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Published By the Silver Bow Trades and Labor Council—Weekly—In the Interests of è d " L a b o r J Montana Labor News vvy vvy The American standard of living must be maintained in order that American in stitutions may not be sub ject to perils of discontent. vvy There can be no prosperity »ithout justly high wages. Earnings of working people are the basis and index of progress in any community. OFFICIAL ORGAN OF THE MONTANA STATE FEDERATION OF LABOR vvy BUTTE, MONTANA, THURSDAY, MAY 5, 1932 Vol. VIII. No. 8 SENATOR KANE SCORES ERICKSON ♦ CHALLENGES FIGURES QUOTED HY GOVERNOR ERICKSON IN HIS ANNOUNCEMENT AND ALLEGES INCONSIDERABLE EXTRAVA- GANCE. CLAIMS ADMINISTRATION HAS DISSIPATED HIGHWAY FUNDS IN UNAUTHORIZED MANNER, -♦ According to the state press, Governor Erickson, in announcing his can didacy, mentions the state debt. This is the first public admission by him that there is a state indebtedness, which he promised to pay off in the first four years of his administration. The governor states that the debt is about $8,600,000 and informs the voters that the debt has been reduced. This is the first statement given out officially by the governor or any person in authority at Helena, as to the financial condition of the state. I ask the people of this county and state to compare Governor Erick son's figures with the itemized figures given by me in previous letters. My figures were obtained from records in Helena and can be verified in every detail. I invite the governor or any state employee to write a statement, over his signature, as I have done, and dispute any item in my previous statements. I will then inform him as to which office he should go to find the records. How Figures Arc Juggled. As to the manner in which accounts are switched in the capitol will give one illustration out of many. Last year the employes in the highway de partment issued $700,000 in warrants, without any authority that I cun discover. Since January 1 they have been taking up these warrants, issued against the trust fund, with the collections from the gas tax. This cash is then taken out and used to pay the expenses of state administration and that is the reason we are not constructing any new highways this year. There were still $1,107,000 unpaid on April 1, but this reduction is called "reducing the state debt." When these warrants are paid, the gas tax will then have to be used to pay the contractors from last year. This will take most of it out of the state and cannot be switched around. A Costly Administration. The Erickson regime has expended state revenue far in excess of any previous administration in the history of Montana. Prior to 1921, the mill levy, for all state purposes, was 2 1-2 mills. In 1921 it was raised to 4 1-3 mills. It is now 5 1-3 mills. From 1921 to 1924, inclusive, the sums paid to the state from special license taxes averaged $567,661 per year. I have not the figures available for 1931, but in the previous six years of the Erickson administration the average yearly payment from the above sources was $1,591,031. This does not include the mill levy or the gasoline tax, but is principally new taxes. As to how they are getting rid of some of this money, I call your attention to the fact that last September, in spite of conditions in this state, the governor and the board raised the salaries of many of the employees. As to Bankruptcy Charge. As to my statement that the state administration has been bankrupted by mismanagement, which the governor so indignantly denies, I will give the facts and leave it to the voters to decide who is right. Since last January, the govern^ and his employees have been trying to borrow $1,600, 000 on debentures, voted by the people. Some time ago the governor called the managers of the chain banks and the Federal Reserve Bank at Helena into a conference and asked them as a special favor to lend this money to complete the unfinished roads of this state. He did not receive it. This was the greatest humiliation that could be offered to a great state. After three and one-half months of effort, they have not yet obtained it. In conclusion, I would request the voters to refuse to accept either my figures or the governor's figures on faith. Investigate the matter for your- selves and find out who is correct. There are still some offices in Helena where correct information can be obtained. When you send your inquiry, ask for all the figures on all the debts. When you have this information, the effort to deceive the people by giving out erroneous figures from state offices will cease. So will the present administration. -♦- r INVESTMENTS OF THE MONTANA POWER COMPANY IN "POLITICAL POWER T »7 ♦ MANY OF REPORTED INVESTMENTS OF POWER COMPANY ARE DESIGNED, WITHOUT DOUBT, TO IMPROVE WHAT THEY CALL "PUBLIC RELATIONS." Some interest and considerable speculation is aroused by the reported ownership by the Montana Power Company of stocks and bonds in various industrial and commercial organizations in the state, most of them having conceivable relationship to the generation or distribution of power, un less it be "political power." Two municipalities, Butte and Laurel, are the only ones, apparently, whose securities have attracted the interest of- the Power company. It holds $18,000 of the bonds of Butte and has made a modest investment of $1,400 in Ci tv of Laurel bonds. TLa hotel business appear to have a much greater attraction than municip al securities in the eyes of the power company, the investments in two of these enterprises in the state being quite substantial. Only one of them appears to have been profitable during the past year, no income from the other being reported. The third largest of the investments of the power company in enterprises aside from its own, is its investment in the Montana Flour Mills, the two larger being in the Mesa Power Company and the Idaho Transmission Com pany. Social organizations seem to have had ready response from the investment department of the power company. The political advantages of these con tributions, some of them of good size, has evidently not been overlooked by the astute directors of the company. That they are not considered finan cially profitable is evidenced by the fact that they are inventoried at a book value of $1 each. The following are the enterprises in which the Montana Power Company has seen fit to purchase interest: no .V Stocks. Idaho Transmission Co., Rocky Mountain Power Co., New Finten Hotel Co., Gates of the Mountains Transportation Co., Bozeman Community Hotel, First National Bank of Hardin, Hilands Golf Club, Meadow Lark Country Club, Montana Livestock Pavilion Co., Montana Oil Syndicate No. 2, Vance Air Service, Bitter Root Farm Products Co., Montana Flour Mills, Bonds. Meadow Lark Country Club, Butte West Sides Mine Co., City of Butte Bonds, Musselshell County Special Improvement, Montana Club, Helena, City of Laurel Bonds.—from "Western Progressive." I r r UNFAIR: SWIFT, ARMOUR. AND MORRELL COMPANIES ft* LABOR'S PLAN FORL UNEMPLOYED RELIEF ♦ BUTTE UNIONS PRESENT COUNTER PLAN FOR RELIEF WORK -♦ This agreement between Organized Labor in Silver Bow County as rep resented by the Silver Bow Trades and Labor Assembly, the Butte Build ing Trades Council and all affiliated Local Unions who are also affiliated with the American Federation of Labor, to be known as Labor and the party of the first part, and the Butte Chamber of Commerce, Associated Industries, Montana Power Co., Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph Co., Butte Water Co., Butte Street Railway Co., County of Silver Bow, City of Butte and all other employers of Labor, whether direct or indirect, in Silver Bow County, to be known as Employers and party of the second part. Both parties to this agreement realize that this community is face to face with an emergency, to solve which, requires the full measure of sac rifice and cooperation of both parties. Labor agrees to donate to the Silver Bow County Relief Association from their earnings, on the following schedule: First $50 earned—No donation. From $50 to $76 earned—6 per cent donation. From $76 to $100 earned—10 per cent donation. From $100 to $125 earned—16 per cent donation. From $126 to $176 earned—20 per cent donation. All over $176 earned—30 per cent donation. The party of the second part agrees to donate to the Silver Bow County Relief Association on the following schedule; .Commercial Businesses—10 per cent of their income. All Public Utilities—60 per cent of thefl- income. All rents to be reduced—60 per cent. (This to apply to both business and residential rents.) All salaried employees of the City and County governmental department to donate on the same schedule as laid down for the party of the first part. Both parties to this agreement are to have equal representation on the board which will control the disbursing of this relief fund. It is understood by both parties to this agreement that this is solely an emergency measure and that when the emergency has passed, all donations will stop. Within thirty days after this emergency ceases to exist, a final accounting of this fund shall be given to both parties and any monies not expended will be turned over to the Associated Charities. This agreement will be presented to all locals for their endorsement or rejection. ■4- MOTOR, RADIO TAX PROTESTS SHOW CAPITALIST DISASTER ♦ WASHINGTON—(FP)—Proof that the automobile and radio manufac turing industries, which were the outstanding features of industrial pros perity in 1929, have shrunk disastrously during the depression, was offered by the leaders of those industries, April 18, to the Senate Finance Com mittee, with a plea that they be not ruined by the proposed tax on sales of motor cars and radio receiving sets. The picture drawn by George M. Graham, of the National Automobile Chamber of Commerce, was one start lingly at variance with the impression promoted by the White House—that recovery of the motor vehicle production business was "just around the corner." Graham was accompanied by Edsel Ford by President Sloan of General Motors, by Walter Chrysler, and by Roy Chapin, chairman of the Board of the Hudson Motor Co. He testified that the number of workers in the industry has fallen from 690,000 at the peak of activity to 340,000 on part time, and that the payroll has come down from $1,028,791,000 in 1929 to $463,000,000 today. The five-year average production of cars, 1927-31, for the first quarter, showed a delivery of 780,681 cars and trucks, against 336,369 for the same quarter in 1932—a drop of 67 per cent. If congress levies an excise tax on motor vehicles, he argued, it will wipe out the manufacturers' profits. It would, he said, affect employment in 41 states, where automobiles are manufactured, and would affect jobs in every state through its deadly influence on the market for raw materials, Graham asserted that earnings of automotive manufacturers, excluding Ford, who does not publish his balance sheet, fell from $331,538,370 in 1929 to $71,463,386 in 1931. Sound business would have dictated closing many plants during a large portion of the past two years, he said, but "We have continued to operate largely out of the belief that we owe it to the country to keep labor employed so as to avoid the necessity of govern mental gratuities to the destitute." This was the first argument made by any big group of American cap italists that their industrial operations during the panic were dictated in part by fear that the unemployed would insist upon support from the fed eral government. Graham admitted that he and his associates had "small immediate chance to make money for ourselves," but insisted that if the proposed 3 per cent tax were spared them, they might pull through. If the tax became law, they saw no hope of survival. Radio manufacturers followed with even more pessimistic statements. They reported that sales had diminished by more than 76 per cent, that they had lost over $56,000,000 in the past year instead of making any profits, and that the number of dealers had shrunk from 40,000 in 1929 to only 10,000 at present. Not only had the retail price of receiving sets been cut to about 45 per cent of the average price in 1929, but the num ber of sales st these cut prices was far below the former number of sales at maximum prices, in all parts of the country. A federal tax on sales of radio, they declared, would be the finishing touch; it would drive most of them to the wall. CENTRAL COUNCIL NOTES Despite Democratic Rallies and other meetings there was a very fine at tendance at the Council meeting. The return of the ladies added an extra touch of dignity to the scene. The Council endorsed the resolution of the Engineers, asking the County Commissioners to prevent road work being done by Independent Contractors. They request the county to do the work using residents of Silver Bow County on the job and using hand work to the displacement of machinery, thereby employing more men. The peace committee was discharged after reporting no progress and a Let us hope every opponent of the lust failure to carry out the program, two peace meetings is placed on the front lines and we will gladly chip in enough to buy a fitting memorial. But no pensions for arm-chair colonels. Driscoll reported that the State Federation won its fight in gaining the prevailing wage scale on the government contracts in Helena. The Council endorsed Joe Monoghan for U. S. Congressman, in the Joe is a Butte boy and has a fine labor record. He was for merly a member of the Workingmen's Union and did a fine job for Labor when he sat in the legislature at Helena, thought and thoroughly liberal. Joe is now sporting a new car, given him by a friendly dealer, to enable him to do a good job of campaigning this year. Good work, Joe and good luck. If dealers make a practice of this the editor might run for office for the old boat sure could stand replacing. A Committee was appointed to draw up resolutions condemning the School Board in its wage slashing program, especially the slashes made in Teachers' salaries. The policy of wage slashing is against the best nomic principles and against the policy of organized labor. The Council, from the floor, voiced their disapproval of this policy and the committee will carry this condemnation to the board. primaries. Joe is also Independent in eco After some lively general discussion, the meeting adjourned. -4 SEES 100,000 LOSING FEDERAL SERVICE JOBS WASHINGTON—(FP)—Following Secretary Mills' declaration, in a let ter sent April 20 to the Senate Appropriations Committee, that the 10 per cent slashes in departmental appropriation bills is a sham economy which will paralyze the governmental machinery, an administration official de clared, April 21, that the positions of 100,000 federal employes would be worthless if these cuts continued. This official, who refused to be quoted by name, estimated that virtually all of the savings, under the slash plan, would have to come from salaries. This would mean the retention of only the key men and women in each bureau and division, and dismissal of all others. Members of the House and Senate began, the same day, to indicate alarm at what they had already done in cutting the Interior Department appro priation. Sen. Ashurst read to the Senate a long telegram of protest against cutting of federal salaries and dismissal of federal workers, this message coming from business and professional men at Phoenix, dorsed their plea, saying that the hysterical action of Congress was be coming dangerous folly. Rep. Keller of Illinois, asserting that he would vote against all further reductions in pay and in salary budgets, explained his vote for the slash in the Interior Department budget by saying that Chairman Byrns of the House Appropriations Committee had assured him and the other Demo crats that no reductions in pay were involved. He en- LAGUARD1A THINKS PAY SLASH CAN BE STOPPED ♦ WASHINGTON—(FP)—Rep. LaGuardia of New York declared, April 24, that he thought enough House members could be made to see the bad eco nomics, the inhuman policy and the dangerous politics involved in the pro posed general pay slash for federal employes, to insure the defeat of the measure in that body. He said the Hoover forced-furlough scheme, which would cut even more from the earnings of the lower paid employes than would the omnibus bill offered by the House Economy Committee, would be beaten even more decisively. As leader of the triumphant attack on the sales tax which led to the defeat of that proposal in the House, LaGuardia is in touch with the views of enough of the House membership to make him confident that the wage slash scheme will not pass. His first line of attack will be opposition to the granting of any rule for limiting debate on this wage measure. Speaker Garner and Majority Leader Rainey, having boasted their belief that the House should have unlimited freedom to debate the sales tax, can scarcely make a gag rule on debate of the wage slash a party issue. Since the American Legion and the American Federation of Labor, the national farm oiganizations and many other groups whose members are directly affected by the proposed reduction in standards of maintenance are opposing the Democratic scheme of wage cuts and the Hoover scheme of making the lower-paid employes of the government bear the heaviest proportion of sacrifice, the debate will be bitter and prolonged. STATE FEDERATION CONVENTION COMMITTEE ORGANIZED The Committee on Arrangements for the State Federation Convention, to be held in Butte, June 28, 29 and 30, met and organized as follows: Chairman, Francis McKelvey. Secretary, Paul J. Elder. Members, F. W. Krabler, L. H. Bradley, Theodore Stein, Lena Mattausch, Harry Grimes, A L. Peterson and Chas. Young. The following sub-committees were appointed; Committee on Finance— L. W. Bradley, Miss Lena Mattausch and Paul J. Frier. Committee on Arrangements for Convention Headquarters and Location for Sessions—Chas. Young, F. W. Krabler and A. L. Peterson. Committee on Reception and Entertainment—Miss Lena Mattausch, F, W. Krabler, Theodore Stein, Francis McKelvey and Harry Grimes.