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The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, January 24, 1913, Image 2

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Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/46032385/1913-01-24/ed-1/seq-2/

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The Commoner.
... ,....., A-x .-- oonintpiv of everv feature of monopoly. I notice you do nnt
"Wo must see to it that the business ox tne umwa dw w " , .., .... A . - ,.
Applaud that. I am somewhat disappointed because, uniess you feel that way the thing not going to n which is
.. . . . ... . ,, nr.miMfl' eympnh hef ore the Chicago Commercial club.
the worst way to bring anything aooui. xroiu www w ? -
Wilson and "Big Business."
Governor Wilson addressed a bonriuot of busi
ness men Saturday evening, Jan. 1 t, at Chicago.
In his address ho spoke vary plainly, saying:
"J am a trustee for the prosperity of the United
States In council, and the council that Is not
common council, the council that docs not in
cludo you, Is Imperfect council, Is council that
will mislead. Won't you como in? Have you
not come in? Is It not your purpose to re
establish economic freedom In the United States?
Aren't wo all In the same boat? Can't 1 enlist
you tonight in the common enterprise? There is
no bright prospect otherwise."
Some of the business politicians tried to stir
ip a scare among business men because of
Oovornor Wilson's Chicago speech, but they
have discovered that tho president-elect is not
a man easily frightened.
Commenting upon the Chicago speech, the
Now York World says: "Those arc not the
words of demagogy. They are not the words of
a politician preaching class war. They are tho
words of a statesman pleading for justice and
asking for assistance. To tho extent that big
businosa interprets this speech as an attack
upon anything except wrong and privilege and
greed, to that extent big business is an ass. To
tho extent that big business refuses to help In
this now movement for economic freedom, to
that extent big business will be the chief victim
of its own folly."
On Jan. 13th Governor Wilson addressed tho
New Jersey presidential electors at Trenton. In
that speech tho governor said: "Some men
have been slow to obsorve, but the majority of
us have seen that the people of the United States
have taken a definite choice. 1 happen to bo
ono of tho instruments through whom the choice
Is expressed, but I am for the time only, while
that choice Is for the long future. Tho people
of the United States have turned their faces in
a definite direction und any man who does not
go with them in that direction, they will reject
and thoy ought to reject.
'Therefore in looking forward to the responsi
bilities that I am about to assume I feel that I
am acting in a representative capacity. I am
bidden to interpret as well as I can the pur
poses of the poople of the United States and to
act, so far as my choice determines the action,
only through tho instrumentality of persons who
also represent that choice.
"I have no liberty in tho matter. I have given
bonds. My sacred honor Is involved.
"Therefore, 1 shall not be acting as a partisan
whon I pick out progressives, and only progres
sives. I shall bo acting as a representative of
the people of this great country. And there
fore it is a matter of supremo pleasure to me
to find in overy direction as I turn about
from ono group of men to another that
inons minds and men's consciences and men's
purposes, are yielding to that great impulse that
now moves tho whole people of the United
"I do not forsee any serious divisions of
counsol in the democratic party as a national
iSK' i?n i contrary. l fln every evidence of
solidarity. I see overy evidence that men who
have not hitherto yielded their judgment to the
movement of the ago are now' about to yield
their judgment. I will not say their will. Thev
do not seem to bo acting under compulsion
They are beg lining to yield their judgmen to
tho common judgment of the nation. Because
I find in discussing questions of business con
trary to the impression which prevails in Rnm
editorial rooms, that in speaking to men of busi
ness I am speaking to men whose vis on is
swinging around to the path which the nation
lias marked out for itself nauon
"This nation is full of honorable men who
have been engaged in large business in a wa?
in which they thought they were permitted to
dft;b?ith b? thGh; eonscices and to laws
But they have had their eyes so closo to
their ledgers, they had their energies 11
utely absorbed in the undertaking wltl ? which
they were individually identified that thL 11,
not, until the nation 'spoke aloid ratee? JhZe
eyes from their books and papers and 2 r
the things they were uolngPJtood delated Jo Z
fortunes of mankind. -iieu 10 tiie
"Now, they are beginning to see those rela
tionships, and as they see they are beginning to
feel the refreshment of men who look away from
a particular task and extend their eyes to the
fortunes of men lying outside their usual ken,
beyond their touch the great bodies of men
who would along with them hope and struggle
and achieve.
"I believe that I am not mistaken in seeing
this new purpose come into the hearts of men
who have not permitted themselves hitherto to
see what they now look upon. For the nation
can not move successfully by anything except
concert of purpose and of judgment.
"You can not whip a nation into line. You
can not drive your leaders before you. You have
got to have a spirit that thrills the whole body,
and I believe that spirit is now beginning to
thrill the whole body.
"Men are finding that they will be bigger
business men, as they will spend some of their
brains on something that has nothing to do with
themselves, and that the more you extend the
use of your energy the more energy you have
got to spend even upon your own affairs that
enrichment comes with the enlargement, and
that with the enrichment comes the increase
of power.
"Men, in the last analysis, even in the nar
rower field of business, have a grip upon their
fellow men in proportion as they enjoy the con
fidence and admiration of their fellow men. A
man can accomplish a great deal more in busi
ness, as I need hardly tell you, by the belief
that people have in him than by the fear that
he inspires. And some men have made the pro
found mistake, so far as their individual suc
cess is concerned, of trying to succeed by fear
and not by persuasion, not by confidence, but
by creating the consciousness that they can
spoil the careers of the men who do not work.
"I suppose some people have the idea that I
love to fight just for the fun of it. Now, that
is not in the least my temperament. I am really
a very tame, amenable person; but I do love to
feel in my blood tho splendid satisfaction of
fiirhting for something that is bigger than my
self, and trying for the time at least to think
I am as big as the thing I atn fighting for.
"That is a solid satisfaction. And when I
can for the time being represent the democratic
party and find that the nation as a whole is
thawing out toward the democratic party and
more and more coming to believe the democratic
party can do tho thing which the country has
been waiting for, then I enjoy the immense
satisfaction of being part of a thing that is so
much bigger than I am that I can dream, at any
rate, that T am taking my own measure by the
thing I belong to.
"That is the kind of thought I believe we are
permitted to indulge in today, swearing al
legianco to one another that we are not going to
allow ourselves or anything wo are connected
with to be caught in the old entanglements any
more. That is what I have sworn to.
"Tho enterprise is easy, because, as I told
some gentlemen in Chicago, we have asked for
and obtained a change of venue. The jurv is
not now the selected jury that was always to
be summoned and always consisted of the same
persons-but it is a jury consisting- of all the
people of the United States and that jury will
stand by all to tho last ditch.
"And with that jury back of you, you can
smile at all tho gentlemen who meet n corneTs
and in private rooms and arrange to beat ?ou
That thing can not be arranged. The game can
not be set up. Because all the walls arTtaken
down now and you are out in the open if you
want to set up your game, come here in the
center of the ring and let us see vou sVif i,
And, if it is the right kind of a set ng up you
will not mind setting it up here in our presence
and in the presence, by representation of th
res of the people of the United States V
Ifeelmyself no bitterness about anything
who rf'eaThrk'th JhTG1HG arG 8me sSSemS
flings' Tot" e vho! SS3?lffi? ""
a,1"AgnrrPSohaLd8Vith at the enYSthX"9
And so, gentlemen, our satisfaction YJ 5
something very satisfactory in saying this: 'Now
we have left all those things behind; we have
set forward in this journey that is ahead of
us. We have found the road, and we are going
to follow it; and anybody is welcome to come
along with us that wants to. And we are not
goinr to remember whether he tried to find
other roads or not, provided he comes along
But we are not going to take Jais word for if
we are going to look around and see if ho is
keeping step. Because he has got to get there
when we get there, and he has got to get there
by the same road we get there, or else he is not
of our company."
"I am not indicting the banking methods of
America," said Woodrow "Wilson to the Chicago
Commercial club; "our banking system does not
need to be indicted. It has been convicted."
It stands convicted upon a plea of guilty, en
tered in its behalf by one of the powerful trium
virate that controls the monopoly of credit in
tho United States.
George F. Baker, chairman of the First Na
tional Bank of New York, was two days on the
witness stand before the Pujo committee. He
admitted that in fifty years his bank had made
$86,000,000 profits on a capital of $500,000.
He admitted that he was one of the two chief
financial lieutenants of J. P. Morgan, the "great
general." He admitted that he personally
bought control of the Chase National bank and
turned it over to the. First Security company,
the holding company of the First National. He
admitted the purchase of the Bank of Commerce
by the "great general" and his associates. He
admitted the familiar system of interlocking
directorates, the frequent bank consolidations.
He did not succeed in naming any American
company flotation of $10,000,000 or more issued
in recent years through any house other than
J. P. Morgan & Co. or one of its eight associates
and allies. . "
The close of Mr. Baker's testimony was singu
larly impressive. "We condense it somewhat:
Q. "Is there any doubt of the fact that there
has been of late years a vast and growing con
centration of credit in the hands of a few men?"
A. "Well, there is a great amount of money
that has come together here, more or less con
. centrated."
Q. "I suppose you would see no harm in
having the control of credit, as represented by
the control of banks and trust companies, still
further concentrated? Do you think that would
be dangerous?" A. "I think it has gone about
far enough."
Q. "You think it would be dangerous to go
further?" A. "It might not be dangerous, but
still it has gone about far enough. In good
hands, I do not say that-it would do any harm.
If it got into bad hands it would.be very bad."
Q. "If it got into bad hands it would wreck
the country?" A. "Yes; but I do not believe
it could get into bad hands."
.. - "You admit that if this concentration to
the point to which it has now gone were by any
accident to get into bad hands it would wreck
the country?" A. "I can not iimagine such a
Q. "I thought you said so." A. "I said it
would be bad. But I do not think it would
wreck the country. I don't think bad hands
could manage it. They could not retain the
deposits or the securities. If "
Q. "I am not speaking of incompetent hands.
We are speaking of this power in the hands of
men very ambitious and not overscrupulous.
You see tho peril in that, do you not?" A. "Yes."
Q. So that the safety of the country lies in
the personnel of the men?" A. "Very much."
Q. "Do you think that is a comfortable situa
tion for a great country to be in?" A. "Not
A power that "in bad hands" would be "very
oad and would "wreck the country" is a power
too great to rest in the hands of Messrs. Morgan,
tfaker and Stillman, excellent as they feel their
own motives are.
A situation not 'comfortable for a great
country to be in" is a situation a great qountry
must change. It can not leave its Bafety "in the
personnel of the, men" at the head of a clique of
"The Uriite'd States," said Governor Wilson in
the speech from which" we have quoted, "must
be set free from overy feature of monopoly."
No feature of monopoly is more repellent than
w. fc..
'"-j .13! t '

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