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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (June 10, 1904)
justice, or that could not "be easily
controlled by the local or state au
thorities, for the federal troops can
do nothing that the state troops can
I repeat that you have been imposed
upon in this matter, but even if, by a
federal construction, it were held that
the conditions here came -within tho
letter of the statute, then I submit
that local self-government is a fun
damental principle of our constitution.
Iach community shall govern itself
so long as it can and is ready and able
to enforce tho law, and it is-in har
mony with this fundamental principle
that the statute authorizing the presi
' dent to send troops into states must bo
construed; especially is this so in mat
ters relating to the exercise of the
rolice power and the preservation of
law and order.
To absolutely" ignore a local govern
ment in matters of this kind, when
the local government is ready to fur
nish assistance needed, and is amply
able toenforce the law, not only in
sults tho people of this state by im
juting to "them an inability to govern
themse'lves, or an unwillingness .to en
force the law, but is in violation of a
tasic principle of our institutions. The
ouestion of federal supremacy is in
no way involved. No one disputes it
for a moment, but, under our constitu
tion, federal supremacy and local self
government must go hand in hand, and
to ignore the latter is to do violence
to the constitution.
As governor of the state of Illinois
I protest against this and ask the im
mediate withdrawal of the federal
troops from active duty in this state.
Should the situation at any time get
60 serious that -we cannot control it
with state forces we will promptly ask
for federal assistance, but until such
time I protest, with all due deference,
against this uncalled for reflection up
on our people and again ask the imme
diate withdrawal of these troops. I
have the honor to be, yours respect
fully, JOHN P. ALTGELD,
Governor of Illinois.
CLEVELAND'S REPLY IN JUSTIFI
CATION. . Executive Mansion, Washington, D.
C, July 5, 1894. Hon. John P. Alt
geld, Governor of Illinois, Springfield,
III. Sir: Federal troops were sent to
Chicago in strict accordance with the
constitution and the laws of the
United States, upon the demand of fh
pcstofflce department that obstruction'
01 the mails should be removed, and
upon the presentations of the judicial
officers of the United States that the
process of the federal courts could
not be executed through the ordinary
means, and upon competent proof that
conspiracies existed against commerce
between the states. To meet these
conditions, which are clearly within
the province of federal authority, the
presence-'of federal troops in the city
of Chicago was deemed not only
proper, but necessary, and there has
been no intention of thereby interfer
ing with the plain duty of the local
authorities to pr'eserve the peace of
the city. GROVER CLEVELAND.
ALTGELD'S FINAL RETORT.
To the Hon. Grover Cleveland, Presi
dent of the United States, Washing
ton, D. C Sir: Your answer to my
piotest involves some startling con
clusions and ignores and evades the
question, at issuethat is that the
principle of local self-government is
just as fundamental in our institu-
Gen. Chas. Dick,
Ohio's famous Congressman, writes:
Ther; is no remedy so efficient tot
headache as Dr. Miles' Anti-Pain Pills.
Ouro and provont. Sold and guaranteed bj
Il drugelsta. No opiates. TNon-laxativ
Hever sold in bulk. flSdoseaSS cent,
Dm, Mxum Manic Oo Elkhart, lad
tJons as is that of federal supremacy.
First You calmly assume that the
executive has the legal right to order
federal troops into any community of
the United States, in the first instance,
whenever there is tho slightest dis
turbance, and that he can do this
without any regard to the question as
10 whether that community is able to
and ready to enforce the law Itself,
and, inasmuch as tho executive is tho
eole judge of tho question as to whe
ther any tlisturbanco exists or not in
any part of the country, this assump
tion means that the executive can send
federal troops Into any community in
the United States at his pleasure, and
Keep them there as long as he chooses.
If this is the law, then the principle
of self-government either never did
exist in this country or e)se has been
destroyed, for no community can bo
said to possess local self-government
if tho executive can, at his pleasure,
send military forces to patrol its
streets under pretense of enforcing
some law. The kind of local self-government
that could exist under these
circumstances can be found in any of
tho monarchies of Europe, and it is
not in harmony with the spirit of our
S'econd It is also a fundamental
principle in our government that ex
cept in times of war the military shall
"be subordinate to the civil authority.
In harmony with this provision the
state troops are ordered out to act
under and with the civil authorities.
The troops you have ordered to Chi
cago are not under the civil authori
ties, and are in no way responsible to
them for their conduct They are not
even acting under the United States
marshal or any federal officer of tho
state, but are acting directly under
military orders issued from military
headquarters at Washington, and in
so far as these troops act at all it is
Thisd The statute authorizing fed
eral troops to be sent into states in
certain cases contemplates that the
state troops shall bo taken first. This
provision has been ignored and it is
assumed that the executive is not
bound by it. Federal interference with
industrial disturbances in the various
states is certainly a new departure
and it opens up so large a field that
it will require a very little stretch
of authority to absorb to itself all the
details of local government.
Fourth You say that troops were
ordered into Illinois upon the demand
of the postoffice department, and upon
representations of the judicial officers
of the United States that process of
the courts could not be served, and
upon proof that conspiracies existed.
We will not discuss the facts, but looit
for a moment at the principle in
volved in your statement. All of these
officers are appointed by the execu
tive. Most of them can bo removed
by him at will. They are not only
obliged to do his bidding, but they
are in fact a part of the executive. If
several of them can apply for troops,
one alone can; so that under the law,
as you assume it to be, an executive
through any one of his appointees,
can apply to himself to have the mili
tary sent into any city or number of
cities, and base his application on
such representations as he sees fit to
irake. In fact, it will be immaterial
whether he makes any showing or not,
for tho executive is the sole judge, and
nobody else has any right to interfere
or even inquire about it. Then the
executive can pass on his own applica
tionhis will being the sole guide
he can hold the application to be suf
ficient, 'and order troops to as many
places as he wishes and put them in
command of any one lie chooses, and
have them act not under the civil offi
cers, either federal or state, but di
rectly under military orders from
Washington, and there is not in the
constitution or laws, whether written
oi unwritten, any limitation or re
straint upon his power. His judgment,
that is, his will, I3 the sole guide, and
(Continued on Pago 10.)
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LIFE AND SPEECHES OF
William J. Bryan.
Illustrated, Octavo, Cloth Bound, Published in 1900
Nothing later in print. A limited number of copies,
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Address G. H. WALTERS.
2245 Vine Street, Lincoln, Neb.
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