The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, February 28, 1902, Image 1

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The Commoner.
i r ' i
1 ! 1
Vol. 2i No. 6.
Lincoln, Nebraska, February 28, 1902;
Whole No. 58
To the Editors of the United States.
. In The Commoner of February 21, 1 called attention to the fact that the House of Eepresentatives had for the foiwth time
passed a resolution proposing a constitutional amendment providing for the election of United States Senators by a direct
vote of the people. All readers of The Commoner were aslted to write to their senators urging them to support the resolu
tion. The Commoner has a circulation of 100,000 and a still larger number of readers, but these constitute but a small frac
tion of the people of the United States, and this reform is one that appeals to all tlie people. All editors who desire the sub
mission of this amendment and a large majority of. the editors, republican as well as democratic and populist, desire it are
invited to make a similar request of their readers. The sentiment in favor of this change is so overwhelming that the senate
ought not to require urging but experience shows that it does require it. A similar resolution has already been smothered by the
senate three times and this resolution will meet a like fate unless public sentiment compels action. The Commoner is not
seeking advertisement, it is seeking reform. You need not mention The Commoner's appeal. If you prefer to do so, make
it yow own appeal to jour own leaders, but make the appeal at once. One million postal cards sent to the senators will
insure the passage of the resolution and it will be an easy matter to secure that number if the editors of the daily and
weekly papers will present the matter to their readers.
Will you make this effort? Will vou prove the power of the press, to advance the interests'of the peoxle?
. . . W. J. BRYAN. .
Jt-.- ,.-'.' tfcXr-
, . lt , --y
Iniffermiism StilFan Issue. .
Walter Wcllman, the Washington correspond
dent of the Chicago Record-Herald, writing-to his
newspaper under recent date, says:
What is to be the future of the Philip
pine islands? Is the United States to hold
them indefinitely, or is it to give them a prom
ise of ultimate independence? ,,.,
There is no disguising the fact that this
is now the burning question in American poli
tics. As far as now can be foreseen, it is to
be an issue between the two great parties.
Most people here supposed the question was
settled by the presidential election of 1900 and
the state elections of the following year. But
it appears that it is not so. The question is up
for discussion. It is being discussed. It is
sure to .attract a large share of public atten
tion in the future.
Mr. Wellman points out that with respect to
th J issue the republicans are at a disadvantage.
He says that while there is some division among
iopublicans "the advanced expansionists believe
that a solemn declaration to the effect that the
United States will never grant the Filipinos their
independence would be a great help in suppressing
the insurrection." But according to Mr. Weil
man, "the great trouble is that the national con
vention of the party is the only authority that can
declare a policy of such transcendent magnitude.
Therefore the result so far as congress is con
cerned is likely to be republican drifting and
democratic assaults upon their rival's proposi-
tions "
It seems strange that republican leaders and
republican newspapers do not realize the utter
futility of imperialistic declarations. The re
publican congress may legislato and legislate; the
republican national convention may resolve and
resolve; and yet, if the Filipinos aspire to liberty
all this legislation and all these resolutions will
have not the' slightest effect in changing the cur
rent of Filipino thought and action. Every school
boy in the land is familiar with the speech of the
great English statesman wherein ho likened the
attempt to fetterthe stepof freedom ,in America
to an effort to dam up the waters of the Nile
with bullrushes. This' was true of England in its
course toward America. - It was true of Spain in
its attitude .toward the people of the Philippines.
The republican leaders of this country will find
that once the seed of liberty has taken root among
the people nothing short of a realization of their
honorable 'aspirations will satisfy those who
assert the inalienable rights bestowed by God
upon man.
Stifling Discission.
The Chicago Record-Herald is responsible for
the statement that Speaker Henderson and his
lieutenants fear that Mr. Babcock and other re
publican congressmen will stand with the demo
crats and force consideration of the proposition
to remove the tariff from the products of certain
trusts. In order to avoid this danger to republican
interests, the Record-Herald says the republican
leaders have prepared a petition which is being
circulated among the republican members of the
house addressed to the committee on rules, asking
that committee to bring in a rule which shall make
it impossible for the house to consider tariff re
vision at the present session. The petition asks
the committee to declare it out of oraer for any
one to offer as an amendment to any bill, any
proposition involving a revision of the tariff
This is an interesting statement concerning
the house of representatives, a body that Is pre
sumed to he thoroughly representative -of tho
people. If a mere committee can prevent the con
sideration of any measure, if a mere rule can deny
to a representative of the people the privilege of
offering an amendment to pending measures, how
can any one hope that the public Interests can
possibly be advanced by any legislation that may
come before a republican congress?
And yet under republican rules this power is
vested in a committee which is the creature of the
speaker and practically a speaker can, not only
prevent tho passage of any measuro to which he is
opposed, but ho can prohibit either the discus
sion of or an amendment to any pending measure.
Even the Chicago Record-Herald admits "such a
proposition is unusual, unheard of; it has never
br;en attempted in the memory of tho oldest mem
bers. To make it out of order to suggest tariff
revision, to remove the power of the house to even
consider such bills if a majority so wish, is whol
ly unprecedented."
Another Plank Vindicated.
In one of the reports made by the Industrial
commission appears this suggestion: "The in
junction Is a high prerogative writ and should bo
awarded only after a most careful examination by
a tribunal thoroughly competent."
Commenting upon this the Chicago Record
Herald, that eminent republican organ, admits
that "Many cases have occurred, undoubtedly,
whero judges have hastened to interfere in labor
disputes by injunction when a settlement should
have been left to the police authority and ordained
piocesses of law." It refers to "the craze for in
junctions" and declares "Judges have attempted
to exercise the executive and legislative functions
of government by their extraordinary writs," and
It is clear that such a common use of the
injunction is offensive to our institutions and
that the judicial effort to anticipate and pre
vent the action of a legislative body is a direct
' infraction of one of the essential principles of
our government. Unless the writ is reserved
for great emergencies in which there is no
other recourse the danger of "government by
injunction" is not the imaginary creation of
a party platform, but a very real danger
which should not be tolerated by tho people.
The Record-Herald warns the judges to "re
member that, like the rest of us, they are the ser
vants of the law, not tho masters."
This is a strange statement to come from a re-