuba has been exercised
by tho President, or by men deputized by him.
Tho people of that island were able to choose
members of a constitutional convention at an
orderly election; if that constitutional convention
adopts a constitution molaed, on the lines of re-