The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, March 01, 1901, Image 1
r w t i. 7r . nm 1. x" " ) i "w ,, w' i -1 ; The Commoner t:i VOL. I. NO. 6. LINCOLN, NEBRASKA, MARCM I, 1901. $1.00 a Year. WilHam J. Bryan. Editor And Proprietor. The Monopoly Must be Prevented. The billion dollar steel trust will serve a use ful purpose if it awakens the- people to a realiza tion to the menace of private monopoly. The existence of such a combination of capital, abso lutely controlling several lines of business, doling out daily bread to tens of thousands of working men and dominating a large part of the business world, is in itself indefensible and insufferable. The Kansas City platform points out a remedy ' the only effective remedy proposed. Congress has power to rrulate interstate commerce; it has power to prescribe the terms upon which a corpo ration organized in any state can do business outside of the state. Let Congress oompel all corporations to take out a federal license before engaging in interstate commerce or, if that is too harsh, let it require that corporations having a capital above a designated amount shall take out a license. This license could be granted by the interstate commerce commission, or by some com mission created for the purpose, to corporations upon certain conditions. The first condition should be that there is to be no water in the stock, and the second, that the corporation is not attempting to monopolize any branch of industry or the production of any article of mer chandise. The license should be subject to revocation if the conditions are afterwards violated. It should be. made unlawful for such a corporation to use the mails, the telegraph lines or the railroads outside of its own state until the license is granted. Such a system would confine a monopoly to the state of its origin, and even New Jersey would soon tire of a monopoly under such conditions. This is the remedy suggested in the democratic platform; if the republicans have a better one let them produce it. They are in power, and are responsible for the continued existence of every trust. They have the presi dent, the senate, the house, the attorney general and the courts. They can destroy every trust if they desire to do so. W A Forgotten Admonition. The Washington Times has many estimable qualities but it occasionally allows its partisanship to carry it to extremes. For instance, it reminds Congress that the President in his last annual message said: In our great prosperity we must guard against the danger it invites of extravagance in Government expenditures and appropriations; and the chosen rep resentatives of the people will, I doubt not, furnish an example in their legislation of that wise economy which in a Bcason of plenty husbands for the fu ture. Now, what could be more cruel than this un timely reference to a long since forgotten admon ition? Perhaps, after all, the republican members will not feel entirely crushed by this executive rebuke when they remember that the President has frequently found it convenient to disregard his own messages, but it is fortunate that mes sages are not re-read at the close of congressional sessions. Will the Senate Act? Three days more and congress will adjourn; three days more and its record will be completed. There is time yet to submit the amendmen. pro viding for the election of United States senators by a direct vote. The House of Representatives has acted but the senate has failed to act. The sentiment in favor of the amendment is almost unanimous;-corruption, the domination of corpor ations and legislative deadlocks have shown the public' the evils of the present method. Will the senate act? Will it respond to the demand? If it continues to stand in the way of this righteous reform it will become necessary for the people, acting through the states, to avail themselves of the other constitutional method and effect the change by means of a convention. W Elastic Logic. The republicans have given so many evidences of elasticity of logic and conscience that it is dif ficult to select a prize specimen, but perhaps no one has shown less regard for common sense and common honesty in dealing with the Cuban ques tion thau Mr. Whitelaw Reid. Here is a sample of his argument: Is the flag to be withdrawn from Cuba? It is not one of our 'new possessions,' but our responsibil ity for it is imbedded in successive and solemn decla rations by almost every administration since Madison. There is no eagerness to annex the island. Rather there' is a dread of such connection, lest it lead to statehood and so prove the entering wedge for a transformation of our continental republic, which would inevitably work its ruin. But the duty of pro tection remains. Under that protectorate the island could have as much freedom as any state in the union, but it wotild not be likely to have more. It could not treat with Spain about the Cuban debt, or, with France about the Panama canal. Its foreign relations would, and its custom houses might, remain under the guidance of the protecting power. Does that break the congressional promise to leave the govern ment and control of the island, to its people? Have not the government and control of Ver mont "been left to its people? Must Cuba, though thoroughly dependent upon us for protection and S fense, and absolutely essential to our safety, never theless have more freedom thrust upon it than Ver mont or Massachusetts or New York? Onr Congress is capable somctimcs'of extraordinary things, but it is hardly capable of that. The United States declared the people of Cuba to bo, of right, free and independent. Can any person read the pledge made to Cuba and then read Mr. Rcid's construction of that pledge with out recognizing the hypocrisy of the republican position? Mr. Reid once came near being Vice President of the United States and ho is now the owner of a great metropolitan newspaper, lie stands high in the councils of his party and may be presumed to speak for a certain element of tho party. He thinks that Cuba ought to bo satisfied if Bhe has "self government like Vermont." Does he intend that Cuba shall have two senators and representation in congress like Vermont? Certainly not. Does he propose that wo shall tax Cuba without representation and govern iier withouther consent? That mu8t bo his plan. If Mr. Reid had lived a century and a quarter ago and had applied the same logic to tho revolu tionary situation, he would have seen no necessity for independence. If ho had lived in South Africa, he would have seen no reason for opposing Eng lish sovereignty in the Transvaal. If he had lived in Cuba he would have supported Weylerism and Spanish rule. Tho Paris treaty signed by thoJXnited States and Spain, recognizes the independence of Cuba and we have no more right to deprive her o that independence than wo have to march to Mexico and assert sovereignty there. To assume that we must govern Cuba in order to protect her is to eih tirely abandon the Monroe doctrine under which we have protected republics without interfering in their government. W A Word to Subscribers. About the miduMe of December I announced my purpose to establish a weekly journal for the discussion of political, economic and sociolog ical questions, and stated that the first numbers- would be issued in January. Shortly afterwards it was stated that the ini tial number would be issued on January 23d and the size of the paper was determined upon and made public. Subscriptions began ta come in as soon as the first notice appeared, and nearly fifteen thousand were enrolled before a copy of the paper camo from the press. The news stand orders and sam ple copies, in addition to subscriptions, were suf ficient to justify a first edition of fifty thousand and subsequent editions of the first number amount ing to fifty-five thousand have been found neces sary. In entering so many subscriptions and ad dressing so many wrappers by hand mistakes were unavoidable, owing in some cases to illegible handwriting or failure of the subscriber to give street number, and in some cases to errors of inexperienced clerks. Delays necessarily occurred at the postoflice in the beginning, when the distribution of a ton and a half of papers wa added to the regular work of the pogtofiice force.