The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, December 20, 1901, Page 3, Image 3
The ours now" be gave voice to the prevailing idea among the republican leaders of today, and when bo added that our duty is to give to the people of the Philippine islands ."all that we are capable of giving them" be challenged the thoughtful atten tion of American citizens who have a right to con sider whether men who assert that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, are really capable of giving any sub stantial benefit to a people to whom they deny the very principle and the vory privileges under which the governing power found its oxlstence. Admiral Schley. If Admiral Schley needed a vindication he ob tained it in the splendid tribute paid him. by Ad miral Dewey in the latter's minority report. In truth Admiral Schley did not need a vindication. In the judgment of the American people he is one of this country's great naval heroes, and this is shown to be true by the very general condemna tion which the court of inquiry's report has met .with on the part of the public. Admiral Schley's detractors appear to be very anxious to drop the affair. Some of them declare that there is no need for further investigation. The Commoner is inclined to believe that further investigation is not needed. It is true, however, that something remains to be done in order that justice should be accorded the hero of Santiago bay. Instead of congressional investigation into facts that are already established to the satisfac tion of the American people Schley should be re stored to active service, and he should be ap pointed vice admiral to hold the place during the remainder of his life. Anything less would be inadequate. If a congressibnal investigation is to be had it should not be an investigation of a hero; the naval officers and employes who are responsible for the assaults upon Schley should be investigated for ithe benefit of the service in the future. Questions for Debate, The Commoner in a recent issue suggested the propriety of organizing debating societies through out the country for the discussion of public ques tions. Since the editorial appeared a number of letters have been received asking for information and inquiring about questions for debate. Such a club is not difficult to organize. All that is neces sary is a brief constitution containing one article giving the name of the club, another stating the purpose and terms of membership, and a third naming the officers and describing their duties. ,The by-laws should fix the hour and place of meet ing and dues, if dues are necessary. In country precincts meetings can be held at the school house or at private houses. Ofton literary clubs' meet at the houses of the members, each one talcing his turn, but sometimes when one house is commodious and centrally located it is used as the regular meeting place. Where the club meets at a private house it is well for the by laws to provide that no refreshments shall be served, because all members may not be in a posi tion to serve refreshments, and as no one cares to do less than his neighbor, some embarrassment might be caused if refreshments were served at one place and not another. . As to questions for debate, the following are submitted by way of suggestion: I. Resolved, That the United States should permanently hold the Philippine islands under a colonial form of government. II. Resolved, That the United States should permanently hold the Philippine islands as an integral part of this country, extending to the in habitants the protection of our constitution and giving them the promise of ultimate citizenship and full participation in elections, national and local. These two questions present the Philippine Js- sue and give the advocates of imperialism a chance to present a definite plan for dealing with the Filipinos. III. Resolved, That private monopolies are beneficial to the public and should bo permitted to exist, but should bo placed under government supervision. IV. Resolved, That a private monopoly is in defensible and intolerable. These questions present tho trust issue in such form that the principles involved may be discussed. V. Resolved, That this nation should main tain tho gold standard as long as the other lead ing nations do so. VI. Resolved, That this nation should main tain tho gold standard, regardless of what other nations may do. VII. Hesolved, That bimetallism, that is the use of gold and silver as standard money and the coinage of gold and silver into standard money on equal terms, would be better for this country than the single gold standard. VIII. Resolved, That, assuming bimetallism to be desirable, silver should bo coined without charge for mintage so long as gold is coined with out charge for mintage. IX. Resolved, That, assum'ing bimetallism to be desirable, the mints should be opened to the coinage of silver at tho present legal ratio of 16 to 1. X. Resolved, That paper money, issued by the government, is better for the people than paper money issued by national banks. XI. Resolved, That the national banking law should be so changed as to permit banks to issue currency based on their assets rather than upon government bonds. XII. Resolved, That the large national banks should be permitted to establish branches through out the country. These questions present the phases of tho money question which are most discussed at pres ent. Those who advocate the issue of paper money by the government are divided into two classes: those who believe that tho greenback should be redeemable ill gold or silver the government ex ercising the option as to the metal to be used and those who believe that the greenback should not he redeemable in any other coin or money, but only redeemable in the sense that it is a legal tender for taxes, debts, etc. This question as sumes that government money is better than bank money and raises the issue of redeemability only. XIII. Resolved, That the Chinese exclusion act should be extended and applied to similar classes of other oriental nations. XIV. Resolved, That the Nicaragua canal should be built, owned and protected by the United States. XV. Resolved, That an isthmian canal should be built, owned and protected by the United States. These two questions present the isthmian canal question in the two forms that are most discussed. XVI. Resolve.d, That United States senators should be elected by direct vote of the people. XVII. Resolved, That the principle of the initiative and referendum is sound and should be applied in state and federal government as far as is practicable. XVIII. Resolved, That provision should be made for voluntary arbitration between corpora tions and their employes. XIX. Resolved, That there should be com pulsory arbitration between corporations and their employes. XX. Resolved, That government by injunction is a menace to our government and that as a means to its correction the law should provide that a person charged with contempt of court should be given a trial by jury when the contempt is com-' mitted outside of the court room. The above questions do not present all the is sues between the two leading parties, but they' present tho main ones and are sufficient to furnish debating societies with matorlal for the wlntor'a work. They are stated in such a way as to present tho Issue clearly so that each side will know what it is advocating. In addition to these questions there aro questions presenting tho government ownership of railroads, and questions presenting the municipal ownership of lighting plants, water plants and street car lines. (These can bo dis cussed singly or grouped together.) Tho ques tion between socialism and individualism can bo presented as follows: Resolved, That the government should own and operate all tho means of production and dis-' tributlon. While the editor of Tho Commoner has not attempted to mention all tho questions discussed to a greater or less extent in various parts of tho country, he has said enough to show how wide is the field of inquiry and how imperative tho neces sity for investigation if one would act intelligently' upon public questions. , , ' JJJ "?, A Minister's Comment. Rev. Herbert S. BJgelow. of the Vine Street Congregational church, Cincinnati, recently took for the subject of one of his evening sermons the question, "Is there always room at tho top?" In discussing it he railed attention to tho fact that tho inequalities of life aro not always duo to dif ferences in merit, but are sometimes caused by In Justice In government On tho subject of taxation ho drew a strong contrast between the lot of a la boring man whom he knew and ono of tho cor porations of the city. He said: Hero is an object lesson, not a fancy sketch either. Mr. B., a friend of mine, eighteen years ago was working for ?10 per week. Ho has the same job today and in those eighteen years ho has had an increase pf $3.50 per week. He , has always been sober and saving and indus trious. No professional regulator of other ' people's lives could find any fault In him. With this wage, tho man, together with the labor of the woman and the children, has . managed to buy a little homo. Tho oldest girl is working for $2 per week. It takes all of her wages, twelve weeks in every year, to pay the taxes on their home, and this, In part, amounts to paying taxes on property which does not belong to them, for they have to pay interest on a mortgage besides. The house Is listed for taxation for more than they would be glad to tako for it. Yet the street railroad company, to which this man has to pay five cents for a ride that is not worth over three cents, is capitalized for twenty-four millions and pays taxes on two millions. , JJJ Too Great an Advantage. "A reader of The Commoner complains that national banks enjoy too great a privilege in be ing permitted to loan out five or ten times their capital stock. He shows the disadvantages of the ordinary individual as compared with the bank. While, as he points out, the bank has a great ad vantage in the earning of an Income and In the ac cumulation of wealth, there Is another objection, and an even more serious one, to the manner in which banking is done at present. When a bank with a capital of one million is allowed to receive and loan out deposits amounting to ten millions, the depositor does not bave a sufficient margin for security. A little shrinkage in values wipes out tho capital stock and leaves the depositor no se- . curity save the notes taken by the bank. In good times such a bank makes enormous profits and in had times its failure brings disaster to depositors and is likely to cause a run on banks more wisely, conducted. There ought tb be a fixed relation es tablished by law between capital and deposits, so that there would always be a safe margin for the protection of tho depositors of the community. But how can banks bo made safe as long as th financiers control congress?