The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, March 05, 1909, Page 7, Image 7

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MARCH i, 1901
The Commoner.
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BY WHAT the Associated Press calls "an
overwhelming vote and without party dis
tinction" the house of representatives tin Feb
ruary 5 sustained the committee on appropria
tions in again reporting a provision in the sundry
civil appropriation bill, restricting the operations
of the secret service detectives of the treasury de
partment. The president was scathingly de
nounced by Mr. Cook, republican (Colo.), while
Mr. Smith, republican (la.), a member of the ap
propriation committee and one of those named
by the president in his message of January 4
last, as being responsible for the secret service
limitation, seemingly employed all the invective
at his command in an attack on that service.
He compared the secret service detectives with
"common liars," declared them to be worthless
and pointed to the assassination of President
McKinley as a sample of the watchfulness and
capacity of those men, one of whom, he said,
stood at the president's side when he was shot
down and failed to observe the approach of the
assassin with his. supposedly bandaged hand in
full view.
REPRESENTATIVE Cook, republican, of
Colorado, said: "President Roosevelt
seems to think that ho alone is the government,
and that his ipse dixit must rule everybody, in
cluding the poor and friendless black soldiers
ot Brownsville, who were insulted, dismissed
and degraded without procf or trial, by execu
tive order and without any warrant of reason
or law. President Roosevelt runs the govern
ment on the same principle that the beef trust
runs its sausage factory, from a personal stand
point, using executive and judicial pork as the
crude material in liis fantastiu administration.
While imitating Rlonzi and Cromwell in fooling
th,evpepple,- he is praqticing the hypocrisy and
dictatorship rof Cleon,-and Dionysius, and has
built up a kocsevelt ring in the army, navy and
civil service, all for his personal and political
glory, supreme in his impudence, vanity, arro
gance and i nperial egotism. His veto messages
are made from the impulse and ignorant in
formation of his cabinet clerks, and the vacillat
ing attorney, general is a weak legal reed of
the rough riders' dependence-, who even racently
gave a false statement to the president upon
the joint resolution passed by congress, deter
mining the question of tbe boundary line be
tween Colorado and Oklahoma and the terri
tory of New Mexico,"
WtlTING TO the Chicago Banker, Issue of
February 13', John Schuette, president of
the Manitowoc Savings Bank, Manitowoc, Wis.,
says: ''The Al'dri'ch-Vreeland bill will disclose
to any one looking sharp that it has 'a nigger
In the wood pile.4 When this bill was under
consideration, and even after it was passed,
nearly all believed that only the emergency cur
rency which might be issued under it could be
secured by United States bonds or other securi
ties,, and that the security against the old. na
tional bank notes would remain unchanged, so
that we would haye two kinds of bank notes, the
old, secured by United States bonds exclusively,
and the new emergency notes, secured by United
States bonds or other securities. .'Other securi
ties,' as defined in the act, may consist of state,
municipal, railroad bonds, or. commercial notes.
This, then, 'is the general acceptance of the pro
visions of the Aldrich-Vreeland act; but now
let me .explain, how it is entirely different. The
leading spirits in securing this legislation real
ized that the emergency currency, the security
of which might be questioned, as it might con
sist mainly of commercial notes, would not be
accepted by the public as quite as safe as the
United States bond secured notes, and to make
all alike in the eyes of the people, they lowered
the security of the old national bank note to
the lower level of emergency bank note, and
this was accomplished by an amendment to the
national bank act, which only required -the add
ing of three words, 'or other security,' after
the wordB 'United States bonds Since the
passage of the Aldrich-Vreeland act, all national
tank notes printed by the government state
upon their face, 'secured by United States, bonds
or other securities Since then, not a dollar of
emergency currency has been issued, while many
of the new notes have been issued to banks in
exchange for mutilated bills; and such bills,
although Becured by no other security than
United States bonds, state on their face, 'so
cured by United States bonds or other securi
ties;' this really is a deception. I can not see
any reason for this but a bad one, and that is
to prepare the way for asset currency. While
an emergency currency act might have boon
drawn to give some relief in a money stringency,
the Aldrich-Vreeland act has actually done harm
iir-that it depreciates all our national currency.
Before this act was passed, all knew that the
national bank note was secured by United States
bonds, exclusively, deposited with the United
StateB treasurer, as this was plainly printed
on their face. But when they now find that
this has been changed to read, 'secured by
United States bonds or other securities' and the
line 'deposited with the United States treasurer'
left out, it is a serious question whether the
people will not lose their unbounded confidence
in our currency, as soon as they will get ac
quainted with the real meaning of the act. Al
though some may not be greatly alarmed by
this, yet you can not convince the people that
railroad bonds or commercial notes are as safe
as United States bonds, especially in a panic.
I fear that as soon as the real character of the
fact is generally known, and we have a financial
crisis, the Gresham law will begin to operate,
which means that the depositors will draw gold
and hoard it. Instead of national bank notes,
which would be far more serious. As this act
is deceptive, misleading, and may undermine
the confidence in our whole currency, therefore
it ought to be repealed at the earliest moment."
SOME IDEA of steel rail consumption is given
by the Wall Stre"et""Jouraci - .wny.
"It is estimated that the rail mills of the UiiitecT
States now have a capacity of 4,500,000 tons a
year, including the Gary plant, which is now in
course of construction. Manufacturers began
adding to their capacity two years ago, as thoy
believed the railroad construction under way
would require a larger tonnage than the country
could produce. Then the panic came and half
the rail mills of the country have been idle
for over a year. Many rail manufacturers figure
that the average life of the steel rail Is ten
years, and in consequence the rail mills of the
country today do not represent overproduction.
It is remarkable, however, what a small tonnage
of rails the railroads can get along with In
periods of depression. As an illustration, the
production of rails this year will not be greatly
In excess of 1,800,000 tons, against a capacity
of at least 4,500,000 tons. The falling off in
consumption this year would seem to Indicate
that many railroads were badly in need of steel
rails, but there has been no evidence that a
great buying movement is under way. The
Pennsylvania railroad ordered 135,000 tons of
rails, for delivery next year, which is between
50,000 and 75,000 tons below the average an
nual consumption of this road. The recent
Pennsylvania order would keep the rail mills
of the country in operation for fourteen days,
which is a striking illustration of the great
tonnage of rails this country can produce. The
cost of producing steel rails has been going up
ward for the last ten-years. The new specifi
cations of the railroads have added at least a
dollar a ton to the cost. Should this Increase
In operating costs continue, an increase rather
than a decrease in price of rails can be looked
for, providing It costs $21.50 a ton to produce
steel rails, as testified before the ways and means
STOCKS ON Wall Street suffered severely
February 23. The New York World says:
"Five hours on the New York stock exchange
blptted out millions, tens of millions, even hun
dreds,, of,' millions, yesterday. It was- Wall
Streak way of showing its respect for. the cut
price war now going on in the steel trade and,
officially declared on Friday last by Elbert H.
Gary, chairman of tho board of tho-Unlted
States Steel corporation. Not since tho panic
days of October, 1907, did prices melt away
as they did yesterday. At tiroes, particularly
in tho closing half hour, thero was demoraliza
tion comploto and effective. Speculators who
could not replenish exhausted margins Instnntly
saw their stocks dumped overboard and slaught
ered at panic prices. It was one of those days
in Wall Street when nothing but money count
ed friendships botween brokor and customer
were cast to tho winds. Tho customer had to
produce more margins or ho was sold out.
Brokers simply put out orders In advanco to
soil at certain prlcep, and tho specialists in.'
whose hands tho orders wero placed, took no
chances and throw out tho stocks. There wore
1,586,800 shares sold, or property approximate
ly worth, the stupendous sum of $158,680,000
SOME IDEA of how stocks crumpled In the
Wall Street slump may bo obtained from
the following statement showing the conspicu
ous losses . suffered by tho owners of certain
Amount Not Loss Loss to
L , Quts'd'g. in Day. Stockh'rs.
Stool Common.. $508, 302, 500 4 $24,144,308
xujau, uom 70, 000, 000 10 7,1'.5,000
in. i. uonc 178,032,000 4
Mo. Pacific 67.817.875 3
Union Pacific,
Amal. Copper. .
Am. Smelter...
Am. Sugar. . . .
Penn.,R. R.. . .314,549,G50
NEW YORK special to tho Denver News
says: "The stage Is sot for a battle of tho
giants in the steel trade. Tho Morgan interests
are determined to prevent reduction of the tariff
ness in this country. In order to accomplish
his -purpose It is believed In Wall Street that
Morgan will, It necessary, precipitate a financial
stringency more severe than that of the fall of
1907. That flurry enabled him to gather in,
with the permission of President Roosevelt,
Tennessee Coal and Iron. The facts concerning
that transaction were laid before the country
today through the report of the sub-committee
of the senate committee named to investigate
the setting aside of the laws and constitution by
the president of tho United States. Of course,
the independents will fight Morgan, but how
long they can hold out is problematical. Tho
one fact accepted by all is that the business
world will be severely shaken while the king
of Wall Street is laboring to gratify liis selfish
ambition." '
THE LONDON Daily Mail prints this bit
of news via Pittsburg, U. S. A.: "A gen
eral overhauling of the picture galleries of
wealthy collectors In Pittsburg Is now proceed
ing, and connoisseurs from both east and west
are Inspecting the paintings to see how many
of them are 'fakes Tho fact that Mr. James
B. Laughlin was recently found to have paid
$9,500 for a $30 painting has caused great ex
citement among the iron and steel kings inter
ested in art. The Laughlin case, in which tho
dealer was forced to refund the money on ex
posure, is not the first case of this kind. There
has been started among the rich people of Pitts
burg, who claim they are imposed upon, a sort
of black-list of dealers who have charged ex
orbitant prices or sold 'fake' goods at first-class
rates. This list is said to contain the names
of more than a score of New York dealers and
fully as many In London and Paris. Within tho
past year a prominent Pittsburg man arranged
to buy a picture abroad for $25,000, but found
before delivery that the 'work of an old master'
had been made In New York and shipped abroad
for his benefit. Some Pittsburg men declare
there is collusion between certain art dealers
in New York and London and Paris dealers, their
one object being apparently to fleece Pitta-burgers."
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