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Newspaper Page Text
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'JWE'RE GOING AT IT AGAIN,":SAYS LA FOLLETTE
. New York, Nov. 25. -The
comings session of congress will
see, a vigorous 'attack oa the tre
mendous annual railroad graft fn
charges for postal car service, ac
cording to$enator 'LaFolIette's
s,tatement in a new installment of
his 'autobiography in the Decem
ber. American Magazine.
-- Hetells how that graft has
continued for- a decade, under
p'owerful protection, and says:
- "Vilas of Wisconsin was postmaster-general
" in 'Cleveland's
cabinet.' One of 'thnrgt re
forms he urged was against the
excessive rental ' charge of rail
road 'companies for postal cars.
"After a thqrougtt investiga
tion he showed that for the rental
which" it' paid annually the gov
ernment coiild'actually build out
right equip and keep in repair'all
the:cars it used and then save
$500,000 a year.- .
' "Evans had beep appointed to
the house - committee on postgf
fices, and when -he got hold of
Vilas""report ft art)a?ed,him as
it'would amaze anyone not con
nected with a railroad company.
lseemed to him thathehad only
to make these facts known to
have the 'abuse corrected. I. told
him that, if he could get the mat
ter before the house, I would help
him.. A few J weeks -later he gave
me -the result of his effort:
-"'I put that -thing up to
the.committee,' he said, 'with a
good, -plain statement which
should have convinced any man,
and "I 'couldn't even get a votein
support-ofc the proposition.' -.;
"If he had 'tried to get it upon
'the floorof the house there would
not have been a corporal's guard
to sustain him. The railroad
lobby outside and the railroad
members' inside would haye prer
vented any action.
"Seventeen years afterwards?
when I came to the senate, I look
ed this matter up, and there was
the sa'me old abuse.
''During all those years the
government had been paying
enough rental every year to the
railroads to buy the cars outright.
''When the postoffice appro
priation bill came over to the sen
ate, I offered an amendment pro
viding for an investigation to
bring the Vilas data down o
date. .1 believe that legislation
should always be preceded by ac
curate information. '
"I knew that my proposal was
subject to a point of order as an
amendment to an appropriation
bill, but it J was so manifestly
right and in the public interest
that I hoped the'point would not
be insisted upon. But no ! Pen
rose raised the point of orde, and
the investigation was denied.
Tricked by Penrose.
"The next year when Penrose
got the postoffice appropriation
bill up I was in a stronger posi
tion: For some reason he want
edit passed that day.
But I stood in its, path with my
amendment and the power of
unlimited debate. He suggested
that if the senator from Wiscon
sin would not press the matter
at that-time, but would offer his
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