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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (March 1, 1918)
VOL. 18, NO. 3
Mr. Bryan in Toronto
Toronto, Canada, March 4, 1918. Hon. Col.
Bryan, Lincoln, Nob. Dear Col. Bryan: I sent
you on Saturday, coplos of the morning papers,
In which you will notice that your speeches at
both the Metropolitan Church and Massoy hall
aro given In full. Those are the representative
papors of Toronto.
Our best citizens wore represented by the im
mense gatherings at both places and regret ex
ceedingly the Indignity to which you were sub
jected at tho Massoy hall meeting. I see the
"Toronto World" states that there were only
thirty returned soldiers responsible for the
trouble, which makes tho representation about
ono-balf of ono per cent of tho two audiences.
It is estimated that thero wero thirty-five hun
dred to four thousand people present at Massey
hall and about twonty-flve hundred at tho Met
ropolitan Cburcb. Thousands of pooplo wont
away and could not gain admittance.
Personally, I do not think you need feel
dlscouragod over tho disturbance at Massey
hall. I am sending you herewith a clipping
from this morning's "Mail & Empire" which
shows you that a company of those returned
Boldiors waited- on tho primo minister, of tho
province on Saturday aftornoon and practically
handed to him tho samo troatment that you re
ceived. You will bo interested in noticing from
tho nowspaper report, however, that Sir Wil
liam Iloarst told these pooplo that thero was
absolutely no hopo for a return to liquor con
ditions in this province
Wishing you every success.
Yours very truly,
, ,, JAMBS ACTON.
vPrcBldont and General Manager Trade Journal
THE MASSES HALL MEETING
A Toronto, Ontario, dispatch, dated March 1,
says: William Jonnings Bryan was refused a
noarlng whon ho appeared at Massey hall hero
last night to address a prohibition meeting un
dor tho auspices of tho Dominion Alliance.
Roturnod soldiers caused tho disturbance by
shouting various epithets. "What about tho
Lusitania?" thoy also demanded in chorus.
Tho first disturbance came beforo Mr. Bryan's
entry, whon tho chairman told tho audience thoy
wore to bo honored by listening to the fraternal
dologato of tho Anti-Saloon League of America
"ono of tho foromost citizens of our ally." '
Tho chairman refrained from mentioning Mr
Bryan's name as long as ho could, but when it
camo out at last it was grooted by a chorus of
cat calls and cries: "We don't want him!"
Tho chairman appealed to the audience. It
was not a good thing for tho city they were do
ing, ho said, and "a bad thing for tho cause wo
Then Mr. Bryan came in and pandemonium
broko loose. Most of the audience stood up
wavod handkerchiefs and cheered him, but the
answering hoots from tho gallery outlasted the
For five minutes Mr. Bryan tried to make him
solf hoard, but it was no use. The interruption,
kept right on and the intorrupters sang "Rule,
Britannia," forqing the audience to join in that
and "God Savo tho King."
Thoy inquired about the Lusitania and sang
"Over There" and "Wo Won't Go Home 'Till
Men stood up and shook, thoir fists at the
former socrotary of state. Soldiers showed tho
service buttons on thoir coats and shouted de
fiance at those who pleaded to give the visitor
Enthusiastic prohibitionists who wished to
?? JP.,?7an hurled across th0 hall counter
callsof "Put them out!" and "Where's your fair
Tho chairman was heard to say something
about o ecting the interrupters. He was greeted
with cries of "Who's going to do it'"
Mr. Bryan took his seat. John H. Roberts of
Montreal made an attempt to speak, but he was
told to "got tho khaki on." was
Then a man of tho army medical corps dressed
In uniform was hoisted on the platform.
fiJ??y5? th0y nr flghtIng for eedom at the
front; thoy are also fighting for freedom ?
bought. Why should we , Intouit thi meetSg?"
ho appealed to tho gallery. meeting r
Tho appeal was in vain. "God Savo tho King"
was sung again, and the soldiers to
shouted, "Take Bryan out and we will walk out.
We'll let any man speak, but not a Pro;German.
After tho tand had played another air Mr.
BryaH made a brief but futile a tempt to mako
himself heard. Then he took a chair to .the .edge
of tho platform and talked to the reporters, tho
noise never ceasing for an instant. , .
"I am here by invitation," Mr. Bryan said. I
come as the representative of 25,000,000 of the
American people who have banded themselves
together in various organizations for the promo
tion of prohibition. .
"I find that less than 5 per cent, probably
more nearly less than 2 per cent, of this audi
ence refuses to allow the res1 of the audience
to hear me speak.
"In this case I am not willing that force
Bhould be used to eject the men from the hall.
I would rather that the meeting should break up.
"My patriotism is satisfactory to the President
of the United States; it is satisfactory to the
cabinet of tho United States; it is satisfactory
to the congress of the United States. Thero
Is not a single person in tho United States who
can say that one drop of blood in my veins is
not loyal to my country."
Mr. Bryan announced his readiness to stay
all night in tho hall and try to talk to the peo
ple. He said he would have no coercion, how
ever. "Enough men," he added, "are being in
jured in our fighting to make the world safe
for democracy without anyone being injured, to
give me a hearing." "
QUOTES BIBLE AS REBUKE TO -TORONTO
From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 2.
William Jennings Bryan spent today in St.
To reporters who questioned him about the
incident of Thursday night at Toronto, Canada,
when he was hooted and prevented from speak
ing to a crowd of 5,900 persons by former sol
diers who cried "Remember the Lusitania," and
shouted "pro-German," Bryan gave Biblical
quotations to express his forbearance, and. ex
plain the causes of the demonstration.
Mr. Bryan said that tho opposition to hini
had been fostered by two, newspapers whose'
columns contained liquor advertisements, but
who professed to see other reasons than that ho
was a prohibition speaker to oppose bis coming
to their city.
"The fact that the former soldiers gave other
reasons than their opposition to prohibition for
their demonstration is not conclusive," he said,
"because the newspapers also gave other rea
sons, following tho example of Demetrius, the
silversmith, who appealed to his craft to oppose
Paul. The silversmiths, however, did not shout
their real reason for opposing Paul, but shouted
Great is Diana of the Epbesians.' "
The Biblical reference of Mr. Bryan, was
from The Acts 19:23-28, which reads as fol
lows: "And about that time there arose a great stir
concerning the Way.
"For a certain man named Demetrius, a sil
versmith, who made silver shrines to Diana,
brought no little profit unto the craftsmen
whom he gathered together with the workmen
of like occupation and said: 'Sirs, ye know that
by this business we have wealth.
' 'And ye see and hear that this Paul . .
hath persuaded and turned away much people,
saying there are no gods that are made by hand
and not only is there danger that this our trade
come into disrepute, but also that the temple of
the great goddess Diana be made of no account
And when they heard this they were filled,
with wrath and cried out, saying: 'Great is Di
ana of the Epbesians.' "
SLAMS THE NEWSPAPERS
"The publicity given the incident illustrates
"Tliev tQJZlLth0 nsMers, tt
They deal with the exception rather than the
rule. They give space to assault and batter?
cases but have not room for the names of those
who live in peace. They give space to divorces
but ignore the happy families. "There is mS2
rejoicing over the lamb thut has strayed and ia
prranplhSsaend.tUe 9 " 9 theolM
audience, joined in the demonstration while ths
rest, so tar as couia oe seen, were not only anr
ious to hear but wanted to eject tho disturbers
"I doubt if ever I have spoken to so large an
audience with so few prejudiced against me in j?
. "Among United States audiences, opposition
to a 'speaker is not as likely to manifest itself
as in a British audience, where opponents en.
gago in what they call 'heckling' more tban they
do here. Public men of great Britain and Can
ada occassionally meet with this experience.
"Then it must be remembered that the sixty.
five that was the number as counted by one of
the men on the stage represented but a small
percentage of the number of Returned soldiers
in Toronto. I inquired and was ' told they had
2,000 or 3,000 returned soldiers there.
"I take it for granted that the men who dis
turbed the meeting were returned soldiers, be
cause I was told they wero, although they wore
SAVED HIS HECKLERS.
"The. presiding officer at the meeting in Tor
onto was a former mayor of the .city. He
threatened the disturbers with, the police but
I objected to that, and asked that no effort be
'made to remove the men. I feared that any
attempt to remove the 65 men from' the hall
would result in injury to someone, and that
the removal of ex-soldier& especially, should
anyone be hurt, would do the -ause more haim
than my speech would do good. I stated to
newspapermen at that meeting, that enough
people had been injured in-our" fight to make
democracy safe and that I was not willing for
any addition to be made . to that number to
secure me a hearing.
"This meeting was only one out of three at
which I spoke. The other two were largely
attended and I was welcomed with cheers. My
evening audience to which I. spoke before go
ing to the meetiner at whioh the disturbance
took place, was one of the most enthusiastic
I ever have addressed."
WINE FOR SOLDIERS.
Asked whether he approved of our soldiers
in France drinking light wines, such, as they
are said to have served them, Bryan said:
"Our government was entirely right in the
a.titude it took in regard to liquor not being
sold our soldiers. Our Allies ought to carry
out our wishes as far as our soldiers are con
cerned, regardless of what they do with their
soldiers." " '
Mr. Bryan declared that when the prohibi
tion bill first was submitted by congress, he had
predicted that three years would be required
to gain the necessary two-thirds of the states
to its support. He said today that subsequent
events had caused him to revise his prediction
and that now it appeared that the prohibition
movement would come to victory within two
In his toll of the states which he said would
ratify the amendment he gave Missouri. Ho
declared that St. Louis' wet vote could not off-
., e rest ot tne state's dry 'voteS
What about linn a A-n ""rif ''t.ViVi'
asked. . - '
Once more he broln into quotation:
"While the lamp holds out to "burn
The vilest sinner will returns
BRYAN AND BEEOHER .
linXn Bryan won no 3Uch Victory over a partly
& audience at Toronto as Henry Ward
Beecher did in England .when he was urging
the cause of the Union in a community strongly
fa JaV,r 0f l?e Soutu- But e as no reason to
feel ashamed of the manner in which he car-
JnJji fe B,iuation off- His good humor, his re
fusal to allow the disturbers to be ejected on
his account, and his delivery of his Bpeech finally
to the very limited number near enou&h to hear
fnlSiS 0Ve,?! chorus of catcalls and hisses, cer
tainly made the best of an awkward situation.
rnn,LCienter J. tne disturbance was about sixty
returned Canadian soldiers who were determined
ftv fe?i m f.r.om being heard- Te vast major
i t L: fT.audl.eS.ce was apparently quite willing
iL !?Tith Visit0r But the returned soldiers
i7fl ?ntiy Pade up their mIds that he was
iwv a he was a Pro-German and pos
tZt ' Yotli?p tMngs and would have none
2.J !?' m,A11 of which MiMtrates the fact that
fj ? V ase of near neighbors there is llfre
Ponn?i,?a lotof understanding, and hasty
PQncluslons as to those across the lino.
No matter what Mr. Bryan's views might
"V" - .-
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