The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, October 01, 1916, Page 21, Image 21

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    The Commoner
President Defends
Eight-Hour Law
(Continued from Pago 7).
tlio men demand it, but liecauso it is
right, and let mo get authority from
congress to appoint a commission of
as impartial a nature as I. can choose
to observe the results and report up
on the results in order that justice
may in the event be done the rail
roads in respect of the cost of the
"That was tho proposal which they
rejected and which congress put into
law, a proposal which I made to th'em
before I conferred with it, which I
urged upon them at every confer
ence and which, when tho one side
rejected and the other side accepted,
I went to congress and asked con
gress to enact.
"I did not ask either side whether
it suited them, and I requested my
friends in congress not to ask either
sido whether it suited -them. I
learned before the controversy be
gan, so far as I was concerned in it,
that the whole temper of tho legis
lative body of the United States was
in favor of the eight-hour day.
"When I carried it to congress,
some very interesting things hap
pened. In the house of representa
tives the plan was passed, was sanc
tioned, by a vote which included, I
am told, about seventy republicans
as against fifty-four republicans; and
in the senate, I am informed, the
republican members of the senate
held a conference in which they de
termined to put no obstacle in the
way of the passage of the bill. Now
this was because the proposal was
reasonable and was based upon right.
"But, ladies and gentlemen, that
is not the end of the story. This thing
ought to have been done, and. it had
to he done at the time that it was
done, so as to bring about a reason
able trial of the eight-hour day and
a careful examination of the results
of the eight-hour day. But that does
not finish the matter. Let me call
your attention to what I believe we
ought to be thinking about so as to
set the stage for this and all similar
"There are some things in which
society is so profoundly interested
that its interests take precedence of
the interests of any group of men
whatever. One of these things is the
supply of the absolute necessaries of
"It would be intolerable if at any
time any group of men by any pro
cess should be suffered to cut society
off from the necessary supplies which
sustain life. But these supplies are
of no use unless they can be distrib
uted, and in the matter of the dis
tribution of goods, particularly of
Uie goods that sustain life and in
dustry the interest of society Is para
mount to every other interest; and
the difficulty about all situations like
that which we have just passed
through is this, that the main part
ner is left out of the reckoning.
"These men were dealing with one
another as if tho only thing to settle
was between themselves, whereas,
the real thing to settle was what
rights had tho hundred million peo
Ptoof. the United States.
"The business of government is to
5ee that no other organization is as
strong as itself; to see that no body
r group of men, no matter what
their private interest is, may come
into competition with tho authority
of society. And, the problem which
congress, because of the lateness of
he session, has for a few months
postponed, is this problem: By what
means are wo'going to obligo persons
who come tora controversy Hko this
to admit the -public into tho part
nership by which tho thing 'is dis
cussed and decided?
"That is not an easy problem. A
great many different methods have
been proposed; and one of tho rea
sons why congress thought it neces
sary to postpone the decision for a
few months was that there woro so
many honest differences of opinion,
not as to the object, but as to tho
"I want to suggest to you a means
of testing your fellow men as to
whether they know what they are
talking about or not. It is not neces
sary for a man to como and argue
with mo an obvious moral principle,
but I am very much interested when
he comes and argues with mo how he
is going to make it work. And when
men say, 'We must not permit any
organization to neglect the interests
of society,' I say, 'Amen; but what I
want to sit down and discuss with
you is, how are wo going to prevent
"The only thing worth talking
about in politics jor any other sphere
is the constructive idea: 'How are
you going to do ii?' Wo all know,
or at any rate wo pretend to know,
what we ought to do, but we do not
all know hoy to do it, and the very
difficult question which tho Amer
ican people is now face to face with,
and which they aro going to settle, Is
this: 'How are we going to organize
our participation as a partner in the
settlement of disputes between cap
ital and labor, which interrupt the
life of the nation?' I invite all sub
scribers to suggest a method.
"Tho question is apt to bo ob
scured In some quarters, as If we
were saying that it was the right of
the government or of organized so
ciety, which is another term for the
same thing, to say to a man: 'You
must work whether you want to or
not.' America is never going to say
to any individual: 'You must work
whether you want to or not,' but it is
privileged to say to an organization
of persons: 'You must not interrupt
the national life without consult
ing us.'
"It is not .a question of obliging
individuals; it is a question of en
forcing a partnership and seeing to It
that no organization is stronger
than that organization which wo all
belong to and support and call and
love by the name of our own govern
ment. "So I laid a w programme before
congress by wliich at any rate a be
ginning might be made in that di
rection, and that programme is. go
ing to be proceeded with. It is no
fun talking unless you can expect to
do something. Tho only zest that
ever comes into affairs for a man
with red blood in his veins is
the zest that comes when he is put to
it to think out a difficult thing and
do it.
"And I, for my part, congratulate
tho business men of America that
some of their difficulties have been
removed by legislation; that they
have .been fortified against certain
forms of control which must have
been intolerable to them; that they
have had their .real commercial
strength put at their service by such
acts as the Federal Reserve act, for
example, and that now, if they think
they can conquer the world, it is up
to them to do it, and that nobody is
going to assist them, because It is a
thing in which they can not be as
sisted by anything but their own
brain. We aro now out in tho open,
competitors for tho confidence of the
' fev'OV
v ..i..iiv . mm-' vyW
X vfiK"
DeMnr in Philadelphia Record.
world, and there Is only one way to
get it and that is to earn it.
"I can not imaglno anything more
inspiring than to bo put on your
mettlo after legislation has taken
tho shackles off you and appraised
you. You know that you aro no
man's servant. Reaction in this mat
ter would shut us up Hko a province.
To turn back upon any portion of the
road wo havo traveled would bo
craven. To pretend that wo aro able
to competo with tho world and then
cringe at tho opportunity would not
be worthy of any of tho traditions of
America, and so for my part I am
particularly proud to bo supported
by the business opinion of American
men because I know myself to havo
a great enthusiasm for tho triumph
ant development of American enter
prise throughout tho world."
Henry Ford for
A United Press dispatch, from
Detroit, Mich, dated Sept. $8, says:
Declaring that the eight-hour day is
a good thing for business and that he
can prove it and that President Wil
son is keeping unseen hands off tho
government, Henry Ford today an
nounced that he would vote for
Woodrow Wilson for president.
"I'm for Wilson," said Mr. Ford,
"because he Is on to the interests,
the unseen hands that seek to con
trol government, and Is holding them
off. This was proven by his refusal
to rush into war with Mexico, sacri
ficing the lives of thousands of young
Americans to save tho dollars that
Wall street invested in Mexico on a
"But for purely business reasons
which may appeal more directly to
many men, the welfare of the coun
try demands Wilson's re-election.
The republicans are raising a great
roar about tho eight-hour law and
how it will hamper business.. I say,
and I say fnvm experience, not from
guess work, hat the eight-hour law
will help buJines3. Business men
and employers who are hostile to the
eight-hour law do not know their
"We have had an eight-hour day
in tho Ford factory for three years
and we have made more money each
succeeding year under it." It has
proven Its own nyjrit.
"Tho business of the United
States has today a momentum that
no man or group of men can stop.
As for tho tariff which tho repub
licans insist must be revised to help
save our prosperity after tho war, I
want to say that tho tariff is noth
ing but a hot house remedy. It may
make businesssprout for a while but
its effect Is purely artificial and can
never produce a hardy permanent
business plant. I know Hughes.
Teddy and Wall street are behind
him. I'm a republican, but I am for
Wilson. I am a republican for the
same reason that I have ears. I was
born that way. I am for Wildon be
cause I believe he can do more to
enhance the prosperity and assure
peace for this nation than any other
candidate. Any one who does not
want peace and who wants to gamble
with prosperity should vote against
Woodrow Wilson's
Wonderful Program
of Achitvemtnf
All set out In an Attractive Argument Poster
Size: 42 Inchon wide, 80 inches
high. With Wilson's portrait arid
tho legislation ho has promoted all
Riven in a nutshell. Officially endorsed
by Western Branch Democratic Na
tional Committee, Chicago. 8inj?le copy;
postagro prepaid, 2Gc. Wilaon clubs and
committees supplied at $12 per 100
copies. Home Skew Print lag; Hens?,
Kantian City, Ma.
A Great Book on a
Great President
Cr t this wonderful wort, "Woodrow
"Wilson as President," on the naay
extraordinary phases of President
Wilson's presidential career, which
few neoole have ever fully MBliscd.
Silences the critics. Unanswerable is fecte sad
antuments. JBriUtoHtly written by Ffof.g.C.BYefcs
of Trinity College. Ilsndsomely bowsd J cletfe,
ntartyf 00 fazes. Sent post 'Paid, 11. CO. .
AgBtsWau4 New Write ot once for special
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