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The Commoner .
VOL. "I. NO. 7.
LINCOLN, NEBRASKA, MARCH 8, (901.
$1.00 a Year
WilliaLm J, Bryan,
Editor and Proprietor.
The President an Emperor.
The Spooner amendment to the Army Appro
priation Bill vests in the President power and au
thority which can he exercised only by an emperor.
By voting down the amendments offered, the re
publicans placed themselves on record as in favor
of the exercise of arbitrary and imperial power
by the chief executive. No restrictions are placed
upon him and no time limit is fixed to his rule,
lie is supreme; he can appoint whomsoever he
pleases; he ca'n vest legislative, judicial and exec
utive power all in one person, and that person is
under no obligation to observe the Constitution in
dealing with Filipino subjects. And this is done
in the name of liberty! This is the policy of a
party which sprang into existence to apply the
Declaration of Independence to men entirely
black! History presents no instance of a trans
formation so sudden and complete.
The amendment reads:
AU military, civil and judicial powers necessary to
treaties concluded at Paris on the 10 th day of Decern-'
ber, 1898, and at Washington on the 7th. day of No
vember, 1900, shall until otherwise provided by Con
gress, be. vested in such manner as the President of
the United States shall direct for the establishment
of civil government and ior maintaining and protect
ing the inhabitants of said islands in the free enjoy
. ment of their liberty, property and religion.
Provided, that all franchises granted under the
authority hereof shall contain a reservation of the
right to alter, amend or repeal the same.
Until a permanent government shall have been
established in said islands full reports shall be made
to Congress on or before the first day of each regular
session of all legislative acts and proceedings of the
temporary government instituted under the provisions
hereof and full reports of the acts and doings of said
government and as to the condition of the archipel
ago and of its people shall be made to the President,
including all information which may be useful to the
Congress in providing a more permanent government.
Provided, that no sale or lease or other disposi
tion of the public lands or the timber thereon, or the
mining rights therein shall be made, and provided
further that no franchise shall be granted which is
not approved by the President of the United States
and is not, in his judgment, clearly necessary for the
immediate government of the islands and indispensa
ble for the interest of the people thereof, and which
cannot, without great public mischief, be postponed
until the establishment of permanent civil govern
ment; and all such franchises shall terminate one
year after the establishment of such permanent civil
The provisions in regard to franchises are of
little value, because the President must rely upon
the representations of appointees in the Philippines
and their statements will be ex-parte. Only the
men who want concessions will be heard the
Filipinos will have no voice in the matter.
What advantage is' there in having the fran
chises terminate one year after a civil government
is established, if that government is to be colonial
in character and administered by foreigners?
If that provision has any influence at all, it
will simply give a powerful group of concession
aires pecuniary interest in postponing the estab
lishment of civil government. It may stimulate
campaign contributions and lead to the establish
ment of a bureau in the United States for the dis
semination of literature prejudical to the Filipinos.
If the republican party iB powerless to pro
tect the people of the United States from mo
nopoly, how can it be expected to protect the
helpless inhabitants of remote islands'?
In the campaign of 1900 the republicans stren
uously denied that they had any imperialistic in
tentions and their denials deceived many, but
here is proof that cannot be disputed. The Pres
ident is an emperor, and will remain so until the
republican paity reverses its policy or until the
people retire that party from power.
The 4th of this month was the one hundred and
twenty-third anniversary of the birth of Robert
Emmet. Compare the world's attitude towards
Emmet today with the sentiment which existed
when he paid the penalty of his devotion to Ire-land!-Thc'change
which has taken place proves
that the patriot may trust his motives to the
verdict of history. It is true that when Robert
Emmet went to the block he was not without
friends, but their views are better understood and
more respected now. The judge before whom
Emmet was tried interrupted him on several oc
casions to express regret that Emmet was a dis
grace to decent relatives, but the victim was de
voted to his cause and the speech which he deliv-
ered on that occasion will live in history with"
the best specimens of eloquence.
Emmet's epitaph has not yet been written,
because his country has not yet assumed its right
ful position among the nations. But the spirit
which prompted the sacrifices made by Emmet,
the sentiment and principle to which Emmet's
life was devoted, yet live, and these sentiments,
these principles and this spirit have been an in
spiration to men who were struggling in defense
of popular government.
By a cruel fate Ireland, although she has
given to the world some of the truest patriots and
some of the strongest pleas in behalf o"f popular
government, has made less progress toward the
goal of her ambition than almost any other
country. She has been preaching liberty, but has
not been permitted to enjoy it. Surely her hope
cannot be deferred forever; surely the day will
come when Emmet's epitaph can be written.
Cuba Should Be Free.
The action of the administration in insisting
that the Cuban constitution shall define that
island's relation with the United States, is without
justification in law or morals. It implies a threat
that the United States will violate the written
assurances given by the President, the resolution
of Congress and the treaty made with Spain, if
the Cuban representatives refuse to concede what
the administration demands. The title to Culm;
was relinquished to the Cubans it was not trans
ferred to this nation. Wo have no right to de
mand that Cuba shall now make a treaty with us
before wo comply with the treaty already made.
Cuba is our neighbor, a sister republic; wo helped 1
her to secure her independence and wo have every
reason to believe that she will show her gratitude ,;
in every propex" way if wo act in good faith. But
why arouse the suspicion of her people or pro
voke them to anger? TJiey are entitled to the
liberty for which they fought, and the republican
leaders are sowing seeds of discord when they
acknowledge, as if grudgingly, the independence ai
which was unanimously proclaimed threo years
At the final session of the Cuban convention
words were spoken which indicated fear on the
part of some of the Cubans that this nation was
not dealing frankly with them, and it must ba
confessed that there is ground for their fears, but ft
does the administration really represent the sen- J
timent of the American people on this subject?
We cannot afford to turn from the role of a
cood Samaritan to the role of a dictator. Ve
can-understand how the Cubans feel now, if we &
Will only imagine how the colonists would have,
felt toward France if she had demanded to have
the relations between Franco and the United
States agreed upon, before withdrawing. Honesty J
and fair dealing are all that are necessary co in-,s
sure peaceable and advantageous relations with
Cuba, but for some reason the republican leaders
prefer to pick a quarrel.
Is Thjs Aristocracy?
Read the following letters:
United States Torpedo Station, Newport, E. I., 1
Feb. 13, 1901. AdoiiraT William T. Sampson, U. S. N.
Dear Sir: The new bill whereby six gunners are to
he commissioned ensigns tempts rae to write you, ?
trusting- you will pardon the liberty I take in so
As I served on the flagship New York during1 your
command of the fleet you will know whether my abili
ties, whatever they may he, are of such merit as to J
warrant mo filling the position of ensign. I would 1
say here that I never use tobacco or liquor in any
If in your estimation I am worthy of this ioI
tion I should be most grateful to you if you will rec
ommend me to the department. I am, very respect
fully yours, Chakles Mohgan,
Gunner u. S. N.
This was the indorsement which the admiral
placed on the application:
Navy Yard, Boston, Mass., Feb. 14. Indorsement
1: Respectfully forwarded to the navy department for
2. Mr. Morgan has good professional ability. Ue
also has, which distinguishes him from most other
warrant officers, a gentlemanly bearing. If he were
to be commissioned as an ensign he would probably
compare favorably, both professionally and in pe- :