The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, April 01, 1916, Page 10, Image 12

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VOL. 16, NO. 4
The Commoner
izors' movomont, told what the purpose of this
movement was. Hero Is what is said:
''Those domocrats who opposo Bryan and who
advftcato the reconstruction of democracy with
Bryanism expunged, aro about to carry that issue
into the south and west. One of the principal
battlegrounds will bo in the state of Nebraska,
whoro Mr. Bryan still retains, nominally at least,
tho control of the machinery of his party.
"It is proposed to crush Mr. Bryan's influence
in his own stnto and to prevent at all costs his
control of tho Nebraska delegation to the next
democratic national convention.
"Mr. Hill's is tho executivo m'nd in the
flchemo of reorganization. For more than a
year that skillful politician has been building
up an anti-Bryan, conservative, sound money
machlno in tho democratic party of the cast to
bo used as tho nucleus of tho general reorgan
ization movomont planned for next year."
Tho reorganize were prepared to lake full
charge of tho party in 1904. They had pro
claimed Bryan's political death, and awaited
only tho assembling of tho national convention
of that year to inter him so deep that there
could bo no resurrection. Ono of tho first men in
Nebraska to glvo his endorsement to tho pro
gram of tho reorganizers, at least so far as tak
ing control of the party and formulating its pol
icies was concerned, was Gilbert M. Hitchcock,
now sonator. I am not guessing at this. I was
toid. early in 1901 or tho fall of 1900 by Sen
ator Hitchcock personally, that he approved tho
general plan of tho reorganizers, and I heard
him declare that tho success of the democratic
party nationally depended upon the carrying out
of tho plans of tho reorganizers under the lead
ership of Sonator Hill of New York. I do not
know that at that, time tho purpose to repudiate
or crush Bryan had been publicly announced,
but tho purpose to repudiate what had been tho
party s attitude on important questions in tho
campaigns of 1896 and 1900. had boon stated.
From that time on Sonator Hitchcock was ap
parently in ftill sympathy and accord with the
plans and purposes of tho reorganizers. Ho was
lor Parkor and in accord with tho views of the
riion who dominated tho national convention at
at. Louis In 1904, and so far as ho gave sup
port or assistant at all ho gavo it to that ele
ment prior to and during tho national conven
tion. This was not true of his newspaper. While
it did not criticizo tho reorganizers. and no word
against them appeared in its columns during
!fnSrrC!nn?r Pcoding tho national conven
tion of 1904, in tho contest in Nebraska, the
pnner In a general way supported Bryan and his
nifJ!?' f CiUrse tl,oro wus no Question of
conservative and progressive so far as Nebraska
was concorned, as the democrats wero practically
unanimous for tho nomination of Bryan The
next opportunity to divido along progressive and
lnnZ:atV0 lhle8 80 far as na issue? an
politics wero concerned, was in 1912. In that
contest three distinguished domocrats were can
didates at tho primaries in Nebraska. Champ
Clark recognized for years as a progressive
Woodrow Wilson who, as governor of Now
Jersey, had been strikingly so, and Governor
Harmon of Ohio, whoso record, in tho opinion of
progressive domocrats had been conservative on
vital questions and who. measured bv associa
t on and political affiliation, did not belong to
the progressive wing of tho party. Ho hart
been,elected governor in 1908, by a coalition of
tho liquor and other special interests In Ohio
who threw their support to him for governor and
to Taft for president. This resulted in the stoto
going republican on tho national ticket, ami
democratic so far as tho head of tho state
ticket was concorned. Mr. Brvan took tho nn
Clark and Wilson wore both progress! ves n
and EST and l wereSmnari es'
and that the nomination of e.'ther would put
tho special interest influences in control of tho
party. LUO
Tho issue was presented in the campaign, be
tween conservative and progressive, and Senator
Hitchcock and his newspaper sunnorted Harmon
appealing to tho democrats of this staro to ?v
to the nation that Harmon was the kind o a
?S?0wwbrn8lCa WftS in favor of nominating
and that Harmon was sufficiently procr
wit th World-Herald and its mvnor S 0?
Hitchcock was elected as a delegate at large to
tho. national convention.
This state was progressive if the vote meant
anything, as each Clark and Wilson received
more votes than did Harmon. It turned out
later that Harmon's campaign had been largely
financed by tho forces, represented in tho na
tional convention by Ryan, Belmont and that
class. Tho first contest in tho convention was
whether tho temporary chairman should be a
progressive, or a reactionary. If there was in
tho convention, or in tho party in the nation,
a democrat of prominence outside of Ryan, Bel
mont and Murphy, who could be pointed to with
unerring certainty as a conservative, that man
was Alton B. Parker of New York. The reac
tionary forces in tho convention, feeling that
they had full control, determined to show to the
world from tho first meeting, that Bryan was
beaten, that his influence repre anting progress
ive democracy was. at a low ebb, and that no
regard was to be paid to the so-called pro
gressive domocrats either in the convention or
in tho nation. Parker was put forth as tho man
to sound tho keynote of democracy for tho cam
paign of 1912, as temporary chairman of the
convention. Bryan challenged the right of the
reactionaries to select the temporary chairman,
or to voice the will of tho democracy of the
country. To make the fight it became necessary
for him to become a candidate for temporary
chairman of tho convention. This involved the
issue squarely as to whether the democratic
party, speaking through its national convention
would proclaim by its temporary chairman, that
it stood for the things tli f Bryan had advocated
for twenty years, voiced bv the man who had
been three times tho candidate of his party for
president, or whether it would declaro that it
had repudiated progressive principles and that
tho convention was to bo dominated by Ryan,
Belmont, Murphv and their followers. On this
momentous question Senator Hitchcock and his
two followers in the Nebraska delegation voted
against Rryan and for Parker. He voted with
tho forces that stood for Parker and against
Bryan and Wilson and the progressives in that
convention, just as ho stood with tho forces
that nominated Parker and dominated the St.
Louis convention in 1904.
Let it be kept in mind that when the question
whether a progressive or a reactionary should
be chosen as temporary chairman, Bryan de
manded that a progressive be selected, and in
vited tho candidates for the presidential nomin
ation to join with hra in tho demand: that
Woodrow Wilson alone endorsed Bryan's posi
t on stood by him in that contest, and side by
side Bryan and Wilson battled against the forces
of reaction and greed in the contest for tem
porary chairman, and they and their friends and
followers fought the good fight, for ten davs,
which finally resulted in Woodrow WUson's nom
ination, tho triumph of progressive democracy,
a"ihJ nilet(l throw of those wlth whom
Senator Hitchcock had worked and voted. Now
It may be that those forces whose first' choice
was Harmon with whom my opponent stood in
that convention, represented progressiva m-in
cinles ami Wilson and Bryan cfid not uncer
tainly did not stand for the same things. I too
was a member of that convention, a delegate at
large and throughout the convention stood
with Bryan, aided and supported him from 'the
hour tho convention opened until it adjourned
When I became a candidate for delegate at
large, I announced that I would aid him in any
kind of a fight ho might make for a progressive
candidate and platform. I voted for Bryan fo?
temporary chairman, and my opponent voted
aga nst him. From the thirteenth ballot on vl
til ho was nominated. I voted for Woodrow Wil-,
son for the democratic nomination, and mv op
ponent voted against him. I announced when I
became a candidate for delegate at large that I
was in favor of the nomination of Wilson Mv
onnonent announced that he was. in favor of
Harmon and he did all ho could to secure
Harmon's endorsement in this state. In the
nn7 w n at Baltire, I ned up with. Brvan
and Wilson and their followers. Mv opponent
lined up with the supnorters of Harmon.ed by
Murphy, Ryan and Belmont. True, ho voted
for Champ Clark, while I, after the thirteenth
ballot voted for Wilson. When it became an
parent that the reactionary element in To con
vention had niprto Clark its candidate, I voted
for Woodrow W'lson. who0 nomination was se
cured without the aid of Wall street fi
In announcing mv candidacy for 'delegate at
lareo to the national convention in 1912 TsaiuV
oMwSe!ecled as delesate I shall endeavored
aid W. J. Bryan in whatever manner So may
see fit to lead tho fight for a progressive plat
form and candidate."
In another statement published over my sig
nature during the primary campaign of 1912 t
"Tho one campaign In sixteen years when the
democratic party repudiated Mr. Bryan's judg
ment and accepted the adyice of those who
agreed with Hitchcock, as to who should be
chosen as the standard bearer of the party, Ne
braska went republican eighty thousand strong
We are this year, as in 1904, invited to reject
the judgment of Bryan and accept that of Hitch
cock. The attempt on tho part of Hitchcock and
the World-Herald to shift the issue from that of
a vindictive warfare against Bryan, in the in
terest of Harmon and big business, to tho cr"
that Bryan is trying to destroy the primary and
defy tho will of tho people, won't succeed. Tho
contest here is whether democrats favor a pr
gressivo candidate and platform, and a deleg -tion
that will fight for them, or "whether tho
aro willing that the representatives of big bus
nes3 shall again write the platform and nomin
ate the candidate as they did in 1904, when Mr.
Hitchcock's views wero fully carried' out by the
national convention of that year.".
Congress was called together in special ses
sion by President Wilson in the early part of
1913 to carry out the pledges of the Sa'timore
platform with reference to tariff and banking
and currency. When the tariff bill had been
passed, it was the judgment of the ' President
and a majority of the democrats in congress
that tho banking and currency" question should
bo taken up at once. A few" democrats and the
republicans were opposed tp doing anything on
that subject at tho special " sessjbn. Senator
Hitchcock took this view.' He announced that
he was in favor of congress "adjourning, without
undertaking to pass a banking and currency law.
and that that question ougt not to be dealt
with until the next session,, of congress,' Con
gress went ahead,' however, and', a Janking and
currency bill was missed' in the house bv a prac
tically unanimous vote of1 the democratic mem
bers, and went to the sWate'W consideration.
If the democrats of Nebra'ska"wilT read the 'cur
rency bill introduced by Mr. Hitchcock himself,
they will find that he favored the igsue of bank
notes in connection with the reserve; system
the Wall street Ideainstead of government
notes, as provided in the administration bill as
it passed, thus showing that lie agreed with the
big bankers, and not with the democratic posi
tion. Senator Hitchcock vas a member of the
banking and currency committee of the senate.
Before the committee he insisted upon numerous
amendments to the house bill to which the dem
ocratic members of the committee would not
Smf'i He, en(lea7,ored t0 have the committee
S ii"iie hAUi?e bIn so as t0 Provide tor a cen
Z A1Lof the Publican members of
llL Sm.itte? il s-.eems' ioined th him. Sen
? i?hco?kcla,xned that the Baltimore plat-
did Jot, denounce the central bank prin-
ine ,mnwi?StaT' tlle Wor-Herald, in a lead
Hi t? ?, ial 0n November 10, 1913,, referring to
the Baltimore platform, said: b
JZZ :fxaraple; th Platform did not declare
o-cSdCffi " Jt d gainst the
central bn-b,nf0r fhe establishment of a
, 1 ' WhlCh fs quite mother, thing."
carTtorel'd1, had not read or dId not
bankin ,i G Baltiraore Platform covering the
In to?wmn JSPr?n,cy feature' l d0' not kD0W
LVandrt0ral Wa8 Pushed as the bank
ing fonowiw P f thG Baltlmo Plaorm
estaMfshSfJ?6 so"called Aldrich bill for the
establishment of a central bank '
thBRuTmn86, 0ted 16 not tllG language of
c al procSdfLPJatm as lt aea f ffi"
authoritv If ? mthe convention published by
llrlJs as'oTowsT f C?nvention'
estSsZpnrGihe s-ca"edAldrich bill or the
estaousninent of a central bank."
Senate? mtohUblIshe(1 September 29, 1913,
course 3nrl ?0k 8 Paper' ln defending his
?eferenCeqto i ?omniittee' Particularly with
Sdcffi?vwndfelV ?. rePrtInS -the banking
ana currency bill from the committee, said: -
andwtttJl Ua WW" immediately
from tw tchanee, appears to come largely
from those who have not taken the troublf to
-! . ' -M-..ftWii