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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (March 22, 1907)
' MARCH 22, 1907'
Ion, however, of the ablest railroad lawyers here
and. also of the railroad men themselves that such
a federal statute woujd not 'he constitutional.
Such a measure, it Is said, -would correspond
closely to the bill introduced in the senate some
time ago providing for the federal control of life
insurance companies. At the time of the insurance
bill's introduction President Roosevelt was ad
vised by eminent jurists that even if it passed
, the two houses of congress its constitutionality
would probably be called in (fueation by the United
States supreme court.
" The railroads .of the United States said an
attorney of one of the largest of the transconti
nental lines today, "would much prefer, if it were
possible, to have fre'ght and passenger rates fixed
by federal enactment; but I am convinced that be
fore such a consummation could be brought about
the constitution would first have to bo amended
and greater powers accorded to the government
at Washington , than now adhere to it. As
tilings stand now, the railroads are con
tinually harrassedby having to conform to a dif
ferent set of rates in every state through, which
they pass. As carriers running between two
points in any ghen state they arc subject to the
. local laws, and as carriers of interstate commerce
. they are also subject to the interstate commerce
commission. In other words, they are between
the devil and the deep sea.' " '
AS CLEAR AS MUD
The press dispatches bring us the news that,
speaking before the Indiana legislature, 'Vice
President Fairbanks delivered the following ora
"In recent years there has been a tendency
to combinations of capital to carry forward
the work of our industrial developments. We
have enacted, and will continue to enact, such
laws as will safeguard HONEST industry and
- WHOLESOME enterprise. Wo will keep open
the avenues to free and JUST competition, but
we will restrain within appropriate limits
" those agencies or combinations which may
seek to disregard FAIR laws of trade and
competition and to override the interests of
the body of the people. Capital which' is
'' PROPERLY employed will be properly pro-
"""'fected, iiifd that which is not so engaged must
11 ' fall under tne SHARP condemnation of tho1
The vice-president is more specific than usual,
yet it will be noticed that in this brief statement
he uses six words that can be construed to mean
anything or nothing. Tho genial vice-president is
a close imitator of the man of whom it was said
"he just didn't exactly say what he did talk
. C. W. Post of Battle Creek, Mich., in an article
printed in the Chicago Record-Herald, concerning
a third term for Mr. Roosevelt, says: "I am a
Strong advocate of continuing a capable execu
tive in the presidential ottice as long as he may
live or can be induced to serve. In a successful
commercial corporation we do not shelve first
class executives because we think it would be
pleasant for the friend of some of our friends
to see how it would feel to occupy that chair and
attempt to control affairs for a term. It will oe
better for this country when the people decide to
conduct its aCfairs in line with well-accepted com
mercial practice rather than in the manner it is
This advocacy of a "life term" is probably a
little too 'bold to please the third term boomers.
The Wall Street Journal makes an. Interesting
Suggestion: when, it says: "These are days of pub-,
licity. To wh.it better purpose could the prin-.
ciple of. publicity be. .applied than to the forthcom
ing conference between Roosevelt and the railroad
presidents. Why not hold it in public so that the
whole country might judge?"
Why not hold this proposed conference in the
POWER OF THE STATE
'The New York Herald says: "The railroads
have been forced to accept government regulation
of their business. They now realize that public
sentiment is too strong to fight against. Since the
power of regulation Is to be put over them they
prefer that it "should be lodged in one federal gov
ernment than in, - forty-six states. President
Roosevelt also believes that it should be lddged in
one federal government.". '
Careful observers will not overlook the fact
tha"' the railroad monopolists did not ask for
quarter until the state governments got into ac
tion through effective legislation. Mr. Roosevelt
has been a great help in educating the people to a
realization of some of the present day evils; but
it was not until Hie state governments moved
against railroad oppression that it became evideut
the blows were felt.
No wonder tho speculators who control our
railroads prefer that tho power be lodged in the
federal government. But the people prefer that
tho dnal form of our government be maintained
and that tho federal government exercise over the
railroads the power lying within .the federal do
main Avhile tho state governments do their part
for tho protection of public interests in that
President Stickney of the Chicago Groat West
ern Raihoad company recently visited the While
House and discussed with both the president and
the interstate commerce commission the railroad
situation. Mr. Stickney chims that as a matter
of law tho federal courts must hold that the states
cannot interfere with or attempt to regulate rail
road trallic, even when it is wholly within a state,
because to do o would be to interfere also with
Interstate trallic, which is specifically under the
exclusive jurisdiction of congress. He claims, in
short, that the power over interstate commerce
necessarily includes sole power .over state com
merce. "The Washington correspondent for the Omaha
"Mr. Stickney declared that both the presi
dent and the commissioners believe that as a
matter of good sense and business his proposi
tion ought to be sustained. They are satisfied
that coutlieting jurisdiction will ultimately
greatly impede efforts to control carriers. Mr.
Stickney presented to the president many Il
lustrations of these conflicts, and lie arranged
with the secretary of the commission that
the latter shall provide him with as many il
lustrations as possible of these conilicts which
have fallen under the observation of thp com
mission. Mr. Moselysaid today that the num
ber of these is very great. Mr. Stickney will .
prepare a brief of this matter for the use of ;
his lawyers In the course ' of the nextfcw
months, when they come to the supreme c6urt
J with tho case, l appealed from Minnesota,' In
which the Great Western ha raised the novel
contention of President Stickney. The latter
declares lie is confident his claim will be sus
tained if in the meanwhile he can do some
effective educational work."
The Stickney view carried to its logical con
clusion would take from the state all its power.
In that view the state could not legislate with re
spect to loan and trust companies, or insurance
companies while eery merchant from the dealer
in silks and calicoes, to the dealer in liquors would
look to the federal government for his rules.
It is an absurd proposition and the people will
not overlook the fact that only a few months ago
when the railroad magnates were oelng "annoyed"
by the proceedings on itye part of the federal au
thorities they md their spokesmen insisted that
states rights should be preserved and that the fed
eral power must not encroach upon the authority
of the state. But recently the state power lias
been exercised and in a very effective way.
Where the action of the federal authorities merely
"annoyed" the railroad magnates, legislation by
the states brought them to their knees. It is plain
now that in their desperation the speculators who
are in charge of our railroads have adopted the
centralized government plan; that they intend to
move for a destruction of the state's power over
the railroads and the deposit of that power ex
clusively In the federal government; and that they
intend, also, to make desperate effort to see that,
the federal government Js placed in the hands -C,
men who will not seriously interfere with the
"business enterprise" of the Harrimans.
The Wall Street Journal says: "The railroads
at first defiant now acknowledge defeat and admit
the advantages of federal regulation and open,
equal rates." But they didn't acknowledge defeat
until the power of the state government in the
work of regulating corporations was demon
Referring to Mr. Harriman's proposed visit to
the white house the St. Louis Globe-Democrat,
republican, says: "It Is possible that this railway
wizard may be able to say something which the
president and the country would be benefited by
hearing." But' it is probable that he will not
For the Scrap Book
,. MY MOTHER
I wish to write of my mother, '
My mother, loving and kind,
1 Who to mo more than any other, '
Is the Idol or my mind.
She care.l for me in my boyhood, i
With a love that can never ho told, ; .
And that love in the years of my manhood. '
Is worth more than her weight in pure gold
I was often wayward and careless,
But she loved mo Just the same,
And when I was cruel and heartless,
Her heart condoned the shame.
No task was too great for her lingers.
Now they're wrinkled, twisted mid bent, '
Ah, my memory fondly lingers ' '
On her inlnistrlo-i, heaven sent.
Her beautiful auburn tresses -.'
Are fading to winter's gray, .
But the wealth of her caresses
Grows greater every day. - ,
Her face like an angel's, grows brighter
With the passing of tho years.
And her voice makes the dark places lighter
As she smoother away my fears. ,
My mother, ny lieautirul mother, T "'
Thank God for your life so sublime,
You have taught us two, sister and brother,
' The noblest lesson of time.
That for others our lives should be given,
That our actions should always he right,
Your reward is secure up in heaven,
A crown in the mansions of light.
II. U. 1'., in Lincoln .Journal.
AT A WESTERN WINDOW
I gaze from the western window, ,,,-,,,
',jwv AUIWiUl II1U HU.1-1.1JWIJIJ5 ,UUJf, -imU
f woWherc the. sunshine and. the shadows ?
. in parting giory piay,
li-Mi-vL'o-violet isles enchanted
': That smile at the open door
'. As the argosies oi1 evening
Sail through to a fairer shore.
The day is long behind me,
The night Is coming on;
But 1 hear a robin singing
The song he sang at dawn;
Now one is the morn with evening,
And one are the earth and sky,
The blossoms in the meadow
With the stars that breathe on high.
And youth is young forever,
And love is never old,
Though masks of age are breaking
Back to the primal mold.
So here, from my western window ' i
I gaze, as the stars increase.
- ' And the mortal and immortal - T
Are one in this blessed peace. , ,';
Benjamin S. Parker in tho Reader.
LIGIIT ON THE CLOUD
' There's never an always cloudless sky,
There's never a vale so fair,
But over It sometimes shadows lie
In a chill and songless air.
But never a cloud overhung the day, "
And dung its shadows down,
But on its hea.ven-slde gleamed some ray, ,
Forming a sunshine crown.
It is dark on only the downward side;
Though rage the tempest ioua,
And scatter its terrors far and wide,
There's light upon the cloud.
And often when it traileth low,
Shutting the landscape out,
And only the chilly east winds blow
From the foggy seas of doubt.
There'll come a time, near the setting sun,
When the joys of life seem few;
A rift will break in the evening dun,
And the golden light stream through.
And the soul a glorious bridge will make
Out of the golden bars,
And all its priceless treasures take
Where shine the eternal stars.
Miuot J. Savage.
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