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Principles vs. Personalities: The Committee of 48 By BURT P. GARNETT THE Committee of Forty-Eight, "composed of men and women of the Forty-Eight States" (the quotation is taken from the stationery of the or ganization), proposes to launch a new, liberal political ia convention has been called to be held in Chicago lone time early in July. The Committee of Forty-Eight is not actually a third party itself. But its leaders seem to be quite definitely decided that a new party will be the result of the convention they have called. The delegates to the convention will be given the opportunity to de termine whether they believe it wise and timely to ar range a ticket and to fight for honors in the presi dential election. If a new party is formed it probably will be a coalition of several groups, including the new Labor party, the Nonpartisan League, various organizations of Single Tax enthusiasts and other liberals. Briefly, the history of the Committee of Forty-Eight is this : In March, 1919, a number of active liberals, many of whom were prominent in the affairs of the late lamented Bull Moose or Progressive party, gathered in New York to discuss what seemed to them a politically, industrially, socially distressing state of af fairs. They did not at once propose a remedy. As the gathering represented each of the states, the name Committee of Forty-Eight was chosen for their immediate purposes. Their first act was to sound the liberal sentiment in the country. And at this conference a questionnaire was prepared and sent to voters of known or supposed liberal views. The questionnaire asked for the stand of these voters on a large number of issues. The re turns of the questionnaire indicated such a strong lib eral sentiment that the committee sent out a call for a conference to be held in St. Louis, December 9th to I2th, 1919. The first open, widespread publicity given to the movement was the result of a clash between a certain element in the American Legion and the delegates. Word-of-mouth comment on the St. Louis conference gave it a color that was decidedly red. Some zealous and rather hasty members of the Legion, apparently without taking time to investigate, declared the conference to be "Bolshevik" and a delega tion of the young patriots went to the management of the Hotel Statler in St. Louis and demanded that the hotel prove its Americanism by refusing the Forty Eighters permission to hold their meetings. There was an immediate and excited response, in which the group of Legionnaires was "called off," and made to apologize. The St. Louis newspapers came forward with rebukes of the ex-soldiers for their hasty action and stoutly decried the tendency upon the part of some Americans to be intolerant of and to inter fere with the expression of the views, and the forceful suppression of the rights, of other Americans. This incident served to change the complexion of the gathering in the public mind and aroused a new enthusiasm among the delegates. They held their con vention rather triumphantly. They forgave the hasty Legionnaires and even took many of them into the fold. They hotly denied that they were radical. Their argument was that by advancing really liberal issues lh( y were reviv ing the real American spirit and sending the real radicals to rout. "It is stub born conserva tism and reaction that make rad ical," they de clared, a senti ment which is axiomatic among Socialists. Consequently, they went vigor ously about he business of set ting forth their aims and building a platform. The following state ment was adopted ad addressed to the American people : "The purpose OI this Confer ence is to formu- t and present to the American people a program of Political action that is honest, workable and fundamental. ;,uch a program must be economic in its nature, since tne iUs from which the country suffers are largely economic. Reforms in the political machinery itself J8 m!et thc need. The failure of the government to reduce the high Qosi J living, the fact that great numbers of Ameri can citizens live in want or fear of want, in spite of jne country's immense wealth, the growing control of as,c sources and industries by trusts which dis card alike the rights of their employes and of the public. thee together constitute a denial of the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness which is the heritage of all American citizens. Hence, there is profound unrest, and the conviction in the minds of earnest citizens that there can be no relief except through real constructive measures. ' There is a growing realization, also, that such re lief cannot be hoped for through the two old political parties. It has long been a fact, and is now beginning to be recognized, that there is no real difference be tween these two parties; that both are controlled bv the same economic forces; that these economic forces thus constitute an invisible government, not repre sentative of the people, and that our present two-party system leaves the country with no adequate political opposition. The country, in fact, is governed by a political monopoly. "In this situation, it is fair to say that we have reached a deadlock of democracy. We seek, therefore, to open up new channels through which the funda mental demands of the popular will may find expres sion in political action, so that the economic contest may not pass into another and more serious phase. "With a view to such political action, we submit a program in the interest of all, irrespective of class, race, sex, or creed, in the hope that it may serve as a means by which the various groups of citizens who have al ready united in different parts of the country for in dependent political action, and others who feel as we do, may come together next year, in a new and great successful party." J. A. H. Hopkins, chairman of the National Ex ecutive Committee, who was National Secretary of the Progressive party, shows in his speeches a profound and earnest belief in the existence of an invisible monopoly that controls the actions of both the Re publican and Democratic parties. The committee's speakers all place a sinister emphasis on the necessity for overthrowing this invisible rule which they say exists and has its being in Wall Street. And those who have joined up with the committee also seem to have this belief. The manner in which a number of the liberals who help make up the rank and file of the committee's membership pledged their support of the platform may be described as being a little breathless. For a regular, everyday, native-born, baseball-fan American to come right out and support a program that calls for "public ownership of transportation, in cluding stockyards, large abbatoirs, grain elevators, terminal warehouses, pipe lines and tanks" is rather an unusual proceeding. And he does so wondering if the skies will fall as a result. The whole business is new and strange to him. If you say to one who has not heard nor thought much about the Committee of Forty-Eight, "Come on and help us build a new political party," his first ques tion, almost invariably, is, "Who's your candidate for President?" The answer is, "That is just the point. The Com mittee of Forty-Eight is not dealing with personalities. It is concerned with things issues." The epitome of the whole affair might very well be expressed in the phrase "Principles vs. Personalities." President Wilson is stubbornly for the League of Nations. Senator National Executive Committee of the Committee of 48 J. A. H. HOPKINS, Chairman Howard R Williams. Vice Chairman J. W. McConaughy. Vice Chairman James G. Blauvelt Frank Bohn Anna I.. Burnham Dorr H. Carroll Lincoln Colcord McAlister Coleman Otto Cullman Albert De Silver Wm. Payne Everts Eva A. Frank C. J. France Marie T. Garland Elizabeth dilman Percy S. Grant Lynn Haines Allen McCurdy. Secretary Melinda Alexander. Assistant Secretary Swinburne Hale Arthur G. I lay Ma M. Hchbard Charles F. Hoffman lohn Haynes Holmes Charles H. InKcrsoll Marty n Johnson Wm. T. Johnson Mercer C. Johnston Horace M Kallen Julius Kesnnhl Adele Lewisohn Dudley Field Malone I. H. McGill Frank. A. Pat ti son William F. Cochran. Treasurer Oswald W. Knauth, Assistant Treasurer James M. Pierce Amos Pinchot GeorRe L. Record Wm. M. Reedy Gilbert E. Roc A. W . Ricker Frank Stephens George P. West Willis Mason West Sam. P. Wetherill. Jr. Charles D. Williams Ina P. Williams Laura C. Williams Harry H. Willock Arthur G. Wray Johnson is equal ly s t ti b b o r n 1 y against it. Gen eral Wood is for military training. Governor Low den is for a "business admin istration." Her bert Hoover is "sanely liberal and progressive." Then, 0 I course, there is the "mantle of Roosevelt." Sen ator Johnson is "for the poor man" and against spending large sums of money in the campaign. These facts all deal with per sonalities, say the Forty-Kighters. "None of the candidates of either of the two old parties has come out, flatfootcdly, with a con cise, progressive, workable platlorm, jney say. Ine Committee of Forty-Eight has. Here KLook it Wtt Tf von annrovc of the platform, you 11 find plenty of .ki mti tn nut it into effect. "Besides, Congress is just as important as the Presi dent perhaps more important. Recent events at Wash ington would indicate the latter. Tf you elect a Presi dent because yor think he is a 'good man, you still have the evil of an 'Old Guard' Congress. "Deal with issues and make your candidates men who understand and are thoroughly in sympathy with I MM ml m i iSk' lSM t mm Immm,' lRp - mm mSSB PROF. CHARLES ZLEBLIN A member of the executive committee. Committee of 48. He is former professor of Sociology, University of Chicago, and it en gaged in lecturing on citizenship and Americanization for aliens. those iues, and you will make some progress much greater progress than if you pin your hopes on the vagu possibilities of what some one man, prominent in the affairs of the nation, may be able to persuade an Old Guard Congress to do in the matter of constructive, progressive legislation and administration." Upon this basis, the Committee of Forty-Eight has slowly but consistently drawn a large number of men and women into its ranks. Many are convinced that a new party is entirely necessary. Some do not be lieve that a new party can succeed this year, but they hope for success later on. The old parties are worried not a little by this movement, because they have no accurate means of measuring its strength. Republican leaders certainly are disturbed at the spectacle of a movement in be half of a program such as the Forty-Eight platform, that has sufficient strength to cause a respectable num ber of individuals in each state to dig down in their pockets and pay sums of money monthly for the ex pense of the publicity campaign and the organization work necessary to the success of such a movement. Workers tor the Committee of Forty-Eight say that the G. O. P. leaders are very much upset by this in sistence on the part of voters, particularly women voters, on the discussion of issues. Heretofore, for many years, they have never had to worry about any thing except the popularity of the candidate. The Forty-Eightcrs cite, as an instance of this frame of mind, such opposition as is being encountered in the state of Iowa. There has been formed recently in Iowa the "Greater Iowa Association." This organization is de scribed by the New Republic as "a sort of National Security League, American Defense Society and Na tional Civic Federation rolled in one." The General Secretary of the Greater Iowa Associa tion recently made this statement about the Committee of Forty-Eight : "Lenin's thumb print is on the birth certificate of the 'Committee of Forty-Eight' that infant political cure-all which recently has been appealing for converts and cash and which purports to be a combination of 'liberal thinkers,' whatever that may mean. The waif would have died at birth had not Lajpat Rai, of India, breathed into its lungs the unrest of Asia. America's leading radicals served as wet nurses and today it is being palmed off as a child of political respectability. The 'Red' parents are behind the screen ; they had hoped the general public would never learn their secret for there is something in heredity, after all." The Greater Iowa Association is not the Republican partv nor the Democratic party, but it seems perfectly safe" to say that its members are politically "regular." Certainly their sentiments do not indicate an affiliation with the Socialist party, nor the Communist Labor party. The list of names of the national executive com mittee contains many that will be recognized as quite American or, at least who have been accepted in the past as American. However, it is reasonable to assume that an equal if not greater number of business men quite naturally view such proposals as are set forth in the committee's platform as "radical." And there is, undeniably, a na tional, belligerent dislike of things radical in this coun try just now. The liberals say it is an hysterical con dition and that it is absurd to call every attempt at progress "Bolshevism." The Conservative questions whether these proposals are progressive. Of course he devoutly believes that they are not. He is against things that are "untried," and as he usually feels that his own security may be disturbed, he gets into action. If the movement started by the Committee of Forty Eight is nothing else, it is a test of liberalism in this country a test that has never been made before. The results of the election in 1912 cannot be called a real test, because the personality of the late Colonel Roose velt figured so powerfully in that movement.