THE PEOPLE'S VOICE
Published weekly by The People's Voice Publishing Co.
at 1205 Lockey Street, Helena, Montana
P. O. Box S38
H. S. BRUCE, Managing Editor
HARRY L. BILLINGS, Associate Editor
Entered as Second Class Matter December 7, 1939 at the Post Office at
Helena, Montana, under the Act of March 3, 1879.
CO., HELENA, MONT.
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Is It a "Soap Box' Debate?
The British, even more than we here in America, have per
mitted "soap boxers" to "pop off" in the parks and on street
corners, looking upon this as a safety measure; that the hard,
common sense of the public would evaluate the expressions of
these soap box orations and catalogue them as those of mal
contents and not worthy of much consideration,
main the public has been right. The soap boxers too, may be
given credit for having planted some new thoughts in their
criticisms of the social and political conditions; thoughts which
have been transmuted into remedial action in some cases.
And in the
Perhaps I am guilty of some form of sacrilege in doing so,
but I am disposed to look upon the present debate between
the USSR and the U. S. in the United Nations Assembly, as a
sort of glorified soap box contest in oratorical recrimination.
It must be admitted undoubtedly, that it has portentous im
plications and potentialities, with authorized representatives
of the two most powerful nations of the world as participants,
and, in effect jeopardizing any progress in the development
of the United Nations as an agency of permanent peace. To
many thinking people, the attitude of the United States seems
to call for making it impossible for the USSR and its friendly
nations to maintain membership in the United Nations except
as "silent partners". This is countered by the representatives
of the USSR by an obvious attempt to line up the nations of the
world against the United States as an imperialistic, war mon
gering nation, not to be trusted.
There can be no question but that the USSR has overworked
the power of the veto. Originally, when planned, at Yalta
and at San Francisco, there appeared to be a possibility of un
animity of thought and action by the major powers. Since
then, however, too many leaders in America with their control
of channels of information and looking with distaste and fear
upon the functioning of the socialized economy of the USSR
and dreading its influence on the remainder of Europe, have
succeeded in some degree in a campaign of hatred and bellig
erence toward the USSR. This development in turn, has made
the USSR almost hysterically suspicious of every move of the
United States, and the two nations today can see nothing good
in each other; are merely looking with suspicion on all pro
posals coming from either.
Unquestionably there is a dangerous trend in the present
debate in the United Nations assembly between the USSR and
the United States. However, if it is not too fatuously optim
istic I would venture the suggestion that like the soap boxers
the street corners sometimes damning the government for
sins of commission or omission, the debate may serve to bring
into the open some things that need to be exposed; some things
said that need saying and letting the people of the nations
decide who is right and who is wrong and to what degree.
Perhaps the American people might do well to insist that
representatives definitely start in their negotiations with
all foreign nations with an absolute renouncement of war and
then proceed from that point with actions which demonstrate
unconditioned determination to build a peaceful w r orld. A
great step forward to that end would be to agree immediately
to outlawing the atomic bomb as a weapon and then proceed
with the plan for world control of the development of
atomic energy. The fact that we are still busily making bombs,
said to be many times as powerfully destructive as the one we
used to destroy Hiroshima, makes our talks of peace in the
world, open to question.
And the fact that we insist on con
tinuing the making of these destructive weapons until such time
world controls are established, places us in the position,
justly or unjustly in the eyes of the world, as holding a club
all nations to compel them to meet our terms for peace.
An agreement by the United States to the immediate destruc
tion of our stockpile of qtomic bombs would undoubtedly be
the greatest investment for peace that could now be made.
And if the majority of the American people want to avoid
and destruction of lives, they might well try to impress
government with the urgency of the need for this.
Our Saintly Sam must not have received much encouragement from
members of the state legislature on his suggestion to call a special session
to correct one of the errors he made by approving bills during the regular
session which made it possible for the racketeers in the state to organize
so-called social clubs here, there and everywhere throughout the state. Evi
dently members felt that some $150,000 was too big a jolt for the taxpayers
to take to soothe the qualms of conscience being suffered by Saintly Sam.
Incidently, Saintly Sam's conscience must be a tricky thing. If my mem
ory is not entirely at fault, some of the most liberal çontributors to the ex
penses of Saintly Sam's last campaign for the governorship were the proprie
tors of the establishments in Helena against which the attorney general has
commenced action on charges that gambling is being carried on in them.
Apparently the possible taint of the money contributed was overlooked. Of
course it is possible that Saintly Sam is so unworldly (Continued on Page 3)
, It has been interesting, enlightening and some
what exciting to journey around Montana with Senator
Murray's MVA hearing party as I have been privileged
MVA and all the conceptions
to do for the past week,
for human betterment that lie behind and are involved
It is much larger and
in it is a tremendous thing,
more challenging in its fruitful offering than many
people yet realize; the largest and most far-reaching
peace-time job that congress has ever been called on
All we humans are naturally conservative,
somewhat of a sense of fear of the things we do not
understand. When a new proposal is made the natural
train of thought of each of us is "How will this affect
me; what will it do for or to the community in which
I live; what changes will it make in the way of life
to which I am accustomed?"
With enlightenment and understanding of a new and
meritorious project comes first, interest, then enthus
iasm, and finally that typical American daring "It's a
good bet, let's put it through". This process is now
actively effective all over Montana.
It is clearly apparent that in the mass thinking
MVA naturally divides itself into four fields. Each
individual more clearly sees that side of the project
SALES TAX IN THE WIND?
on an already overtaxed body politic are much better
There's some things in the wind regarding Montana
education which, on closer inspection bode no good for
either our educational system or for Montana taxpayers.
In few words, certain forces in this state, intent on
shoving through the discredited school reorganization
bill (HB 124) and with foisting a
sales tax upon the taxpayers to pay
the freight, plan to capitalize upon
present deplorable conditions sur
rounding our schools.
To that end, the campaign plans
have apparently already been drawn,
and willing stooges are quietly going
about inciting a "grass roots" move
ment for a special session of the
They reason—as well they might
—that their chances of ramming the "dictator" bill
down the throats of Montana people can be more easily
accomplished with the current mis-representatives com
prising the 30th legislature, than with the next assembly
which will undoubtedly find many of their .strongest
backers tossed into the political ashcan.
Likewise, the chances of imposing a sales tax yoke
should they be able to pressure the governor into calling
a special session between now and March 1 next year.
To that end you will see an increasing propaganda
emphasis on the inadvisability of further taxation on
real property—that OTHER means must be found. To
the special plunder gang which controlled the regular
session in typical "Punch 'n Judy" fashion, that "other"
means a SALES TAX and SALES TAX ALONE.
This is no time for dilly-dallying; no time to be
asleep. Rest assured that the "other side" is certainly
wide awake and is even now laying the groundwork
for a campaign predicated on hysteria for unloading
a sales tax on everything the hard-pressed consumer
The demand today is for much needed improvement
of our educational standards, of decent salaries for
teachers, for better school plant equipment. And, this
demand lies not alone with the teaching profession—it
is rapidly growing with all Montanans interested in the
welfare of our future citizens.
Money to meet these demands will have to be forth
coming from the state, and unless the forces of special
privilege can sneak through a sales fax, they will be
faced with having to more nearly pay a fair proportion
of the costs of maintaining our educational system.
Let's not be caught off guard!
New It's Co-ops' Turn . . .
You'll recall not so many months back when spacious
ads in the daily press proclaimed that "labor is a
monopoly", that labor must be curbed, the right to
work must prevail etc., etc., you will recall further
that all of this was part of the conditioning process of
our economic masters in building up public hostility
to organized labor that the Taft-Hartley blueprint for
« Continued irom Pagre one)
schooh these children this year have
no time for games and wholesome rec
reation, but are condemned instead to
bumping along in a bus. And the
cream of their children's strength is
exhausted each morning before they
arrive at school, and opportunity for
education thereby lessened. Trans
portation certainly is not education,
and its cost is very high.
Remember, reader, that there are
theAmndreds of such communities in Ok
lahoma, crying out against the op
pressive hand of arbitrary power.' A
state school board, remote from the
people and if not indifferent at least
uninformed, wields totalitarian power
As in Oklahoma, so in Montana if
the school bill had become law its
dictatorial power would have provoked
great discontent. The bill gave a
nine-member board in Helena cen
tralized control with absolute power
to reject any or all plans submitted
by any county redistricting commit
tee and to set up instead a plan of
its own, designating each consolida
tion center or centers and controlled
areas. Absolute power was given to
the boards of super-districts at their
own option to close "any school" and
to cut off the parents of displaced
children with "supervised home
The bill provided that no
rural or small town school could
operate without favorable action by
the board of its super-district. But if
such a school desired isolation status,
and had less than thirteen pupils en
rolled, it must not only have the ap
proval of its super-district board but
also must go to Helena and beg for
permission to open.
The writing of this totalitarian
school bill was sponsored in Montana
by the National Association o f
Manufacturers and by the Taxpayers
drafting the recommendations
which the bill was based, and the
N.A.M. is said to have made a large
financial contribution to this end.
They united their forces to have the
Each had a hand in
field with which his own past has been most closely
identified; the one in which his own line of activities #
are best reflected.
The economic side, i.e. the opportunity side, the
chance for advancement side, or the money-making side
has the first call. It is the field first canvassed by a
large percentage, probably a majority of individuals.
What does this thing mean in terms of wealth crea
tion, industrialization, business-openings jobs, debts
and taxation? Answers to these are the important
matters in the economic or business field.
The human welfare or social aspects of the project
is the field that has primary call in the minds of the
majority of the intelligencia. These who are largely
professional workers, educators, publicists, humani
tarians and advanced guard leaders in all measures
for the upward progress of civilization think first of
the MVA in terms of higher living standards, better
opportunities for our sons and daughters, more edu
cation, expansion of wholesome recreational facilities,
and what is commonly termed "the more abundant
Well, I can't qualify very highly in either of these
groups and not at all in the fourth one to be men
(Continued on Page Three)
fascism might be overwhelmingly passed by a subservi
Now that labor has been "taken care of", these same
worshippers of the Golden Calf are levelling their guns
at another terrible "monopoly" that bids fair to entwine
its economic tentacles around our entire American
way of life and crush our most holy of holies, "free
enterprise. This time it is the fast-growing co-opera
If it be possible to build up a similar hostility to
Co-ops as was so done with labor, then equally repres
sive legislation will be pressed to lay the groundwork
for complete destruction of the Co-op movement. The
propaganda offensive has been underway for sometime,
first spearheaded by the National Tax Equality Asso
ciation, and now by the Ploeser house subcommittee
which is holding "rigged" hearings in many parts of
Should the "findings" of this committee, ably aided
and abetted by the corporation press, have a favorable
reaction with the American public, then co-operators
the nation over may look forward to treatment at the
hands of the 80th congress, not dissimilar to the treat
ment accorded American trade unionists.
Whether its labor "monopolies" or Co-op "monop
olies", which "threaten" our sacred private enterprise
is immaterial. Such noble American institutions as
Standard Oil, the duPonts, General Motors and the
corner Safeway store must, at all costs be protected,
and the present crop of misfits in the congress are
just the guys to do the protecting. It behooves Co-op
members everywhere to be vigilant.
Birds of a Feather??? . . .
Announcement by Frank Gannett that he favors
Tom Dewey for the presidency should cause the New
York governor as many uneasy moments as did Gerald
L. K. Smith's endorsement cause Zales N. Ecton last
In case you didn't know — publisher Gannett
founded and is the evil genius behind the Committee
for Constitutional Government —an outfit which has been
repeatedly labelled "America's No. 1 Fascist Outfit", in
the halls of congress.
The Great Administrator" . . .
"While everyone credits him (Herby Hoover) for
splendid work in Belgium it is a historical fact that
Belgian relief was in successful operation six weeks
before Hoover was asked to head it and that Hoover
hired a press agent (Edgar Rickard) who flooded the
nation with propaganda glorifying 'Hoover of Belgium'."
—George Seldes' In Fact. July 10. 1944.
That We Can . . .
"If we can afford electricity to light our streets,
we can afford also to light up the alleys of ignor
ance . . ."—Eddie Cantor over NBC, in eloquent plea
for the people of America to do something about the
dire straits our educational systems are in.
bill passed "just as it is", that is, with
Montana's School Situation Is
Better Than Oklahoma's
Montana's communities almost with
out exception have made a large in
crease this year in the salaries paid
to school teachers. They have done
this instead of squandering school
funds in paying for long school-bus
hauls over unfit roads, and the
proach they have made to decent sal
aries is attracting teachers from Ok
lahoma and other states. The over
crowding of classes is not so extreme
as it would have been if forced
solidation had been imposed. As soon
as an adequate number of school
rooms have been built, there will be
release from the frightful over-crowd
ing that retards education in so many
of Montana's larger towns and cities.
Oklahoma will not have funds for such
building, if it continues to waste school
money on long bus hauls like the two
hour trip from Waterloo to Edmond.
Higher salaries for teachers, and more
school rooms, are preferred in Mon
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