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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Nov. 4, 1910)
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Spiking a Cannon
Below will -bo found Congressman Murdock'a
Teply to Speaker Cannon. Undo Joo went to ,
Kansas to read the riot act to Bristow and Mur
dock, but ho only Increased the commotion. The
peace of the Sunflower stato la more disturbed
than before. The insurgents are saying rudo
things about the gentlonian from Illinois. Mur
dock has spoken most forcibly, but he has not
overdrawn the picture. Ho knows Cannon's
record and has rendered a public service in pre
senting it. Ho has spiked the cannon. Tho
question may be asked, Why did tho Insurgent!
support such a man for speaker? But we must
not be too inquisitive. Let us bo grateful that
they have turned, at last, and are now ready
to fight. The people have been robbed of repre
sentative government and tho Insurgents be
fore they became insurgents helped to elect
the man who has had the largest sharo in tho
robbery; but if these insurgents will now help
restore representative government no questions
will be asked. Mr. Murdock says:
"Speaker Cannon, for thirty years, has been
opposed to locomotion in any direction. For
more than a quarter of a century he has stood
out against progress. Ho is not only a stand
patter, but a stand-stiller. During his political
life ho has opposed about all tho progressive
legislation that has been offered and tho wonder
is that so much of it has managed o creep into
the statuto book.
"He opposed the federal inspection of meats,
ho stood opposed to irrigation, to currency re
form, to pure food laws and regulations, to
civil service reform and to practically all pro
gressive legislation since tho civil war.
"Now, listen to me; I want to toll you some
thing that Cannon did not mention In his speech
yesterday. While posing as a partisan, as an
ardent advocate of party fealty, he has played
in the dark with Tammany. He did not healtato
to rejoice when his boon companion, Lorlmer of
Illinois was elected to tht; United States senate
by a coalition with the democrats and by a deal
that was rotten to the core; that has made a
stench in the .nostrils of the nation. Cannon
has thoroughly poisoned the springs of repre
sentative government for thirty years. Ho has
helped block the way to light and freedom.
"Speaker Cannon was interested in trust
things in the tariff bill the protection of petro
leum and Its products and the tariff on women's
gloves. When the insurgents offered an amend
ment reducing the tariff on petroleum, Cannon
left his chair and raged over the floor of tho
house like a wild man. He said the house
could not make the reduction. Then the in
surgents became revolutionists. We appealed'
from the decision of the chair and we won our
"The greatest thing the insurgents have done
has- been to put Cannon off the committee on
rules. It is"tio longer necessary for members
of the pommitteo to get down on their marrow
bones before the chairman for fear of an ad
verse report to tho speaker. The Insurgents not
only wish to take the power away from Speaker
Cannon, but from all future speakers. The bul
wark of the speaker's power is his authority to
appoint the committees. They want to take that
away from him. It will then be impossible for
him either to rewaTd or to punish members.
"Pretending to stand before the country as
a simple man, favoring low expenditures, he has
in reality promoted loot and plunder without
Btint, if it would reward his henchmen, ,or serve
a factional, end. Pretending to a democratic
sympathy and making a display of homely lan
guage and meanest manner, ho has been tho
bulwark of every plot and cabal of the aristoc
racy to swindle and cheat and oppress the peo
ple. Don't be deceived by that pose of the great
commoner. He has been a living, breathing de
nial of the right of this people to representative
government ever since his ascension to power.
"Look at your speaker, my friends. Stand
with me and with your own gaping congress
man in line as your speaker comes from his
private room., See the stenographers and clerks
and minions back out of the room before him.
See the crowd, bugeyed with awe, watch the
departure of this man from his privacy, who
has he with him?
"Look, there goes a congressman, who wrote
to Mr. Arcbbold, of the Standard Oil company;
I have a senator who wants a thousand r shall
I 4nvest?' He's a boon companion, an intimate
of your ruler; also touching shoulders with him
sj ho comes out is Billy Lorlmer, a boon com
panion of this staunch defender of party reg
ularity. "Yes, thcro ho goes, and beside him, elbow
ing with tho ' speaker Is Lucius LIttauer, tho
greatest manufacturer of gloves In the United
States, Taint, and -more tho mouthpleco and
representative of what? Of Tammany.
"All night tho 14th of March a light burned
In Cannon's ofllco. 1 know, for 1 was watching
it from a cubby bole of my own that night and
Lucius LIttauer was telephoning. I do not
know to whom ho was talking. But, I do know
what happened, and I do know that Herbert
Parsons, chairman of the county republican cen
tral committee of Now York, publicly charged
in a statement that a bargain was made with
Tammany, with tho democrats of Tammany for
their votes to save Cannon.
"The "next day came the fight, March 15. Tho
old rules were voted -down and, suddenly, to tho
astonishment of the regulars, upon a signal from
gome one, Cannon recognized Fitzgerald, a Tam
many democrat, who made a motion to stop tho
tide against Cannon, and I sat where I could
hear Dalzell of Pennsylvania turn to that panic
stricken bunch of regulars and say: 'Your voto
is aye' and it was aye.
"There have been corrupt votes in tho Amer
ican congress. There have been servile votes
in the American congress. But I stand hero to
tell you never was a more sorvile and slavish
vote cast in your congress by your rep
resentative than when under tho lash of Dal
zell, the Blave driver of Pennsylvania. Your
representatives in Kansas, from all tho districts
but tho Seventh and Eighth, voted under tho
lead of that Tammany democrat to bind that
corrupt bargain with Tammany and tho New
"Can you imagine Webster voting with that
gang? Or Clay? Or Jefferson? Or Jackson?"
"MEETING THE ISSUES"
A New York newspaper prints tho following
extracts from speeches delivered by Henry L.
Stimson, republican nominee for governor as a
sample of the manner in which Mr. Roosevelt's
candidate is meeting the Issues:
"I am deeply impressed with tho importanco
of the mission of tho republican party as a leader
"The past decade is a long record of progres
"The honest business man does not fear
progressive and well-considered legislation.
"Alarm against progress Is not only ground
less but inconsistent.
"It Is well to bear In mind tho long list of such
"Such Is the record of our party as a progres
"Such progress in tho past has never been In
consistent with permanent prosperity.
"When we consider tho obstructive attitude
toward progress of Tammany Hall, etc.
"Progressive reforms in the public Interest
have been frequently throttled, etc.
"I pledge myself, If elected, to tho principles
of constitutional progress."
It must be admitted, however, that tho Stim
son speech has a familiar sound. Plainly Mr.
Stimson is eligible to a place -on tho Outlook.
MR. ROCKEFELLER'S GIFTS
Mr. Rockefeller has contributed $450,000 to
ward a fund of about $1,000,000, which is be
ing raised to erect Y. M. C. A. buildings in a
number of foreign cities. That Is better than
using tho money to silence college presidents and
professors in this country. His gifts aro harm
less in proportion as they do not subsidize In
stitutions into submission to trusts. Ho might
use some in establishing colleges in tho countries
where education is backward.
SAW HIM COMIN'
"Did Kunnel Roosevelt convert do Affkin
"Well, ef ho didn't, It's my beliefs dat w'en
do heathen seen 'im comln' ho riz up an' hol
lered dat he had mo' religion than he could
tote, kaze he well knowed dat he'd a had ter
anyhow." Goodwin's Weekly.
STOP THE RAID
The ship subsidy is a matter that is of no
Blight interest to the people of the middle west.
It Is part of Taft's declared program; it has
been supported by Beveridge. A democratic
congress Is needed to prevent this raid on tho
national treasury. Evansville, Ind., Courier. .
A Commoner reader Bonds a clipping from
Tho Commoner of August 2, 1907, and saying
"this Is nn interesting reminder at this tirno,"
asks that it bo republished now. Tho article
(From Tho Commoner of August 2, 1907)
II. II. Kohlsaat, of Chicago, Mr. RoohovoU's
Intimate friend, has a somewhat remarkable in
terview in tho July 27 number of tho Saturday
Mr. Kohlsaat, It scorns, was tho gentleman
who introduced Paul Morton to Mr. RooBovelt
when tho latter was govoruor of Now York. ?! .
"After Mr. Roosevelt became president ho In
vited Mr. Morton to bocomo a inombor of his
cahinot. This offer of a portfolio was repeated
ly declined, but President Roosovclt insisted.
In tho cotirHo of tho conforonces on tho mattor
Mr. Morton declared that tho navy portfolio was
out of his lino, and that all tho practical knowl- m
edge ho had of ships was gnlned In touring Kan- "
sas Jn a 'pralrlo schoonor.' Moro than this, ho
bluntly told President Rooncvelt that his own
road, tho Santa Fo, had been technically guilty
of rebating. But tho president still urged him
to come into tho cabinet, and gave as his reason
that ho wished to havo a strong, practical rail
road man at his olbow, as an adviser, becauso
ho wished to become thoroughly familiar with
tho railroad question from a practical viewpoint.
Ho felt that tho federal supervision of railroads
was one of tho biggest problems of his adminis
tration, and he wanted to know all about it
from the Inside. Later, when tho mattor of per
secutions for rebating was at a sensational pitch,
and tho newspapers were pointing at Mr. Morton,
tho president stood pat and ntuck by his faithful
cabinet advisor. And on this point RoohcvoU
covered the situation by saying: 'I'd havo boon
a skunk if I'd done anything else.' "
This is, indeed, "Important if true."
According to Mr. Kohlsaat, when tho navy
portfolio was offered to Mr. Morton he bluntly
confessed to Mr. Roosevelt that his road had
been guilty of rebating. In spite of this con
fession Mr. Roosevelt urged him to enter tho
cablnot. Then when tho American people
learned what, according to Mr, Kohlsnnt, Mr.
Roosevelt bnd all along known', Mr. Roosevelt,
in the langnngo of Mr. Kohlsaat, "stood pot and
stuck by his faithful cabinet adviser." And on
this point Mr. Roosevelt, in the opinion or his
friend Kohlpn.it, "covered the situation" by say
ing: "I'd havo been a skunk if I'd done any
Mr. Roosevelt might, at least, havo put it on
tho ground of comradeship.
It will bo remembered that Judson Harmon
of Cincinnati, and F. N. Judson of St. Louis
were retained to Investigate the charge that tho
Santa Fo had violated the anti-rebate law. These
gentlemen reported that the road had been guilty
of that offense and recommended the prosecution
of its officials, among them Paul Morton. But
why were Harmon and Judson appointed by
Mr. Roosevelt to make an investigation as to a
fact confessed to Mr. Roosevelt himself by Paul
Morton at the time Mr. Morton was offered a
position in the president's cabinet?
Mr. Roosevelt sustained his attorney general
who rejected the Harmon and Judson report,
"I entirely 'agree with your conclusions. In
my opinion you would bo wholly without justifi
cation in proceeding individually against the
owners of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fo
railway for contempt when neither tho Inter
state commerce commission or tho special coun
sel you havo employed have determined a single
fact of any kind beyond the holding of their
offices tending to implicate any ono of these
But now, according to Mr. Rooseveltfs inti
mate friend, Kohlsaat, Paul Morton himself
confessed tho fact to Mr. Roosevelt. Yet after
that confession Mr. Roosevelt not only appointed
Mr. Morton to the cabinet but rofusdd to permit
proceedings to be commenced against him, on
tho charge of rebating, on tho theory that there
was not sufficient evidence to Justify suspicion
If Mr. Kohlsaat has not made a terrible mis
take then Mr. Roosevelt did something moro
than blunder In tho appointment and In tho
defense .of Paul Morton.
Now If they will only spike tho Illinois
Cannon Thanksgiving day will be celebrated
with great enthusiasm.
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