Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (June 15, 1906)
"TTWf '3 Vyi 'T
JUNE 15, 190G
MILES, EAGAN AND EMBALMED BEEF
Will Republican Newspapers Apologize?
Tho rccen'c exposures of the beef trust recall
in a striking1 way what was known several years
ago as "the Miles-Eagan Controversy," but
which will' be remembered now as General Miles'
timely exposure of beef trust wickedness and
the series of systematic insults and attempts at
humiliation r to which General Miles was sub
jected. . ...
General Miles charged tha'c the packers under
their contract with the government' had supplied
to the American soldiers "embalmed beef." He
declared that he had "overwhelming evidence
that the 'embalmed beef was treated with chem
icals in order to preserve it," and that he had
affidavits from men who saw the meat undergo
ing the embalming process. He charged also
that the canned meats and extracts were put up
from spoiled material and were nauseating. He
tiad urged that beef on the hoof be sent "to the
soldiers, but this request was denied, and he said
that 500,000 pounds of "embalmed beef" went in
'one ship to Porto Rico, and that the beef was
so bad that it would have caused a pestilence'
had it ueen taken ashore from, the ship, and it
was then thrown overboard. General Miles add
ed: "What elce could be done with it? Nothing
alive would eat it"
- General Charles P. Eagan wag at the time
commissary general. General Eagan was very
indignant at General Miles' charges,, and he ap
peared before" the investigating commission,
which had been appointed for the purpose of in
vestigating, those charges, reading a typewritten
(attack on General "Miles. In this address Eagan
repeatedly called General Miles a liar, and used
unprintable language in denouncing him. The
commission returned General Eaganrs testimony
a,s " being micceptable because of, the vigor of
the "'.language employed, and it waB resubmitted
in an expurgated ifprm. Eagan's attack upon
Miles was so vicious that President McKlnley
ordered a court martial of , Eagan on charges
of conduct unbecoming an officer and conduct
prejudicial to good order. and military discipline.
The court martial found Eagan guilty and ordered
his dismissal from the army. President McKin
ley, however, commuted this sentence to suspen
sion from rank and duty for a term of six years.
The effect of this sentence was to retire General
Eagan on full pay 'in advance of his formal re
tirement with the rank and pay of. brigadier
.general. In his .order commuting Eagan's sen
tence President McKinley referred to "the miti
gating .circumstances which were developed dur
ing the' trial of the case." The administrati6n
was lcnown to be unfriendly to Miles and friendly
' "to Eagan, but Eagan's offense was so aggravated
that- it was- impossible for his friends to avoid
some proceedings against him. While Eagan
was somewhat humiliated by his forced retire
UP GO THE PRICES IN EUROPE
A reader of The Commoner directs attention
to the following dispatch printed in the New
York Herald: ' '
"Washington, D. C, May 26. Reports on the
continual rising prices on nearly all classes of
merchandise reach the bureau of manufactures
from all parts of the world.
"Consul Edward B. Walker sends an English
version which says that bacon, cheese, eggs and
' butter are scarce and dear in England,! largely
' owing to the enormous demand for these commo-
dieles in America and Germany. America is also
using more -of itg wheat, and Germany more of
' its beet sugar. ' Germany"formerly exported bacon,
dairy and poultry supplies, but now that empire
is depriving England of part of the American ba
f con supply, and is scouring Europe for eggs.
l' "England formoily received vast supplies
of eggs and butter from the Balkans, (Russia and
Siberia, Denmark- and Sweden, but Germany is
' 'now taking fhd lion's share at higher; prices.
. England is now forced to turn to Ireland tor
""eggs, and prices are twenty per cent more than
F last year. - "
"From Sydney, Australia, comes news that
i with the increasing depletion of American, goods
in stock, the effects of increased prices" and
freights are becoming apparent. The rates of
ment, his sentence practically amounted to six
years' vacation on a -salary of $5,500 a year. And
this "punishment" was severely criticised by
some of the newspapers of the country.
Tho evidence offered by General Miles was
so overwhelming that it would have been diffi
cult for (ho commission appointed by the presi
dent to entirely vindicate the beef trust, although
in its renott it went as far along that line as It
dared to go. It held that the beef was not treated
with chemicals or "embalmed," and said that
the canned roast beef was not suitable for con- '
tinuous rations and ought not to be used oftener
than one day in five. The commission held that
very little beef was spoiled, and" the spoiling was
duo to the tropical climate. The commission
criticised General Miles, finding that he had no
sufficient justification for alleging that the beef
was "embalmed" or Unfit for use by the troops.
Many newspapers denounced this verdict, the
New York Times saying: "It is a very shameful
report, an indecent and disgraceful report. In
some respects, also, it is a cowardly report,"
The Philadelphia Public Ledger said that the
case must now be remanded to the great jury
of the public, adding: "It fs surprising and re
grettable that one of the generals who 'look the
' unpleasant initiative and concealed nothing In
calling the country's attention to the conditions
complained of should receive the crown of cen
sure, while those who are really responsible for
a lamentable situation are unnamed. Without
imputing infallibility to General Miles it, is firm
ly believed that his only motive in his frank
statement of his belief as to tho army rations
was a' humane and patriotic motive and was in
tended solely for the good of the service which
he has helped to make illustrious."
But General Miles was roundly abused by
the partisan republican organs.
The New York Press demanded that General
Miles be cashiered, adding: "General Miles used
the war department machinery to conduct an
investigation for the benefit of his newspaper
' allies. He sought from the department autho-
rity which was readily granted, to pursue an in
quiry into "the subsistence methods of the army.
The results of this inquiry he made known not
to the 'department, not to the president, but to
the public press. He turned the office of general
commanding the United States army into an
agency for the procurement of army scandals for
sensational journals. Had a second
lieutenant been concerned in such disreputable
practices he would be broke instanter. The
same rule of official action must be applied to
the major-general commanding "when he stoops
to methods of which, to the honor of the army
be it said, no second lieutenant has ever 'been
The Chicago Inter-Ocean, republican, called
for the suspension of General Miles, saying:
"General Miles has disappointed hia friends and
has given his many enemies the opportunity they
have been seeking for twenty years."
Referring to the report of tho commission
the New YorJc Sun, republican, said: "It will
be read with profound satisfaction by all except
those who have sympathized with tho major-general
commanding the' army in his unHoldiorly at
tempt to bring professional discredit on tho sor
vice and political Infamy on the administration
Those who have joined him, from one motive oi
another, In this unexampled enterprise wlll have
to content themselves with their proportionate
share of the resulting mortification and the dis
grace. The Inquiry ends in humiliation for tho
major-general commanding the army; humilia
tion as bitter as it is deserved."
The Detroit Journal, republican, printed an
editorial entitled "Mendacity Exposed," The
Journal said: "The exoneration of tho contrac-i
tors, or packers, is not tho least meritorious and
satisfactory part of tho report. That American
citizens engaged In the business of curing meats
for general consumption could or would take. ad
vantage of their government In an hour of stress
to foist upon it inferior or doctored meats was
too monstrous for belief. Tho report emphati
cally declares that the packers furnished to the
government the same kind and quality oi meats
furnished to the trade. Heat and hurry and vio
lence in handling Impaired the quality. This
exculpation of tho packers will tend to silence
much of the criticism heard in foreign countries-"
and repair in part a groat injury to our foreign
The Philadelphia Press, republican, said:
".The original charge of 'embalmed beef made by
General Miles falls completely to tho ground.
v The report of General Wado and his
associates Is the beginning of the end of the
long coll of calumny which has succeeded the
war. This court Is as able as could have been
organized in the army. Its members are able,
honorablo and above reproach. They hadf all
the powers which a score of newspapers assured
us the war commission had nob. Their investi
gation has been exhaustive. They reach the same
conclusion as the war commission. They find
no personal corruption, no collusion, no failure
by beef contractors. The 'embalmed beef
charges proved baseless. None was furnished.
The refrigerated beef was sound." ,
The Philadelphia Inquirer said: "What could
the court of inquiry do other than it has done?
It lias not been able to find 'embalmed beef,'
that is, fresh beef treated with chemicals. It,
therefore, reports General Miles' charges in this
respect as unfounded, or rather as'not" proven."
The Boston Transcript, republican, approved
the report, saying: "Wo should think that Gen
eral Miles would see the wisdom of accepting
the verdict as final."
wooden, hollow ware and metal goods are be
ing increased in sympathy with the rises in
"German hotels and Restaurants are advanc
ing prices charged patrons, reports -Consul J. I.
Britain who says the union of public house pro
prietors in Strasburg raised their bill of fare
rates ten to thirty per cent on May 1. They
allege the cost of meat, vegetables and other food
products is continually increasing, and they are
also obliged to pay more for labor. One Stras
burg restauranteur cites as an example his cook,
who now receives $28.50 per month, whose former
Wages were but $19. He also states that there
had been an advance in the prices for cooking
utensils. It is said similar advances have been
made by hotels in various parts of Germany.
"There appears to be a decided upward ten
dency in prices in Germany, which will doubtless
make it more difficult for German exporters to
compete with other countries in foreign markets.
These advances pertain to raw materials, man
ufactured products and labor.
"Consul Kohl writes from Stettin that the
German breweries will be forced to pay $8,000,000 '
additional per annum -for. material under the new
tariff; and these expenses will be saddled on tho
'Consul TJrbain J. Ledoux, at Prague, records
tho upward trend in prices of Austrian produc
tions, writing to the bureau of nninufactures that
the manufacturers of celluloid wares have raised
their prices ten per cent, giving -as a reason- the
extraordinary rise in camphor in Formosa. The
shoe manufacturers of Prague have granted their
workmen shorter hours and Increased pay, In
consequence of which and the -higher cost of raw
leather shoe prices have been advanced twenty
per cent. This should help the sale of American
shoes, which have gained great popularity In
"Various industrial strikes are In progress
in Bohemia, owing to the increased cost of living,
while In Germany the United Metal Workers
are considering a general strike."
This Commoner reader adds: "Bland and
Bryan wore right. The quantitative theory has
been proven correct. Money is not the value for
which goods are exchanged, but the measure by
which they are exchanged."
The St. Louis Globe-Democrat says that The
Commoner' "still stands by the quantitative 'theory
of .money." Of course! And if tho Globe-Democrat
does not now recognize the quantitative
theory it stands practically alone.
wfe-tai & -
V. .. i
Powered by Open ONI