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The Commonwealth. (Everett, Wash.) 1911-1914, March 07, 1913, Image 1

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IMM Iv June 1, 1913
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BERGER'S TERM IN CONGRESS EXPIRED
RFVTFW OF WHAT ONE SOCIALIST CONGRESSMAN HAS ACCOMPLISHED
THE SOCIALIST CONGRESS-[
MAN AT WORK ;
Border's activities for the socialist!
party began from the day he reached (
Washington, April 4, 1911. From that
day on his activity has been unceas-
Ing. He drew up a resolution (which
was introduced April 5) demanding (
the withdrawal of American troops
from the Mexican border. Immediate
ly afterward ho introduced a Joint
resolution for a constitutional amend
ment giving congress the right to
call a constitutional convention and
followed it with a resolution demand
ing an investigation of the kidnaping
of John J. McNamara. On April 27,
1911, he introduced his famous resolu
tion for a constitutional amendment
abolishing the senate, the veto powers
of the president and the Invalidating
powers of the courts. A number of
other socialist measures preceded his
bill providing old age pensions, his
joint resolution for a commission to
report on old age pensions being in
troduced July 31.
The first regular session of the 62nd
congress began December 4, 1911, and
on that day Berger put In a bill re
pealing the anti-trust act and provid
ing for the co-operative ownership and
operation of monopolized industries.
His principal measures during this
session were:
January 16, a resolution for a con
stitutional amendment granting wom
an suffrage; January 16, another old
age pension resolution, directing the
commissioner of labor to investigate
the question; January 31, a bill pro
viding for federal ownership and oper
ation of railroads, telegraphs, tele
phones and express companies; Feb
ruary 1, a resolution to investigate
the strike on the Harriman railroad
lines; February 5, bill giving self-gov
ernment to the District of Columbia;
February 7, the Lawrence strike in
vestigation resolution; April 24, bill
adding wireless to his government
ownership bill of January 31; June 7,
the Hanford impeachment resolution;
July 10, a bill providing for the em
ployment of all unemployed persons
who desired work. This was one of
the most radical and far-reaching bills
ever introduced into congress.
Berger's speeches have been one of
the most important phases of his serv
ice. He has spoken on many subjects
on the floor of the house and has thus
given the country a well-defined idea
of the socialist attitude on most of
the present-day problems. He first
acquainted the members of the house
fc of representatives with some of the
/ ] fundamental principles of socialism
/ in his speech on the wool tariff, de
i ' "Slivered June 14, 1911. At the conclu
\ /sion of this speech members of the
house fired a number of questions at
| Berger, similar in all respects to the
/ questions encountered by the soap
box socialist orator on the street cor-
Sner. His principal speech of his serv
ice was one delivered July 18, 1912,
in which Berger took up the complete
socialist position on the collective
ownership of the resources of the
earth, the tools of industry and the
facilities of transportation and showed
to the capitalist parties that the
working class must have its own party
to give expression to its own class
interests. This was the only purely
socialist speech delivered by Berger,
excepting one a few days later when
he gained permission to print the so
i cialist platform in the congressional
V record; his other speeches, while up
t on socialist doctrines, being directed
I to some specific matter of legislation
before the house.
•I.******* *********
+ *
+ NOTI,CE TO STOCKHOLDERS. +
+ Notice li hereby given to all +
+ stockholders of the Common- *
+ wealth Publishing Co. that the ♦
+ second quarterly meeting of ♦
+ stockholders for the year 1913 ♦
+ will be held at 1612 California +
+ street, Kverett, \yash., Oil the ♦
+ second Wednesday in April, at +
+ 7:30 p. m., April 9, 1913. *
+ (Signed) A. i! havkv, ♦
+ Secy. Board of Trustees. +
Everett, Wash., Feb. 28, 1913. •
♦ ♦
++♦+♦++++♦+++++♦+
A Distribution of Lyceum Literature in Everett Not Later Than March 20th. Call and Get
Yours at 1612 California Street, at Headquarters
«MF THE NUMBER ON YOUR LABEL 18 114 YOUR SUBSCRIPTION EXPIRES THIS WEEK. KINUi,. RENEW AT ONOTB.
i.Ut-iy aeoates rouoweu most ot |
Uerger's speeches and ho is always (
granted very OlO— attention by the (
house, members usually flocking In |
from the cloak rooms when he began
to speak. The capitalist legislators
seemed eager to learn Herder's views [
on national problems, but three or
four clashes In which the wit and (
keen analysis of economic conditions |
by the socialist representative camo (
out victorious, members of the house (
have been very chary about arguing t
political questions with him on the
floor. |
Other speeches delivered by him In
clude an argument for the old age |
pension, one favoring an eight-hour,
day on government contract work, one |
warning "insurgents" that they can
not accomplish results by remaining
In the old parties, one criticising star
vation wages of workers in the Dis
trict of Columbia, his speech on the |
Lawrence outrages, his address fav
oring a citizen soldiery, and his speech
advocating the Hanford impeachment
resolution. ■ |
In addition, Berger's standing as the
representative of a great mass of
voters has given him great influence
in the different departments of the
government. He has taken up and
carried to a successful conclusion a
number of immigration cases in which
exclusion orders had been issued by
the secretary of commerce and labor,
the most prominent being that of
Theodore Malkoff, who had been one
of the crew of the cruiser Potemkin,
which had joined the mutiny. Except
for Berger's interference Malkoff
would have been returned to Russia,
where he would have been executed.
Berger' secured from the postoffice
department an order permitting mail
carriers to wear cool blouses in warm
weather, thereby adding much to the
comfort of this body workers.' ,
This sketch of Berger's record does
not by any means include all of his
work, but has simply touched the high
spots. His record is one to which
every socialist and progressive work
ing man can point with pride. He has
fulfilled all of the promises made by
the socialist party and has demon-
strated that the hope of those who (
toil for their just share of the bene
fits of civilization lies in the political f
party of the working class —the socia
list party.
The Recent Session
Berger's record in congress up to
1 the present session has been thor
oughly analyzed and published. But,
'during his last days in the present (
1 ccngrc-FB, he has completed a record j
I which siai.ds unequaled in its benefit.
to workers. Although during much
'of the present session he was tied,
'down to the investigation of fire in*]
SuranCfl companies in the District of |
' Columbia —largely a local question—,
nevertheless, he found time to keep |
!up his work as representative-at
-1 large for the socialist party of Am
erica.
! On December 16 he introduced a
resolution for the government to take (
over and operate the New York, New |
Haven & Hartford railroad on the
ground that it constitutes a complete
transportation monopoly in New Eng
land. Berger took advantage of the |
general dissatisfaction against the
New Haven which was rife at the
time, and thus gave to this socialist
measure a very wide publicity.
On January 27 he introduced.a reso
lution asking for an investigation by
a special committee of the New York
Garment Worker's strike. In this
resolution, Berger argued that the
strike is one warranting federal in
terference on the ground that gar
ments produced in sweatshops and
carried in interstate commence men
ace .in- health of the entire country.
He forced the rules committee, to
which this resolution was referred, to
put Itself on record as refusing to
consider this working class measure
and also showed up the so-called
union labor representatives, not one
of whom offered any support to the
resolution, and thus showed the
country that the working class can
place no dependence on old part]
representatives whether they claim
allegiance to the working class or not.
Ci)e Commoutoeaitf)
On February 13 ■ resolution was
submitted by Berger demanding an
investigation of the postofflco censor
ship, which Is being used arbitrarily
b) minor officials to limit and harass
■ free press. Tho particular instances
which brought forth this resolution
were the Indictment of the editors of
the Appeal to Reason for that pa
per's expose of conditions in Leaven
worth prison, and a very recent caso
in which the postofflce suppressed
an article in the New York Call deal
ing with sex hygiene.
The firemen's strike resolution, au
thorizing the confiscation of the
fifty-four eastern railroads and their
operation by the postoffice until a
department of railroads could be
created, submitted on February 15,
was the culmination of Berger's legis
lative record. It is undoubtedly true
that this resolution had much to do
with the decision of the railroad of
ficials a day or so later to accept
arbitration under the Erdman act, the
point on which the strike was threat
ened. While the resolution had no
concrete value until a strike was call
theless its moral effect was tremend
ous, and it unquestionably would
have been seized upon by millions as
the solution for the economic dis
tress which would have been pro
duced by any prolonged tie-up of the
railroads. The railroad owners rea
lized this, and so did capitalist editors
generally, and the following editorial
from the reactionary "Springfield
(Mass.) Republican" was a typical
expression of this feeling:
"Congressman Berger, the socialist,
is taking advantage of what is prob
ably his last opportunity as a repre
sentative, in introducing his resolu
tion regarding the threatened rail
road strike. No one just now will
regard it seriously, but within two
■weeks after a genuine tie-up of the
fifty-four railroads east of Chicago by
the firemen, the Berger resolution
might seem to millions of people to
embody the vital necessity of the
hour. Seizure of the roads by the
president of the United States, with
directions from congress to operate
them, would be drastic, but, on the
other hand, any prolonged tie-up
■would bring many cities face to face
to starvation. Under the conditions
of distress and general business dis
location that would prevail, the peo
ple would stop at nothing to relieve
the intolerable situation. The rail
road companies and the firemen have
this to think of, while disputing over
the forms of arbitration."
His service on the sub-committee
which investigated the fire insurance
companies in the District of Columbia
did not give Berger much, opportun
ity to be of national service, except
as it enabled him to bring out some
samples of typical capitalistic finance
by which millions of people are rob
bed of huge sums of money. But In
the course of this investigation Jus
tice Ashley M. Gould, of the district
supreme court, a director in one of
the companies under investigation,
was called to the stand and this gave
Berger an opportunity to tell this
typical federal judge what the work
ing class thinks of jurists who ally
themselves with business. Berger's
examination horrified the other mem
bers of the committee —all of them
lawyers and brought beads of per
spiration to Gould's brow, especially
when Berger cited the cases of Han
ford and Arohbald to show what is
beginning to happen to Judges who
allow their business instincts to run
away with them.
Berger also this winter was suc
cessful in acting on the appeal of let
tlers adjoining forest reservations
against the great lumber companies
operating In these districts and pay
ing the homesteaders starvation prices
for their timber, Going directly to
Chief Forester Graves, Berger sug
gested a plan whereby the govern
ment in auctioning off its excess tim
ber to the lumber companies might
Include in the parcels the timber of
the settlers, thus acting as sales agent
for the homesteaders In securing bet
ter prices for them. While this mat*
ter is still pending the solution is
regarded favorably by the forest
FOR SOCIALIST NEWS AND PROPAGANDA
F.VKKKTT, WAKHINOTON. FRIDAY, MARCH 7. HI:
i service, and inaiosHM wnai can ue
(lone by n rapi'WlllMlTt wbOM point
of view MM the interests of tho Indi
vidual rather than the patty regula-
Honk acting as a protection to tho
plundering activities of big businesß
interests.
Railroads Warned
With a ringing warning to the capi
talist owners of tlie sMtara railroads
not to permit the flreinnn'H Htrlke to
OOntlniM longer than a week. Repre
sentative Victor \i. Berger introduced
in the houßo n resolution calling up
on the government to Kel/.e the rail
road properties on the ground of great
public emergency, if the owners should
fall to heed the warning.
The resolution created a profound
Mnmtion in congress. As an example
of broad statesmanship, It Is one of
the most notable documents ever pro
duced in Washington. The resolu
tion completely outlined the plan of
procedure for the president to follow
in confiscating the railroad proper
ties, provided for a physical valua
tion, a bond issue to finance the trans
action, a basis for a wage scale for
future government railway employes,
and the creation of a department of
railways.
In the emergency the railroads are
placed by the resolution In the con
trol of the post office department.
It was the hardest blow the socia
list congressman has struck for the
working class during his two years'
service in the house.
Text of Resolution
The following is the text of the reso
lution:
Whereas, the firemen on fifty-four
railroads —comprising 50,000 miles of j
track, employing about 40,000 firemen!
and having on their pay rolls more
than 600,000 persons in all capacities,
and serving approximately the daily
needs of 50,000,000 people—have de
clared their decision to go on strike
on Monday, February 17, 1913, and tie
up the operation of these properties;
and
Whereas, this is merely one new
demonstration of the failure of pri
vate ownership and private manage
ment of the railroads, which private
ownership has over and over again
proved its utter inefficiency and is
now en the point of total collapse;
and
Whereas, our railroads are now the
poorest equipped and most unsafe of
any civilized country—they killed 10,
--185 and injured 77,175 through acci
dents during the fiscal year ending
June 30, 1932 —these casualties being
about ten times as many in propor
tion to the number of people traveling
than the casualties of England, Ger
many or France; and
Whereas, these conditions ate bound
to bt'COint' worse because according to
the best railroad authorities it will
' require about nine Wilton dollars to
make the various railroad systems of
our country comparatively safe, and
so much private capital is not to be
had for that purpose; and
Whereas, government regulation
and supervision as based upon the In
terstate commerce law have not prov
ed to be satisfactory or efficient in
dealing with the railroads because
railroad! being ;i public utility are
necessarily, monopolistic by nature,
and thus we have only to chOOSC I"
tween private monopoly where the In
terests "i the public are subservient
In profit and dividends, or a public
monopoly where the interests of the
public are paramount. Therefore be U
olved, by the senate and house
ntatlves or the United States
thai In case "t a strike ami a tie-up
of the rallwaj systemi than
a week, tin president of the United
siaii-.- is hereby empowered to
tlie railway systems, with all their ter
minals, belt lints, lands, coal P
workshops and oth on the
ground "i great public
bj the tight of emineo . and
t.. manage and
thru ,
■ of railways; and be 14 fur
of
a work-day of eight (8) hours and to
pay a fair rate of wages, such as
agreeable to the working people em
ployed therein and based upon the
highest rate of wages prevailing at
the time of acquirement In the.parti
cular branch of employment In the
Industry of which such property Is a
party; and be it further
Hesolvod, that the secretary of
commerce and labor be and he Is
hereby directed to furnish to the con
gross of the United States an estimate
of the actual physical valuation of
these railroads, their connections and
all of their property, said estimate to
furnish the basis for the compensa
tion to the owners of these railroads
by the United States; and be it
further
Resolved, that the secretary of the
treasury be and he Is hereby Instruct
ed to prepare and submit, to the con
gress of the United State* a compre
hensive plan for financing this entire
transaction by the process of Issuing
bonds of the United States at the low
est practicable rate of interest in pay
ment of the purchase price of these
properties.
Speech by Berger.
Representative Berger also made
the following statement:
" "This strike would prove a mighty
serious matter. If it should tie up
these fifty-four railroad systems, even
if only for one month, cities like Pitts
burg and Indianapolis would be in
danger of starving. And cities like
New York, Chicago, Philadelphia,
Cleveland and Milwaukee that could
get food by boat would also be seri
ously menaced to mention the
tremendous effect the strike would
have upon business of all kinds every
where.
"Moreover, it is pretty generally
understood now that railroads should
be operated for the public interest
alone, because in their economic and
legal relation railroads are public
highways.
"As long as the railroads remain
under private ownership, however,
they will be managed for private pro
fit and for dividends.
"This is shown not only by rate dis
crimination and high charges for pas
senger traffic, but even more so by
Stingy equipment, poor service and
the absolute disregard for human life.
Safety costs money. The number of
accidents on our railroads Is one of
the most tragic chapters of capitalism
—our railroads kill and maim more
people every year than a war with a
good-slied power would cost us.
} "I shall say nothing about the rail
! roads as a source of corruption in po
! litics, Nothing about their reckless
waste of national resources. Nothing
about the building of parallel lines—
'about running parallel trains at the
'same tlni6"«.hout the unnecessary
and costly competition.
"However, it is pretty generally con
ceded that so-called government con
-1 trol is ineffective —and that only na
tional ownership and government
management Will serve the interest of
the public.
| "National ownership will undoubted
ly result in better service and greater
safety. Moreover, Uncle Sam with all
his faults is yet the best employer.
National ownership, therefore, will do
away with labor troubles, especially
it we safeguard the rights of the em
ployes by law, as my bill does. ,
"Government ownership is a success
everywhere. No country that has
ever tried it wants to go back to pri
vate ownership. Switzerland has ac
quired its railroad system because of
a I Ike in 1897 and since then they
have had no troubles with the rail
i."
The Garment Worker*
Although the democratic party made
a successful campaign last fall large
iv on the pretense of being the friend
'of the working class, the rules com
mittee of the house, dominated by the
'democratic leaders of congress, has
! stifled Representative Victor T. Ilerg
'er's resolution calling upon congress
to investigate the garment workers
strike in New York.
The resolution was referred to the
committee on rules, of which Repre
sentative Robert L. Henry, of Texas,
is chairman. Henry is a stauncn
friend of the working class —just be
fore election. It was he who took
favorable action on Berger's resolution
calling for an Investigation of the
Lawrence, Mass., strike —Just as the
democratic party was preparing to en
ter a presidential campaign. But Mr.
i Henry, after election, takes a differ
ent view of this New York struggle
in which thousands of women are
struggling against intolerable econo
mic conditions. The resolution has
been pigeon-holed, and Henry refuses
to call a meeting of his committee to
consider it.
"The workers themselves are re
sponsible for this defeat," said Berger,
"because they have sent to congress
only one representative of the party
of the working class. If we had fifty
socialists In congress, or even ten so
' cialists, even though we would be a
minority, we could force this resolu
tion through. But one man alone can
do nothing but protest."
Postoffice Censorship
As a result of the indictment of the
editors of the Appeal to Reason for
violation of the arbitrary postoffice
censorship, and within the past few
days, the suppression by the postof
| fice department of a series of articles
on sex hygiene which was being pub
lished In the New York Call, Repre
sentative Berger has introduced In
1 the house a resolution calling upon
congress to Investigate the postoffice
1 censorship of publications. The reso
lution provides for a special commit
tee composed of members re-elected
to the next congress and permits this
committee to conduct its investiga
tion after the adjournment on
March 4.
In Berger's opinion there is no ex
cuse for this latest action of the post
office censor. The articles were writ
ten by Margaret OSkngwr, a trained
nurse, and dealt with the question of
sex hygiene in a dignified and sclen
j tific manner.
"If we permit any petty officials to
decide what is obscene and what is
not, or what is dangerous and what is
not, then we might just as well go
back to the middle ages and let the
priest act as censor," said Berger.
"More than any constitution in the
world, and more than all the juries
on earth is a free and untrammeled
press the bulwark of liberty, and we
must guard it as such."
BERGER'S MOVEMENTS
V. L. Berger will stay at his desk
lat Washington, D. C, until the last
minute of his term, which will be the
minute before 12 o'clock noon of
March 4. Ou March 5 he will leave
for Milwaukee and for the next two
years will divide his time between his
duties as editor of the Milwaukee
Loader and traveling to the far ends
'of the country lecturing and urging
'. the working class to return a strong
delegation of socialists to OOB|NU
in 1914.
KOBKRT F. WILSON,
Washington, D. C.
WOMEN'S DAY
Comrade Ida Kopsala, Aberdeen, re
ports ;i good meetiat there; Comrade
Korv.la from Astoria, giving the
chief address. Many other number*
jon the program interested the
I ence.
A women's speaking and argu
club was OTI
Thursday evening.
'h Jones
thai the ladlM ol tin- Centervl
cal oelebrated the >!u\ at Che -school
hous' 9t Wciiii 1
ended with a lunch
Notice —Change of Address
The Commonwealth office has been moved to
L 612 California Street, Everett, Wash., the
headquarters of the Everett Socialist Party.
An Efficient and Powerful Sociiliat
Press Must Be Developed for Stirring
Campaign of 1916
SCHOOL
ELECTIONS
Bangor, Wash.. March "Met the
enemy and we're hisn*" 38 to our
119. About 10 of our people never
showed up, away chasing jobs, etc.,
but the enemy searched the woods
with fine comb and had the record
I vote of the precinct. 2 more than
general election.
E. E. MARTIN.
Mansfield, Wash.,—Roy I. Freder
: ick, (who was socialist candidate for
i representative from Douglas county),
| was elected to the Mansfield school
I board by a good majority.
I Yours for socialism,
DORA E. FREDERICK.
Goldbar, Wash.
The socialist elected the only school
director that was to be elected this
I year, Comrade Gustus Fleeder, a loy
ial red. The vote was 17 to 22 in favor
lof the socialist.
I
i
I The Commonwealth,
Everett, Wash.,
In compliance with your request as
to the school election of S. D. No. 65,
j will say that I was elected as director
yesterday. Got 10 out of 11 votes.
As there is a comrade in already, it
gives us full control.
CHAS. ROTH, Sec,
Lake wood Local.
Leavenworth, Wash., —We elected
Comrade Woldenburg member of the
school board here yesterday.
It was the most interesting election
| ever pulled off in this "neck of the
i woods."
1 We sure had them going some, and
I only elected our comrade by a small
I majority.
Three hundred and three votes
were cast, 160 for Woldenburg and
i 143 for the opponent. 47 votes were
the most that was ever cast at a
school election here before, and from
that down to 9.
i One of the members has declared
i that she would not sit on the board
with Woldenburg. If she resigns, we
i will put in another comrade. .;>)
JEAN HARK INS.
Mt. Vernon.
The socialists of Mt. Vernon tried
for the fourth time to elect a member
on the school board, on March 1.
! J. G. Auburg was our candidate.
j The forces of reaction ran Ira Patter-
I son, the most unfit person for the
position that could be found. He firm
ly believes in promptly suppressing all
political discussion, and thinks that
the Roman catechism would prepare
'any one for the position of teacher.
i The vote was:
. Auburg 54, Patterson 91. We ad-
Opted a. platform of which 500 copies
j were distributed, besides some Com
| monwealth* arid a small leaflet sent
! from the State 1 office.
I Our campaign cost $2.50. i served
as judge of election, which pays $3.
This will be donated to the local fund,
t as all such money should.
We are fifty cents to the good. This
| same principle in the party in all . bo
tions would go a long way to pay
'campaign expenses.
W. E. ELBE.
Arlington, Wash.
The school election of Arlington
district Is past. For the first time In
recent years a big Interest in school
matters was shown here. The other
side for various reasons developed an
unusual activity. All the tricks and
lies, of a big campaign were made use
I (Continued on Pago Two)
No. 11 L.

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