The Conservative (Nebraska City, Neb.) 1898-1902, January 12, 1899, Page 6, Image 6

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

    T3be Conservative *
Tin : "groins SYSTEM. "
[ Written for TUB COXSKHVATIVK. ]
It occurs to ino that perhaps great injustice -
justice is done to Secretary Algcr by
those who are now so loudly and , withal ,
so justly denouncing the war depart
ment's manner of caring for the soldiers.
What they call "Algorism" is merely
the recognized and so far as the Amer
ican people have as yet pronounced
authorized method of dealing out pub
lic offices to those who can show great
est efliciency in producing political re
sults without regard to means employed.
In the practical application of this
method the executive abdicates his con
stitutional right of appointment and
simply confirms the choice of the sena
tor or representative or boss to whom
courtesy demands that he defer. Under
this system it results naturally that
special fitness .for efficient service be
comes a good reason for exclusion from
office. The standard of appointment is
efficiency in work which necessarily
tends to disqualify for efficient service
after appointment.
Probably , if the facts were laid bare ,
it would be seen that the new appoint
ments , rendered necessary by the sud
den expansion of the war department's
operations , were made under this sys
tem. If this bo true and its probability
is great then we need look no further
for an explanation of the inefficiency ,
incompetency , and seeming indifference
to suffering which have so incensed the
country. It is not necessary to look for
grounds for special censure of the head
of the war department. The carrying
out of the system of appointments
which is general throughout the coun
try , which is upheld by President McKinley -
Kinley himself when ho turns over the
federal patronage to Quay in Pennsyl
vania and to Platt in Now York , is
more than sufficient to account for all
the horrors which have been rehearsed
to us. It is not likely that the ineffic
iency in the war department has been
greater than ordinarily results from a
wholesale selection of new officials
through "practical politicians. " The
difference is that hero they had to do
with the health and the lives of men ,
and while they were learning how to do
their work , ' the men sickened and died.
The mournful lesson which should bo
learned from this public calamity will
bo lost to the American people if they
shall bo permitted to visit condemnation
on a single individual and to lose sight
of the fact that it is the American people
ple themselves who are responsible be
cause of their toleration of the spoils
The cry that the president should dis
miss Secretary Alger seems to mo most
unjiust and misleading. If all the cabi
net officers who have practised ' 'Algor
ism" should resign , how many should
wo have loft ? If resignations for this
reason were to become the order , where
would they stop ? Was not the appoint
ment of Alger himself a part of "Algor
ism ? "
For humanity's sake , the American
people should take to heart this sad
object-lesson of the fruits of the system
of politics , which , by their acquiescence ,
they have endorsed and by their support
they have upheld.
Trenton , N. , T.
The case recently decided by Judge
Amidon in North Dakota follows closely
the lines of the Nebraska Decision made
some time ago. The pith of the decision
is in the declaration that the power of
the state in making rates is limited to
the business done within the boundaries
of the state and , in determining the rea
sonableness of rates , the court cannot
take into consideration the carriers'
whole business , domestic and interstate.
The case has been before the courts for
more than a year.
During the hearing the railroads pre
sented some interesting tables of traffic
for the four years from 1894 to 1897 in
clusive. For this period the Great
Northern road's average ton-miles of
traffic strictly local to the state was
8,848,578 , against 122,47(5,889 ( ton-miles
originating or terminating in the state ,
and 128,09(5,400 ( ton-miles of traffic pass
ing entirely across the state. These
figures show that the local traffic aver
ages less than 2 % per cent of that which
either begins in the state and passes to
points outside of it or begins outside of
the state and passes to points within it ,
and is less than lJper cent of the total
inter-state traffic moved in the state.
The roads were able to show that of
all the traffic carried in North Dakota
during those four years less than 8 per
cent began and ended in the state , so as
to subject it to state regulation ,
while more than 97 per cent was inter
state , and thereby subject to the exclu
sive control of congress. In Minnesota ,
on the other hand , which has its termi
nals within its own limits , the average
of ton-miles of local traffic for the same
period was 40 % per cent of the total
inter-state travel.
After showing that more than four-
fifths of the companies' freight revenue
from domestic business is derived from
less than car-load lots , and that the aver
age haul of such business is between
eighty and ninety miles , while the aver
age harrl of the general business of the
roads is from 850 to 500 miles , the court
goes on to say that it is a self-evident
proposition that these railroads cannot
maintain lower rates for local business in
North Dakota than in Minnesota ; much
less can they maintain for the strictly
domestic commerce of that state , which
moves in light volume for short distances
I and in small shipments , lower rates than
arc charged for inter-state traffic , which
has more than fifty times its volume , is
moved more than four times its distance ,
and is hauled chiefly by car-loads and
The railroads presented figures for the
four years to 1897 , inclusive , showing
the cost of local business and the earn
ings as reduced by the schedule prepared
by the state railroad commission. From
these it appeared that the Great North
ern paid- out in operating expenses ,
$88.19 for every $100 received from local
business , and that on the rates fixed by
the commission the road would only
have received $87 in place of every $100 ,
or $1.19 less than the expense of doing
business. Similarly the Northern Pa
cific would have conducted its local bus
iness at a loss of $18.25 on every $100 of
Ill 1898 the greatest industrial combi
nation ever formed precipitated the
strike at the Pullman Car Works in the
state of Illinois. It evolved a great riot
in Chicago. That riot and an angry
mob of misinformed and mal-directed
citizens which had burned cars , de
stroyed other property , and threatened
with flames and utter annihilation the
greatest mart for farmers' products on
the globe was put down by the patriotic
action of Grover Cleveland , president of
the United States , who , acting in accord
with the construction of the laws of the
United States as interpreted to him by
his able and fearless attorney general ,
Richard Olney of Massachusetts , brought
the regular army into active service to
quell the insurrection and squelch its
promoters and leaders.
President Cleveland for that prompt
and timely discharge of his duty to the
republic was thus complimented :
"Resolved , That the senate endorses
the prompt and vigorous measures
adopted by the president of the United
States and the members of his adminis
tration to repulse and repress by mili
tary force the interference of lawless
men with the due process of the laws of
the United States , and with the com
merce among the states. It is within
the plain constitutional authority of the
congress of the United States 'to regulate
commerce with foreign nations and
among the several states and with the
Indian tribes' , 'to establish postoffices
and post-roads , ' and to ordain and to es
tablish inferior courts ; and the judicial
power extends to all cases in law and
equity arising under the constitution
and laws of the United States. It is the
duty of the president , under the consti
tution , to 'take care that the laws be
faithfully executed , ' and to this end it is
provided that he shall be 'commander-
in-chief of the army and navy of the
United States , and of all the militia of
the several states , when called into the
actual service of the United States. '
"It is treason against the United
States for a citizen to levy war against