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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Jan. 20, 1911)
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JANUARY 20, 191!1:
THE SELECTION OP COMMITTEES
It has been determined that tho committees
of the national house of representatives shall
be selected by caucus instead of by the speaker,
and the details of this plan are now being
worked out. There are several rules which
cannot be ignored without danger. First, each
party must choose its own members. In no
other way can honest and effective represent
ation of both parties be secured.
In view of the fact that there is a feeling
between the standpatters and insurgents it
would be wise to allow the insurgents to decide
whether they will take their chances in a re
publican caucus or be treated as a separate
body. If they desire to be recognized as a
separate body they should be given recognition
according to their numbers and importance.
Second, No matter who are on the committee
to select members of the various committees
the report should bo SUBJECT TO AMEND
MENT BY CAUCUS. No committee should to
allowed to appoint WITHOUT APPEAL. That
would be but little better than apportionment
by the speaker. Tho committees represent the
house and therefore the house .should have the
final decision each party deciding in caucus
on its members. The chances are that the re
norts would be accepted and the appointments
approved, but the right of appeal silences criti
cism. If any" committee made appointments
without appeal the result would bo the creation
of enmities which would greatly embarass the
work of the year. If every dissatisfied member
is freo to take his complaint before the caucus
the committees will become what they ought
to be, the agents of tho house.
Third, Champ Clark, being the choice for
speaker, should be chairman of 'the. committee
on committees and the other members, should
be relieved of embarassment by having their
committee position selected for them lay the
caucus BEFORE they begin the work of select
ing committees. It has been Buggested that'
the members of the ways and means committee
do the selecting. This may be wise. As this
is the most important committee and is made
up of the leaders of tho house, the work of
selecting the other committees (subject to rati
fication) might properly be intrusted to this
committee. It may, however, be thought best
to associate with them the chairmen of a few
of tho other important committees.
Fourth, SENIORITY SHOULD NOT BE AL
LOWED TO GOVERN IN THE SELECTION OF
THE COMMITTEES. It must bo remembered
that tho democratic members of tho various
committees have been selected by a republican
speaker. If he has consulted any democrat it
has been only the leader of tho minority. In
filling the committees the committee on commit
tees should feel free to select the men, old
or new, who reflect the wishes of the house.
This is more important than the gratification
of any man's ambition. It is absurd to say that
tho democrats are under obligation to put pro
tectionist democrats on the ways and means com
mittee to frame a tariff reform bill just because
a republican speaker put them on to prevent
tariff reform. The committees represent the
house and they should voice the wishes of the
There are 'other rules to be observed but
these are the nTosl4mportant.
THE DENVER PLATFORM
Last week The Commoner reproduced the
Denver platform plank on Cannonlsm; this week
it calls attention to the plank on the tariff:
"Wo welcome, the belated promise of tariff
reform now offered by the republican party in
tardy repognition of the righteousness of tho
democratic position on this question. But the
people cannot safely entrust the execution of this
important work to a party which is so deeply
obligated to the highly protected interests as
is the republican party. We call attention to
the significant fact that tho promised relief is
postponed until after the coming election an
election to succeed in which the republican party
must havo that same support from the benefi
ciaries of the high protective tariff as it has
always heretofore received from them; and to
the further fact that during years of uninter
rupted power no action whatever has been taken
by the republican congress to correct the ad
mittedly existing tariff Iniquities.
"We favor immediate revision of the tariff
by the'reduction of import duties. Articles en
tering into competition with trust controlled
products should be placed upon the free list,
and material reductions should be made in the
tariff upon the necessaries of life and especially
upon articles competing with such American
manufactures as are sold abroad moro cheaply
than at home, and a gradual reduction should
be made in" such other schedules as may bo
necessary to restore the tariff to a revenue basis.
"Existing duties havo given to tho manu
facturers of paper a shelter behind which they
have organized combinations to raise tho price
of pulp and of paper, thus imposing a tax upon
the spread of knowledge We demand tho Im
mediate repeal of tho tariff on wood pulp, print
paper, lumber, timber and logs and that those
articles bo placed upon the free list."
Tho two years that have elapsed sinco 1908
have vindicated tho prophesy contained in tho
first paragraph, namely, that "the people can
not safely entrust tho execution of this impor
tant work to ak party which Is so deeply obli
gated to the highly protected interests as is the
republican party." Tho platform makes six de
mands: First, Immediate REDUCTION on some
Second, GRADUAL reduction on other things.
Third, A REVENUE BASIS as tho ultlmato
Fourth, Articles entering into competition
with trust controlled articles shall bo put on
tho free list.
Fifth, Material reduction SHALL BE MADE
in tariff on necessaries, especially those sold
abroad more cheaply than at homo.
Sixth, Certain specific additions to the free
list, namely, wood pulp, print paper, lumber,
timber and logs.
In tho house of representatives the democrats
tried to carry out this platform and there is no
doubt that in the new congress tho house will
be all right let us hope that tho new senators
may improve the tone of the senate democracy.
GOOD FOR OWEN
Senator Robert L. Owen of Oklahoma has
fought his way into the hearts of the American
people. They are indeed greatly indebted to
hip for the faithful and capable work he has
done for dirdct legislation and they will not
bo slow in thanking him for taking the lead
inthe fight against Lorimer of Illinois, Sen
ator Owen's speech was a clear cut presentation
of evidence which indicates Mr. Lorimer's un
. worthiness to hold a seat in the United States
senate. While republican leaders sought to out
jockey Senator Owen for tho honors in begin
ning the " Lorimer fight it is well understood
that the credit for this good rule is largely due
to the Oklahoma senator and for this as for
other patriotic efforts Oklahomans have the right
to feel proud of their junior senator.
AN OKLAHOMA FAKE
Oklahoma City, Okla., December 16, 1910.
To tho Associated Press: It has been called to
our attention that your news service circulated
the statement 'from Oklahoma City that during
the sitting of the legislature Hon. W. J. Bryan's
picture had been turned to the wall, covered
with maps, or otherwise discredited.
We simply desire to say that that statement
was utterly false. The picture of Hon. W. , J.
Bryan has at all times during this sitting of the
legislature adorned the walls of both the house
and the senate rooms; that" to our personal
knowledge the statement that Governor Haskell
was instrumental in excluding tho picture or
desired to have it excluded is equally false. It
is known by ourselves and everybody around
the legislature that Governor Haskell Is a per
sonal friend of Hon. W. J. Bryan and that he
has at no time indicated any desire to have the
The map incident in the hall of the house of
representatives is vouched for by the under
signed speaker with the statement that perhaps
for a period of one hour when a large map of
Oklahoma City and vicinity was being displayed
at the conference on definite capitol location this
map was hung on the front wall and being
very large covered all ttte pictures at that end
of the hall, including the picture of the governor
as well as that of Mr. Bryan. This was merely
a temporary exhibition of the map for the time
J. ELMEN THOMAS,
President Pro. Tern of the Senate.
W. B. ANTHONY, -
Speaker of House of Representatives.
WHO WILL ANSWER?
Now, what protectionist democrat, will under
take to answer the free raw material speech of
Congressman Smith of Texas? ' Don't all-speak,
IHSMOORAS REVERSE THEMSELVES;; '
Many democrats throughout tho country vero.
greatly disappointed when a m majority of tho
house democrats reversed themselves January
9 and sustained Speaker Cannon on tho very
proposition wherein thoy had formally con
domned him. A Washington correspondent for
tho Philadelphia North American tells the story
In this way: t .
Tho democrats gave to' Speaker Cannon his.
hour of triumph In tho house today. Badly bat
tered in the three days' Btorm that swept tho
house last March and tore from him much- of
tho power that had boon his, tho speaker ''came
back" in a way that brought a grim smilo of
satisfaction to his rugged countenance because
of the defeat of his ancient onomles, tho "in
surgents." Today tho speaker was sustained by an-overwhelming
majority of tho regulars and tho
democrats on a ruling which was identical with
tho ono ho made last March, when tho house
angrily overruled his decision through a com
bination of insurgent republicans and demo
crats. Today, on tho eve of their return to powor,
tho democrats voted almost solidly to sustain
tho ruling of tho chair. Tho insurgents
twenty-seven of them stood by their guns and
fought the speaker bravely. But, robbed of
democratic support, their battle was a losing
ono from tho start.
It was tho first big political maneuver of tho
present session of 'congress, and tho regular re
publicans were elated over tho results. They
taunted tho democrats unceasingly for their
change of front. Tho house was in its gayest
mood, and during tho three hours that the fight
lasted there was an almost continuous galo
Taunted for his Inconsistency, Representative
Fitzgerald, of Now York, ono of tho democratic
leaders in the -rules fight, retorted that for the
sake of consistency ho didn't propose to bo
When . Champ Clark, of Missouri, slated to
succeed Speaker Cannon, voted to sustain jtho
chair today on tho same point of order which
furnished tho basis for tho successful Insurgent
campaign of last March, tho republicans broke
into storms of applause.
Representative Underwood, of Alabama, said:
"We voted to overrule tho speaker because wo
thought tho .time had come for a revolution
and for a majority of the house to express Its
will. At that time there was reason to believe
tho rules committee was attempting to obstruct
legislation. No such condition exists today, and,
consequently, there will bo no revolution."
"Then when you voted to overrule tho speaker
you admit you engaged in an unlawful enter
prise," snapped Representative Mann, of Illinois.
"It was not unlawful; it was necessary," In
terjected Mr. Fitzgerald
The. "insurgents" refused to be downcast by
their defeat. Twenty-six democrats voted with
them against tho speaker, and they claim that
theso "Insurgent democrats" will be their allies
in all future fights.
"Poppycock," said Champ Clark, when told
of this. "Every man voted as ho pleased. That
was my advice to them."
Representative Sims, of Tennessee, a demo
crat, declared that he was amazed at the state
ments of some of the leaders on his own side
that they knew tho speaker was right last March
but had voted against him.
"I am one of the ignorant who believed that
the speaker was wrong then and that he js
wrong now. And I would rather bo ignorantly
honest than knowingly dishonest," ho declared.
Representative Hardy, of Texas, took Mr.
Sims to task for employing such harsh language..
He said the whole truth was that Mr, Sims
didn't believe in false pretense, and neither dldl
It was on the point as to whether or not a
proposed amendment to the rules, offered from
the floor, constituted a question of high consti
tutional privilege that the storm broke. It Was"
precisely this question that called out the
"revolution" of last March.
Speaker Cannon ruled the Norrls resolution
out of order. Today Representative Fuller," of
Illinois, offered a resolution amending the rule
relating to tho discharge of committees from
the consideration of bills. A point of order was
raised against it, and the speaker, declaring
he would Ignore the precedent set by tho housef
last March, when It overruled his ruling in tho
Norrls case, held that the Fuller resolution was"
An appeal from tho chair was Immediately
taken. It was taken by a regular republican,
tf- tostri4 " j!j.fcj.TV A-tdhAafe..'.. ' &t-Xa l-Vt
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