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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Sept. 8, 1911)
BBPTEMBBE S, 1911
American Bar Association "Goes Democratic"
Edgar H. Farrar, President, Deliver a Speech Which Sounds Very Much Like the
Democratic Speeches of 1896 Read the Following United Press Dispatch
0 HOW EDGAR H. FARRAR, PRESIDENT OF THE AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION
VIEWS THE TRUST PROBLEM
0 The people themselves have created the Frankenstelns now spreading torror and
Greed for revenue resulted In unrestricted corporation laws.
' Most large corporations are public enemies.
The great American national disgrace is the Issuance of fictitious and watered stock.
It is of no avail to break up the Standard Oil and American Tobacco companies, when
the same interests control.
The house of governors should frame a state agreement to abolish the criminal trusts.
Congress and the states have the supremo power to define criminal trusts and forco
them to dissolve. 0
Government can not fix prices for merchandise, nor of the product of human labor.
Establishment of a money trust among the national banks can only bo prevented by
The National City company is a subterfuge designed to circumvent the law.
A money trust controlling capital of the nation is the dream of the dominant financial
Scope of federal business corporations, suggested by the new nationalism, would bo
The remedy for the corporation debauch lies in the hands of the whole people of the
Boston, Aug. 29. In the most sensational
address in the history of the conservative Ameri
can bar association, its president, Hon. Edgar
Farrar, today flayed the trusts and the laws
under which they aro organized.
The big financial interests of the country,
especially the money kings of New York, were
denounced in bitter terms as breakers and law
evaders, who plan to control the liquid' finances
of the nations in a gigantic money trust. The
coming conference of the state governors in
New Jersey was urged to devise a plan to save
the country from the interests.
Attorney General Wlckersham was assailed
for -the suggestion that the government Bhould
fix prices of commodities, which was charac
terized as ''monopolist and socialist reaching a
common ground" and such a plan, Farrar said,
would "shatter America's free democracy."
That the so-called money trust is an im
mediate menace .was also insisted on by Farrar,
"A money trust controlling the liquid capital
the life blood of the commerce of the nation,
is doubtless the dream of dominant financial
magnates. If such a calamity does befall us,
there will surely rise up another Andrew Jack
son, with the power and good will of the people
behind him, who will throttle this perversion
of the financial laws."
As a remedy and deterrent, Farrar suggested
that congress limit the capital of national banks,
'prohibit consolidation and prohibit coupling of
stock or directors.
Seated on the platform with President Farrar
was a notable array of the most prominent
lawyers of the country, including seven ex
presidents of the association, who were ex
Secretary of War Jacob M. Dickinson, Alton B.
Parker, Henry St. George Tucker, president of
Washington and Lee university; Henry D.
Browne, United States supreme court, retired;
Francis Lord, Virginia; Alfred Hemenway, Bos
ton, and Charles C. Libbey, Portland, Me. Frank
B. Kellogg, Standard Oil trust buster, also was
on the platform. He joined the others in pro
longed applause when President Farrar con-'
CONTROL OF CORPORATIONS
Boston, Aug. 29. "The burning question
that now agitates the minds of the American
people is how to control the corporations; how
to break up these great aggregations which
seem to be almost as powerful as the govern
ment itself, and how to prevent their formation
in the future," declared Edgar H. Farrar of
Louisiana, president of the American Bar as
sociation, in' his address at the annual meeting
of the organization here today. He declared
that the agitation for the recall of the judges,
as shown in the Arizona constitution, vetoed by
the president, was only "one of the symptoms
of tlie political, social and economic unrest that
now pervades the whole nation."
"The radicals," he continued, "propose to
destroy things generally, while the conserva
tives, reading the signs of the times, realize the
danger of the growing excitement among the
masses of the people, and aro seeking an exit
from the situation that will conserve political
liberty and industrial prosperity."
Farrar then defended the corporation as a
general principle, saying it had come to stay
and was necessary for our industrial develop
ment. There has always been a strong bias
against corporations, he says, and now- it has
passed into politics, the "favorite ground of
attack by the demagog on anyone desiring to
enter public life being that he represents cor
porate Interests or is a corporation lawyer."
"If there are Frankenstelns in corporate form
stalking over the land," declared Farrar,
"spreading terror and threatening destruction,
the people themselves have created them by
their legislatures. In forty-one states there is
no limit on capital stock and in twenty-four
perpetual charters aro permitted. Mergers or
consolidations aro only specifically prohibited
in two states. In none of the states is the same
person prohibited from acting as director of
corporations of the same character engaged in
the same business.
"During the last ten years there has been
competition between the states to invent and
adopt the most unrestricted corporation laws.
The spur has been greed for revenue; the en
couragement, tho. success of New Jersey. Out
of tho lattor's bosom have come the great trusts,
the holding companies, and the gigantic mo
nopolies, all with their water-logged capital
"And the corporation laws of tho United
States and the national banking laws contain
many of the objectlonal features of tho state
"How will it- stand with the republic in a
generation from now if the estates of all the
millionaires and multimillionaires aro perpetu
ally Incorporated as is being done in New York
and copied elsewhere. In the agricultural
states great corporations are absorbing and
combining the farms. How can that firm foun
dation of free government and land-owning yeo
manry exist under such conditions?
"Under tho lax state and national laws great
aggregations of capital have seized upon specific
industries and driven everybody out of them.
They stand like armed colossuses astride the
gateways of commerce and destroy every entrant
who presumes to compete with them. They
have no legal grant of monopoly, but monopoly
comes to them by virtue of their size, organiza
tion and strength. 'They are a nest of wasps
a swarm of vermin which have overcrept tho
. "The economic advantages, if any, that flow
from these vast aggregations of capital aro
drowned in the firm belief that they exercise
too much political power, selfishly and unscru
pulously bar the door to private enterprise,
cramp the industrial freedom of individuals,
destroy equality of opportunity and extinguish
all hope and hence all ambition for Industrial
independence and autonomy.
" "The great American national disgrace Is
found in the Issuance of fictitious and watered
stock, mado possible under tho lawn. From It
othor damnablo abuses spring. Corporations
own and voto stock In one nnothor and this pro
vision is the mother of tho holding company and
tho trust. In Utah, railroad companies have tho
widost powers whereby a Utah company can
acquire and control the stock of all transporta
tion corporations by land, river, lako or sea In
tho United States, down to tho smallest tram
way In tho smallest country village Whon ono
remembers that Utah In tho domlcllo of tho
Union Pacific railway company, and this statuto
was passed aftor that great company had ac
quired largo blocks of stock In eight of our great
railroad companies ono discerns tho lion's paw
tho maBtor hand of tho now deceased presi
dent of that company.
"Of what avail will it be to break up tho
Standard Oil company nnd tho Amorlcan
Tobacco company Into their constituent
elements, If all these olemonts havo identical
stockholders, a community of Interests and tho
legal power to establish substantial Identity of
diroctors among them?
"Tho remedy Is concerted action among tho
states. If every state will compel tho big cor
porations to defer more to new laws enactod In
behalf of the people and to dlssolvo and liqui
date, then tho existing crop will bo destroyed
without hope of successors. That Is tho work
for tho house of governors which assembles In
New Jersey next week.
"An agreement or compact among tho states
on tho subject of their respective corporations,
with tho consent of congress would bo cnforclblo
by tho supreme court of tho United States. If
jealously or greed of Individual state provont
such a compact, tho remaining states must pro
hibit participation of dangerous corporations In
intrastate commerce. And congress can drlvo
out of Interstate and foreign commerco all such
dangerous corporations in Intrastate commerce.
And congress can drive out of interstate and
foreign commerco all such corporations, abso
lutely eliminating them."
The speaker also attacked Attorney General
Wickersham's suggestion that tho government
fix prices as unconstitutional and characterized
tho National City company recently formed In
Now York as an "Ingenious subterfuge Intended
to circumvent the law."
Aftor discussing at great length tho forma
tion of tho National City company and his
reasons for considering It illegal, President
"Between tho law breaker and tho expounder
of tho law, there haB always boon perpetual
conflict, tho ono inventing plans to do Indirectly
what ho Is prohibited from doing directly, and
tho other extending and developing tho elemen
tary principles of justice so as to circumvent
all evasions, no matter how ingeniously devised.
It is not probable in this matter that either tho
attorney general of tho United States or tho
courts will conclude that tho ingenuity of tho
law breaker is greator than tho law."
Asked his opinion of Farrar'B speech, Frank
B. Kellogg, Standard Oil "trust buster" and
counsel for the United States steel company in
"It was a very able address. Was Mr.
Farrar'a arraignment too severe? I do not care
to be quoted in that regard?"
Alton B. Parker, once democratic candidate
for the presidency, said:
"Mr. Farrar told tho truth about trusts and
corporations. Uniform state laws are all that
will control tho trusts. I Intend to introduce
a resolution before the commission tomorrow
calling on the association to put itself on record
as believing that the situation Is critical and
that the states must pass uniform laws against
aggregations of wealth."
THE LITTLE WHITE DOG
Little white dog with the meek brown eyes,
Tell mo tho boon that most you prize.
Would a juicy bone meet your heart's desire?
Or a cozy rug by a blazing fire?
Or a sudden race with a truant cat?
Or a gentle word? or a friendly pat?
Is the worn-out ball you have always near
The dearest of all the things held dear?
Or is the homo you left behind
Tho dream of bliss to your doggish mind?
But the little white dog just shook his head
As if "None of these are best," he said.
A boy's clear whistle came from the street;
There's a wag of the tail and a twinkle of feet,
And the little white dog did not even say,
"Excuse me, ma'am," as he scampered away;
But I'm sure as can be his greatest joy
Is just to trot behind tljat boy.
May Ellis Nichols In Observer.
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