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WILLIAM J. BRYAN, EDITOR AND PROPRIETOR VOL. 13f NO. 14 Lincoln, Nebraska, April 11, 1913 Whole Number 638 A Democratic Message President Wilson's first message to congress is thoroughly democratic. Like most of Mr. Wilson's writings it will boar re-reading. Under the circumstances it must bo regarded aB a great public paper. This is so because it dis plays wisdom in its devotion to one subject the tariff; and for the further reason that it deals with that subject in the frank and thorough fashion that has already' come to be accepted as the Wilson characteristic. There is, first, the recognition of the duty laid upon the party in power at the recent elections the duty of doing something that shall actually give the people relief. The pro gram suggested is not an abnormal one. On the contrary, it is an effort to restore harmony in our fiscal affairs. There have been radical changes in the conditions of our economic life during the last generation, but, in the language of the president and this paragraph should be held firmly before the eyes of those who object to tariff changes in the language of the presidont: "While the whole face and method of our industrial and commercial life were be ing changed beyond recognition the tariff schedules have remained what they wore be fore the change began, or have moved in the direction they were given when no large cir cumstance of our industrial development was what it is today. Our task is to square them with the actual facts. The sooner that is done the sooner we shall escape from suffering from the facts and the sooner our men of business will be free to thrive by the law of nature (the nature of free business) instead of by the law of legislation and artificial arrangement." There is here no apology to the Bystem that stands today frankly for plunder where a gene ration ago its advocates honestly regarded it as patriotic. According to the president it is now "direct patronage of the government" for the private industries of the country which were once merely to be "protected." In the building of our tariff schedules the thought uppermost in the builders' minds has been "to give each group of manufacturers or producers what they themselves thought that they needed in order to maintain a practically exclusive market against the rest of the world." As a result of this bad practice we have built up a' set of privileges behind which monopoly has been organized and the result is that "nothing is nor mal, nothing is obliged to stand the tests of efficiency-and economy, In the world of big busi ness, but everything thrives by concerted ar rangement." In the president's view, "the object of the tariff duties henceforth laid must be effective competition,'lhe whetting of American wits by CONTENTS PRESIDENT WILSON'S FIRST MESSAGE TO CONGRESS FLOOD PREVENTION AMSTERDAM'S MUNICIPAL OWNERSHIP OF PAWNSHOPS DEATH PENALTY AND HOLY WRIT CHINA'S GRATITUPE MR. BRYAN BEFORE THE UNION LEAGUE AT CHICAGO CURRENT TOPICS HOME DEPARTMENT NEWS OF THE WEEK WASHINGTON NEWS contests with the wlta of the rest of the world." He does not advise that this courso be adopted with "reckless hasto" but it is our business to discover genuine remedies and then apply them. The anxiety to avoid "reckless hasto" is not to bo taken as an excuse for a do-nothing policy. On tho contrary, the president makes it clear that when tho tariff program has been com pleted it will commend itself to tho intelligent American citizen who well understands tho difference between political bombast and pa triotic effort. President Wilson has, in a nutshell, outlined the democratic program on tho tariff question and his first message to congress will bo given a place by democrats alongside of his splendid Inaugural address. THE "CROSS OF GOLD" The Literary Digest, in Its reproduction of newspaper comments upon what it calls "Rescuing China from tho Cross of Gold," says: The crucifixion of China upon a cross of gold would naturally bo repugnant to an adminintra tlon whose foreign affairs are in the hands of tho present secretary of state, and our keen edi torial observers see in tho disapproval of tho Chinese loan a similar chilling attitude toward the entire Taft program of "dollar diplomacy." By "dollar diplomacy" the press mean the uso of government influence to aid and protect our bankers and traders in their transactions with Latin-American republics and with China, a striking example being our armed interference in tho revolution in Nicaragua. In China's case it now appears from the president's statoment that the Taft administration requested our bankers to join in tho "six-power" loan to China, a loan so onerous in its terms as "to touch very neaTly tho administrative indepen dence of China itself," and it has been openly charged by our advocates of recognizing the Chinese republic, that recognition has been de layed by all the powers to put the screws on China and force acceptance of the loan. Now tho Wilson administration explicitly disapproves tho entire Chinese transaction, and most of those who wore waiting for an unequivocal declaration of tho now administration's attitude toward "dollar diplomacy" are satisfied by the president's statement that this policy of tho Knox regime has been definitely repudiated. Tho change of front is made more emphatic by tho resignation of Huntington Wilson, assis tant secretary of state, who was closely identi fied with tho development of "dollar diplomacy" under Secretary Knox. As tho Springfield Re publican sums it up, the present administra tion takes the stand that "banking houses mak ing foreign loans can not have Uncle Sam as their collecting agent." TIIE FIRST FOUR WEEKS With the close of tho first month of Presi dent Wilson's administration general satisfac tion is expressed by men of all political parties. The American people have, clearly, Implicit faith in the new president. Tho Boston (Mass) Traveler recently printed this editorial: "President Wilson closeB the fourth week of his first term. Thus far ho has not done many unusual things, but he has dono some usual things in an unusual way. It is too early to say that ho has made good, but it is not too early to say that he is beginning like a presi dent who will make good. There is not a linger ing doubt that he will be his own man, and the number of democrats who have not already learned that fact is few, as far as prominence goes, and unimportant as far as numbers go. He is acting every day like a President who intends as far as possible to live up to his reputation, as well as to the platform of his party, and it Ib no moro probable that ho will bunco the people than that he will allow him self to be buncoed by so-called friends of tho people. So far ho has made mighty few mis takes. Every patriotic citizen, regardless of his pplitlcs, will rejoice that this is so." Flood Prevention For years the pooplo of tho lower Mississippi and those living at Intersections of tho Ohio and Mississippi rivers have boen subjocted to lossei and groat inconveniences through floods. There has been considerable discussion and some effort in a small way to reliovo these conditions. The recent floods will sorvo to direct nttcntion to a duty tho discharge of which has all too long been neglected. Engineers agroo that tho bad conditions referred to could bo prcvonted through tho application of laws with which engineers are familiar. Tho sections affected by theso floods Ho in tho very heart of tho United States and it goes without saying that extraordinary efforts ought to bo made to protect theso aoc tions. The work of protection should bo com menced In earnest and should bo carried to suc cessful conclusion even though it requires an enterprise on a scale so largo as the Panama canal. A comprehensive engineering plan will provide the people living in tho heart of America with protection from floods. This Is the opinion of experienced engineers. Tho good work can not be commenced any too soon. Such an enter prise Is In harmony with tho pledge glvon by the democratic national convention for 1912. The Baltimore platform declared: "Tho present devastation of the lower Mis sissippi valley accentuates tho movement for the regulation of river flow by additional bank and lovco protection below, and tho diversion, storage and control of tho flood waters abovo, and their utilization for beneficial purposes In tho reclamation of arid and swamp lands and development of watcrpower, Instead of permit ting tho floods to continue, as heretofore, agents of destruction. Wo hold that tho control of the Mississippi river is a national problem; the building of levees to maintain tho integrity of Its channel, and the prevention of tho overflow of the land and Its consequent devastation, resulting in tho Interruption of interstate commerce, the disorganization of tho mail service and tho enormous loss of life and property, Imposes an obligation which alone can be discharged by tho general government." Let this platform plank be faithfully carried out. EXPRESS BUSINESS Express companies In a brief filed with tho Interstate commerce commission, claim that through tho now parcel post they lost In Febru ary revenues from small packages amounting to nearly five hundred thousand dollars. Tho express companies' attorney failed to say, how ever, that for years his clients have been violat ing the law in carrying tho small packages that are explicitly forbidden by existing statutes front going through tho express and explicitly re served for tho mail. , WILLIAM J. NORTHERN William J. Northern, former governor of Georgia, is dead, .but, his memory will long bo treasured by men, women and children who were inspired by his ever-willing service to society. Governor Northern was a modest man but the great work ho did was known outside of his own state and many men of all sections and of all parties will join with his Georgia friends in keeping his memory green. TENNESSEE AND PENNSYLVANIA Tennessee' and Pennsylvania have ratified the proposed amendment to the federal constitutlom providing for the direct election of United State senators. Pennsylvania in the thirty-fifth state to ratify. Only one more state Is needed to complete the good work.