VOTE WITH THE WOMEN AGAINST JOHN WALTER SMITH
homes than to any other subject, except the tariff, but spoke also on
service pensions, conservation, the expenses of the Philippine occupation,
the Children’s Bureau, and the parcel post.
Extracts from some of these speeches will be given under the various
headmgs Co* Qnd the QW Soldier
Perhaps the most striking thing in Cox’s Congressional record is his
relations with the old soldiers. The National Soldiers’ Home at Dayton
contains some 5000 veterans —all voters.
Out of Cox’s 924 bills, 889 were concerned with pensions, while two of
three amendments dealt with food in the soldiers’ homes.
In a speech suggesting that General Sherwood and General Keifer
prepare a service pension bill, Cox said:
“It would be an inspiring spectacle to us younger men from Ohio if
the two old warriors would get together and construct or create a com
prehensive dollar-a-day pension bill, * * * one that both of these old
heroes can endorse” (March 22, 1910; C. R., 3581).
On December 12, 1911, he voted for the Sherwood service pension
bill (C. R., 284), after some remarks on the floor congratulating its
During his first term in Congress Cox took up the question of food in
the soldiers’ homes. He was able to show that the allowance for food was
no greater than that made for prisoners in the Federal Penitentiary at
Leavenworth. As a result, an amendment to the sundry civil bill, raising
the food allowance, was adopted (May 27, 1910; C. R., 7000).
This humanitarian move, correcting what was apparently a real abuse,
was likewise clever politics. At his first election Cox was successful
only because of a split between the Republicans. His help to the old
soldiers was an important element in his re-election.
On February 24, 1911, Cox offered an amendment to the sundry civil
bill to prevent oleogargarine being served in soldiers’ homes (C. R., 3362).
Cox’s attitude toward the old soldier has thus been that of the intelli
gent politician. He has favored generous distribution of public money
among the pensioners, and has identified himself with that distribution in
such away as to command the support of the beneficiaries.
He has at no time been held back by considerations of economy in
dealing with the former fighting men.
Cox and Conservation
So far as he dealt with the conservation issue, Cox showed an intelli
gent and progressive interest in that subject.
Speaking on the Black Warrior River improvement project, which
occasioned considerable controversy, he said:
“There are two features in this bill which should be changed one
reducing the term of the franchise from 5° years to not more than 25
years, and then some power of the Government should be exercised in
regulating the price charged for the use of that power.
“No franchise should be granted for 50 years.” (August 11, 1911; C.
Discussing the homestead law, on March 20, 1912, he declared:
“I earnestly hope that this bill will pass. I think it should be amended,
hovoever, and all utilities, or substantially all the utilities, except the agri
culture, reserved by the Government” (C. R., 3^99)-
He voted, with the other Democrats, in favor of the Ballinger investi
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He voted against the Alaska coal-land-leasing bill, a grab measure
supported by only 32 reactionary members of the House (February 23,
1911; C. R., 3242).
Cox’s votes on the lumber schedule in the Payne-Aldrich bill, else
where noted, were consistently favorable to free lumber and timber, and
in so far in favor of conservation of our forests.
Cox and Social Welfare Legislation
Cox has lost no opportunity to identify himself with respectable move
ments for political reform, like the initiative and referendum, and with
“social betterment” legislation of the moderate sort, like child-labor laws.
His bills, as previously noted, were:
(1) For the appointment of a commission to inquire into the advis
ability of old-age civil pensions.
(2) For the prohibition of child labor in the District of Columbia.
When the bill for the establishment of a Children’s Bureau was under
consideration he spoke in favor of it (April 2, 1912; C. R., Appendix,
His votes on this measure follow:
(1) For changing reference of the bill from the unfavorable Com
mittee on Interstate Commerce to the favorable Committee on Labor
(February 9, 1912; C. R., 1873).
(2) For the bill (April 2, 1912; C. R., 4226).
One of the most important measures of protection for workers en
acted in recent years is the legislation prohibiting the manufacture of
white sulphur matches (the so-called “phossy jaw” bill). When this
measure was originally introduced it was fought by the match compa
nies. Later they withdrew their opposition.
In the early stages of this legislation Cox opposed it. Afterward he
changed his position and voted for the bill (March 28, 1912; C. R., 3979).
Cox and the Machine
While Cox has been a party regular, he did not in Congress maintain
a specially close relation with the machine element.
At the beginning of his first session (March 15, 1909) he voted with
most of his party associates against the Fitzgerald amendment to the
rules, a Tammany move to save Cannon (C. R., 33).
|At the time of the revolt against Speaker Cannon he voted with the
Republican progressives for enlarging and electing the Committee on
Rules, thus curtailing the power of the Republican Speaker (March 19,
1910; C. R., 3435)-
On the same day he voted to declare the Speakership vacant (C. R.,
On January 11, 1912, he voted for Victor Murdock, Progressive
Republican, as a member of the Committee on Rules (C. R., 864). This
was an occasion when the reactionaries of both parties lined up together
in support of Philip P. Campbell. The standpatters among the Democrats
were led by Underwood.
In connection with the question of machine rule, two other significant
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