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The people's voice. [volume] (Helena, Mont.) 1939-1969, February 01, 1946, Image 1

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rary x
Vol. VII—No. 9
Price Five Cents
Under the Surface
During the last week the writer has had two exceptional
opportunities to learn something of the ceaseless, somewhat
bitter and all-important struggle now going on for the control
of hydro-electric power. This is a struggle of which the aver
age man in the street will see, hear and know little. No corpo
rative paper will even mention it; those independently owned
'and generally rating themselves as Liberal, will handle the
subject gingerly, if at all, while so-called radical papers—the
kind that live without advertising patronage—have inadequate
facilities with which to develop the facts and limited circula
tion if they do. Yet this struggle involves literally billions of
dollars and on its final outcome may well depend the economic
and social fate of the nation for years to come. The world has
moved into a super-power age. Control of hydro-electric pow
er is a long step toward curb and control of Big Business and
Monopoly that grows out of all resource development. This,
all liberal thinkers, as well as all Absentee Landlords, well
know. Hence the magnitude and intensity of the struggle.
On Friday last was the final organization meeting of the
League for CVA, held in Spokane. Washington, Oregon and
Idaho were generously represented, Montana somewhat less so.
Impressive, indeed, was the political strength that had sent
its leadership to participate in the meeting. Among these were
State Granges, State Farmers Unions, A. F. of L. and C. I. 0.
organizations and Public Ownership associations, all very
strong in Columbia basin states. Impressive, too, was the ap
parent ability, earnestness and zeal of the leadership thus
gathered. These men mean to bring a Valley Authority de
velopment to the Columbia river area and will not be content
to dally long in the process. They are going to raise and spend
enough money on an educational and pressure campaign to
do the job.
Of more immediate concern were reports of the all-out
efforts, now being made by privately owned power companies,
not only to stop Valley Authorities everywhere but to regain
control of the publicly owned power now generated at Grand
Coulee and Bonneville dams. The lines of attack are numer
ous, clever and more dangerous because so little understood
by the public.
Provide any and all kinds of cut-throat competition for
Public Utility districts and REA Electric Co-ops so as to halt
the spread of these public agencies. Stop further construction
of government-owned transmission lines and force distribution
over privately owned lines. Secure a public policy that will
require sale of all public power to private companies at the
site of its generation. Buy, lease or otherwise absolutely con
trol every possible key unit in such generation and distribu
tion systems as the government has now constructed. In short,
use every available means, all the way up from local districts
to national policy to regain and retain control of all hydro
electric power. Methods are of small moment; results are
• what count. It is very similar to the philosophy on which Hitler
built Germany. If backed by enough Tory political strength
such a policy will finally succeed.
On Monday last the writer was privileged to attend the
annual stockholders meeting of Vigilant REA Electric Co-op,
which covers much of seven counties and has its headquarters
in Dillon. This is one of the older, better stabilized and more
successful of Montana REA Co-ops. For the last year its
efforts to maintain a going organization, expand and serve all
the people within its network, of lines, against the competition,
machinations and jobbery of private power interests would
furnish material for a thriller novel. The attack on this REA
seems to have run the whole gamut from rate-cutting to at
tempts to force a sell-out. It is evidently quite in line with what
is apparently happening all over the country, wherever there
is any movement for extension to public power.
The opinions expressed below, are the personal opinions of the writer,
and are not to be considered as an expression of the attitude of any or
ganization or group, on the subjects discussed.
One way of understanding Senator
B. K. Wheeler—in case ofie feels un
der any such compulsion—is to keep
in mind that this gentleman thinks
he is representing Montana on the
floor of the senate, in the pages of
the Chicago Tribune, and in the good
graces of Gerald L. K. Smith and com
pany. Perhaps he is wrong; perhaps
within a year or so he will discover
just how wrong he is—or right. But
his public statements avow his undy
ing affection for this state, whose best
interests he is doing his interminable
best to promote.
A case in point is his speech re
cently to the Montana Woolgrowers
Montana's outstanding Democrat
spoke loudly for the protection of
American producers. What Montana
woolgrower would be opposed to that
proposition? Or sugar-beet growers?
Or cattle raiser? Or other Montana
Montana's outstanding Democrat be
wailed the presence in Washington of
* "crackpots." Who are these crack
pots? Not senators by any chance?
Oh no! Perhaps congress in general.
The senator said he was sorry about
congress. A great many Montanans
could approve that statement too —
even those who are sorry about the
senator. But Wheeler meant by
"crackpots" "diplomats" and "bureau
crats." These are the men who are
ruining American industry! The Re
publicans have been telling us this
for years—since 1932 in fact. What
Montana Republican would rush to
the stand and deny that Washington
crackpots are ruining the country?
Montana's outstanding Democrat
took occasion to slug it out with the
British. This self-appointed Paul Re
vere has been riding this hobby-horse
for a number of years, raising a hue
and cry about the British. What Irish
man in Montana would in defense of
Britain challenge the senator to a de
bate on this subject. What Montanan,
in fact, would like a nice scape-goat
to blame would contradict the sena
Montana's outstanding Democrat
likes to talk about high finance. Few
people in Montana, including the sen
ator, one suspects, know much about
high finance. So much the better, so
far as the senator is concerned. In
a style perfected by Hitler, the sen
ator spins a web of international in
trigue by unnamed—always Wheeler
fails to name his men!—"internation
al bankers." What Montanan does not
Idve a mystery story? Here is a yarn
the senator has been telling for years,
much to his own personal advantage.
Perhaps some day the senator, when
he is in a mood to recount some of
his clever political jokes which kept
him in office, will admit that he could
never name a single one of these in
ternational bankers. Meanwhile, tall,
dark tales of high finance and inter
national bankers—if the senator would
add "Jewish," he would be more in
character; he could tell Gerald L. K.
Smith to move over and let somebody
talk who knows how—go over big in
Don't Montanans like a
good story?
Montana's outstanding
likewise assailed Russia.
He says
Russia has broken every treaty she
entered into during the last 15 years.
The press reports do not say that
the senator listed all these broken
treaties; nothing is said about the
method or reason for breaking them,
if indeed they were broken. Now here
is something any Montanan can really
respect: a man who can talk with
such certainty about foreign affairs.
Just imagine a Montana senator who
in the midst of all his labors in behalf
of Montana woolgrowers, in the midst
of his endless (and fruitless, I might
add) fights for revised railroad rate
structures, in the midst of his thor
ough and conscientious examination
of public questions like the MVA. has
taken the time to study Russian dip
lomatic history and know all about
those very treaties which he claims
Russia has so cavalierly broken. Such
Such erudi
Why should not Montana be
historical scholarship!
(Continued on Pagre Two)
Record Crowd of Power
Company Men Clutter
Halls of Congress
Activity in congress of the private
power companies' lobby, the largest
and most powerful that has ever in
fested the capitol, is unceasing. It
represents 137 "business managed util
ity companies" which can't compete
successfully in rates and service with
the people's publicly owned and man
aged enterprises, and therefore puts
the pressure on congress for special
laws and regulations to hamstring the
people's power projects. The pres
ent effort is to compel the Bonne
ville power administration to double
its rates so that "business managed"
private companies will still be able to
stay in the game and fatten Eastern
investors and holding companies.
A recent effort tu aroitrariiy raise
the Bonneville basic rate of $17,50
per kilowatt year to $33 failed;
now that objective is being sought
more subtly.
Great irrigation pro
jects have been hitched into the orig
inal Bonneville and Grand Coulee set
up by the national bureau, and Con
gressman Robinson of Utah has in
troduced a bill requiring government
electric projects to make rates high
enough to amortize the irrigation in
vestment in 50 years instead of the
75 years originally provided,
reclamation bureau has also raised its
"estimate" of the cost of the irriga
projects $582 million instead
of the original $487 million, in order
to be sure that rates will have to
be raised.
The object of all of this is appar
The first object, of course, is
to make it possible for the big pri
vate companies to still stay in busi
Fage Three)
Nl T tt..
Prejudice thrives on ignorance. Mi
nority groups often seem sträng and
their habits inexplicable to the pre
dominant elements in any society. Ac
ceptance, co-operation, and mutual ac
tivities between minority groups and
dominant groups requires more real
knowledge and real understanding
than is ordinarily available.
search for this knowledge and for
understanding which will put aside
prejudice and develop constructive re
lationship is very sincere and real in
American life.
A number of recent
books, seriously written, bear evidence
of this search for understanding.
The Association Press (New York)
has published a number of volumes
under the title of "Creative Personali
ties." Volume VI is the most recent
It is entitled "Distinguished
American Jews. Eight different writ
ers have contributed and it is signifi
cant that each of these eight is a
Christian teacher, minister, or author.
Twelve distinguished Americans with
a background of Jewish blood and
Jewish religion are portrayed, and the
solid contributions which these men
and women have made to American
life is very clear. Their talent, their
genius, their social insight, and their
personal character are all described.
There is no minimizing of the strug
gle that each of them had against
prejudice, or by contrast, of the wealth
of recognition that has come to them
in American life with their success
in their own fields.
Supreme Court Justice Louis Bran
dies; Adolf Ochs, publisher and edi
tor; Yehudi Menuhin, musician and
infant prodigy; C. Vladeck; Lillian
Wald, founder of the Henry Street
Nursing association and great leader
in movements for improved public
Page Two)
by Yomen
•i »
TP s
»03-cnff glP
• •
On the birthday anniversary of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, It is
pertinent to publish the last speech prepared by him for delivery to the
American people but never heard, because of his death the day before
it was to be presented. As true at the time they were written by this
great man as they are today, are his words:
"Today we are faced with the pre-eminent fact that if civilization is
to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships—the
ability of all peoples, of all kinds to live together in the same^world,
at peace."
This last, undelivered message from Franklin D. Roosevelt is pub
lished in full, below;
and thoroughly im
practical method of
settling the differ
ences between gov
The once powerful,
malignant nazi state
l s crumbling, the
Japanese war lords
receiving, 1 n their
own home land, the
retribution for which
they asked when
they attacked Pearl
But the mere con
gathered t o gether jü|
this evening in com- |g|
munities all over the ÜÜ
country to pay trib- HH
ute to the living
memory o f Thomas
Jefferson—one of the
greatest of ail demo- K
crats; and I want to i
make it clear that I i
am spelling that word 1
"democrats" with a S
small "d". I
I wish I had the I
power, just for this I
evening, to be pres- I
ent at all of these I
gatherings. 1
In t h i s historic |
year, more than ever
before, we do well to consider the and the fears, the ignorance and the
quest of our enemies
is not enough.
We must go on to
do all in our power
to conquer the doubts
character of Thomas Jefferson as an greed, which made this horror pos
American citizen of the world.
As minister to Prance, then as our
Thomas Jefferson, himself a distln
first secretary of state, and as our gulshed scientist, once spoke of the
third president, Jefferson was instru- "brotherly spirit of science, which
mental in the establishment of the unites into one family all its votaries
United States as a vital factor in in- of whatever grade, and however wide
ternational affairs.
ly dispersed through the different
It was he who first sent our navy
into far-distant waters to defend our
And the promulgation of the
Monroe Doctrine was the logical de
velopment of Jefferson's far-seeing for
eign policy.
Today this nation, wljlch Jefferson
helped so greatly to build, is playing
a tremendous part in the battle for
the rights of man all over the world,
Today we are part of the vast allied
force—a force composed of flesh and
blood and steel and spirit—which is
today destroying the makers of war,
the breeders of hatred, in Europe and
In Jefferson's time our navy consist
ed of only a handful of frigates—but
that tiny navy taught nations across
the Atlantic that piracy in the Medi
in Asia.
terranean—acts of aggression against
peaceful commerce and the enslave
ment of their crews—was one of those
things which, among neighbors, simp
ly was not done.
Today we have learned in the agony
of war that great power involves great
responsibility. Today we can no more
escape the consequences of German
and Japanese aggression than could
we avoid the consequences of attacks
by the Barbary Corsairs a century and
a half before.
We, as Americans, do not choose to
deny our responsibility.
Nor do we intend to abandon our
determination that, within the lives
of our children and our children's
children, there will not be a Third
World War.
We seek peace—enduring peace.
More than an end to war, we want
an end to the beginnings of all wars—
yes, an end to this brutal, inhuman active faith.
Farmers Union Grain Terminal as
sociation finds it necessary to answer
the latest attack made upon it by some
clumsily concealed hide-out firms in
the private grain business. The false
ness of charges repeated by a public
ity firm hired by the hide-out grain
firms is proved by the testimony be
fore the Minnesota Railroad and Ware
house commission.
Enemies of
Farmers Union Grain Terminal asso
ciation in the private grain business,
too cowardly to show their hand in
public, are having their lies peddled
at so much a line.
Here are the facts:
These hideout
quarters of the globe,"
Today, science has brought all the
different quarters of the globe so
close together that It is impossible
to isolate them-one from another.
Today we are faced with the pre
eminent fact that, if civilization is to
survive, we must cultivate the science
of human relationships—the ability of
all peoples, of all kinds to live togeth
er and work together In the same
world, at peace,
Let me assure you that my hand is
the steadier for the work that is to
be done, that I move more firmly into
the task, knowing that you—millions
and millions of us—are joined with
me in the resolve to make this work
The work, my friends, is peace, more
than an end of this war—an end to
the beginnings of all war, yes, an end
forever, to this impractical, unrealis
tic settlement of the differences be
ing of peoples,
rible scourge of war—as we go for
ward toward the greatest contribution
that any generation of human beings
can make in this world—the contri
button of lasting peace, I ask you to
keep up your faith.
tween governments by the mass kill
Today as we move against the ter
I measure the
sound, solid achievement that can be
made at this time by the straight
edge of your own confidence and your
resolve. And to you, and to all Amer
icans who dedicate themselves with
us to the making of an abiding peace,
The only limit to our realization of
tomorrow will be our doubts of today,
Let us move forward with strong and
grain firms in the private grain busi
ness are buying their way through
publicity firms and advertising agen
cies. They are covering up their
names as grain institutions in the
hope that they can again fool the
The latest load of dirt in the mails
was released by the Fadell company,
525 Northwestern Bank building, Min
neapolis, on January 15, 1946. GTA
has no quarrel with this high-priced
publicity organization which only ped
dles distorted statements that dance
on the ragged edge of libel to earn
its pay check.
ment against GTA which the Fadell
company peddled was ordered and ap
proved by well-known figures in the
private grain business. These figures
hid behind a bankroll and the name
of a publicity firm. Farmers should
know the names of these hide-out
grain firms who pay the fiddler for
playing such sour music.
These hide-out firms in the private
grain business who hire others to do
the dirty work of throwing their mud
should review the federal conspiracy
statutes. These hide-out grain firms
stack bankrolls against farmers' needs.
For once and for all let's get out
the facts. What is behind the Min
nesota Railroad and Warehouse com
mission's attack on GTA? It is an
attack on the grain producers of the
entire Northwest. It was inspired by
hide-out firms in the private grain
business. It was inspired because they
could not stand up to the farmers in
the open competition of free enter
These hide-out firms in the private
grain business, are paying someone
to say there is "a strong array of evi
dence in support of charges that GTA
is not a true co-operative, has made
false statements in applications for
licenses to operate as a grain com
mission merchant and has violated'the
state law in buying grain consigned to
it for sale."
These are lies. The hide-out firms
in the private grain business know
they are lies.
Look at the record. Examination
of testimony made before the Minne
(Continued on Pnffe Three)
Idaho, Washington and Montana Farmers
Unions Represented on Executive Board
Chosen by the Organization As Well As
Washington and Oregon State Granges and
Major Labor Organizations of the States.
Representatives of labor and farm organizations favoring
public ownership at an all-day session in Spokane last Saturday
elected Fred C. Ashley president of the newly formed League
for the Columbia Valley Authority. He succeeds Neal Jones,
Vancouver, who served as temporary president of the league
—-—-♦after its formation in Portland
ST. PAUL, Jan. 31.—General Man
ager M. W, Thatcher of Farmers Un
ion Grain Terminal association brand
ed as "both vicious and underhanded"
a campaign of "misrepresentation"
of the grain co-operative that he said
now was being waged by "certain
hideout firms in the private grain
The association, he said, is refrain
ing from making any statement to the
press on Its side of the case until the
Minnesota Railroad and Warehouse
commission has rendered its judg
ment. The hearings ended January
and a ruling is expected some time
in March.
The facts in the case, as published
in Business Week for January 19,
1946, point out the real significance
of the hearing.
If opponents of the Farmers Union
Grain Terminal Ass'n.. Paul Bunyan
among co-ops and the biggest factor
in the Northwest spring wheat busi
ness, can't lick the organization one
way, they will try another.
With the reopening last week of
hearings on GTA before the Minne
sota Railroad and Warehouse commis
sion, the testimony took a new tack.
Last summer the commission ordered
the co-op to show cause why its li
cense as a grain commission merch
ant should not be revoked.
GTA Claims Exemption
The state agency has based its case
against GTA on two points: (1) Un
der a Minnesota law, analagous to the
federal Robfnson-Patman law, a pri
vate firm cannot act both as agent for
the seller and as a buyer or buyer's
agent; GTA collects a commission on
all grain it handles, even when it buys
from a co-op member for Its own ac
The article follows:
count, and the commission charged
that this was illegal; (2) GTA was
also accused of falsifying reports as
Page Three)
Political Fences More Important Than the
Nation's Business
Congress re-convened after its holi
day recess, on January 14, but neither
Senator Wheeler nor Representative
D'Ewart were there. Wheeler was re
ported over the radio, as being In Bill
ings on JanuaTy 22, for the purpose
of addressing a meeting of several
hundred businessmen. Of course, this
absenteeism on Wheeler's part, is not
unusual. Last July, congress recessed
until October but emergency condi
tions arising out of the sudden ending
of the war with Japan, made it neces
sary for President Truman to call
upon congress to cut Its vacation
short, and return to Washington on
September 5, How did Wheeler re
spond to this emergency call? On
September 8, an A.P. dispatch report
ed him talking about "communism"
to a Havre audience, and concluded
by saying: "The senator is to wind
up a tour of the state with a talk at
Miles City Monday, (the tenth. He
plans to return to Washington next
week." On that date he was reported
to have addressed a meeting of stock
men. Unless he went by plane, he
was more than a week late getting on
the job for which he is paid. While
on his most recent trip "home" the
senator, in addition to the business
men's meeting in Billings, attended a
meeting of dairymen in Helena and
the Montana Woolgrower's convention
at Great Falls. Judging from the radio
report, Wheeler attacked OPA charged
that the public is suffering from bu
reaucratic controls, some of which are
operated by "punk kids" just fresh out
of college, etc. I suppose his audi
ence of businessmen at Billings got a
bellyfull of this applesauce, and en
joyed it.
At the dairymen's meeting in Hel
ena. January 17, the senator recom
mended higher OPA prices on milk
and butter, and according to the Great
Falls Tribune, said we must let the
price of milk go up two cents per
quart. He spoke in opposition to subsi
dies to producers "because they must
last December.
Public ownership advocates from
four states who favor the creation of
an authority to supervise the develop
ment of the Columbia river basin par
ticipated in the meeting at the Daven
port hotel. The -10 delegates in at
tendance came from Montana, Idaho.
Oregon and Washington.
Prominent in the group were former
Sen. Clarence C. Dill. John Glenn,
Spokane, CIO field representative;
Roy Atkinson, Seattle, regional direc
tor of the CIO; R. E. Engelking, Spo
kane, CIO representative: Ira Shea,
State Orange lecturer; Herbert E,
Walters, Spokane, secretary Building
Trades council; Ed M. Weston, Seat
tle. president Washington State Fed
eration of Labor, and Fred Carlson,
president Idaho State Federation of
Next Meet in Seattle
Pour vice presidents were elected
together with a treasurer and a sec
retary. A board of 10 directors from
each of the four states, 40 in all, will
be chosen at the next meeting of the
league, to be held In Seattle within
the next 30 days.
The vice presidents are Clayton
Davidson, Boise; Ed M. Weston, Seat
tle; Jerome G. Locke, Helena, and
Ronald Jones, Salem. Mr. Locke is
executive director of the Montana
MVA Association and Mr. Jones is
president of the Oregon State Farm
ers Union. Mandel Nieder, Seattle,
head of the Public Ownershop League,
was elected treasurer, and Herbert M.
Peet, former Everett editor and assist
ant regional director for the Farm
Security Administration, was elected
executive^ secretary,
maintain headquarters in Seattle.
An executive board of two from
each of the four states was formed.
This board includes Morton Tomp
kins, Salem, master Oregon State
Grange; J. T. Marr, Portland, secre
tary Oregon Federation of Labor; Roy
Atkinson, Seattle, CIO regional direc
tor; ! Henry Carstensen, Almira, mas
ter Washington State Grange; Jess
Vetter, Coeur d'Alene, president Idaho
Farmers Union, and August Rosqvist,
secretary Idaho Federation of Labor.
The two board members from Mon
tana are Harold Ridenour of Belton,
member of the state board of the Mon
Mr. Peet will
tana Farmers Union and Miles Rom
ney of Hamilton, publisher of the
Western News.—Mont. Farmers Union
be given to all, if given to one group,
and must come from tax money."
Speaking of the butter shortage, the
senator declared that much American
butter has been sent to foreign con
sumers," some of whom didn't know
what it was and never would have
missed it—in some cases the people
used it for hair oil." If any group
of people, whether businessmen or
common laborers, ever listened to silli
er poppycock, I would like to know
who spoke it. There are 130-odd mil
lions of us who do not produce milk
or butter; there are many millions
who find it hard to pay even the pres
ent prices; and there are millions of
babies and small children who cannot
get milk sufficient for their needs, at
any price. But why bother about un
dernourished children? They do not
vote, and all too many of their parents
neglect to do so. Butterfat is selling
in Montana today for five times what
it brought in 1932. (I am not guess
ing, I know.)
January 18, Senator Wheeler is report
ed to have said in effect, that only con
gress could prevent departmental
"crackpots" and "so-called diplomats"
in Washington from selling the wool
growers "down the river." He is
further quoted as saying that Great
Britain positively intends to dispose
of billions of pounds of wool on the
world market.
BILLIONS of pounds),
senator does not know it; but Great
Britain does not produce a single
pound of wool fo'r export. It is true,
or was recently, that Britain has large
quantities of wool stored in the United
States but for safe-keeping only.
Doesn't the senator know that before
Great Britain secured permission to
store her w r ool here, she was obliged
to sign an agreement to the effect that
not a pound would be offered for sale
on the American market? If he
doesn't, it is time he informed himself
before further spouting on the subject.
(Continued on Page Four)
(Get that statement.
Perhaps the

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