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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, August 12, 1915, LAST EDITION, Image 2

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1915-08-12/ed-1/seq-2/

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O'Connell, J. B. Lennon ana A. B.
i Qarretson, the labor men.
The so-called "neutrals" of the
i commission Prof. John R. Com
mons and Mrs. J. Borden Harriman,
society woman who have, it is hint
ed, a slight leaning toward, the cap
italistic side, must face the problem
in the report which Commons is
framing for them.
They may seek to temporize, but
they cannot evade the question, for
testimony of cruel murder in the
name of "protection" is in the records
of the commission.
In the possible third report that
of Harris Weinstock, banker; S.
Thurston Ballard, manufacturer, and
R. H. Aishton, railroad official the
problem of private armies will also be
covered, but probably in a manner
puzzling to the public and pleasing to
Take the statement of Prank P.
Walsh, impartial friend of labor. As
chairman of the commission he sat
for two years and listened to testi
mony which, in his own words, "was
appalling." He has this to say re
garding the menace of the private
"The information which this or
ganization and maintenance of armed
force or 'private armies' by owners
or managers of industries was appal
ling. "They have not only established lit
tle communities, which may well be
likened to foreign principalities, but
they have organized armies to main
tain them.
"Many of the great industrial
plants built during the last few years
are abviously constructed .that they
may be used as fortifications and
points of vantage in a war on labor!
"So-called industrial protective
corporations and detective agencies
have reserves like European coun
tries, which they can mobilize and
arm on incredibly short notice, show
ing a perfect inside organization.
"Many corporations such as the
Pennsylvania Railway Co. have arse- ,
nals which" they maintain permanent-
ly, at which their 'soldiers' may be
quickly provided with death-dealing
"One Pennsylvania official testified
before this commission that they had
a small quantity of firearms stored In
Philadelphia, but investigation re
vealed 5,000 revolvers, rifles and riot
clubs stored in Philadelphia the city
of brotherly love.
"I do not wish to terrify the timid,
but I feel prepared to say that the
'trustified' industries, of the country,
upon 24 hours' notice, could mobilize
an army great enough in numbers
and well enough equipped in arms to
overthrow the military forces of any
state in the union.
"If farmers, independent business
men and manufacturers of this coun
try could be brought to realize that
the concentrated controllers of basic
industries of this country could use
their 'armies' against them to main
tain their economic advantage and
thus pile up greater fortunes without
proper return to society, they would
join the workers in a mighty protest
against private standing armiea
which would stir the law-making au
thorities to abolish them instanter."
The horror of the private army has
been fully felt at the massacre at
Ludlow, in the Colorado mine war;
the battle of Paint Creek in the West
Virginia war; of Calumet, in the
Michigan copper mine war; in the
battle at Roosevelt, N. J., and still
more recently in the war on strikers
in Bayonne, N. J.
The story of the operations of a
"private army" in the West Virginia
mine war is a tale of a peaceful com
munity of happy, contented people
transformed into a theater of war
of murderous attacks without warn
ing of men shot in the dark and in
the back.
An attack on Holly Grove, a strik
ers' camp, from an armored train,
carrying machine guns, is typical
Here is what an ex-mine guard told
the senate investigating committee:

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