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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Jan. 1, 1914)
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The Commoner i
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WILLIAM J, BRYAN, EDITOR AND PROPRIETOR
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VOL. 14, NO.1!
Lincoln, -Nebraska, January, 1914
Whole Number bb - ' f"?
President Wilson's Address on Signing Currency Bill
At the White House, Washington, December 23, 1913
"Gentlemen, I need not tell you that I feel
very deep gratification at being able to sign
this bill, and I feel that I ought to express
very heartily the admiration I have for the
men who have made it possible for me to sign
this bill. There have been, currents and counter-currents,
but the stream has moved for
ward. I think that we owe special admira
tion to the patience and the leadership and
. the skill and the force of the chairmen of the
two committees; and behind them have stood
the committees themselves exercising a de
gree of scrutiny and of careful thought in this
matter, which undoubtedly has redounded to
the benefit of the bill itself. Then there has
grown, as we have advanced with this bus
ness and the great piece of business, which
preceded it, evidences of teaniL w.or)c,that , in
fsv .my; mind have beenvveiThotamejindeed.' Only
constructive action, oniy tue acuon:,wmcu au.
compiisjitjs something, fills men -with the en
thusiasm of co-operation, and I think that at
this session of congress we have witnessed, an
accumulating pleasure and enthusiasm on the
part of the membership of both houses in see
ing substantial and lasting things accom
plished. "It is a matter of real gratification to me
that in the case of this bill there should have
been so considerable a number of republican,
votes cast for it. All great measures under
our system of government are of necessity
party measures, for tfie party of the majority
is responsible for their origination and their
passage, but this cannot be called a partisan
measure. It has been relieved of all intima
tion of that sort by the cordial co-operation
of men on the other side of the two houses
who have acted with us and have given very
substantial reasons and very intelligent rea
sons for acting with us. So that I think we
can go home with the feeling that we are in
better spirits for public service than we were
even when we convened in April. hu
"As for the bill itself, I feel that we can
say that it is the first of a series of construc
tive measures by which the democratic party
will show that It knows how to serve the
country. In calling It the first of a series of
constructive measures, I need not say that I
am not casting any reflections on the great ,
tariff bill which preceded it. The tariff bill
was meant to remove those Impediments to
American industry and prosperity, which had
so long stood In their way. It was a great
piece of preparation for the achievements of
American commerce and American industry
which are certainly to follow. Thgn there
came upon the heels of it this bill which fuv-,
nishes the machinery for free and elastic and
uncontrolled credits put at the disposal of the.
merchants and manufacturers ofthis country
for tho first tima in fifty years.
"I was. refreshing iriy memory on the pass-
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age pf thp Natonal Bank act, whiqhcajnaMh;.,
two t)fece's, as you know, in FobruarjjdSjM!'
anu in uune qlloo, it is just mty;ydei.H uku-
since that measure, suitable for-that' time,
was passed, and It has taken us more than a
generation and a half to come to-an under
standing ag to the readjustments which were
necessary for our own time. But we have
reached those readjustments. I, myself, have
always felt when the democratic party was
criticised as not knowing how to serve the
business interests of the country, that there
was no use of replying to that in words. The
only satisfactory reply was in action. Wo
have written the first chapter of that reply.
"We are greatly favored by the circum
stances of our time. We come at the end of
a day of contest, at the end of a day when we
have been scrutinizing the processes of our
business, scrutinizing them with critical, a"nd
sometimes with hostile eye. We have slowly
been coming to this time, which has now
happily arrived, when there is a cor mon
recognition of the things that it I undesirable
should be done in business and the'things thatft
it is desirable should be done.
"What we are proceeding to do now Is to
organize our peace, is to make our prosperity
not onlystable but-free to have an unimpeded
momentum. It Is so obvious that It ought not
need to be stated that nothing can be good
for the country which is not good for all of
the country. Nothing can be for the interest
of the country which is not In the Interest of
everybody, therefore the day of accommoda
tion and of concession and of common under
standing is the day of poaco and achievement
of necessity. We have come to the beginning
of that day.
"Men are no longer resisting the conclu-
slons which the nation has arrived at as to
the necessity of readjustments of its business.
Business men of all sorts are showing their
willingness to come into this arrangement,
which I venture. to characterize as the consti
tution of pdace. So that by common counsel
'aiM by. the accumulating force of co-operation
i vre; are going to seek more amfcradra to:-aerfe
the country. . . '' .-, :
''TiJl&V:Ve.6nft8iirbfiod-: ht tKo-'suddbn a
coptaiice- of 'ilils mea8iie';byp1iiiii6 oplniprt
everywhere. 1 say surprised, because It seojns
as if It had suddenly become obvious to men
who had looked at it with too critical an eye
that it 'was really meant In their interest.
They have opened their eyes to see a thing
which they had supposed to be hostile to be
friendly and serviceable exactly what we in
tended it to be and what we shall intend all
our legislation to be.
"The men who have fought for this measure
have fought nobody. They hav9 simply fought
for those accommodations which are going to
secure us in prosperity and peace, Nobody,
can be the friend of any class in America In'
the sense of being the enemy of any other
class. You qan only be the friend of one class
by showing It the lines by which It can ac
commodate itself to the other class. The
lines of help are always the lines of accommo
dation. "It is in this spirit, therefore, that we re
joice together tonight, and I cannot say with
what deep emotions of gratitude I feel that I
have had a part In completing a work which
I think will be of lasting benefit to the busi
ness of the country."
The Unscrambling Begun
When it was suggested to the elder J. P.
Morgan that the monopolies should be dissolved
he facetiously enquired, "Can you unscramble
eggs?" He evidently thought that the question
admitted of only a negative answer, but the un
scrambling has begun, and it is J. P. Morgan,
Junior, who sets the example. He and other
members of the Morgan group have resigned
from the directorates of a number of competing
companies and the work has just started. His
published statement reads as follows:
"The necessity of attending many board meet
ings has been so serious a burden on our time
that we have long wished to withdraw from the
directorate of many corporations. Most of these
directorships we have accepted with reluctance
arid only because we felt constrainc d to keep in
PRESIDENT'S ADDRESS ON SIGNING
THE CURRENCY BILL
THE UNSCRAMBLING BEGUN
THE REACTIONARY'S LAST STAND
THE RULING PASSION
CURRENCY REFORM AT LAST
NOW FOR A GUARANTY LAW
THE COMMONER'S FOURTEENTH YEAR
THE' MINORITY VETO IN THE SENATE
THE OWEN-GLASS CURRENCY
touch with properties which we had-reorganized,
or whose securities we had recommended to the
public, both here and abroad. r
"An apparent change in public sentiment -Jn
regard to directorships seems to warrant uV in
seeking to resign from some ff these connect
tions. Indeed, It may be, in view of the change
in. sentiment on the subject, that we shall be in
a better position to serve such properties and
their security holders if we are not directors..
"We already have resigned from the com
panies mentioned, and we expect from time to
time to withdraw from other boards upon which
we feel there is no special obligation to remain."
This shows a wholesome respect for public
sentiment a new virtue in the financial world.
Surely the mlllenium is nearer when a president
can win such victories by courageously cham
pioning the. cause of the people.
W. J. BRYAN. .,
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