Newspaper Page Text
UVLY 20, 1905
PAGE S G6j Nobraoho. Independent Urould not, as he promises, "benefit all alike, ' the farmer, the laborer, the producers and consumer first and the honest possessor of capital second." But, as he promises that , bis remedy really will do this, and that 'no jnan can misuse it or turn it into an instru ment for his personal benefit," common fair ness demands that full judgment upon the remedy be withheld until it is fully dis closed. The Public, Chicago. Tbomas W. Lawson's remedy for the ills "the system" has imposed on the public is . to "sell every share of stock and every bond back to the frenzied financiers at present Inflated prices." It is Mr. Lawson's theory that the plutocrats will then be holding the sack and the people will have the money. In other words, Mr. Lawson proposes to reach the goal of real values through universal financial wreck. That might cure, but it might also kill. But suppose the frenzied financiers also decide to abandon the ship and themselves turn bears? Everybody would, be selling and nobody buying. As the -broker of the bears, and sworn enemy of the bulls, Mr. Lawson would be out of business. Portland Oregonian. Undoubtedly, if Mr. Lawson's advice be followed by "the holders of stocks and se curities, a collapse in the stock market would result, but even if it should inflict losses upon the "frenzied financiers" the system would continue its ceaseless and remorseless absorp tion of the nation's wealth. The Rockefellers and Morgans and Goulds and Vanderbilts and Harrimans and the greater and lesser cap tains of industry and finance would continue to draw dividends, divida profits, and exact rent and interest. And through profit, inter est and rent, in some form or other the thing is done and "the system" becomes impreg nable to the assaults of those that desire to route thed efenders of the citadel without overthrowing its walls. Milwaukee News. NEW EQUITABLE SENSATION ? By persistent pounding the Ncy York World Is slowly but surely , sinking the probe deeper and deeper into Equitable Life Assurance misman agement and corruption. This; great newspaper has performed a most valuable service not only for Equitable -policyholders, but for the entire country. Its latest discovery is that the report issued a few weeks ago by Superintendent Hen dricks did not deal with the most glaring frauds revealed by the testimony. Here are some of the World's comments: Nobody who reads Mr. Hendricks' report of June 21 and the testimony on which that report was based can see any material con nection between the two. ; The report seems to have been employed to suppress the most important parts of the testimony. In fact, suppression seems to have been the chief business of the superintendent of insurance from the outset The testimony tells of stock speculations with the Equi table's money; of the diversion of between $15,000,000 and $20, 000,000 in the last three years; of a mysterious auditor's report which seems to have been suppressed; of a $50,000,000 Union Pacific blind pool from which Mr. Schiff swears he did not get the money, and which is traced by Mr. Hyde's ' testimony to Mr. Harriman. It tells of many other vast diversions and pecu lations, all of which took place under Mr. Hendricks' official supervision, and were an nually sanctioned by his official certificate. Even the most scandalous revelations con cerning Senator Depew were carefully smoth ered in the "preliminary report." The edited testimony stops short on the -verge of the most important disclosures as to who got the money. Who received the millions diverted from the Equitable in the Bank of Commerce and Western National deals? Thomas P. Ryan's man Snyder handled this transaction. Is it credible that Synder got all the money . .that the Equitable lost, or is it more likely that Mr. Ryan, who now has the bank and the Equitable also, has the money? Such inci dents, as this Bank of Commerce transaction help to illuminate "the great Ryan mystery. They help to explain why Mr. Ryan paid, according to his own statement, $2,500,000 for the privilege of receiving $3,514 annual dividends. Did Mr. Ryan learn from the - Bank of Commerce deal the possible profits from the control of life insurance assets, and decide thenceforth to take . the fullest ad vantage of that knowledge? This may ext plain why he bought the Equitable after buy ing the Washington Life. If Governor Hig- gins continues to stand by Superintendent Hendricks, if he continues to block a public legislative investigation, if he continues to deny the policyholders a full knowledge of where their diverted moneys have gone, it is upon him and upon him alone that the peo ple of the state should pour out their Justly aroused wrath. It is their governor and his subordinates who have made the state of New York responsible for life insurance cor ruption. . Whatever criminal proceedings must be instituted by the district attorney against the Equitable corruptionists do not concern Governor Higgins. He has his own solemn duty to perform, and he is shirking, it. Governor Higgins must yield. Exposure is certain. Full publicity is bound to come. His official power may for the time obstruct and delay, but the result will be his own political destruction. He must not underrate the seriousness of this scandal, in which United States senators, eminent financiers, great banking institutions and the state gov- -eminent are involved. Wrigglo as he may, Governor Higgins cannot shift 'his responsi bility. In our system of constitutional gov ernment there is one man in whom the execu tive power of the state is centered, That man is called the governor, and his name Is Higgins. He cannot dodge behind Dis trict Attorney Jerome. The district attorney is not co-ordinate with the governor, but sub ordinate. At least so the state constitution says when it provides that when a district -attorney does not do his duty the governor shall remove him and appoint a successor who will. If Mr. Jerome does not do his duty Governor Higgins may remove him, as he might remove Superintendent Hendricks, who has not done his duty. New York World. .. . . " f Many of the "holier-than-thou" men, who sanctimoniously denounced the reformers of '96 as "repudiationists," "anarchists," "brood of hell," etc., have been falling off their pedestals lately. Now Chauncey Depew lies shattered: Senator Depew would have it understood that he is not a frenzied financier, but? he admits that he is a loose financier, and that is bad enough. In testifying at . the investi gation of the Equitable Assurance society he said that, as a director of the society, he had voted in favor of a loan by it to the Depew Improvement Co., of $250,000, although the value of the property covered by the loan was only $150,000, but tried to excuse him self by adding that he did not advise the - loan. His duty was to advise against such a loan and to vote against it. The senator con fesses to a verbal guarantee from loss on the loan, but declares that the promise was not legally binding. He admits tha neither the loan nor interest has been paid, and that the mortgage has been foreclosed. The Depew Improvement company, which was originally composed of the late Walter Webb, third, vice president of the New York Central rail road, and prominent Buffalo real estate men, caused the town of Depew, on our border, to spring up like a mushroom. A large tract of land which had been acquired by the com pany was presented to the New York Central for the location of car shops. That made the land adjacent to the shops very valuable, and that is where the company was supposed to come in for profits. But money was needed for the. promotion of the scheme, and having named the town after Depew the company's officials did not hesitate to ask him to be the producer. He didn't happen to have the ready cash, so the company applied to the quitable and succeeded in obtaining the loan. The cpmpany became bankrupt and the Equitable was loser. It is not to be imagined that Senator Depew. was engaged in any sort of scheme to wrong the policyholders of the Equitable. He was simply careless, like the I other members of the board, who were not actively engaged in the management of the Equitable's affairs. It was only another case of a board of directors that did not direct, but acted on the sayso of the active managing officials, who were improving the opportunity to feather their financial nests. Buffalo Evening Times. CONVICTION OF SENATOR MITCHELL Senator Mitchell's conviction foi accepting money to help along the Oregon land frauds is considered" a very unusual vindication of justice by the Pittsburg Leader, which says: It is unusual because under the preva lent system of politics, It has always been a matter almost of impossibility to break in upon the peculiar "grafts" enjoyed by mem bers of the United States senate and their political associates, the disposition of those charged with the administration of federal affairs being, as a rule, to steer jlcar.of mat ters involving interference with the perquis ites of politicians powerful enough to hold a seat in the highest legislative body in the land. Cases have been known in which sen ators of the United States openly admitted . practices which, in individuals of less power, would be treated as criminal, but of which the law officers of the national government found it convenient to take no cognizance. In the Mitchell case, then, what is tantamount to a new precedent Is established. Senator Mitchell found himself brought to book under an administration which cares nothing about the supposed prerogatives of political poten tates. The conviction of this, man furnishes a significant object lesson to all of his kind. Clearly the time has arrived when high po litical and official standing can no longer serve to secure immunity from the punish- ' " meat due to illicit practicer whereby the nation is despoiled and the standard of offi cial morality is lowered. For .is the peoplo should be grateful. It is, in truth, a happy dispensation whereby it is made possible to undo the mischievous old order of thin g3 and to insure that equality of all men before the law which prohibits the exist-ce of privi leged vice and crime. FOR TARIFF REVISION The committee of 100 of the Boston Chamber of Commerce appointed to consider the general question of reciprocity and tariff revision adopted a declaration that the country is confronted with a commercial and economic situation which threatens American . interests and Industries. These Boston republican business men further declared: We believe a revision of the tariff upon the principle of reciprocity Jo. , be necessary, and we affirm that the adoption of a maxi mum and minimum-tariff system, "having for its purpose reciprocity rather than retaliation, is best calculated to promote and maintain a rational system of protection, and to . guar-! ant.ee the equitable treatment of all foreign, nations. The typical r.ttitude of Germany, our second largest foreign customer, emphasizes the practical character of reciprocity as a political proposition. The pendency of the Hay-Bond treaty with , Newfoundland, and our unsettled commercial relations with the Dominion of Canada most urgently call for immediate action. We earnestly endorse the reported intention of President Roosevelt to call a special session of congress for the - immediate revision of the tariff. This question is part of the great eco nomic issue of the day. There is world wide economic agitation, which Is growing continually and cannot be kept down. It is the demand of the univ.rsal human proleta riat for the right of existence. It is upon us, and in a most acute form. . In these changed conditions, the extreme tariff tax for "pro tection" Is no longer protection to wages. It is a bounty, largely to monopoly. There Is now forming in this country, and forming ' very rapidly, the nucleus of a political party with other aims. At least, a force which will have much influence on existing parties, and largely direct their action. In this con test obsolete economist statesmen are not to have the final word. The law, as It stands tariff law and other law protects the monopolist and gives him great opportu nity. Various franchises, the tariff among them, give him about everything, he wants, - There must be change. There will be change. Portland Oregonian. ADAM BEDE IS DISCOURAGED J. Adam Bede, the Minnesota congressman. Is discouraged when he ca.ts his eyes down Pan ama way. He thinks he sees a conspiracy to make the canal a failure: It looks to me as if the president had done to the trusts and corporations in get ting Root again just what somebody did to the canal in getting Wallace. The whole thing is all mixed up. I think Andrew Car negie should be made secretary of state, be cause he is the only big and brainy man we now have who could afford It. John D. Rockefeller is the only man safe enough from temptation to be put at the head of the Pan ama canal commission.