The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, December 01, 1913, Page 3, Image 3

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The Commoner
complaining concentration upon the business of
legislation? Surely it is a proper and pertinent
part of my report-on "the state of the Union" to
express my admiration for the diligence, the
good temper, and the full comprehension of pub
lic duty which has already been manifested by
both the Houses; and I hope that it may not be
deemed an impertinent intrusion of myself into
the picture if I say with how much and how con
stant satisfaction I have availed myself of the
privilege of putting my time and energy at their
disposal alike in counsel and in action.
Former Ambassador Wilson, in defiance of the
rules that are binding upon the conscience of
diplomats, signalized his retirement from the
service by an attempt to embarrass the govern
ment in dealing with the Mexican situation. His
offense would have been unpatriotic enough, had
he been merely an on-looker, but it was aggra
vated by the fact that he played a conrpicuous
part in creating the conditions with which the
government had to deal. He was present at the
meeting between Huerta and Diaz and en
couraged other countries to believe that the
United States would recognize Huerta's govern
ment. He showed an entire disregard of the
ideals of our nation and now he emphasizes his
own short-comings by endeavoring to make more
difficult the task of the administration in assist
ing to restore constitutional government in
Congressman Glass has illustrated anew the
power of truth to confound its enemies. He has
been invading the east and wherever he has gone
he has carried dismay to the financiers who have
opposed the currency bill. He has not only
made them ridiculous in the eyes of those who
have listenod to the discussions but he has
actually converted many of them to the support
of the bill.
If the essence of public speaking is for the
speaker to know what he is talking about and
believe what he says, Congressman Glass is an
orator, for ho is certainly posted on the currency
question and no one who hears him doubts that
he believes what he says. To these he adds
felicity of expression and aptness of illustration.
It has been a long while since a public man has
grown so rapidly during the discussion of a con
gressional measure.
The bankers who are opposing the Glass-Owen
currency bill show themselves grossly ignorant
of its provisions. Some of them seem to assume
that a banker must understand, by intuition, all
of the principles and provisions of a monetary
bill without the necessity of reading it. There is
nothing in the mere business of banking that
tends to educate the banker in the science of
banking. A man may know who is good on a
note without any knowledge whatever of the
science of money, just as one may know how
to cook eggs without knowing how to raise
The president proposes to make- an experi
ment with government ownership in Alaska.
Good. There seems to be no other way to
secure the railroad development that Alaska
needs, and besides it will give an opportunity to
test the government's capacity for the manage
ment of such an enterprise.
It is suspected that some of the devotees of
high protection felt some nervous qualms when
they read the other day that the head priest of
the sun worshipers had been convicted in court.
If the law is to be invoked against all of the old
superstitions they had reason to feel alarmed.
WANTED To correspond with Demo
cratic State Chairmen, County Chairmen,
Secretaries, Members of Democratic State
Committees, Precinct Committeemen and
others who are interested in circulating
Democratic literature and organizing for
the state and congressional elections next
year. Address The Commoner.
The President's Message
The president's message will quicken the
hearts of reformers throughout the land. His
first message summoned the party in congress to
the fulfillment of its pledge to reduce the tariJT.
The call was heeded; congress went to work
and, aided by the counsel of the president, mot
the expectations of the country. The issue is
settled for the present and is not likely to rise
again in the near future, unless something now
unforseen gives the beneficiaries of protection a
chance to put undeserved blame upon it.
The next step was toward currency reform,
and this is almost accomplished Wo are far
enough along to know that the senate only
awaits an opportunity to vote to register its ap
proval of the principles of the president's plan.
When this reform is secured, it will not only put
the government in control of its finance and dis
integrate the money power, but it will make the
possibility of panics more remote.
The president might have felt Justified in re
garding these two great achievements as suffi
cient for the first congress, but' he is not satis-
fied with a partial fulfillment of his promises.
He no sooner disposes of one piece of work than
he begins another. His message presents three
problems, and his position is clearly stated on
each. First, the private monopoly, which must
be exterminated. The law must so clearly de
fine that which is lawful and that which is un
lawful that the honest business man need not
err therein. The right of any man to fix a price
upon that which another must buy is denied, and
the exercise of that right is to be prevented. A
private monopoly being indefensible, the presi
dent does not attempt to defend it, and being in
tolerable, he does not intend to tolerate it. lie
has taken the position that the platform four
times outlined and which the party expected him
to take. With the prestige he has won from
the reduction of the tariff and which he will win
from the reform of the currency, ho will be pre
pared to grapple successfully with the monster
combinations that have been converting legiti
mate business into a grand lottery in which a
few draw capital prizes and the rest draw blanks.
There is no reason to doubt that ho will have
the support of the people in his fight against the
trusts, as he .has had that support in his fight
The president devotes a considerable part of
his message to the subject of farm credits, and
what he says will be most acceptable to the agri
cultural classes. They have been ignored in
financial legislation because the Wall street
financiers have written the laws and, strangely
enough, financiers do not seem to realize the
importance of the part that the farmer plays in
the creation of wealth.
The farmer is the atlas who carries tho world
upon his shoulders and he is, therefore, hidden
from the view of those who are perched upon
the top of tho globe at least, those who have
been in control have acted as though they neither
saw him nor were aware of his work.
The president, looking upon the question from
the standpoint of all the people, could not fail
to understand the interest of the farmers, and
the country is to be congratulated upon the pros
pect of legislation which will enable this class
to protect itself from the gross injustice which
has been practiced upon him.
Most of the necessaries for tho navy, says
Secretary Daniels in his annual report, aro made
by a very few manufacturers and the prices
charged are so much too high that ho recom
mended appropriations for an armor plate fac
tory and increases In the gun, powder and
torpedo works. Tho department, he adds, Is still
forced to buy too large a quantity from tho
powder trust at an exhorbitant price. If an
individual of means were confronted by such
conditions, he would proceed to manufacture on
his own account. Why not tho government?
The opponents of the Owen draft of the cur
rency bill profess to be greatly alarmed over the
discovery that one provision may be utilized "to
flood the country with an inflated and irredeem
able volume of paper money." This provision
ngainut protection for protection' sake and
against a money system controlled by Wall
1 1 in moBHage also takes up the problem pre
sented by tho imperial policy which tho republi
can party has boon developing for tho past four
teen years. Here again tho president plants lilm
solf firmly upon tho platform promise and gives
to tho Filipinos tho one aBHuranco for which thoy
have waited, namely, that they aro to have Inde
pendence. Tho exact dato Is not so Important aa
tho knowledge that this is the ultlmato end
toward whi'h and for which wo strive.
Tho president has already taken an important
step in giving to the Filipinos a majority of tho
commission, In addltloa to tho assembly which
was previously established. Further steps will
bo taken, and the Filipinos will not he impatient,
now that their faith has been justified and thoy
know that their destiny is to be In their own
When these four reforms are all crystallzod
into law, namely, a tariff measure drawn in tho
people's interest, a currency system under tho
control of the government, Industry freed from
tho fetters of monopoly nnd tho tplrlt of our In
stitutions restored by the overthrow of Imperial
ism, the president will have made a record un
paralleled by any predecessor In tho samo
length of time, if, indeed, paralleled In any term.
But even these do not complete his program,
IIo asks for legislation which will enable tho poo
plo to select their presidential candidates by
primaries rather than by conventions. Having
freed tho government from the power of proda
tory wealth, ho now plans to make a reassertiou
of their control impossible by putting tho gov
ernment in the hands of the people. He has
faith in the conscience of the people when
aroused, but ho is a student of history and
knows that tho special Interests aro ever active,
even though the people sleep. He appreciates
the influence that a president can exert and ho
believes that a president chosen by the people
and owing his elevation to the people, can better
bo trusted to guard tho people's interest from
the watch tower at the White House than a presi
dent chosen by a convention.
Every democrat will, upon reading tho presi
dent's message, congratulate himself that after
so many years of darkness the day has dawned.
empowers the federal reserve board, in an
emergency, to authorize the use of f.ederal re
servo notes as reserves by member banks, lawful
money being the present reserve requirement.
Tho joke of it is that under the Aldrich bill, be
loved by big bankers, member banks were per
mitted to use the notes authorized by that meas
ure in their reserves, not "as found necessary,"
but in the ordinary course of business.
The testimony taken at Chicago in the govern
ment investigation of tho telephone trust showed,
among other things, that real progress in invent
tion and in extension of the service to tho people
did not como in this business until after competi
tion was made possible through tho expiration of
basic patents. This is but another proof of tho
known truth that monopoly does not make for
efficiency, but on the other hand stifles tho in
ventive instinct, which is the basis of all real
efficiency, another name for economy of pro?
It seems probable that the currency
bill will pass by the time this Issue of
The Commoner reaches its readers. If,
Mr. Reader, discussion is still continuing
when your eyes fall upon this paragraph,
and you have reason to believe that your
representative in the senate shares in the
responsibility for the delay, please spend
a few cents on a telegram and tell him
that the country Is not only standing by
the president but Is growing impatient
for tho enjoyment of the advantages
which currency reform will bring.
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