The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, March 10, 1905, Page 2, Image 2

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(parties will join with The Commoner in express
ing the hopo that Mr. Kooseclt's administration
may bo fraught with credit and honor to himself
and with substantial benefits to the people.
Chicago's Progressive Democracy
Tlio democrats of Chicago have nominated
Judge J3. F. Dunne for mayor on a municipal own
ership platform. The issue presented by the demo
crats is one on which they can in time carry every
one of the cities, and so much educational work
has already been done in Chicago that Judge
Dunne has an excellent chance of success this
year. The platform declares the issue to bo
whether tho expressed will of the citizens of Chi
cago or the interests of a Wall street syndicate
shall control the city's policy in dealing with the
street car question. It demands that the people
now assert their rights and proceed to bring about
municipal ownership and operation of street car
lines, gas plants, electric light plants and tele
phone systems.
Here Is an honest and straightforward plat
form and with an honest and straightforward
candidate like Judge Dunne there ought to be no
question about tho result. Success to the demo
cratic candidate- and his platform!
That Baden Report
Tho Washington correspondent for the New
York Evening Post says that there is just now "a
disposition to emphasize tho bulwark which tho
senato affords with its two-thirds republican ma
jority against any form of radicalism." It has
been complained that the president could not ac
complish anything in the radical lino so long as
this bulwark stood, but the Post's correspondent
says that this is an erroneous idea. He explains:
One thing which a radical president could
do with abundant precedent, that is somewhat
overlooked, is the setting into motion on his
sido of all the government agencies for edu
cating public opinion, such as statistics and
consular reports. Only a few days ago a consul
in Baden sent a report on the government
ownership of railroads there, which would
make converts rapidly to that idea in this
country. Were such a propaganda to be under
taken seriously there i3 no knowing how far it
might go in affecting public sentiment, for it
is a cardinal American theory that wo can do
what any other people on earth can do, when
as a matter of fact, because of the political
system which wo have developed, we fail In
many things where the older nations succeed.
But why should anyone object to the plan of
educating public opinion?" Are not the American
peoplo entitled to know tho truth and to be in
formed of tho experience other people have had
with reforms that are now suggested in a serious
way for our own government?
The American consul at Baden draws a verv
complimentary picture of government ownership
in that country, indeed, tho picture is so attrac
tive hat the Post's correspondent admits that it
couX." CnVertS mPidJy t0 that idGa in thia
If government ownership will not stand tho
test of study and investigation, then it wm not
commend Itself to intelligent men. Why tC
do the opponents of that plan object to iw
ing public opinion" on that subject?
Should not evon the most "conservative" nf
presidents set into motion all the government
agencies for "educating public opinion"?
Would it not be well for the fiflminiofM
circulate this report very freeiv 11 ?, Un ,to
on the theory that they are entlSTcfn 1 VQ??'
information on a T
interest is now aroused? public
The Post's correspondent seems to obWh
tho dissemination of information -Li, ct to
tained in tho report made bv on?? ,aS is con
and he bases hte'o I ecTion onVe dea tuV1
a propaganda" undertaken seriously in ul ?UCh
try might have a far-reachimr onw thIs,C0!m"
public sentiment is concerned W" as
spondent admits that 73 a J'ff corre-
that "as a matted EcE. politS
The Commoner.
system which we have developed, we fail in many
things where the older nations succeed. At least
this writer will not undertake to seriously deny
tho correctness of tho "cardinal American theory,
that our government was established with the view
of providing tho greatest good to the greatest
number and that with the people was reposed tho
power to protect the welfare of tho many against
tho encroachments of the few.
If the people, in their anxiety to protect them
selves, incline toward government ownership, have
they not the right to obtain information concern
ing the experience of other people with that re
form? Who shall deny them access to the truth on
tho theory that they have no reason to believe that
in a great governmental enterprise, designed for
the abolishment of evils and the alleviation of
embarrassments, the people of a monarchy suc
ceed where the people of a republic would fail?
Tom Watson's Magazine
The first number of Tom Watson's Magazine
has appeared. Mr. Watson contributes several
pages on political conditions. It is evidently his
opinion that the democratic party must be de
stroyed and his comments will be acceptable to
those who agree with him. To democrats his
arguments will seem insufficient and his conclu
sion unsound. Dr. Girdner of New York con
tributes an instructive article on "Franchise
Wealth and Municipal Ownership," and Mr. W. J.
Ghent discusses the "Butcheries of Peace," giving
some valuable statistics comparing deaths in battle
with the number of deaths due to the methods of
modern industrialism. The magazine will be use
ful as an educational force, and all reformers wel
come, or should welcome, every publication which
is educational in its purpose.
Time Limit Marriages
A Kansas legislator named Smith has intro
duced a- bill in the Kansas legislature providing
a time limit for marriages. Instead of being
united "until death do us part" the husband and
wife agree to live together for ten yeara, at which
time the marriage relation ceases unless by' mu
tual agreement it is extended for a further period
of ten years. .Without this mutual agreement for
an extension, the parties become divorced, tho
property is divided, and the courts are authorized
to make such arrangements as may be proper re
garding the custody of the children.
The suggestion has received a great deal of
newspaper attention, not because the measure is
likely to pass, but because it is novel. The author
of the bill says that he prepared it "at the request
of a delegation of women, whose names he is
not at liberty to divulge."
Tho mere suggestion of such a measure will
serve a useful purpose in that it will call attention
to the sacredness of the home and of the mar
riage ties. Certainly we shall have drifted far
away from the ideal when marriage becomes a
mere partnership, entered into by tho contrarHnlr
parties for a limited period, as two per oSs wouM
engago in the conduct of a store or m the raisin
of corn or cattle. If it is said that each of SI
parties would be more considerate of the other in
the hope of securing an extension of the marriaS
period, it may be replied that considernHnn i
to such a motive is not to Va ?,UQ
consideration that is due t real Sion vt
basis of such a limited co-naWriorI;L , ,The
selfishness; the basis of a S?,S?P W,Uld be
law which would make 'the r Jenc a coin? a
house or shop, rather than a home tmg
willTegtrmSlTirir1 egism that
a spirit of sXdX and STl1 bUt
harmonize differences smooth tho Zf ,that will
weld together Into oZVa se? TS and
hearts of husband and wife L! I,1?011 tho
Aside from the interest VaY hiand,chIld
have in this question ? tho childW
would be an unanswerable argument f e? alono
proposed innovation. The mS g n8t tho
ists, or ought to exist betwiLn ?aU?n that ex"
would "be materially chkngerthrPh?n a,nd chil
time it was old enough to cLi L llId' 1from th
lived in constant uncerta ntv ? ?? ?!.ch ihin&
it would be called upon to oL Vh,ch paren
It is likely to bo sometime vet Lfr He other
mandment "Honor thy faJhermi ? ,r tllG com"
amonded by adding "until tS 5 mother" is
y uuing until they separate, then
honor the one with whom you chooso to nn imt
the court assigns you to the other." leS3
At the risk of seeming old fogy, The r
moner begs to express its preference for the tt
riago that contemplates a life-long union of t"
congenial spirits with the hope that they win , ?
bo dissevered in the world beyond.
Rightly Called a Steal
In the house of representatives, February 24
the fight of many years waged against the annm
priation of $130,600 for rental of the old New
York custom house resulted in the 'prevention of
the steal for no other word properly describes it
Mr. Hemmenway of Indiana, republican, and
chairman of the committee on appropriations
sought to carry tho appropriation through. The
Washington correspondent for the Detroit Free
Press, referring to the contest on the floor of the
house, said:
The opposition was led by Mr. Sulzer of
New York, supported by Mr. -Williams of Mis
sissippi, the minority leader, both of whom
denounced the expenditure as a public scandal
and in the interest of the Standard Oil Co.
which, it was alleged, was behind the National
City bank, the purchaser of the building from
the government.
Although the bank was alleged to have
bought the property for $3,000,000 and to have
credited the amount to the government, it de
veloped that no title had passed to it and that
in consequence it was paying no taxes to the
state .of New York. The failure of the govern
ment to give a deed was ascribed to be due to
the influence of the Standard Oil Co.
Replying to a question submitted by Mr. "Wil
liams of Mississippi, Mr. Hemmenway admitted
that no deed was passed from the government to
the bank and that the bank was not paying taxes
for the building. While admitting that Secretary
Gage made "a bad contract," Mr. Hemmenway
insisted that it was the duty of the government to
comply with its terms.
Mr. Williams declared that the whole trans
action was stamped with "fraud and dishonor."
Mr. Sulzer, who made the motion to strike out
the proposition for the-appropriation, said:
It is a notorious scandal, a steal and a
fraud, and I can not understand why the City
National bank has not been compelled to pay
to the government the three million dollars
purchase money for the building, instead of tho
money being simply transferred on the bank's
books, except that it was due to the influence
behind the bank. Every one in this chamber
knows what that influence is. It is, the influence
of the Great Standard Oil trust that owns that
bank, and tho influence that bank -has had in
governmental affairs of this country.
Mr. Sulzer's motion to strike out the appro
priation prevailed by a vote of 93 to 77. That was
a good day's work and-Messrs. Sulzer and Williams
and their associates are entitled to great credit.
The facts relating to this affair' need nut to
be stated in order that Mr. Sulzer's charge that it
is "a notorious scandal, a steal and a fraud" bo
established. In January, 1900, the New York World
exposed the fact that the republican administra
tion, haying sold the old custom house to the City
National bank, better known as the Standard Oil
hank, instead of collecting the purchase price of
$3,265,000, and depositing it in the United States
treasury according to law, had "directed" tho
Standard Oil bank to "credit" the United States
with $3,215,000. The World showed that this actu
ally left the purchase price in the hands of the
purchasers to loan out at the prevailing rate of
4 per cent, while the balance of the purchase price,
$50,000, was left unpaid, even by crediting it as n
deposit and this was done in order to enable the
Standard Oil bank to avoid paying taxes to tho
local authorities, on the theory that it did not
own the property. It will be seen that by this
arrangement, the bank obtained the use of all
tho money it was presumed to have paid for tho
purchase of the building and at the same time
avoided paying taxes on the property while tho
bank further Bought to compel the government to
pay to tho bank rent for the property, while tho
new custom bou3o was being erected.
Congressman Hemmenway has but recently
been elected to the United States senato. Nothing
has ever been said affecting Mr, Hemmenway 's
personal integrity. No ono has ever charged that
in his individual transactions he is' capable of a
dishonorable act. In this view, is' itf not strange,
that Mr. Hemmenway, as a public official, would
' v-tf-Nmfl. .I. .