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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Sept. 1, 1915)
"VOL. 15, NO. 9
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To Investigate Ocean
Following Is a statement issued from Wash
ington, D. C., August 16, 1915:
At the request of the president, the interstate
commerce commission will make a thorough and
extensive investigation of ocean transportation
facilities and rates between the United States and
foreign countries. The treasury department and
the department of commerce will co-operate with
the commission in making the inquiry which will
develop the actual situation regarding ocean
transportation at the present time and its effects
upon American foreign trade.
The investigation will cover all phases of our
ocean commerce with particular reference to the
trade with South and Central America and the
principal countries of Europe. The commission
will ascertain, through reliable and impartial
sources, what kind of steamship service exists
between our leading ports and the leading ports
of .South and Central America and those of
Europe und how it compares with the service as
it existed before the European war broke out;
what were the rates for passengers and cargo
prior , to the outbreak of the war, and since;
and yhat is the effect of present shipping condi
tions upon our foreign commerce.
,This. investigation will be undertaken at once
s.0. that the commission may be able to report to
the president before the next session of congress
convenes. In order that the commission may get
a true perspective of the situation, it will be ex
tremely helpful and will greatly expedite the in
vestigation if shippers throughout the country
will write the commission immediately, giving
the fullest possible information about existing
conditions and how their trade has been affect
ed "by the scarcity of steamship tonnage, the ex
tent of the increase in freight rates and the ef
fect of these rates upon their business, It is
most desirable that shippers avail of this1 'oppor
tunity to enlighten the commission in the begin
ning so that the inquiry may be pursued through
all, other channels ias quickly as it is possible to
do so, and at the same time make the investiga
tion complete and thorough.
The investigation was suggested to the pres
ident by Secretary McAdoo, who presided at the
Pan-American Financial conference, recently
held in Washington, and which unanimously
adopted the following resolution:
"Resolved, That it is the sense of ths con
ference that improved ocean transportation fa
cilities between the countries composing the
Pan-American Union have become a vital and
imperative necessity, and that every effort should
be made to secure at the earliest possible, mo
ment such improved means of ocean transporta
tion, since it is of primary importance to the
extensions of trade and commerce and Improved
financial relations between the American repub
lics." The secretary pointed cut that the question of
ocean transportation became, wholly unexpect
edly, one of the most Important, if not the most
important, before th3 conference. Some of the
foreign delegates expressed themselves as seeing
little hope for any great expansion of our trade
and. financial relations with Latin America un
less ample steamship facilities are promptly pro
As one of the results of the Pan-American Fi
nancial conference the secretary of the treasury
already has set in motion certain agencies in
South and; Central America through which it is
hoped, to obtain a large amount of illuminating
information relating to the problem of ocean
transportation between those countries and the
United States. He has asked each country for
detailed information regarding present facilities
and rates and the needs of the situation to build
up trade between the United States and Latin
America. This data will be furnished the com
mission as soon as received for use in connec
tion with its investigation.
Ocean steamship facilities are of primary im
portance to the business men and producers of
the United States, and it will be the aim of the
commission to develop all the facts and condi
tions of the situation for the information of the
president, of congress and of the country.
The commission is clothod with authority to
conduct this investigation under section 21 of
: the act to regulate commerce, which requires it,
am one: other things, to make a report of such
information and data "as may be considered of
value in the determination of questions connect
ed with the regulation of commerce." In addi
tion, the Panama canal act has very greatly en
larged the power and duties of the commission
with respect to water line carriers.
Mr. Bryan is a pathfinder in human progress.
Ho is an outpost. He is a trail blazer.
He lives a generation ahead of his time. His
vision is so far in advance that his career has
been a career of devoted friendships and bitter
antagonisms. He flamed forth in the voice of a
new radicalism in the Chicago convention in
1896, years later this country has translated in
to law and is living under many of the advanced
ideas that were then resented and repudiated.
It is inherent in him to be with the advance
gnard. As fast as the main body moves up, he
goes forward. He is, in the economic world
what Wyckliffe and Savonarola were in the theo
Ho was born a radical, and will always be a
radical. In his dreams of universal peace, he is
in the far-flung front, holding the beacon aloft.
He is finding the path. He is lighting the way.
His peace views may not be practical at this
juncture in the history the world is writing. In
America, we could not dare, in the present mood
of the nations, to accept, the peace era as here,
and lay down our means of defense. But, if man
is going on moving up in civilization, the peace
Mr. Bryan's visions is what the world, is headed
for. If we. have faith in man's intelligence, we
must expect to come some time, not to what the
militarists clamor for, but to what Mr. Bryan iff
appealing for. When this cruel war is over and
tho appalling wreckage is once visioned through
the smoke of conflict, the peace era may be hast
There may be question about the advisability
of an aggressive position by Mr. Bryan as to
world, peace at this critical moment. Hewas-re-.
cently a member of the cabinet.' H resigned
because he 'did, not approve an American note:'
The peculiar circumstances, make It possible 'for
his peace position to be misconstrued. -. .
It can bo misunderstood, by tho- German gov
ernment, and by. the German people. It can be
misunderstood by the German press in America.,
It can bo misunderstood by -Mr. Bryan's own best
It can give tho impression abroad ha Amer
ica is a divided nation, It. can be misconstrued
as indicating that President Wilsjn iu his ropre-
sentations with European chancelleries has not
tho full accord and support of his country. To
his own career, to the country and to his place
in history, is due from Mr. Bryan a courso that
will suffer no man, no people, no nation to have
other view than that the president Js supported,
sustained and fully upheld by a united country
in all the eventuations to come out of the great
part he is forced to play in the staggering com
plexities and complications in a war -maddened
world. The present is the most critical moment
of Mr. Bryan's career.
If Mr. Bryan had contributed nothing else to
human welfare, the 30 arbitration treaties be
tween the United States, and other nations should
give him. a high place in human history. They
aro a beginning in the advance toward reason.
In the end, this war will be settled by negotia-.
tions and discussion at the peace conference. The
Bryan treaties provide tor the negotiations be-,
fore hostitlities are declared instead of waiting
until a continent, is crimsoned with blood.
The personal power of Mr Bryan is one of the
remarkable episodes of American history. He
exorcised undoubted leadership over his party
from 1896 until the election, of Woodrow -Wilson,.
Ho was tho youngest man ever nominated- for
the presidency, and the only, presidential candidate-
ever nominated by -a great party from west
of tho Mississippi.
He sustained defeat and was renominated at
the succeeding election. Yet his power with hiq
party was so great that, after a second defeat
ho was a third time nominated.
For 20 years Mr. Bryan has formulated poli
cies one after another, which, whothnv ",
?J J?'e0taJ. LC t0.r. " Paramount
No other man t Vi nu . A,
lot even Clay with a tiarRmini !:
KfUlEF .J& ?' " "early fixed
tho field unon whinh ,. i: ", " ..V "
tlon wero to debate and conduct thMr Apolitical
A national party convention in tho United
States is an arena in which tho force and power
of men are measured. By the force of his per.
tonality, wholly -without reputation, aud mi
only a Tolitical writer on a Nebraska newsnanll
Mr. Bryan swept such a convention off its 5
and compelled his own nomination at Chicaen l
1896. No duplicate of! the achievement is on
In such a convention, in a political battle never
approximated In America, Mr. Bryan forced the
nomination of Woodrow Wilson in 1912 No
convention ever equalled it in dramatic scenes
The events at Baltimore will stand for all time
conspicuous among historic conventions. Never
before did a political leader go into a hostile
convention of his party and, by daring strategy
and tenacious purpose, subdue it and compel it
to accept his guidance. Nor is it likely that any
.leader will ever again be able to perform a po
litical feat so nearly bordering 0n the marvelous
The fruit of his work there is Woodrow Wilson
as president and the translation of many great
progressive policies into law.
There are many who disagree with Mr. Bryan.
hut the time" is 'long past when any thoughtful
citizen will deny him a place among the foremost
citizens of" the world. Portland (Oregon)
THEY'RE ALIi FOB PEACE
Napoleon,' commenting at St. Helena on the
benevolent enterprise in which he expended two
o"r three hundred thousand lives, said:
. "The war with 'Russia ough'i; t'p jiaye been the
most popular war of modern iinies. It was, on
the side of good' Sense and soiind. Interests of the
l)eace and security of Europe. It was purely
pacificatory and conservative.. . '.' . In this
way Europe would soon have been but one peo
ple; and every one. travel wliere he might,
would have 'still' been in the 'cQininon fatherland.
I should have., insisted on all the navigable riv
ers being free, to all, on common rights in all
seas, ' and on the great' standing armies being
reduced merely to an efficient guard for the va
rious sovereigns. : ' ' .' The'n my leisure and
old age" would have ''been' dedicated to making
a 'totir with the e'iriftress, 'driving ow own horses
and taking our lime like'a country couple, visit
ing 'all the- nooks of Europe." '
' They all want peace) but some1 o'f'them would
achieve t it by ' most extraordinary" methods.
Saturday Evening tfb'st.
The brewers were sadly foiled in their effort
to make it appear that President Wilson was
unutterably opposed to prohibition. They suc
ceeded, in their effort to get an elucidation of
the Shannon and Grogan letters, only in secur
ing a direct statement from the chief executive
that he could easily conceive of conditions where
statewide prohibition was both necessary and
desirable. In Nebraska the liquor interests
have succeeded to the command of a political
oligarchy the railroads were compelled to aban
don and exercise the-.high and low judgment up
on all legislation, as they do. in a number of
other states. Does anybody doubt what the pres
ident would advise to be done in -Nebraska if ho
wero aware of the facjts?
During the year ended June 30tn last, the ex
port trade of the United States totaled 26 per
cent more than that of Great Britain; the nation
that has 'for! centuries lead hi this field of com
mercial ventures. And yet "there are manufac
turers and economists and politicians so blind to
the best interests of the' nation industrially as to
believe that this leadership oiight1 to be sacri
ficed on the altar of greed built out of the high
tariffs of the past.
The NeW York World,' which has been a con
sistent defender of the railroads, steps forward
to. declare that the talk of ruin heard from them
every time any new or proposed law' is challenged
is being overworked. It says: "They have been
saved 'from ruin by the rate increase decision
and again by the inter-mountairi rate decision,
but ruin still runs riot. It is time to Tetire the
ruin argument.'' Frankness in one's friends is
not always a lovely virtue.
.The. east is gradually getting over ilts fright.
but its, newspapers are still clamoring for a very
much larger army and navy. The editors are
insisting that we are at the mercy, of any Euro'
pean nation that desires to attack us, neg eci
ng .to remark in the same connection that tner
is no European nation but that has had all iu?
war just now that is people will stand for.
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