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

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kHHH. riR
Vol. 2. No. 10.
Lincoln, Nebraska, March 28, 1902.
Whole No. 62
On another page will be found the full text of
the ship subsidy bill as it passed the senate, ex
cept that a few amendments were accepted by the
committee, the following being the most import
ant ones: That contracts made under the act
shall not extend beyond July 1, 1920; that not more
than five million dollars shall be spent in mail sub
sidies in any one year before July 1, 1907, and not
more than eight millions in any year after that
date; that congress reserves the right to amend
or repeal the law; and that foreign-built ships
shall not be subject to registry for the purpose of
receiving subsidy. Several important amendments
intended to protect the public were voted down.
. It is gratifying to know that every democrat,
populist and silver republican voted against the
bill and scarcely less gratifying to note that six
republicans, Allison and Dolliver of Iowa, Proctor
and Dillingham of Vermont, and Spooner and
Quarrels of Wisconsin, voted with the democrats.
It is estimated that about five millions will bo
spent on ships now in existence and the amount
will be increased if more ships are built. The
present expenHiture will be about equally, divided
between the Atlantic and Pacific -lines and one
company, the International Navigation company,
will, according to Senator Vest, receive 73 per
cent of the entire amount paid on Atlantic steam
ers. The senator denies that England subsidizes
her freight vessels and asserts that the tramp
steamers which have the bulk of the carrying trade
have never received aid from the English gov
ernment. The ship subsidy is not intended for the
farmer, laborer or merchant, neither is it intended
for the ship-builder. It is intended for a few
wealthy ship-owners who have influence enough
-to secure enormous contributions from the public
treasury and they will be expected as a return
to contribute to the republican campaign fund.
The republican party is adding one more to the
list of assessable interests and the taxpayers will
contribute indirectly to a corruption fund already
so large that the republican committee paid back
a considerable sum to the trusts after the last
election. Unless the people are very blind to their
own interests and very indifferent to what is go
ing on in congress, the republican party will in
the coming election suffer severely because of its
subserviency to the great corporations that are so
bountifully provided for out of the public treasury.
Democracy Growing in England.
The president's special envoys" to witness the
coronation of the king will be shocked to learn
that there is a paper in London called Reynold's
Newspaper (and it has a growing circulation)
Which is helping to organize a democratic league
in that country. A recent manifesto concludes as
To Caesar we appeal. We ask the people to
assist us in arresting the decay of this ancient
land anl people. Behold, from his lonely
furrow the ploughman looks up inspired by a
new hope. The "hands" of industry are ani
mated with the expectation of becoming hu
man beings. The voice of the people drowns
the roar of the machine Moloch, end the breed
of human microbes the crawling things of
stock exchange and the parasites of society
decay and die. Come into the sunshino and'
drink anew of the wine of life. The desperate
struggle for existence gives no one time to live.
The masses are sinking deeper and deeper,
day by day, into the iron grip of economic
slavery. A Venetian oligarchy is all supreme,
fooling an ignorant populace to the top of
their bent. But the skies are charged with
thunder, and God's lightnings threaten to
burst upon the conspirators who have taken
the base advantage of their position to de
lude a credulous people. Arise, men of Eng
land, and enter into the possession of your
own estate the land of your nativity, the na
tion you have built up, the country that is
If. the editor of the Now York Tribune happens
to pick up a copy of Reynold's Newspaper during
his royal visit to England he will be surprised to
find that democracy is growing in England while
plutocracy and aristocracy are growing among the
leaders of tho republican party in the United
A brief visit to the national capital convinced
me that there Is great danger that the senate will
try to obstruct if not defeat the resolution, four
times pasaed by the house, proposing an amend
ment providing for the election of senators by a
direct vote of the people.
Senator Berry called the matter up a few days
ago and Senator Hoar made a violent attack on
the proposed change. He seemed to fear that tho
direct election of senators would bring that body
into too close touch with the people. And with
whom, or with what, should the senate be in touch
if not with the people? Is it not a little incon
sistent that he should be willing to trust the Fili
.pinos with self-government and yet not willing to
trust American citizens with the selection of their
representatives in the United States senate? An
other republican senator who owes his election to
railroad influence and whose state legislature de
clared for the reform by an overwhelming vote,
said that he was not sure that he would support
the resolution. It looks as if some of the senators
are willing to defeat what they know to be the
will of the people on this subject rather than risk
their chances of re-election before the people. It
behooves all friends of the resolution to write to
their senators at once. The people of Massa
chusetts are especially urged to act. Senator Hoar
ought to be shown the strength of the popular de
mand. What right has he to a place in the senate
except as a representative of the people of his
state? If governments rest upon the consent of
.the governed, why not secure the consent by direct
vote rather than seek it through an intermediate
body that may and often does misrepresent the
-people? No one who believes in free government
will hesitate to trust the people to select their
public servants and a man who is afraid to trust
the people ought not to expect the people to trust
Knowing something of the corporate Influences
which are at work against this reform I am led to
renew the request that all readers of The Com
moner write to their senators immediately unless
their senators have publicly expressed themselves
In favor of the resolution. If a senatpr ignores
your letter, write again. If he opposes the resolu
tion or is doubtful, argue the question with him.
Don't delay write now.
The New York Times has constituted itself tho
special champion of the reorganizors and is la
menting because "Mr. Bryan will use his strength
and tho numerical strength of his following to de
feat democratic reorganization." Tho editor of
tho Times with an "I-thank-thee-that-I-am-not-as-other-men"
air Lpeaks of "the immoral professions
which the democratic party was led by Mr. Bryan
to make." Tho Chicago platform was not tho
work of Mr. Bryan or of any one man. While the
silver plank was copied from tho Nebraska plat
form it was adopted by democratic primaries,
county conventions and state conventions and it
was so adopted before any large number of demo
crats thought of Mr. Bryan being a candidate. Tho
Nebraska silver plank was not copied because
Nebraska had adopted 1t, but because it expressed
what tho democratic party wanted to express.
It is not Mr. Bryan that tho Times should fear,
but the people who join him in democratic prin
ciples. The Times is one of the papers that helped
to elect Mr. McKinley, and now it offers to assist
the democrats if they will only accept a republi
can platform. It is not willing to make any com
promise it demands a complete surrender on tho
part of those who have supported the platforms
of 1896 and 1900. It complains that Mr. Bryan
"will not meet them (the reorganizes) half way,
and even if he would, to meet him half way would
be fatal to their purpose." What is this but say
ing that reorganization would be a failure unless
the democratic party went over half way toward
tho republican position on public questions? When
Tho Commoner calls attention to such editorials
as the one above referred to it Is not for tho pur
pose of disturbing harmony for the reorganizors
are the ones who are disturbing harmony but
reference i made to such editorials to show how
impossible it is to keep real democrats and cor
poration democrats in the same party. When tho
party is made congenial for the men who bolted, it
will not. bo congenial for those who voted tho
ticket. To invite the bolters back simply to havo
another test of strength is not harmony it is riot.
Harmony can only exist when the members of tho
party strive for tho same thing and while the re
organizers openly boast that their purpose Is to re
pudiate the party's recent utterances they cannot
be sincere In their talk about uniting the party.
The democrats who were courageous enough to
condemn their cn president when he became a
tool of the Wall street syndicates still have con
victions and can hardly be expected to surrender
them at the demand of bolting newspapers whose
, stockholders are unknown to the public and whoso
editors lend themselves to the defense of every In
iquitous scheme proposed for the plunder of th
masses and the enrichment of the privileged few.
Most people belong to a party as they belong to a
church, not because of the number of members
but because of the creed, and such people cannot ba
enticed from their principles by mere promises
of success. But even on the low ground of ex
pediency it would be suicidal to listen to the ad
vice of the reorganizes because their plans would
alienate more voters than they could by any pos-
-t r-