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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Aug. 13, 1909)
ANGUST 13,' 1909.
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Republican Editorials of the Vintage of 1909
A TIME FOR PLAIN SPEECH
This is a time for plain speech. The Tribune
does not believe that any northwestern member
of congress who votes for the Payne-Aldrlch
treachery can expect re-election. We should
have little faith in popular government if any .
Contemplate the 'blackness of the treason in
this part of the country in some states conven
tions and campaign speakers may have pledged
tariff reduction with the secret intention to
raise tile tariff.' We have hiore confidence in
our members than to believe that was the case
here. But if politicians did not mean to keep
their word, the people meant that they should,
and will punish them for not doing it,
The national platform was plain enough, but
that of Minnesota' was more explicit. The re
election of any member after voting for upward
revision would be confession that neither can
didates, conventions nor people mean what they
say. After that the people might as well abdi
cate at once and for good.
Strenuous attempts to cloud the' issue are
preparing, and will burst into full flower
when the conference report appears. Figures
will be juggled tp. prove that there has bqen
average reduction. Why should anybody be
fooled by these? We have had a generation of
experience of tariff bills drawn by the same
servants of privileged monopoly who drew this.
Whatever the pretense of reducing, duties, prices
were pushed up after each.
Why should they not jack the tariff up? Both
committees are organized in the interest of priv
ilege. The conference committee is the last
sifting of the monopoly forces. No northwest
ern state is represented on it. From eleven to
fourteen of its fifteen members are. sworn to
higher duties.. What folly to expect lower? If
they, are made .in. appearance, the reductions
will tbe mere, than, offset ,by obscure changes in, i
.administration' or classification. Tariff benefi
ciaries have no doubt about what is doing. They
have been rushing in imports in advance of the
law and are putting up prices in expectation of
its opportunities. Minneapolis Tribune (Rep.)
It Is not '.a complete surrender, but the presi
dent has secured ,for the people many of the
fruits of victory ''for which they wer8 contend
ing. Chicago; Ev'e'riing Post (Rep.) '
He (the president) has won a'- protective
tariff, carrying out . protection principles and
meeting the pledges of the .republican party.
Philadelphia' Press (Rep.) . ...
Doubtless" a careful study of the bill will show
that there are some reductions that are impor
tant. 'But it is doubtful whether there has really
been revision downward, as far as the articles,
in' which the consumers are interested are con
cerned. Indianapolis News, Rep.
VICTORY FOR ALDRICH
The outcome, is a signal victory for the Ald-rich-Hale-Lodge
crowd. Mr. Aldrich has suc
cessfully defended his "citadel of protection"
and the great schedules which he constantly re
ferred to as the ''bulwark" of the Bystem, wool
ens, cotton, iron and steel, and sugar, come out
practically untouched. This is literally true
of woolens, cottons and sugar. Experts are
unable to point to anything in the bill as agreed
upon that will tend to lower to the consumer
the price which he now pays for the necessaries
of life. Indianapolis News.
NO' RELIEF FOR, ,THE PEOPLE
At no. pQint in the revision is there found
evidence of a serious purpose to reduce duties
in the Interest of lower prices. The protective
principle has l?een carefully observed. Many of
the duties which prevented importation have
been reduced, but, there is little likelihood that
importations sufficient to affect home prices will
There is every reason to believe the trade
will take advantage of the increase Jn the duties
on cotton., to advwe prices. . These increases
bear especially upon the poorer classes; There
.was absolutely no justification for the advance
of the rates on tho cheaper grades of cotton
hosiery. No one doubts for a moment that' the
manufacturers will increase the price of wonicnte
and children's hosiery aB a result of. tho heavier
Tho increases in the silk schodulo weremado
because Senator Aldrich and Representative
Payne came to tho conclusion that tho articles
comprised under this, schedule were luxuries.
There, are hundreds of thousands of women who
think to tho contrary.
Although tho woolen, schedulo was admittedly
iniquitous it has not been changed, except int a
few unimportant paragraphs';
Tho reduction in sug rates is so inappre
ciable that it will not bo felt by tho consumer.
What are particularly interesting to the houso
wife are the china, glass and glassware para
graphs. Tho rates with' regard to tho articled
therein are practically not affected.
The farmers of the middle.west will not bene
fit from the new lumber rates.
The duty on structural steel ready for use
has b'een increased. The reductions in the metal
schedules will lead to no largo importations) .,
Chicago Tribune, Rep. (
Senator Cummins is 'calling- attention to' a
monstrosity in the steel'schedulo which ought
to be looked after. The Dingley duty on struc
tural steel is $10 a ton, and 'the house or Payne'
bill reduced tho duty to $6 a ton. Now it ap
pears In the Aldrich bill in' ad valorem form at' '
45 per cent, which is equivalent to about' $16
a ton on the basis of present domestic prices,
and which would be more than the Dingley
rate on the basis of any Import price likely to
prevail. Why tho Aldrich' reviser should have
sneaked in this special favor for the great steel
trust remains to be explained.- Springfield
(Mass.) Republican. ! ! '."..""' '
This Is but an instance. Tho senate bill cot
ton and wool schedules are full of just such'
jokers, as Senator Dolliver showed. Why should
the steel purchaser allow himself to be pacified
with free iron ore, which helps the steel man
ufacturer and nobody else? Des Moines Regis
ter and Leader, Rep.
THE BEST! THAT CAN BE SAID '
The best that can be said, of the tariff bill as
reported by the conference committee is that,
it doqs not fulfill the prpmises of either party
and should not have the support of any member
of congress who has committed himself for hon
est, substantial downward, revision. The worst
that can be said of it iswthat Its specific provi
sions are, In the main, specific in figures only,
and that many of these figures, although they
may be made to appear favorable to the Ameri
can consumers, may yet be wholly' deceptive,
and that because of the ambiguity and uncer
tainty involved, the net result of the bill, If it
should become a law, may be an increase in
stead of a decrease in the cost of living. Chi
The truth, if it is ever established, will be
that the president has gained next to nothing.
There is much discontent among house mem
bers because of the palpable violation of all
the party promises in the legislation about to
Progressive senators' who '' will vote against
the' bill realize that the president and' the ma
jority in both hoiises will, riiak'e 'a mighty effort
to discredit the men who have fought against
Aldrichism and for tho public interest. The
darkest and most disremitahle feature of the
whole tariff' fight is the' effort already started,
in that direction and to be continued with the
aid and countenance of the president himself.
The bill remains practically the senate bill
except for such reductions ' 'in hides, leather
goods, lumber and raw materials as were con
ceded to the president. Not a word of criticism
was uttered against the measure In the senate,
but is applicable to the . conference agreement.
Tho reductions do not show revision down
ward in.- the - sense that such revision was to
check tho monopolization of productlvo Indus
trios or tho steady advanco of, prices through
manipulation by controlling combinations.
Philadelphia North American, Rdp. "
: : : :
THE COST OF LIVIXG
There is only one way to Judgo of tho valuo
of tho proposed tariff law, which is now so near
ly defined as to loavo little speculation as to
its ultimato terms, and that is tho probable
effect it 'will have on tho cost of living.
Tho causo of tho demand for lower dutlos 1b
tho excessive Cost of. living, brought about by
tho extortions of tho tariff-protected, interests.
As nearly as, can bo foreseen at this time,
the tariff bill, as it will go to tho president,
will leave practically unchanged the predatory
powers of tho sugar (.rust, the steel trust, the'
oil trust, tho woolen trust, tho cotton trust, tho
moat trust, tho harvester trust, the bad trust
and tho other combinations that have beqn",,
formed to exact abnormal profits out of tho
prices that the people must pay for -the neces
sities of life, and out of those whh are willing ;
and ablo to buy tho luxuries, '' ' , ,.
If there shall be any gain to tho people that
gain will not meot tho promises of tho twot,
great parties nor tho expectations created by
tho platforms and campaign utterances. And -no
provision that congress may make that will
not satisfy the people will servo' to check to,
agitation of the tariff question. If tjils agita
tion continues to bo allayed as a result of the
deliberations of tho present session, a way must
bo found to' get .under tho rates so far mado on
the necessities of Ufo and agreed to. by tho con
ference committee. Tho only key to the tariff
situation is the 'cost of Hvlng.-Kansas City
Star, Rep. ' V.
AS OTHER PAPERS VIEW IT
The republican leaders are gambling on pros
perity and public gullibility. The bill adopted
in conference Is a bet that the country will have
so completely recovered from the Roosevelt
panic by the time pf tho next congressional.,
elections that tho voters will forget the broken"
pledges, the extortionate rates and tho manner
in which the Payne-Aldrlch measure yav,
framed. New York World, Dem.' " "" ' '
The republican party in its' platform, anfl tho
republican candldato in his speeches, having
promised a reduction of the tariff burden, a re
publican congress has Increased that burden,
and now these men who have broken the pledge
they made to the country are seeking by a false
parade of meaningless figures to conceal their
crime from tho people, whom they have cheated
and betrayettlNew York Times, Taft supporter.
The president's compromise with the party:
traitors who repudiated the pledges of revision
downward given by him during his campaign
Is received by the country with profound dis
appointment. Most of a'll is it disappointing
to the republican voters of 'tho mlddlo' west ahjl!
the northwest, who took Mr. Taft at his word'
and gave hlra the presidency. If they do not
revenge themselves upon tho party which has
betrayed them the temper of the American peo
ple with respect to tho binding force of popu
lar verdicts has changed in a way that is un
believable. St. Louis Republic, Dem.
It is fair to say that Mr. Taft has done what
he cpuld. He has made a one-man fight to
redeem the pledges of the republican party and
has been moderately successful m the fight
The future of tariff revision rests with
tho people. Will they bestow censure in the
one effective way upon those men In congress
who not only have supported tho high schedules
of , the present high tariff, but have done their
best to make some of those schedules materially
hlghcr?i If so, there will bo a noticeable scarcity
of standpatters, In the next congress. Chicago
News, Taft supporter.
Thp bill as it went to Mr. Taft originally was
a shocking repudiation of his solemn pledge.
Undeniably Mr. Taft has made It less shocking.
But we do not believe that President Taft or
anybody else will be able to convince the peo
'plo that the bill' reported by the conference com- ,
mlttee, and which, it is understood, the presi
dent will sign when it comes to, him, is a -re- '
demption in good faith of the pledge made' to
the people that if the republican party were
elected they could count upon substantial relief
from the tariff burdens of which they, justly
complained.1 New York American, Hearst.' '"
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