The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, November 10, 1911, Page 7, Image 7

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The Commoner.
NOVEMBER 10, 1911
Interference with state laws, leaving all ques
tions of the constitutionality of state laws to
the state courts with the right of appeal to tho
United States supremo court?
"21. Are you in favor of tho secret caucuB?
"22. Aro you in favor of amending tho
reclamation act so that on all projects where tho
cost has exceeded the original estimates tho
time for repaying the government shall bo ex
tended sufficiently long so as not to increaso
the original estimate per year of payment?
"23. If defeated at the primary will you
be an independent candidate at tho general
"Very respectfully yours, William C. Hedg
peth, September 25, 1911."
Mr. Hedgpeth has set a good example. Let
every democrat in every state in the union
mibmit similar questions to tho men who seek
office at their hands.
Kansas City Star: A man about thirty years
Old, rather well dressed, entered the office of
G. M. Husser, educational director of the Y. M.
C. A., the other day, and said he would like to
enter the night school. Mr. Husser gave him a
catalogue of the school and told him to pick out
the course he desired to take. The man hesi
tated a moment and then looked at the folder.
Finally ho turned to Mr. Husser and said: "I
can't read."
"Can't read?" replied Mr. Husser.
"Not a line. I can't write, either. You see,
my father died when I was very young, and I
have had to work hard ever since. I never had
time to go tp school. So I never learned to
read. I didn't seem to care much about not
knowing how. I worked hard and earned a liv
ing. I suppose if I had had a mother she would
have made me learn to read. But., I never knew
her. I was left all alone early in life.
"But now there is a girl," and tho man
smiled. "There is a girl at my boarding house
that has taken a great deal of interest in me.
And I I have in her. She brought me a
Bible not long ago and told me she wanted me
to read in it for fifteen minutes every day.
VI took the book. I couldn't tell her I couldn't
read a line in it. She asked me a few days
later if, I had read any of it. And then I had
to tell her. Now, I want to learn how to read
as well as anyone, so I can read that Bible as
she asked me to do."
The man was put in a special class and will
be given instructions in reading and writing.
When President Taft said: "I love the judges;
I love the courts; they are my ideal on earth
and typify what we shall meet afterward in
heaven under a just God," did ho have in mind
the supreme court of the United States that
decided the Sherman anti-trust law to mean
every restraint of trade, or did he have in mind
the supreme court of the United States that
decided the Sherman law to mean only those
restraints that the judges may regard as reason
able? Did he have in mind a court like tho
federal court presided over by Judge Sanborn
which decides that the states have practically
no power to regulate railroad rates; or a' federal
court like the one presided oyer by Judge War
rington which decides quite the opposite?
When the federal courts exhibit such remark
able differences of opinion as to what consti
tutes justice, what kind of courts does Presi
dent Taft have in mind when he says "they
typify what we shall afterward meet in heaven
jmder a just God?" La Follette's Magazine.
The St. Louis Republic printed recently tho
following editorial: "In debate or in contro
versy William J. Bryan usually Is fair and
courteous. Why la it, then, that his smug little
weekly is a common scold and a common pre
yaricator?" Dr. S. A. Johnson of Nevada, Mo., has written
to the Republic with reference to this editorial,
Baying: "In today's republlo, you say. editori
ally, that Mr. Bryan's Commoner Is a common
ecbld and prevaricator. I would like to know
If you base your opinion from his statement that
you were formerly John R. Walsh's editor of
the Chicago Chronicle and stood for all the
special Interests that were preying upon the
people and that had so much preachment to give
the dear public about national honor during the
campaign of 1896?"
Practical Tariff Talks
Tho government has begun action to dlssolvo
tho Steel trust. Thero novor would have boon
a steel trust if it had not been that tho govern
ment of tho United StateB, which has largely
been under tho control of tho republican party
for half a century, erected a system of protec
tive duties which has barred for many years
any effectivo competition from foreign manu
facturers of steel and iron. Not only has It
barred this competition, but It has levied such
high duties that vast fortunes havo boon heaped
into the laps of tho steel-makers. At tho hear
ings of tho ways and moans committee of tho
house before the passago of tho presont tariff
law, such men as Carnegie, Schwab and Gary
admitted that America producos Bteol cheaper
than any other nation, but tho two latter Insisted
that some protection should bo retained be
cause if tho doors woro opened to everybody tho
independents would- suffer. Congress reduced
a number of the duties, but not below tho
prohibitive point in any romemberod case.
Briefly examine tho steel schedule in the
Payne-Aldrlch law. In 1907 this schedule pro
duced a revenue of $22,000,000, Under tho now
rates this would havo been reduced to $20,400,
000, or a little less than 7 per cent. Many of
these reductions were made to favor tho manu
facturer. Iron ore was reduced, but ns the
steel trust owns about 85 per cent of tho ore
supply of tho country, has leases on & great deal
of Canadian ore and ownB mines elsewhere, It
benefits to tho extent of a 25 per cent a ton
duty. Railroad iron and steel was reduced 50
per cent, from $7.84 per ton to $3.92, but no
body can beat American manufacturers In mak
ing rails, none are Imported and tho reduction
in duty hasn't affected prices at all. Struc
tural iron, through a little bit of jugglery, was
materially increased, because it had been dis
covered that somebody who built a skyscraper
in Now York city had imported his steel beams,
and it was necessary that nobody else should bo
permitted to follow his example. Later it was
discovered that ho had Imported this steel, not
because ho could savo anything by doing so, but
because he was In a big hurry for the stuff.
But the increased duty remains.
The watch trust insisted that it needed some
protection, because It had not been getting all
of the trade in the cheaper watch movements.
These were Increased 16 per cent, and affected
about three-quarters of a million dollars worth
of importations. Iron and steel manufacturers
In hundreds of different varieties, for tools,
machinery and the like, are used to the value of
many millions each year. These carried a 45
per cent tax under tho old law, and this high
rate was retained In tho present law, although
it represents more than double the total labor
cost entering into these classes of goods. Some
republican, looking for something with which
to bolster up the claim that tho steel and iron
schedule was revised downward, will doubtless
present the indisputable fact that forty-six
Items In that schedule carry lower duties. Ho
can prove beyond any contradiction that fivo
items in the boiler iron classification, ten In tho
hoop iron list, fourteen in the sheet Iron, and
seventeen in the steel ingot paragraphs carry
These total forty-six reductions. By compar
ing them with the list of Importations for 1907
It will bo found that the old rate, save on ingots,
was so high that very little were imported, and
that the reductions in duty on the entire forty
elx items was but $57,000, of which that on
ingots represented $37,000. Another para
graph, covering steel ingots of another classi
fication, carried an increased duty, which, based
on the 1907 importation, represented an in
crease of $72,000. Forty-six small changes
downward were more than offset by this single
change upward. The secret of this little mys
tery lies In tho fact that wherever the consumer
of manufactured steel was getting the best of
It there was an Increase; where a reduction
would not help him or hurt the manufacturer
It was made, largely, for the purpose of being
later pointed out ad proof that the republican
pledge of a downward revision was kept in the
Payne-Aldrich law. There are in that law 654
paragraphs in which reductions were made and
220 in which increases were effected. The
remainder of the 2024 items, 1150 were left un
changed. Tho oaniplo shown from tho stool
schedulo shows how much value attaches to the
number of reducod paragraphs argumont.
C. Q. D.
Editorial In Wall Streot Journal, October
11th: It would bo astonishing if President Taft
under tho presouro of his radical friends, should
forgot to whom ho owes his' election In 1908.
Thero was not at that timo any vory clean-cut
issuo botween tho partios, but thoro was a clean
cut conviction in tho minds of business mon that
Mr. Taft represented a dlfferont typo of mind
and charactor from hiu opponent, Mr. Bryan.
Tho result was that ho rocolvcd what may
virtually bo called tho unanimous voto of tho
business community. Tho ovidenco of this la
found In tho great number of votes by which ho
led tho other candidates of tho republican party.
In this state, for Instance, tho Taft plurality
was 202,602, while tho republican candidato for
governor so worthy a man as Justice Hughes
rqcoivod a plurality of only 69,000. In Con
necticut, tho Taft plurality was 44,600, whllo tho
republican plurality for governor was less than
16,000. In Ohio, Massachusetts and several
other states largo majorities for Presidont Taft
were accompanied by tho eloction of democratic
governors. In sorao of those statos tho Taft
pluralities woro so largo that thoy would not bo
wiped out oven by tho deduction of tho demo
cratic gains of last fall.
If President Taft was stronger than his paiiy
In 1908 It was becauso tho business community
gavo him their confidence. Tho alternative was
Mr. Bryan and Mr. Bryan's policies, which It
was not believed Presidont Taft would adopt.
Tho samo issue had kept tho republican party in
power since tho silver contest of 1896, In splto
of tho sometimes disturbing performances of
Mr. Roosevelt. What happens when tho busi
ness community make up their minds that a
party or a candidate is no longer to bo trusted
was evidenced by tho result in this state last
Justice Harlan, of tho United States supreme
court, in dissenting from tho majority opinion
in tho Standard Oil case, said:
"In the now not a vory short life that I have
passed in this capital and tho public servlco of
this country, the most alarming tendency of
this day, In my judgment, so far as tho safety
and Integrity of our institutions aro concerned,
is tho tendency to judicial legislation, so that,
when men having vaBt Interests aro concerned,
and thoy can not get the law making power of
tho country which controls It to pass tho legis
lation they desire, tho next thing thoy do is to
raise the question in some case, to get the court
to so construe the constitution, or tho statutes,
as to mean what they want them to mean."
Tho judiciary Is tho one body that has sot
itself above the people; tho one body that is not
responsible to tho people. If our self-governing
republic shall bo turned Into an autocracy, It
will bo of little consolation to know that the
dictators wear judicial robes instead of an
Augustus' crown, and forms do not concern us;
the question at issue is, shall public servants
be free from accountability to tho people for
their official conduct? If they are free from
such responsibility, wo have no right to the
name of republic Los Angeles (Cal.) Outlook,
From President Taft's Chicago speech: "Now
we are at some people think the crisis In the
republican party with reference to its continu
ance In tho guidance of tho nation. I am hope
ful that the good people of tho country, who
know a good thing when they see It, have only
chastened us in an off-year, in order that we
may be better hereafter, but with no Intention
of shifting from shoulders that are fitted to bear
the burdens of the present problems and carry
them to a successful solution, to those which
are untried and which havo new theories of
action that we do not believe in, and that we
don't believe the people believe In. However,
if so be it that they desire to make a change,
we shall loyally support tho new government
under any conditions, with the hope it will inure
to tho benefit of the country, but with the con
solation that, if after one trial the people think
they ought to go back to the old party that has
served them so well in the progressive days of
the nation, they will do so wo can bear that
my friend?; that is all."
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