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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Feb. 1, 1922)
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The South Not for
Mr John H. Kirby of Texas, president of the
southern Tariff association, is prophesying that
ho solid south will be broken unless the
Democrats abandon their low tariff policy. In
an interview given 'out from "Washington, Mr.
"I feel commissioned to warn the Democratic
leaders and members of the Senafe that, unless
they repudiate the tariff policy announced by
Minority Leader Kitchin on the floor of the
House, April 14, 1921, and accepted by a large
majority of the" Democratic members of the
House, then the solid South will be broken."
Mr. Kirby takes exception to a sentiment ex
pressed by Mr. Kitchin as follows: Quoting Mr.
Kitcliin's address to the effect that "a sensible
protectionist will go to the party that has taught
and practieed protection for fifty years and not
to the party who has always opposed it," Mr.
Kirby said "against this announcement we place
the demands of every productive industry in
the South for a protective tariff on raw materials
and the signature of 80 per cent of the bankers
of our leading Southern states.'
Mr. Kirby claims to represent eighty per cent
of the bankers of the Southern states in his
advocacy of protection'. This is nqt the first
time that Mr. Kirby has made this prediction
and he is not the first Southern protectionist
to speak in this vein. But he has been a false
prophet heretofore like other- Southerners hold
ing his views and there is no indication that
they are wiser now than they have been.
The tariff question is not a new one and the
principle involved in it is quite well understood.
It is taxation of the many for the benefit of the
few the few like it, the many object to it
when they understand it. Not one Southern
voter in ten can be benefited by a protective
tariff, probably not one in fifty. Mr. Kirby hap
pens1 to be one of the ones who would be bene
fited because he deals ikv lumber, but
must of the people of the south buy
lumber, and they are no more anxious to
contribute unnecessarily to Mr." Kirby's
wealth than they are to the wealth of New
England beneficiaries of protection. The men
who benefit by high tariff have loud voices and
they make enough out of the tariff to enable
them to go tc Washingtpn or :to send agenta
tnere to make known their views. The tax
payers are the forgotten people who bear the
burden bu.t cannot be heard except through
their senators and members. Fortunately, the
senators and members from the South have, as
a rule, been loyal to the masses rather than to
the privileged few. Mr. Kitchin is conspicuous
ly so, therefore he incurs the criticism of Mr.
Kirby and those of this kind.
But Mr. Kitchin has incurred that sort of
criticism throughout his entire career. Instead
of its injuring him he fattens on it.
W. .J. BRYAN
THE NEWBERRY VERDICT
By a small majority. Mr. Newberry has es
caped expulsion. He secured the votes of all
the Republicans but nine (excluding those ab
sent and paired). It was not a very glorious
triumph but it was enough to assure him a
senator's salary and' enough, to besmirch his
Party in the Senate. The Democratic party
oted solidly to unseat him and Senators Bornh.
Upper, Jones, Kenyoh, Ladd, LaFollette, Nor
beck Norris and Sutherland, (Republicans),
voted with the Democrats. Mr. Newberry has
2n0Iu0 be grateful that the vote was delayed
unui the Republicans secured an overwhelm
ing majority in the Senate; if the case had been
aecided by the last Senate he would have been
in Bn t the IntorestJng part of the subject is not
JJ the vote. That might have been expected
iz yfe cnsider the part that money plays in
republican campaigns; the, wording of the reso
anlJ? amusine." The Republican majority
Cp? to deordorize its vote by a, con
Sn10nx of such expenditures as character
B?vi. Newberry's election. The resolution
thf run ,,at wnether the amount expended in
ub (Michigan) primary was $195,000 as was
S,reprted or openly acknowledged or
in v ere were some few thousand dollars
caJ t si the amunt expended was itl either
beon 2 large' mucu larger than ought to have
ceqq vf Pended- ' ThQ 'expenditure of such ex
a31ve Bums in behalf; .of a oanditfate EITHER.
Sary ?? .ZlLyS tote
honor and dignity of the SeSe and dangerous
exce sWrSnn0' a iTQ eovernmetfch
nounced by the Republican Senate. If the judos
Renuhil5nyideV,elopod a 8enSG of mor as the
Republican leaders, seem to havo they could
acquit most any influential man by the adoption
of-, the same plan : Resolved ; that we set the' ac
cused; free but wo Want it distinctly Understood
that wo heartily condemn the methods by 'which
he ushered his victim into 'eternity. u
If -some; prominent man is accused of em
bezzlement oi? other form of stealing, the jury
can .include in the verdict of acquittal an indig
nant protest against the thioviBh methods em
ployed by the accused in appropriating the
money of others.
If Senator Newberry is at all sensitive on
the subject he WILL resign; how must he feel
as he mingles with his colleagues and recognizes
that those who refused to ex'pol him tell the
world that the expenditures of such excessive
sums on behalf df a candidate "either with or
without his consent" is "contrary to sound pub
lic policy, harmful to the honor and dignity
of the Senate and dangerous to the perpetuity
of a free government."
The Republicans have framed an indictment
against themselves by seating a man who per
mitted if he did not commit a wrong that is
disgraceful to the body in which he sits and
dangerous to the perpetuity of the government
from which he draws a salary.
W. J. BRYAN.
HAM-STRINGING THE BONUS
Some, of the Republican leaders are propos
ing to raise money for the soldiers' bonus by
special tax on particular articles an automobile
tax, a gasoline tax, and a one per cent increase
in postage being suggested among other forms
of taxation. It would be a great mistake to
attach the bonus to any particular tax; it would
at once array against the soldiers those upon
whom the burden would fall. They would feel,
and with some justification, that they were be
ing made to bear more than their share of the
expense of the bonus. Where one soldier would
be benefited a half-dozen or dozen tax payerB
would be irritated.
The soldiers' service was to the entire country
and the tax should be paid out of the general
fund. If to pay the bonus it js necessary to de
vise new forms of taxation, lH the new taxes be
paid into the general fund so there will bo no
visible connection between the tax and the
If any special tax is imposed it should be im
posed upon the fortunes created by the war; the
millionaires who got rich out of the war or prof
ited in a special Way are indebted to the sol
diers who fought while the profiteers made the
money. It would be more than poetic justice to
make those who especially benefited contribute
to those who rendered special service, but it 'is
too much to expect that this congress will tax
'the profiteers for the benefit of the soldiers;
it was this congress that postponed considera
tion of the bonus bill until after the tax on ex
cess profits was repealed. W. J. BRYAN.
PRESIDENT ELIOT ON PROHIBITION
On another page will be found the remarks
of Dr. Charles W. Eliot, president emeritus of
Harvard university, before a committee of the
Massachusetts legislature. Special attention is
called to Dr. Eliot's testimony because his posi
tion is somewhat different from that occupied
by most others who go before such committees.
He did not become a TEETOTALER until after
he was EIGHTY years old. He did not become an
advocate of prohibition until war prohibition
was enacted. He cannot be called a "fanatic"
and he expressly disclaims being a WJWoy.
As a loyal citizen he favors the ENFORCE
MENT OF LAW; he is a citizen of Massachusetts
and wants- his state to be in sympathy with the
sentiment of the nation. He is now convinced
that prohibition is not only a WISE measure
but a NECESSARY measure if our nation
is to bessaved from intemperance and from
the evils that follow in the wake of intemper-
aDIt 'is time for every friend of law and order to
sneak out; The line is being drawn more and
mo? fo?early between those who respect the gov
more cieariy uej ? whQ ftre law.
foT Dr E'liot'fappea? ought to influence all
the intellectuals who are yet standing out against
prohibition if there be any such.
Strike or What?
Mr. Gompors has spoken out strongly against
any system of compulsory arbitration. Ho is
right. Compulsory arbitration, whothor the pow
er bo deposited in a board or a Judge, is out
of harmony with the Bpirlt of our institutions.
Arbitration implies a finding that can Do en.
forced how can a finding be enforced in the
Uiuted States? Suppose a boai'd or court is par
tial to the labor side of the dispute and issues
an order that amounts to a confiscation of the
property of the employor would ouch an order
stand? No one thinks so.
But suppose, as:is more likely, the board or
judge' is partial to the employer's side. Can an
order be enforced against an employee if, In ef
fect it condemns him to involuntary servitude?
Surely such an order would not stand. And yet
these are the alternatives whon arbitration is
compulsory. It all depends upon the bias of-tho
man who decides.
Everyono is more or less biased, oven though
unconscious of bias. Ho may not admit the
bias, but you can prove it on him. Tell him
suddenly, of a dispute between capital and labor
and the answer ho makes before investigation
will indicate his bias. i i
The employers will always try to secure arbi
trators who are biased their way arid the la
boring men will try just as hard to securo arbi
trators who are biased for their side. General
ly, a board is made up of men all of whom, ex
cept one, are known to be biased in favor of ono
side or the other. The ono man is supposed to
bo unbiased but ho never is. The only question
is' whether both sides will gamble on his bias
or whethor one side will secretly know where
Mr. Gompors is right in opposing compulsory
arbitration. Ho is right in suspecting arbitra
tion, even when it is voluntary, because 'of tho
uncertainty as to the supposedly unbiased man.
But what has Mr. Gompers to suggest as an al
ternative? The strike? The employers who op
pose arbitration have the lockout to fall back
on. But what about tho public MAe interested
third party? It furnishes the money for the
employees' wages and for the employers' prof
its. . It is not time for it to have Jttf day in
court? Labor must not bo surprised if the pub
lic, in desperation, turns to arbitration as a
matter of self-protection, if it can find nothing
better. The public do not regard either tho
strike or the lockout as tho BEST thing in sight.
Labor has a chance to win this fight by propos
ing a plan that will protect tho public and at
the same time do justice to employer and em
ployee. INVESTIGATION Is better than arbi
tration investigation with reports that are not
binding in law but which will guide tho public
to an intelligent expression of sympathy. A
large percentage of the people desire justice be
tween employer and employee. If they are per
mitted to underst&nd the contest they will
throw their influence on tho side of justice, but
how can they use their influence without know
ing the facts? And how can they be -sure of
tho facts if they have nothing but ox parte state
ments before them?
The doctrine of "investigate before-you shoot"
has spread over the world and is destined to ex
ert a powerful influence in the prevention of
war. Why not investigate before strike or lock
out? If investigation provides a remedy for in
ternational difficulties why may it not provide
a remedy 'for industrial disputes? Truth is not
afraid of tho light. The Bible tells us of those
who "love darkness rather than light because
their deeds are evil." Why not seek- light
through investigation and then leave the find
ings of the board to rest upon their merits and
to persuade according to their weight? Tho
principle embodied in this remedy has received
practically unanimous endorsement in this coun
try and throughout almost the entire civilized
world. Why not apply it to industry? If it can
bring peace between different races and lan
guages, may it not bring peace between citizens
and neighbors? W. J. BRYAN.
A BOY'S REPORT
On another page will be found a report of one
of Mr. Bryan's speeches made by Francis J.
Duke, of Richmond, Va a student at Saint
Christopher's Boy's School and published in The
Pine Needle, the school paper. It Is reproduced
because it is one of the most accurate and faith
ful pieces of condensed' reporting that has como
to Mr. Bryan's notice. The boy. who did it dis
played unusual journalistic talent.
This report was scheduled to appear in the
January issue of The Commoner, but waa
omitted owing to lack of space.
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