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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Aug. 30, 1907)
WILLIAM J. BRYAN, EDITOR AND PROPRIETOR
ytpL. 7, no. 33 ;.;-. .;
.-Lincoln, Nebraska, August 30, 1907
Whole Number 345
r . .
r PRESIDENT URGES CENTRALIZATION ;
TAFT WEAKENS ON REFORM .' -MERELY
TO GET IN ON
THERE ARE OTHERS
"AFTER THE MANNER OF DAVIS" "
HERE IS A CALAMITY HOWL
"IF PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT IS A REPUB
LICAN" MR. ROOSEVELT'S "ILLOGICAL STOP"
AND MR. TAFT'S "WIDE MARGIN"
LETTERS FROM THE PEOPLE
COMMENT ON CURRENT TOPICS
' WHETHER COMMON OR NOT
NEWS OF THE WEEK
A HAVEN OF REFUGE
MERELY "TO GET IN ON"
, The St. Louis Republic recently said: "If
Secretary Taft's dream is ever to become a '
reality lie must forswear republicanism and go
over to that party which, as a whole, is already
in favor of revision." The Republic said this in
commenting upon Mr. Taft's declaration that
he was in favor of tariff revision whenever Ine""'
republican party "as a whole" shall favor.
Replying to the Republic the St. Louis-Globe-Democrat
(republican) says: "If the
democratic party could be trusted to think and
act as a whole on anything at all, its prospect
of restoration would be brighter than it is. But
there can be no doubt, that it comes much nearr-r
wanting tariff revision 'as a whole' than the re
publican party does, or ever will."
The Globe-Democrat also says "all tariff
revision is now associated in the public mind
with the democratic party" and that "even such
an authority as Secretary Taft can not force
the republican party" into disputing with the
democratic party the possession- of that reform
although of course the Globe-Democrat does not
call it "reform."
f According, then, to the Globe-Democrat Mr.
Taft's tariff revision declaration is merely the
old time republican plan of "holding the word
of promise to the ear to break it to the hope."
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WHAT MR. ROOSEVELT'S LATEST-ANNOUNCED POLICY MEANS
President Urges Centralization
Referring to Mr. Taft's speech at Colum
bus the Milwaukee Sentinel says: "His pointed
declaration against government ownership of
railroads should apprise Mr. Bryan of the
futility of his own recent efforts to discard that
issue and keep it out of the coming campaign
should he be nominated."
But in that same speech Mr. Taft himself,
said that if a remedy is not provided for .present
day evils "then we may certainly expect that
the movement toward government ownership will
become a formidable one that can not be stayed."
.The Sioux City (Iowa) Journal nfakes this
blunt confession: "It must be -admitted that
Mr. "Bryan's word 'predatory' has been appro
priated." Well, if the republican leaders have pro
gressed so far as to admit that 4it' is stealing
then all around congratulations are in order.
The president has at last disclosed his
scheme for centralization at which he has hinted
in former speeches. In his Provlncetown, Mass.,
address, he proposes the national incorporation
of railroads and other corporations engaged in
interstate commerce.. He says:
"Most largo corporations do a business that
id not confined to any one state. Experience
has shown that the effort to control these cor
porations by mere state action can not produce
wholesome results. In most cases such effort
fails to correct the real abuses of which the cor
poration is or may be guilty; while in other
cases "the effort is apt to cause either hardship
to the corporation itself, or else hardship to
neighboring states which have not tried to grap
ple with the problem in the same manner; and,
of course, we must be as scrupulous to 'safe
guard the rights of the corporations as to exact
from them in return a full measure of justice
to the public.
"I believe in a national incorporation law
for corporations engaged in interstate business.
I believe, furthermore, that the need for action
is most pressing as regards those corporations
which, because they are common carriers, exor
cise a quasi public function; and which can be
completely controlled, in all respects, by the
federal government, by the exercise of the power
conferred under the interstate commerce clause,
and, if necessary, under the post-road clduso, of
' "DuIng the last few years we have taken
marked strides in advance along the road of
proper regulation of these railroad corporations,
but we must not stop in the work. The national
government should exercise over them a similar
supervision and control to that which it exer
cises over national banks. Wo can do this only
by proceeding farther along the lines marked
out by the recent national legislation."
Here is the secret It Is out at last! The
states are annoying the corporations and tho
corporations demand federal protection from
state legislation. The president thinks that
action "is most pressing as rogards those cor
porations which because they are common car
riers exercise a quasi public function." Tho
states have been enacting two-cent fare laws and
laws reducing freight rates and the railroad
-managers demand that they shall be relieved
from further fear of such legislation. The
president's Hamiltonlan Ideas make him an easy
victim and he yields to the entreaties of the
If it was the public he sought to protect
he would recommend federal remedies which
..would not Interfere with state remedies but it
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