The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, January 01, 1921, Page 7, Image 7

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The Commoner
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homes, returning late, which precludes any real
work until January,
The reasons for the adoption of the proposed
amendment are these:
First. Congress should 'at ttie earliest prac
ticable time enact the principles of the majority
of the people, as expressed in the election of
each Congress. That is 'why the Constitution re
quires the election of a new Congress every two
years. If it is not to reflect the. sentiment of,
the people these frequent elections have no
meaning or purpose. Any evasion of this is
subversive of the 'fundamental principle of our
Government, that the majority shall rule No
othor natipn in the world has its legislative body
convene so long after tho expression of the peo
ple upon governmental questions.
During the campaign preceding a congression
al election the great questions that divide the
political parties are thoroughly discussed for the
purpose of determining the policy of the Gov
ernment and of having the sentiments of the
majority crystallzed into -legislation. It seems
trifling with the rights of the people when their
mandates can not be obeyed within a reasonable
time. It is unfair to an administration that the
legislation which it thinks so essential to the
prosperity of the country should be so long de
ferred. It is true an extraordinary sessipn may
be called early, but such sessions are limited
generally to one or two subjects, which of neces
sity make enormous waste of the time of each
House, waiting for the other, to consider and
pass the measures.
Second. As the law is at the present time, the
second regular session does not convene until
after the election of the succeeding Congress.
As' an election often changes the political com
plexidn of a Congress, under the present law
many times' we have" the injustice of a Congress
that has been disapproved by the people enact
ing laws for the people opposed' to their last ex
pression. Such a condition does violence to the
rights of the majority. A Member of the House
of Representatives can barely get started in his
work until the time arrives for the nominating
convention of his,. district. He has accomplished
nothing, and hence has made no record upon
which to go before his party or his people. This
is an injustice both to the Members and to the
people. The record of a Representative should
he completed before he asks an indorsement of
his course.
Third. Under the present system a contest over
a seat in the House of Representatives is seldom
ever decided until more than half the term, and
in many instances until a period of 22 months of
the term has expired. For all that time the
occupant of the seat draws the salary, and when
his opponent is seated he also draws the salary
for the full term; thus the Government pays for
the representation from, that district twice. But
that is noli the worst feature of the situation;
during all of that time the district is being mis
represented, at least politically, in Congress.
By Congress meeting the flrst Monday in Janu
ary succeeding the elections, contested-election
cases can be disposed of at least during the flrst
six months of the Congress.
Fourth. The President and Vice President
.should enter upon the performance of their du- .
ties as soon as the new Congress can count the
electoral votes. The newly elected governors of
our States are inducted into office as soOn as the
new legislatures of the States canvass the votes
and declare their election. It is the old Congress
which now counts the-electoral -votes It is
dangerous to permit the defeated party to' retain
control of the machinery by which such import
ant officers are declared elected. ,
In the event that no candidate for President
receives a majority of the electoral votes, the
Constitution provides that the House of Repre-
sentatives shall elect the President, the represen
tation from each State having one vote. At the
present time jt is the old Congress that elects
the President under such contingency, and there
by it becomes possible for a political party re
pudiated by the people to elect a" President who
was defeated at the election. Under the pres
ent provision of the Constitution, in the event
the House fails to choose a President before the
4th of March, then the Vice President then In
00'' becomes President for four years. This
affords a great temptation, by mere delay, to
defeat the will of the people, and if it is ever
exercised it will likely produce a revolution.
It Is true that January weathdr would 'likely
bo inclement for an inaugural parade, but that
is a reason too insignificant to constitute an
argument against aT'constitutional amendment'
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which promises so much for good government.
Nearly all the governors of the States are in- .
augurated in January. The pomp and ceromony
which usually attend the coronation of mon
archs are at least not necessary to a republic.
For these reasons we favor the adoption of
tho resolution, amended as herein suggested.
Signed by Jno. K. Shields, Henry F. Ashurst,
Knuto Nelson, Albert B. Cummins, W. E, Chil
ton, Duncan U. Fletcher.
Mr. Borah's plan for a "naval holiday'! for
the United States, Great Britain and Japan has
not travelled very far as yet, but it may take
on speed at any time. Conditions favor its growth
in popularity. Tho people of this country have
grown so accustomed to spending largo sums
for armament and they have been so impreg
nated with the preparedness argument, that It
may take them some little time to grasp the
significance of the enormous expenditures now
contemplated. When they do realize what those
expenditures must mean, however, they are apt
to demand tho immediate application of what ,
seems on its face a promising remedy, and they
are apt to press this demand very insistently and
without taking duo thought of what the conse
quences may be.
Mr. Borah's plan looks very attractive at first"
sight. If Japan and Britain stop building war
ships, why must we continue to build them? The
average man, especially the man who has stop
ped to think of what those warships are going
to cost him in taxes, cannot see why. Yet there
are cogent reasons and some of them, at least,
can be stated quite briefly.
Suppose all three nations stop building and
dimply maintain the naval status quo. That will
leave Britain far superior to s in capital ships
and Japan slightly inferior. In a naval war with
Britain we should be hopelessly outclassed. In
a naval war with Japan we might well be at a
serious disadvantage because the principal
theater,, of such a war would probably bo the
Philippines, where Japan could concentrate he?
whole strengh and we could concentrate only a
part of ours.
It must be borne constantly in mind that the
naval holiday plan provides uo safeguard against
war. It does not provide any method for the
speaceful settlement of disputes. War is just as
likely to come if there iff a naval holidayJas if
there is none. That being tho case, Americans
must of necessity ask themselves whether, if we
have a naval holiday, we shall be in position to
take care of ourselves in case"&f war; and the
answer to that question is No.
On the other hand, if 'there is no naval holi
day, America, because of her greater resources, ..
can outbuild both Britain and Japan and soon
be in a position where she can feel safe if war
It is necessary to consider this matter in a
completely unsentimental way. We have no
right to risk the safety of America. Terrible
as is the prospect of resumption on a greater
scale than ever of tho competition in armaments,
we cannot endorse the naval holiday plan. It ia
not the way to disarmament. It neglects the one
all-important and absolutely necessary thing
the thing that must be accomplished before dis
armament becomes feasible. That thing is the
consummation of an agreement by the nations
to settle their disputes peacefully, not by the
use of force, and the setting up of machinery to
that end. When that has been done, disarma
men win be practicable; but not until then.
May that time come soon, for the day is almost
at hand when only disarmament can avert ruin.
Charleston, S. C, News and Courier
If the advice of Governor McKelyie of Nebras
ka is taken the party conventions will hereai
ter pick one of the various candidates for oflice
in the primary or else the state will hold two
primaries, tho last limited to the two highest for
each oflice at the first. If the legislature' takes
the advice of the people as expressed in the ref
erendum last November, when they rejected the
law restoring the convention system, it will keep
its fingers off and unburned.
On another page will be foundan editorial
from tho Miami Herald which Calls attention to
the benefits of cooperation. It creates a bond
of sympathy -between employee and employer
the one thing to secure justice and, with justice,
industrial peace. The editorial is worth reading.
Vetoes Suspending-of
Part of Clayton Act
President Wilson vetoed December 30 the
joint resolution designed to suspend a section of
the Clayton act prohibiting common carrion
from- dealing with any concern having inter
locking directorates with tho carrier except to
a limited extent aq to contracts. The president's
veto message follows:
"I roturn herewith without my signature
senate bill number 4526 amending section 501
of the transportation act by extending the ef
fective date of section 10 of the Clayton act.
"The Clayton anti-trust act was rosponslve
to recommendations which I made to congress
on December 2, 1913, and January 20, 1914,
on the sujbect of legislation regarding tho very
difficult and intricate matter of trusts and mo
nonpoliesr In speaking of the changes which opin
ion deliberately sanctions and for which busi
ness waits, I observed:
"It waits with acquisence in tho flrst place, for
laws which will effectually prohibit and provent
such interlocking of the personnel of tho direct
orates of great corporations, banks and rail
roads, industrial, commercial and public service
bodies as in effect result in making those who
borrow and those who lend practically one and
the same, those who sell and those who buy but
the same persons trading with one another un
der different namos and in differont combina
tions, and thoso who affect to compete in. fact
partners and mastors of some whole field of
business. Sufficient time should bo allowed, of
course, in which to effect these changes of or
ganization without interference or confusion.
This particular recommendation is reflected Ib
section 10 of. the Clayton anti-trust act. That
act became law on October 15, 1914, and it was
provided that section 10 should not becomo ef
fective until two years after that date, in order
that the carriers and others affected might be
able to adjust heir affairs so that no inconven
ience or confusion might result from the enforce
ment of its provisions. Further extension of
time, amounting In all to more than four years
and two months have slnco been made. Those
wore in part due to the intervention of federal
control, but ten months have elapsed since the
resumption of private operation. In all over six
years have elapsed since this enactment was put
upon the statute books, so that all interests con
cerned have had long and ample notice of the
obligations it imposes. .
"The interstate commerce commission has
adopted rules responsive to the requirements of
section 10. In deferring the effective date of
section 10, the congress has expected corpora
tions organized after January 12, 1918, and as
to such corporations the commission's rules are
now in effect. Therefore it appears that the
necessary preliminary steps have long since been,
taken to put section 10 into effect and the prac
tical question now to be decided is whether the
partial application of these rules shall be con
tinued until January 1, 1922, or whether their
application shall now become general, thus
bringing under, them all common carriers en
gaged in commerce, and at last giving full effect
to this important feature of the act of October
15, -014.
"The grounds upon which further extension
of time is asked, in addition to the six years
and more that have already elapsed, hae been
stated as follows:
"That the carrying into effect of the existing
provisions of section 10 will result in needless
expenditures on the part of. carriers in many in
stances; that some of its provisions are un
workable, and that tho changed status of the
carriers and tho enactment of the transportation
act require a revision of section 10 in order to
make it consistent with provisions of the trans
portati i act. I
"When it is considered that the congress is
now in session and can readily adopt suitable
amendments if they shall be found to e neces
sary such reasons for further delay ap;.oar to
- mo to be inadequate. The soundness of the prin
ciple embodied In section 10 appears to be gen--erally
admitted. The vholesome effects which
its application was intended to produce should
no longer be withheld from the public and from
the common carriers immediately concerned tor
whose protection it was particularly designed.
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