The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, April 03, 1903, Page 3, Image 3

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The Commoner.
APRIL 3, 190S.
showed how well one is armed who has the right
side of a question. He pointed out that it was
to the interest of the people to have the govern
ment indebtedness paid off rather than the money
loaned to the banks at a low rate of interest,
while the government itself was paying a higher
rate of interest Instead of allowing republicans
to collect large sums and then insist upon loaning
the money out to get it back into circulation, he
demanded that they either reduce the taxes and
leave the money in the pockets of the people, or
if they collected too much, apply the surplus on
the reduction of the public debt. He very forcibly
pointed out the interest the national banks have
in preventing the reduction of the debt, because
the bonds are the basis of the bank-note issue.
The second objection to the Aldrich bill is
that the loaning of the. money gives to the bank
ers a pecuniary interest in keeping the taxes
high and surplus large. As long as they can
collect money from the people and then get tho
money at a low rate of interest, their influence
will be thrown upon the side of high taxes and
large surplus.
The third objection is to be found in the fact
that the administration, if allowed to loan out
government money at a low rate, will be able to
lay the foundation for an enormous campaign
fund, and there is no doubt that this method
has been employed in the past. It will be remem
bered that Secretary Gage was required to make
public some correspondence which he had -with
some New York bankers, and it appeared that
one of the bankers had pleaded his campaign con
tribution as a reason for favors.
The .fourth objection to the bill is to be found
in the fact that the government would become a
partner in the stock jobbing transactions of Wall
street As the secretary of the treasury would
have the right to select bonds that came within
the provision of the statute, he could raise or
lower the price of bonds to the enormous advant
age of the speculators, and as Senator Blackburn
pointed out, ft would be possible for a railroad
magnate engaged in the banking business, to se
cure loans from the treasury at a low rate of
Interest, while the ordinary citizen would have to
borrow from the banks at prevailing rates.
A careful inspection of the Aldrich bill and a
consideration of the arguments made for and
against it, ought to convince any unprejudiced
mind that the republican party is in the clutch of
Wall street and is making the federal treasury
merely a business asset of the New York finanr
It is absurd to say that the money question
is settled while the financiers are persistently
hanging about congress and. demanding further
and further concessions in the interest of organ
ized wealth. It is fortunate for our party that it
has in the senate champions like Senator Black
burn, who are always on the watch and ready, to
point out the iniquities of republican measures.
The Strikers Win.
The findings of the board of arbitration were
given to the public just as The Commoner went to
press last week, and an abstract of those findings
was published in" the news columns. The award
was unanimous and was a substantial victory for
the strikers. The commission recommended a
general increase of wages, amounting to about 10
per cent, and also recommended a decrease in the
hours of labor. These are important advantages
gained. The commission also recommended a
minimum wage with a sliding scale that enables
' the miner to profit by an increase in the price of
coal. A discontinuance of the system of employ
ing what are known as a "coal and iron police"
was also recommended, and a stricter enforce
ment of the laws in relation to tho employment of
children was urged.
The recommendation of the commission in
regard to a permanent board of arbitration de
serves especial consideration. It insists that the
state and federal governments should provide
machinery for the making of a compulsory in
vestigation of labor difficulties by a commission
similar to the commission in the case just closed.
Republicans have been inclined to give the
president great credit for the appointment of a
commission and the settlement of this strike af
ter tremendous loss had been suffered by all tho
parties interested, and yet these same republicans
refuse to give the democratic party credit for hav
ing insisted in 1896 and also in 1900 upon a per
manent system of arbitration which would have
made this strike unnecessary because it would
have enabled the mineYs to secure a settlement
of their grievances without a strike.
According to the commission, the strike cost
the mine owners $46,000,000, and employes $25,-
A reader of The Commoner, who is about to
cast his first vote, asks the following questions:
1. How may a first votor help to nominate a
candidate who will servo all the people, and not
the corporations, and trusts alone?
2. Who elects delegates to the national con
vention? 3. Who names tho chairman of the national
4. Who names tho platform committee of tho
national convention?
Tho questions are pertinent A first votor,
and this applies to those who have voted often
as well as those who have not yet voted, may
help to nominate a candidate who "will serve all
the people and not tho corporations and trusts
alone," by joining with those who think like him
in selecting the delegates from tho precinct to tho
county convention. The delegates to the national
convention are chosen by state conventions. Some
times, in fact usually, the delegates who represent
the various congressional districts aro chosen by
the delegates who represent those districts In tho
state convention, although, as a rule, the names
of the delegates thus chosen are submitted to the
state convention for ratification. The delegatos
from the state at large are chosen directly by the
state convention. Wherever an issue is at stake,
the delegates are generally instructed, and often
they are instructed to act as a unit They are in
structed in order that thoy may -represent the sen
timent of the democrats of the state rather than
their own personal sentiments, and they are in
structed to vote as a unit in order that, on co
lateral questions which effect the main question,
but about which they are not instructed, they may
so act as to carry out the main purpose for which
they were selected.
The chairman of the national convention is
named by the delegates to the national conven
tion in the convention assembled.
The platform committee is selected from
among the delegates, tho delegates from each
state selecting the state's representative on tho
platform committee. The platform committee re
ports the platform and then the convention- has
the right to adopt tho platform or amend it, or to
reject it The national committee is formed in
the same way as tho platform committee. Each
state suggests its member, and the members of
the national committee select the chairman, who
may or may not be a member of the committee.
It will be seen from the foregoing that tho
delegates to tho national convention are the ones
who determine the party's policy through its plat
form. As the state convention selects the dele
gates to the national convention it is very im
portant that the delegates to the state convention
represent the sentiment of the democrats of their
state. As these delegates are usually chosen by
county conventions it is also vitally important
that the county convention represent the senti
ment of the democrats of the county. As tho
county conventions are usually composed of dele
gates representing the various precincts, the pre
cinct convention is the most important of all, be
cause it is in the precinct convention that the
voter expresses himself directly. In all delegate
conventions the rank and file may or may not
be represented, but in the. precinct meeting tho
voter's voice is heard and obeyed. It is in the
precinct, therefore, and among the voters, that the
work must be done if the democratic party is to
be kept true to its principles.
It is safe to say that if delegates are selected
without scrutiny and sent without instructions,
the moneyed element will be stronger in the
county convention than in the precinct; stronger
in the state convention than in the county con
vention, and stronger in the national convention
even than in the state convention. This is due to
the fact that the moneyed men are the ones who
aro most likely to bo selected as delegates unless
some test is applied in tho selection, because tho
moneyed men aro usually more prominent than
those without money, and have tho timo and
means to attend conventions. Tho moneyed men
aro, as a rule, more likely than those with Ioks
money to yield to tho demands of organized
wealth, and In a contest where tho manses aro on
one side and organized wealth upon the other, It
is important that tho masses should zealously
guard their rights and exercise care in tho selec
tion of their delegates. It must not bo assumed
that because a man has money, ho is necessarily
against the interestS"Of the masses, for there aro
many conspicuous exceptions, and minor excep
tions can bo found in ovory county, but it is a
fact that on tho money question tho defection from
tho democratic party was largest among tho mon
oyed olement, and It is also probablo that on tho
trust question tho same condition will have to
be met.
How, then, can tho rank and file protect them
selves? Let them organize precinct clubs and lot
these clubs be enlarged to Include all in the pre
cinct who beliovo in Kansas City platform prin
ciples. If a majority of tho voters of a precinct
believo in these principles and will act together,
they will have no difficulty In solectlng delegates
who will represent their views, and by instruct
ing these delegates thoy can control the county,
state and national conventions.
The Chicago platform was written by dele
gates who were instructed to write it, and tho
Kansas City platform was written by delegates
almost all of whom had been selected by state
conventions that indorsed the Chicago platform.
The democratic party cannot stand neutral in
the fight that is now being waged; it must bo
on the side of democracy or on the side of plu
tocracy, and Its position should be determined
not by the leaders, but by the voters. The Com
moner denies that any one has a right to speak
for tho voters. It insists that the voters should
speak for themselves, and it is urging the votors
to organize and make their influence effective.
If tlie reorganizes go before the voters with
their, policies and plans and sectire the indorse
ment of those policies and plans by a majority of
the voters of the party, thoy will be entitled to
the platform, the nominees and tho organization,
but they have novor yet attempted, such a thing,
and are not likely to. Thev will set up conventions
and practice deception upon the very people for
whom they ask to spak, and upon whoso support
they must rely, but they will not make an honest
fight for an honest purpose. -
The first voter, above referred to, Is ndvled to
make himself acquainted with tho voters of his
precinct (and this advice is also given to all other
democratic voters); he Is advised to join with
them in tho formation of a club, even if there
are but few members. The club can then in
crease its membership as much as possible. The
club will be the nucleus about which will gather
those who believe in the Kansas City platform,
and it will lead the fight for those who believo
in those principles.
Let the work of organization begin at once,
and continued until every precinct Is organized.
Then a platform will bd written reflecting the sen
timents of the voters; a ticket will be nominated
acceptable to a majority of tho voters, and the
party organization will be in control of those who
do the voting. If this work Is done the mfn
who are talking so loudly about hnrmony now
will have a chance to show their desire for har
mony by joining In with the majority and making
a fight against the republican party.
The Commoner will furnish a form for a con
stitution and membership blanks upon applica
tion and would like the names of the clubs organized.
000,000, and the transportation companies $28,
000,000. Here was a loss of about $100,000,000 that
might have been avoided if the democratic plan
had been adopted, that is, this much might have
been saved in this one strike, not to speak of the
saving in other strikes. And yet there are re
publicans so partisan that they toss their hats
In air in praise of the administration because, af
ter waiting until enormous loss had been suffered,
it secured the settlement of one strike without
guaranteeing the country against a constant re
currence of strikes.
Tho laboring men have been pleading for ar
bitration for years, and the democratic party has
been insisting upon it, hut the republican lead
ers are too busy looldng after the Interests of tho
corporations to give time or consideration to leg
islation imperatively needed, not only in the in
terests of the wace-earners, buti in the interest ot
the public generally.
Is it not time for the rank and file of the re
publican party demand a plan for the settlement
of all labor disputes rather than- the tardy set
tlement of one only?
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