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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Sept. 30, 1910)
8EPTBMBER 30, 1910
Practical Tariff Talks
When the Payne-Aldricli tariff bill was boforo
tho senate Mr. Overman of North Carolina, a
democrat, moved an amendment increasing tho
head tax levied upon aliens coming to America
from, $4 to $10 each. Mr. Overman quoted tho
statements of republican leaders to the effect
that their main object in levying a tariff was to
protect American laborers from the competition
of pauper labor abroad. He cited tho uncon
tradicted fact that a very largo part of tho
'American labor once fpund in our protected steel
mills and in tho factories of New England and
the middle states has been displaced by foreign
ers who flocked hero for work and underbid
those who once held tho places. In one big
mill town in New England it was found that
.there wero representatives of over twenty dif
ferent races working in the factories, and that
American labor had been practically displaced.
In Massachusetts tho last census figures show
that 43 per cent of the population is foreign
born. In Rhode Island the percentage is 46 per
cent. Since then tho proportion has undoubted
ly largely increased. Tho government reports
show that the average amount of money brought
by these emigrants is '$23, showing why they
camo here. The same records show that a largo
percentage of these importations of later -years,
unlike tho immigrants from England, Ireland,
Sweden, Germany and tho more substantial
countries of Europe who formed our first immi
grants, returned home, when they had secured
enough money to do so. A majority of them,
investigation has disclosed, come over 'to work
in competition with American labor,1 live in
squalor, save every cent and then return home.
On motion of Senator Aldrlch the Overman '
amendment was laid on the table. The vote
showed the measure of regard for the American
laborer the republican party possesses. As
Senator Goro put it in his speech, "it unmasked
the hypocrisy of the whole scheme of protection
in the name of the American laborer. He is
-kissed and then betrayed."
The best claim made for tho new tariff law
is that its average tax is but 41.20 per cent.
The history of the .measure shows that its prin
cipal schedules were written by the manufac
turers and they certainly made tho rate of taxa
tion high enough to suit themselves. Mr.
Bryan, in a speech made at his home-coming
at New York in 1906, succinctly put tho attitude
of the republican party towards the laborer in
these words: "In this country if a man dies
v he divides his property and gives each heir a
share. Why doesn't he do as the republican
party does in treating the relation of employer
and employe and give his estate to an uncle,
ordering him to give to the children what he
thinks they need? The republican party has
thrown millions into the laps of the employers
and has said that thus they have helped tho
employes. What sublime trust in the em
Tho millions represented in the yearly tariff
tax are practically placed in tho hands of 2 43,
.000 persons to distribute among tho seven mil
lions engaged in manufactures. Who believes
that it is distributed honestly and equitably?
'And who gets what is distributed? What pro
tection is afforded by the law to American work
men against the competition of foreign labor
imported by the manufacturers to compete with
them at home instead of abroad? No hand is
raised to turn back from these .shores those
thousands who come here to seek liberty and
to make themselves a part of the nation by im
bibing its spirit, and . intelligently taking part
According to the report, of the 1900 census
there were more than 29,000,000 persons en
gaged in the five principal groups of occupations.
Of these groups more than 10,000,000 people
were engaged in the agricultural pursuits,
,7,000,000 in manufacturing and mechanical
pursuits, and the Others in domestic, personal
and professional service. Of the entire twenty
nine millions, however, only the small number
of 243,000 were reported as manufacturers and
officers. As there Is overwhelming proof thatv
the schedules were arranged in the interest of
these manufacturers, this leaves congress in the
position of legislating to tax 29,000,000 workers
for the benefit of 243,000 persons at the most.
Ask Your Congressman
The tlmo is past for sham battles and In order that a real victory may bo won for Jho
peoplo every candidate for congress should be questioned on several particular BiibJeclB by
tho men whose votes ho seeks.
Readers of Tho Commoner everywhere should asked thoir congressman:
(1) Do you believe: "A platform is a pledge, given by tho cnndldatc to tho voters, and
when ratlfiod at the polls becomes a contract between tho olllclal and his qo'nstituonts. To
violate it, in letter or in spirit, is not only undemocratic, but repugnant to tho principles of
represeutativo government, and constitutes an embezzlement of power."
(2) Will you voto for a change In the house, rules, putting the selection of committees
in the hands of party caucuses, each caucus selecting Its own committee membership?
(3) Whero do you stand on tho tariff quostlon? Do you bellcvo In tho prlnclplo of pro
tection as interpreted by the republican party or doyou favor tariff for revenue only?
(4) Do you ondorso tho democratic platform declaration that a privato monopoly Is in
defensible and intolerable?
(5) Will you do your utmost to make it impossible for a private monopoly to exist?
Answer "."V,'." ...'...?...'
(C) Will you favor a bilf requiring the publication of all campaign contributions prior
to election day? ,.,''.
(7) Are you opposed to national incorporation that Is, the grant of corporation chapters
by the federal government instead of by the state, government as at present?
Answer , ., !. v, .,,.,.. .-., , .;. . .
' ' ' '-" ' . .,.
. (8) . Are you in favor of tho election of United. States. senators by direct vpto of the people?
- ,,-, "'.; ..... .
Answer '. .' ..;.;.. . . s . ." , .
(0) Are you in favor of tho Income tax? .
Answer . . . . : . .'... . . I . .
(10) Do you approve the democratic national platform for 1908?
Note: It is suggested that voters cut out the above list of questions and send it to tho
candidate for congress in their district, asking him to fill in (ho answers and return the same
to the voter. Tho -voter may, if he desires, forward the same to The Commoner, and it .will
.bo printed in this paper.
in its government, but it is tho protected man-,
ufacturers of this country who are responsible
for a class of immigrants who como only to
take work from American labor, hoard what
they get and transport it back again over the
seas at the expense of that American labor.
C. Q. D.
WHERE DID HE GET IT?
Former Governor James H. Hlgglns of Rhode
Island has entered the campaign in that state
and is asking Senator Nelson W. Aldrich some
very embarrassing 'questions. Mr. Hlgglns says
that Mr. Aldrich's wealth is from ten to fifteen
million dollars. While ho does not impute dis
honesty to Mr. Aldrich ho insists that the Rhodo
Island senator owes it to tho people of his state
to explain the source of his enormous accumu
lations. Does not Governor Hlgglns knowthat
some of it camo from rubber?
A LETTER PROM BEVERLY
Dear Beveridgo and LaFollette,
To relieve me of this strain;
I'll let you name your P. M.'s now.
Since I have heard from Maine.
This western trip of Dear (?) T. It.,
Has given mo a pain;
It's getting worse, now every day,'
Since I have heard from Maine;
I now conclude thex four years moro
I wanted, aro In vain,
For Teddy's going to "take. the cake;"
They baked it up in Maine.
Poor Uncle Joe, I loved him so
And Aldrich must bo slain;
I fear I've "let them boss too long;
It looks so up in Maine.,
J. P. W. Davis, Stella', Calif. I desire to asTc
The Commoner to ascertain for me the where
abouts of John W. Francis who, with myself,
in 1857, got of Governor Charles Robinson, then
of Kansas, a printing office in Quindaro, Kansas,
and started a free state paper called the Kansas
Tribune, at Quindaro, Kansas. Tho information
as to his fate, or his present whereabouts, would
be thankfully received.
I'm sorry now that Gifford's out, ,
But Balllnger shall not reign; j.o
I guess I made the people sore; . i )
It looks that way In Maine. ,- '
And now I think my fort is golf, " '""'
I heard a loud refrain; ...
'Twas wafted here to Beverly
On breezes fresh from Maine.
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