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THE PEOPLE'S VOICE
Published Weekly by The People's Voice Publishing Co. at 1205 Lockey Street, Helena, Montana P. O. Box 838 Entered as Second Class Matter December 7, 1939 at the Post Office at Helena, Montana, under the Act of March 3. 1879. CO-OP PUBLISHING CO., HELENA. MONT. H. S. BRUCE, Managing Editor Subscription Price: Year $1.50; six months $1.00 No Commercial Advertising except from Co-operative Business institu tions accepted. Rates on application. A Six-Day School Week? This sudden splurge for a six-day school week, ostensibly based on concern for farm labor supply is not receiving un qualified support from the educators assembled in Helena, this week. To be sure, most of them are not considering the question from the standpoint of what may or may not be neces sary, but are prone to think of the advisability of the six-day school week in terms of efficiency in teaching and learning. And these considerations should certainly not be lost sight of in mulling over the question. It is problematical, certainly, whether very many of the urban youth would be the least bit interested in working on a farm, or be much good as farm workers for quite a while, if they could be enticed to go after such work, Most of the urban youth, have become convinced that farm work is nothing but drudgery for long hours each day and that the remunera tion for such labor is small, as it usually is. Moreover, many of the boys and girls in high school, are receiving vocational training in some line or another, and those who are taking training in some mechanical line are no doubt looking forward to employment in industry and getting war time wages. It is also a fact that a large number of high school stu dents have employment on Saturdays to help out their families' budgets, or to secure for themselves some spending money which may or may not be important but certainly seems so to them. Should the six-day school week be inaugurated, Satur day employment will, of course, be impossible, or else attend ance on that day will measurably drop. Perhaps, cooping up the young people in schoolrooms six days each week will shorten their attendance in terms of weeks or months, but there is certainly a question whether it will be conducive to education. "Cramming" is never very effective from the standpoint of mental development. From the viewpoint of what the six-day school week is going to accomplish in the way of creating needed manpower, it appears to this writer that it may finally resolve itself into just another "gesture" for meeting the farm labor emergency which is undoubtedly in the offing. The employment service now has a division which is to work toward providing adequate farm labor when the need arises. For this division of the em ployment service, the plan of the six-day school week might present very distinct advantages. This division will be able to report, perhaps, if the school term is shortened by adoption of the six-day school week, that on such and such a date, so many hundreds or thousands of youth were made available for work on the farm. It will sound good in figures but if the number who are anxious to go out to the farms to work were tabulated, the result might knock a hole in the data on the accomplishments of the employment service insofar as it may pertain to farm labor made available from the lengthening of the school week. It does not seem that curtailment of the opportunités for education or any action that might conceivably hamper education of youth or affect its possible efficiency should be mandatory at this time. Not even to help the employment service to make a showing. Other considerations are more important. Hopeful Last Saturday, the state executive committee of the Young Republicans met in Helena, and out of their deliberations on the "State of the Union" came a strongly worded resolution which is printed elsewhere in this issue of The Voice. The organization recognized the need of housecleaning in the Republican party and made a most militant demand that this be brought about. If the Young Democrats would now follow suit, and each one of the organizations follow up their demands with militant action, the result might conceivably be of advantage to the state and if national action is brought about, to the country as a whole. To be sure there are some discrepancies in the resolutions adopted, presumably as the platform of the Young Republi cans. These arise principally, when their resolutions entered the field of economics, things they condemn deserve castigation, but as Swift in his poem to Ingersoll reproaching him for his atheism said "You take, but give naught in its place." Perhaps, if the Young Republicans are able to force re organization of their party, the Young Democrats may be forced to take a similar stand in regard to their party organ ization. Then it is possible that other remedial steps may be taken by both parties. Certainly both need to have leader ship that is not living as much in a dead and buried past, as seems to be the case now. We might agree that many of the any rate, an interesting campaign. We might remind them both that there are about 30,000 militant voters not bound by any party ties in this state. Maybe some of them might also have some The leaders of both parties might consult them on ideas. questions pertaining to practical economics applicable to party platforms both to "run on and to stand on." Pension Grab That our senators and congressmen could have had the illimitable gall to vote themselves pensions at this time is al most incredible, yet in view of the attitudes of some of them on many other matters, it is understandable, general absense of criticism in the metropolitan press about this conscienceless grab, indicates that the big shots controlling capital and industry and the press which they also own and control are content to see their "boys" help themselves to some Moreover the swag; direct and indirect contributions to their stooges in the con gress less burdensome. The specious argument has been advanced that as sen ators and congressmen they are government employees and entitled to the same security for their future as are other gov ernment employees. This is nothing but pure sophistry. In the first place, a government employee takes a competitive ex amination to prove his fitness for the position which he desires, and it may be said that in most cases, generally the pay is small and the only advantage which a government position promises is that of possible permanent tenure. Moreover, the employee is hired by the federal government to perform spe cific public work, is barred from participation in politics and his status, except, as noted above, with respect to possible permanent tenure, differs in few essentials from that of an employee in private work. A member of the national legislature gets his employment as such, directly from his constituents. The only competition he has to enter is the contest against a political opponent. He is directly employed by the people as their representative for a definite time. While filling that office, he is paid a salary commensurate with the responsibilities involved, and the con census of opinion is that in most cases they are paid far more than they are worth as representatives of the great mass of common people who employ them. When the people decide that they want someone else to represent them; that the rep resentative has not done his job as they expected him to do, they discharge him. He isn't "retired" except the word be used as a gentle expression. Actually the people "fire" him and hire another in his place. His status then, if he be con sidered a "government employee" would be exactly the same as that of any other employee discharged for inefficiency. He is not entitled to "retirement" pay or pension from the govern ment. The question that must occur to all American people is "Where were all of these representatives who are always pro fessing such great concern about spending government funds?" Where were all those who weep crocodile tears of anguish when an appropriation is being made to keep American citi zens from going hungry? guardians of public funds who storm and rave about the coun try's financial condition going to the bow-wows if an appro priation is made to provide a few extra dollars for the aged who have earned everyone of those dollars a thousand-fold? What excuse has congress now to offer for not passing a na tional pension measure? Where were all those stalwart We piece of legislation an example arrant venality. We challenge anyone of those instrumental in en acting the measure providing for this pension to justify it on any grounds. ■a a - FROM EDITORIAL COLUMNS Record Shows Grab Bill Trickery The Spokesman-Review:—Many persons have wondered why publicity about the pension grab bill, by which members of congress, the President, cabinet heads and many other fed eral executive officers were placed for the first time under the civil service retirement act, was not given earlier, so that pro tests might have prevented its final passage or its approval by the President. The reason is that the bill was sneaked through the lower house as an innocent amendment to the civil service retirement Its PUrnose F act and passed without debate or a record vote, did not become known until it came up in the senate, where it passed after a brief discussion and was signed by the Presi dent. A record vote was forced in the senate and it shows that Senators Bone and Wallgren of Washington, Wheeler and Murray of Montana and Holman of Oregon voted for it, while Senators Clarke and Thomas of Idaho and McNary of Oregon were recorded as not voting. There is no way of knowing how the representatives from these Pacific northwest states, or from any other state, for that matter, stood on the bill as it passed the house by viva voce vote. The Congressional Record of December 1, 1941, tells how the bill was slipped through the lower chamber without dis closing its real meaning, in the following simple record of pro ceedings: The clerk called the bill (H. R. 3487) to amend further the civil service retirement act, approved May 29. 1930, as amended. The Speaker pro tempore—It there objection? any to the bill, but this is a bill of 10 pages, and I am wondering whether or not the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Ramspeck) would give the membership an explanation of it. Mr. Ramspeck—Mr. Speaker, this bill undertakes to amend the civil service retirement act in three or four particulars. It extends the coverage of the act to quite a number of people who are not now under the civil service retirement act or the social security act. It extends the age limit at which people must be retired tor two groups: One from 62 to 70 years, and one from 65 to 70 years, and permits all employees that come under the act to retire at 60 years if they have had 30 years in the government. It increases the rate of con tribution for retirement from 3 y 2 percent to 6 percent. In brief, that is what the bill does. This masterpiece of deceit by omission of the truth oc curred "one slumberous afternoon," so quietly that "seven hawk-eyed reporters in the press gallery failed to note the words 'legislative and 'elective officials, buried away discreet ly in section 3," says the Detroit News, which comments bit ■Mr.' Speaker, I withdraw my reservation of objection. Mr. Gon terly : Congressmen were among the "quite a number of people" for whose benefit, according to Ramspeck, the retirement act was to be extended. The cheap trickery by which this measure thus was slipped through the house sufficiently characterizes it. The attempt of the congressmen to pension themselves was Intended as a deliberate fraud on the American people. Congressmen are not employees of the federal government, but political officers. and under present circumstances unconscionable, even apart from the fraudulent manner of the undertaking. The proposal to pension them is revolutionary Co-operate for Profit For the past several years there has been conspicuous rivalry between Senator Wheeler and Senator Murray. Polit ical matters of interest to the state were often neglected be cause these two "rugged individuals" could not agree to co operate. The two senators had no difficulty getting together to vote themselves pensions. When it came to personal profit they swallowed their political hatreds, ambitions and ideals to line their pockets with taxpayers' gold. I have long admired Senator Wheeler's intestinal fortitude in fighting and winning against fearful odds. I never ques tioned his sincerity when he was fighting for the right. Now, however, I find another political idol with feet of clay. And while we are on this pension subject let us recall that President Roosevelt vetoed every pension and compensa tion bill presented to him that would benefit the veteran of World War No. 1 He hastily signed the bill granting pen sions to congressmen and senators and presidents and vice presidents. How sincere was he when he was vetoing vet erans bills? This nation is at war against powerful and clever enemies. The seat of our government is the congress. The congress gives every indication of being corrupt. What a sorry mess! What a bitter pill for Mr. and Mrs. John Public to swallow. In conclusion I am willing to publish any defense Senator Wheeler or Senator Murray may wish to present. That also goes for President Roosevelt.—Missoula County Times. The People's Voice also offers space to the senators for any defense they feel able to offer.—Ed. Dies Helps The Axis If there are any Fifth Columnists on the Atlantic seaboard signaling to axis submarines off shore, they owe a debt of grat itude to Rep. Martin Dies of odious fame. In the Sunday newspapers from coast to coast, Dies spread ' HOLLYWOOD SHORTS «. By TED TAYLOR In this town, where wisecracking is one of the leading occupations, an obstructionist underground is getting In some dirty licks in word-of-mouth propaganda. Fortunately there are also a number of propaganda-con scious individuals here who are doing their best to scotch the stuff. Much of the poison is in the form of cute little gags that are framed for quick circulation by the "Did you hear about the glamour girl who—" tech nique. To finish that one up and give an example, "a certain glamour girl" who finds her dates falling off is supposed to call an army camp and offer to do her duty and entertain one of the boys. "And that's why the lonely gal is a lone date with a lonely soldier." Sort of dumb, but put that way and whispered about, it appeals to a cer tain type of idle speculator who loves to name names. The effect is to make the girls hesitate about jeopardizing their popularity by being seen with a man in uniform. Gossipy bits or out-and-out gags, cir culated by the unthinking, more or less subtly ridicule air wardens, air raid precautions, actors who give their time to help defense bond sales, and so on. Another type of gag burles ques the FBI roundups of enemy aliens or implies Inefficiency in airmail serv ice, and such. These start as night club small talk, are snapped up by some of the gag hungry columnists, and then are re peated in all directions. When it is considered that equally tunny jokes may be created for constructive pur poses, there is reason to suspect mal ice. One Hollywood trade paper column ist had been retailing the obstruction ist gag line consistently, climaxing with three digs at defense angles and one at labor in a single day's column. Some of the publicity boys started a backfire of gossip to the effect that his stunt was drawing the attention of the fbi and he suddenly reformed, Coincident with the opening of the Red < - !ross campaign for blood donors, a new and nasty underground line of tattle has started, obviously designed has the familiar Introduction, "Why, a girl I know has a friend who says she called a Red Cross station, and the nurse said. . . ." This you will recognize as the way blatant World War I lies were circulated. Hollywood labor is wholeheartedly giving its blood to build the bank of life-saving plasm. AFL and CIO were represented in the opening day's do nors, and many of the unions are mak ing mass appointments. Forty M.G.M. grips kept one date, for example. Cecil B. deMille was the most prominent individual donor among the first 60. The Los Angeles center is now put ting 120 volunteers a day through the short, impressive, and painless cere mony. Mark Freeland, crack New picture exploiter, is handling the blood procurement, aided by two volunteer local publicists. The Screen Publi cists Guild division of the Hollywood Writers Mobilization for Defense has placed volunteers with half a dozen projects, and while waiting more spe cific calls has its members turning out slogans to fit every possible de fense angle. The writers' mobilization is a clear ing house of screen and radio writers, screen readers, cartoonists and news papermen to handle all sorts of prop aganda material. It is working close ly with the actors-producers-agents victory committee through which act ! ns talent is cleared for appearances Some of the Iabor groups in Holly . wood have thought up special chores. The defense committee of the Screen Office Employes Guild has taken re sponsibility for inspecting arrange ments at the Individual studios for warning and sheltering all workers in case of raid. Of course this is a fire and police Job, but the SOEG is making a double check wtih the real istic approach of people who work on the spot and are familiar with inti mate but important details. BRIGHTEN THE CORNERS Cartier advertises a gold safety pin with a diamond at $220. For a mere $440, any union man's wife can make diaper-changing a sparkling joy. the word that enemy agents are engaged in such activities and that he proposed to "investigate" them. It is, of course, possible that spies in the country are com municating ship movements to lurking submarines off our shores. If so, then Dies has given them ample warning. This is, of course, not the first time Dies has been of as sistance to the enemies of our country. "committee" is one of constant attacks against people and or ganizations which believe in and practice democracy. If spies are working, as Dies says they are, then he is guilty of treason for warning them to take to cover. If this is a figment of his imagination, then he again stands indicted as a poltroon and a man devoid of honesty and common de cency. The record of his It goes without saying that the properly constituted au thorities, the intelligence departments of the Army and Navy, the FBI and other government agencies, are the ones to deal with espionage activities. They are not helped, but are defi nitely handicapped, by the gyrations of this poll tax congress man. Unfortunately, the daily press always co-operates with Dies when he needs publicity in the hope of wrangling another appropriation from congress. He now wahts another $100, 000 and talks grandly of "investigating" the Ku KIux Klan (with whom he has always co-operated) and shrieks about sig nals to axis submarines. The Dies Committee has constantly given aid and encour agement to the fascist forces in our country, native and foreign. If he was merely a nuisance once, he now becomes a positive danger. Our country is at war. We cannot afford to toler ate, much less finance, an American Quisling. The American people must let congress know that the Dies committee must go.—Washington New Dealer. f OPINIONS OF READERS Publications of communications under this heading, does not imply »fcff The Voice agrees or disagrees with the opinions expressed. Letters sub mitted for this department should be brief and the subject matter dis cussed to some degree at least, objectively. Circle, Mont., Feb. 2, 1942 Editor, People's Voice: As my subscription to The Voice has expired please discontinue send ing it as I am unable to pay for same thanks to the operation of the AAA as my little crop of wheat is hot wheat and I refuse to pay any pen alty. All I have asked is to be al lowed privilege to make my own liv ing and no little handouts from the government. While I am almost 80 years old I can still make my own way if allowed to do so. I accept no pension, WPA or other form of relief. I was among the first to subscribe for your paper around here and hate to have to give It up. Yours truly, E. S. McKEAN. I am a REAL small dirt farmer, not a banker, county official or business man, many of whom are in the farming deal big, expecting us fellows to patronize or vote them into office, pay the taxes allowing them the profit, and they all vote for the quota as real farmers. P.S. : Creston, Mont., Feb. 10, 1942 Editor, The People's Voice: Some time ago you stated in The Voice that under the new Income tax law a man making $2,000 a year would have to pay $6,00 in income tax. Is that not a mistake? You must have meant $60.00 a year. During the darkest year of the de pression some of us small diversified farmers on an income often less than $1,000 paid more than ten times $6 twice a year. In fact all we could scrape together and often some more went for taxes and Interest. That is of course the main reason why so many farmers lost their homes. I be lieve that a tax on income is the most just tax system and tax on homes the most unjust even more unjust than the sales tax. I wish some of the able writers in The Voice would answer these ques tions: How could the war we now are engaged in be financed without bor rowing the money? Should U. S. bonds bear Interest? the pile of gold, 20 billions or more now in cold storage be made to help finance the war? Information on these subjects would be much appreciated by farmers and other workers in this community— especially all of us that know what it means to pay interest. K. ODEGARD, P. S.: I wish The Voice would give us the truth about the so-called "Pen sion Grab." St. Ignatius, Mont. Editor, The People's Voice; Just listened to a discourse by Al bert Warner on the serious question of INFLATION. Now as an old man and with memories of past crowding forward, I fail to see the position being taken by congress and big busi ness as fair or just to primary pro ducers and middle class and poor consumers. In the last 60 years, processors in nearly every commodity formed trusts removing the law of competition as well as the law of supply and demand and inflated prices on such processed commodities to "highest point busi ness could possibly stand." Now such inflation created a corresponding de flation in prices of labor and primary products, hence, the purchasing power of labor and farm products could bare ly pay Inflated prices and taxes and exist. To illustrate, 60 years ago when farm machinery was made and- sold under competitive system, the price to consumer was less than one third of present price notwithstanding im proved methods of manufacture has advanced wonderfully, yet the farmer advanced wonderfully, yet the farmers have been forced to accept the price fixing by the farm machinery trust. Now fear of Inflation leads our gov ernment to start anti-inflation on the labor and primary producers and not a word of consideration is given the already inflated trust protected indus tries. If our congress is really look ing to the welfare of the masses, why do they not take steps to first DE FLATE trust fixed prices long since imposed, when such inflation has al ready deflated prices and brought a great part of the common people to the point of financial ruin? Then how can our government ex pect to Inflate our financial respon sibilities as a people in payment of increased taxes, when they are al ready under the trust inflation so im posed in past years? Of course, since a great part of our congress are corporation lawyers, we could expect the question of inflation to begin at bottom classes, Instead of the top, and the question of placing protected processors and speculators on an equality with people outside of their realm of power an influence as out of thought, but the light of facts may appear to the "goats" before the question is finally settled. Mr. Editor, will you • explain why a suit of clothes containing raw ma terial returning the primary producer $1.00 to $1.50 should be returned to him at a price of $26.00 to $30.00 under present improved modern meth ods of manufacture? Why a twine binder could be pur chased 60 years ago for $76 to $90 is now priced at $285 to $300? Why a ceiling is placed on farmers eggs, meat, butter, etc., and no floor under them, while is on packers prices after the produce passes out of the farmers hands? E. B. S. Clyde Park, Mont., Feb. 10, 1942 Editor, People's Voice: I am sending you a clipping which stresses a question on which econom ic and financial problems seem to pivot. Money, public finance. In the face of all the previously unheard of billions of dollars now being spent by the U. S. government, the intelli gent citizen wonders from what ocean of wealth is this said money being steam shoveled. All the money that comes under my observation is "FIAT" money—a full legal tender for all debts, public and private. Redeemable at the Treasury of the United States of America. Hence, congress is steam shoveling these previously unheard of billions of money from America's ocean of public credit. But who clips the cou pons from these billions and billions ' who furnish the credit also pay the coupons? bearing Why should the whole people who supply the credit, then permit a fa vored racketeering group to clip in terest bearing coupons, which cou pons are the same "we the people" Here is a deep and vital matter of public waste which challenges the intelligent investigation of all citi zens. A question on the vital truth of which we seem to know less than we know about the movement of the heavenly bodies and their influence upon human beings and human events. Hopefully yours, R. D. KENNEY. The clipping follows: PATMAN END 'INTEREST RACKET' WASHINGTON.—Rep. Wright Pat man, Texas democrat who was the recognized leader in the protracted battle in congress for the soldiers' bonus, has Introduced a bill in the house of representatives which would end the Interest racket in government bonds, which he said "would make it possible to finance the war debt without paying tribute to a few people who are using the government's credit and idle gold absolutely free." Rep. Patman is the lone Texas member of congress who has signed the Townsend bill discharge petition. He is recognzled as an authority on money and financing. The bill provides that non-interest bearing bonds would be issued by the government and deposited with Fed eral Reserve banks, against which the government can receive credit to meet its "The current estimate of what the whole war s going to cost us is 150 billion dollars," Rep. Patman asserted. "If we spend 150 billion dollars it will cost four or five billion dollars a year to pay the interest on this gigantic sum. "In all probability that is all the taxpayers of this country will be able to pay, and they will, therefore, be unable to make any payments on the principal of the debt. "That being true, all the money that will be raised in taxes to pay on the national debt will go to the people who are using the credit of the nation absolutely free, and who have had farmed out to them the use of the idle gold free, and the people will thereby be forced to pay a debt that is less, wasteful, extravagant and unnec essary." Patman's bill also provides that no more interest-bearing obligations of the United States should be sold to commercial banks, or banks receiving deposits. use "The reason for such a provision Is that such a bank does not give the government anything in return for its bonds," the Texan said in explaining the section. "The bank merely re ceives the bonds and gives the gov ernment credit in bookkeeping trans marks, or pen money. Banks Create Money "Every informed person admits that under such circumstances the com mercial banks create the money out right. If money is to be created out right, it should be created by the gov ernment itself, and no interest paid on it." In closing, Patman declared that the present national budget require ments of 59 billion dollars would cost every man, woman and child a total of $447 in interest, to be paid to pri vate banking interests which are ing the government credit and gold free. US WITH THEIR BOOTS OFF Among other records set by Hitler is one for the greatest number of gen erals to die in bed.