The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, January 20, 1911, Page 3, Image 3
" f '! j 1 1" 9WV &? ' JANUARY 20, 191!1: The Commoner. , THE SELECTION OP COMMITTEES i. 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 house. 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 things. Second, GRADUAL reduction on other things. Third, A REVENUE BASIS as tho ultlmato end. 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. i ' 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 picture removed. 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 stated. Respectfully, 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, at once. 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 of laughter. 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 foolish. 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 he. 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" not privileged. An appeal from tho chair was Immediately taken. It was taken by a regular republican, ft til t,,i.., &! tf- tostri4 " j!j.fcj.TV A-tdhAafe..'.. ' &t-Xa l-Vt .