The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, December 27, 1901, Page 3, Image 3

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insular possessions is an export tax, then congress
can neither levy, such tax nor delegate authority
to do so to an insular legislature like that of Porto
Rico, and congress cannot delegate a power which
it does not itself possess." , .
i That is quite clear and the students of govern
ment In. thi3 country have, for many years, been
impressed with the Idea tliat congress does not pos
sess the power to levy upon any territory or peo
. pie, subject to. United States jurisdiction, a tax
' that does not also apply to all territory and all
people under that Jurisdiction. Students of gov
ernment in this country have long been impressed
with the idea that congress cannot delegate even
to that remarkable institution known as an "in
sular legislature" a power -which congress doe3
not itself possess.
The court, however, insists that "the main
tenance of a separate economic system in an in
sular country would become practically impossible
so far as its commercial relation with the United
States were concerned," if these strange doc
trines did not prevail. And the court holds that
inasmuch as Porto Rico is not foreign territory,
goods" shipped to Porto Rico are not exports.
This same reasoning would sustain the claim
that a tax levied on goods shipped from one state
to another was not an export tax because the state
or territory to which the goods were billed was
not foreign territory.
Chief Justice Fuller and Justices Harlan,
Brewer and Peckham hold that the duty imposed
is export in its character and that the fact that
it was levied, for the benefit of Porto Rico does
not 'alter the 'situation. It Is difflcult to describe,
judicial decisions, to sustain which the funda
mental law muse be twisted and distored or aban
doned altogether. It Is difficult to understand how
anyone could consider a tax levied on goods ex
ported from the United States as anything other
than an export tax; and it is safe to say that In
the-., fullness pf time, when the new and strange
doctrine r.ia. abandoned, the position taken by the ,
chief -justice and Justices Harlan, Peckham and
Brewer will be vindicated by popular judgment '3
completely as they must now be vindicated in
the mind of every student of government.
They Speak in Enigma.
It cannot bo doubted that the people are be
ginning to realize the evils of the trust system, and
this fact is well demonstrated by the attention
which the trust organs are giving to therust
question. With a strange and peculiar unanimity,
the republican organs seem to have settled upon
"publicity,!' as "a solution of the trust problem.
It is significant that this "publicity" scheme
is presented not only by republican newspapers
suspected of being decidedly favorable- to the trust
'system, but also by lawyers who are believed to
bo in very close relation with trust magnates.
The Chicago Tribune, for instance, quotes Mr.
James B. Dill, whom the Tribune admits to have
been called "The Father of Trusts." Th6 Tribune
thinks that it is Important that Mr. Dill said
that "The utilization and restraint of trusts are
the essential elements in industrial success. This
regularity and control can be had only by an
enlightened public opinion and by wise legisla
tion." Mr. Dill has not explained how the public
may utilize the trusta to advantage. Like all those
-who speak in behalf of class interests, like all
those who work for the advantage of the few to the
disadvantage of the many, Mr. Dill speaks in
It Is true that "publicity" concerning the af
fairs of great corporations as well as concerning
all :aff airs in which the. public is interested, will be
of;great advantage, but the average man of intel
ligence must be impressed ,wjth the belief 'that the
rapidly with which the trust magnates and the
trust lawyers and the trust organs rushed to the
support of "publicity" as a, solution of the trust
The Commoner,
problem, arouses grave suspicion. If, the
trust system is antagonistic to public interests,
if the trust system Is bad, it should be crushed out,
and if a public man is really anxious to solve
the great trust problem, he need not resort to
mysterious language, ho need not Indulge in
Those who are in favor of trusts will offer
apologies end suggest half-way remedies for the
trust evil; those who are on tho side of the peopb
will boldly stand up in defiance of this powerful
influence and will support not only the proposi
tion that there be "publicity" concerning the af
fairs of corporations, I at that every influence and
every power and evory authority within the pos-i
session of the administration or within the reach
of political parties that hope to come into the ad
ministration of government, will be exerted to the
destruction of the trust evil.
The republican party has been very successful
in deceiving the public. Republican statesmen
have been very successful in pretending to desire
that which they never intended nor sought to ac
complish. Republican newspapers have continual
ly, and in many instances successfully, pulled the
v:ool over the eyes of the people. It is not at all
surprising that on a matter which, like the trust
question, ,so vitally affects every individual,
republican leaders and republican newspapers real
ize the importance of pretending to do away with
the evil and pretending to provide the public with
relief. It remains to be seen, however, whether
all of the people can be deceived all of the time. '
Branch Banks.
In his annual report Secretary Gage recom
mends a great central bank. He says that the ex
isting system does not afford "the highest assur
ance of protection" and does not establish "a bond
of cohesion, the power of co-operative action, tho
ability to co-ordinate for the. general good or for
mutual defense," jsuch as would be provided ' by a
central institution with multiplied branches.
Those who have carefully observed the part which
the banking institutions have played in the poli
tics of the country will obtain a hint of the enorm
ous power a central bank, with "multiplied
branches" would wield when they observe that
the promoters of the proposed system believe that
between the banks as organized today there is no
"bond of cohesion" and no "power of co-operative
action." Mr. Gage says that tho proposition
for a large central bank with broad powers for es
tablishment of -branches "offends the common in
stincts of our people," and "may be Ipoked upon at
present as impossible of realization." We may ac
cept this language, then, while giving no encour
agement for the immediate present, as holding
out the Rpe that after a while, when the people
shall have become quite accustomed to republican
impositions of all kinds, the "common instincts of
our people" may be violated with impunity and
even a central bank may be established.
If this proposiiton does now offend the "com
mon infcllncts of our people" what manner of offi
cial is this who holds out even the smallest hope
that the offense may yet be given?
The "common instincts of our people" have
provided the safeguard of our liberty and have in
sured the perpctuaticn of free government. If Mr.
Gage shall finally succeed in establishing this "of
fense" to the 'com'nou instincts of our people,"
he must either effect a complete change in those
"instincts" or he must rlaco the people in such a
state of servitude that rhey will not be able to give
expression to their "common instincts."
The central bank ib not the only republican
proposition that offends the "common instincts of
our people," and yet in many other instances the
republican party . has . ignored these "instincts"
-and established un-American policies -without tho
slightest regard for public criticism. May it. not
be possible that Mr. Gage has some warrant in
beliovlng that tho time will come when even on
the question of a great central bank, tho "com-
mon iwbtincts of our people" may bo defied with
impunity by tho republican party?
As Others See Us.
Thoso who are inclined toward imperialism
ought to find a warning in tho views now being
expressed by the eminent men of other lands. An
American student at Heidelberg, Germany, sends
to The Commoner tho following extract from' a
lecturo delivered by Professor Jellincck of ilio
Heidelberg University. In discussing International
law, tho professor said: "Tho Spanish American
war was of immense importance in the fuMirc de
velopment of international law. America, whose
policy previously had been to abstain, In accord
ance with tho principles of tho Monroe doctrine,
from the affairs of European governments, now
abandoned that position and becamo one of the
powers. The people arc divided Into supporters
and opponents of tho present policy, and If tho
former, who have been called imperialists, suc
ceed the organization of the government will
inevitably become similar to that of European
countries; individual libertythe rights of each
particular man will be sacrificed in securing a
strong central direction."
The German professor is entirely correct. If
the imperialists continue in authority, tho organi
zation of the government will gradually be changed
and made more like that of European countries.
This Is the necessary result of imperialism and it
i.?. because this is the inevitable end of an imper
ialistic policy that such a policy Is resolutely op
posed by democrats who love a republican form
of government and who believe that Individual
liberty and self-government are infiintely more
important to the American people than anything
that imperialism can bring.
, JJJ.
"Getting Down Rapidly.
The New York World, in its issue of Novem
ber 27, printed under a Washington date a state
ment which its correspondent attributes to a
member of Mr. Roosevelt's cabinet. This cabinet
membor is reported to have said that "all the lead
ing high protectionists of the country have seen
the president's message and all arc satisfied with
It. Undoubtedly it will strike many readers as a
strong reciprocity message, but we understand that
if it is subjected to analysis it will be found that
the language will be susceptible, to an interpreta
tion that will give cheer to every protectionist In
the country, who has been fearful that something
would be done about reciprocity in the coming
It must be admitted by thoso who have now
read the president's message that this cabinet
member's statement was an accurate one. Although
republican -papers very generally commended Mr.
McKinley's last speech at Buffalo, wherein he up
held reciprocity, not as merely the "handmaiden
of protection," but as an essential departure from
the protective theory, the same papers did not hes
itate to enthusiastically commend Mr. Roosevelt s
message, irt which, as accurately anticipated by
this cabinet member, the supporters of reciprocity,
obtained no encouragement.
This same cabinet member is quoted by the
World as indulging in some very blunt statements
regarding Mr. McKinley's Buffalo speech. This
is what this cabinet member said:
"We cannot get down from President
McKinley's position too rapidly. That would
be unkind to his memory and impolitic. But
I -we can get down, and we will, and by the end
' of the Fifty-seventh congress we will be just
' where we started, with no reciprocity of any
consequence and with all our protection.
There you Lave it, blunt and plain. Although
Mr. McKinley's last speech was said to outline tho
future policy of the republican party, here we
have a cabinet officer making the frank and candid
statement that in the repudiation of Mr. McKin
ley's position, in deference to his memory, repub
lican leaders will go slow; and yet that position
-will be repudiated, and in spite of all the com
mendatory utterances of the republican press
concerning the Buffalo speech, "by the end of the
Fifty-seventh congress, we will be just where we
started, with no reciprocity of any consequence and
with all our protection." l