The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, February 26, 1909, Image 1
'if w wfp wpwpmD". ' "gHfwuww- tP ympppHWmUI,IIIJIHIimil)ypHytlMWHlM I n KruBpy-wv-., y. The Commoner. WILLIAM J. BRYAN, EDITOR AND PROPRIETOR OL. 9, NO. 7 Lincoln, Nebraska, February 26, 1909 Whole Number 423 R. BRYAN BEFORE THE NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE iln accordance with an invitation formerly ex- tded to him several weeks ago Mr. Bryan ad- issed a joint session of the legislature at icoln, February 17. . In the beginning Mr. cyan said that in speaking to the legislature wanted no more weight to attach to his rds than they deserved according to their fgument. He hoped no one would say he at- mptcd to dictate to the legislature. It was a sflection on that body to have any insinuation lat any man could dictate to it. The Lincoln Neb.) Journal gives the following as the sub stance of Mr. Bryan's remarks: 'The representative stands to act for those mo elect him. There are two theories of his ifunction, the one that he is selected to think for his constituents and to act as he sees fit, and fthe other that the constituents think for them selves and send the representative to the legis lature to act for them. The latter is essentially iemocratic, taking the word in its broader sense. That is why we have a roll-call. It is that the people at home may know how each one of you rvote on measures and to gauge the attitude of. Itheir representative by his stand on measures iwhich they as constituents have already thought rout for themselves. Every representative should tact in the daylight, that all men may know what he does officially. There is such a thing as em- ibezzlement of power. I hope the time will come hwhen men may be whipped into prison for a pbetrayal t)f power, for having used the delegated trust for private gain. "My views on this matter I expressed last fcfall in my notification speech and with your. )ermisslon I will read a- few lines from it: 'And. a may ad,d a platform is binding as -to what it fbmitd as weir-asd'wtiafit contains. According Cto the democratic idea the people think for "them selves and "select officials to carry out their wishes. The voters are the sovereigns and offi cials are -the servants employed for a fixed time and at a' stated salary to do what the sovereigns want done, and to do it in the way the sov ereigns want it done. Platforms are entirely in harmony with this democratic idea. A plat form announces the party's position on the auestions which are at issue and the official is not at liberty to use the authority vested in him to urge personal views which have not been submitted to the voters for their approval, lr one is nominated on a platform which is not .satisfactory to him, he must, if candid, either decline the nomination, or in accepting it, pro pose an amended platform in lieu of the one I adopted by the convention.' "I would have felt myself bound by every Ipledge of the party platform if I had been elect ed and would not have felt myseir at liDerty to have proposed important legislation that was CONTENTS MR. BRIAN BEFORE THE NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE A PRAYER FOR PEACE THE PRESIDENT'S LIBEL SUIT A HUGE BRIBE MR. ROCKEFELLER'S "MEAN TRICK" A TRIBUTE TO THE COMMONER HUMAN BEINGS SOLD AT AUCTION THAT FISH PROBLEM . EDUCATIONAL SERIES COMMISSION FORM OF CITY GOVERNMENT LETTERS FROM THE PEOPLE COMMENT ON CURRENT TOPICS " HOME DEPARTMENT WHETHER COMMON OR NOT NEWS OF THE WEEK not mentioned in the platform on which I made the race. Representatives have u more compli cated situation to face. Many of them have run not wholly on the state platform, but also on local platforms, which they have promulgated and on which largely they have been elected. Every man who was elected on a known issue, be that issue state or local, ought to vote as ho promised or resign and go home. If there were in the party platform a plank of which I did not approve I would urge its fulfillment with as much zeal as if I did approve it, because my confidence in the right of tho majority to rule is greater than my confidence in rJlty own judgment. The democrats have a party reason for carrying out the party pledges. The repub licans may -feel justified in making political capi tal out of any failures of the democrats to ful fil their promises." Some things not in the platform justify at tention and careful consideration of their mer its, continued tho speaker. He spoke of the bill which appropriated funds for tho erection of a monument to Abraham Lincoln and while he would say nothing as to the amount he hoped tho legislature would see fit to deal liberally by it. Lincoln had founded a party but he is now too big to be claimed by any party, ho is indeed too big to be claimed by any nation. He be longs to the world. Second, Mr. Bryan hoped the legislature would be generous with the Historical Society build ing, and would follow the lead of other states in creating a place to shelter the history of the commonwealth as it develops. Third; a bill on which he could not; speak so freely, but- In-theadvautages. of which he had absolute confidence,, the initiative and referent dum. He believed in the fight of the people to initiate laws and to sit in judgment on them when originated by the legislature. If this law could be put in force by statute he would not Xavor it until it had become a plank in some paTty platform. But the bill in question merely provides for the submission of the question to tho people. Fourth, the school of citizenship. Mr. Bryan said that since his name had been connected with the bill he felt that he should explain his connection with it. He had had a conversation with the chancellor and the chancellor had brought the matter of such a school to the at tention of the board of regents. Then with their approval Mr. Bryan had mentioned it to some members of the legislature. The bill, how ever; merely endorses the plan already adopted by the regents and only groups the courses into a school. Mr. Bryan said that he thought col leges neglect training in this respect, and the bill is intended to further the study of the duties of citizenship. Fifth, the Carnegie pension fund for college professors. Mr. Bryan declared that the need for better pay for teachers in the public schools and colleges did not warrant the state in humil iating itself by asking as mendicants that some rich man should help the state bear a burden it is the duty of its citizens to assume. The source from which such aid might come had much to do with its acceptance, he thought, and in the present case put it beyond the reason for ac ceptance. "This Carnegie fund," said Mr. Bryan, "is the most insidious poison that now threatens our nation. It will do more harm to us than all the efforts of the millionaires. If the trust principle is correct the work of con solidation will go on and on until all Industry is centered in the hands of a few men, who will dole out to the people their daily pittance of bread. The steel trust now is the mightiest of all these factors. So strong was it that It forced the president of tho United States to give his consent to its absorbing against the law one of its competitors. And at its head is Andrew Carnegie, the man who would pension our teach ers. Its earnings last yeaT were ?15Q,000,000, and enough was extorted from our state to pay all the salaries of all the teacherc of our uni versities and colleges. Shall we say, then,-that he may have the prlvilego of stopping tho mouths of our professors and warping their teachings in consequence of what ho gives them from month to month? I do not ask you to let me influence you. If my argument Is sound take it, for tho reasoning of the voter is as sound and tho question will not be settled now. If In after years It is found that tho acceptance of this gift has caused tho warping of teachings in our institutions of learning, tho voter will take the first opportunity to frown on tho party that allowed It." Sixth, tho Oregon plan of election of United States senators by direct voto of tho people. Mr. Bryan spoko well of the proposition, saying It was the best scheme that had been figured out until tho United States senate sees fit to step aside and let the will of tho people rule in this regard. It was not a partisan question, for a few years ago the republican legislature had . adopted a resolution approving tho popular elec tion of senators by a vote of 85 to 5. Seventh, the publication of campaign contribu tions before election. Mr. Bryan touched on this, one of the most popular planks in tho dem ocratic platform Inst fall. He hoped the bill in IhiB state would becomo a law. And ho hoped the state would go further and put a law on the statute books which would limit tho expenditures of candidates for office so that tho man who can afford to spend $100,000 for hla office will bo on the same footing as the man., who can spend but $5,000. , , Eighth; physical valuation of railroads. This was one of the state platform pledges of tho democrats. Mr. Bryan declared that it was not a hardship on tho railroads. It prevented tho demagogues from makiritJtprrfrtnnrttyfcondir' tioiis which really do not' exist. Publicity would prevent it. It would allow railroads to appeaj before tho logfslnturo Uko honest men tolling their case to the committees instead of as form erly .trying to control tho members by peculiar methods of their own. . Ninth, and last, the guaranty of bank, de posits. Mr. Bryan was glad to see that an agree ment had been reached on this Important meas ure. He believed tho bill as drawn would insure the absolute protection of tho depositor, and would work no hardship on the bank. He then went into the merits of tho question and argued as during the campaign on its justice to tho small depositor as well as is now given to thoso who deposit largo amounts. DON'T FORGET THE PEOPLE In an address delivered at Hattiesburg, Miss., Mr. Taft, referring to the Panama canal, said: "I am going to push that work, and I am going to stand behind the men who are doing it." That Is all very well; but don't forget, Mr. Taft, to stand behind the people who are pay ing for that work. Don't forget that their in terests are paramount to all others. A PRAYER FOR PEACE Let there bo light, Lord of Hosts'. Let there bo wisdom on the earth! Let broad humanity have birth! Let thero bo deeds, Instead of boasts! Within our passioned hearts Instill The calm that endeth strife; Make us Thy ministers of Life; Purge us from lusts that curse and kill! ; Give us tho peace of vision clear To see our brothers' good our own, To joy and suffer not alone; The love that casteth out all fear! Let woe and waste of warfare cease, That useful labor yet may build Its homes with love and laughter filled! God, give Thy waywaTd children peace! William Merrell Vories, in the Advocate of Peace (Boston). Hachiman, Omi, Japan. 1 i 4 i mmmiddiimi .Av y. - rf . - ,..