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THE PEOPLE'S VOICE Published weekly by The People's Voice Publishing Co. at 1205 Lockey Street, Helena, Montana Phone 26-J Entered as Second Class Matter December 7, 1939 at the Post Office at Helena, Montana, under the Act of March 3, 1879. P. O. Box 838 CO., HELENA, MONT. CO-OP PUBLISHING H. S. BRUCE, Managing Editor Subscription Price: Year $1.50; six months $1.00 No Commercial Advertising except from Co-operative Business institu institutions accepted. Rates on application. Where Do We Go? Bad administration of a good law can make of it some thing of direct disadvantage to the public and wholly nullify its original purposes. The final result may easily be that the public will demand its repeal. A clear case in point is the present and past situation in the administration of the state liquor monopoly. We have always contended that the only manner in which liquor traffic in the state could be kept under control and proper regulation was by the state monopoly system as intended and provided under the state liquor control act. This was patterned after the Alberta law, where it has been successfully administered for more than 25 years, and for a much longer period a similar state control, in New Zealand and in Sweden. The law with proper administration has been amply proven to be a good law. Here in Montana, almost from the beginning, instead of being efficiently and honestly administered in the interests of the public, it has been used as an instrument with which to gain political advantage, and, as disclosed by one legisla tive investigation in the past, as a vehicle for graft. These circumstances, obviously, do not reflect odium upon the law itself ; the total fault lies in its administration by officials of the state. Occurrences within the last year would clearly indicate that the officials charged with the administration of the law, have gone far out of the way of the intent and purposes of the act, to cater to the wishes of a comparatively small group of the more prosperous retail liquor dealers of the state to the detriment of the majority of the dealers and the general pub lic. One deal, consummated by the state liquor control board and this small group of dealers, was validated by a majority of the members of our state supreme court in an opinion which still left its legality open to question, and the majority's opin ion was challenged by a strongly worded dissenting opinion by Justices Adair and Leif Erickson. Recently, as the readers of The Voice have" been informed, another deal by the retailers' association has been, and prob ably still is, in process of being arranged and the purpose of the dealers' organization as announced is to complete it, and if the Liquor Control Board is not willing to co-operate, to take the matter to the courts, evidently believing that the organiza tion's program will again be favorably dealt with. We do not challenge the right of retail liquor dealers or any other group of citizens to organize for their mutual bene fit and protection of their legitimate interests. We want to stress the adjective "legitimate", dealers or any other group, owe a duty to society which they should realize transcends the importance of their private in terests. Paramount of all their interests, the same as true of all other groups should be respect for and observance of the intents and purposes of constituted law. When they ignore this responsibility as citizens, then they place themselves out side the law and not entitled to the protection which it gives to those who live up to And support its provisions. Perhaps some of the members of this retailers' association have not given consideration to the implications of their activ ities in seeking personal gain at the expense of nullifications of the intent and purposes of the state liquor control act. most of them have given this consideration. Per As citizens, retail liquor haps, most of them would say that this presentation is aca demic. To all of them, we will say that their actions indicate poor judgment; that the public's tolerance of high-handed action is rapidly approaching an end; that when they seek means circumventing the plain provisions of the law under which they operate, then in the opinion of the public, they are plac ing themselves in the position of bootleggers—criminals. And they will find themselves without any business at all when disgusted public repeals the law under which they are estab lished and supposedly operating. Let us make our position clear.. We do not want to be classed as touts for the consumption of liquor whether legiti mately purchased from the state or from dealers. Nor do we believe in the practicability of prohibition, the state monopoly control of the sale of liquors is the most feasible and efficient manner of handling the traffic in liquor. We believe that the state liquor control act was passed in the interests of the general public, and that this should be the first consideration of the administration of the act. Now let us look at the present situation and note its threats to the present state control as it is administered. We emphasize again, that we are not touting for more consumption of liquor by making more available in the state stores. We make these observations to warn of the dangers inherent in maladministration of the act. We believe that It has been charged and not denied by the state liquor control administration, that 65 per cent or better of the avail able liquor supply is allocated to retail dealers, leaving 35 per cent or less for purchase by individuals in the state stores. We assert that the state liquor control board is not carrying out the intent and purposes of the act in so alloting what they call the available supply. It is manifest that there is a greater supply available than is purchased and placed on the shelves of the state stores for sale to individuals, because the retail dealers' association and its members have located and pur chased quantities of liquor which the state could as well have purchased. This lends weight to the suspicion, growing in the minds of citizens, rightly or otherwise, that the board and the administrator are co-operating to give to a comparatively small number of retailers a virtual monopoly in the sale of liquor. Here in the city of Helena, for instance, for only about day of the week for the past three weeks, has an individ one ual been able to purchase the rationed pint of whiskey. But the individual could go to any bar in the city and purchase whiskey. Is the liquor control board carrying out the intent and purposes of the law when this condition prevails not only in Helena but generally throughout the state? The question answers itself. Let's have a housecleaning and make the state liquor con trol act work as intended. Or do you want prohibition? Cer tainly we do not believe that the people of the state want the old saloon system back. Have you registered yet? FROM EDITORIAL COLUMNS 1 _ « Are They Hunting Trouble? Does the Montana Licensed Liquor Dealers association, or a certain group within, really want to bring prohibition back to Montana? If they keep on defying the state and public opinion, they will find sentiment veering decidedly in that direction. The association has proposed another special purchase of Rocking Chair whisky for a special group of saloons in which state liquor stores will not participate. The state liquor board has said that they will not approve such a deal. The asso ciation threatens to bring action in court to break down the present law and get the court's permission for this special group of dealers to import this whisky. In the state law approved by the people in the referen dum of 1938 one paragraph says: "It shall be unlawful for any licensee to sell or keep for sale and/or have on his prem ises for any purpose whatever, any liquor except that pur chased from the liquor store." Moreover, under the theory of our law a citizen who does not wish to patronize a bar is en titled to buy any liquor available in the state in sealed pack ages at the state store. Some liquor dealers have set out to break down the state store law. The association letter breathes defiance against the state board and dubs their opponents "political sharp shooters." It calls on the liquor dealers to unite for political action in this election year. These special deals are planned to secure extra liquor, above their state store quota, which consumers can buy only from them. The liquor trade may not realize it, but their efforts to break down the state liquor store system are creating strong adverse sentiment in this state.—Great Falls Tribune. The American Way As Local 2116, Drydock, Marine Waysmen and Stageriggers sees it. When an angry politician indulges in verbal flag waving for an audience in much the same manner that the red cape is used at a bull fight his listeners may well suspect that some part of the same animal is about to be draped in red, white and blue. To term anything "un-American" is to damn it utterly and completely. It is on such ground that Representative Kleberg of Texas condemns the subsidy program, for example. Since he feels that subsidies are opposed to the American way it is highly improbable that he patronizes the House barber shop which, since it is subsidized, charges only 35 cents for a hair cut. Well, no one expects congressmen to be consistent but neither can we find anything inconsistent with the American scene in the idea of subsidies for farmers. Which reminds us, do con gressmen still give away seeds? It once was a custom in this country to write to your con gressmen and ask for free seeds. While about it, a good citi zen might also suggest some improvement in his government before affixing his signature. That signature may have looked like letters in alphabet soup that hadn't been mixed enough in the melting pot, but tolerance was an American character istic and no one cared. Times must have changed, for only recently an American congressman, one John E. Rankin of Mississippi, took the floor of the House to sneer at the names of the signers of letters and telegrams received by him protesting his stand on the soldier vote. He read them aloud, some he spelled out in order to deride those people with the temerity to make their wishes known over names such as Lebovitz, Siegal, Riesman and Rothman. It should have occurred to the congressman that many of our American soldiers who have already died for their country possessed those very names. If so, perhaps he would like to visit the battlefields of the world, when it is safe to do so, of course, and correct the names of our dead heroes, He should carry a bucket of paint as he walks between the crosses and when he comes to one lettered with a name that strikes him as un-American he can cover it over and make it read "Jones" or "Smith" or even "Rankin" and thus keep pure HIS idea of the American Way.—American Labor Citizen. of a .. Roll-Call THE WAR is getting farther away. We are getting closer to the war. The two statements form neither a paradox nor a contra diction—each is literally true, and the two together are true. Blackouts, dimouts and barrage balloons are only mem ories now, on this coast, because the war is getting farther away. But you know more boys in England or Italy or the South Pacific now than you knew a year ago—because we are getting closer to the war. As far as your own conduct is concerned, which fact is the more important? On every hand, here at home, you see evidence that cer tain former fears have been out-dated by the facts. Two years ago, there was justification for the gnawing fear that this time America might lose—that this time, unprepared, it was up against an incredible, new kind of war—a war moving with fantastic speed, and sticking on fronts that never before had been in danger . . . That elemental dread is now all but gone. People are not talking Defense any more. They are talking Victory. Facts justify the change, and every neon sign on the night streets is a reminder of it. And yet, looking out on lighted streets and a city harried by no fear of invasion, any one of us in his own mind can call the roll of boys away at war. Jim writes from England . . . Joe's outfit is in Italy now . . . Phil shipped out last week . . . In every man's mind, that private roll-call is getting longer Every man who gives it a thought, is nearer to the war now. than he ever has been before. "Stay on the job . . . Spend less—buy more bonds . . . If there is anything I can do to help . . . Wherever the roll is called privately, by a man giving thought to it, the war's distance on the map is not very im portant. The lighted city and the safe shoreline and the Vic tory talk, offer no temptation to relax and take it easy, where that roll-call is read. Let it be read often. Let it be read privately, with due thought, by every American, in every station. The war is drawing nearer to the bases and capitals of our enemies, farther from our own. But it is not moving only in impersonal ships and armies. Names known to us—men known to us—are taking it there. In every home from here to the White House, there is a roll-call to be read.—Labor Leader. It Sounds Silly Without a single suggestion as to how to improve the government or its practices, the GOPsters have settled down to the task of trying to scare the people of the United States by yelling "dictator." As a sample of this kind of journalistic tripe, the Oregon City Banner-Courier says : "Mister Roosevelt and his palace guard are attempting to change the government from representative to executive." The B-C admits that Roosevelt saved the nation 11 years ago, but insists that he is now trying to ruin it and establish an autocracy, and that anyone who votes for him will be voting to "scrap the constitution and the representative form of gov ernment." Doesn't that sound silly? President Roosevelt is not doing anything that congress has not authorized him to do. We are engaged in a desperate war, and no republic or democracy can successfully conduct a war without giving to its President extraordinary powers for emergency action by executive order. The congress realized that and gave the President those powers. He is using those powers and they are winning the war. Without them we would already have lost it. But now there is a political campaign on, and every time the President issues an order necessary to further the war effort it gives the GOPsters a chance to scream about dicta tion and the constitution. They bank on the well known ten dency of the American people to forget big things and magnify little ones, and listen to clamor even though it is nothing more than noise. And the GOPsters can furnish the clamor all right, as they control more than 90 per cent of all the news papers in the nation through the heavy advertising of big business. The President is helpless to defend himself. He has a heavy job on his hands and is doing it. If election were three years away there would be no yelps about dictatorship. The country would be thanking him for doing so well the tremen dous job that congress handed him.—Capital Press (Ore.). SUBJECT: PRICE OF CRUDE OIL J Question: Why has not increased in proportion to necessities, price increases an incentive to increase The answer is very simple and can bo given in a few words. The major oil companies do not want an in crease in price because they are mak ing ample profit through refining, dis tributing and marketing oil products and it is giving them an opportunity to force the independents out of busi ness and to buy them out for as little as 20c on the dollar. It might be cited at this point that the majors have laid down 35 million dollars on the line in Montana and Wyoming In the last three years, taking indepen dent operators out of business. Dur ing the last three years the majors have increased their ownership of 48% of the known production in the United States to 78%, and refining capacity from 85% to 93%, and are creating the greatest monopoly of our most essential natural resource. Gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc, alum inum, magnesium, chromium and all other essential minerals have been subsidized or given price increases, together with lumber, transportation and all food products including grains, cereals, livestock and their by-prod ucts. The excuse for this increase is an incentive to produce more and win the war, which is of vital import ance to all of us, but if all prices had been frozen on December 7, 1941 at their then present levels, or given a flat increase of all commodities of say 10 or 15 percent, which would have included labor, materials and all other commodities, we would have kept on an even keel and the war economy would have hurt no one seri ously, but under the present arrange ment, the white collar class, unorgan ized labor and some independent busi nesses are standing the brunt of the whole show. We are spending 100 billion dollars a year. Ninety-five per cent of it is left in these United The money has simply States. changed hands, and the debt has piled up against the average taxpayer who will eventually have to pay his pro portionate share without receiving his share of the benefits of these opera tions. We sell bonds to widows, orphans, and and raise immense sums to be thrown out the window, so to speak, by in competent, inefficient army engineers, who know nothing of economics or the value of the American dollar. The army was responsible for spend ing 134 million dollars for a pipe line to Fort Norman with no chance to recover any part of the principal. This is to be given to the Imperial Oil company, a subsidiary of the Standard of New Jersey, which is the Wall Street gang, and these same widows and orphans will eventually have to pay the balance. Spending 134 mil- 1 lion dollars to produce 3,000 barrels | of oil a day is a crime. If a small part of this money had been spent in some of our western oil fields, for B example Wyoming or Montana, ten g times more oil could have been pro- B duced and the government reimbursed for its expenditure by taking an ob ligation from the producer. The country is being told that we are reducing our oil reserves to a dangerous minimum, have heard this old story for the last 23 years. It is propaganda put out by ** the major companies to get support to go into other oil fields outside of thier own jurisdiction to supply oil to S fill their needs. At this point I would like to quote Wallace E. Pratt, vice president of the Standard Oil Com pany of New Jersey at a dinner served to the Petroleum division of the Amer ican Institute of Mining Engineers, who said: "We will still not have used up our petroleum reserves when we begin to utilize the energy of the sun directly to replace coal and oil." This appeared in an article in the Oil Weekly. If the price of crude oil had been increased three years ago in propor tion to toher commodities, we would have had adequate reserves developed by this time, and with a backlog of synthetic fuel from oil shales and coal, (here is little doubt but what the United States can be supplied for an indefinite period. counterjumpers stenographers Personally, I o « B The government now plans to build pipe line in the middle east on a basis of the most uneconomic set-up that an oil man could devise. In other B B "if and when" and maybe never. At words, the government will be repaid the price of crude oil been other natural resources and war on which have been given as production and win the war? the same time, we will have to get into international politics and give these organizations military protec tion. Why not develop our resources at home? We have millions of acres of potential oil land in these United States and possessions that have not ben touched, but if it is necessary to build this pipe line in the middle east to supply our needs, why does not the government build the line and own it and charge a transportation charge comparable to all other pipe lines built and operated in these United States? It undoubtedly will make a profit as pipe lines are the most pro lific part of the oil industry. The gov ernment would then be justified in building this line, but it is the same old story—the big parade frames the deal, takes the show and the little fellow pays the bill. Any sane, good American citizen knows that subsidies are unfair and unjust under a democratic system as the favored few always get under the tent while the rank and file suffers The OPA is considering and pays. subsidizing new production and strip per production, which is uneconomical and would require much additional help to administrate the oil business. It has recently been suggested by J. W. Johnson of Montana that we subsidize the refiners who would pay an additional price for crude oil. This is the same old big parade stuff. Johnson is a henchman for the British-Amerioan Oil Company, which in turn is a subsidiary of the Standard of New York. He does their bidding and helps put out the propaganda to 5>;:<«j«»îS3s53cc<«:<«:<>:3>:3«3«.«3«3o^:^î5e3côaEic«îK:<m3œ3cîîK3K3Sîs^nœj^3a3on«3^ssî^îKÂJK3«3«3oe3«s««£î5E a B COOPERATIVE PRINTERS o: :o: a a o: B a « s B FOR Montana Co-operatives Labor Organizations and the Farmers Union B CHECK YOUR NEEDS B o B And Place Your Orders Early for a — Envelopes Statements Letterheads Invoices — Checks — Receipts Wheat Storage Tickets Grain Checks B V B B B 4 4 Order Blanks Tank Wagon Books Salesbooks Circular Letters Annual Statements Notices of Meetings Posters Filing Cards and Etc. f Dance Tickets WE ARE EQUIPPED TO FILL ALL YOUR PRINTING NEEDS -t We Employ Union Workers and Use Union Made Paper 0 B Co-operatively yours EDUCATIONAL CO-OPERATIVE PUBLISHING CO. Box 838 Helena, Montana B a B BHBKBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBÄBöBKBBBBBBöBÄBBBBÄBBBBKBBaBBBBÄ Green For— (Continued from Pagre One) sor of a bill designed to he beneficial to labor to find its leaders in my own state opposing the bill." The reply of the head of the AFL was prjimpt, di rect and unequivocal, a virtual repudi ation of all that Mr. Graham has said I or done. Senator's Murray's impres sion, declared Mr. Green, was "ab solutely correct." "We have gone further than endors ing the provisions of the bill," he added. "The convention of the Amer ican Federation of Labor which was held at Boston, Massachusetts, last October unanimously adopted the Wagner-Murray-Dingel! bill, dent Graham of the Montana State Federation of Labor was in atten dance at the convention when it voted in favor of this bill. Not one single voice or vote was raised or cast in opposition to the measure or to any section of the measure." President Green continued: "In my opinion the Wagner-Murray-Dingell bill represents a decided step forward in the application of Social Security legislation. The American Federation of Labor is giving a full measure of support to the Wagner-Murray-Dingell bill. I feel sure that if President Gra ham of the Montana State Federation of Labor is privileged to gain a thor ough understanding of the provisions of this bill, he will be for it and will support it. However that may be, I am of the opinion that undue import ance should not be attached to the opinion of some one Individual regard Presi well nigh impossible to bring about unanimous support o f legislation which is so far-reaching as the Wag ner-Murray-Dingell bill." The Montana State Federation of Labor, under direction of Mr. Graham, as president, adopted a resolution fav oring substitution of general revenue financing for the payroll tax plan ad vocated in the Wagner-Murray-Dingell bill. Senator Murray, in November, advised Mr. Graham in some detail that the proposal "would not be in the interest of labor." He invited the Montana labor official to indicate "at what points you believe my line of reasoning is wrong." There has been no reply, the senator said today. protect and benefit his own employer. An increased price of crude oil should be and must be given if any of the indepedent oil men hope to be saved, regardless of whether the price of refined products shall be increased or not. Personally, I think they should be increased in a fair proportion, but it is not at all necessary as many of the major companies would make in creased profits which would have to be taken away from them through tax ation, and taxation should be the lev elling off point for all war efforts. We made many millionaires during the last war and were told there would be none made this time, but it is very evident now that there will be 100 times more made during this war period than there were 25 years ago. The independent businesses in these United • States and three years ago produced 52% of all production, but the majors are rapidly crowding them out of business and they are being forced to sell to create the greatest monopoly these United States have ever known. E. B. COOLIDGE.