The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, February 01, 1914, Page 13, Image 13

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    The Commoner
The President's Message On Trusts
Following are Associated Press
dispatches, dated Washington, Jan
uary 20:
President Wilson's suggestion to
congress today in his trust address
that the government and business
men are ready to meet each other
half way "in a common effort to
squaro business methods with both
public opinion and the law," fell on
attentive ears and struck a respon
sive chord in representatives of dif
ferent parties. The atmosphero of
"co-operation and accommodation"
in the message; the reforms pro
posed, expressed in terms of conserv
atism, and the spirit of friendliness
to supersede antagonism in dealing
with big business, which dominated
the president's thoughts, roused ex
pression of approval from all sides.
Few discordant notes were sounded
in comments from members of con
gress who are to pass on legislation
urged to prohibit monopoly and hold
men of business within the law.
Throughout the delivery of the ad
dress the senators and representa
tives listened intently to every word,
applauding frequently when the
president began enumeration of evils
which he believed needed remedying.
His proposal for an interstate
trade commission to facilitate busi
ness and keep it in the straight path;
the recommendation of laws to pro
hibit interlocking directorates and
holding companies; suggestions for
authority to regulate railroad securi
ties, for an act that would fix guilt on
individuals, instead of punishing
business, and that the courts be
opened to individuals harmed by
illegal business all of these were
Teceived with general approval, evi
denced by .enthusiastic applause.
Before the plaudits of his audience
had ceased, and as the president was
passing from the house chamber,
where his successive appearances
since last April have contributed to
the nation's history, .his utterances
had precipitated action.
President Wilson, was ushered into
the crowded chamber at 12:29
o'clock, while the audience rose and
gave him prolonged applause and
cheers. The president took his place
at the clerk's desk and began reading
promptly at 12:30 o'clock. His
auditors gave rapt-attention.
The scene was a colorful one and
no less dramatic than on any of the
previous occasions when the presi
dent, setting aside precedent, came
to the halls of congress to address
the national legislative body in per
son. The high-banked galleries pre
sented a wave of color. On the floor
the legislators, in somber conven
tional garb, packed the hall to its
utmost corners. Secretaries Garri
son, Daniels and Wilson and Post
master General Burleson had seats
on the floor, and other officials were
clustered about the speaker's dais.
As the president read his message
he frequently was interrupted with
long applause, and at times demon
strations approaching cheering.
- Loud applause greeted the con
clusion of the president's address at
12:51 o'clock.
New York Times: "The presi
dent's message is a fulfilment of his
promise. He had more than once as
sured the country that the war be
tween government and business was
ended, that it would be his policy to
build up, not to destroy.
There is a corollary and a counter
part to this fair, wise and just pro
gramme of government policy and
remedial legislation. It is that the
mouth of the pestilent demagogue
shall be shut, that there shall be an
end to the attainment of political
ambition through the harassing of
New York World: "Such a mes
sage as Mr. Wilson has written can
not fail to be reassuring to American
commerce and industry.
Whoever reads the president's mes
sage must feel at once that hero is
a man who knows what he is talking
about; that here is a man who has a
clear, definite purpose; that purpose
is to translate into law in a useful,
practical and safe way the general
verdict of public opinion in the case
of the people versus big business, and
that this work isto be done not only
with a minimum of disturbance to
every man who is conducting an
honest business in good faith, but
with definite assurances to such a
man that it is the- duty of govern
ment to guarantee to him the largest
measure of liberty under the law."
New York Tribune: "If railroad
rates should be advanced with the
sanction of the administration the
wheels of business would begin to
hum again. The president seemed
to realize this himself when he said
that 'the prosperity of the railroads
and the prosperity of the country are
Inseparably connected.' That is the
note of hope inthe message."
New York Herald: " Through
the whole of liis message President
Wilson professed the most friendly
sentiment to legitimate business in
terests and is apparently confident
that these desire the legislation he
suggests. It is certain, nevertheless,
that there will be very serious oppo
sition to the proposed inquisitorial
'trade commission' and to depriving a
stockholder of any share in the man
agement of a property in which he
has invested his money. Despite its
radical suggestions the tone of the
message is temperate and calculated
to impress the country with the pres
ident's concluding declaration, that
'we are about to write the additional
articles of our constitution of
peace.' "
Chicago Tribune: -"Unquestionably
the most significant filing about
the president's message is its spirit.
"Even a year ago the president
would not have made an important
public utterance in this spirit, nor
perhaps would the public have been
ready to receive it in such a spirit.
In the last few months opinion has
rapidly crystalized under the in
fluence of events which ij. themselves
were a culmination of forces at work
for more than a decade.
"The nation's struggles to over
throw the power of concentrated
money are pretty well ended. The
epoch of uncontrolled individualism,
with its excesses of predatory enter
prise, is drawing rapidly to a close.
The enemy has capitalized and the
task recognized by virtually all to
day is the task of consolidating the
popular victory."
Chicago Record-Herald: "Perhaps
the most remarkable thing about it
is the" corfifortable' assumption that
public . opinion .nd business opinion
and political 'opinion have come to
gether in an era of good feeling;
that the convictions are the' same all
around, as is also the purpose to
march forward together under the
banners of the new freedom. The
tone in which this idea is set forth
and reiterated is that of a perfect
and calm assurance, and that there
is some justification for it there can
bo no doubt."
Topoka Capital: "With President
Wilson's general cleverness nobody
supposes, of course, that he is un
aware of the universal opinion of the
democratic party expressed in the
common saying that this party in
power is a synomym for hard times.
The president, of course, is fully
aware of that, in his general aware
ness of things. He knows what a
hindrance to business such a fooling
Is of itself. And in his character as
a great breaker of precedents, It Is
safe to say that he intends to break
that one. It requires no great pene
tration to road far enough into the
president's mind to say that he in
tends to go out of office a democratic
president who didn't have a panic
nor a business depression. This is
the key to his whole program from
last April."
St. Louis Globe-Democrat: "Tn the
main, the message is more explicit
and more practical in terms than any
of the previous messages Mr. Wilson
has read to congress. He is hero
proposing something definite and
concrete to be embodied in legisla
tion, and proposing, too, that busi
ness Interests shall be given a full
and fair hearing before action is
taken, and that action, when taken,
shall fix the date of the law's opera
toln to give the interests affected
time to adjust themselves to now
conditions. There is no party Issue
in this problem, and there can be no
party question arise in its discussion
any further than Mr. Wilson himself
raises it by party caucus rule. In com
mittee and in the two houses. Public
opinion, which never has been fooled
by the, outcry against tariff duties, is
behind all honest effort to reach and
destroy the real sources of mpnopoly
and of oppression in prices. Should
the effort fail, the. party in power
must be held responsible."
Sioux City (la.) Journal: "It Is
Impossible to recall a time when a
program of such far reaching eco
nomic effect has been offered so quiet
ly and confidently to such an acqui
escent; audience. Although President
Wilson's solution of the trust prob
lem has been received without alarm
It will upon close inspection be found
to have plenty of teeth. It touches
uvery imuao oi ine irusc question
upon which there has been recent
clarification of public opinion."
Pittsburgh Gazette-Times: "
It is not apparent that the president
is as universally supported by public
opinion as he assumes, but it does
seem that the practices of our trust
era, which became so pronounced in
the later years of last century and in
the earlier years of this came to the
full flower, must yield to less offens
ive standards. This is the crux of
Mr. Wilson's contention, and if, in
his effort to find remedies, he has
not concocted as effective a panacea
as he hopes, at least he is for dealing
a body blow at abuses that, in some
form or another have wronged big
men and little and precipitated an
unrest, social, political arid commer
cial, which is not good for any peo
ple." Columbia, S. C, State: "Presi
dent Wilson's message on the trust
question will bear reading by very
man who wants to, do business ipi
this country. It is directed to aggre
gations of capital that would support,
even today, a king's ransom. It is
no less directed, in the principles
that it solidifies in concrete recom
mendations of laws, to the hope of
the toiler seeking emancipation from
the wage to become producer and
distributor. In the president's mes
sage there is nothing that can be
called radical. Truth, on analysis!,
nevor is radical; and Wilson's mo
sago deals with truth, k Ho goes to
what wo must call, for the want ot
a more euphomistlc term, the bowels
of the situation, as it affects tho
country as well as the great aggrega
tions of capital."
Tho Oklahoman, Oklahoma City:
"President Wilson's anti-trust mes
sage outlines a legislative program
for dealing with this and kindred
subjects which embodies the best
judgment and conscience of tho
American people. It discloses that
the president fully comprehends the
evils from which tho business world
is suffering and also that ho under
stands how to go about it to remedy
tho same.
"The president makes it plain that
private monopoly, which the demo
cratic national platform declares to
bo 'Intolerable and indefensible,'
has no place in the business system
fo the nation."
The Florida Times-Union, Jack
sonville: "President Wilson's anti
trust message is admirable in temper,
and contains suggestions' that will be
put in effect easily. There is none of
the denunciation in this message that
characterized the wordy war waged
by a former president on combina
tions of business which was a war of
nothing but words. Its dispassion
ate nature will evoke dispassionate
consideration In return. The mes
sage comes at a fortunate time a
time when big business has already
decided to adjust itself to the law if
it can find out what the law is."
Philadelphia Public Ledger: "The
president's attitude is sufficiently
concilatory to Inspire business with
the hope that at last it will be. al
io wed to move forward with confi
dence. If the text of the measure is
subjected to deliberate analysis and
conforms with Mr. Wilson's views,
assuming that certain necessary
amendments will result from further
study of the situation, it is clear
that business can put on the harness
and go ahead with the bit in ittf
New York Evening Post: "
Mr. Wilson has nevor given a better
proof of his ability, not only to con
vey precisely the impression which
he desired, but to read the thoughts
of his fellow-citizens. ; The result Is
a chorus of praise foif'Ms message
coming even from political oppon
ents, fronf railroad men and bank
ers and merchants as well as from
newspapers and politicians almost
"Approval is bestowed upon the
president by nearly everybody in
congress except the progressives.
They, of course, are bound to be dis
satisfied. If they confessed them
selves satisfied, they would destroy
the reason for their existence. So it
is not surprising that Representative
Murdock gloomily pronounces Mr,
Wilson's proposals 'inadequate.' "
The Public, Chicago: "The presi
dent's appeal to the captains of in
dustry is not so much to avoid the)
penalty as to enjoy the- reward ot
right doing. It is easier to maintaiit
law and order where men look upon
the law as a friendly guide, than
where they see in it only brut force;
But, the fundamental democrat may
say, the president has not gone to
the bottom of the (trust) question
his specific proposals will merely lead
to a change in form without really
destroying the substance of monop
oly. That is not a fair -estimates
This message will do more to estab
lish a fellow-feeling, and a human
accord among the warring factions
in the economic and social world
than any other state paper for a gen