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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Aug. 26, 1904)
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WILLIAM J. BRYAN, EDITOR AND PUBLISHER.
Vol. 4 No. 33.
Lincoln, Nebraska, August 26, 1904.
In the republican campaign text book for
1904 it is asserted:
"The pledges ot 189G and thoso made in 1900
' have been redeemed."
In 189G the republican party promised reci
procity "on such term's as will equalize our trade
with other nations, remove the restriction which
now obstructs the sale of American products in
the ports of other countries and secure and en
large markets foir the products of our farms, for
ests and factories." But that pledge has not been
In 1896 the republican party said: "We are
opposed to the free coinage of silver excopt by
international agreement with the leading com
mercial nations of the earth, which agreement we
pledge oursolves to promote." But that pledge has
not been redeemed.
In 189G the republican party promised that
whenever practicable the veterans of the union
armies should be given the preference in the mat
tor of appointments to office. But that pledge has
not been redeemed.
In 189G the republican party promised to hon
estly enforce the civil service law. But that
pledge has not been redeemed.
In 189G the republican party promised the
creation of a national board of 4 arbitration. But
that pledge has not been redeemed?"'
In 189G the republican party promised the ad
mission of the territories. But that pledge has
not been redeemed.
In 1896 the republican party promised that the
citizens of Alaska were to have representation in
congress. But that pledge has not been redeemed.
In 1900 the republican party promised that
. it would restrain and prevent all conspiracies and
combinations intended to restrict business, to cre
ate monopolies, to limit production, or to control
the prices. But that pledge has not been redeemed.
The party also pledged itself to "the associated
policy of reciprocity." But that pledge has not
been redeemed. It renewed its pledge to enforce
the civil service law and likewise, during its sec
ond term, it failed to redeem that pledge. II again
promised the admission to statehood of the ter
ritories of New Mexico, Arizona and Oklahoma, and
again it failed to redeem the pledge.
The republican campaign text bodk declares
that under republican administration the gold
standard has been "made permanent,'' and this
claim is made in the face of the fact that repub
lican newspapers have had much to say in criti
cism of Judge Parker because he declared that
the gold standard had been "irrevocably" estab
lished. The text book boasts that the laws against the
trusts have been strengthened and enforced; and
this statement is made in the face of the fact that
no effort has been made to enforce the chief feat
ure of the anti-trust law, which is the criminal
clause, and no one speaking for the administra
tion has undertaken to explain why that clause has
not been appealed to.
The text book refers to "the relation of the
trusts to the nomination of the democratic candi
date for the presidency," and the readerp of the
text bodk are expected to forget that the trusts
provided the republican party with their campaign
funds in 189G and in 1900 and that they are ex
pected to make liberaLcontributions to the same
campaign fund in 1904.
Hard to Please
Harper's Weekly is hard to please. In 1896
it was one of the most bitter and malignant of
the opposition press. Now it is fighting mad be
cause ' Mr. Bryan's, l statement is not such as it
would write.V In -last week's issue appeared an
extract from a recent editorial. It attempts to be
little the reasons given for supporting the ticket.
If the reader will examine tho speech made by our
candidate at the time of the notification he will see
that Judge Parker has justified tho reasons given
by Mr. Bryan and has answered the arguments
put forth by the "Journal of Civilization" as Har
per's Weekly calls itself.. It is determined to bo
displeased no matter what Mr. Bryan does.
MR. ROOSEVELT ON THE TARIFF
A reader of The Commoner asks if it Is true
that Mr. Roosevelt was onco a "tariff reformer."
It is true, and at one time Mr. Roosevelt even
wont so far as to become a member of a free
trade club. When he resigned his membership in
that organization he wrote a letter in which ho
said that he was "a republican first, and a free
trader afterwards." If the reader who makes this
inquiry will look at pages 66 and 67 of the "Life'
of Thomas H. Benton," a book written by Mr.
Roosevelt, he will find that Mr. Roosevelt wrote
"The vote on the protective tariff law of 1828
furnished another illustration of the solidarity of
the west. New England had abandoned her free
trade position since 1824 and the northwest was
strongly for the new tariff; the southern sea coast
'. states.-except Louisiana, opposed it bitterly; and
tho bill was carried by tho support of the western
states, both the free and the slave. This tariff
bill was tho first of the immediate irritating
causes which induced South Carolina to go into
the nullification movement. Benton's attitude on
the measure was that of a good many other men
who, in their public capacities, are obliged to ap
pear as protectionists, but who lack his frankness
in stating their reasons. He utterly disbelieved
in and was opposed to the principles of the bill,
but as it had bid for and secured the interest of
Missouri by a heavy duty on lead, he felt himself
forced to support it; and he so announced his posi
tion. He simply went with his state, precisely
as did Webster the latter, in following Massa
chusetts' change of front and supporting the tariff
of 1828, turning a full and complete somersault.
Neither the one nor the other was to blame.
For free traders are apt to look at the tariff
from a sentimental standpoint; but it is in reality
purely a business matter, and should be decided
solely on grounds of expediency. Political econ
omists have pretty generally agreed that protec
tion is vicious in theory and harmful in practice;
but if the majority of the people in interest want
it, and it affects only themselves there 4s no
earthly reason why they should not be allowed
to try the experiment to their hearts' content.
The trouble is that it rarely does affect only them
' selves and in 1828 the evil was peculiarly aggra
vated on account of the unequal way in which the
proposed law would affect different sections. It
purported to benefit the rest of the country, but It
- undoubtedly worked real injury to tho planter
states, and there is small ground to wondei that
the irritation over it in the region so affected
should have been intense."
Canadians Attack Tobacco Trust
The Canadian government has Inaugurated a
fight' against the tobacco trusts which seems likely
to succeed. A bill has passed the house of com
mons providing for the revocation of the excise li
cense held by manufacturers who sell goods sub
ject to the condition that the purchaser shall not
sell or deal in goods of a like kind -produced by
any other manufacturer or dealer. The measure
is a good one and suggests a new anti-trust rem
edy. Our congress should pass such a law and
thus put an end to one of the vicious practices
of the trust.
THE "OIL" LITERATURE
An Iowa minister linn cnllod attention to a
book entitled "Tho Riso and Progress of tho
Standard Oil Company," written by Gilbert Hol
land Montague and published by Harper Bros.
It was sent to him without solicitation and without
chargo and ho learned that it had also been sent
to other ministers. Tho book purports to be an
impartial review of tho growth of tho Standard
Oil company but it is in fact a plausible plea for
the company, evidently intended to iclievo the
company from censure and to justify the monopoly.
As Inevitable "a natural development' as apol
While control of prices, secret rebates, unfair
ness to competitors and all the other sins charged
against the company arc cheerfully admitted tho
tond of tho author is apologetic throughout as
will appears from tho following quotations:
"That the industrial efficiency of tnc favored
company was superior to that of other refiners
seems equally demonstrable. By tho sheer su
periority of its organization, and, ho far n la
known, quite unaided by discrimination in rates,
tho Standard Oii company had obtained In 1892
its pre-eminent position."
Wm. II. Vanderbilt Is quoted as saying of tho
Standard Oil officials :
"They arc very enterprising and smart men.
I never came in contact with any class of men
as smart and as able as they are in business."
"They are vory shrewd men. I don't believe that
by any legislative enactment or by anything else,
through any of the states or all of the states, you
can keep such men down. You can't do it. They
will be on top all tho time."
"An explicated narrative such as this lias pre
tended to be should bear Its own judgment upon
the agents who accomplished the oil monopoly.
That judgment if the narrative lias succeeded
in logical clearness runs somewhat as follows:
Since the railway and economic conditions, tho
progress of the Standard Oil company was quito
inevitable. Since it showed at an early time
bright promise of industrial efficiency it readily
acquired, after the fashion of the period, propor
tionate discrimination in freight rates."
"If the Standnrd Oil company were not tho
strongest refiner, its most powerful rival would
most certainly have seized the same control over
transportation that the Standard Oil company in
fact secured. In the last analysis, monopoly, by
the Standard Oil company was, under existing con
ditions, inevitable, simply because it was most
"And bo in what seems at first sight an un
accountable and suspiciously rapid growth may bo
discerned signs of inevitable developmon tho
operation of motives which are, at any rate, ex
plicable." "In the period from 1895 to the present, It
may be added, the difference between tho price
of crudo oil and the price of refined oil ha3 re
mained almost constant, which shows that this
power of fixing the price of crude oil has npt
been abused, in spite of the fact that the Standard
Oil company during these years refined over eighty
per cent of the output of oil."
"There is, he (Mr. Archibald) admits, a certain
amount of monopolistic power, coming from tho
aggregation of capital itself, which keeps prices
higher than they would bo under severe compe
tition; but at present this- power and its effect
upon prices are very- slight and the lessened cost
of dging business on a largo scale more than
compensates in lowered prices for the slight mo
nopolistic power of getting higher prices
"The statement has frequently been made that
the Standard has reduced its prices in the terri
tory of its competitors and maintained prices at
more profitable rates at non-competltitve points.
Such a practice, as an instance of ordinary bust-
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