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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Jan. 1, 1919)
'i-i i "P ' rmmi''mlaTf!'s
WILLIAM J. BRYAN, EDITOR AND PROPRIETOR
.. ,, '
VOL. 19, NO, 1
Lincoln, Nebraska, January, 1919
Whole Number 717
President's Demand Federal
LTliQ President, will have the nation hack- of
in the position taken at Manchester, Eng-
1 when he declared that the United States
uld have no interest in an agreement unless
included all the nations. As ho Bald, the
lerican people have no thought of entering
any combination to maintain "the balance
Spowor." Tliat is an outgrown system us com-
llely shattered as the arbitrary power of kings.
jnot only failed to preserve peace but it
inged the world Into Its biggest war ana
lid have been even more disastrous than it
if the United States had not thrown its in-
austible resources into, the .struggle. ... .
he nations will not turn, back to the "balance
bower" doctrine; w. J. BRYAN. .
A SLIGHT CHANGE .
.: it' i't,.
slight change in Jthej)ill.a authpriz.iMthe
kership and pperatyon.bf the telephbnesMjmJ
the federal government would be sufficient-1
a few words: "Provided that the federal
3rnment shall turn over to any Btate, .- aty
mnicipality, at cost, the local telephone ex-
iges within its. borders whenever such state,
lty or municipality expresses, in legal form,
lesiro to own and operate such exchange or
rrlto your congressman and senators if you
WRITE TO YOUR LEGISLATORS
o the statutes of your state authorize your
is to own and operate telephone exchanges?
jt.ot, they should. Write tp your legislators
tf urge the passage of the laws necessary, so
your city can enter upon municipal owner-
whenever it desires to do so.
your state constitution does not authorize
h ownership and operation of telephone ex-
lges and railroads, it should. Write to your
fslatora. Get ready 'for government ownership.
STATE TRAlfcE COBIMISSIONS
las your state a trade commission to protect
linst the profoteer? If not, it should have..
is the time to proteot the people from the.
N of those whp attempt to extort unfair-
nts on the necessaries of life.
frite your legislators.
A WORD TO READERS
he readers of The Commoner are thoughtful
Pie, and those who think are quite sure to
er as to methods and means even when they
in thorough accord as to the end to4 bo
Ured. Each mtiah hn tvua tr Tifa ivarn nrmvln-
a and ready to defend them. In the con
ductive program outlined on another page I
e stated the issues before the country as
ee them. I invito1 RilfrnrnaHrm nnrl .r?Mmi
am more anxious that the truth ahalL trl
Ph than that mv own nnlnlmi ulioll -ha -trlnrfi.
fed. ' "' " '-' ,,T nv,v
VV. J. XJXHi.lN,
Ownership Telegraph Lines,
Dual Ownership Telephones
The easiest problem connected with the ques
tion of government ownership is the national
ization of the telegraph lines The privato owner
ship of telegraph lines presents all the evils of
the private monopoly, while public ownership of
these lines is open to less objection than Is made
to any other form of. ownership by the federal
Postmaster-General . Burleson, in his recent
annal report, : recommends Cat the telegraph
systems of the country bo declared to be a gov-
ANOTHER TABLET IN THE HALL OP FABIE
IIHl wlpV lKLjTflUfll TtLPfc
From tho Baltimoro'Sun.
A GREAT A1MERICAN
The nation bows in sorrow at the grave of one
of its world-citizens.
The rare quai:::.- that won for Colonel Roose
velt a multitude of devoted followers naturally
arrayed against him a host of opponents, but
hij death puts an end to controversy, and he
will bo mourned by foe as well as by friend. He
w-3 a great American, and made a profound Im
pression on tho thought of his generation. His
picturesque career will form a fascinating
chapter In our nation's history.
W. J. BRYAN.
THE SUFFRAGE AMEND3IENT
A canvass of the next congress shows that the
suffrage amendment has more than a two-thirds
majority In both houses. If ydur senator voted
ainsf suffrage, write him that opposition is
ufeless If he is a democrat, tell him that the
Semocratfc party cannot afford to do less than
o rL In bringing this great reform.
Write to democratic senators in OSHER states
if your own are all right.
. ernment monopoly, to bo hercftor owned and
ope; .cd by tho federal government -in connec
tion with tho postofllco department.
And why not? It is impossible to have com
ration in the mattor of telegraph sorvlco wltlu
out such a duplication of plants and such ad
ditl aal expense L3 to make tut competitive
system costly whorevor It is attempted, and
would undoubtedly prevent telegraph service In.
tha smaller communities. As It is, tho Western
Union does not reach all of tho communities
reached by the postal service, and It would reach
still loss-if It had to divide business with a com
petitor. The telegraph; lines are used for tho spread
of information "anV arovin actual competition
with' "the post office department. It was charged
not' long ago that one of tho companies was
using the mails for tlio delivery of night letters,
thus taking advantage of tho govorment mail
service while charging telagraph rates.
The federal government is In position to sup
ply much more complete service than a privato
monopoly possibly can and at a very much less
cost. Every post ofilce should bo suppled with
a telegraph instrument, except where tho tele
phone is subrtituted for it; I. la 't not difficult to
learn the telegraph code, and in tho smaller
communities there is no reason why tho one in
charge of the post office should not also attend
to' tho telegraph business.
Tho e mount invest In privately owned tele
graph systems is comparatively small, so thai
the cost of taking them over or duplicating thorn
cannot bo used as an argument against Immedi
ate nationalization. A-d itis not a now question.
The country has had three decades In which to
consider tho proposition. Postmaster-General
Wanamakor recommended a postal telegraph
system when a member of President Harrison's
cabinet and Postmaster-General Hitchcock, a
member of President Taft's cabinet, renewed tho
The country is ripe for tho change. Tho war
brought tho question to an Issue, and iof,all
extensions of governmental activity this Is tha
one whiph Is most certain to become permanent.
The only opposition likely to be mot by thflr
advocates, of the nationalization of telegraph
lines will come from two groups one, very
small, made up of persons pecuniarily interested
in the control of the wires, and another com
posed of those who are so much opposed to the
principle of government ownership tnatvthey ob-;
ject to any extension of governmental powers on
the theory that one step may lead to anotherj
that is, that government ownership of the teles
graph lines may lead to the taking over of other; '
The objection based on pecuniary interest wIlE
be discounted because of that pecuniary Interest;
and the objection based on fear of other exten-
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