The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, May 30, 1913, Page 3, Image 3

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

    r-"TTn'rwr ?. t; jmt v
. Wr.-"'8p-wr
The Commoner.
MAY 30, 1913
Jury reform; and we can so divide the forces up
into kinds that no kind can have a majority."
I foresaw that before I left the governorship,
and I requested that I might bo present at a
conference of the members of the present legis
lature. They came to that conference. Wo de
bated and fought out on the floor in the most
candid possible manner the form of jury change
which the majority of us could agree upon, and
I for my part yielded my personal judgment
with regard to the form. I believed then, as I
believe now, that tho safest thing is to mako
this & judicial process from top to bottom and
that it is perfectly safe, and that it would bo
wise, to have jury commissions chosen by tho
justices of tho supreme court of New Jersey.
There were others quite as thoughtful as myself
certainly quite as honest as myself who
thought that it would be better to lodge tho
power of choosing the commissions in the hands
of the circuit judges of tho courts, and then
there were others, and they turned out to be in
tho majority at that conference or they seemed
at the end of it to be in tho majority who
thought that the governor ought to bo given tho
right to name a jury commission' in each of
tho counties. I, myself, though I had been
governor of the state, did not think that that
was the wisest form, but when the majority of
my colleagues: in that conference declared 'their
preference for it, I yielded my preference; and
other gentlemen present seerded to .yield, their
preference. And it was settled, so far as tho
expression of tho opinion of that conference
was concerned, what the democratic platform
meant. It meant jury commissions in tho
several counties appointed by tho governor.
Ah, but there is a little string attached to a
conference! If tho governor Is not present, It
is a caucus and tho members arc bound; if tho
governor is present, it is not a caucus, but a
conference, and the members are not bound.
A very neat and significant distinction! In a
public conference, where they are bound to
show their hands, they do not bind their con
sciences. In private, where it is possible to
make arrangements, they do bind themselves,
not to the public, but to each other. So it
seemed after this conference was over, and
every man had had a chanco to express his full
convictions and his reasons for them, that
everything was just as fluid as it was before;
and some perfectly honest men allowed them- .
selves to be made the instruments for defeat
ing this measure, because, they were persuaded
that it was not in the form which they had
favored. So It is that a very subtle Machlavelian
hand has been thrust into this affair, and men
have been persuaded that they were following
their own convictions when they were making
it impossible for the party to fulfill its pledges
to the people.
Ladies and gentlemen, does anybody doubt
that the people of New Jersey want this critical
business put Into other hands? I find in the
state nowhere any doubt upon that subject, and
if there were an election between now and next
Tuesday, there would be no doubt what would
be done next Tuesday, and there would be no
doubt that some of the gentlemen who are going
to try to do something next Tuesday would not
be there to try. I have a little list. I could
point out to you some gentlemen; but it is not
worth pointing out to you many of the gentle
men in tho Essex delegation, because they are
all lumped in one. They are not distinguish
able from one another. They are in the con
dition of fluid candy that has been too closo
neighbors. They are one lump, plumped into
the box by the impulse of one will, and that not
their own. Therefore, I would not take tho
pains to discriminate among that select eleven.
It is not worth a thoughtful man's while. But
there are gentlemen elsewhere, who can bo
picked out by name, in other counties, and if I
should visit their county, I would be pleased to
pick them out.
It does not do to be groping In this business.
You want to know whom you are talking about,
as well as what you are talking about. These
gentlemen ought to bo described according to
their orbits. They do not belong in any solar
syBtem; they are erratic comets, and the attrac
tion of gravitation which governs their courso
1b to my mind Incalculable. But it is worth
while to point them out so that you may keep
your oyes upon tho evening sky and see to it
that your community, at any rate, Is not de
vastated by their fall. For their fall is easy to
predict by one who is not an astronomer.
There are two things that the people of New
'Jersey determined to have and have not got
They determined to have jury reform and they
determined to have a look at their own coa-
stitution. But tho gentlemen who mado tho
present constitution of Now Jersey looked a
long way ahead. They said, "Wo may need
this constitution somo day, and wo will mako it
of such a fashion that nobody can monkey with
it, not oven the people themselves." They
limited tho number of times you could suggest
an amendment to tho constitution within a
given period of years. Thoy said, "This thing
is too exciting; do not try it too often. This
is your own constitution, but your own con
stitution will not stand tho pace. You had
better live on your by-laws for a time; and fivo
years at a timo is not a bit too long to llvo on
your by-laws and keep quiet. And after you
begin to touch this delicato constitution, you
have got to touch It twice, not once. You
have got to pass It through two legislatures, In
order that it may otlll have tho chance of sur
viving the examination which Its own makers,
theortlcally, have subjectod It to."
Now, a constitution which is mado in one ago
is not suitable to tho circumstances of another
age. The circumstances of tho year 1913 aro
as unlike tho circumstances of the year 1844
as tho twentieth century is unlike tho seven
teenth century. Our whole economic and social
and political system has been altered within
the period which this constitution has served
tho people of New Jersey, and In ray opinion it
is just about time, not that tho people of New
Jersey asked themselves if they did not wish
to do revolutionary things, but that tho peoplo
of Now Jersey asked themselves If it was not
right to bring their fundamental regulations up
to the circumstances of their own day. There
is only one barrier, I am told, to that, and that
is that Essex, for example, has so many moro
people in it. than Capo May, for example, that
it wants more representatives In tho senate of
this state than Capo May, in as largo a propor
tion as its population outnumbers tho popula
tion of Capo May; and certain astute gentlemen,
who aro afraid that certain other parts of that
constitution will be changed, are playing upon
that in order to prevent any constitutional
change whatever. I say let's call their bluff,
and propose to the legislators at Trenton that
wo allow the counties of this stato equal rep
resentation In tho constitutional convention.
Because I would rather sacrifice one point than
sacrifice tho chances of the peoplo of New Jer
sey to modernize their constitution.
The gentlemen who work politics in this stato
live In the very populous counties, and they are
working this very natural, and I must say, it
may be, very just, feeling for the purpose of
preventing tho things that they do care about
by making more important the things that they
do not really care about. They would like, It
is true, to have in proportion as many senators
to manipulate as there aro assemblymen. If
you leave the political machinery of the county
In their hands, thoy will havo just that many
more pawns to play on the board. And they aro
interested in this question, if they are interested
.honestly at all, merely from the point of view
of their numerical advantage in making the
arrangements and interchanges of favors which
they choose to make In the legislature of tho
state. Well, what aro you going to do about
it? Aro you going to hold meetings? Aro you
going to listen to men and agree with men
who are telling you what is the matter? Is
that enough? This meeting is not going to
change tho result next Tuesday in tho least,
unless you see to It that your neighbors aro
just as much in earnest about this thing as you
are; unless, perchance, the things that I am
fortunate enough to have the opportunity to say
tonight may kindlo a little fire underneath these
gentlemen. You have got to kindle fire under
them. There used to be a time when there wore
only two things that would move them fodder
held just before them and a flro built under
neath them. Fodder has gone out of fashion.
Nobody suspects at any rate, I do not sus
pect direct corruption of any kind in this
matter. It Is tho astute misleading of the will
that Is being done in Trenton. Men are being
lined up upon their private convictions, when
every man who loves his public duty ought to
pull his private convictions with other men's
and get the main thing out of tho result, like
a sensible and honorable man. But all theso
intricate suggestions of differences of Individual
opinion are made to hold up the whole process
and chill tho wholo atmosphere, and make men
look at each other as those who are in love with
their Individual prescriptions against the earth
quake. And there is going to be an earthquake
unless something happens to Fettle the earth
before that time. I am not speaking In Jest. I
am speaking: in earnest. The people of this
country and of this stato aro going to have
what thoy know thoy ought to got by ono pro
cess or another. I pray God that It may not
be tho wrong process! I havo tho greatest con
fidence In tho self-control, tho public spirit, the
legal conscience, of tho peoplo of America, and
I do not myself believe that dangerous things
will happen, but I warn these gentlemen not
too long to show the people of this country that
justice can not bo got by tho ordinary processes
of the law. I warn them to stand out of tho
sovereign's way.
I have traveled from ono end of this country
to the other, ladies and gentlomon, and I havo
looked into the faces of many audlonccs. I havo
never scon any symptom of riot. I havo never
seen any symptom that men wero going to kick
over tho traces of tho laws thoy themslvos had
sanctioned and made, but I have seen a great
majesty seated upon their countenances, an in
finite patience, but also an imdomitable will.
They are sitting now and watching their public
men; and this Is the test; this Is tho trial; this
is tho ultimate seat of judgmont; and If these
men will not servo thorn, thoy will bo swept like '
tho chaff before tho wind and other men more
honBt, moro bravo, moro wholesomo, with the
freshness of a now day upon thorn and with oyes
that seo tho countrysides and tho spaces whore
men aro cool and thoughtful and determined,
shall come to the front and lead them to a day
of victory; when America, will bo crowned with
a now wreath of self-revelation and of solf-dis-covery;
and theso pitiful creatures who have
put their ugly bulk In tho way will havo disap
peared like the dust under tho wheels of the
chariots of God.
It is this hope, it is this confidence, that keeps
a president of the United States alive; it is this
confidence that makes it good to como back to
Jersey and fight for tho old cause.
Des Moines, la., May 6th. To Tho Editor of
The Commoner: President Wilson and the
members of tho cabinet and of congress aro
carrying out faithfully tho pledges of tho party
platform; this is something which has novor
been done by any administration within my
memory and I wish you to reallzo as fully as
possible how greatly tho peoplo appreciate what
is being done.
Tho democrats havo directed mo to forward
to you for publication tho enclosed resolutions
and It gives me great pleasure to do so. Yours
very truly, II. G. GUE.
At a meeting of Des Moines democrats, hold
at tho Wilson club headquarters tho recent
action of the secretary of treasury regarding
government deposits was considered and the
following resolutions were unanimously adopted:
"Whereas, Hon. William G. McAdoo, our able
secretary of tho treasury, has recently abolished
the unwise and unfair system of hoarding the
surplus funds of tho United States in the treas
ury vaults or depositing them without Interest;
has required all national banks receiving govern
ment deposits to pay 2 per cent interest thereon
and has allowed state, city and county bonds to
bo received as security for such deposits. Now,
therefore, bo it
"Resolved, by the democrats of Des Moines
that this change in policy by which, for the first
time in history, tho treasury department has
placed these matters upon a fair and equitable
basis, Is most satisfactory to the democrats of
this city. That wo most heartily indorse and
commend this action of our secretary of the
treasury and thank him for changing from re
publican methods to those of progressive democ
Just how tho Incomo tax provision of the
democratic tariff bill is going to work, Is pre
sented in tho following computation made by
a New Jersey paper in figuring on tho proposi
tion: "Mr. A is a dry goods merchant, with a
business of his own, but not Incorporated. He
owns his store in Newark and derives a gross In
como of $100,000 a year. Out of his past profit
ho has invested $200,000 In two apartment
houses, the rentals from which bring him $20,
000 annually; and $12,000 additional he has in
vested in tho capital stock of three domestic cor
porations as follows: $10,000 in one, $1,500 ia
another and $500 in tho third; the dividends
paid by each corporation for tho previous year
having been fivo per cent. There Is a mortgage
of $50,000 at fivo per cent per annum on his
store property, but otherwise his real estate is