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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Nov. 1, 1920)
occupant of jthe White House he is entitled to,
and of course desires, all the light possible be
fore deciding on any question.
"Congress can by law impose upon the Vice
President the duty of giving such assistance
to his chief, or the President can of his own
volition establish the precedent, and it would,
in all probability, be observed by his successors.
'Many public men havo avoided the second
place on the ticket for fear It would relegate
thein to obscurity; some of Colonel Roosevelt's
friends objected to his nomination on that
ground. A, cabinet position has generally been
considered more desirable than the Vice-Presidency,
but the latter in dignity and importance
Is, in factj.only second to the presidency, and
the occupant deserves the prominence and pres
tige which Avould come from more intimate of
ficial association with the Executive'
t BRYAN'S SUGGESTION
Bryan's suggestion that Wilson resign, -that
Vice President Marshall appoint Harding secre
tary of state", and then that Marshall resign
also, automatically making Harding president at
once, is not only a remarkable suggestion, but
a sound, constructive, wholesome one.
At one Stroke Bryan's idea, If followed out,
would get rid of the harmful rigidity of the
American presidential election system, without
any necessity of making troublesome changes
in the constitution.
As Mr. Bryan says, the people have turned
the administration down flat and cold, so why
shouldn't5, the administration fold its tents, arid
get out of the way as soon as possible? In Eng
land, if a mere majoriy of parliament wills it,
the executive steps down and out. Well, we've t
had an anti-administration congress for two
years now; and now, at last, we'yjo got a thump
ing big verdict from the people themselves, di
rectly on the issue of the presidency.
And yet, unless Wilson and Marshall follow
Bryan's suggestion and the chances are a hun
dred to pne they won't follow It we'll drag
along for four months with an administration
that has no popular support back of it.
President Wilson could achieve a great stroke
of statesmanship, could set a splendid .and Jong
needed precedent, 'if he were to step out how.
His party could then even demand, If the con
gressional elections go democratic two years
from now, that Harding step out and let a
democrat step in. We would then be rid of the
anomalous" and absurd situation with which we
are so often confronted, that of an executive and
a legislative department deadlocked, and doing
nothing but vituperating one another and Wast
ing time and money.
Bryan has made a mighty sound proposal, and
no one should think of it as jUBt a piece of
froakishness. And coming as it floes from a
democrat,-it has added force, even though Bryan
Is not 'exactly a "Wilson democrat." San Jose,
Calif.. Newt. '
VICTORY IN OHIO COMPLETE
The Akti-Saloon League, through James A.
White, Its Ohio atate superintendent, announces
the result" of ihe Ohio contest on prohibition as
follows: ' , . .
"We have had a glorious victory in Ohio for
the dry cauo, ,Our Prohibition Enforcement
Code, which was held up to a referendum vote
by the wete, has been approved by the voters
by 275,000. v , , , 10n
"At our first .statewide vote in Ohio in 1814,
We lost by. 85,000; in 1915 we lost by 55,000,
in 1917 we.fost by 1,137. In 1918 we won by
25,759. The wets undertook to repeal our Pro
hibition Amendment and reinstate license, we
defeated them br 42,000. This year our voters
approved the Enforcement Code by Z7o,uou.
We now .havean., opportunity to clean up on ne
"legal traffic in Ohio. Watch our smoke.
"In additions we have gained four dry con
gressman, making 20-out of 22 congressmen who
will refuservto;;woaken the Volstead Act in any
"Governom Willis was elected United States
Senator bynmore than 850,000 and he is an
outspoken, dryJ advocate. Senator Pmerene,
our other senator, has voted tent n ";:
measures since the state adopted Prohibition.
Wo have elected the dryost legislature we have
had tor years, and will be able to pass emer
gency legislation;" We are tremendously grati
fied over theseresults in behalf of the cause.
"We giyefage part If this credit to the
splendid women, who helped us very effectively.
MR, BRYAN SUPPORTS LEAGUE OP NATIONS
BUT SUGGESTS CERTAIN AMENDMENTS
(An interview by Mr. Bryan which appeared
in The Commoner of March, 1919.)
the league of nations is the greatest stop
toward peace in a thousand years. The idea of
substituting reason for force in the settlement
of international disputes is in Itself an -epock-making
advance. The constitution of.tho league,
as announced, provides for three things which
constitute in themselves an advantage, the im
portance of which can scarcely ue estimated.
First, deliberation before war the investiga
tion of all disputes of every kind and charactor
before hostilities begin. This almost ends war.
The idea is taken from the thirty treaties nego
tiated by the United States with three-quarters
of the world. Our nation, therefore, gives to
the peace league its greate8tfpieco of machinery.
Second, the reduction of armaments will make
it impossible for a nation to preparo for war
without notifying the world of its intentions.
Third, the abolition of secret treaties, which
will do much to prevent the combinations which
lead to war.
If the league of nations did nothing more
than provide these three things, our nation
wojild be justified in supporting it to the ut
It is not to bo expected that so great an idea
as the league of nations would be made perfect
in detail in so short a time. There are defects
that should be corrected, and the fullest dis
cussion of proposed amendments should be in
vited. The newspapers of Great Britain, France
and Italy are not backward in the expression
of their views as to changes that should bo
made. Why should the American people be
silent? Ours is the nation most infuontial in
the league, and most powerful because most
disinterested. Its people should help by free
and frank discussion to perfect the league. The
President has done the best he could, but he
"will be aided by intelligent criticism from those
friendly to the idea.
I venture to point out certain amendments
that should in my judgment be made in the in
terest of a stronger and better league, FIRST,
THE BASIS OF REPRESENTATION IS NOT
FAIR TO THE UNITED STATES. A COM
PARISON OF VOTING STRENGTH WILL
SHOW THAT WHILE OUR NATION IS THE
MOST POWERFUL IN THE COMBINATION,
WHETHER MEASURED BY POPULATION,
WEALTH OR MORAL INFLUENCE, IT HAS
NO LARGER VOTE THAN NATIONS MUCH
INFERIOR IN POPULATION, WEALTH AND
INFLUENCE. This inequality ought, if pos
sible, to be corrected, for justice Is the only
foundation upon which any Institution can rest
in permanent security.
Second, the terms of admission to, nations
that may desire to join hereafter are not fair.
TO REQUIRE A TWO-THIRDS VOTE TO AD
MIT A NEW NATION SUGGESTS THE SOCIAL
CLUB WHERE A FEW BLACK BALLS MAY
KEEP OUT AN UNCONGENIAL APPLICANT.
THIS WORLD LEAGUE IS FOR THE WORLD.
The President has well said that our nation Is
not interested in a league unless all nations are
in it The qualifications for admission ought to
be fixed, and then it ought to be made as easy
as possible for those who are qualified to gain
admission. Under no circumstances should the
cogent of more than a majority be required
tlv the admission of any qualifying nation.
The faults of the constitution are to be found
Vo inriflflniteness rather than in things
?Rm?7to assist in the settlement of European
permitted wPrVit ouent not to be asked
disputes, and, &e in the west-
to give "JrrasTcondition precedent to its
orn hemisphere as a coiu" 0 IT IS N0T
. entry into ttiSaWIBSS
STATED tJtteSUSbER IS NOT RE
THAT A LEAGUE ' MDMBWJ Jt
QUIRED TOfifByMBtated that a nation asked
ought to be definitely bum a i &
to become a f WT,885ouLD BE MADE
SLfiS LEAGUE IS NOT TO IN-
25PJFF 1N THB INTERNAL AFFAIRS QT
THE NATIONS BELONGING TO THB LEAGUE,
rho loaguo is for the settlement of International
disputes, not for the adjustment of difference
botweon a nation and Us own people.
,.AKTHER MATTER THAT SHOULD BR
MADE CLEARAND NOTHING CAN BH
MORE IMPORTANT THAN THIS 18 THAT
EACH NATION HAS A RIGHT TO DECIPB
FOR ITSELF WHETHER IT WILL UNDER
TAKE THE THINGS ADVISED BY THE GEN
ERAL COUNCIL. The language of tno constitu
tion, while not definite, wduld socm.to Indicate
that no nation Is required to furnish force to
back up a decision of tho council. But no doubt
should bo loft on this subject. This nation can
not afford to allow a council in which it has so
small a voice to carry it Into war agalnat its
will. Our people will have as much sense when
tho time comes to act as they havo now and thoy,
will havo more light to guido thorn. When the
emergency arises and they understand all the
circumstances and conditions, thoy may bo will
ing to assist by force, but thoy cannot decide
in advanco or allow a council to decido for them.
Tho constitution of tho loaguo, would seem to
imply the right of tho council' to compol tho
declaration of an economic boycott by tho mem
bers of tho loaguo. This is not quite so soriouw
as tho declaration of war, but oconomic boycott
is likely to dovelop into a war and an economic
boycott may bo pecuniarily advantageous to tho
nations that want to declare it. Our intoresU
may not bo Identical in this respect, and we
ought to havo a right to say at the timo whether
we would declare such a boycott. I venture to
suggest that the scope of tho league's work
might well bo oxended beyond what is now
contemplated. A substitute for war must be
able to deal with over situation thnt can he
come a causo of war. One of tho most fruitful
causes of war has been tho necessity for ex
pansion. Growing nations, fooling the necessity
for more room, have often gone to war on Home
clumsy pretext when the roal purpose has been
to secure territory for an increasing population,
Tho right to live is one of the inalienable right.
It Is a primal right that must be recognized in
nations as well as individuals. Nations exercise
the right of taking unused land and distributing
it to those who need it. So, if the league of
nations is to substitute reason for war, it must
be able to deal with claims that are made for
the waste places of tho earth. A nation feeling
a need for more territory should bo ablo to go
before the league and present its claims, and
point out tho territory which it can uso to ad
vantage. The council should consider the claim
and advise upon it, and the force of public
opinion should be used to securo such an ad
justment of equities as would afford a peace
able means of securing needed territory. Such
adjustments could be made the easier if the
league endorsed the proposition that any natfoft
extending Its sovereignty over now territory
should stand ready to purchase tho property C
residents who do not desire to remala ner
the new sovereignty. The resident does not g
with the land. He has rights independent and
superior to the right to the land. If, against hi
will, ho is brought under new sovereignty, he
ought to bo able to sell his property without
loss, and choose a sovereignty of his own like.
I have suggested what seemed to me desirable
changes, some being modifications, some being
merely more explicit statements. I conclude as
I began, that while we should endeavor to make
the league as nearly perfect as possible, we
should not allow its Imperfections to lead to
its rejection. We must take risks, no matter
whether we accopt the league or reject it. The
rlsks thtft we take in accepting it are less thaa.
. the risks we take if we reject it and turn back
to the old ways of blood and slaughter, God
grant that those who are entrusted with the
launching of this great work may have the wis
dom to so purge it of selfishness and greed, and
bo infuse into it tho spirit of the Prince of
Peace as to-make it the end of war.
LEFT NO TRACE
The old schoolboy declamation:
"The boy stood on the burning deck,
Whenne all but he bad fled,
The flames that lit the battle wreck,
Shown round him o'er the dead"
ntlcht be appropriate for post-election use fiut
for,tbo fact that even the hero seems to hav$
been lost in the wreck.
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