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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (July 12, 1901)
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Vol. i. Nol 25.
Lincoln, Nebraska, July 12, 1901.
$1.00 a Year
1 - Unsafe Banking
The failure of the 7 th National Bank of
New York city calls attention to the fact that
many banks are doing business upon an unsafe
basis. ' This particular bank made a report to
the clearing house on June 21st showing that
. its capital was only $376,340 while its deposits
were over $5,700,000; its loans over $4,400,000.
A shrinkage of ten per cent in the value of its
. loans would have more than wiped out its cap-
. ital. According to the report referred to the
net profits were $234,000 but even this sura
, added to tho capital would not give a sufficient
margin to make the business safe.
Some ratio should be fixed between the
bank's capital and its deposits for while it may
be very profitable to divide among a few stock-
. holders the profits secured upon large deposits
it invites collapse. A banker would not loan to
a merchant whose liabilities equalled 90 percent
ot his assets. Why should ho ask depositors
to trust him under the same circumstances?
"Hampers" in the Constitution.
The American Review- of Reviews gives an
interesting editorial approving of the Supremo.
Court decision as delivered by Justice Brown.
In this the Review says "The primary object
of tho American constitution was to arrange
an effective and permanent scheme of partner
ship and union for a group of associated states
, which were not suitably organized under tho
old articles of confederation. "The Review
adds that the constitution "was never intended
to hamper posterity" and concludes "the main
thing that has been decided thus far is that the
constitution of the United States is not a doc
ument that is going to interfere with the peo
ple of the United. States in their proposal to do
the very best thing that they can from time to
time in providing for-the government, devel
opment and true progress of the territories
that they have acquired by recent annexation."
The preamble of the constitution tells the
object of that document, and even the Review
of Reviews cannot improve upon the statement.
The object, according to. this preamble, was to
"form a more perfect union, establish justice
insure domestic tranquility, provide for the
common defense, promote the general welfare
and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves
and our posterity." It is very evident that
even some of "our posterity" were deliberately
"hampered" by the framers of the constitution.
They knew the tendency of strong men to take
advantage of weaker men, and so they declared
as one of the. objects of the constitution "to se
cure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and
our posterity." Mark the word "secure," and
observe that the fathers intended to "secure"
liberty not only for . themselves but for poster
ity. And in order to make these benefits se
cure they ordained and established this consti
tution for the United States of America a
constitution which has always been recognized
as a grant of power and the certificate of any
authority which our public servants may right
It is true that it was not intended that the
constitution should interfere with the people
of the United States in their proposal to do .
whatever they sought to do. The people of
the United States are the makers and tho cor
rectors of the constitution, and in order that it
should not interfere with them in anything
that they might see fit to do in the future a
method of amending the constitution was pro
vided. They did, however, intend that that
document should interfere with any public
officials, with' any men or coterie of men who
saw fit to do things inconsistent with Ameri
can traditions and American principles, and
they established a written constitution in which
they said to their public servants so far as con
cerns the authorities and tho poworo yihoy
might exercise "thus far and no farther."
Lord Salisbury in a recent speech lays
upon Gladstone the responsibility for the
trouble in South Africa. He says:
"When you have, succeeded as you will suc
ceed, you will be free from molestation by those
who desire your territories, and who would gladly
abate the position you hold in the world. If you
allow the belief to arise that you are unable or
unwilling to defend your own territory you will
soon find that you have no territory to defend.
"That was Mr. Gladstone's great fault In the
Majuba matter. He, doubtless, acted from high
motives, but he did not realize what the outcome
vould be. We now know from a hundred sources
that the recollection of Majuba and the belief that
the resistance would be followed with the same
results induced the Boer government to play the
desperate cast which will end in the destruction
of the independence of their country."
In order to excuse the conduct of those who
involved England in the present disastrous
war it becomes necessary to find a scape goat,
and Salisbury, the man of war, selects Glad
stone, the statesman of peace, as the victim.
Because Gladstone was actuated by a desire to
do justice to the Boers, Salisbury finds it more
difficult to do justice. Such is life! Virtue is
always a menace to vice, and those who per
sist in doing wrong are compelled to antago
nize all that is good. Gladstone is in the way
of tho war spirit, he must be pushed into the
background. England is done with tho Chris
tian statesman. She is under the influence of
the brutalizing and barbarous doctrine of im
perialism. This nation is traveling in the same direc
tion just now and if the "patriotic utterances
of the early statesmen are invoked against
schemes of spoliation wo may expect to hear of
tho "errors" of Patrick Henry and Jefferson
and Lincoln in defense of human rights and
civil liberty. GroBvenor has already attacked
"Washington in order to defend tho third term
idea, and tlfo desecration of graves has just be
"Between Local Politicians."
Many taxpayers in Philadelphia have or
ganized a revolution for reform in municipal
affairfl. Tho seizure by a syndicate of repub
lican politicians of a number of valuable fran
chises for which John Wanamakor offered to
pay $3,000,000 was the cause of this invest
ment. Postmaster General Smith, who re
sides in Philadelphia) sent a telegram from
"Washington addressed to the officers of the
citizen's mass meeting in which ho denounced
the machine and distinctly took a stand with
the people. This was interpreted to mean that
tho administration had arrayed itself against
tlo Philadelphia syndicate. But immediately
following Mr. Smith's telegram "a close friend
of thp administration" gave to the newspapers
this announcement: "Tho President never
has and never will mir up in local politics; ho
believes that local politicians should settle
their own differences."
It will be interesting to observe whether
Mr. McKinley will permit this doubt concern
ing his position to remain. -To be sure it is
not .necessary that the President of the United
States should take part in any local question.
But here is an instance where a member of the
President's cabinet living in a town that was
the victim of one of the moBt outrageous in
stances of robbery on record, sent to the peo
ple in mass meeting assembled assurances of
his sympathy and condemnation of the wrong
perpetrated against the people of Philadelphia.
Mr. Smith did this, not as a cabinet officer, but
as a citizen of Philadelphia. It was not neces
sary for Mr. McKinley to accept or deny re
sponsibility for the action of Mr. Smith, the
Philadelphia citizen. But the situation changes
when "a close friend of the administration"
announces that the President never had and
never will mix up in local politics, and
adds that the President believes that "local
politicians" should settle their own "differ
ences." The situation changes because Mr.
McKinley has been placed in the attitude of
entering this controversy, and the definition "a
close friend of the administration," has placed
upon the Philadelphia situation will be accepted
as an authoritative one by many people outside
of the Pennsylvania metropolis.
Here it will be seen that the man who as-