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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Aug. 18, 1911)
VOLUME 11, NUMBER 32
TUB UNDERWOOD INCIDENT AGAIN
On another page will be found an extract from
tho Congressional Itocord containing tho
Bpeeches of Mr. Underwood and Mr. Kitchin. Tho
reader will note:
First That both ask for Mr. Bryan's author
ity. Mr. Bryan has given it the Omaha World
Herald, owned by Senator Hitchcock.
Second That Mr. Kitchin admits making the
speech attributed to him. Ho expresses surprise
that a democrat would ubo it. That is the parti
Ban viow that it is proper to criticise an op
ponent but Improper to criticise one of your own
paTty. Mr. Kitchin is now convinced that Mr.
Underwood was right in favoring delay in re
porting a bill reducing iron and steel schedules.
Mr. Bryan is not convinced. The action of the
Benato on other bills should have no influence on
tho houso program. There is no good reason
why the house should not proceed to report bills
as long as it is In session tho more the bettor.
But tho most notablo thing about Mr. Under
wood's speech is that it does not meet the real
point at issue.,, DID SOME ONE OFFER A
RESOLUTION' INSTRUCTING THE COMMIT
TEE TO PROCEED TO REPORT OTHER BILLS
AND DID MR. UNDERWOOD OPPOSE AND
DEFEAT IT? The World-Herald dispatch says
ho did and that is tho basis of Mr. Bryan's criti
cism. Mr. Underwood admits that SOME ONE
offered such a resolution and that HE OPPOSED
IT. Did Mr. Clark offer or support such a reso
lution? If so, why did Mr. Underwood not so
state? If Mr. Clark did NOT introduce or sup
port such a resolution why did Mr. Underwood
not specifically deny the report?
The fact that IN THE BEGINNING he asked
for Immediate reduction then on iron and steel
has weight but it does not outweigh his opposi
tion to immediate reduction now. His REASONS
for his present attitude are proper subjects for
Finally it will be noticed that he did not
answer tho criticism of the secret caucus. Does
he stand for dark: lantern methods? Does he
believe that members should be permitted to
hide behind a caucus which furnishes no record
vote? As a member of congress Mr. Underwood
can avail himself of his personal privilege to
'denounce a criticism but his explanation does
not explain. If Mr. Underwood's answer is
satisfactory to the democratic members of con
gress Mr. Bryan appeals from their judgment
to the judgment of their constituents.
EXPLAIN, MR. UNDERWOOD
. Mr. Underwood, In a fit of irritation, attacked
Mr. James of Kentucky. He afterward with
drew his criticism but he ought to rise to a
question of personal privilege and explain:
First Why it Irritated him to have Mr.
James oppose a fifty-year lease to a water power
Second Why he impugned the motives of a
fellow member of the ways and means com
Third Why he used the stock phrase em
ployed by the representatives of predatory cor
porations when they are denouncing those who
defend public interests?
He will have to make the first explanation
himself; it is incomprehensible to the outsider
that he should have been irritated by Mr. James'
remarks when he had no personal interest in
He- will have difficulty, too, making the second
explanation. He must have a deep seated
grudge against Mr. James to make such an at
tack upon him. The language was intended as
an insult the worst insult that a man like Mr.
Underwood could hurl at an opponent. Men like
Mr. Underwood can not think of anything more
offensive to say of a man than that ho "is mak
ing a play to the galleries." Of course, Mr.
Underwood is sorry that his anger led him to
reveal his disappointment at Mr. James' great
victory. But it is illuminating to know that
Mr. Underwood's sympathies were with Mr.
Paynter and against Mr. James. It gives us a
side-light on Mr. Underwood that helps us to
understand him. '
The public can make the third explanation
itself. When Mr. Underwood accused Mr.
James of winning his senatorial fight by an ap
peal to the galleries he gave the public an in
terior view of "himself. He looks at questions
from the plutocrutic standpoint; he has a con
tempt for those who appeal to the masses. To
him Mr. James appears as a rank demagogue
bo does any one else who takes the people's
Bide against the demands of the predatory in
terests. Of course, he congratulated Mr. James
on his victory and ho would have congratulated
Mr. Bryan also had he been elected, but in his
heart Mr. Underwood has felt toward Mr. Bryaa
as ho has felt toward Mr. James. He has had
an opportunity to express himself against both.
Ho has withdrawn his remarks so far as Mr.
James is concerned, but he can not obliterate
tho flashlight which he gave the public of the
real Underwood when he accused Mr. James of
having won his senatorial contest by "a play to
MR. ALDRIOH THINKS SO, TOO
Mr. J. P. McClure, Purdy, Mo., writes: "Much
Is being said and done by republican organs
masquerading as democrat papers. I enclose, a
sample which is clipped from the St. Louis Re
public of August 4. This paper, together with
many others, has been quite busy since the con
vening of congress 'eliminating' Mr. Bryan
from democratic politics. Let Mr. Bryan con
tinue his good work, the people are with him."
The Republic editorial follows: "We trust that
western democrats will not become unduly dis
turbed over Mr. Bryan's criticisms of Chair
man Underwood; they are but evidences, we
take it, of a 'summer mood' which soon must
"The ground of our confidence Is the work Mr.
Underwood is doing. No democrat for a gene
ration has shown higher capacity for practical
service as a legislator. The country is getting the
kind of legislation it wants. Mr. Underwood is
helping, in a position of focal importance, to
Bupply it. And there you are.
"We should like gently to remind Mr. Bryan
that one of tho frontiers of free speech touches
the domain of the common scold. To Mr. Under
wood and his associates has come the oppor
tunity which has never been vouchsafed to Mr.
Bryan to undertake constructive legislation.
They are doing yeoman service, and should be
"That Mr. Bryan should bo dissatisfied with
the precise order of events in congress 4s natural
and negligible. Tho independence of the
course of events of our individual prejudices and
prepossessions is one of the sad and familiar
facts of life. The Lincoln statesman is shooting
well, but his piece lacks eleyation. From a com
fortable position in the rear where, of course,
the artillery ought to be he is hitting the front
rank in the back." St. Louis Republic.
Mr. Aldrich, also, doubtless thinks that Mr.
Bryan is "a common scold," because Mr. Bryan
has opposed many of Mr. Aldrlch's schemes,
among them the Aldrich currency scheme.
If the editor of the St. Louis Republic would
get nearer to good old Missouri democrats he
would not take offense because Mr. Bryan in
sists that the democratic party shall be true to
its principles. Nor would the editor of the Re
public write such editorials, for Instance, as
appeared in his paper of March 1, wherein he
commended the Aldrich currency scheme.
From the indorsement of the Aldrich currency
scheme as worthy of support, to the denuncia
tion of Mr. Bryan as "a common scold" because
he protests against the democratic party going
republican is but a short step.
Let the St. Louis Republic look to its own
standing among true and tried democrats. That
standing is imperiled by the indorsement of such
trust schemes as the Aldrich currency plan.
WHY NOT PROBE IT?
Representative Beall of the house investigat
ing committee asked George W. Perkins of
the steel trust about that trust's contributions
to campaign funds. Mr. Perkins refused to
answer and the committee held a meeting in
which the democratic members decided to in
sist upon an answer from Perkins and in tho
event of further refusal to order him befora
the bar of the house for contempt.
Later Representative Littleton of New York,
democrat, who had not attended the previous
session of the committee induced other demo
cratic members to reconsider. The Associated
Press says that Representative Bartlett of
Georgia, democrat, supported Mr. Littleton in
this position. Mr. Littleton made a statement
in which ie said that the committee had no
authority to ask Mr, Perkins as to his contribu
tions to campaign funds unless it could be shown
that he was afterwards reimbursed by the trust.
Following Mr. Littleton's statement, Chair
man Stanley declared that it was well known
that campaign contributions "that were not
spread on the records withtany degree of volu
minousness" wore made, by- corporations.
"An inquiry," said Mr. ..Stanley, "as to the
methods by which the United States Steel cor
poration kept Its books with reference to this
WRITE YOUR CONGRESSMAN
If the democratic members of the
house did not submit .to secret caucuses
on public affairs there would be no
doubt concerning any of their proceed
ings. Why should any .democratic member
submit to the secret caucus? Why
should not the .public business .which
these men have to do be transacted in
the open so that their constituents may
be able to fix responsibility for all that
they do and for all that they fail to do?
Tho secret caucus. is one of the worst
foes of popular government. If. you
are opposed to It write your member of
congress and urge him to protest against
practice is relevant. Mr. Beall may and will
exercise a wise discretion in the matter, but as
to the question as to what difference there was
in the way the United States Steel corporation
and other corporations, that Is the New York
Life Insurance company, kept its records, the
chair still is of the opinion that it is relevant
and competent, and should Mr. Beall insist upon
an answer to that question the decision of the
chair is not to be altered."
Why is it that every time "the system" is
pushed into a close place by some" faithful demo
crat, some other democrat rushes to "the sys
ON ITS OWN TESTIMONY.
John I. Haynes, St. Louis, Mo. Apropos to
your splendid articles on guaranteeing bunk
deposits, I enclose information from' the 'New
York World, May 24, 1911, showing the loss of
thirty-seven million dollars in. two years in the
state of New York. Yet the New York World
is opposed to bank guarantees.
From the New York World: "The new state
superintendent of banking will take charge, to
morrow, it is expected, of the principal office
of the department the one in this city. When
he does so he will receive as a legacy from his
predecessor fifteen banking corporations which
have failed in the last two years and six months,
sweeping away more than $37,000,000 of the
"In some cases dividends have been paid, but
in the majority not one cent has been handed
back to the depositors who placed their money
in the institutions."
THE PEACE TREATIES
The treaties between the United States and
Great Britain and the United States and France
ought to be ratified at once. They have gone
as far as public sentiment will permit in sub
mitting questions for final settlement, but the
most important clause is the one providing for
INVESTIGATION in EVERY CASE. This
clause closes the door to var. Investigation
will result in reconciliation; wars are the out
growth of acts done while the nation is mad.
The primacy of our nation Is peace, the peace
movement is a matter of congratulation, and it
is appropriate that Great Britain whose people
share our language and France our ancient
friend and ally should be associated with our
own country in the signing Qf these epoch-making
President Taft will look back to these treaties
with pride and satisfaction.
"CUT DOWN THE ROBBER TARIFFS"
Editorial in Houston (Texas) Chronicle:
Bryan charged that Underwood feared to try
reducing protective tariffs on iron and steel.
Underwood says Bryan's charge Is false.
But Underwood, with power to reduce, doesn't
reduce the iron and steel tariffs.
Talk is cheap. The right way for Underwood
to prove Bryan's charge is false is to do what
Bryan sayB he dare not try to do.
As for the "wild applause" given Underwood
by his fellows in the houso at Washington, it
may, as Bailey's Houston organ claims, prove his
fellows believe him a "pure" man, but it is a'
long way from proving him a square democrat.
The way for him to prove that is to obey tho
democratic party's promises, and the American
majority's orders, and cut down the robber
tariffs on iron and steel.
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