The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, August 15, 1902, Image 1

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The Commoner
Vol." 3. Ttfo. 30,
Lincoln, Nebraska, August 15, 1902.
Whole No. 8a.
A Quiet Little Meeting
The New York Commercial Advertiser, In Its
issue of August 6, prints what it calls a good story
relating to an interview between John W. Gate
and JS. H. Harriman. Mr. Gates called on Mr.
Harriman who, by the way, is chairman of the
board of directors of the Union Pacific Railroad
company, and said that he and his friends thought
of buying a majority of Union Pacific stock. Mr.
Harriman, according to this "good story," took
the information very coolly," whereupon Mr. Gates
asked him what he would do about it Would
he give Gates and his friends representation on
the board of directors? "I'll toll you what we
will do," replied Mr. Harriman. "When we haVo
got you and your friends loaded up with the stock
,we will have a quiet little meeting of the directors
and issue $100,000,000 more stock, and that, per
haps, will keep you and your friends busy."
- This is indeed "a good story." It indicates
the readiness with which these great - financiers
may create something out of nothing. These peo
ple told us in 1896 and in 1900 that value could
notbe created by law, but it seems very plain
that "they can create value "by "a quiet little
-'Mr. Harrhnan, undoubtedly understands the
process thoroughly These "quiet little meetings"
have become quite common in this day. The man
agers of the Rock Island Railroad company re
cently had "a quiet little meeting." They decided
that the present Rock Island Railroad company
having $75,000,000 stock, is to become the prop
erty of an new Rock Island company, capitalized
for $125,000,000 stock, and having in addition $75,
000,000 in bonds. Then ttiis new Rock Island
company is to become the property of a New Jer
sey corporation capitalized for $150,000,000. and to
be known as the Rock Island company. Not a
penny of additional capital has been put into the
concern; and it will be seen, that the old property,
which was capitalized for only $75,000,000 has,
through the mere process of "a quiet little meet
ing," been transformed in "value" so that after
being bonded for $75,000,000, the entire sum Qf its
original capitalization, this property is repre
sented by the capital stock of the twin' corpora
tions in the enormous sum of $275,000,000.
Some time the American people will appre
ciate the evils of the trust system. They will
.learn that public interests are not served at these
"quiet little meetings" of the republican party's
fat-fryers. They will then have meetings of their
own. It will not, however, be "a quiet little meet
ing." ' It will be In -the form of great mass meet
ings held throughout this nation in the presence
of the ballot box of every precinct in the United
States, and in these assemblages the doom of the
: republican party will be sealed.
Mr7 Bryan's Ambition.
The following telegram and answer may be of
-interest to readers of The Commoner:
"Hon. W. J. Bryan: Will you be a candi
date for president next campaign? If so, un
. der what conditions? A reply would be much
appreciated. TIMES-DEMOCRAT."
( "Editor Times Democrat, New Orleans, La:
Dear Sir: Because of the friendly interest which
the Times-Democrat has taken in my candidacy in
two campaigns, I gladly answer your inquiry. I
shall not bo a candidate for the presidency in the
next campaign and, I may add, I have no choice
beyond the desire to see some one nominated who
was loyal, not only to the ticket, but to the plat
form in 1896 and 1900, and who, if elected, could
be trusted to stand by the peoplo in their struggle
against organized wealth.
"While no one can look very far ahead or
foresee the contingencies that may arise, I havo
no plans looking fo a renomination at any future
"I am deeply interested in the reforms for
which I have been contending and shall continue
to advocate them. I am content to do my work as
a private citizen and am sure that I find more
"pleasure in my present position than I would in
the distribution of patronage
"If I over again become a candidate for the
presidency it will be because I am convinced that
I can in that way give more effective aid to tho
cause in which I am enlisted for life, and I am not
anxious to be "convinced.
. "I cannot say more without prejudging events.
Yours truly, W. J. BRYAN."
: Iowa for Tariff Reform
Political conditions in Iowa are such as to
cause grave concern among the republican leaders.
In fact, no state in the union presents a more in
teresting situation. Among tho republican voters
there is opon revolt against the high tariff sys
tem, and Governor Cummins Is at tho head of tho
revolt. Senators Allison and Dolliver and all the
members of congress from Speaker Henderson
down are, however, strenuously opposed to any
modification of the tariff and it might be assumed
that the Iowa delegation In tho senate and house
would have some influence in the discussion of the
subject in the state convention, but it seems that
they found the tariff reform sentiment so strong
that they did not dare to speak. Think of the
venerable Allison, tho eloquent Dolliver, the com
bative Henderson, the irascible Hepburn, the
doughty Lacy, tho oratorical Cousinstho militant
Hull, and all the other congressional representa
tives sitting on the fence and watching the tariff
reform procession go by! In what other state
has there been such a rustling among the dry
bones? In what other state has the rout of the
forces of tariff and monopoly been so utter and
complete? And yet why should the movement
not begin in Iowa? No" state in the forty-five has
less reason to favor a protective tariff or less
excuse for tolerating monopolies. One of the
greatest, if not tho greatest agricultural state,
Iowa's people sell in tho open markets of the world
in competition with tho pauper labor of all lands,
whiles they buy in an artificial market and pay
tribute to a handful of money magnates. When
the tillers of the soil get their eyes open to tho
iniquity of a high tariff the system is doomed and
it may be that Iowa Is simply Inaugurating a move
ment destined to dethrone the selfish and hypo
critical system that has so constantly and so
enormously transferred the -wealth created in the
west into the swollen purses of a few3&lvlleged
manufacturers. V
Old Doctrine Still Good
An Illinois democrat, who describes himself
as a supportor of Mr. Hopkins, asks Mr. Bryan
whether ho still believes in free coinage at 16 to 1,
and whether he would favor such a law if he wert
president. Yes. Tho doctrine of bimetallism is as
sound today as it ever was. The reasons for It
are not altered by a temporary improvement in
industrial conditions. In fact, bettor times in the
United States are duo to an increased volume of
monoy, and bettor times, thercforo, vindicate ths
contention of blmelallists and establish tho quanti
tative theory of monoy. Bimetallism is not a wild
scheme suggested as a possible relief from a panic;
it Is a system of finance approved by conturies of
experience and calculated to prevont such panics as
are due to the scarcity of money. Tho Increased
production of gold has to some extent lessened the
strain upon it, but this nation has been receiving
more than its share and the recent exportations of
tho yellow metal indicate that the work of equali
zation has begun. Less than half the world uses
gold as a standard today, and If India and China
were drivon to the gold standard tho rise in the .
purchasing power of the dollar would again become
marked. Tho man who becomes a convert to the
gold standard because of the unexpected increase
,in the -production of gold Is as short-sighted, as a
man who would stop work because his neighbors
got up a donation party and gave him a week's
supply of food. Fluctuations in the production of
the precious metals have occurred before, and they
give support to tho bimetallic theory.
Other questions aro for tho time being more
important than the money question, but that fact
does not justify an abandonment of tho party's
position on tho subject. If ono child is sick the
parents can give It special attention without put
ting the other children out of the house. So a
party meets new Issues, but it cannot afford to
abandon its position on any question if that posi
tion Is right It may be added that the enemies of
bimetallism never fought an open fight and are as
deceitful and treacherous today as they ever were.
They are now scheming to secure, without the
knowledge of the people, an asset currency, a
branch bank and a redeemable silver dollar each
proposition being a part of the gold standard plan
to turn the entire country over to tho .financiers;
and thosd democrats' who want to "drop th
monoy question" are either Intentionally or lgnor
antly aiding and abetting the Wall street crowd.
And the ratio? There is no practicable ratio
but 16 to 1. Those who oppose that ratio never
haye done anything to restore bimetallism and
never will. It is tho ratio at which gold and silver
circulate in this country today and other countries
have substantially the same ratio. The increased
production of gold makes It easier to maintain,
the present ratio. The republican party is in
power and has within three years coined mor
silver than has ever before been coined in this
country -In the same length of time, and yet no re
publican has proposed to change the ratio. Th
republicans should either change the ratio or
cease to find fault with It The man who oppose
bimetallism usually favors the gold standard in it
place, but the man who opposes 16 to 1 offers no
other ratio as a substitute.
' The Illinois democrat, above referred to, also