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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (March 11, 1910)
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VOLUME 10, NUMBER
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Americans havo long been accustomed
to commiserate tho nnUoiiB of Europe
which tiro groaning under heavy anna-
monts; yet there is no nation in Europe
which pay ho heavily for war as we do.
For the current year our appropriations
for militarism aro as follows:
Support of tho army $101,000,000
Naval service 137,000,000
Forts and fortifications. . . 8,000,000
Military Academy 2,500,000
Jntorost on public debt 21,000,000
A closo analysis of expenditures under
other headings, and taking due account
of deficiencies that aro suro to appear,
would probably show enough more mon-
oy going for purposes connected with
war-making to increase tho above total
to $600,000, 000. New York World.
Isthmus, in fact, than at any other point.
Tho canal brings tho entiro west coast of
South Amorica into closo commercial intercourse
with tho United States, and gives us a consid
erable trade advantago over any other country.
Whilo tho Andes rise so abruptly from the Pa
cific as to leavo but a narrow strip along tho
coast, there aro largo areas of table lands east
of tho mountains that aro much nearer to tho
Pacific than to tho Atlantic, and theso are being
reached by railroads from Equador, Peru and
Chill. Every mile of now road built in theso
seel Ions will add to American commerce and
tho canal will, in turn, greatly stimulate rail
It has always been urged In behalf of a canal
that it would increaso the efficiency of our navy;
if that bo true wo can afford to appropriate less
for tho building of battleships and more for
tho construction of transports. Theso can bo
used aB merchant vcbsoIs in time of peace. If
we had a fleet of transports, wo could use them
to establish trade routes, leasing them on con
ditions which would ensuro tho training of
American seamen while advancing tho commer
cial interests of our country.
Tho canal should bo open to tho commerce
of tho world, without othor charge than that
necessary for oxpenso of operation and main
tenance. This policy is demanded in the inter
est of our own people Every dollar collected
iu tolls will Increaso tho rates charged by trans
continental lines; and as railroad traffic be
tween tho oceans increases, this charge will
nggregato more and more. The cheaper we can
jnake tho wator rate, the cheaper will be tho
railroad rate. Tho general public would lose
monoy, thoroforo, if they attempted to collect
.toil. A tonnage charge for passing through
iho canal would also burden tho trade which
wo hopo to develop with South and Central
America, and this factor will grow in importance
as commorco grows.
Thon, too, a freo canal can bo justified on tho
ground that, as our country objects to other
nations gaining a foothold on this hemisphere,
it owes it to tho world to do tho work itself
at the least possible exponso to other countries.
Soma havo amplified this argument by suggest
ing that to tho extent that tho canal is a mili
tary advantago tho expense ought to bo borne
by our government and not collected from in
An additional argument is found in the fact
that a freo canal would sot at rest all discussion
of other canal routes and effectually prevent tho
building of another canal by any othor country
whilo a toll would lead to a perpetual dispute
as to tho fairness of tho interest rate as well
as to tho reasonableness of tho construction cost
taken as tho basis.
I can not conclndo this articlo without sug
gesting anothor use which can and should bo
made of tho canal.
It is likely to becomo a connecting link be
tween our country and tho republics of Central
and South America. A freo canal would be re
garded as a generous contribution and would
bo appreciated in proportion, but oven a toll
canal would make our relations with theso coun
tries more intimate than they are now This
opportunity should be improved to the utter
most; and the young men aro tho most imnor
tant element to reach.
A government college on tho zone would
without doubt draw largely from tho countries
Mr. F. A. Pezet, the Peruvian minister at
Panama, who has a son at an American college,
estimates the Peruvians attending college in the
United States at three hundred. As colleges
draw mainly from the communities around them,
there is every reason to believe that a college on
tho Isthmus would be sufficiently attended to
justify its establishment. Here American his
tory and constitutional government could be
taught and the students could.be made acquaint
ed with the institutions of our country and with
the influences which have contributed to the
development of our civilization.
When tho canal is completed the employes
numbering now some thirty thousand will re
turn to their homes and of the forty-three hun
dred Americans, probably not one thousand will
be needed and the present town sites, such as
Ancon, Culebra, Empire, Gatun and Cristobal,
with their graded and paved streets, water mains
and sewers, will be available for college grounds
and private institutions may share with the gov
ernment the honor of making this narrow strip
a modern Athens.
While no one can speak with any certainty
as to tho future, I am persuaded that the open
ing of the Panama canal to tho traffic of the
world will bo an epoch-making event, and that
it will greatly increase our nation's prestige and
commerce and vastly extend its influence.
W. J. BRYAN.
Copyright, by New York World.
ILLINOIS IN LINE
The Illinois legislature has adopted a resolu
tion ratifying the proposed income tax amend
ment. The vote in tho house which took place
March 1 stood 80 yeas to 8 nays. Of the 80
yeas, 44 were republicans while 36 were demo
crats. Of the eight nays, six were republicans
while two were democrats. Thus Illinois is the
first northern state to endorse the proposed
amendment. Men of all parties ought to read
carefully Senator Root's reply to Governor
Hughes' attack upon the income tax. Plainly
Governor Hughes engaged in special pleading
but the distinguished position he occupies in
politics and as a lawyer commanded attention,
for his criticism. Senator Root leaves nothing
to be said by way of answer to the New York
governor, and the action of the Illinois legisla-'
ture ought to serve as a hint to other states
whose legislatures are now in session or will
soon meet. Men of all parties, who are in favor
of this most equitablo plan of taxation, should
habituate themselves to the public discussion of
the income tax amendment. Thoughtless citi
zens everywhere should be reminded of the im-'
portance of adopting this amendment. Members
of legislatures should be made to know the
strong popular sentiment that must be behind'
the income tax.
By becoming the first northern state to ratify'
the proposed amendment, Illinois has but added'
to its large list of laurels.
Republicans in 1896 promised bimetallism
through international agreement then when they
won they interpreted their victory as a victory
for the single gold standard.
In 1908 they promised tariff revision and
then they insisted they had not promised to
revise it downward.
NO INSURGENTS THERE
When President Taft and Uncle Joe Cannon
executed the Taft-Cannon hoe-down there were"
no insurgents to mar the regularity of that,
dinner party. The republican congressman who"
took it upon himself to say that Mr. Taft was
preparing to throw Speaker Cannon overboard
was not a guest at this dinner, otherwise he
would have learned that Mr. Taft is as closely,
allied with Joseph G. Cannon as with Nelson
Cannon Will Be a Candidate
and Mr. Taft Will Help Him
Washington, D. C, March 4. "Uncle Joe"
Cannon will be a candidate for speaker of the
Sixty-second congress, notwithstanding his re
cently reported statement to Representative Mc
Kinley, chairman of the republican congres
sional committee, that he would withdraw from
tho race to insure republican control of the
The above information was received by the
United Press today from sources which leave
no room for doubt. It is also reported that
President Taft and Postmaster General Hitch
cock havo agreed that the weight of the ad
ministration will be thrown behind the Cannon
forces in the coming congressional elections and
a plea made to tho country to elect a "regular
house of representatives that will work with
President Taft during the remaining two years
of his tenure of office."
Last night at the White House President T.aft
gave a dinner at which Speaker Cannon was
the guest of honor and which was attended by
a number of the speaker's lieutenants. Over
tho coffee and cigars there was considerable
talk about legislation and politics.
One of the guests said today that the presi
dent feels tho country will have experienced a
re-action by next fall and will be ready to re
pudiate tho insurgents and vote a "straight ad
The decision to support the Cannon organi
zation was not reached by the president say
his friends, without mature consideration
Speaker Cannon, on his part, has announced
that if he goes down it will be with flying
colors. At a meeting of the republican con
gressional committee last week, several of the
"near insurgents" jumped on Speaker Cannon
and declared he must bo eliminated before the
campaign for the good of the party. Cannon
who was present, replied in a bitter voice that
ho might havo considered such a proposition
at tho beginning of the session of congress but
things had so turned that he could not 'take
such a course now without being considered a
The guest list at last night's function is re
garded with some significance, in view of the
in formation that Taft has decided to throw his
influence in favor of tho regulars in the con
gressional campaign. Of the republican mem
bers of the house present, there was only one
insurgent Hayes of California. Hayes has
been classod by some of his associates as mere
ly a "mercerized insurgent." He is the one
who fixed up the arrangement with the White
House whereby the insurgents agreed to help
along certain of the president's legislative
policies. United Press report.
NOW THEY ARE DANCING TOGETHER
Washington, D. C, March 3. While more
than fifty guests looked on laughingly and ap
plauded, Speaker Cannon tempted President
Taft tonight into a test of terpsichorean agility
in the east room of the White House. Both
stopped, panting, when the trial was ended, but
the opinion was unanimous that the honors on
fancy steps were even. The dancing followed
a dinner given by the president to "Uncle Joe,"
said to be the first formal affair ever accorded
a speaker of the house of representatives by
a president. The dinner ended, the company
went to the east room, which boasts an ample
and smooth dancing floor.
An orchestra played a gentle waltz and the
president led off with Mrs. Joseph H. Gaines;
wife of the representative from West Virginia
S10 SrSeker',, with Mrs- Laughlin, a sister of
Mrs. Taft, glided out on the polished floor in
the wake of his chief. Then the dance was on.
In the intermission, however, when the or
chestra struck up a lively tune, "Undo Joe"
stepped briskly into the middle of the room and
brought his heels together sharply. There was
a patting of gloved hands and voices called en
couragingly to the guest of honor. In a mo
ment the speaker's heels were tinklinir in n
brilliant highland fling. unKimg in a
rrnffEXCSTlent' eh!" he. called' exultingly, to Mr.
Taft. "I was something of a' dancer when I
was a youngster." wuea l
For answer the president stepped smilingly
forward and those who were present say fl o
two executed several steps of an old-fasnionSrt
"hoe-down" that delighted every Sne Boto were
puffing when they finished. e
Following the dancing the president led his
men guests to the smoking room on an unnS
floor of the White House, where an inffie
talk was had in which partisan politics is said
to have had no place. The women remained
in the east room.Associated Press report
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