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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Feb. 1, 1917)
The Peace Treaty
Tf any one wonders at my earnest and per
sistent opposition- to a declaration of war, let
him remember that, after laboring for eight
years to bring before the world a peace plan
providing for the investigation of ALL disputes
by an international tribunal before resorting to
war a year's time being allowed for investiga
tion and report I was made happy by Presi
dent Wilson's cordial endorsement of the plan.
By his authority I called all foreign represen
tatives to the state department on the 26th of
April, 1913, and laid this plan before them, and
then began negotiation with each of the individ
ual nations. WITHIN TWO YEARS from that
date, treaties had been concluded with THIRTY
nations, including Great Britain, France, Italy
and Russia thirty nations exercising authority
over one billion three hundred millions of peo
ple, or three-fourths of the population of the
globe. Besides these GERMANY, AUSTRIA
and BELGIUM formally endorsed the plan, al
though treaties have not yet been concluded
with these nations.
These treaties were ratified by the United
States senate, the vote being unanimous after
the ratification of the third treaty.
As this treaty plan, offered to all the world
and the offer has never been withdrawn gives
u? an honorable means of adjusting ALL dis
putes with ALL nations, it surely affords .an
honorable means of adjusting a dispute arising
out of UNINTENDED injuries done by a nation
vlJich has endorsed the'fyan, although no'trSaty
has yet been negotiated.
Is it unreasonable or unpatriotic to urge, as
a means of preventing war, the employment of a
Plan used by the President, and approved by .the
senate, the United States .and nearly all the rest
of the civilized world?
1 it unreasonable or unpatridtic to urge that
tlio people, having endorsed these treaties at the
l'olls, should be consulted, by a referendum vote,
Ik fore congress repudiates the peace treaty plan
l)v n declaration of.-war-?
The President still hopes for peace, and I
pray as earnestly as he that Germany may do
nothing to further aggravate the situation.
Because is the duty of the patriot to support
Ms government with, all his heart in time of
ar, he has a right, in time of peace, to do what
bf can to prevent war; ; I shall live up to a pat
riot's duty ifwarWmes until that time I shall
try to save my country from its horrors.
W. J. BRYAN.
The plutocratic portion of the press is again
iu full' cry. There has not been a year since
98 that they would not have gladly hung Mr.
Lryan for interfering with their pet privileges.
'jw it is the munition manufacturers who
'Mnk it criminal to oppose war. They think it
l'atriotic for the metropolitan pre'ss to demand
war, but woe to the man who asks that congress
consult the people who mustr furnish the blood
and money to carry on a war.
WAR WORSE THAN DUELLING
In duelling, enemies fight each other; in war
governments declare and conduct war "and sol
Jiers kill each other without any personal
In duelling, those who cause the duel do the
uying; in war tnose wno aeclare war do not aa
a. rule, do the fighting. "
. .In dwelling, the parties are careful to avoid
injury to others; in war the combatants put an
W i b,urden on tue entire neutral world. And
1'iuuiujieu m me umieu states.
The "Constructive Patriots" mot at Wanlilmr
ton recently and rcsolved-in tlvov of a BIG
VpmRyqA?d am?IG navy' and S?orot UN?
ni ?n h mIHtary trnin,ne and Borrico-and all
this in the name of PATRIOTISM, o Patriot-
And who led this bunch of patriots in thoir
do iberations? Ex-Secretary Root and ox Candi
date Parker. Mr. Roo Constructed the republican
State? t ',and U,S Cttndldatc carried TWO
states. Then ho went back to New York and
constructed a constitution which even the em
pire state defeated overwhelmingly
And Mr. Parker? lie constructed a Wall
street democratic party in 1904 and ran behind
t?i,P?r.ty,VOt? a mlIlion and a Quarter? and ho
? hMnd at ?tnicilon again in 1912.
Construct vo patriots Root and Parker never
had less following than they have today. Woo
to the democrat or republican who is foolish
enough to follow where they lead. Whether
themselves deceived or deliberately deceiving,
they are blind loaders of tho blind. And what
impudence to call it patriotism!
"PATRIOTS 1VIEET TODAY"
Under the above title tho New York Herald
announces the meeting at Washington of tho
advocates of a "big army," a "big navy," "uni
versal military training," and "universal military
service." Thus do the jingoes, newspapers, the
.trafflcers in war material and tho professional
soldiers use the "livery of heaven" to conceal
their devilish purposes. If the United States
was turned over to his satanic majesty with
full liberty to work his will ho could not find a
more sympathetic group of colaborers than tho
sham patriots who, pretending a superior loyalty
to their country, seek to exchange tho moral
prestige of this great republic for the tinsel glory
of a red-handed militarism. It is true that
patriots meet today"- not the Herald's
crowd but the patriots who daily mpet in the
field and factory the ones who produce the na
tion's wealth and- fight the nation's battles.
The Nebraska legislature has a bill before
it which authorizes cities to adopt tho city man
ager plan of government. The city manager
plan merely means that tho city elects a small
group of men to determine Its policy and to
hire an expert to spend the public money in -exchange
for service. This is so like the man
ner in which all successful businesses are con
ducted that the existence of strong opposition
among the politicians is riot surprising.
Tho Sioux City Journal recently said: "It
would be interesting to keop score for a year
and see who is mentioned oftenest Bryan or
Roosevelt." The Journal is exceedingly com
plimentary to the gentleman whose political
funerals it has thankfully attended quite often
in the last eight years. On the editorial page
of the same Issue that propounded the query
Mr. Roosevelt's name was mentioned five times
and that of Mr. Bryan nine times.
The people of Chicago have been horrified to
discover, through tho activities of the state's
attorney, that prominent and influential police
officials have been in a close combination and
conspiracy with the leaders and the most des
picable members of the underworld. Yet they
have repeatedly given victory to politicians
whose only strength lay in their combination
and confederation with exactly the same en-,
omies of society. ' ?
The question of whether prayers are an
swered or not still vexes a great many persons,
but nobody has been known to refuse to sign a
petition to a cijy council or a state legislature
because of any qualms on the subject.
. The identity of the ge.nt who predicted that
this would be an open winter ought to be dis
closed long enough so that we might ask if he
meant one that is open at both ends.
The jingo papers are at their old tricks. They
advise congress and the President each day as
to the opinion of the public, and they denounce
as unpatriotic any one who opposes their de
mand for war.
A Question of Honor
Sorao think that honor roqulros this nation to
enter tho present war. What course does honor
suggest? If all must sncrlflcc and stirrer, and
if nocossary die, In derenso of the nation's hon
or, should not all havo a voice In determining
what is honorable? Tho quostlon can not bo
lort to tho militarist alone.
It is honorablo in tho Individual to rondor tho
largest sorvico possible It Is honorablo for him
to do this no matter wtfnt criticism ha has to
face. Tho highest honor is to bo won by doing
the most good. Tho same rulo applies to na
tlons If not, what rule does apply? It will bo
honorable, therefore for our nation to postpone,
If necessary until after tho war, tho settlement
of any disputes that can not now bo settled by
peacoful means, if by postponement wo can ren
der tho world a larger sorvico.
Is It not honorablo to save our own people
from tho calamities that havo overtaken tho bel
ligerent nations, and at tho same time bo In a
position to play a friend's part In tho promotion
of peace in Europo? Is It not honorablo, also,
to consult, by means of a referendum, tho peo
ple who must go to war, before calling thorn up
to the battle line?
Now is tho time to scrutinize tho various
standards of honor proposed and select tho
highest, the host and noblest.
W. J. BRYAN.
A REFERENDUM ON WAR
n SV?01??.!; Pag0 wil1 be found Senator I,a
Folletto's bill providing for a referendum on
war. rho principle Is sound. If it Is wlso to
submit to a vote of the people the quostlon of
issuing a few bonds or the question of selling a
street car franchise, why is it not wise to allow
tho people to decide so vital -a question uu . ro
oort to -war?
Those who will bb called upon to suffer them
selves or. in the loss of others, and those who
have to bear tho burden of taxatfon these
ought to bo consulted boforo the nation Is
plunged Into war. Senator LaPolIetto has
worked out a plan by which the census bureau,
working through the poslofllce, can in a short
time conduct a popular election.
A Madrid (Spain) dispatch, says: "The Epoca
recognizes In President Wilson's speech the re
flection of generous and noble ideas, but asks
what confidence can he havo In his own words
If at the moment hp delivers a message of.peaco
he encourages bills for an Increaso in his, coun
try's military and naval forces. . -
"Tho message," says the Epocha, "is afonco
an expression of Its author's idealistic sentiments
and an announcement of greater intervention by
tho United States in European politics;" '..
Wo should not, by enlarging our mllltaryand
naval program, raise a doubt as to our own W
votlon to the philosophy, which the President
offers as a substitute for the fajse philosophy
which has brought Europe into this war.
We used the treaty plan to prevent a conflict
with Mexico; and we advised American cltizpns
to come out of Mexico In order to decrease tho
chances of having to go to war with M.exicd.
IN TILE NAMJjJ OP PATRIOTISM
Tho jingo newspapers are constantly giving
reasons why wo should go to war, but they de
nounce as unpatriotic anyone who dares to pro
sent reasons for not going to war. And, while
advocating war, they pretend to be-supporting
tho President, who Is hoping to avoid war. They''
misrepresent 'the President's position and try to
put him in tho attitude of desiring to enter this
war. They libel the President, too, when they
assume that he wants to take from congress tho
constitutional right to declare war, a right which
belongs exclusively to congress; and they libel
congress, also when they assume that congress
objects to anti-war petitions from the people or
even to a referendum vote by the people on such "'
an important question. And the Jingo papers do
all tills ln the name of patriotism.
W, J. BRYAN-
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