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The nonpartisan leader. [volume] (Fargo, N.D.) 1915-1921, March 29, 1920, Image 6

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn89074443/1920-03-29/ed-1/seq-6/

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Official Hitatlne of the National Nonpartisan League
Entered as second-class matter at tje postoffice at Minneapolis, Uinn., under the act
of March 8, 1879. Publication address, 427 Sixth avenue S., Minneapolis, Minn.
Subscription, one year, in advance, $2.50 six months, $1.50. Classified advertising
rates on classified page other advertising rates on application Address all letters and
make all remittances to the Nonpartisan Leader, P. O. Bex 2076, Minneapolis, Minn.
Member Audit Bureau of Circulation. The S. S. Beckwith Special Agency, advertising,
representatives. New York, Chicago, St. Louis, Detroit, Kansas City.
EVERY one knows, millions of dollars' worth of Liberty
bonds have been sold every week for the last year. Pa
farmers and, city workers, urged to "buy to the
limit" during the various drives and assured that their bonds
were "good as gold," have'been compelled to sell because their
earnings were not sufficient to meet the increased cost of living.
On selling they had a rude awakening. The bankers who a few
months ago assured them that the bonds were worth 100 cents on
the dollar were willing, as a favor, to take them over—at 90 cents
on the dollar or thereabouts.
It is variously estimated that from one-half to two-thirds of
the small holders of bonds have been compelled to sell thenu Now
that the small holders have been forced to unload and the fat
boys have the bonds, what happens? Let us quote briefly from
the Pasadena (Cal.) Star-News:
One of the first and greatest duties now awaiting the United
States government is the increasing of the interest rates on Liberty
and Victory bonds so that the securities will remain at par. This
iB the opinion expressed today by George M. Reynolds, president
of the Continental and Commercial National bank of Chicago, the
second largest institution of its kind in the country. With his
wife and a party of friends Mr. Reynolds arrived here last night
on his annual winter visit and is at the Huntington, where he will
remain two months or longer, devoting his leisure to the pursuit
of golf.
Mr. Reynolds stopped in his pursuit of golf long enough to
advocate a 5 per cent interest rate for all issues. This is the
logical final step in the old Wall street, game of booming secur-
ities so that the public will buy, then hammering the price down
so that the public will sell, then boosting dividends so that the
"insiders" can get rich returns on what they bought at sacrifice
Throughout the Liberty bond campaigns the Leader has
pointed out that the interest rate fixed by the federal government
was too low, so that bonds were bound to sell below par. But the
time for increasing the interest rate has now passed. The original
subscribers have been forced, in the main, to sell their bonds.
Increasing the interest rate now would only be adding to the
wealth of the speculators, while the people would have an ad
ditional debt burden placed on their shoulders.
E HOPE all League members are reading Henry Krum
rey's own story. The Wisconsin cheese producers have
recognition all over the United States as among the
world's most successful co-operators. But Mr. Krumrey shows
that this success did not come easily. When he started "agitat
ing"—that is, calling attention to the grievances of the farmers
he was branded as "crazy," "a town-killing octopus," etc., etc., and
was threatened with 27 libel suits.
After the farmers banded together and actually started to
organize even more obstacles were thrown in their way. Most of
the newspapers were unfriendly and the unfair business interests
that were fattening themselves at the expense of the producers had
no disposition to give up their fancv profits.
The Nonpartisan league is challenging even greater busi
ness interests than the Big Five packers. Is it any wonder that
A. C. Townley is called all the names that were applied to Henry
Krumrey—and then some? Is it any wonder that all the triors
that were used in an attempt to beat the Wisconsin cheese pro
ducers have been tried against the League—and new ones added?
Is it any wonder that the newspaper opposition that Krumrey
faced is multiplied many times against the League?
It is popular now, in an attempt to oppose the League, to say
-Every Week
that fanners' co-operative enterprises are all right but that farm
ers' political enterprises are all wrong. But as Mr. Krumrey
shows the same interests that use this cry now are bitterly oppos
ed to co-operation whenever it is likely to hit their pocketbooks.
Because he saw these things, Henry Krumrey was the first farm
er in Sheboygan county to join the Nonpartisan league.
HE people of the United States in the past have seen legis
lation backed by the large majority jof the people, enacted
by majorities in both houses of congress and signed by the
president—and then set aside by a five-to-four decision of the su
preme court of the United States. But recently they have been
treated to a more novel experience. The steel .trust has been upheld
in open and studied violations of the anti-trust act, not by a ma
jority of the supreme court, but by a MINORITY.
Of the nine members of the supreme bench, seven partici
pated in the steel corporation case. Four held, in effect, that the
steel trust was a "good trust" and therefore should not be held
amenable to the strict letter of the anti-trust law. The other
three justices sitting on the case held against the trust. Two
justices were disqualified from writing opinions in the case be
cause, in pursuit of their official duties prion to appointment as
justices, they had taken an open stand against the steel trust and
its practices. These justices, Brandeis and McRe.vnolds, with
the three who passed on the case adversely to thp steel trust,
made an actual majority in favor of upholding the Sherman anti
trust law. But the minority of four set them aside.
This is perhaps the most flagrant case of minority misrule in
recent years. The decision, in effect, means the setting aside of
the Sherman anti-trust law. North Dakota has been .wise enough
to require, not a mere majority opinion on the part of its supreme
court, but the votes of four of its five justices to set aside a law
enacted by the people or the legislature. Will we be considered
guilty of disloyalty if we urge that the Constitution of the United
States ought to require at least a majority vote of the supreme
court membership to set aside a statute?
W. CURRIE, editor of the Country Gentleman, con
tinues get the worst of it in his correspondence with
League farmers who have protested about the unfair atti
tude taken by his paper against the farmers' government of North
Dakota. Desperate for a reply to F. B. Tipton of Home Acres
Farm, Seward, Neb., Mr. Currie wrote:
I must judge from your letter that you will be far happier
gleaning over the red headlines of the Nonpartisan Leader than
you will from the pages of the Country Gentleman.
Mr. Currie knows better than that. He would find it impos
sible to quote a single "red headline" from the Nonpartisan Lead
er, just ais he was fuddled recently when farmers "called" his
sweeping charges about North Dakota taxes. We harbor no ani
mosity against Mr. Currie. We are only sorry for him. He went
to North Dakota in 1917 and wrote a series of articles, published
by the Country Gentleman, which gave the Nonpartisan league a
fine sendoff. But that was before the organized farmers' move
ment became a serious menace to graft, monopoly and profiteering
OUTSIDE OF NORTH DAKOTA. When the League idea took
root nationally, and when Mr. Currie's employer got nervous, he
got orders that the Country Gentleman must fight this great
movement of earnest, thinking farmers.
There are wealthy men—men who are making big profits
under present conditions—who do not tremble in their boots and
become reactionary fanatics when the people ask an adjustment
of abuses. But Cy Curtis, Mr. Currie's millionaire boss, is not
./one of those. His profits on the Country Gentleman, Ladies Home
Journal and Saturday Evening Post must be fabulous, and he has
every material reason to be content with things as they are. To
him the League consists of an ignorant, unwashed bunch of rubes
who might in some way threaten his profits if not balked. And so
we are sorry for Old Cy as well as for his hired man Currie.

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