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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Sept. 1, 1914)
American War Loans
The decision of the United States government
opposing loans by American bankers made to
nations at- war is heartily to be approved. It
does not dodge the question. It does not haggle
over the matter whether or not the law of na
tions will allow such loans. It simply goes to
the root of the question, to the spirit, not the
letter of rules of neutrality, and says with the
utmost brevity that such loans "are inconsistent
with the true spirit of neutrality."
To be sure, our merchants have the right to
send foodstuffs, at their own risk of capture, to
countries at war; and, to be sure, the loan asked
for might be all expended In this country for
foodstuffs, so that no gold goes out of the coun
try; but a hundred millions borrowed here and
spent here for wheat releases as much over there
to be spent for war material. We would not sell
powder or guns, but we would make it possible
for them to do so.
In this action the government has accepted
the principles laid down, first, we believe, sev
eral years ago by Mr. Bryan himself and elab
orated in an address three years ago at the meet
ing of the American peace congress by the bank
er, James Speyor, to the effect that one of the
best ways to reduce war would be for bankers to
refuse to finance a war by loans.
This decision by our government is proof of a
real desire to put an end to war, without regard
to our own interests. It is to the present interest
of our bankers, and of our people who would
buy bonds, to make such loam; at profitable
rates. We decline to take that benefit. We take
the larger world-view of peace and war; and
in the end the advantage which will come from
shortening the war and forcing peace will be
greater than the immediate gain which takes
profit out of a sister nation's calamities. We
could lend to both sides; we lend to neither; wo
keep, clear from complications, and we help the
cause of peace.
Tills is a splendid precedent to make in the
practise of v international, law and forecasts the
.day, when .neutral nations will automatically
cease all intercourse with those who engage in
war. New York Independent.
(Editorial note: It is probable that others
raised this question before Mr, Bryan did, but he
'has been advocating for some years the doctrine
that neutral nations Should not loan to belliger
tn"o first tlmo In all history, the perefect tribute
was paid of the nations subscribing to the pro
gram of the Golden Rule, joining the Washing
ton government in its ideals, content to wait un
til the inevitable happened and paying no atten
tion to the growls of capital. And so secure was
this confidence that when Vera Cruz was seized
as a warning that the Huerta administration
could not go too far in its insults, not a ripple
of doubt as to the motive behind the action
crossed tho Atlantic.
The end of Mexico's trouble rapidly approach
es. The usurper who gained the chair in tho
national palace over the still warm body of a
murdered president has played his desperate
game with cunning and tireless, dogged resource
fulness only to lose; beaten, crushed under the
pressure of moral suasion, a terrifying force ho
has not understood until lately, ho abdicates.
The world is bettor for tho struggle; tho les
son has gono deep. Mexico awakened, alroady
has started to work out its own salvation. The
time has como when that people will hail the
United States as its best friend, its big brother,
with a protecting, fraternal arm. The shattered
fabric of industry will bo made whole under a
strongly-established, wisoly-administored consti
tutional government and a peace, prosperity and
happiness never experienced before is dawning
In tho new day of national self-respect.
Congratulations, Mr. President and Mr. Sec
rotary of State. Today the nations applaud you
and your own people lead that applause. San
Antonio (Texas) Express.
PEACE HATH ITS VICTORIES
Congratulations, Woodrow Wilson, president
of the United States, and William Jennings
Bryan, secretary of state! You have given the
world an example of the highest type of human
ty, of forbearance and lofty Ideals; you have
taught the nations a lesson as old as the sermon
on the mount, and older, but one forgotten in
the centuries of bloodshed and strife: that the
greatest victory is won by peace.
The little men have stormed at you and mock
ed you and laughed at you. They have called
your policy "grapevine diplomacy" and the voice
of the jingo has been heard in the land. And
others have lied to you for their own selfish in
terests, so that at times you have steered your
course in a fog of misrepresentation. But in the
sixteen months and twenty-seven days it took
you never faltered from the promise you mado
the world: "A government founded on blood can
not stand; a people cries for freedom from ty
ranny and oppression, and that freedom they
It was a magnificently, audaciously courage
ous thing to do, this assumption of the big
brother duty to see that the battered, bleeding
little brother should be brought into the right
path, made well and happy. You gave a new in
terpretation to the Monroe Doctrine, the very
dignity of which lifted it beyond the pale of crit
icism, and told the world that this country wquld
see that Mexico worked out the solution to the
problems that were tearing her asunder. You
took tho awesome power of the navy and the
army and gathered together the strength of the
Union and held it all in the interests of peace.
They reviled us, insulted the flag, killed even,
yet the hands on the leash never weakened. It
was a spectacle the world could not at first un
derstand, with appreciation of the patience, for
bearance and refusal to cross the border with
armed men and to lay waste tho coast cities with
the great guns of angry battleships came the un
derstanding of America's true purpose, and, for
MR. BRYAN'S PEACE TRIUMPH
The senate last week confirmed nineteen of
the twenty-one peace treaties negotiated by Mr.
Bryan and they are now the law of tho land.
The two with Panama and Santo Domingo are
postponed for further consideration. We have
discussed these treaties in detail in previous
Issues of Tho Independent. Suffice it here to re
iterate that they mark a real advance in tho
movement for the substitution of law for war,
providing as they do for a suspension of hostil
ities for one year pending an investigation and
report on the question at issue by an impartial
commission of Inquiry.
These treaties are peculiarly Mr. Bryan's. Ho
first gave out the idea on which they are based
in an address before the Conference of the In
terparliamentary Union in London in the sum
mer of 190G, elucidating it almost simultaneous
ly in an article in The Independent."
Had their like been in existence between some
of the European nations two weeks ago the
world might have been spared the Creat War.
New York Independent.
(Editorial note: Mr. Bryan first proposed tho
peace plan in an editorial In The Commoner in
tho spring of 1905. His first speech in support
of the plan was make at Tokyo in the fall of
1905. In July, 1906, it was unanimously en
dorsed at London by the Interparliamentary
Union to which the Independent refers.)
! ' "AUGUST IS, PEACE DAY"
On August 13 eighteen peace treaties were
ratified by the United States senate. Tho Re
public has suggested that this date be celebrated
in the future as "Peace Day" in commemoration
of tho ratification. In discussing this sugges
tion Secretary of State Bryan points out that
"we have no particular day set apart for the
consideration of matters connected with the
growing subject of peace."
Is there any reason why the American Peace
Society should not fix upon August 13 as an an
nual "Peace Day" to be observed by its members
in all parts of the country? On no other date
so far as is known has world peace taken a
greater step forward. The treaties are epoch
making in spirit and in terms. They make war
a remoter possibility than ever before so far as
the United States is concerned. 4
The American Peace Society has been in exist
ence for well-nigh a century. In all that time
there has been no one act on the part of the
United States that had more significance as mak
ing for national and universal peace than tho
ratification of these treaties.
The world will not soon forget the tumul
tous days of August, 1914. That month will loom
redly in the annals of strife. All the more rea
son then that we should celebrate August 13 as
the anniversary of our longest step away from
the horrors of battle. That date and deed will
stand out vividly against tho red background of
the Old World's wars. St. Louis Republic.
THE STATUE OP PEACE
(The following poem, by Mrs Spencer Trask,
haB been Inspired by the proposed presentation
by tho United States of a statuo of Peace to the
Peace Palace of the Hague, now awaiting an ap
propriation by congress nnd tho choice of a
sculptor.) New York Times.
The Daughter of Tradition-that fair Maid
Called, falsely, by tho splendid nafno of Peace
Still haunts tho Land in marblo and in bronze;
Her graceful garments fall in quiet folds,
Enriched with leaves of laurol at the hem;
Uofore tho fevered oyes of baffled men,
In the mad strugglo of a frenzied world,
She holds a. futile olive branch and smiles;
Her sweetly placid lips would seem to say,
"Peace dwells apart, safe-sheltered from
O Sculptor of the Future, bring to us
Tho larger mind, endowed with powor to see
Behind the veil tho Vision of tho Truth!
Tho conscious marble waits your quickening
Show forth tho truo embodiment of Peace',
Peace Is no limp and pallid Negative!
Peace Is tho living Positive of God!
Her Iifo abundant is unending work;
Her course is ceaseless movement to the stars.
Make her a noble woman, bravo to dare;
In every line of figure and of faco
Chisel bold strokes of action and of .strength;
Her mission Is to master not to yield;
Her destined duty to wage constant war '
On Sin and Evil through tho mortal years:
Not with tho ancient weapons of tho world
But with the white flame of her valiant Soul!
Carve on her dauntless lips a lofty scorn
Of brutal practices employed by men
Who stoop to bloodshed and to cruel fight,
Like savage beastH that rend and tear their
Poise her uroud head as one who would not
To passing gusts of passion and revenge;
Fashion her hands outstretched to help Man
kind; Create new harmonies where discords jar;'
Blow back her storm-tossed garments in the
She stays not for tho sunshine she goes forth
Though tempests roar and threatening thunders
She knows no fear to die no fear to live.
Peace is a Spirit-Warrior! Sh'o strives
With unseen forces, fiercer to subdue
Than marshaled hosts equipped with arma
And when she conquers 'tis immortal gain;
Hers is no transient triumph of the hour;
Her conquest is tho victory supreme,
-The Victory of Spirit over flesh.
Crown her, 0 Master, with tho crown of crowns,
And show her mighty in the might of God!
The national defense fund association, whlct
is organized for the purpose of promoting a pub
lic sentiment in the United States for a' big army
and navy, is using tho European war as an argu
ment In behalf of tho preparedness of the United
States, and has begun a new propaganda. Yet
if there is one lesson to bo learned from tho
readiness with which the great nations of
Europe plunged Into a terrible conflict it is that
tho presence of a large military class in a nation
and tho possession of a tremendous army and
navy, fully equipped to deal stunning blows at
an adversary is the surest method of precipitat
The cattle markets perversely refuse to lend
themselves to tho support or those distressed
republican campaigners who started out on the
theory that lowering the tariff meant a flood ol
Argentine beef and consequent destruction ol
the homo market for tho American cattle-raiser.
They are now confronted by tho fact that the
farmer has not been hard hit by the democratic
tariff law. On August 15th the price paid ia
the markets of tho country to producers of beef
cattle,' calves, hogs, sheep, lambs aijd chjckeai
averaged $7.63 a hundred against $7.20 the sam
day last year and $6.50 two years ago, at whlck
latter date the Payne-Aldrich law was ia fore.
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