Newspaper Page Text
; VOLUME 6,' NUMBER 2G
"Pr t V '"" ' V
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THE WORK OF THE FIFTY-NINTH CONGRESS
The Washington correspondont for tho Now
York Trlbuno presents tho following summary
of tho things accomplished by the Fifty-ninth,
-. "Railway rates to ho fixed by enlarged inter
state commerce commission; rebates and other
"Panama canal to have 85-foot level, with
Jocks; Panama canal bonds to enjoy same privi
leges as all other United States bonds; Panama
canal supplies, to bo domestic products.
"Pure food: Label must tell the truth; espe
cially on popular remedies.
"Meat inspection, 'from hoof to can at gov
"Free alcohol, denatured, for use in the arts.
Oklahoma (including Indian Territory) ad
mitted to the union, and Arizona (with New
Mexico) if they agree to union.
"Consular service reorganized on merit basis.
. "Quarantine against yellow fever nation
alized. "Alaska allowed a delegate in tho house.
Alaska liquor revenue devoted to schools and road
building. Prohibition of aliens fishing in Alaskan
"Naturalization safeguarded and made more
"Steamboat inspection made more rigid, due
to General Slocum loss. Motor boats operated
for profit required to have 'federal licenses.
"The Philippines: Application of coastwise
law postponed until April 11, 1909. Minor tariff
modifications made, and ratio of gold and silver
in insular coinage changed. Batan coal mines to
belong to government. Tariff duties collected be
fore 1902 legalized. Naval vessel for Philippine
"Gold bullion reserve in excess of $50,000,000
to be coined. National bank liabilities , limited
r to 30 per cent of capital.
:.l 'Employers' liability statute: Negligent com
-men carriers within "United States jurisdiction
liable for damages to employes.
' "Federal donations to state agricultural ex
periment stations Increased, so that within ten
years they shall each receive $30,000annually.
"President's traveling, expenses defrayed to
the extent of $25,000 annually.
. "American representative at Constantinople
made ambassador, and $150,000 appropriated to
purchase legation property.
"Niagara Falls to be preserved.
'Production of pure domestic sweet wines
encouraged by reduced taxation.
'Immunity ' of witnesses in criminal cases
limited (anti-Umhiunity bath').
"United States district judge and court offi
cers for China, and additional judge for New
York, southern district provided.
"Destruction of antiquities on United States ,,
lands forbidden and the president authorized to
acquire lands which have historic value, Mari
posa big tree grove accepted from California.
National park established in Oklahoma and
named Orville Hitchcock Piatt. Battle mountain
sanatorium reserve in South Dakota established
for disabled soldiers.
"Trademark law amended.
"Militia efficiency to be promoted by aid of
"Final disposition of affairs of the five civ
ilized tribes of Indians.
"Secretary of interior authorized to estab
lish town sites of not more than 160 acres each
in irrigated areas.
"Unlawful wearing of insignia of G. A. R.
and other soldier organizations forbidden.
"Secretary of the navy given greater dis
cretion in suppressing hazing at Annapolis.
"Falsely marked articles of gold or silver, or
their alloys, not to be imported, exported or
"Sponge growing in American waters pro
tected. "San Francisco sufferers aided; $2,500,000
"Extending period for continuous shipment of
cattle to thirty-six hours.
To destroy derelicts, $250,000 steam- vessel
"Numerous lighthouses and beacons autho
rized. "Census office directed to collect and publish
vital, social and other statistics.
"For District of Columbia:' A juvenile court,
;compulsory education, sale of poisons restricted.
"" "Grave of Andrew Jackson, with fifteen
acres of land, made a national cemetery. Mark
ing graves of confederate soldiers ordered.
"Jamestown exposition, 1907, given aid.
"Monuments authorized: King's Mountain
battleground South Carolina, $30,000; landing
of the Pilgrims, at Provincetown, Mass., $40,000;
Princeton battleground, New Jersey, $30,000;
John Paul Jones, in Washington, $50,000; Com--modore
John Barry, in Washington, $50,000; H.
W Longfellow, in Washington, $4,000 for pe
"Incorporations: Cafnegie foundation for
the advancement of learning; Archaelogical in
stitute of America, and Ohio and Lake Erie Ca
"Thanks of congress extended to General
Horace Porter lor recovering the body of John
"Restrictions on cabinet officers to prevent
deficiencies of appropriation.
"Sixty-nine laws enacted authorizing bridges
or dams across navigable rivers.
"Forty-three acts for the government of tho
District of Columbia.
"Three hundred and twenty public acts alto
gether. "Three thousand six hundred and ninety Civil
war pension acts; 696 private pension acts.
"Bills, introduced: House, 20,475," senate
"Number of pages of Congressional Record,
over 10,000 a new record."
The bill providing federal Insurance regula
tion and the bill making the representatives term
four years were killed.
Measures not acted on were as follows:
"Santo Domingo treaty; Isle of Pines treaty; Mo
rocco treaty to be voted December 12; immigra
tion restriction (in conference); Senator Smoot's
right to seat; publicity of campaign affairs; pro
hibiting corporation campaign contributions; ship
subsidy; to make Porto Ricans United States
citizens; reduction of tariff on products of Phil
ippines; United States to own its embassies and
legations abroad; to build government powder
factory; Appalachian and White Mountain forest
reserves; copyright revision; modification of Chi
nese exclusion law; prescribing punishments on
high seas; codification of revised statutes;- navy
to have biggest battleship afloat; removal of cus
toms duty on works of art; swamp reclamation
similar to irrigation statute; cable to Guantanamo
and canal zone; anti-Inunction bill; m eight-hour
law; nominations of Isthmian canal commission
ers; army and navy dental surgeon corps; in
crease in artillery corps; to punish improper use
of the stars and stripes; retireineht of superan
nuated federal clerks; to establish postal savings
banks and parcels post; limiting working hours;
of railway employes."
"The president vetoed eight acts of congress:'
Four changing jurisdiction of courts, two Indian
bills, one pension bill on account of beneficiary's
death, and the bill allowing carriage of dangerous
explosives on passenger vessels."
What "Influence" Did in the Republican Congress
President Roosevelt appears to be well
pleased with the work of congress. He gave to
, the Associated Press the following statement:
"In the session that has just closed, the congress
lias done more substantial work for good than
any congress has done at any session since I
became familiar -with public affairs. Tho legisla
tion has been along the lines of real constructve
statesmanship of tho most .practical and efficient
type, and bill after bill has been enacted into
law hich was of importance so great that
it Is fair to say that the enactment of any one
of them- alone would have made the session mem
orable; such, for instance, as the railroad bill,
the pure food bill, tho bill for free alcohol, the
consular reform bill, Panama canal legislation,
the joint statehood bill and tho naturalization
I , certoinly have no disposition to blink at
what there is of ovil in our social, industrial
or political life of today, but it seems to me that
the men of genuine patriotism who 'genuinely
wish well to their country have a right to feel
profound satisfaction in the course of this con
gress. I would not be afraid to compare its
record with that of any previous congress in our
h story, not alone for tho wisdom, but for the
disinterested high-mindedness which has con
trolled its action. It is noteworthy that not a
single measure which the closest scrutiny could
warrant us in calling of doubtful propriety has
ofvf' Vh other ndTnoinSueSco
of any kind has availed to prevent the enactment
at this time. necessary to the nation
The New York Press, a republican paner
docs not a'gree with tho president In the tribute
ho pays io congress. The Press says that "nearly
everything congress has done was the result of
the pressure brought upon it by the executive."
The Press adds:
"Some will not be willing to go so far in
commendation of the congress record as the large
hearted executive has gone. We can agree with
him that, so far as is known up to date, not a
single measure which the closest scrutiny would
warrant us In calling of doubtful propriety has
been enacted.' There have been too many watch
men on guard, both in congress and the White
House and elsewhere, and public vigilance was
never so wide awake. Rascality has contented
itself, for the most part, with trying to weaken
as far as could be the measures meant to im
prove the public welfare. It is what has been
done along this latter line that prevents us from
agreeing with Mr. Roosevelt in his opinion (for
it can not be a statement of fact) that 'no influence
of any kind has availed to prevent the enactment
of the laws most vitally necessary to the nation
at this time.' i
"The country happens to have knowledge of
facts against which Mr. Roosevelt's opinion can
not stand. Influence did avail to insert the Alli
son amendment in the Hepburn act, which the
president has now signed Standard Oil and rail
road influence, which overthrew Mr. Roosevelt's
original plan for limited court review of tho acts
of the Interstate Commerce commission. Influence
did prevent congress from providing for a valua
tion of the railroads, so as to determine what are
reasonable rates for transportation. Influence
did avail to prevent railroads from changing class
ification, to end long and short haul discrimina
tionst and to compel, the companies to adopt
mechanical devices which would save thousands
of lives sacrificed every year to railroad short
sightedness and cupidity. Influence did avail to
prevent abolition of the vicious pass system, and
in short it availed to continue nearly all the
abuses and extortions practiced by the syndicated
"Also there was beef trust influence in the
Shaping of the meat inspection bill, and it did
avail to the extent desired by the beef trust and
its representatives, Wadsworth and Lorimer. In
fluence undoubtedly .availed the shortweight food
manufacturers, who had their way in the Sherman
amendment to the pure food bill. Thus, while
there was no mileage grab at this session, and
the worst positive performance of congress was
the public buildings graft, it is not necessary to
give congress a general indorsement because it
has done only some things public opinion and
presidential pressure have compelled it to do.
In by far, the most important matter of the ses
sion of twenty sessions the rate bill, congress
has fallen far short of the public wishes, though
it has gone further than was hoped.
"Mr. Roosevelt, we think, does not overstate
the case when he says congress has done more
for the public good than in many years. But to
say this is not to say that congress has come any
where near doing what the people wanted done
and what congress, in doing its duty, would
have done. It must be remembered that for years
congress has done nothing whatever to stop rail
road extortion, and for nearly a decade has en
couraged the corrupt alliance between railroads
and trusts for the robbery of the people. From
doing nothing, or helping th6 enemies of the peo
ple, to doing anything whatever for the people,
(Continued on Page Five)
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