The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, June 28, 1901, Page 7, Image 7

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j:; '
jlper in
South Africa.
Mr. Shaw
Goes In
Should Pay
For Privileges.
It is reported that the British
government has levied a tax
of $250,000,000. on South Af
rican gold mining companies
in order to obtain war funds. Tnifl is an enor
mous tax, out when it is remembered that these
gold mining companies were largely respon
sible for bringing about this unholy war, few
will sympathize with them because of the great
burden they are now required to bear.
Governor Shaw of Iowa has
written a letter to Senator Al
lison urging him to be a can
didate for the republican pres
idential nomination in 1904. Senator Allison
has replied with the information that ho is too
old to be a presidential candidate, and with the
suggestion that the govenor stand as Iowa's fa
vorite son. In some quarters the unkind sug
gestion is made that perhaps Governor Shaw
is anxious to remove Senator Allison from the
senatorial field, but it is evident that. Mr.
Shaw will be trained for the 1904 race.
The Supreme Court of New
Jersey has held that the towns
of that state may tax the road
bed and appurtenances of street
railway and other companies using public thor
oughfares. This decision is in support of a fran
chise tax law enacted in 1900. Under this law
New Jersey towns may collect two per cent on
the gross receipts of corporations enjoying the
privilege of "using the public streets. To bo
sure the corporations object to this tax, but it
is strange that all the municipalities of this
country have not required corporations to pay
for the high privileges they enjoy.
The Washington correspond
ent of the Chicago Record
Herald says that "an indica
tion of national prosperity is
to be found in the large volume of money in
circulation. This now amounta to $2, 184,570,
890., a gain of more than $100,000,000. over
the amount in circulation one year ago. In
the last 22 years the gain in circulation
amounts to the tremendous sum of $1,368,310,
169. The circulation per capita is now the
largest in the country's history, amounting to
$28.13. One year ago it was $26.71."
Can it be possible that the largo volume of
money" in circulation is any basis for national
Can it be possible that the bimetaillists were
not wholly wrong when they insisted that the
country needed a larger volume of money in
"For good or for ill," says the
Philadelphia Ledger, "the
principle has been declared
that the United States may, through Congress,
govern subject peoples. It is unlikely that
any abuses will be committed, under this prin
ciple, but it is a principle that admits of the
abuses of despotism,"
The Philadelphia. Ledger is to be congratu
lated on its sublime confidence. The Ledger
should, however, know that already great
A Large Vol
ume of Money
In Circulation.
The Abuses
of Despotism.
They "Dis
trust" a
The Commoner.
abuses havo been committed under this "prin
ciple," the very abuses in fact against which
Our own forefathers rebelled, and for the de
struction of which they took up arms.
A principlo that admits of the abuses of
despotism has no place in a free country.
Eternal vigilance is the prico of liberty,
and no people can safely depend for their lib
erties upon the pleasure or generosity of one
man or one set of men.
The government that sanctions "a principlo
that admits of the abuses of despotism" has
already taken on tho elements of a monarchy.
When any men seek to establish, in a free
country, "a principlo that admits of the abuses
of despotism" it is time for men who love lib
erty to make effective protests against the innovation.
Now it is reported that the ad
ministration politicians pro
pose to take a hand in Cuban
politics. They are opposed
to the election of the Cuban
patriot, Maximo Gomez, to be the first presi
dent of the new republic. It is said that these
administration politicians "distrust" General
Gomez, and the presoht mayor of Havana,, act
ing under the inspiration of Qovornor-Gcneral
Wood, is now organizing a party .to accomplish
General Gomez defeat.
It will bo interesting to have, sonic, of these
administration politicians, explain to us by
what authority they interfere in the political
affairs of Cuba. It is interesting to be told
that these politicians, who properly have no
concern in Cuban affairs, "distrust" the man
who imperiled his life in defense of Cuban independence.
The New York Herald is oc
cupying a conspicuous place
these days in the copperhead
column. Commenting upon tho Supremo
Court's decision in the Porto Rican case, the
Herald. makes thiB treasonable utterance:
"Can such an amazing exhibit of judicial con- "
flict and absurdity either command respect for the
highest court of the nation or prove acceptable to
the country? Opposed to principlo and precedent,
undermined with the dissent of its own framcrs,
based on a bare majority of one, protested against
by all the rest of the court as "overthrowing the
basis of our constitutional law," can it be said to
settle even the one special point it decides, to say
nothing of tho momentous issues it throws Into
dispute? In short, can it endure permanently
and withstand the attacks that 'time and its own
weakness arc sure to bring? We think not.
"We believe that it is only a question of a
short time when it must give way to the corner
stone principle of our government, maintained by
tho four minority members of the court, headed
by tho chief justice, that wherever the flag floats
and American sovereignty extends the constitu
tion is the supreme law to which president, con
gress and the people must all bow."
Is It The New York World is
True? authority for this statement:
"The World is also in a p(
sition to announce on unimpeachable authority'
that two days before the Porto Rican cases
were decided the Ctfurt had unanimously
agreed that the Constitution was in force
"If this be
ity 'f
wherever the United States exercised sover
eignty. But immediately before the Court
met to make its decision public, Justice Brown
changed his attitude on the question."
If we accept this as a correct statement it
would seem strange that Justice Brown could
on so short a notice make so material a change.
Justico Brown's opinion was most radical
one. It is to be hoped, however, that lite
World's "unimpeachable authority" may he
successfully impeached. The character of
Justico Brown's opinion, bad as it is, w not so
bad as would be a condition wherein Justices
of the highest court in the land flopped on x
moment's notice. In the income Ur decision
we had ono instance of a judge changing his
mind between sessions, and that instance did.
considerable damage to the Supreme Court.
Justice Brown Considerable has been Raid to
Consistent. the effect that Justice Brown
was inconsistent in his ruling in
the Downes case and his ruling in the De Lima,
case. It is true that when in one case Justice
Brown held that a country could not be foreign
and domestic at the same time, and that Porto
Rico was not foreign country, and when in the
DoWnes case he held that a tariff against Porto
Rico was lawful, he appeared to be a bit incon
sistent. Tho truth is, however, that while
Justico Brown held Porto Rico to be not for
eign country, he used that position as reason
for barring out the Dinglcy law which was a
law enacted for the purpose of levying tariff
against foreign countries. Justice Brown did
not hold at any time that the constitution fol
lowed tho flag. He held that congress had
full power and authority to do what it saw fit to
do in our possessions. Ilad the tariff that was
ruled 'out in tho De Lima case been levied
against Porto Rico by a special act of congress,
according to Justice Brown's reasoning, that
tariff would have been sustained.
Tho New York -World points out that "of
the five Justices' who voted for colonialism
Justice Brown alone was consistent through
out. The World says:
"Ho held that the new territories are wholly
without tho constitution and subject only to con
gress. This made him in the De Lima case de
clare unlawful the duties collected by presidential
proclamation before congress acted. This made
him in tho Downes case declare lawful the duties
collected under the act of congress, the Foraker
civil government act.
"It was McKenna, Gray, Shiras and White who
shifted ground. In the first case they voted for
the lawfulness of the president-made tariff, which
was a clear usurpation of the legislative powers
of congress; in the second case they insisted
strenuously, if most foggily, that the colonies are
undgr the constitution and subject only to con
gress. They first abandoned and then -tried to get
back upon the constitution.
"Justice Brown turned only one corner." ;.
Mutterings and rumbling in the political
horizon indicate that the congressmen who rep
resent the tariff protected trusts and combines
will have to earn their salaries in the next
congress. The people are awakening to tho
folly of taxing themselves poor in order to
build up the fortunes of a select few
j. ,.
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