The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, April 15, 1910, Image 1

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The Commoner.
VOL- 10, NO. 14
Lincoln, Nebraska, April 15, 1910
Whole Number 482
Truth at Last
In a speech delivered at the Lincoln dinner,
at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York on
the night of February 12th President Taft de
clared that the present high prices are mainly
duo to an increase in the measure of value
the volume of money. His exact words, as
given in italics in the New York Herald next
day, were: . '
"The reason for the rise in the cost of neces
sities can easily bo traced to the increase in our
measuro of values, the precious metal, gold, and
possibly in some cases to the combinations in re
straint of trade."
Here is the truth at last. This confession
would have been worth hundreds of thousands
of votes to the democratic party in 1896 when
the democrats were advocating more money in
order to protect the country from falling prices
and the republicans were protesting that it did
not make any difference whether we had much
money or little, provided it was all good. Mr. ,
Taft now endorses the quantitative theory of
money and attributes high prices to "more
money" in order to shield his party from the
charge of raising prices by means of the pro
tective tariff. Thanks to the president for this
new vindication of our party. He is right in
pointing to the increased production of gold,
as the chief cause of high prices only a world
wide cause could account for a world-wide' in
crease in prices but he does not attach quite
enough importance to the influenceexertpd"bTy ,
the trusts The tariff enables the trust's to raise
prices in America above the world's level and
that can not be charged to an increase in the
supply of money.
But let us rejoice that the president has been
forced to confess the democrats right in their
demand for more money as the only means of
checking falling prices and restoring a price
level which would remunerate the wealth pro
ducers for the toil. When may we expect an
other vindication? Next!
Mr. Bryan received invitations to attend the
Jefferson day banquets at Washington and In
dianapolis. To the two invitations he sent the
following reply:
. San Paulo, Brazil, March 11, 1910.
My Dear Sir: I thank you for the invitation
to the Jefferson Day banquet. While I shall not
return to the United States in time to attend,
I can join with you in spirit the more heartily
because of what I have learned by visiting other
countries. I have seen everywhere thejnfluence
exerted by his teachings. In the nation in which
I am just now sojourning, I find illustrations
of his idea of conquest. He contended that we
should conquer the world with our ideals rather
than with our arms; and in this sense we are
effecting a conquest of Brazil. Her constitution
Is modelled after ours; she has copied from us
. the federal system of government which unites
local control of local affairs with national su
premacy; her flag, like ours, has a star for each
state, and her school system is being made to
conform more and more to ours. These vic
tories, too, cement friendship instead of arous
ing enmity. Hail to Jefferson, the world's
schoolmaster, whoso views continue their ma
jestic march around tho earth!
But in our own country, as well as abroad,
his principles are triumphing. Ho taught that
the art of government is tho art of being honest,
and each new investigation proves tho folly of
those who refuse to learn of him.
He was the foe of monopoly in overy form,
and his name is the one which can with most
propriety be invoked when tho trusts are at
tacked, and when a contest is being waged for
the application of the principles of popular gov
ernment. I am so far away from home, that I am not
fully informed as to the recent events, but I
have just read of one Jeffersonian victory, name
ly, the selection of an investigating committeo
by the house instead of by the speaker, and,
better still, each party selected its members
-of the committee. This establishes an impor
tant precedent, which, if followed, will make in
vestigations real and effective.
I notice, also, that we seem likely to win a
victory against the meat trust. Monopoly prices
have at last provoked a popular protest, and
now that the people are looking for a remedy
there is hope that they will accept the- demo
cratic remedy.- is not unnatural that they
should use', even if they punish them
selves while they are inflicting punishment "on
their oppressors, but I am sure they will, in tho
end, find legislation more satisfactory than
abstinence from meat, and join with the demo
crats in declaring a private monopoly not the
meat trust only but every private monopoly
indefensible and intolerable.
But there is another item of news which has
just come to my attention. President Taft In
his Lincoln dinner speech at New York, Feb
ruary 12th, attributes present high prices mainly
to the increase in the production of gold and
tho consequent enlargement of the volume of
money. This unexpected endorsement of our
party's- position in 1896, when we demanded
more money as the only remedy for falling
prices, is very gratifying. How valuable that
admission would have been to us if it had been
' made during the campaign of that year when
the republican leaders were denying that tho
volume of money had any influence on prices
and asserting that it did not matter whether
we had much money or little, provided it was
all good! We may now consider the quantita
tive theory of money established beyond dis
pute and 'proceed to the consideration of other
questions. But the president and his predeces
sor have admitted the correctness of the demo
cratic position on so many questions that further
argument is hardly necessary; wo may on any
subject now take Judgment against the republi
can party by confession.
Please present my compliments to the demo
crats assembled in memory of the sage of Mon
ticello; I take it for granted that your gathering
will not adjourn without the adoption of a reso
lution urging tho ratification, by all the states,
of the incSmo tax amendment to the federal
The time is ripe for a return to Jeffersonian
principles, and I trust that the representatives
of our party will make a record which will se
cure us a majority at the coming congressional
election. With that advantage gained the demo
crats will have an opportunity to outline a pro
gram, and, with a program in harmony with
Jeffersonian ideas, the democracy will enter the
presidential campaign with promise of success.
Yours truly, W. J. BRYAN.
Andrew Carnegie said there would be fewer
millionaires in the future and the St. Paul
Pioneer-Press is unkind enough to add "Those
already in the business have seen to that."
Peru of Today
Tho trip down tho west coast of South Amor
ica is a delightful one; tho sea is calm, th
boats are comfortable and tho servico good
although the traveler must not expect the food
to suit him as well as that at home.
Wo made tho trip from Panama to Callao,
Peru, the port of Lima, in nino days; but since
wo sailed a' Peruvian company has put on a
lino of steamers which make the trip In five
days. One may now go from Now York to tho
capital of Spain's ancient empire In twelve or
thirteen days. This time will doubtless bo
shortened to ten days when tho canal Is com
pleted. If the reader will draw a lino south from
the Isthmus, ho will see that It does not striko
tho land much north of Guayaquil, the port of
Equador's capital. It was more than two days,
therefore, before we sighted land, and thon wo
experienced our first disappointment. Tho
Andes were not visible. I had pictured to my
self a series of majestic peaks which, rising
from tho water's edge, would guard the country
like frowning sentinels; but wo looked In vain.
Tho foothills often extend to tho coast, but to
see the mountains ono must go back some dis
tance, as tho crest of the first Cordilleras is no
where less than from scsventy-fivo to one hun
dred miles from the shore.
" Guy'ajUJJtM yellow fever and bubonic plague,
and tHe' quarantine regulations prevented our
landing, but a large quantity of fruit was taken
on there and we had occasion to note that the
pineapples are of superior quality.
The coast of Colombia and Equador is rank
with vegetation; but from tho northern bound
ary of Peru southward tho shore is as barren
as a desert except where a stream, issuing from
tho mountains, threads a verdant path to tho
The Humbolt, or Anarctlc, current, a mighty
stream, one hundred and fifty miles wide, which
moves north at tho rate of twenty miles per
day, is credited with lowering the temperaturo
along the Peruvian coast, and It Is also blamed
with tho aridness of this region.
The area of Peru can not be stated' with ac
curacy, for few nations have been afflicted with
so many boundary disputes. She has recently
agreed upon tho boundary line which Is to sep
arate her 'from Bolivia and Brazil; she Is now
engaged In fixing tho lino between her terri
tory and that of Colombia' and Equador; while
for more than ten years she has been endeavor
ing to secure a pleblcite, or vote, to determine
whether she shall recover a disputed tract which
Chili has held conditionally since 1884.
But with the understanding that it may be
altered by tho settlement of the three pending
boundary disputes, the area may be fixed at
about six hundred thousand square miles. This
ample domain includes the coast section of
seven thousand square miles, the mountain sec
tion land having an elevation of more than
six thousand feet and the eastern slope or
wooded portion. Tho coast section can bo cul
tivated only by irrigation, since the rainfall Is
practically nothing, although during the winter
months there is much moisture In the air and
clouds conceal the sky most of the time. But
there are forty-six rivers which flow down tho
western slope and each one of these can be made
to reclaim a strip of land.
President Legula, who Is an enthusiast on this
subject, estimates that with the development
of an adequate system of Irrigation, the popu
lation of the coast section can be quadrupled.
The mountain section nearly one hundred
thousand square miles does not promise so
much in the way of agricultural development,
for tho greater part Is barren. In tho more
fertile portion tho Indians are tilling innumer
able little valleys and terraced mountain sides,
but the altitude is so great that a considerable
portion is fit only for pasture.
In the future growth and development of
Peru, the Montana, or wooded country on the
eastern slope, is the unknown quantity. It con-
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