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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Aug. 4, 1911)
WILLIAM J. BRYAN, EDITOR AND PROPRIETOR
VOL. 11, NO. 30
Lincoln, Nebraska, August 4, 1911
Whole Number 550
Where Former Governor Joseph W. Folk Stands
Former Governor Joseph W. Folk, of Missouri,
sends to The Commoner the following In answer
to the questions propounded to those whoso
names have been mentioned in connection with
the democratic presidential nomination:
, St. Louis, Mo., July 18, '1911. Editor The
Commoner: I enclose you my answers to tho
Questions submitted by The Commoner:
t , Question. Do you favor tariff for revenue
Answer. Yes. A tariff should be for no
pother purpose than that 'of- revenue. Tho
chief object of a protective tariff is to stifle
competition, ,ond to that extent create monopoly.
A tariff only for revenue is for the benefit of
the public, but a tariff for protection is for
the benefit of a few, at the expense of the
public. A protective tariff is a graft given to a
class, enabling that class to prey upon the rest
" of the., people. True democracy can not offer
, one,. class an advantage over another in the shape
of subsidies, bounties, protective tariffs, or
' other special privileges. It can only "promise
each man that no one else shall be given an
advantage pverhim, and that each shall have
quaipportunity " to livo and labor, and
" enjoy thefniitWfho&eatatdn
,Q. Do you favor" free raw material and the
placing of a' revenue duty only on manufactured
A. Yes. I favor free raw materials, includ
ing free lumber and free wool. A tariff of 20
per cent on wool, while, lower than the existing
tariff Is a concession to the protectionists and
to that extent undemocratic.
q, do you believe that in the revision of
the tariff the element of protection should be
A. No. Tho doctrine of incidental protec
tion -should have no place in the democratic
faith. If protection is a bad thing, there should
not be any at all; if it is a good thing, the in
terests should be given all they want. The
tariff for revenue with incidental protection
theory, permits some congressmen to pose as
democrats and vote for protection; when the
bars are let down for protection on one thing,
the tariff pirates rush through and steal on
other things. Tho incidental protection doctrlno
enables special interests to obtain through this
subterfuge monopoly tariffs. Tho naturo of that
protective tariff can not bo changed by calling
it a revenue tariff with "Incidental" protection.
Of course, any tariff may Involve some protec
tion, but this should be an unavoidable evil
rather than an object to bo dCsIred.
Q. Do you believe that tho throe branches of
government are co-ordinate and that each ono
should keep within Its constitutional sphere?
Q. Do you approve tho recent Standard Oil
decision wherein tho United States supremo
court legislated the word "unreasonable" into
the Sherman anti-trust act?
A. No. The principle of reasonable doubt
applies when it is a question of fact as to
whether a law has been violated or not. Thero
should be no such thing as a reasonable viola
tion of law; crime should always bo unreason
able. Q. Do you fayor the repeal of the criminal
' clause of the anti-trust law, or do you believe
that in vioV qsupreme court legislation con
gress should .make It clear that all restraint of
A. I do not favor tho repeal of. tho criminal
clause of the anti-trust law, but I do Xavdr Its
vigorous enforcement. Thero should be in
dividual responsibility to the criminal laws on
the part of the operators of corporations. A
corporation is merely an association of individ
uals, exercising a charter power conferred by
some state. A corporation can no more violate
a law by Itself, than a chair or any other Inani
mate object can violate a law. Some men might
take a chair and through its instrumentality, by
striking another man with it, commit a crime.
It would be just as logical in that case to punish
the dhair and allow the man to go free, as It is
when a number of individuals, through the
Instrumentality of a corporation, violate tho
law, to fine tho corporation and permit the in
dividuals who caused it to violate the law to go
unwhipped of justice. Congress should define
restraint of trade and make it clear that all
restraint of trade Is unreasonable.
Q. Do you favor tho election of senators by
tho people? , v t
A. I do.
Q. Do you favor tho income tax?
Q. Do you bollovo that it' Is tho duty of , tho
American people to promise independence to the
Filipinos immediately, and to glvo It in tho samo
way in which t'hey gave independence to tho
Q. Do you belicvo in tho publicity of cam
paign contributions and expenditures both be
fore and after election day in order that thp
people may know in advance tho character of
support each party and candidate receives?
Q. Are you willing that tho source of every
dollar of contribution made to your campaign
fund either after your nomination or during tho
contest for the nomination shall be made public
.prior to election day? '
Q. Do you believe in tho support of state
governments in all their rights?
A. Yes. '
Q. Do you Indorse tho labor planks of th
1908 -platform? "'mi ffiSftii
A. Yes. ( 'r ' . .. -
Q. Do you believd In the strict regulation of
Q. Do you Indorse tho democratic platform
of 1908 respecting trusts wherein it declares
that "a private monopoly is Indefensible and in
tolerable" and presents a remedy?
Q. Do you approve tho plan known as tho
Aldrich currency scheme?
' A. No. .
Q. Do you favor asset currency In aqyform?
Q. Do you belicvo In the establishment of
what is known as a central bank?
Q. Do you favor legislation compelling banks
to Insure depositors?
The action of Chairman Underwood In oppos
. ing,-an immediate effort to reduce the iron and
- steel schedule reveals the real Underwood.
Speaker Clark and other tariff reformers tried
to secure the passage of a resolution instructing
, the jsvays and means committee- to take up other
. schedules, including the iron and steel schedule,
but; .Underwood and Fitzgerald, of New York,
the Fitzgerald who saved Cannon in the last
congress succeeded in defeating the resolution.
Mr. Kitchen:, a member of the committee re
minded Mr. Underwood that he had told the
country that all his worldly goods were tied
up in the iron and. steel industry and that a
failure to report a bill covering that schedule
might be attributed to his connection with tho
business, but even this did not move him. Some
of the democrats thought Mr. Bryan did Mr.
' Underwood an injustice when he charged him
' with being tainted with protection what do
these democrats think now since Mr. Under
wood has put himself at the head of the oppo
sition to Speaker Clark's tariff reduction pro
gram? The tariff on wool was the camel's nose.
Tho animal is trying to enter the tent. The
unmasking of Chairman Underwood will servo
a useful purpose if it arouses the democrats to
an understanding of the mistake made In putting
Mr. Underwood at tho head of the committee
if It solidifies his policy of delay.
Tho most effective way to shear him of his
power Is to change the caucus rules so as to
require a PUBLIC RECORD VOTE on every
question affecting the party's policy. Protec
tion is a nocturnal animal; it shuns tho light.
A record vote, open to the newspapers, would
have enabled Clark to have carried his resolu
tion. The caucus rules ought to be changed
not get as much as is desired. Free wool would
- have given a lower schedule and enabled tho
house to force a better compromise but the senate
amendment is much better than tho present law.
President Taft should be given a chance to sign
or veto a reduction of tho woolen schedule.
THE PEOPLE'S COMMISSION
Press dispatches report that President Taft
thinks it would bo discourteous to the tariff
commission to permit reduction of the woolen
schedule before it makes a report. The presi
dent should remember that the democratic house
is a tariff commission appointed by the peoplo
and that it would be discourteous to ignore tho
demand of the voters expressed through tho
DO YOUR BEST
Tho democratic congress should secure ns
much reduction in the woolen schedule as pos
sible at this session. It can not afford to deny
tho people effort at relief merely because It con
The senate and house should quit playing
politics and agree upon tho optional plan of
electing senators or upon some qtlier plan which
will eliminate the partisan issue raised over
control of the elections.
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