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About The Omaha guide. (Omaha, Neb.) 1927-19?? | View Entire Issue (April 6, 1935)
. . . EDITORIALS . . .
The Omaha Guide
Published every Saturday at 2418-20 Giaftt St.,
Phone WEbster 1750
Entered as Second Class Matter March 15, 1927
at the Post Office at Omaha, Neb., under the Act
of Congress of March 3, 1879.
Terms of Subscription $2.00 per year.
Race prejudice must go. The Fatherhood of
God and the Brotherhood of Man must pre
vail. These are the only principles which will
stand the acid test of good citizenship in time
of peace, war and death.
1 —-C I
Omaha, Nebraska, Saturday, APRIL 6, 1935
managements want to wave the whi,e Pag and sur
render .heir economic position, that is their busi
THE CROOKED LAWYER
No profession should hold to higher levels of
honor, integri y and plain honesty than should the
law. The right to practice in the courts of justice
carries with u a vast and inescapable obligation to
the public. Most lawyers live up to the essential
standards—a few do not. And .hese few, as Court
ney Ryley Cooper points out in an interview with
Attorney-General Cummings, appearing in a recent
issue of the Saturday Evening Post, are much the
enemies of the public as the gangs.er they defend.
Mr Cooper cites almost incredible instances of
lawyers who are retained by known criminals and
are given lvrge sums of money to use in any way
they like—so long as acquittal is obtained for the
underworld client. Such lawyers worry little
about evidence or justice—they know that bribery
is a more effective weapon. They train their
clients like ac.ors, so that when they appear on the
witness stand they can make “saged” answers to
any question. They obtain perjured alibis—and
buy off prosecution wi.nesses. In Mr. Cooper’s
words, “It is all fakery, crookedness, chicanery.’’
Bar associations, the judiciary and honest indi
viduals are working tirelessly to rid society of ihis
type of lawyer. But, as the interview points out,
all such worthy efforts are doomed to failure with
out aggressive public support. Many people are
inclined to be amused by the unethical lawyer—
they even go so far as to admire the “cleverness’’
with which he manages to circumvent the ends of
justice. So long as this atti.ude obains, the shyster
will prosper—and te ethics of the legal profession
will suffer accordingly.
The law is the very life—blood of society. Its
honest administration is our main defense against
medieval social darkness. The crooked lawyer
menaces us all—and his good office—at high price
on behalf of the most despara.e criminals are car
ried on at the exense of the entire public.
FIRST FIREPROOF BIRD S NEST.
A new's item from a Southern eny stated that
“the first fireproof bird’s nest ever seen in this
country, so far as is known, was discovered the
other day on the roof of a hotel. The nest was con
structed entirely of small pieces of wire and there
was not a twig or a piece of string to it.”
One would almost think that the birds that built
this nest had heard of the recommendations of the
National Board of Fire Underwriters, which ad
voeaies fire resistive construction as a primary
means of reducing the great toll in life and prop
erty taken by fire each year. \N e will always have
fires—but improved construction standards can do
much to mitigate the damage done.
Dwelling houses of frame construction offer an
invitation to fire, as the hollow walls permit flames
to spread throughout the entire structure. Even
such buildings can be made fire-resistive to au ex
tent by means of comparatively simple precautions.
Many fires s.art in cellars and soon communicate to
the entire house. This can be prevented by a ceil
ing in the cellar of cement plaster on metal lath,
extending across from foundation to foundation.
The door at the head of the stairs should be of suf
ficiently heavy construction to resist flames for
some time. Additional precautions are fire stops in
walls at each floor level and fire resisting roofing.
Large buildings, such as factories, warehouses,
office buildings and those housing mercantile es
tablishments, should be contracted of as nearly as
possible with fireproof materials. It is highly im
portant that all vertical openings such as elevator
and dumbwaiter shafts and stairways be entirely en
closed. Any doors into them should be of the self
closing type. A means of automatically ventilat
ing such shafts at the roof should be provided.
The first fireproof bird’s nest was news—it will
be bigger news when a town or city can report that
all of its buildings are of fire resistive construction.
Diplomatically, Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethio
pia has proved to be the match of Mussolini, Italy’s
dictator, thus demonstrating that all of the konw
ledge of statecraft is not confined to the white race.
Very carefully, the Italian government prepared
to show that Ethiopia was in the wrong. With just
as much care thevAfrican emperor showed the world
that Italy was the aggressor.
If Italy now goes through with her plans to
grab a substantial slice of Abyssinian territory, it
will be without a shadow of justification in the
eyes of the world,-chiefly because of the elever
diplomatic maneuverings of the tempor and his ad
Moribund as is the League of Nations, it is nev
ertheless an excellent sounding board for world
long ago and to join the League. By appealing to
opinion. Abyssinia was wise enough to see this
the League in her present difficulty,, the African
kingdom has placed Italy on the defensive, when
she hoped to remain on the offensive.
This diplomatic defeat, coupled with the increas
ingly precarious condition in Europe, may very
likely deter l aly from taking more drastic action
HITTING A VICIOUS SYSTEM
The vicious sharecropper system of the South
was given another blow Last week, when the com
mittee on Minori y Groups in the Economic Re
covery issued its exhaustive report on the agricul
tural plight of the South.
It repea.s what has been said here many times,
that tenant farming is a menace tha. is ruining
the South nd reducing blacks and- wbi.es to a con
dition worse than slavery. With 71 per cent of the
cotton farms and 58 per cen. of all farms in the
South farmed by tenan.s, with AAA cotton cur
tailment driving thousands off the soil onto an in
adequate dole, with meager diet dooming millions
to rickets and pellagra, with the foreign cot.on
market s-.eadily declining, the South is doomed
unless it osu.s once and for all the vicious planta
The obvious solution of the problem is to break
up the plantation system and turn the tenants into
small landowners by giving each family a small
piece of ground and making financial provisions
that will prevent this land from falling into the
hands of real estate sharks. It will do no good to
merely give land to these hapless thousands and
make no provisions for staking them until they
can become self supporting. The small farms should
be equipped with house, mule and tools and kept
tax free for at least the first two or three years.
The government might better spend two or three
billion dollars in this way than to spend an equal
sum on an inadequate dole that not only demoralizes
these workers, but must be con.inued year in and
The Southern sharecropping system has -been a
dismal failure. It should be ended. Cotton is no
longer a profitable crop, now that a score of coun
tries are producing it in large quantities. If it can
not be sold, why raise it at all beyond our national
It will be far better for the South, aided by the
Federal government, to strictly limit cotton pro
due.ion and foster the growing of other products
for which a market can be secured. At least one
quarter of the present farm area of the South could
well be devoted to raising crops: vegetables, fruits,
meat and milk, to nourish a people devitalized by
decades of an enforced diet of fatback, corn pone
Much of the ignorance and backwardness of the
South is due to i.s vicious economic system. Break
that up and blacks and whites will prosper, become
healthier in mind and body, and real civilization
will have a chance to flourish.
THE HARLEM RIOT.
New York’s Harlem has given us another demon
s;ration of what results from a peculiar economic
aspect which all large cities, especially those sec-,
tions in which we chiefly reside, are victims of. The
public press charge the riot to the striking of a
small Filipino boy by a white merchant. The
merchant said that the boy had stolen, a pocketnilo.
I Somebody ran to the street and said that the boy
‘ had been killed in the store.
After this wild and untrue information, then all
j was confusion*, several killed and hundreds injur
ed. As a matter of fact, that wasn’t the cause of
the riot. The cause of the riot was and is the con
dition of economic indifference with which Harlem
is treated by those who control the economic life
The responsibility for this treatment rests in
particular upon Harlem’s black leadership and what
is true in Harlem is true in Chicago. It is universal
ly true in other large cities of the country. We
haven’t the courage and manhood to properly con
tend for the things we are justly entitled to. We
haven’t the foresight as a race to discern the things
we are not getting.
We accept the shadow for the substance and
make ourselves contented. What Harlem is suf
fering from is no less a menace than in the thickly
populated Southside of Ch ago in which thousands
of us dwell. The prin ^eets for an area of
forty blocks where we i a filled with stores
which we support but are e d operated by
white men, who do not even >y members of
our race, and a very limited few of them find it
necessary to advertise their wares in our news
Yet, we as a group of people, support their es
tablishments and educate their children in addition
to mainlining for them a residence outside of our
district. If we could think right, if we could dis
cern our own economic advantages, these conditions
could not exist in our communities. Yet it must be
borne in mind that rioting and destruction of prop
erty are not the answer or the remedy to be applied.
We must do some right thinking, backed up by right
acting and this can be accomplished through the
inaguration of a racial program definitely carried
out and embracing those principles which will im
prove our social and economic advantages in the
various communities in which we live.
—From The Chicago Defender.
SENATOR TYDINGS UNINFORMED.
Senator Tydings, of Maryland does not appear
.o quite understand the reasons for such high pro
portions of colored people being on the relief roll.
We don’t know just what atmosphere the senator
lives in. His ignorance of things which the ordi
nary person should know may be due to the fact
that he is a senator far removed from what the
President calls the forgotten man.
For your edification, Senator Tydings, there are
many reasons why the proportion of colored people
should be higher on the relief roll than that of the
whi.es. The first reason, Senator Tydings, will be
found in the dishonesty, greediness and selfishness,
hatred and prejudice of the white man himself.
If this isn’t quite plain to you, Sena.or, it can
be explained to you in this wise—and probably we
had better s.,ar. in your city, the city of Baltimore
first, with our explanation. You have a city of sev
eral thousand, well educated and ups.anding color
ed people; how many of them are holding positions
as a result of your influence?
How many of them in the state have you ap
poin ed to positions? As a matter of fact, Senator,
what has been your contribution as a public official
toward rdeucing this high propor.ion of colored peo
ple on relief roll in your home state? In the city of
Bal imore, Senator, what influence have you exert
ed with the public officials of that city toward se
curing positions in the police and fire depart men.s
for colored men? Our information is, none, and we
get it from a very prominent newspaper published
in your city.
It would appear, senator Tydings, tnat your
coinplaint about the large proportion of colored
people on the relief roll is somewhat in bad taste.
We further learn from this newspaper, Senator,
that in the city of Baltimore “ there is not a colored
policeman, municipal or states clerk, plumber or
carpenter in Baltimore or Maryland. Not a single
fireman or garbage cart driver.”
If these are true facts—and we believe they are
because we have great respect for the editor of the
paper which published them—then you, Senator,
should be the last man to complain about what the
federal government is doing when you and your
state are doing little.
Now, Senator Tydings, you can get the com
plete answer to the rest of your questions, by apply
ing what you are doing for them and multiplying
it by what is being done for them by other states
where the public officials think as you think. That
will be all, Senator.
—From The Chicago Defender.
THE FRUITS OF COOPERATION.
A practical example of the essential work done
by agricultural cooperatives is afforded in the case
of dairy produc.s producers in an eastern state.
During depression, consumption in the largest
market served by these farmers dropped 40 per
cent. At the same time, production kept to a
stable level, making it necessary for the producers
to find new outlets in order to dispose of the sur
A pooling arrangement wms then put into effect.
Outlet for the surplus wrns found by turning a part
of the to.al producion to manufacturing units. Milk
used for manufacture commanded a lower price
than that sold to the consumer in the fluid state—
and that inequality was satisfactorily adjusted with
in the pool by deducting enough from the price re
ceived by those who sold fluid milk to compensate
the members whose milk went to manufacturing.
The plight of the unorganized farmer w'hen de
mand falls, is well known. lie is absolutely power
less—he can do nothing save continue to produce
and take whatever price he is offered for the part
of his crop that is wanted. When that farmer
joins with other farmers and all work together in
allocating produc-ion, stabilizing prices and ex
ploring new markets, the picture changes alto
Cooperation has saved a legion of farmers from
ruin during the past few years. And nowr it is
slowly, but steadily, helping to bring agricultural
THE AMERICAN CHARACTER
“The extent of insurance protection in America
is the best evidence I know that this country is
fundamentally sound. ’ ’ said Henry Swift Ives,
That is an especially apt observation when ap
plied to life insurance, which is the average man’s
first line of defense against hazards of the future.
Last year the public paid premiums to keep in force
life insurance totaling One Hundred Billion. Many
of the premiums paid represented real sacrifice—
men and women went to extreme lengths to main
tain their policies in force, knowing that they might
be their only protection against even greater ad
versity in days to come.
America is the most heavily insured nation in
the world—and that in itself is a testimonial of
the ancient American quality of independence. The
man who buys an insurance policy, and pays for
it with his hard earned money, isn’t the type of
man who willingly becomes a ward of the govern
ment. He wants to provide for his future and that
of his family through his own work, thrife and
foresight. As long as that attitude exists, we will
have little to worry about so far as the American
character is concerned.
IS GOVERNMENT OWNERSHIP THE
Two diverse factors have centered attention on
the question of government ownership of the rail
One is the frank opinion of Federal Coordinator
of Transportation that the government should even
tually take over the lines.
The other lies in the possibili y that the govern
ment may require a large amount of railroad mile
age, if loans made to weak systems by government
are not repaid.
This question, like all others, will even.ually
be solved by the public, and every citizen should
do a good bit of thinking about it. Kn.irely aside
from any problem of priniple, practical considera-j
tions give rise to extreme doub s as to the stand- i
ards of service that would result from government'
During ,he war, government, in the name of
emergency, took over the lines. Service suffered
at once. Great delay took place in the moving of
freight, and thousands of ions of perishable goods
were thug destroyed. The attitude of the govern
ment officials in charge was usually arrogant—the
public was offered bad service on a “Take it or
leave it we don’t care which” basis. It is true
that the war produced unprecedented conditions—
but that is not enough of an alibi to excuse ihe chaos
into which our basic media of transport was plung
ed under federal management. Nor does it excuse
the tremendous deficits which were created—at the
expense of all taxpayers.
American railroad service, under private owner
ship, is the best in the world. Ra.es are low, and
service is unexcelled. The lines have made con
sistent technical progress in advancing safety,
speeding up trains, elimina ing car shortages, and
so on, in. spite of many profitless years. If govern
ment ownership is tried as the “solution” to our
railroad problem, »he entire public will feel the ad
verse effects—and the taxpayers will find out how
expensive political operation of a great industry
Traffic aeciden.s were more numerous and more
severe in 1934 than any previous year.
Eight of the worst driving mistakes responsible
for last year’s tragic record are listed by the Na
iional Bureau of Casualty and Surety Underwriter
1. —Driving too fast for conditions, a cause named
specifically in 22 per cent of all accidents result
ing in fatalities charged to drivers alone, and a
distinct and sometimes controlling factor in ac
cidents attributed to many other causes.
2. —Driving on the wrong side of the road.
3. —Violating right-of-way rules.
4. —Cutting in.
5. —Passing on curve or hill.
6. —Failing to signal or signalling improperly.
7. —Driving off roadway.
8. —Reckless driving.
Pedestrians made fatal errors too. Four of the
1. —Crossing between intersections, a mistake that
accounted for more than 25 per cent of all pedes
2. —Crossing against the signal light at intersec
3. —Playing in the street, an error made chiefly by
children, resulting in 16 per cent of all pedes
4. —Coming from behind parked cars.
Motorists and pedestrians—Avoid these fatal er
rox« in 1935—and you wil be doing your part to re
duce the traffic toll.
POLITICAL ATTACKS—AND THE INVESTOR
“A decline of nearly 40 per cent in the market
value of common stocks of sound public utility op
erating companies has occured since the October,
1932, levels, “said John E. Zimmerman, President
of the United Gas Improvement Company, recently.
“This per centage of decrease, if applied to the five
billion of utillity common stock, represents a loss
to investors of nearly two billion dollars.
“The announcement of the Tennessee Valley
Project, the heavy increase in u ility taxitation, the
publicizing of the TVA yard slick—each resulted
in material decrease in the market value of common
stocks of operating companies. This is all the more
significant in that these decreases were made even
in the face of a steady improvement in the sales of
A survey of utility financial reports indicates
that a large number of important systems are today
selling more power—yet are earning less money, and
are suffering a further decline in the worth of their
securities. On the one hand, we are bleeding the
companies white through taxes and special charges,
and on the other we are subjecting them to bitter
unfair and uneconomic political attaacks. A situtaion
such as this, effecting an industry worth billions
which gives employment to many hundreds of
thousands of workers, constitute a grave threat to
general industral recovery.
OUR STAKE IN MINING
In a recent address, Congressman Murdock of
Utah brought out some interesting facts concerning
“America’s Stake in the Mining Indusry.”
The mineral wealth of the United States is more
varied and abundant than that of any other region.
The mining industry represents an investment of
between twelve and fifteen billion dollars.
It is a surprising fact, as Mr. Murdock pointed
out, “every state in the union is engaged in the
mining industry and its direct influence is felt by
Mining is one of those few basic industries
which are necessary to the progress .stability and
prosperity of the nation.
Happenings That Affee* the
Dinne?' Pane Checks and; Tax
of Eve) Individual.
“The full impact of business
discouragement is being visited
upon members of Congress,”
says ,he United States.’ News.
“The title of protest against re
strictive legislation is .risihgi^’
The public atd rule toward the
ilast Congress was one of sym
pathy and patience. Extraordi
nary legislation was proposed and
passed with a modicum of o^pe- .
sit ion from businesses and indi
viduals. Unprecendeu.ed actions
were accepted by the public with
out argument. There was rela
tively little criticism of Congres
sional moves and almost no criti
cism of the President.
Today the situation is very dif
ferent. Congress is being damn
ed, reviled and denounced,. Aud
criticism is reaching out towards
the White House, which, less than
a year ago, was almost sacrosaut.
Those who oppose restrictive laws
have apparently decided that the
time when silence could do any
good is past; that they have
everything to gain, and nothing
to lose by pressing their side of
the ease with force and forth
An excellent example of this
change is found in the response
to the Public Utility Act of 1935,
usually referred to as the Ray
burn Bill, because it was intro
duced by Representative Ray
burn of Texas. If this bill pass
es, almost every utility holding
company in the nation will be
forced to go out of business be
tween 1937 and 1940—and, in ad
dition, during that interim practi
ca ly every operating utility com
pany will be subjee.ed to the iron
clad control of a federal commis
sion. So sweeping are the bill’s
provisions that an operating com
pany could not engage legal
counsel, purchase supplies or
make an advertising contract
without first obtaining the con
sent of the federal regulatory
The bill’s prospects for pass
ing were extremely poor a short
time ago—n was in committee,
and relatively few Congressmen
showed any enthusiasm for it.
Then the President issued his
famous statement to Congress on
holding companies, threw the full
weigth of his influence behind the
bill. Congressmen'fell in line,
and it seemed inevitable that
the bill would pass in practically
the same form it had been intro
Then the “tide of protest”
rose. Utility companies sent let
ters to their stockholders, urged
them to write to their Congress
men. .They ran advertisemen.s
opposing the bill, and pointing to
what its effect would be. An as
sociation composed of utility in
vestors, large and small—they
number 10,000,000 and have a
stake of 12 billion dollars in the
utility industry, according to
News-Week — brought out its
heaviest artillery. Result: Sen
ate and House pos1:6ffice forces
had to work nights in order to
handle the thousands of letters
to Congressmen opposing’the bill.
Upshot of the flood of corres
pondence was a resolution, intro
duced by Senator Norris, to in
vestigate the source of this “prop
aganda.” That, in view of many
unbiased newspapers, was rather
ridiculous—it is on secret that
utilities and their investors are
opposing the bill in order to pro
1 tcet their property. Congressman
Fish of New York rose in the
House, said that the President’s
message was in itself propaganda
of the most potent kind—asked,
by intimation, why others should
not have the right to present
their side of the issue without
The consequences of all this is
that the bill will not, unless all
present signs are wrong, pass in
its original form. Utility leaders
are the first to admit that certain
individual holding companies
have abused their powers—but
they believe that the way to reme
dy the situation is through regu
lation, not destruction.
Other major pieces of legisla
tion are finding opposition from
many directions. The social se
curity program, for example, is
being bitterly debated—and when
it comes up for Congressional con
sideration there is going to be
warfare. That, in the opinion of
most commentators, is a good
sign—fearless debate and news
paper comment are the safe
guards of democratic government.
Nature is repeating herself.
Last year she brought the great
est drought in history to the great
(Continued on Page 8) ,
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