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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (April 12, 1901)
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The World's Appeal to ilorgan.
Attorney General Griggs has resigned from
the Cabinet, and Philander C. Knox has been
appointed as his successor. Mr. Knox has
been attorney for several corporations, but is
particularly conspicuous by reason of the fact
that he was attorney for the Carnegie Steel
Company. The New York "World, in a lead
ing editorial, made a strange appeal, and sent
its appeal in a strange direction.
The World actually appealed to J. Pierpont
Morgan to reconsider and not to insist upon
Mr. Knox becoming Attorney General. Mr.
Morgan, who is perhaps the greatest trust mag
nate in this country, recommended to President
Mclvinlcy the appointment of Mr. Knox. The
World tried to impress upon Mr. Morgan the
fact that it is not wise to'court public condem
nation by going too far. It insisted that this
appointment would be harmful to the admins
tration and injurious to the vast business inter
ests which Mr. Morgan controls. The World
A parallel case. Is. found in President McKin
ley's offer of the Attorney-Generalship to Col.
John J. McCoolc, of this city, four years ago, to
fill the-vacancy caused by Mr. McKenna's promo
tion to the bench of the Supreme Court. Colonel
McCook is a man of the highest personal char
acter, and of much greater eminence in his profes
sion than can be claimed for Philander C. Knox.
Yet when his name was mentioned in connection
with the Attorney-Generalship, public protest was
made solely on the ground of his long and promi
nent connection with trusts and corporations. It
was pointed out that while expert criminal law
yers have often made successful district attorneys,
no trust lawyer has ever, in any State or in the
National Government though too often given the
chance proved a resolute prosecutor of these
"conspiracies in restraint of trade," which are
forbidden by law.
If the consideration which led Colonel McCook
to take the ftigh-minded action of declining to em
barrass the President or his party were sound in
1897, they are even more imperative now for we
had not then a billion-dollar Steel Trust, and gi
gantic coal and railroad combinations almost as
large, absolutely in the control of one man.
We do not hesitate to put it directly to the
common sense and sagacity of Mr. Morgan whether
it is wise and whether it is ordinarily
prudent, to procure the appointment as attorney-
general the officer charged with
the execution of the anti-trust and anti
monopoly laws of one of the steel corpora
tion's counsel, as directly in his employ as one of
his head clerks? Is the interpretation that the
people will inevitably give to such a bold and ap
parently defiant appointment one that Mr. Morgan
really wishes to invite? Has this far-sighted
master of high finance given up the habit of look
ing ahead one year, two years, three years?
If he has not he will take measures even at
the cost of disappointment to himself and em
barrassment to the President to prevent the ac
cptanco of the Attorney-Generalship by one of
the Steel Trust's counsel.
Of course Mr. Morgan did not. act upon
the World's good advice. The trusts have
accomplished- so much in recent years in
a political way that they no longer have any
fear as to a judgment day. They have come to
believe that the people will submit to any im.
position which the trust seeks to put upon
them. i .
It is important to these great combinations
. The Commoner.
that the attorney general shall be a man wholly
in sympathy with the trust idea. Unlike the
people, the trusts arc not willing to take any
chances. They want in ofiicc only men oil
. whom they can implicitly rely. They want no
attorney general who may be troubled with a
thing called conscience, who may be affected
by the requirements of the real business inter-,
ests of the country, or who might take a notion
to enforce the anti-trust law.
Mr. Philander C. Knox was recommended
by Mr. Morgan because he is just the man Mr.
Morgan wanted in the position .of attorney,
The World ' made an eloquent appeal, but
it fell upon deaf ears.
In Santiago Bay Admiral Sampson was nom
inally in command, but the battle that resulted
in victory for the Americans was commanded
by Admiral Schley. Because Sampson was
nominally in command, it was held by the ad
ministration with which he is a prime favorite
that Sampson was entitled to all the honors of
the great victory, and to all the material favors,
General McArthur is in command in the
Philippines, and 'when Funston went out to
capture Aguinaldo he was under McArthur's
orders. Strange . to say, Jiowever, Funston is
actually given the credit for Aguinaldo's cap
ture, and is rewarded with a position as Briga
dier General in the regular army.
It may be, however, that the character of
the reports from the commanding officers had
something to do with the administration's atti
tude. Although Sampson was at least 10 miles
away when the battle was raging he wired to
Washington: "The ilect under my command
offers the nation as a Fourth of July present
the destruction of the whole of Cervera's ileet."
General McArthur cabled Washington in
Splendid co-operation navy through Com
mander Barry, officers, men.. Vicksburg indis
pensable to success. Funston loudly praises navy
Entire army joins in thanks sea service
The transaction was brilliant in conception
and faultless in execution. All credit must go to
Funston, who, under supervision General Whea
ton, organized and conducted expedition from
start to finish. His reward should be signal and
ir mediate. Agree with General Wheaton, who
recommends Funston's retention Volunteers until
he can be appointed Brigadier-General regulars.
There is a marked difference here in the at
titude assumed by the commanding officers to
ward their subordinates. The two dispatches
speak for themselves, and all to the great credit
The Literary Digest directs attentign to some
startling figures relating to the sweat system in
Chicago, furnished by Miss Nellie M. Auton.
Miss Auton recently made a study of the con
dition of the workers in the garment trades in
earn more than ?300 a year On Z?Z , ,
neteen were earling Ulhan oTcar" For'
t-three were receiving antmiiv in .
aoltor a wee.c! The 'iXoSremeVseB
to show the depth of. poverty and degradation to
which some of these workers are reduced. In one
case, a housewife button-sewer working sixy- hours
each week at forty cents per week (a rate of two
thirds of a cent an hour!), in fifty-two weeks of
the year earned $21. A housewife pants-finisher
working sixty-six hours each week at thirty cents
per week (a rate of five-elevenths of a cent an
hour!) in forty-eight weeks earned $14.
Is there not something wrong when such
conditions as these can exist at a time when
many people boast of prosperity?
. , Where Schley Stands.
In 1888 a bill was pending in congress pro
. viding for the promotion of two naval appren
tices each year to the commission rank of en
sign. Admiral Schley was asked for his opin
ion concerning this bill: In a letter addressed
to the chairman of the committee having th
measure under consideration, Admiral Schley
said: "No harm need be apprehended from
such legislation." Then the hero of Santiago
In all other callings, except the navy, the way
to the highest place is open to merit, and I ask if
it is fair to that class of boys in this great repub
lic, who,, by the accident of birth, are so situated
socially or politically as to be just witnout the
opportunity or the means to reach Annapolis as
the only road to official preferment?
This opinion is eminently characteristic of
the great sea fighter and is in marked contrast
with the opinion expressed by Admiral Samp
son. It is evident that there has been no
error in the popular estimate placed upon either
"VVllliam T. Sampson or Winfield Scott Schley.
A Monument to White.
A committee has been appointed by the
people of Los Angeles to solicit subscriptions
for the erection of a monument to the late
Stephen M. White. While no memorial could
be" as enduring as Mr. "White's words and
works, it is eminently fitting that there should
be in his home city some visible reminder of
his great -ability and lofty patriotism. The
San Francisco Call thus commends the effort
being made by the people of southern California:
8omfthinLy0nil?lent8 erected t0 Sreat men arc
something more than adornments to cities Thev
serve a purpose beyond that of plLs ne the eve
W&lT taSte' WatanYS
the va hie of i 1? J?"?"!' They remind men of
self tSv rnn i ? that is not lived solely for
great mGn to i.to stranSers the deeds of the
frSted tSpv ntS f mTory tlley have bn
ity of a Slrtf tw V1? xistence in the commun
Sy itself' iXoi
life Kes'in0 f ena.tor White's Illustrious
away from hLn1wnd8if ?"' Death hns cleared
men of an n?f ? e ClUds of Partisanship, and
rortionifH c? can now perceIve the full pro
rns Jf ?is statesmanship. No one will now
tQo CamnrnH in "le J1"1 States Senate he gave
o tha of nn nthPFe q g? '? grea debates infcriw
bo deniPd t w ?' State,in the Union- nr will it
Jm ? tlm$ llls service there was devoted to
Such IZl atSimatGd a wnulno patrfotlsm
exnect from h,! Cas there is every reason to
rosnSnse To tftj0llberaU y California a prompt
moSSment fn i a&p,eal for Ascriptions to tlio
willnnfLS WIler,e many ive something it
MoreSvP- frSmCefi8ary fr any one to Sive much,
nioreovcv. from the very nature of thn ohwt nt
cZTiroT iS deSirable thesulscp tlnl
rSt S ?irral mass of tne People and rep
tvS thnf nP,Tlar sentiment of the State rather
tha?Rn.Hf H,COmparatlvely a few men. ft is in
nWmint t,h. TVemQut the erection of the
SS1S, lCQn unertaken, and the public
response should bo prompt, cordial and liberal.
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