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Montana labor news. [volume] (Butte, Mont.) 19??-1951, September 08, 1932, Image 1

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Publish 'd By the Silver Bow Trades and Labor Council—Weekly —In the Interests of Organized Labor
ls toH
Montana Labor News
The American standard of
living must be maintained
in order that American in
stitutions may not be sub
ject to perils of discontent.
There can be no prosperity
without justly high wages.
Earnings of working people
are the basis and index of
progress in any community.
Vol. VIII.
No. 26
rnwciiMCDC r n d dew * one
The United States senate passed
a tax bill some time ago, and as it
passed the senate an amendment
was introduced by Senator Howell,
Nebraska, levying a very light tax
upon the public utility corporations
which are generating electricity. It
was the belief, no doubt, of the in
troducer, it was the theory of the
senate when it adopted the amend
ment, that the amount was so small
that as a practical proposition it
would be impossible for the power
company to pass on the cost to the
The bill went to conference com
mittee, and when it came hack from
the committee that provision was
stricken out, and in lieu of it was
language providing for a direct tax
upon the consumer of electricity.
On the face of the conference
committee change it was a tax upon
every home in the United States
which used electricity: it was a tax
upon the owner of every retail store
which uses electricity, a direct tax.
Not Defended.
There was quite a contest over it.
It never has been defended any
where. Although it was assailed
on the floor of the senate viciously,
it never was defended by Senator
Smoot and the other conferees.
In the course of the debate, when
Senator Norris, Nebraska, had the
floor of the senate, he was inter
rupted by Senator Robinson, In
diana, who said:
"I want to observe, if the senator
from Nebraska will permit me, in
connection with his suggestion as to
the efficiency of the conferees on
the part of the senate, that I noted
this morning in the press a state
ment from Congressman Crisp, to
whom was attributed the responsi
bility for placing the burden of the
power tax on the consumers,
would like to read it for the ben
efit of the senate, assuming, of
course, that he is correctly reported."
Then he read;
"When the conferees reached the
tax on the electricity item Senator
Smoot stated that it was confiscatory
and that it would bankrupt certain
public utility companies in Utah. A
majority of the senate conferees
said the item was impossible. After
discussion and in the nature of a
compromise, I suggested a retail tax
on electric energy."
That is the end of the newspaper
vhieh the senator from
Then he said;
Indiana read.
"The interesting part of that state
ment, if the senator from Nebraska
will permit the further observation,
is this line, and it comes from Mr.
Crisp, according to the paper:
"A majority of the senate con
That would be three—
"A majority of the senate con
ferees said the item was impos
"That was after a majority in
"I am," writes an enquiring soul
from Buffalo, N. Y., "not a laboring
man. My sympathies, however, have
always been with labor. At the
same time, the American labor move
ment seems to be so reactionary,
judging from the utterances of some
of its spokesmen, and so full of
racketeering, if judged from news
paper items and other revelations,
that I hardly know any more whether
I am for or against unions. Under
the circumstances, would it not be
advisable for radicals and progres
sives to aid in building new unions,
or at least do whatever may be done
of purging existing unions of their
reactionism and racketeering procliv
ities. And please, while I greatly
enjoy your humor, I hope you will
give me a serious explanation."
this body had said that it was not
only not impossible but that it was
correctly and properly to be levied
against the vendor. But a majority
of the senate conferees, three out of
five, decided that a majority of the
senate was all wrong in the matter,
and therefore they would just switch
it around completely and add the
burden of this tax to the already
overburdened back of the taxpaying
consumers of the country."
Senator Norris of Nebraska on the
floor of the United States senate
"Now let us review what hap
pened with these companies which
cannot afford to pay a tax to the
Federal government.
"At the end of financing the Utah
Securities Corporation control of the
properties! a)id securities originally
controlled by the syndicate had been
transferred to Utah Securities Cor
poration, the first transfer of these
properties and securities to Utah
Power & Light Co. occurred. The
properties of the Telluride Power
Co., acquired by Utah Securities
Corporation at receivership sale at a
cost of $6,480,708.32, were transferred
to the Utah Power & Light Co.,
which wrote then on its fixed prop
erty amount at $22,100,000.
V'That ii
pumped into this concern over
"They bought the property for
$6,480,708.32, and the next day it
was worth $22,100,000; and that is
one of the power companies that
cannot afford to pay the tax the
senate proposed to levy upon it.
"This represented a write-up
cans water of $15,619,
a nice bit of w,ui
"More than fifteen and one-half
million dollars of water pumped into
that capitalization overnight; and the
poor people of Utah, Colorado, and
other states that are paying the bill
have to stand it all.
"The corporations are convert
ing water into gold by this pro
cess; and yet we are told that we
must not tax them, because they
cannot stand it; and therefore we
must levy the tax upon the poor
vho is now paying the
revenue on all this water."
in the other case mentioned in
the Utah Labor News last week
there was 27 million dollars of water,
now nearly 16 million dollars is
added to it in Utah.
Senator Norris said; "Subsequent
acquisitions, including both proper
ties acquired by purchase and prop
erties constructed by Phoenix Utility
Cc. or its predecessor, the Phoenix
Construction Co., which was the in
corporated construction department
of the Electric Bond & Share Co.,
were similarly written up on the
fixed capital account of the Utah
Power & Light Co. at prices $9,610-,
(Continued on Page Four)
All right, here
So serious, is it?
it goes, seriously:
Labor is
bought and sold on the market at
prevailing market prices. Its price
depends on supply and demand. If
demand goes up, the price of labor
goes up. If supply of labor goes
down the price of labor goes down.
When supply goes down and
demand goes up at the same
time, as happens during war time
when millions of workers arc drawn
out of industry and the fruits of
labor are destroyed by the billions,
labor is high cockalorum. Just now,
labor is in the dumps, a drug on
the market.
In the long run, and regardless
of fluctuations of the labor mar
ket. labor receives enough to pro
duce its labor power; that is suf
(Continued on Page Four)
It is
Generous Donations Are Offered as
Prizes for Sporting Events.
The Butte merchants again con
tributed generously toward making
Labor's celebration at Columbia
Gardens a huge success. They fur
nished refreshments for the hard
working committee who labored for
weeks to arrange the splendid La
bor Day program. The committee
as well as Labor as a whole wish
to thank the following places of
business for thinking of them in
donating these refreshments; Han
sen Packing Company, Price Coffee
Co., Standard Brands, Home Bak
ery, Eddy's Bakery and the Federal
No Labor Day picnic would be a
success without sports events, and
no sports events would be complete
without appropriate prizes,
the committee been forced to raise
cash prizes we fear there would
have been no sports events. The
merchants of Butte again came to
the rescue and donated prizes for
these events. After looking at the
prizes the editor's only regret is
that he does not have the shoulders
of Tunney, the speed of Tollan and
the stamina of Nurmi.
We thank the following merchants
for their generosity in donating these
J. C. Penney Co., Stratford
Clothing Co., S. & S. Jewelry, Green's
Cafe, Woolworth Co., F. W. Grand
Silver Store, Colbert Drug Co., Gor
don Jewelry, Klem's Shoe Store, La
Mode Hat Shop, Montana Hardware,
Gamer's Shoe Store, 4 North Main,
Clinton Drug, Shirley's Clothing,
Montgomery Ward Co., Wein's Clo
thing, Chappelle Cleaners, Keene
Shoe Store, Pipestone Springs, Louis
S. Cohn Co., Hoskins Drug, Shiner
Furniture Co., Henry Hirsh, Flor
shein Shoe Co.
P. J. Brophy Co., Parkway Gas
Station, Bouchers Inc., M. L. Y. Gro
cery, Rialto Theater, Chequamegon
Cafe, Price Coffee, Standard Brands
Inc., Mutual Creamery, Fuller Paint,
National Trunk, Craven Garage, Sy
mons Store, Larry Weir, Al's Photo
Shop, P. J. Boyle, Albert Zucally at
Standard Oil and Gas Station, Park
and Excelsior Gas Station, Metro
politan Market, Hansen Packing Co.,
Walker's Cafe, Safeway Stores, Pax
& Rockefeller, Palace Clothing.
U. C. L. Feeds 140
Jobless Families
Unemployed Citizens' League of Phil
adelphia is aiding 140 families daily
with food and supplies.
It has served notice on constables
that evictions of unemployed fam
ilies will not be permitted, and of
ficers entering workers' homes with
out search warrants will be treated
as trespassers.
Produce and supplies are donated
by league sympathizers, and nego
tiations are under way with the
American Red Cross to obtain flour
to be baked into bread by Bakers'
Union, Local 201. The only ex
pense encountered so far is gas and
oil for the trucks which pick up
donated supplies.
League officials proudly point to
the efficiency of the league's 4,000
investigations of applicants without
cost ' id without specially trained
group of non-union shops in northern
New Jersey have not paid wages to
their employes for several weeks,
charges Pres. Emil Rieve of the
American Federation of Full Fash
ioned Hosiery Workers, who is mak
ing an investigation of the situation
on behalf of union members work
ing in these shops. The Arrow Silk
Hosiery Co. of Irvington, N, J., has
failed to pay for seven or eight
weeks, he says. The union will in
stitute legal measures in an effort
to collect.
James Hudson Maurer, the So
cialist vice-presidential nominee, who
is affectionately known to a wide
circle of comrades and friends as
Jim Maurer, was born in Reading,
Pa., 68 years ago. His forebears
were sturdy German folk who came
to Pennsylvania in early colonial
times. He was the eldest of a large
family of children, and as his father
died before Jim's seventh birthday,
he was forced to go to work in order
to assist his mother in keeping the
family together. At the age of six
he was a newsboy, at eight he lived
on a farm, at ten he became a fac
tory worker and at fifteen a ma
chinist's apprentice. Altogether he
was permitted to attend school less
than three months.
He early saw the necessity of the
workers organizing for their own
protection and advancement, and at
the age of sixteen joined the Knights
of Labor and for more than fifty
years has held continuous member
ship in the ranks of organized labor.
Despite his very limited schooling
and extreme poverty he learned a
trade and managed to educate him
self particularly along economic lines
so that for a generation he has
been recognized as one of the ablest
leaders of the American movement.
For over thirty years he has been
a member of Local No. 42, United
Plumbers and Steamfitters, etc., of
the United States and Canada. In
1912 he was elected president of the
Pennsylvania Federation of Labor, a
position to which he was re-elected
every year following, until 1928, when
he retired after his election to the
city council of Reading, Pa.
About 36 years ago Jim found out
that the republican and democratic
parties both served the interest of
the owning class and did nothing for
the workers except when compelled
to do so. He joined the Social Dem
ocratic party and went from it into
the Socialist party when the latter
was organized in 1901. He has been
a candidate of his party almost every
year. In 1906 and 1930 he was its
nominee for governor, and in 1928
and again this year for vice presi
dent. He was elected a member of
the Pennsylvania house of represen
tatives in 1910 and again in 1914
and 1916.
terms he was the leader of the la
bor forces and was largely respon
sible for the passage of the Penn
sylvania Workmen's Compensation
Law, being the first in his state to
introduce a bill to establish such a
Throughout his three
In 1917 Governor Brumbaugh ap
pointed an official state commission
to study the matter of old age as
sistance and made Mr. Maurer its
Although this position
was purely honorary and carried no
salary, some of its expenses were
paid by the state, and Jim jumped
at the opportunity to expose the
evils of the poor houses and to show
the people that there was a much
better way of caring for indigent
old workers. He filled the position
so capably that he was reappointed
by Governor Sproul in 1920, again by
Governor Pinehot in 1923 and 1926,
(Continued on Page Four)
The Chamber of Commerce made plea after plea to the
Federal government to have the Department of Justice
Headquarters maintained in Butte, but to no avail. It
was stated that there was no room for an office here
while the Federal Building was being remodeled. A
number of families, connected with this department were
transferred to points in Washington. Butte decreased in
population, landlords are losing the rents paid by these
employees, merchants are losing business transacted by
these families and the city, county and state loses taxes
paid by these residents. All of this was a loss to Butte.
Communist Candidate
For Vice-President Will
Speak in Butte Sept. 9
James W. Ford, {vice-presidential
candidate, will speak in Butte, Sept.
29, at Main and Mercury streets. The
meeting will start at 7:80 p. m. The
Negro candidate will speak on the
bankruptcy of the capitalist system.
Ford is an outstanding fighter of
the working class. During the recent
bonus march in Washington, Ford,
who is a member of the Ex-Service
men's League, was in the forefront of
the struggle. He was jailed by the
Hoover government because of the
militant fight he carried on for the
Ford is a fighter on all fronts. At
the twelfth annual Teachers' and Stu
dents' Education Conference, held in
New York City, Ford atacked the ed
ucational system in the following
"Let us examine the state of educa
tion at the present time. The de
cline, the moral and spiritual decay
which characterizes capitalism as a
whole, is also reflected in the sphere
of education. In fact, education re
produces in miniature all the general
features of the crisis and in turn sup
plies a penetrating measure of the
decay of a system which blocks and
retards all the forces of progress at
a time when it is materially best able
to advance them.
unemployment, wage cuts, lower liv
ing standards, and the reduction of
educational expenditures have char
acterized the educational situation
during the last three years, resulting
in a worsening of the conditions of
instruction and impairing the quality
of the teaching."
Candidate for Congress to Speak.
On the platform with Ford, the
Communist candidate for congress,
Roger S. Murray, will also appear.
Murray will speak on state and local
He will speak on the role
of the Democrat, the Republican and
the Independent parties in this dis
coming of the Communist hunger
marchers to Washington last De
year of best-selling throughout the
nation, the three newspaper cor
respondents who last summer
launched the "Washington Merry
Go-Round" have published a second
and bigger volume—"More Merry
Go-Round." It opens with a chapter
on "Dance of the Depression," which
describes the contrast between the
cember, and the elaborate Hoover
dinners and parties of that same
month. It lists some of the social
extravagances of the year, produces
a come-on letter to a rich debutante
by young Baron Wrangel, broker in
titled alliances, and moves logically
along to a candid recital of the facts
of the stamping out of the Bonus
Expeditionary Forces by Hoover,
Secretary Hurley, General MacAr
thur and the army bayonets, gas
bombs, sabres, machine guns and
tanks. Much of the grim story of
Bloody Thursday is presented in this
book—to the discomfiture of Candi
date Herbert Hoover and his friends
who have outrageously lied about
what occurred.
In the chapter, "Nine Old Men,"
is told a great deal about the Su
preme Court, which Andrew Furuseth
of the Seamen's Union long ago dc
scribed as "God, in this country."
The authors say; "The economic, so
cial and political dictum of the land
is what they say it is, or rather,
Though there was no room for
office of these employees there seems
to be plenty of room for apartments
for the contractors engaged in re
modeling and enlarging the Federal
Building. These Contractors pay no
rent nor do they pay taxes. Their
salaries are stuck in their pockets to
be spent elsewhere. We in Butte
pay the bill. But has the Chamber
of Commerce protested this matter
to the authorities in Washington?
If they have no word has been given
out to that effect and the Chamber
is always sure to publicize its acts
to the utmost. From this we infer
that no protest has been made.
The only organization to make a
protest has been the Veterans of For
eign Wars. What is wrong with the
Legion? Two veterans were killed,
a baby was gassed to death and an
other veteran lost an ear for doing
the very thing that these contractors
are doing, when the veterans oc
cupied vacant buildings in Washing
ton. Men who risked their lives for
$30.00 per month in order to save
invested capital cannot occupy vacant
Federal Buildings, now that they are
unemployed and facing starvation, un
less they are gassed and sabred by
the army, while contractors, drawing
nice, fat salaries can do it in Butte
with perfest impunity. We would like
to see every veteran, unemployed in
Butte, move into the Federal Build
ing and establish his family there.
It would be interesting to see what
the results would be. We would
have word from Washington in no
time at all and our bet is that they
would be evicted.
These contractors are not only us
ing the space in the building but re
ports have come in from good auth
ority that they are using the rugs
from the various offices and have
made changes for their comfort and
If the Chamber of Commerce is
more than an eaClo for the A. C. M.
Co., and is really interested in the
welfare of Butte, let it take this
matter up with Washington and get
action. Make these contractors pay
rent and taxes.
what five of them, a bare majority
of one, may dictate. Decades of la
borious effort and millions of dol
lars may be expended to enact a
statute sweeping aside a barbarism,
but if the innovation runs counter
to the hardened prejudices and ob
solete theories of a mapority of
these nine then the taboo of "con
stitutionalism" is invoked and the
statute is outlawed. . . . Only a re
vision of the Constitution, a super
human task, can overcome the dead
hand of their disapproval." The in
come tax case of a generation ago,
the minimum wage case in the Dis
trict of Columbia, in 1912, and the
recent Oklahoma ice case, in which
the Court forbade a state to regulate
that utility, are cited as proof of
the effectiveness of this dead hand
against human progress and security.
These anonymous writers proceed to
disrobe Justices MeReynolds, Butler
and others of the feudal-minded
group, and to show the contrast be
tween them and Brandeis, Cardozo
and Stone.
Chapter Nine deals with "Muscle
Men," who are the defenders of the
established economic order who sit
in the senate and serve the actual
empire—the capitalist oligarchy.
"These men may oppose one an
other on the World Court or pro
hibition," it relates. "They may
tussle and joust as to whether a
Republican or a Democrat shall sit
(Continued on Page Four)

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