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Great Falls daily tribune. [volume] (Great Falls, Mont.) 1895-1921, November 29, 1919, Image 6

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84024808/1919-11-29/ed-1/seq-6/

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B. K. Wheeler, candidate for governor on the
republican or democratic party ticket, v\ luch
ever seems to him the easiest party to pii ?-te 0}
the stuffing of its primaries by voters who pro
fess no allegiance to either party and condemn
the principles of both, in his address in this cit>
last Wednesday spread the venom of his malice
over Mr. John D. Ryan personally in a manner
characteristic of the politicians who seek to ap
peal to envy of success and ignorance such as
we have been familiar with for years. And as
usual the poisoned weapons he used were simply
falsehoods. They were bald mistatements of facts
known to be such by every well informed person
in the state and only calculated to deceive new
comers to the state or those who have not fol
lowed closely the news of the day and are ig
norant of the facts.
Mr. Wheeler charged that Mr. Ryan "was
mixed up in the Hog Island graft scandal." That
is absolutely a falsehood. In the first place
there was no Hog Island graft. There were ru
mors about graft, and the republican congres
sional investigation committee, keen as a pack
of hounds on the scent of a fox, and hoping to
unearth some scandal that might reflect on the
Wilson administration in its conduct of the war,
went into the affairs of the construction of the
Hog Island ship construction plant from cellar
to garret. They reported their findings to a
republican congress and were compelled to say
in that report that they could find no evidence
of dishonesty or graft in the carrying out of this
enormous job. They did say that they found
evidence of extravagance and waste of money.
Most undoubtedly that was true. It was impos
sible that it should be otherwise, for the Hog
Island plant was built in the face of urgent de
mand from our government for haste, haste,
and more haste, in a desperate race for victory
between the German submarines and the allied
shipbuilding plants. W T e know now how nar
rowly we won that race and so won the war by
getting American troops and supplies to France
before our foes deemed it possible. The Hog
Island plant was not built by contract bids.
There was no time to advertise for bids. It was
built on force account, and the contractors re
ceived a percentage on the cost. Experience has
taught many a private firm that that is the most
expensive way to built a big construction enter
prise, but it is also the quickest way. The Hog
Island plant cost several times the original es
timate. That was partly due to enlarged plans,
partly due to the well known fact enshrined in
the homely proverb, "haste makes waste." Mr.
Ryan had no more to do with the building of Hog
Island shipping plant or the spending of money
there than Mr. Wheeler had, except that he and
his companies contributed vast sums in taxes to
the federal treasury to help pay for it. And the
remarkable fact remains undisputed that costly
as the building of this plant was, it has amply
justified its expense and is worth to the gov
ernment and nation all it cost. Among all the
vast expenditures of the government for war
purposes this alone will salvage 100 per cent.
It could be sold for all it cost. It can build fifty
vessels at one time. It can and does build ves
sels for less money than they can be built for
elsewhere in the world, and private shipping
firms are eager to buy every ship it builds at
full cost price to the government or more. There
is no particle of evidence that there was any
graft in this enterprise to begin with, and Mr.
Ryan had nothing to do with it to end with. The
statement of Mr. Wheeler is a falsehood made
out of whole cloth or with nothing more sub
stantial than a disproved and discredited rumor
to stand on.
Mr. Wheeler said that Mr. Ryan made fifty
million dollars by selling copper to the govern
ment at 27 cents during the war and buying it
back at 14 to 16 cents. That is a false statement,
monstrous in its malignity. Mr. Ryan never
bought a pound of copper from the government.
The government never sold any copper to him, or
to his copper company, or to any other copper
company, or to any corporation or individual in
the United States, unless it might be small lots
of junk copper to junk companies. It did buy a
lot of copper from the Anaconda company and
other copper producing companies during the
war. The first lot of copper it bought was an
enormous purchase, some forty million pounds
as we remember it, and it bought it from the
Anaconda company at nearly half its current
market price at that time, 16 cents, we believe.
That was how John D. Ryan and his company
showed their patriotism. Mr. Wheeler was sell
ing his services to the government at the same
time. We have not seen it recorded that he of
fered to cut the market price of those services
in half to help win the war. Subsequently the
government bought copper from many sources
of copper production, including the Anaconda
Copper Company, at varying prices fixed by it
self as being a fair price. Our recollection is
that this price was 22 or 23 cents. But if the
government at any time paid as high as 27 cents
for copper it did so because it fixed that price
itself as being fair and necessary. When the
war was over the government had a great ac
cummulation of copper on hand that it no longer
needed. If it threw this on the market it would
demoralize the price of copper and the govern
ment would lose a vast sum on its purchases.
It, therefore, turned its surplus copper over to
the United Metals Selling company, a corporation
that acts as selling agent for many coppsr pro
ducing companies, with instructions to sell it
gradually for the government account at the
market price, and agreed to pay this corporation
a fractional part of a cent commission for the
service, stipulating, however, a minimum price
at which any of it could be sold and if the market
went below that point at any time sales of gov- j
ernment copper were to stop. That is the whole :
story of the government sale of copper in a nut
shell. It sold its own copper on the market in
small lots to get the most money out of it for
itself, and paid the Metals Selling company a
small per cent for its service, as all copper pro
ducers it acts for do likewise.
As to the charge made by Mr. Wheeler that
John D. Ryan built a logging railroad for the
benefit of the Milwaukee railroad, it is old stuff, S
completely disproved by the evidence presented
to the investigating committee. John D. Ryan
had nothing to do with the building of the road
at any time. The Milwaukee railroad does not
own the road and does not want to own it. Had
it been built through to the spruce woods as they
recommended they might have been willing to
pay the government for it when they were
through with it if it had the money to do it with,
which it had not then or now. It was not built
that way. The Milwaukee railroad does not
want it or consider it worth the cost to acquire
it even if sold at a bargain. Mr. Ryan was com
pletely exonerated from all connection with the
building of this road by Secretary Baker of the
war department under whose orders and direc
tion the road was built. His letter to that effect
to Chairman Frear was suppressed by that gen
tleman and kept out of the record until Mr. Ryan
appeared before the committee and forced its
production and insertion in the record. The charge
has already been fully explained and disproved
in the press of the country. Enough said on that
There remains the charge made that Mr. Ryan,
while expresing regret that he was too old to
go to France to fight with the boys, remained be
hind at home to work for the government at one
dollar a year and stabbed the soldier boys in the
back. It is a noticeable fact that this and all
the other charges against Mr. Ryan made by Mr.
Wheeler was received by his audience in silence.
Not a man in the crowd gave audible sign of ap
proval. They knew it was false and that Mr.
Wheeler knew it was false also. And every man
in Montana knows it is false. And it came from
the lips of a man who had just announced his
purpose of forming a political alliance with A.
C. Townley, convicted of disloyalty during the
war by a Minnesota court, on the one hand, and
Mr. Dunn of Butte, convicted of disloyalty during
the war by a Montana court, on the other hand.
It came from the lips of the attorney who de
fended Mr. Dunn on the charge on which he was
found guilty, and who himself was summoned
before the Montana Loyalty League for investi
gation as to his loyalty because they were sus
picious about it on account of the bad company
he kept in those trying times when our boys were
fighting at the front and disloyal men were seek
ing to stab them in the back at home. Can you
beat it. Is it necessary to say more. The gall of
the proposition is enough to make the gorge of
any patriotic citizen rise.
®f)e Opinions of
tPhiladelphia Press.)
Senator Harding of Ohio announces that he ■will rot be a
candidate for president, but desirea re-election to the senate.
But let no one worry; there ai» plenty of presidential candi
dats left to make all the running that will be required.
(Louisville Courier-Journal.)
An explanation of how the victory was won may he thrill
ing, but not. even a policeman wishes to hear the troubles of
the candidate who lost.
(St. Louis Globe Democrat.)
Whoever gets a mandatory for any Balkan state gets oue
perfectly good Balkan war cloud, in every way as serviceable
us before.
(Pittsburgh Dispatch->
To be elected to the legislature and become ihe father of
another son all in one day is the regular Roosevelt style.
(Columbia State.)
This sugar shortage would have been u serious thine lack
in the days of the long toddy.
By J- H- Cassel

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New York. Nov. 26.—A new and pic
turesque wapon for defeating the high
cost of living has recently been developed
in New York. It is known as the roiling
A rolling store Is a large truck, drawn
by two giant horses, and filled with huge
stacks of dry groceries, which rolls into
a neighborhood at the early hour of H in
the morning and thereafter does a rapid
business until 0 o'clock at night. It^ sells
its products at prices ranging fror", 25 to
■'0 per cent lower than those being
charged by the stationary grocery stores,
thereby earning unfriendly criticisms
from those sources, blessings from the
housewives and the hearty commendation
of the New York commissioner of mar
Ninety-six of these rolling stores are
now operating throughout New York ana
Brooklyn, and Mr. George II. Salmon,
vice president of the North American
Export company, who is doing the oper
ating. savs that in another month there
will be 200 of them. The demand for
them from neighborhoods in which they
have not yet appeared is so great that
one person is kept busy simply answering
the telephone calls of housewives, who
are indignant, because their districts have
been slighted.
"We are here to reduce the high cost
of living," is the red-lettered message
which the rolling «tore bears on its grey
awninged side, and beneath that there is
a list of the supplies it carries with
their prices. The other day this list in
cluded bacon at 34 cents, best candled
eggs r>t> cents, can of pork and beans
, weighing nearly three pounds 12'»j cents.
1 best coffee .15 cents, can of tomatoes 1?
j cents, peas (Nô. 2) 1.1 cents, can of corn
j 13 cents and rice (fancy blue rose) 15
Buying from a rolling store is much
like buying from a cafeteria. First you
look at the price list, then you help your
self to what you want, with the assist
ance of an extremely busy salesman,
knowing perfectly well beforehand what
the total coat of the purchase is goin^ to
be. In most stationary groceries in New
York you cannot do this. The prices aro
not. listed on the wall, and when the
clerk finally adds the total up on a paper
bag, showing that butter or eggs or cof
fee have taken a sudden leap in price,
you have no evidence upon which to con
tradict him. A customer usually leaves a
rolling store not only with the pleasant
sense of having secured a bargain but
with the virtuous conviction that he has
aided in a great civic movement. He
has helped, as the rolling store points
out "Mayor Hylan to knock tiie 'IP out
of the II. C. of L."
The first rolling store was started
about the first of October, merely as an
experiment. No one was certain as to
how it would be received, but the results
were so satisfactory that ten more stores
were added every week and four ware
house terminals to supply the stores
were opened in New York. While the
stores have not been able to bring back
those marvelous days before the war
when the nickel still had a separate and
distinct existence, they have brought
about a surprising reduction in prices.
"Our object," savs Mr. Salmon, "is not
to compete with merchants who are soil
ing groceries at. reasonable prices. It is
merely to drive out. profiteers. We go
into a neighborhood where we feel food
stuffs are costing too much, and we stay
until we have driven the profiteers to
reducing their prices. Then we move
on to another neighborhood.
"For instance when we first started
operating most storekeepers were selling
peas and corn nt from 18 to 22 cents a
can. We started selling the same kind
of peas and corn at 13 cents a can. and
the result was that the storekeepers
then reduced their products to 11 cents
a can. Wo knew that they were losing
money at that price—that the move was
directed against us. But, as a matter of
fact, it did not hurt us the leust bit. For
we simply ceased selling peas and corn
for the time being ana replaced them
with other cheaper products.
The rolling stores are able to sell
goods at reduced prices for vurious rea
sons. In the first place, they do not have
the large overhead expense which must
be mot by the ordinary grocery store.
Their selling force is confined to two
young men, one of whom is also the
truck driver, and neither of whom wastes
any time in persuading customers to buy
goods. At a roiling store, you can either
take it or leave it. No one cares whether
you buy food or not, because there are
too many anxious housewives waiting to
grab whatever is left over.
In the second place, the North Amer
ican Export company has a purchasing
power of half a million dollars behind it,
which enables it to take advantage of all
cash discounts and to buy in large quan
tities direct from the producer. Aecord
iug to Mr. Salmon, this factor alone i>er
inits them to make n saving of 55 cents
on the dollar- a saving which usually is
absorbed by middlemen and clumsy meth
ods of distribution.
"The chief purpose of the rolling
store," he says, "is to reduce the cost of
living and to provide employment for re
turned soldiers and sailors. All of our
employes are inen who have just come
out. or uniform."
On the other hand, one gathers that
the corporation is by no means running
an eleeuiosvnarv institution. If does not
seek to conceal the fact that it is oper
ating for a profit.
"Of course, declares Mr. Salmon, the
compnnv does not yet. know what the
profits 'will be in this proposition. It
will not pay. certainly, until we have -IK)
stores operating. We are convined, how
ever that such a plan can bo made to
nav in dollars and cents, and yet the
customer will not be obliged to pay the
high prices which he must submit to in
the regular stores."
As a money -making proposition the
rolling store has everything in its favor.
It is estimated that it sells in one day
just three times as much as the ordi
nary grocery, and when the company has
had a chance to perfect its distribution
svstern it will be able to sell even more.
At present Its sales are handicapped onlv
by the store's carrying capacity, which
is from «>,000 to 10,000 pounds. Each
store starts out laden to,thc brim in the
morning, but is completely sold out by
12 o'clock, so that it is then obliged to
return to the warehouse for the after
noon's supplies. The company is now
working on a plan whereby automobile
trucks can be sent to follow up the vari
ous stores, distributing foodstuffs and
eliminating this noonday trip to the
The most popular reception yet ac
corded the rolling s tor« occurred the
other day on the East Side when the
supply of eggs curried by one wujçon sold
out iii one-half hour. A crowd ot women
was waiting on the curb as the truck
made its appearance, and they proceeded
to surround it, pushiug, gesticulating and
talking in various languages so that it
became manifestly impossible to sell any
thing so fragile as eg^a. The driver was
just about to turn his horses and stage
a hurried retreat when n policeman ar
rived to handle the situation. With dra
matic flourishes of hl« club he managed
to subdue the crowd's feminine enthusi
asm, made it form an orderly li*e. wad
permitted only one customer to »pproach
the wagon at one time. By the time the
end of the lino reached the wagon, the
eggs were all gone, and so was the po
liceman. As the driver intimated, there
are times when even a policeman taust
exercise discretion.
The busiest hours of the rolling stores
are at 10 o'clock in the morning and at
4 in the afternoon. Prior to 4 o'clock,
sometimes, the stores will make compara
tively few sales, then the rush occurs all
at once. The salesmen figure that this
is because the women wait for their chil
dren to come home from school, so that
they mav have someone to leave with
the" smaller youngsters or to accompany
them and help carry horn» the food. Also,
especially on the East Side, the children
learn the art of battle early in life, and
prove valuable aid whenever there is a
buryain rush.
Not long ago, stich a rush was staged
at one of the rolling store warehouse,
taking the workers completely by sur
prise and upsetting the plans of the
I company. Tne warehouse was in t he
i heart of one of the city's Italian dis
Itricts. The Italian women had watched
the rolling stores, with their promises
! to reduce the high cost of living, driving
; in and out of this warehouse day by nay.
1 un,d they did not understand why they
1 never stopped to lighten the burdens in
i their neighborhood. At least, after pa
tientlv waiting for several weeks, they
decided to attend to the matter them
selves. When the door of the warehouse
opened one morning there was a large
crowd of Italian women and children be
hind it. They charged into the ware
house and were prevented from raiding
it only hv the timely appearance of a
quick-witted ex-sergeant, who pointed an
unloaded revolver at them. The women
retreated, but they did not go home, as
the sergeant had told them to do. They
waited on the street corner, and when
the first rolling store came along they
surrounded it, forming a veritable barri
cade and keeping it there the whole day
long After that, the company felt that
a rolling store iu that particular com
munity was an absolute necessity.
The demand from other districts, while
not as forcible, is nevertheless equally
compelling. It has kept up just, as in
sistently during the recent, cold weather.
The rolling store has now added a large
ash-can. with kindling wood and matches
to its equipment, witn which it provides
a cheery, warm fire. It is cold work,
this shopping in tie open. The women
hold their hands over its Maze as they
choose their supplies, but they keep on
choosing. The popularity of the rolling
store is proved.
■ Has an Insane Idea
He Require» Cash
to Work Coal Mine
Special to The Daily Tribune.
Chinook, Nov. 28.—That he had come
to Chinook to petition the county com
missioners to vote the sum of $5,000 to
open tip a coal mine on his farm, was the
obsession of Dan Munaon, living north
of Harlem, who was brought to the coun
ty jail Wednesday by Marshal Doh-en, of
Harlem, to await a hearing on the charge
of insanity.
The unfortunate man has a mother,
brother and sister living in Minnesota.
The hearing will be on Monday or
Tuesday of next week.
No. 40 Wearever Water Bottle
Lapeyre Bros.
Work Three Shifts
Treasurer's Office
Issuing Tax Bills
Spedal to The Daily Tribune.
Chinook, or. 28.—The office of coun
ty treasurer, F. M. Rolfe, has been an
exceedingly busy place this week. In
spite of the fact that the state eqnalisa
tinn board was late in sending in its re
turns, delaying the work of making out
the tax statements, these were all out
on Tuesday night. It required a great
speed to accomplish the work, however,
three ehifts having worked from Sunday
until Tuesday night. One shift began
at 5 p, id,, and worked until midnight,
when a second shift came on duty and
worked until 8 n. m., nnd the regular
force took the day work.
The extra assistants who bepa Sun
day and worked until Tuesday mght were
Misses Clausner and C. O. Williams
from the depot office force nnd H.
Schlatter and Norman Moaser. Rodney
Stam and Ciark Chose assisted the coun
ty treasurer during the regular hours.
Special to The Daily Tribune.
Williams, Nov. 28.—Work o nthe new 1
oil station of the Mutual Oil corap.m?
has started and will be hurried to com
pletion, weather permitting. The tanks
at Volier. secred when the Mutual Oil
companv took over the Montana Oil com
pany will be moved to this point. The
Improvement will save farmers in this
locality a long haul for oil and gas.
Ceorge Sullivan will be in charge of tie
American Bank & Trust
Co. of Great Falls
R P Reekards H. G. I.eeeher
W K. Flowerree William Grills
Fred A. Woehner Charles R. Taylor
Frank W. Mttchel Albert J. Foueek
I. Ê. Foster Alfred Malmberg
Robert Cameron Cbarles Horning
Charles F Helsey
R. P. Reekards - President
W. K. Flowerree Vice-President
H. G. I.escher Cashier
F. O. Nelson Assistant Caehier
interest Faid on Time Deposits.
Stanton Trust &
Savings Bank
Stanton Bank Building. tire»* FslU.
Capital - 5200.§55
Surplus . » - 65,000
P. H. Buckley 3. O. PatUraon
James W. Freeman Jacob C. Fay
Burt Armstrong A. Beardslee
Philip Jaeoby M S. Kleppe
P. H. Jones 9. J. Doyle
George It Stanton
George II. StaJiton President
P. H. Jones Vice-President
S J. Dovle Cashier
II M. Emerson Assistant Cashier

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