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Newspaper Page Text
HALT THIS ROBBERY!
There is no warrant at all for the present hoist in food prices in this
country except criminal greed.
Whatever may he true when merchant ships again plough the seas, the
fact today is that hardly-a barrel of flour, a sack of beans or a can of tinned
meats can get from an American port to a port in Europe.
Undoubtedly the war will advance some prices inevitably, especially if
prolonged. But the present advance very plainly is a speculative advance,
a sheer gambling on the future. In the case of meats, for instance, there
isn't even a pretense of charging it to war causes. The packers blame it
partly on the farmers, most of whom, as everybody can see, are not guilty,
and partly on retailers, but the packers, nevertheless fix the price.
The big trusts are calmly trying to corner the food supply; to coin dis
graceful profits out of mankind's dire needs; and in their covetous haste
they can't wait till the war gives a plausible excuse.
It is robbery, plain and bold robbery edged with murder.
Were the like of it to be done in one of the countries at war, the mili
tary power would step in and hang the speculators as high as Haman.
In millions of American homes this grab of greed brings hunger and
In normal times, when commercial piracy has plotted a raid on Ameri
can consumers, it has got away with it. Politicians have blustered, officials
have finessed and courts have droned, but the robbery of the helpless
The czars of meat and of oil and of sugar and of bread have taken,
each, his extra and unlawful toll till the millions of the rich have been piled
high and ever higher, no matter what the cost in anguish to the masses un
derneath. The people wondered, the people groaned, the people starved, many of
them; but the government "of, by and for the people" did not prevent, did
We are facing today not a normal condition, but an unexampled emer
gency. The tread of armed millions echoes across the ocean. The usual
machinery, the usual restraints of civilization are for the moment breaking
It is not a time to flirt with the awful possibilities of a food crimp in
the United States of hunger not due to any shortage in American crops,
any failures of American industry, but solely due to audacious attempts by
an unscrupulous rich few to extort abnormal tolls on the products of the
toil of others.
Uncle Sam should lose no time in laying down the law.
Every federal district attorney in the country should receive peremptory
instructions to proceed with all possible speed against every- conspirator
against the public welfare, be he packer, wholesaler or retailer, who uses
the war as a pretext to rob the poor.
The time to squelch this threatening danger is NOW.
A MISSOURI BOY
Nurse A stork has brought you a
little baby brother. Would you like
to see him?
Elder Brother Please can I see
the stork instead?.
Those who eat strawberries are
unanimous in the opinion that the
flavor of the little green bug does not
vary much from year to year. To
peka State Capital.