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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Oct. 24, 1902)
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WILLIAH J. BRYAN, EDITOR AND PROPRIETOR.
1 S s
"V0K3. No. 40.
Lincoln, Nebraska, Oct. 34, 1902.
Whole Np. 93.
For the present at least tho coal striko Is set
tled. A commission of six men has been appointed
to consider and report upon the facts in the case
and the public ivill suspend judgment until the re
port is made. Instead of leaving the appointment
of the commission to the president, as Mr. Mitchell
on behalf of the. minors suggested, the mine own
ers tried to v pack tho commission In their own
favor by designating the kind of men to be chosen
and limiting thein to certain occupations. Mr.
Gompers, president of the federation -of labor,
pointed out that the mine owners had so limited
the appointments that .it would be impossible for
the president to select a laboring man or ono spe
cially representing them. The mine owners In
sisted that the commission should consist of, -first,
an army or navy engineer officer; second, an
expert mining engineer, not connected with coal
properties; third, one of the federal judges for the
eastern district of Pennsylvania; fourth, a. man
of prominence, eminent as a sociologist, and, flfthr
a man familiar with the buying and selling of coal.
The minuteness with which tho members were
described-raiacd tho suspicion that the mine own
ers had Isome "good "man" picked -outfor ach
place The president has announced the appoint
ment of Gen. John M. Wilson, as tho army engi
neer; B. W. Parker of Washington, D. C, chief
of tho coal division of geological survey, as tho
mining expert; Judge Gray of Delaware as tho
United States judge, though not of the eastern
district of Pennsylvania; B. B. Clark of Cedar
Hapids, la., the head of the order of railway con
ductors, as the eminent sociologist, and Mr.
Thomas H. Watkins of Scranton, Pa., as tho coal
dealer. Bishop.Spaulding of Peoria was added to
the commission and aSTfe'was not included in tho
proposition of the mine owners, it is fair to assume
that he w.as'apgpinted, at the request of tho miners
and ho and Mr. Clark are most likely to be the
representatives of the laborers Insofar as. the
members of .the commission may be influenced by
It is a great relief to the public to have work
resumed at the mines and the danger of a fuel
famine averted. The question of recognition of tho
miners' organization was waived for the time be
ing, but asMr. Mitchell" acted for his organiza
tion, in agreeing to arbitration, the union was in
The arbitration of this strike does not, how
ever, affect the general questions Involved. Tho
miners and tho public should insist upon legisla
tion which will kill all the trusts and make strikes
unnecessary. The Kansas City platform remedies
should bo urged upon congress as soon as the next
session convenes. They are:
First A national board of arbitration for the
settlement of differences arising between corpora
tions engaged in interstate commerce and their
, Second The abolition of- government by in
junction. .Thir'd The removal of the tariff on coal (and
on all other articles controlled by a trust).
Fqurth--The exclusion of all corporations from
interstate commerce until they secure a license
from the federal government, such license to be
given only when it is shown that there is no water
in the stock and that the corporation applying for
tho license Is not trying td monopolize any branch
To these should be addod a law prohibiting
railroads from engaging in coal mining, or in any
other business conflicting with the business of their
Tho settlement of this strike is only a tem
porary relief and stops should be taken to prevent
tho recurrence of such troubles.
Tho democrats stand on solid ground; they
have effective remedies and they should take ad
vantage of tho Interest aroused by tho coal striko
to secure tho adoption of these remedlos.
POPULAR ELECTION OF SENATORS.
Thirty-four years ago President Andrew John
son recommended an amendment to tho constitu
tion providing for tho popular election of senators;
twenty years ago James B. Weaver introduced in
congress a resolution submitting such an amend
ment; ten years ago a democratic house of ropre-v
sentatives passed such a resolution for the first
time, and since then, the house of representatives
in "three other congresses has sent a similar amend
ment to the senate, but in each instance the senate
has killed the measure. Why? Because tho cor
porations control the senate and do not intend to
surrender tho advantage which they now enjoy.
The senate refuses to be reformed what can be
Tho constitution wisely provides for amend
ment by convention called by three-fourths of tho
states. Now let the state lccilatures join in call
ing such a convention and then the senate can bo "
reformed whether tho senators want it reformed
or not The Kansas City platform declares for
tho popular election of senators and the candidates
for the legislature who run on that platform are
committed to the reform and it will increase their
strength before the public to let that faco bo
known. Among tho voters tho sentiment in favor '
of the direct election of senators is practically
unanimous. Let democratic candidates appeal to
this sentiment and point out the impossibility of
securing this reform through republican leaders
who are themselves under obligation to the cor
porations for campaign funds.
Senators must be elected by popular vote and
the issue ought to be presented at once.
Railway Mail Rates.
On another page will be found a very interest
ing, "article from the New York World on railway
mail rates. In view of the favoritism shown the.
railroads by congress it behooves the voters to seo
to it that representatives of the people and not rep
resentatives of the corporations bo sent to Wash
J3f course the anthracite coal barons were
terribly shocked to discover that some unprin
cipled scoundrel had smuggled that 67 cents; duty
into the Dligley Jaw.' .-,..
Attorney General Knox
and the Trusts.
Several months ago when it was announced
that tho members of Mr. Rooso volt's cabinet would
tako tho stump it was stated that Attornoy Gen
oral Knox would dovoto hfs attention to the trust
question. Mr. Knox dcllvorcd his first speech at
Pittsburg on tho ovenlng of October 14. It was by
far the ablest of all the speeches delivered by Mr.
Roosevelt's cabinet officers; and yot it cannot be
said that Mr. Knox gavo any good reason for the
peoplo to cherish tho hope that tho administration
is really determined to mako an effective cam
paign against tho trusts.
In tho first place It will bo well to direct at
tention to tho fact that in all of his carefully'
prepared address Mr. Knox did not once refor to
the criminal clause of tho Sherman anti-trust law,
nor did ho undertake to explain why tho adminis
tration had failed to enforco that chief feature of
the Sherman act
While Mr. Knox said that now legislation
would bo advisable and that congress, even In the
absence of a constitutional amondment, could en
act defective laws, ho did not explain how it hap
pens that although tho republican party has for
nearly six years been in complote control of both
branches of tho congress as wou as In lionCrbTr'
of the White house, it has failed to provide now
legislation on this subject v
Mr. Knox said ho proposed "to challenge the
proposition that we are hopelessly helpless under
our system of government to deal with tho serious
problems which confront us in respect to our
greatest interests;" and having pointed out the
power of congress to provide new and effective ,
legislation, in his statemont of what tho adminis
tration had done under existing laws ho was led
to Idmit, in effect, that the present laws are con-""
siderably more effective than ono would believe
judging from the way In which they have been
enforced by the republican party.
Mr. Knox claimed that the proceedings so far ,
taken by the administration presented "four
phases of the attack on combinations in restraint
of trade and commerce." Ho rofejjred, to the pro
ceedings brought against the Northern Securities
company, tho beef trust case, tho cotton pool case
and the railroad injunction suits commenced at the
instigation of the interstate commerce commission.
Tho latter casgs involved rate cutting on the
.part of the railroads engaged particularly In ship
ment of grain. Mr. Knox said that after injunc
tions had been obtained iinst certain railroads
other railroad officials who were not enjoined had
taken advantage of the restraint placed upon their
competitors and had been led to seek unlawful
earnings byaccording secret rates to increase their
business at the expense of the roads under in
junction. Mr. Knox stated: "Several of these
officials have been indicted already and more will
be if evidence of their misconduct can be pro
cured." It will be observed that the only indict
ments obtained by the federal authorities were
against railroad. officials who had engaged in rate
cutting. The indictment was resorted to in t'heee
cases because it was the effective weapon. Is it ..
not strange, then, that the indictment has not
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