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EDITORIAL PAGE OF THE MONTANA NONPARTISAN DECEMBER 7, 1918
THE Montana Nonpartisan OFFICIAL ORGAN OF NONPARTISAN LEAGUE IN MONTANA Published Weekly at Great Falls, Montana by the Montana Nonpartisan. Entered as second class matter, November 30, 1918, at Great Falls, Mon tana, under the act of March 3, 1879. Place of Publication Great Falls, Montana, November 30, 1918. PUBLISHED EVERY $SATURDAY ONE DOLLAR PER YEAR All communications should be addressed to the Montana Nonpartisan, Box 1625, Great Falls. Montana. The Montana Nonpartisan will accept advertise ments of reliable firms desiring to do business with the people of Montana Advertising rates will be furnished on application. THE HAIL ACT FAILS. We call the attenton of our readers to the comparison of the salient points of two different hail insurance acts, one from Alberta and the other, which we publish on another page, native with us. We are giving publicity to the failure of the Montana act and making what perhaps may be an odious com parison to some of those who read ths sheet, because it shows very dis tinctly the fundamental weakness of the arrangement as we have it here. With us, of course, the village localists pride never existed, if there is outside of this state and nation more advanced parties and administrations we are going to lay hold of these and endeavor to incorporate them into our social fabric. All around us the world is changilfg and they are hammering out new anA shining processes which mean greater ease, refinement and cul ture to those who participate in these benefits. We do not intend to be out distanced and left miserably behind if it is possible to avoid it, hence we must keep awake to the vastly progressive things which have already been accom plished, and which are yet to be accomplished. The Canadian hail arrangements are superir to ours, because those who wrote the law were enabled to proceed without the everlasting drawback of a constitution. Montana's Act has fallen down miserably because it was un constitutional to make appropriations covering the present emergency, for the reason that insurance against hail is a "private matter," touching indi viduals and the constituton does not allow moneys to be apportioned to that end. Just by what peculiar legerdemain this idea was arrived at shall not concern us here, what is of importance is this, that the Alberta law makes for communal group effort on the one hand and provide an arrangement I whereby full care is taken of emergencies such as have arisen amongst the farmers of Montana. We venture a guess that had the A. C. M.s profits been concerned in the writing of this act a different state of affairs would have been visible. Of course political control is all there is to it in a case like this, and the A. C. M. understands that. LABOR STARTS ON RECONSTRUCTION. The first gun for the battle for the retention of the railroads under gov- s ernment control has been fixed by the Machinists' organization, who met some time recently at St. Paul to discuss their various troubles in conven tion. The resolution adopted by them on this matter will be fepnd on an other page and is worth considerable study. Labor seems to have become convinced that working under government control is preferable to its for mer status and is going to put up a fight to have the thing rendered perman ent. It is true that the workers of Europe have not been very happy under sim ilar conditions for of course the government control idea has long been a fact there, especially where nations had entered and vulnerable frontiers e which had to be dominated by absolute government control, so that e in the event of attack no time would be )st in changing ownership. A fear- i ful muddle resulted in England right in the most critical phase of the late struggle as a result of corporate ownership of the railroads. Be that as it may, the great factor in the government ownership thing is not that economic benefits are so marked as to make a vast difference one a way or the other, for of course the laws of the market, of price and value a are still dominant and are not very amendable to legal supervision, but that ] the spirit of ownership is inculcated in the minds of the mass. The psycho- t logy of ownership is set up, the various things coming under the ownership a of the government become "Our Railroads, Our Packing Plants, Our Metal Mines," and from that arises of course the desire to make them in reality a what they now are nominally. I Industrial Democracy which is real democracy rests upon the fact of I ownership. The creation of desire to own and control is one of the great I factors in accomplishing that end. After all, the thing boils down to the a pertinent remark that "It depends who are the government," Thus in I North Dakota where a very large measure of the power of administration I is actually in the hands of the people great benefits accrue to them, millions have been retained in the hands of the farmers where else it would have help- I ed to make fat the parasite, but given government ownership under, say the I late Minnesota administration, and a good deal of misery could have been I dealt out to the useful people and a great deal of gain to the idle cupon- I clipper. The League's purpose is to place the administrative powers in the I hands of the producers, then the instrumentalities of transportation and I production will be in a fair way to function for all. 1 We are in the fight with Labor for government control. $110,000,000,000 WAR DEBT. Financial journals and responsible authorities generally seem to agree that i the world war debt is now almost beyond human computation. That is, one may set it down in so many cyphers, but to visualize what lurks behind the string of numerals thus set out in a task involving a very vivid imagination indeed. Some people who ought to know give the total indebtedness as $110,000,000,000 up to last May and what has been added since that time must be a very fat amount also. Now these debts are also to be used as political propaganda, and we shall have congressmen and senators shooting tremendous numerical gas attacks from both sides of the house, while platform orators will likewise rassle dazzle unwilling listeners with the metallic clatter of rapidly juggled arith metic. All of which will not tend, we may be sure to enlighten anyone about the matter in any way. That is not the purpose of such staff. We must confess ourselves, that the necromancy of figures, ably handled, always was more than a match for our ordinary intellect, to listen to these experts as they trail away into the trillions, as they lead their battalions and their divisions against an equally well equipped opponent, has always been very successful in filling up with intens edisgust. For what is there to it after all? What is a great debt but a mortgage upon the power of the producers? If it has ever been otherwise we have yet to hear about it. Certain gentlemen in Europe gathered together to float a loan. They presented their case something in this manner: There are in Europe so many millions of people who toil in mine, factory or farm, the annual result of their combined efforts is so many million dollars, the ainual share of this product paid back to them in wages or left with them in the case of small farmers, is so many millions less than that amount, about one-third as a matter of fact. The progressive increase due to improved technic and possibly the results of a few wars will be so much more per an num, they are fairly tame and not very much inclined to strike, and any way we have a big army to take care of that-allowing then, a generous share for the other parasites, how much can you advance upon our security? That's about all there is to it, of course, for interest is not made by an in crease in coin, but an increase of other wealth wrung from the producers in which process, money is but a circulating medium. Making the debt demo cratic, puts another angle on the matter, of course. The "reconstructionists" have found it must be "reconstruction" no longer, "readjustment" from now on please. The new after-war dictionary gives as the meaning of this word. Low wages, private, ownership, low priced farm products, bank control absolute-to gouge, coerce, bludegeon, as "they smashed the unions and trated the farmer to a bludgeon." "THE BLOODY SHIRT. Press dispatches of a few days ago carried the story that General Per shing had been mentioned for next president of the U. S. A. and that a club of some sort had been organized to boost the proposition. Now we do not know what Pershing thinks about this himself, but we are quite sure of this, that the world is moving so rapidly and evpnts developing - with such swiftness that, if there lurks in the minds of those who started this boom, the detestable idea of launching a "Bloody Shirt" campaign they are doomed to utter disappointment. The "Bloody Shirtists" may as well realize that a time is upon them when such hideous explortation of humanities pain will not be possible either in the domain or politics or~any where else. We are anxious to hear however, how this news affected the "great col onel." We have always understood generally-after reading that gentle man's books-that one Theodore Roosevelt was something in the nature of a soldier himself and since he has also been mentioned as a possible presidentive candidate, great wrath must be consuming him at the idea of some one else presuming upon what he no doubt regards as the right of the Roosevelt fam ily. That his military qualifications are undoubted there is no question. Everyone is familiar with the epoch making occasion when he led "columns of type up San Juan bill," but we have always thought that military ex perience was not a very necessary qualification for the office of president of the U. S., especially in the trying days to come. e .IUllllIIllllllllllllllIllllllllllllllllllllllll lilIuIl lllllllluIIIIIllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll MACHINISTS START FIGHT AGAINST REACTIONISTS The report of the committee on resolutions was read as follows: We, the delegates of Districts 32 and 48, assembled at St. Paul, r recognize the justice of the Government control of Railways, and be lieving that if the railways were ever to revert back to private own ership it would tend to create strife and discontent in the ranks of millions of railway workers and do hereby RESOLVE, that all Labor Boards created by President Wilson and the Director General of Railroads, be retained until Government Ownership of all railroads and transportation facilities is authorized by Congress and the Senate of the U. S. WE FURTHER RESOLVE, that our National Agreement Com mittee and Executive Boards of all Internationals use every effort to retain all Labor Boards, and use all the machinery of our organ- - izations to bring about Government Ownership of Railroads and transportation facilities as soon as possbile. 5i Committee-S. E. Gartner, Dennis Doyle, T. P. Connoy, - J. F. O'Connor, John Grudnhoefer, H. Hudson, W. T. Bibb. SiiI IIIllulII111111111111111111 uullIIIIIIIIIIIIII1illIIIIIIIlllIIIllIIIllIIIIillif THE RETURNING SOLDIER AND THE. LAND. We are getting a good deal of conversation lately about the returning sol diers. "Our boys" as the writers and orators call them. A good deal of the noise is merely for the purpose of saying something and generally darkens counsel, and is quite in line with the habit of parrots to snatch a thing out of the air and merely echo it, but now and then we read wisdom apon the sub ject. Wilson in his speech to Congress on December second made use of these words: it "I have heard much counsel as to the plans that should be formed and i I- personally conducted to a happy consummation, but from no quarter have - I seen any general scheme of 'reconstruction' which I thought it likely we e could force our spirited business men and self-reliant laborers to accept with due pliancy and obedience." L- Which is wisdom for the reason that "our spirited business men" will not accept anything but free and unlimited opportunities to profiteer, while L- "our self-reliant laborers" are not yet more than merely self-reliant. a Thus the business of the returning soldiers causes deep concern, for no one 'a except the "unthinkable radical" has any plan to propose that is not a it standing insult to the men who have endured the horror and misery of thih r- great war. se There is a proposition to "put them on the land" but the details involve such flagrant ignoring of progressive ideas upon the subject that the plan i: is unthinkable. The project is to drain swamp lands and irrigate desert land: e and sell them in small lots to returning soldiers at "easy terms." This i, Le all very well, or would have been if we were discissing the return of Romaz it Legionaries some two centuries B. C., but we are not, we are facing new an, s- terribly complicated developments. We have to improve upon the smal p allotment idea. dl It is expected, under what plans have so far been put forward, that th y soldiers will go to work at dayJabor, first of all to earn enough money t, make first payment upon the small farm he is expected to covet, which o f itself is stupidity incarnate. What on earth is in the minds of our "leadin. it men" that they are so incurably reactionary? Put the test to the soldie. e and he will immediately decline or maybe work a short while and then drif n away disgusted, to gather in the wage markets of the nation, where, after all n another gang wish to see him. 2 In any case, if the group system is not put in vogue with these men the 1. farm project will go to the "demnation bow-wows" for they are used tc a group work and the ordered mass action. Let them have the land, not by slav n ing at day wages first for an unlimited time, and not by deed of gift in small . parcels, but by a system of tenure in which- title rests with the community e in perpetuity and with the individual in terms of service. This scheme has a d few advantages which will not appeal to the loan-shark and the banker, for there is no way in which this tribe can get a strangle hold on individual farm ers and for ever after hold them as bond slaves. It will serve as a barrieI against the oppression of the Harvester Trust and against the railroads, should they again relapse into private hands. It will develop the idea of or Lt derly cooperative action which is the open sesame to progress, now as evkr. is Representative . W. PENWELL, Callatn o a in no it a . W. PENWELL. Gallatin County Things To Ponder SOver lllllllllulllluIIIIIIIllllllI I lllllllllllllllllllllllllllllI illlllli llI GLAMBECK WRITES OF POLITICAL POWER (Alberta Nonpartisan). We offer this to our readers as a t typical sample of how they think on e the other side: ( By John Glambeck, Sec. t There is cheering signs of a healthy t awakening along independent politi cal lines both among farmers and industrial workers. Now that the conservative farmers of Ontario have started to grasp its importance, it is t more than certain other eastern pro- t vinces will follow their lead, and with @ the west becoming more and more alive as a political factor, we can in e a few' years begin to look for the t voice of the farmer and worker to d ring in the legislative halls of the e dominion on behalf of the producers i and consumers of the country. t The political activity of most farm- a era amount to attending a political e meeting or two right before election e and vote the liberal or conservative N ticket because their fathers did the a same before them. They have to I vote for somebody, so what's the odds, v they don't expect anything great to, come from it and nothing does-only ' harm to themselves and the country a at large. Big Biz Awake to Politics. On the other hand, the big interests c and big business of the country take t a very lively interest in politics, it's 7 not too dirty for them to touch. They t are keen enough to realize that their a real. power depends on their political c control of the country. For it is an c absolute indisputable fact that their E power is political rather than indus- I trial, that is, they use the political power in their possession to gain their industrial power. And the very mo ment the farmers and workers awake to the full knowledge of this immense t power they have gained, if they t agree to stand together, it will be all up with the industrial power now held by the great financial magnates. I Big interests care nothing' about as long as they can control the party. Hence they genprally contribute to the campaign fdnd of both. This has been proven absolutely true in the States and would no doubt be true in Canada also. Has Industrial Experience. Before taking up farming 12 years ago, I lived 25 years in the city of chicago as a wage worker and as a salaried employe in the civil service. [ always belonged to a workers' union and when there was not one I tried to organize one. I realized the im portance of trade unions, but also realized it was only one part of the defense if the workers were to obtain any great benefit from our modern system of production their trade union government must be supported by independent political action. Attending as a delegate the trades and labor assemblies, a central body composed from the various labor un ions in Chicago, I used to be astonish ed to find the prominent labor lead ers and delegates were not only staunch republican or democrat, but that around election time they were actually engaged as henchmen for one or the other of the two old politi cal party machines, even using their official standing and eloquence to pull the wool over the eyes of the rank and file of their fellow workers and de livering their votes to the old party bosses. I could never comprehend how on earth workers should organize to fight their employers and then on election day drop their differences and put their arms around the en emy's neck by casting their votes for the very candidates the bosses had picked out to further their own inter est. How they could expect any ben eficial results to themselves is beyond me. Political Control at Work. Just to show how the employ ers' political control works out in real practice: "Suppose the workers in a certain industry de cide to form a union. As soon as a majority joins a committee is sent to interview the employ ers and ask to have the union recognized and to get a raise in wages. But business is run to secure big dividends and as high er wages would mean decreased profit. the, workers are usually told their union cannot be recog nized nor will their wages be in creased and if they are dissatis fied they can quit. The result is a strike and the bosses then start In to engage non-union men who are known as scabs. As the bosses control the civic government the mayor is noti fied to furnish police to protect property-the employers' prop erty. As the men own no pron erty they need no protection. The workers seeing their jobs filled by other men, and knowing that this job is all that stands be tween them and starvation, at once become active and decide to fight. Pickets are posted and moral persuasion is first tried .on the scabs. That fails, them trou ble starts and in the heat of pas sion- some get hurt and it may happen that someone gets killed. The I. W. W. The city police fail to keep order and the bosses who also own the state government, sends for the state mili i tia, and as a last resort for the fed eral troops, and that settles things. Only once in while is a strike won by the men and that only in times like the past two years when idle workers are scarce. During the strike a few leaders and turbulent fellows are gathered in and put in jail, and then the bosses make good use of another branch of the government they con trol-the judiciary-and the victims get a few years in the penitentiary. The leaders of the Industrial Work i ers of the World especially get this treatment. They do not believe in in dependent political action and when ever the workers who do not believe in it have asked for their cooperation, the I. W. W.'s have laughed at them " and called them political fools, etc., I etc. This is -often where ignorant i editors and their backers go astray when they dub every labor man who agitates for better conditions as an I. W. W. They call the farmers that when it suits them so to do, but peo ple are now getting better read and r understand when .such terms are mis r applied. No, the I. W. W.'s believe in sa botage, general strike, direct dislo cation of industry, they would fight e the employers on the industrial field. I They forget that the employers, with r their control of the government, the r army, navy, police and courts, could I crush them whenever it gets to a show down. The big employers have wait r ed their chance and it came directly - the United States entered the war. 1 The I. W. W.'s were aggressive and r obstructious, the federal government - was notified the harvest was ripe and the time was come to throw out the drag net. This was done and all ' the most prominent and turbulent I spirits were arrested, given.a sort of I trial in Chicago, and some given up to 20 years in the pen. Sad but true. Let us hope that these poor deluded fellows not only will be set free long before their term expires, but that they will have learned the lesson thht political ac tion is the one important thing after all for the workers. Farmers Must Use Politics. f To return to the farmers. When we in the farmers' unions, have decided to cooperate, we put I our dollars together and send for a carload of goods, we have cut out the profit of middlemen and done a good turn to ourselves. e But don't forget the goods were bought from some concern who were able to set their own price. e At any rate it was freighted over a privately owned railway, whose owners, through their political 5 power could charge exorbitant f freight rates., R When we go to our own com pany, the U. G. G., and buy machinery we get good machin V ery and perhaps for less than we t would have to pay the old line e companies. But whether that r machinery was bought in Canada - or in the States it had to be r bought from some combination II that could set their own price d and the protective tariff was add ed to that price, and it had to Y come over the privately owned d railway. So the amount saved is e small. 'And when we have organ n ized our strength and forced the a provincial governments to recog nize 'us and grant little conces r sions, IT is all very good, but d don't forget it is the real big thing we must get after. I- tfiman No e naul Withnns Pwr.,. Uemands No Good Without Power. Those demands that would interfere with the profits of big business, we will never get until we obtain politi cal power. When the war came the government decided to set the price of wheat and offered the farmers $1.40 per bushel. The organized farmers objected and sent represen tatives to Ottawa. When these suc ceeded in effecting a compromise of $2.21 per bushel, it was a goad thing for all and if for no other reason every farmer in the land should join the farmers' organization. But what the organized farmers did not do. and could not do, was to pre vent the big business interests of the country raising the price, aye, doub ling and trebling the price of every thing the farmer needed and had to buy in order to raise that wheat. Our power stopped short, so we were little better off with wheat at $2.20 than we were when wheat was cheap er. The Farmers Industrial Organiza tion is a good thing and every farm er should belong to it, but just as the workers' industrial union is only one part of their defense so likewise is the farmers'. If we are to obtain any great and lasting benefits, our industrial unions must be supplement ed with independent political action. -JOHN GLAMBECK.