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Editorial . .
Under Missoula Attorney's Hypothesis . . . State Supreme Court Might As*|Well Be Abolished Last week, a well-known corporation attorney in Missoula literally larruped h . . . out of THE VOICE for our recent edi torial expressing criticism of appointed Chief Justice Harrison and his decisions favoring Montana Power Company's gas divi sion, Mountain States Tel. & Tel., and the oil interests (PV, October 3, "Faithful to Whom"). (The DAILY MISSOULIAN report of his statement ap pears elsewhere on this page.) Like the able attorney he is, this corporation counsel spent little time in attempting to defend the Chief Justice for his part in handing down those three opinions which have already cost Montana citizens millions of dollars. Instead, the gentleman first indulged in a bit of old fash ioned political character assassination (that's a lawyer's per rogative when neither the facts nor the law back up his case). The PV editorial disposed of as "ignorant and vicious", he then proceeded to enunciate a doctrine which is indeed strange to American jurisprudence. In so many words he said —whether Justice is done is not the function of the Supreme Court . . . that "it isn't within the Supreme Court's 'orbit of power' to say the commission's determination (in either utility case) was unreasonable. Since when did the State Supreme Court lose its authority to rule on whether any lower court or commission action is not within its 'orbit of power'? Why even have a Supreme Court if it is without authority to rule on whether a lower court or commission decision is unreasonable"? Are not many decisions either reversed or remanded to lower judicial and quasi-judicial bodies for further consideration, by the State Supreme Court? In the eyes of some it may be "ignorant" and it may be "vicious" for a non-lawyer to speak with other than supine fealty and reverence of the gentlemen (two by the grace of Hugo) currently wearing the black robes of Justice. But, cliches and slurs in no way obviate the fact that Justice was not done in those three most important cases to come be fore the Supreme Court the last year and one half. No amount of outraged wailing by a corporation counsel will obscure the ' ' * » fact that because of those decisions, we the people of Montana have been taken to the cleaners, but good !—HLB. Is "Voluntary" Health Insurance Doing The Job? It is nothing new for Dr. Tom Hawkins and this Editor to be at odds in the controversy over 'voluntary" health plans vs. the proposed federal prepaid health insurance. Thus it is, I cannot go along with his statement in last week's VOICE that At present about 120 million are fully or mostly covered for these (medical and hospital) services . . (my emphasis) Dr. Max Seham, clincal professor of pediatrics at the Uni versity of Minnesota, in the September issue of LaFollette's PROGRESSIVE, "The Failure of Voluntary Health Insurance", holds a much different opinion. Dr. Seham concedes that about 123 million people are en rolled in one kind or another voluntary health insurance, BUT, he points out "only about five per cent have comprehensive med ical services and full financial protection for themselves and their families. The 47 million non-insured include the neediest, the old, the medical indigents, widows, marginal farmers, some racial minority groups, migratory workers and their families, and a broad range of working-class families . 1 , Continuing, Dr. Seham states that "hospital insurance last » i year reimbursed patient an average per bill. Blue Shield and commercial insurance took care of from 50 to 75 per cent of his surgical expenses and about 30 to 40 per cent of obstetrical fees. Significant is the fact that only between 28 and 33 per cent of the TOTAL civilian health bill (this includes fees to private physicians), was paid by voluntary insurance plans . . (my emphasis) Voluntary health plans, Dr. Seham emphasizes, are particu larly discriminatory against the very young and the aged. Thirty-seven per cent of these plans exclude infants under two months, the period of highest mortality , . The illness rate among those over 65 years "is the highest of any age group but 66 per cent of these older persons have no health insurance protection . . . As for "the Doctors' Plan", Blue Shield, Dr. Selam says an inherent defect of Blue Shield lies in the fact that members of the medical profession are both producers and recipients of the financial benefits . . And, he gives approval to a statement and warning by A. J. Hayes, president, International Association of Machinists, that "Blue Shield has become a benefit plan for the doctors, and not for the people; and if segments of the medical profession persist in profiting from the ill-health of the American workers, then we must and will turn to a system of national health insurance." (my emphasis) Much as I respect the integrity and high professional skill * * ♦ » * ' Bound Reprints of Peabody Report Are Now Available Bound reprints of the Peabody report "Public Schools of Montana are now available in the offices of the Montana Taxation-Education Commission, Rooms 326-27, State Capitol Bldg., Helena. Single copy price is one dollar ($1.00); group orders of ten or more are preferred and will be allowed quantity dis counts. Checks or money orders payable to the Taxation-Education Com mission accompanying requests are the preferred method of payment. C.O.D. orders will be accepted but high fees make them very imprac tical for small orders. Farmer Committee Set Up By Young Republicans Bill Baillie, state chairman of the Montana Young Republicans Monday announced the formation of a state Young Republican Agriculture Com mittee headed by Art Parson of Cas cade. The members of the commit tee, all farmers and ranchers, are Charles Gray, Gallatin Gateway; Tom Moe, Lewistown; Ted Smith, Olive; Stanley Lund, Reserve; and Arnold Lightner, Valier. Baillie said the Agriculture Com mittee would co-operate with the agriculture directors of each county Young Republican Club and would be having state agriculture meetings to formulate a continuing agricul ture program for the betterment of Montana farmers and ranchers. An additional purpose of the committee will be to encourage young farmers and ranchers of the Republican party in Montana to be politically active. Art Parson, the new chairman of the Agriculture Committee, is mar ried and has a family. He is a wheat farmer near Cascade. This last year he attended an agriculture and poli tical school of the Republicans in Washington, D. C. Parson will be the agriculture spokesman for the Young Republicans in Montana, and through his committee will announce agricul ture policy from time to time. Co-op Bank Loans Stand At $408 Million WASHINGTON, D. C.—(CNS) — Since the banks for co-operatives were organized in 1934, co-ops have borrowed $8,300 million and paid off all but $408 million of this. ii Moscow Plan" For Naming Judges, Endorsed . . . Editorial Is Termed 'Vicious' "Ignorant and vicious" is the man ner in which Russell E. Smith, Mis soula attorney, described a recent Helena newspaper editorial at a crowded meeting of law students at the University Law House Thursday night. (See Editorial) The editorial, appearing in the People's Voice and reprinted Oct. 7 in the University Kaimin, accused Supreme Court Chief Justice James T. Harrison of a "give-away" to the public utilities through the court de cisions of "State ex rel Olsen vs. Public Service Commission". "If you start with the major pre mise that public utilities rates should never be raised," said Smith, "then the editorial was justified. "The state law vests in the Public Service Commission power to deter mine rates," he continued, "and it isn't within the Supreme Court's 'or bit of power' to say the commission's determination was unreasonable." In reviewing the function of the Supreme Court, Smith said the court's duty was only to see if there was evi dence upon which the commission could make a finding of fact. If such evidence was presented, the court was duty-bound to follow it. "The idea that the Supreme Court should refuse to sanction the commis ' ' of Dr. Hawkins and his sincere interest in better health for all the people, I cannot concur with his thesis that voluntary health insurance is by and large meeting the health needs of the American people. Instead, I must join Dr. Seham in the concluding statement of his thought-provoking article that "the time is now rapidly approaching when the federal eminent, by default will have no alternative but to dictate a national health plan for the future—unless the medical fession fulfills its responsibility of leadership. gov pro WHA T DO YOU THINK? By GRETCHEN G. BILLINGS I think the next legislature should return the state Supreme Court to a partisan basis again, so we can stop kidding ourselves. The race this time has been almost a mockery from the non-partisan angle. Anyone worth his salt has some political philosophy! The only way we can get away from it in government is to revert to the theory of Plato and keep all those who govern in cloisters. But nonpartisanship has become a phobia in this election, as you have probably noticed. Besides the candidates for Supreme Court (who have all been active in party politics) Mrs, Hinman shows no party designation on her posters. On the county level many candidates for state legislature in the western district (also Republicans) do not designate their party in their news paper ads. I have on my desk the ads of four legislative candidates who give no clue as to their party affilia tion. Judge Adair has always said, "You can take the politics out of the office, but you can't take politics out of the man". For instance, Judge Harrison would lead you to believe he never had a "political" thought in his life. Yet when he ran for eastern district con gressman in 1954 he said in his speeches he was behind Ezra Taft Benson's program to rid the country of surpluses; said "more power" to Senator Joe McCarthy and backed up Eisenhower's action. (See Great Falls Tribune, May 1, 1954.) These things all involve a political philosophy to my mind. Where does a judge chuck these things when he gets on the court? There are them as say it will be difficult to change the law back again to a partisan basis. Especially when there are them as would make the court an appointive job so we wouldn't vote for justices at all—like they vote—you know where —where just one name appears on the ballot. There are them as have little truck with democracy. . * A real chummy, lovey note along with a press release from Bill Baillie, state chairman, Montana Young Re publicans. sion's findings on the grounds that the commission didn't make an inde pendent examination was unheard of until the minority opinion in this case was written," he said. In referring to the editorial, Smith said, "Anyone can pillory a judge by being dishonest enough . . . The free dom of speech should include the re sponsibility to know what you are talking about. "The only guarantee of a good ju diciary we have is by the election of men who will respect what the law compels them to do," he continued. "When judges are afraid of public opinion stemming from an unpopular decision, we have lost this guarantee. M Smith said he believes the Supreme Court of Montana should be a selec tive, rather than elective body.* In a poll taken in 1956 in Montana, of 700 individuals surveyed, only one and one-tenth per cent could name all candidates running for Supreme Court, he said, adding that of the 700, 55 percent couldn't name any. —DAILY MISSOULIAN. * Under this plan, known variously as the "Missouri Plan" and the "Mos cow Plan", the people would lose their right to vote on Court Justices of their choice. The Governor would be given the appointive power.—EDI TOR. "I note you didn't use our release on State YR Labor Chairman—I don't suppose you will use such Republican this since it isn't Farm Union news as —We will send you this nevertheless since it is news and farm news at that. Thank you". Now that's gratitude for you. We did print the press release on the Young Republicans Labor Chairman (see VOICE, Oct. 3)—and in this issue we will print the release about their farm chairman. blind" antagonism toward us is literal as well as figura . . The YR's tive. I was talking to a friend of mine who favors the graduated land tax and I asked "why" because it would hit them rather hard. They are by no means small operators. The answer was marvelous in its simplicity and so basic it is something we could all think about: She said, "Gretchen I am not afraid of any tax that is fair". This attitude might well be con sidered by organizations who are working for people's groups who op pose taxes that are proposed to equal ize the tax responsibility. Everybody in the state of Montana is going to have to pay more taxes in the coming years. I accept this re sponsibility—but I want the tax to be fair—to me and to others. I want it to be fair whether it is for highways, or what it is for. Jack Reid has said our tax struc ture has grown out of need rather than equalization—I think it is a good time for the people of Montana to suggest to the legislature we want equalization first for a change. Just for the sake of fairness and equalization lets; • Close the loopholes in the cor poration license tax. • Get income tax from people who live out of state who receive income from Montana property. • Get industry off our tax back by putting occupational disease under workmen's compensation. • Get industry off our tax back by requiring them to pay unemployment compensation from the fund they have built up instead of from welfare funds. • Allow the trucks to pay their fair share of highway costs before we pay any more 1-cent additional tax. The fellows who worked for these things in the last legislature are hav ing a tough fight out in the country to get back. Guess who is working against them? If the Highway Department is in such sad shape—as the state highway engineer says in this morning's papers —they maybe shouldn't a bought that 41,000 dollar airplan which amount —matched might have brought close to V 2 million dollars to the program. Now it is sure a plane saves tim but their problem seems to be money —cash money—and besides why a plane? Don't they like to ride the highways they are building? Well, you for it, kids—you fall for the woeful tales of all these guys and you are going to be bending your arm picking up a bigger check and digging deeper in your pocket to pay for it— and going without some of the things those dollars might add to your life. As I say, you have until Tuesday to think carefully about these things then you've had it for another two years. In 1827 the Mechanics' Union of Trade Associations, made up of un ions of skilled craftsmen in different trades, was formed in Philadelphia. This was the first city central type of organization on record. THE PEOPLE'S VOICE Published Weekly by The People's Voice Publishing Co., at 1205 Lockey Street, Helena, Montana. HARRY L. BILLINGS, Editor Entered as Second Class Matter De cember 7. 1939, at the Post Office at Helena, Montana, under the Act of March 3, 1879. Subscrfption Price: Î3.00 a Year No commercial Advertising except from Co-operative Business institu tions accepted. Rates on application.