The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, February 01, 1916, Page 10, Image 10

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The Commoner
VOL. 16,-NG:'2'
Congressman Bailey's Logic
tTho following speech, delivered in congress
January 20 by Hon. W. W. Bailey, member from
Johnstown, Pa., deserves to bo read by every
voter. It is unanswerable.
Mr. Bailey. Mr. Chairman, at the very outset
of what it is hoped may not prove a wholly un
profitable discussion of a momentous and vital
question, which has been suddenly and, I be
lieve, unwarrantably thrust upon tho American
people regarding tho national defenses and tho
need of increasing them at hugo expenso and
practically without limit, it is my deslro to call
tho attention of this house and tho attention of
tho country to tho fact that since 1905 the
United States has spent upon tho army no less
than $1,071,515,401.08 and on the navy the
staggoring total of $1,474,080,315.49. The
grand total 'is moro than two and a third bil
lions. Yet wo are told by the advocates of in
creased appropriations for army and navy that
tho country today is "utterly defenseless" and
that it could not "for a day" resist tho , ap
proaches of a foreign foe.
That tho people of tho country have been
considerably alarmed by tho false stories given
wide currency in support of the jingo program
can not bo doubted. They havo been plied -with
misinformation. They have been deliberately
and most cruelly deceived by thoso who design
thus to stampede them into compliance with
tho great plans which call for heavy and ever
heavier drafts upon tho substance of the toil
ers. They havo been worked upon In tho namo
of patriotism until In many instances they ap
pear reAdy to do tho bidding of that Interest
which is already reckoning its stock-exchange
profits, out of the moneys congress is. expected to
appropriate for .increased armament.
But, Mr. Chairman, there are multiplying ev
idences that tho propaganda of deceit and mis
information was begun too early. The plain folks
out in tho country havo been given time to think
and to inquire. They havo been afforded an
opportunity to examine .sme of tho facts not
all of them, by any means,, but enough of them
to give them some basiB fpr conclusions. Among
tho facts which they have como to realize is
Iho salient one that wo have already been spend
ing money most lavishly on our army and navy
moro than two and a third billions in the last
11 years, as before noted. If we are still with
out defenses, what has been done with the
money? If wo are still at tho mercy of a for
eign foe, is there any possible assurance that if
expenditure were doubled bettor results would
bo secured? If moro than two thousand mil
lions or dollars havo been devoted to the army
and navy and yet these aro hopelessly inade
quate in the hour of possible need, have not
those who have supplied the money out of their
labor and their self-denial a right to demand
that beforo another penny shall be tossed into
this ravening maw some accounting must be
mado of all that has gone beforo?
How many people six months ago know that
our navy is tho second most powerful afloat?
Our metropolitan nowspapers and our maga
zines and our defense leagues Btudiously be
fogged tho facts. They were careful to keep
from view tho testimony of our own naval ex
perts within the year. And what was that tes
timony? It was given beforo a committee of
this house. It was printed in the hearings of
that committee. And it tells us that our navy
ranks next to that of Great Britain and far
ahead of the navies of France, Japan, Russia,
Italy, and all other countries in the world. It
outranks that of Germany, and today it may not
be much inferior to that of England, for no one
at this hour can tell what losses have been sus
tained by the British fleet. We know .that these
losses must have been heavy. We know that an
Inflexible censorship has been maintained by tho
admiralty. Wo know that tho German sub
marines have levied a terrible toll upon British
merchantmen. Can it be that only these have
paid tho price? Can it be doubted that the
fighting machines also have paid?
And if the British fleet has suffered, how has
it been with the fleet of Germany? Has it gone
scot free? Has It sustained no losses? Has it
come through tho terrible ordeal thus far un
scathed? Who will believe that it has? Who will
accept the hysterical notion that Germany is
today stronger upon the sea than she was a year
ago, when Admiral Fletcher and other naval
experts told a committee of this house that our
naval establishment was stronger than that of
tho Kaiser's?
I shall not undertake to deal with this sub
ject, as I know it will be dealt with by the cour
ageous and invincible leader of the majority on
this floor. The gentleman from North Carolina
Mr. Kitchin has left the Navy League of the
United States without a leg to stand on in its at
tempt to rush the people of the United States
into a mad rivalry with Europe in military and
naval expansion. Ho has met every argument
advanced by tho league with irrefutable facts.
Ho has exposed tho duplicity of those who have
sought to throw dust in the eyes of the Amer
ican people. He has pilloried those who would
commit the United States to the supreme folly
of arming for an imaginary conflict, for a con
flict which can only come on our own invitation
and by our own devices. Too much honor can
not be done this brave leader, this honest
American legislator, this splendid citizen who
has dared to stand up and challenge all the
forces of privilege in the republic and to con
front them with the only weapon of which they
aro afraid the weapon of truth.
I pay my humble tribute to this gallant lead-,
er, to this resourceful friend of the people, to.
this strong champion of genuine Americanism,
to this man of the hour who stands between
the toilers of the republic and those who would
saddle fresh burdens upon them. (Applause.)
It is to him that the masses are turning in this
crucial moment. They are learning to know
h'm. to trust him. and to love him. He towers
high above the sordid crew which is clamoring
for mHlionp. and morn billions to carry Bethle
hem Steel, Crucible Steel, Du Pont Powder, and
all the rest of the "war brides" to new high
WoIb Qn Wnll street. And I have the same con
fidence in him that I havo in the cause which
ho 1ms so splendidly adopted as his own; and
as I believe that cause must ultimately triumph
over the war traffickers whose propaganda has
been sweeping across the continent, so I believe
that the American people will stand by Claude
Kitchin and vindicate the intrepid course which
ho has so wisely chosen.
Mr. Chairman, let no one on this floor deceive
himself. The temper of the people of this coun
try is not for -war, nor is it for the things which
make for Avar. And who can doubt that war
ships and standing armies do this very thing'
Was it some mollycoddle, some little American,
some pro-German, some coward and craven who
said that "overgrown military establishments,
under any form of government, are inauspicidus
to liberty and are to be regarded as peculiarly
hostile to republican liberty"? No; it was the
father of his country who so expressed himself
long ago. And George Washington was at least
as good an American and as brave a man as the
tempestuous and explosive hero of San Juan
i , a,s at.least as true a patriot as those
officials of the Armor trust and the munitions
ring who are now engaged, through various de
fense organizations, in manufacturing sentiment
in favor of a standing army on American soil
and of a navv great enough to overawe the
world. (Applause.)
Mr. Callaway, Mr. Chairman
The Chairman. Does the gentleman from
Pennsylvania yieldto the gentleman -from Tex-
Mr. Bailey. Yes.
Mr. Callaway. Did you ever hear of a man of
real courage wanting to run a bluff on anybody
Mr. Bailey. I never did, sir.
Mr. Callaway. Do you not believe that nations
are Just made up of individuals, and that a na
tion that had an iron down its back and had the
r erht kind of courage would not want to overawe
the people or want to bluff them?
Mr. Bailey. Not any more than John L Sul
livan would want to overawe a little boy
Of course, Mr. Chairman, the pretense is
made by these evangels of peace at any price--and
it Is your jingo who alone is entitled to be
known as a peace-at-any-price man that the
army and- the navy are wanted purely for dP
fenslve purposes. But is not the pretense alto
gether too bald? Does it deceive anybody? Can
any; discerning eye' fail to percieve what lies be
hind? The organ of the Navy League "of the
United States in an unguarded moment gave the
whole case away. It stated with blunt frankness
that the army and navy are wanted not for de
fense but for aggression, for commercial ad
venture, for the conquest of markets, for world
supremacy, for empire. And ignorance is re
sponsible for this folly of follies. Were the plu
tocrats who constitute the guiding forces of the
Navy League of the United States and its allies
less blind than they are regarding economic
truth they would understand that it is neces
sary only to win their confidence, to invite and
earn their trust, to meet their wants and supply
their needs, and to offer them a fair equivalent
for whatever value or advantage they may have
to confer. The United States might annex the
whole earth In a commercial sense were it to
open all its markets to the world as freely as
the markets of New York and Chicago are open
to all the people of the 48 'states. More than
half the jealousies and suspicions which separ
ate the peoples of the globe today grow out of
the superstition that trade is war, and that in
order to gain markets we must conquer the
country in which the markets are found.
Let me turn for a moment to the considera
tion of another phase of the general question of
military preparedness. We are told .that we
must have an army of 2,0000.00 men. Well,
accepting this at face value for the .time being,
let us consider whether we can get it. Are the
young men of America ready to make up this
huge army? They have not been overready to
make up the army we now bave. Witb the ut
most exertion and only with the most flambuoy
ant and deceptive advertisements is it possible
to keep the present force recruited. Nearly one
fifth of the men who enlist become deserters,
and in becoming deserters have a price set upon
their heads. During recent years nearly 50,000
men have deserted from the regular army of the'
United States. These men have become crimin
als in consequence. They have sacrificed their
citizenship. They have fixed upon themselves
by their desertion an ineffaceable stigma.iJ '" '
May we reasonably hope for' abetter. Btatielbf
affairs when we shall multipW1'' oJr Vnojng
army by 20, raising it from IJOO.QOO 'men to
2,000,000? Will the causes of desertion be di
minished in inverse proportion? Shall we turn
out fewer criminals than are now being milled
from that mint? Are we to resort to fewer and
less gross deceits in enticing the youth of he
land to give up gainful employment and the life
of home and family and widening Interests for
the purpose of wearing a uniform and carrying
a gun? Or is the alternative, to be that which
is already being gravely urged that of en
forced military service? If we can not now re
cruit our army fast enough to make up for de
sertions, how can it be possible to keep the ranks
of a larger force filled unless we adopt the mil
itary systems of the Old World?
It can not be done. And the advocates of a
5dne army cognize the fact when
they begin to couple with their demand a sug
gestion of compulsory military service. They
ffrethe Lrv n? se-decPon. They know thS
if the army of which they dream is to be re-
fnUin h t b? !Jndep comPulsion. No country
i?nn?i he l de ?f time has m'atained a great
standing army by other means. The youth of
no land the sun ever shone upon were willing
freely to give up the best years o7 their ve!
to m il tary service, which meant nothing but
hardship to themselves and perhaps en! lave
ment for their country. Always and everywKre
he ruling class have been compelled ?o Tesort
to compulsion when they felt it necessarv ? fn
buttress their power with a standing Smy And
he 2?g i in thls count are not bHnldng
the fact. They are meeting it fairly and ar?
nin? notCOUCealra(mt of their plan to graft
upon America a system which wac the destruc
tion of every free government of the past and
that is the accepted instrument of every tvrant
who now cumbers this old earth y
I want to ask my countrymen whether tw
are prepared to follow alomr tMa J hey
path. I want to ask them wl e her d5JroU8
ready to sign the death warrant of ?!L y are
ment .in this republic "want to ak7f n"
whether they are themselves Yc J rule o whelS
they are bent upon turning our institH
to a class which feels even thus ewiv S?f VGr
of necessity pricking it on tov7j&??Z
ruling classes of all history have nurqnSi rh?
no one tell himself that theZpS If
fore the country are final. They SJ on the