The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, March 11, 1910, Page 7, Image 7

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    MARCH 11, 1910
The Commoner.
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WILLIAM J. CONNER, chairman of the dem
ocratic state committee for New York,
created quite a stir when he declared that he
was ready to testify that places on the supremo
court bench of the state have been auctioned off
in Greater New York. Ho said some of these
places came pretty high. A number of New
York legislators insist that Connor's charge
should be investigated. A clash came up be
tween Conners and Murphy, the Tammany lead
er. Conners' term as chairman expires April
17, 1910. At a meeting of the state committee
he announced that he-would not be a candidate
for re-election. Associated Press dispatches say
that Murphy forced Conners from the field. The
Press dispatch adds: "Three resolutions were
adopted at the meeting. The first was in favor
of a federal income tax; the second placed the
committee on record as favoring the direct pri
mary bills introduced by Senator Grady, and
Assemblyman Frisbie; the third declared the
republican party won the last national election
upon the platform pledging it specifically to re
vise the tariff downward, but that in spite of
that pledge 'the recent revision has in no way
removed from the shoulders of the great mass
of the people the burden of indirect taxation.' "
ARBITRATION proceedings between railroad
companies and their employes are being
held in the offices of the Illinois state railroad
and warehouse commission at Chicago. Fol
lowing is an extract from the Record-Herald's
report: "In a plea for higher wages and fewer
hours of labor for their husbands employed as
switchmen in Chicago railroad yards women
took the witness stand before the state board
of arbitration yesterday and told of their daily
struggles to make both ends meet. Never be
fore, it was asserted, was the real story of the
high cost of living so vividly portrayed or 'the
short and simple annals of the poor" told with
more dramatic effect. Butter and eggs were de
clared to be luxuries beyond the reach of the
average working man's family, while one retail
dealer swore that his trade among workingmen
now consisted largely of liver, kidneys and
hearts where a few years ago the same families
bought meats. In order that the little ones
might be fed and clothed the mothers swore
that the fathers had to work from twelve to
sixteen hours a day, and every day in the
month so that they never saw their children
except while the latter were asleep. 'You don't
mean that your children never see their father?'
queried Attorney John Barton Payne for the
railroads, while Mrs. Agnes Routh, 4338 Gladys
avenue, was on the witness stand. 'Well, a
week ago Sunday he was home, and just as
sure as there is a heaven above us, the little
ones made such a fuss over him that he did not
get outside the door all day, though he intended
to go to work in the afternoon. They hardly
ever see him.' "
THE ANTHRACITE coal trust was arraigned
in the federal court in Philadelphia by
James C. McReynolds, special assistant to the
United States attorney general. According to
the Associated Press report Mr. McReynolds
charged that seven of the nine coal-carrying rail
roads entering the hard coal fields of Pennsyl
vania are in a conspiracy to stifle trade. On
behalf of the government he asked the court
to issue an injunction to break up the alleged
monopolistic control of the domestic fuel and
also pleaded that the acquisitions by some of
the railroads of stock in competing rail
roads and coal companies be declared a
violation of the provisions of the Sherman
anti-trust law. Mr. McReynolds laid great stress
6n the part the Temple Iron company has played
In the coal fields, declaring that its organization
clearly showed a conspiracy among the coal
roads to control the anthracite trade to tide
water at "New York. When independent min
ing companies, tiring of high freight rates, pro
posed building an independent railroad to New
lYork, government counsel said the Temple Iron
Company, a small concern with a limitless char
ter in Pennsylvania, was purchased by the an
thracite coal-carrying roads, they taking stock
kt proportion to the quantity of coal handled
by them. The Temple company, in turn, ac
quired the largest of the independent mines, and
the proposed railroad to tidowater never was
built. This act, Mr. McReynolds said, was one
step in the alleged scheme to stiflo interstate
commerce in the coal trade. He also told of the
inquisition by the Reading company, a holding
concern of the Reading railway and the Reading
Coal and Iron company, and of the acquisition
by the Reading company of the Jersey Central
railroad, a competing line to New York harbor,
which in turn owned the Lehigh and Wilkes
barro Coal company. This Reading-Jersey Cen
tral combination, he said, owned sixty-three of
the unmined coal districts in the anthracite
regions, and was another step in the conspiracy.
A.N ARTICLE written for the Washington (D.
C.) Times was telegraphed over the coun
try and printed in many newspapers. The Times
article declares that the democratic members of
the house are preparing to "eliminate William
J. Bryan as the leader of the democratic party."
Adding: "While there are coming to Washing
ton various reports of what William Jennings
Bryan wants to do in the next democratic na
tional convention, there is rapidly crystallizing
among the democrats of the house of representa
tives a feeling of hostility to the Nebraskan.
The minority membership of the house is almost
solid in its determination to eliminate Bryan
either as a possible candidate for the presidency
or as the controlling factor in the next conven
tion. He still has some support in the Missouri
and Nebraska delegations, but the southern
states' representatives are against him, and out
side of the two states mentioned there are very
few who believe he ought to be allowed to inter
fere with the fate of the party."
SENATORS CLAPP and Cummins have made
a minority report objecting to the Taft
railroad bill. They declare that this measure
would impair the efficiency of the existing
statutes and that the creation of a "court of
commerce" for which the measure provides
would mean an expenditure "wholly unneces
sary." The report holds that the creation of
a court, the sole work of which would be to
try railroad cases, would be fundamentally
wrong, and reminds the senate of "the tre
mendous influences which inevitably surround
the selection of such a tribunal. In the last
three and a half years, the minority report as
serts, there have been just twenty-six cases in
which such a court would have had jurisdiction.
In pointing out some of the things the senators
think make the bill ineffective, they declare it
Includes all corporation common carriers and
that there is nothing to prevent a holding cor
poration from Issuing all the stocks and bonds
it may please. What is termed the most "ob
jectionable and harmful feature" is the pro
posed departure from the method of defending
suits brought by carriers to make Inoperative
the orders of the commission. The minority
senators claim that the section to govern con
solidation of railway lines would permit water
and rail routes to consolidate; would allow a
railroad to buy up a competitive steamship line
and that in effect all the railroads in the United
States could be merged under a single corpora
tion, provided they would be operated by elec
tric power. Senators Cummins and Clapp re
ported to further amend the existing law to
make all holding corporations come under the
jurisdiction of the interstate commerce com
mission and would make the term "common
carrier" embrace all corporations having a con
trolling interest in a common carrier.
PRESIDENT TAFT has written to H. P.
Davis, United States Marshall at Cleveland,
Ohio, this letter: "The White House, Washing
ton, D. C, February 28, 1910. My Dear Mr.
Davis: I have your letter of February 26, in
which you refer to criticisms of me for interfer
ing in Ohio politics by suggesting the selection
of Wade H. Ellis as chairman of the republican
executive committee of Ohio. I am glad to have
the opportunity of assuring you that I am not
In tho slightest degree responsible for the selec
tion of Wade II. Ellis as chairman of tho repub
lican executive committee of Ohio. Tho na
tional committeeman, Mr. Vorys, and the head
of the central committee, Mr. Brown, and Mr.
Williams, who was chairman of tho executive
committee, came to Washington, and after what
I assumed was a canvass of the stato, notified
mo that for tho general good of tho party I
should release Mr. Wade II. Ellis from his posi
tion in tho department of justice (where he
has been doing excellent work), and allow him
to leave the government service in order to suc
ceed Mr. Williams as head of the executive com
mittee. Most reluctantly did I do this, and I
did It also with tho express understanding that
I did not desire to interfere with local politics
in Ohio; that I had no choice for governor; and
that, although Mr. Ellis might succeed to tho
chairmanship, he would not, while there, repre
sent me or act upon my suggestions. What I
am most anxious about is that the republicans
of Ohio shall have full and free expression with
respect to the platform that they shall adopt
and also as to the candidates to be selected. I
do not think that there Is now in the stato any
influence of an organized character that would
seek to prevent such a full and free expression
of the republicans. Certainly I shall neither
have the power nor the Inclination myself to
exert any influence of this kind. Sincerely yours.
William H. Taft."
JUDGE WRIGHT of the supremo court of tho
District of Columbia has ruled that United
States senators may not refuse to answer the
writ of mandamus from his court. Judge
Wright has directed the three members of tho
printing committee to appear and show cause
why they should not be required to consider tho
bid for furnishing paper to the senate of tho
Valley Paper company of Holyoke, Mass. "The
court acted wholly within Its jurisdiction and
did not Infringe on a single senatorial preroga
tive," according to Judge Wright. Tho judicial
powers Imposed by the constitution, ho declared,
extend to "all" cases arising under tho laws of
the United States, and tho right of any person
under the law should not be taken away from
him, no matter how high tho position the al
leged wrong-doer may occupy. Tho act of the
joint committee was ministerial, and not legis
lative, and for that reason tho prerogative of
the individual senator was not infringed upon,
he held. Ho ruled that the district supremo
court has the same authority to summon mem
bers of the committee on printing as it has to
require any member of the cabinet to show
cause why a writ of mandamus should not be
issued; that senators are exempt only when the
court would infringe on their legislative au
thority. The house members of the joint com
mittee and their attorney were present, and
Immediately upon the conclusion of the reading
of the decision notified Judge Wright that they
were ready to proceed and hear the merits of
the case. Judge Wright read from a decision
of Chief Justice Marshall in support of his
position. Senators Smoot, Bourne and Fletcher,
members of the joint committee, said that was
the senate's affair. They had been instructed by
an overwhelming vote to disregard the summons
of Judge Wright and not appear in court, and
they would await such further orders as the
senate might see fit to give. Senator Clark of
Wyoming, chairman of the judldaTy commit
tee, and several of his associates say that Judge
Wright's decision has not changed the situa
tion. The three senators were only in default,
not in contempt. They could not be arrested
and punished. There was nothing further to
be done until Judge Wright issued a writ of
mandamus directing the senators to do some
thing the senate had forbidden them to do.
Tho American Homestead, a monthly farm
journal of national scope, will be sent to all
Commoner subscribers, without additional cost,
who renew their subscriptions during tho month
of March. Take advantage of this offer at onca
and send in yonr renewal.
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