CYRUS B. WATSON
FOR JUDGE CLARK
Distinguished Democrat Warmly Endorses Him for United States Senate
DECLARES INTERESTS AT WORK AGAINST HIM
“His Real Enemies Are the Great Monopolies Who Are Pulling the Strings for the Ones Who Are Doing the Most Talking”—George W. Perkins and Others Like Him “Would Sooner Enter Into a Contract to Feed an Unbridled Rattlesnake from a Short-Handled Teaspoon” Than to Interview Judge Clark as to His Intentions as to Pending Legislation.
To the Editor: I favor CHIEF JUSTICE WALTER CLARK for the Senate to succeed Senator Simmons, and believe it no less than my duty to give my reasons and state my position in answer to many inquiries from individuals which I have not the time to answer properly in any other way than this.
In the first place, Judge Clark has no superior in the State in learning and ability. He has no equal, as I believe, in industry, hard work, and devotion to duty. His numerous opinions, as found in our Supreme Court Reports, will be read long after he has passed away, and the verdict of posterity will be that Walter Clark was a friend of liberty and devoted to the best interests of the great mass of humanity. Some of his opinions may have been criticised, but never by the plain folks who work for a living.
I favor Judge Clark because I know the men, the corporations, and great interests that have to a great extent been controlling legislative and National policies do not desire his election to the United States Senate. There are great monopolies, vast concerns controlling enormous wealth, wrongfully and unlawfully taken from laborers, producers, and consumers, that could afford to spend millions of money to prevent the election of enough men like Judge Clark to control the United States Senate. There seems to be a great uprising among the voters of the whole country to bring about a change and to take the control of the affairs of the Government out of the hands of the agents of the Steel Trust, the Harvester Trust (both robbers of the farmers), the various tobacco trusts, the Lumber Trust, and scores of other great interests, and place this control once more in the bands of the people. But this fight is no skirmish; it is a fight to death. These “interests” for years have been dictating legislation and the policies of the Government, all in their favor, and in return have furnished enormous campaign funds to be used in debauching voters and bribing election officers, all for the purpose of enabling them to rob the great mass of the people.
I hope to live to see the Senate under the control of such men as Judge Clark. It is coming some day, and North Carolina had as well get in line
right now by electing a man of that kind. Mr. George W. Perkins, of the Steel Trust and Harvester Trust, now engaged in furnishing the money for the purpose of nominating Mr. Roosevelt, would never slip down to Washington and ask Senator Walter Clark for an interview relating to his conduct as a Senator and his intentions as to pending legislation before the Senate. He and others like him would sooner enter into a contract to feed an unbridled rattlesnake from a short-handled teaspoon.
Walter Clark in the Senate will be, as he has been on the bench, irreproachable by the people and unapproachable by the enemies of the people. He has made some enemies and will make more, but he ought to be proud of them, for so long as he lives his integrity and honest devotion to high principle will be above suspicion and even beyond the reach of slander. His real enemies are the great monopolies, which are pulling the strings for the ones who are doing the most talking.
Judge Clark has always been the same every day—not one thing to-day and another to-morrow. He will stand after the election where he stood before the election, and when elected to the Senate his physical and mental vigor, his great ability, and his courageous devotion to convictions will at once make him a National leader for the people and against the special interests.
No one has done more for the Democratic Party in North Carolina than Walter Clark; and yet in spite of the immense work of all kinds he has done for the State and his people, he has only held an office that pays a bare living and has required enormous labor at his hands. His two competitors have held the best paying offices the better part of their lives, and have each drawn in the neighborhood of a hundred thousand dollars in salary. They are young enough to retire for a while and work for a living around their respective homes. No man should remain in a political office as long as these gentlemen have unless he has won or is winning a position as a leader of National reputation for the rights and the cause of the people who elected him. Notwithstanding the fact that his two competitors have served twelve years each in Washington in National politics, and Judge Clark has remained at home, yet Clark has a greater National reputation than either of them. Mention their names in any intelligent assembly in any of the great cities of the country and you will find that Clark is better known than either of the others. To judge things we have to fairly investigate and not accept as the only evidence the contributions of Washington campaign correspondents. We all hear just before a National campaign these little contributions—written, no doubt, in the near neighborhood of a gentleman who receives the high-sounding compliments.
We hear much of what the party owes this and that candidate, but I favor Judge Clark for the reason that he desires the office for what he has done and will do for the people in this State. Those of us who remember as far back as 1894 and the years following know that the service he gave to the Demoeratic Party and the people of the State was second to none, though he got no political credit for it, and I believe that now the Democratic Party in North Carolina should put Clark in the Senate, where his tremendous powers will have full scope to serve the country. He does not have to study in order to get on the front line in that body. He is now well fitted for that position.
When his two competitors were little children. Walter Clark was a soldier, and a better and braver one never lived. This I have from his immediate comrades after the war. By great effort and untiring industry, he prevailed upon survivors to write Historical Sketches of all the North Carolina Regiments, Battalions, and Batteries, which he edited, and thus preserved to us our history of the war, better than it has been preserved in any other State—thus preserving that glorious history in permanent form. Every Confederate veteran and every son and grandson of one, and every daughter and granddaughter, should fail in no possible service for Walter Clark, the best friend the common people of North Carolina have in public life to-day.
The lawyers of the State well know the value of the work he has done for the profession by way of annotated reports and statutes. He has found time to write law books, to prepare and deliver lectures of great historical value has written numerous magazine articles
THE MAN WHOM THE TOBACCO TRUST, THE LUMBER TRUST. THE
STEEL TRUST, AND THE STANDARD OIL TRUST DO NOT WISH
TO SEE IN THE U. S. SENATE FROM NORTH CAROLINA.
Portrait of Chief Justice Walter Clark]
that have been read and discussed all over America, and even in Europe.
His energies are without limit, and in the Senate he will be a power to reckon with, from the beginning of his service.
His Democracy will never be in question, and he will stand so firmly on his party's platform that it will never be necessary for him to seek a plank from the Republican platform to sustain him for giving aid to the Republican Party and its measures.
I say what I have said without any request from or conference with Judge Clark. I say these things freely, without reward or hope of reward, except the hope of good government for my children and grandchildren in the years to come. I would not have an office of any sort if it were tendered me, and when I say this the people who know me best know that I mean it. I am no Teddy Roosevelt with my hat in hand ready to be thrown in the ring.
C. B. WATSON.
WINSTON-SALEM, May 4, 1912.WHY HE NEED NOT RESIGN.
To Editor of Greensboro News:—I note that in Sunday's issue you criticise my speaking of the Southern Railway as “the chief sinner of them all,” and you contend that I should not make speeches without resigning from the bench.
You will note that I so termed the Southern Railway in the speech printed by you in reference to a matter—the discrimination in freight rates against the towns and merchants of this State—which cannot be brought before our State courts, and whose conduct in that regard can only be restrained by National legislation. Indeed, my speeches are entirely as to matters which call for National legislation, and which can in no wise come before our State courts. It is but proper respect to the people that any citizen who offers himself for their suffrages for the United States Senate should state frankly the legislation which he will advocate if chosen to the Senate. My being a judge does not, in my estimation, place me above the people. I am still one of them and am simply a public servant who is offering to serve the people in a new capacity, and my views as to the duties in that position can in no wise affect the discharge of the duties of the office I now hold.
When my friends first proposed that I should offer myself for the Senate I said frankly that while this was the case, yet I would resign “if Governor Kitchin and Senator Simmons would do likewise.” They both have large patronage which might affect the election. I am only one-fifth of the Court, and all the patronage which all five of us together can exercise is the appointment of two old Confederate soldiers, who are respectively our marshal and our librarian. They will doubtless be retained as long as they live, and the possible exercise of my one-fifth share in selecting their successors cannot possibly affect my election as Senator. We had the appointment of a clerk, but he has already been appointed recently for the term of eight years.
Chief Justice George of Mississippi was elected United States Senator while still holding that position; so was Chief Justice Turley of Tennessee; and a few years ago the chief justice of New Jersey, and a few months ago Judge O'Gorman of the Supreme Court of New York, were nominated Senators while still on the bench; and there are probably fifty other instances of like kind, among them at least one Senator from this State. We have had three Governors elected and three nominated for Governor while still on the bench; and you will remember that I am a candidate for nomination and not for election at this time.
Those who oppose my election are inconsistent. In one breath they say that I am “too good a judge” to be spared from the bench, and then when it becomes probable that I will be nominated they contend that I should leave the bench now six months ahead of the time when my election will call for my resignation, though this would cost the public six months of services, which they say could not be spared, without any compensating advantage to the public. They have told two tales about the matter.
Yours truly, WALTER CLARK.
RALEIGH, N. C., August 6, 1912.
RESTRICTION AND PUBLICITY OF EXPENDITURES.
JUDGE CLARK'S LETTER TO SENATOR SIMMONS.
RALEIGH, N. C., August 6, 1912, HON. F. M. SIMMONS, Washington, D. C.
MY DEAR SIR:—In my last I suggested that we reduce the expenses of the campaign for the Senatorship by having ballots printed and distributed through the party committees, each ballot to have all three names thereon and each candidate to pay one-third of the expense. I also suggested that we have an understanding that our pollholders serve without pay.
I regret very much that you could not give a decided answer accepting these suggestions, as Governor Kitchin did. May I hope that you have had sufficient leisure by this time to consider these propositions and may be willing now to signify your acceptance. These measures can have no injurious effect upon the fortunes of either of the candidates and will cut out unnecessary expenses.
I note that it has been charged that you are spending a large quantity of money, especially for the purpose of buying newspaper space, and that you have negatived the allegation. One of your warm supporters, the Charlotte Observer, has stated that they would like to have a “show-down” as to which candidate was spending the most money.
You stated to me personally that you desired the campaign should not involve any unnecessary expense. Responding to the sentiment, which I know is deeply felt among the honest Democratic masses, that the result of the Senatorial primary shall be free from the taint of a lavish expenditure of money, I hereby respectfully but earnestly propose to you and to Governor Kitchin that each of us shall prepare and publish an itemized statement of all our expenses of every kind, especially the amount paid newspapers, for any sort of service, up to 10 August, and cause same to be published in three newspapers, one to be selected by each of the candidates, and that we make and publish in the same manner a similar statement on 10 September, 10 October, 1 November, and 10 November.
When the Roman Empire was in the lowest stage of its decline the highest office was put up more than once and sold to the highest bidder in the open market. As a North Carolinian, proud of my State and its reputation, and with a profound belief in the unshaken integrity of the voters of North Carolina, I should feel deeply humiliated if the nomination for United States Senator were sold at public auction at the east door of the Capitol, the proceeds to be paid into the public treasury; yet even that would be a less evil than that this high office should be won by the lavish expenditure of money in hiring “workers” and by the purchase of newspaper influence. The open sale would be uneffaceable humiliation, but it would not be a debauchery of the electorate such as has attended the election of Senators in States which have selected their Senators by the free use of money.
May I hope, therefore, that you will agree to the publication of the expenditures as herein proposed, without reserve, and that you will limit the expenditures in the matter of printing and distributing the tickets and the selection of pollholders.
I feel sure that you agree with me that the man who shall go to the United States Senate from North Carolina should be the free and unbought choice of the Democratic voters of North Carolina, and that he shall take his seat in that high assembly without the smell of fire upon his garments.
Honest men, and not money, should determine the choice of this State for its representative in the United States Senate.
I am sending a copy of this letter to Governor Kitchin, asking his concurrence in this restriction and publicity of expenditures.
With high regard, Most truly yours, WALTER CLARK.
NOTE, 17 August.—Governor Kitchin promptly acceded to the above. Senator Simmons has not done so as yet.
CHIEF JUSTICE WALTER CLARK
AT GREENSBORO, N. C., 30 JULY, 1912.
Ladies, Friends, and Fellow-citizens:
It is but proper respect to lay before the voters of this State clearly and plainly the measures for which I stand, and the enactment of which I shall endeavor to secure if sent to the Senate.
In the beginning, I wish to state unequivocally that I shall say nothing in this canvass that will reflect upon the personal character of either of my competitors. They have lived clean lives. They have been, and I hope still are, my personal friends. It is no reflection upon them that I aspire to the same office which they desire. Their characters are not in question and will not be in issue in this campaign. Their public acts are public property and we have a right to scrutinize closely the measures which they have advocated and for which they will stand if elected to the Senate.OPPONENTS’ SERVICE.
Senator Simmons was chairman of the Democratic Executive Committee back in the nineties, and he retained that position long after he became Senator—and indeed, I believe until his second election to that high position. He has a large acquaintance, and indeed, I may say, organization among those who seek to “round-up” voters in the different townships and counties in behalf of the candidates.
Governor Kitchin for 12 years represented the Fifth Congressional District in Congress, and of course had an organization to aid him. In his canvass for Governor he extended this throughout the State and since he has been Governor he has added to this the natural gratitude of the men whom he has appointed to office and their friends; and also (without refleeting upon his exercise of the pardoning power), he has in many cases the good-will of men at whose instance he has granted pardons.
For many years it was understood that these two gentlemen were aspirants for the office of Senator, and that these strong, well organized battalions of politicians expected to face each other in this contest. When, a year ago, Governor Aycock and myself announced ourselves candidates, it caused intense astonishment to both sides. They considered it as rash and inconsiderate on our part. They said that we were “butting into the fight where we had no part.” Already the Governor's brother in the House had made a speech criticising the Senator, and this was considered the bugle-blast announcing the opening of hostilities. The audacity of Governor Aycock and myself in announcing our candidacy and in thinking that the people would take any hand in the fight struck them almost speechless. It was as if again the stripling son of Jesse had entered into the lists against the armored Goliath as in the days of old. They said that Governor Aycock had no money and no organization and that he stood no chance. They said that I was no politician, that my life had been spent upon the bench, and that it was absolutely absurd to suppose that I stood any chance whatever. The finger of God touched Charles B. Aycock and he slept. No more will the sweet silver tones of that great orator arouse the people as he did in his advocacy of the great cause of universal education. When he died, personal friends of mine, belonging to both of the contending organizations, hastened to Raleigh and begged me to withdraw. Urging, in addition to what has already been said, that if the contest reached a second
primary with myself as one of the contestants, both battalions of the trained and drilled politicians would unite to defeat a man who represented insurrection against their domination of public affairs.THE PEOPLE DISSATISFIED.
I told them that I had gone into this contest from no motive of ambition, for the people of North Carolina had given me everything that I had ever asked at their hands and doubtless more than I deserved. But that there was a deep unrest in the public mind at the constantly growing concentration of wealth in the hands of a few men and in the corresponding robbery of the people which produced that effect. That I was not satisfied, and I did not believe that the people were satisfied, with the very small effort of either of my competitors in combatting the greed of our plunderers. That all over the country measures were being devised to take the Government out of the hands of the politicians who controlled it and to send new men to the Senate. That other States were retiring their Senators and sending new men to represent the new ideas whose adoption would protect the people from being longer deprived of their just rights; that I had not professed my opinions in favor of those measures for the sake of election to the Senate, but that I had advocated them for years, and was now a candidate that I might have the opportunity to aid in the adoption of these measures. I added that as a mere boy as adjutant of General Ransom I had ridden by his side into the fires of hell at Sharpsburg; that I did not retire then (though there a Yankee bullet struck me), and I do not know how to retire now.THE HAT TO STAY IN RING.
The road to the United States Senate is open to any man whom the people shall wish to send there. I do not need to have my hat chalked by any set of men. In the language of Mr. Roosevelt, it is “in the ring,” and will be there when the sun goes down on 5 Nov.
I will now state some of the measures which, if chosen to the Senate, I shall advocate and whose adoption I believe I can secure.
According to the census, 81 per cent of the people of North Carolina are dependent upon agriculture or connected with it. What has been done in their behalf by Senator Simmons during his 12 years occupation of a seat in the Senate, or by Governor Kitchin during his 12 years in the House and his 4 years as Governor? What acts have either introduced in Congress to protect them from the harpies that prey upon them or to give them better opportunities to share in the wealth created by their labors?WHAT HAVE THEY DONE?
In Germany the Government has established land banks by which the Government loans to farmers in those periods of the year when they need advancements money at the rate of 3 and 4 per cent. The statistics show that not one of these banks has suffered loss. Indeed, the farmers are the very safest debtors. They are the men who create that on which we all live. They are the bulk of our people and they are deserving of the most especial service and aid that the Government can give to any of its citizens. There are times when a farmer has lost an animal or has had sickness in his family or for other causes needs financial assistance. In Germany in such cases he goes to the nearest Government land bank and, by giving the name of one of his neighbors as surety or a lien upon property, he procures the needed assistance at a low rate and repays it when his crop comes in. What has either of my competitors attempted even to do in that direction? It will be said at once that this is paternalism. But for the last 50 years this Government has been issuing to the National banks all the notes that they loan out, and without charging one cent of interest. Can any man in this audience tell me why the capitalists, who create nothing, should receive all their money from the Government without interest, and the farmers, who are the backbone of the country, cannot borrow from the Government at all? The money that the National banks loan out does not cost them a cent. It consists either of the money which the Government furnishes them without interest or the deposits made by their customers.WHERE SIMMONS FAILED THE FARMERS.
There is much money held by people who are fearful as to the safety of
banks and who hold it hid away in stockings, in old cupboards and in other hiding places. This means a loss of the interest on this money to its owners and a withdrawal of that amount of currency from circulation. Most of these people have faith in the Government and are willing to loan their money to the Government, but their amounts are too small to purchase Government bonds. In all other countries but this, the needs of this class of the people have been provided for by the establishment of Postal Savings Banks. This measure has heretofore been defeated by the Banking Trust, who feared that the establishment of postal savings banks would divert deposits from the banks, and they did not permit the statute to pass last year until there was a provision inserted that the Government would loan these deposits to the banks at 2½ per cent! Though these banks have been in operation for only a few months, the deposits already amount to 17 millions of dollars, and will doubtless exceed 100 millions before very long. Why was not some step taken to provide that these deposits of the humble savings of the people, “the small dust in the balances” as it were, should be loaned out, not to the banks, but to the farmers and the small merchants and the workingmen in small amounts as is done by the Government land banks in Germany? If I had been in the Senate this just measure would have been introduced and fought to a finish. Would it not have been done by our senior Senator if the welfare of the farmers had been in his thoughts as much as the desire of the bankers?DISCRIMINATION IN FREIGHT RATES.
Then there are the merchants who deal largely in goods which are brought into this State. Much of these goods are brought through North Carolina from points west or south of us, and are delivered in Lynchburg and Richmond at a lower cost than they will be delivered in Greensboro or Salisbury or Charlotte. The result has been the building up of those cities of Virginia at the expense of the merchants in this State. The especial sinner in this respect is the Southern Railroad, which passes right by your doors. It has been the recipient of the bounty of this State in that without spending a single cent in the construction of the North Carolina Railroad, and by virtue of a favorable lease, it is in the receipt of a yearly net income of $2,000,000, which is the interest at 5 per cent on $40,000,000, which vast sum has been practically donated to that company by this State. Its owner is practically Pierpont Morgan & Co. This great wrong of discrimination against the towns of this State could be prevented by the passage of an act prohibiting the charging of a greater rate for a short haul than for a longer one. When and on what occasion did either of my competitors in their twelve years’ service in Congress make efficient effort towards the adoption of such an act?NO AID TO SOLDIERS.
Then there are the veteran soldiers of this State who bared their breasts to the storm and shed immortal honor upon the South during four eventful years. On public occasions eloquent tributes are paid to their valor and endurance. But what has been done by either of my competitors during their twelve years in Congress in behalf of these deserving men? Our war was not a rebellion. It was a war between the States. The soldiers from Massachusetts and New York fought on that side, not because the United States ordered them, but because their own State sent them to the front. The men from North Carolina and Virginia and the South fought on this side, not because the Confederate States ordered them to do so, but because their own State sent them to the front. The war being over, the States are equal. For forty-seven years we have been paying money into a common treasury. From that common treasury pensions should now be paid without discrimination to the soldiers from all the States, and their widows.THE PENSION FUNDS.
Since the war there has been paid in pensions to the Federal soldiers and the soldiers’ homes forty-five hundred millions of dollars, according to the Government reports. Of this, the warstricken and impoverished South, grieving over the death or crippling of one-third of its young men, has been made to contribute fifteen hundred millions of dollars. Of this North Carolina has paid one hundred and twelve millions of dollars, exclusive of the interest thereon, which would swell the sum thus taken from North Carolina, and little of which has come back, to 250
millions. North Carolina has been paying four million dollars a year to that end, which the Sherwood bill, recently passed, increased to five millions of dollars a year—nearly double the entire cost of your State Government. The expenses of your State Government are spent among us, but this money, sent out for Federal pensions, stays North. The miracle is that we have prospered at all. If we did not have the best climate in the world, and the best population, we should have despaired long ago under the exactions of this enormous war contribution.RECOGNITION OF CONFEDERATES.
The North has paid $3,000 millions of this sum, but it has not felt it, because that amount went back North to be spent among the same people from whom it came. But of the $1,500 millions contributed by the South very little has ever come back. If a farmer has two fields and he should take all from the entire farm and spend it in improving one field and put nothing on the other, the latter will become very poor. That is what has happened to the South.
For example, take two States of an equal population. Indiana contributes annually four millions to the pensions fund. Every dollar of that goes back to Indiana in pensions, and there goes with it for the same purpose six millions which has been raised out of the impoverished South. Each year, on pension day, when that ten millions is disbursed in Indiana it is a great event. The soldiers pay the farmers and merchants for their supplies, causing immigrants and others to go to Indiana to exchange their labor for this money, and thus the entire North is being built up while the South is kept poor and immigrants avoid our borders as a pestilence.
Senator Works (Republican) of California, Mr. Thomas of Kentucky, and other Northern men in Congress, have advocated the stoppage of this drain upon us by placing the Confederate soldiers and their widows upon the pension rolls and thus returning to these Southern States the same amount of money that we contribute. President McKinley intimated that he was in favor of admitting the Confederate soldier to the National soldiers’ homes and it is said would have followed up with the proposition to pension the soldiers from the South on the same terms as the soldiers from other States. I was in Washington in January, and after conference with prominent gentlemen there I became convinced of the entire feasibility of procuring this act of justice to the South and its soldiers. I have heard but two objections to this measure. One is that the Confederate soldiers are too proud to receive “Yankee money.” I do not see why they should be, when for nearly fifty years the Federal soldiers have not been too proud to receive Southern money. Besides, we would not be receiving “Yankee money,” but would be simply getting back the money we contribute to pensions so that it may be spent upon our own soldiers and disbursed by them to the farmers, merchants, and others who shall furnish them much needed supplies in their old age.PURGE PENSION ROLL.
The other objection is that the pension rolls reek with fraud. This is true. Probably one-third of it is fraud, and with the aid of the Southern members, the sunlight of publicity could be let in by printing the list of pensioners, with their alleged services. This would strike from the rolls probably one-third of the present recipients, and that amount of money could be paid to the honest soldiers of the South without increasing the pension list one cent. The “Special Interests” of the North have no desire to purge the pension list at present, because it gives them an excuse to keep up the high tariff. While Ransom and Vance were yet in the Senate the sectional feeling was so high that this measure of justice to the South could hardly have been passed. But it has now long since died out. Fully one-half of the population of the North are foreigners or their descendants who have come to this country since the war and have no feeling in the matter. The Federal soldiers themselves have the kindliest feelings to our veterans and few, if any, of them would make any objection. I have been told that at any time since 1896 a measure of this kind could have been passed if the South had been represented in Congress by men who were as determined as the Boers, who have secured equal treatment from the British Government in South Africa, notwithstanding their defeat. Though North Carolina sent more soldiers to the field than any
other Southern State, this is the only one that for the last seventeen years has had no soldier in the Senate.
Major Stedman is the only soldier we have in the House. This is probably the last opportunity that North Carolina will have to send one of her soldiers to the United States Senate. I shall do all that is in my power in the Senate to secure this act of justice to my old comrades, for I am in sympathy with them and will endeavor to stop this enormous drain of money out of this State, which does not come back to us.SHOULD ACT FOR THE PEOPLE.
It will thus be seen that during their long service in Congress neither Governor Kitchin nor Senator Simmons made any effective effort in favor of these measures that would have enabled the farmers, small merchants and workingmen to procure loans at low rates; that would have freed our towns and our merchants from the deadly discrimination of the railroads, or that would have relieved our State of the terrible drain of this war contribution and have provided for our veterans the same compensation which was being received by veterans from other States. Their friends may say that no man urged them to do these things. Do you need a Senator who has to be prodded with a pitchfork to make him do his full duty to his people? I should rather say that what you need in the Senate is a man who takes thought for the welfare of his people; who keeps informed of the measures taken in other States and in other countries for the benefit of the people and the development of the country. This is a great State and a great people. They deserve the best that is going. Whatever any other State or any other country is doing for its farmers, its merchants, its soldiers, your Senator should know, and should see that in his own State their interests are as well looked after. The banks, the railroads, the great millionaires know what legislation will benefit them, and they are not backward in pressing that legislation on Congress through their great lobbies and through the Senators and members who are elected by their influence and by the aid of politicians hired with their money. What the people in North Carolina need is a man in the Senate who will study the interests of the masses and will look after that interest, for they maintain no lobbies and cannot go to Washington to prod him to do his duty.
It is true, beyond question, that neither of my competitors did any discreditable act while in Congress. When party lines were drawn they usually voted with their parties, though Governor Kitchin says that on certain matters Senator Simmons voted oftener with the other side than he did with our own. They both have been like the man mentioned in the Bible who had one talent. They did for us no more than they were forced to do, and drew their salaries with entire regularity. There are other Senators in the North who pursued the same course, and the Northern States have been latterly retiring these men and putting in new ones who are progressive. Luke Len, Kern, O'Gorman, and other new Senators are the men who are now obtaining the direction of affairs in that body.
The heaviest curse in the Bible is “Curse ye, Meroz,” and why? Because they did nothing, is the reason given.
It is true that it is urged that Senator Simmons has procured some appropriations for our eastern rivers. This was not difficult to do. Aldrich's committee had no grudge against Mr. Simmons and was perfectly willing to throw anything of that kind his way, especially as that element favors appropriations of any and all kinds, that are asked for, in order to keep up an excuse for a high tariff.LEGISLATION TO DESTROY TRUSTS.
The next proposition that I advocate is adequate and unequivocal legislation that will “destroy the trusts.” This is the exact language since adopted by the Convention at Baltimore. Every great corporation is not a trust. A great aggregation of capital becomes a trust when it seeks to be a monopoly and tries to destroy competition, as the Standard Oil, the American Tobacco Company, the Steel Trust, and the like, have done.
There was no country on the face of the earth more prosperous than the tobacco raising section of North Carolina until the formation of the tobacco trust. When that trust was formed this section was blasted and smitten as if by the wrath of God. The trust was formed for the express purpose of confiscating for its sole benefit the profits which in a free
market would have come to the tobacco raisers throughout the entire tobacco belt of North Carolina. It was formed and has been operated in defiance of the law. It has accumulated wealth beyond the dreams of avarice. What did either of my competitors do during the twelve years that they were each in Congress to secure the punishment and the destruction of these highway robbers?
It is true that one of my competitors in his candidacy for nomination as Governor threatened to put these robbers of our people behind prison bars and make them wear stripes. Has this been done? The only legislation during his administration in this matter has been to deprive the statute against trusts which was previously in force of its most efficient feature, rendering it comparatively innocuous. It is true, he says, that he could do no more because he did not have the veto power. He was a lawyer and should have known this when he made his threats. Should he go to the Senate he will find that he has no veto power there. What the people need as against these lawless combinations of great wealth is men who can do things. He did nothing against the trusts during his twelve years in the lower House. What reason is there to believe that he will do more in the upper House?TARIFF FOR REVENUE ONLY.
I also advocate tariff for revenue only. That is, that the great taxing powers of Government in fixing imports should be exercised so as to produce the greatest revenue to the Government with the least burden to the people. The tariff as now laid is often so high as to prohibit all importation of an article, and hence produces no revenue, while enabling the manufacturers of those articles to charge the people up to the amount of the tariff as additional profit. This is practically the robbery of the many for the benefit of the few through the machinery of legislation. It is said that the manufacturers of this country by means of the tariff are enabled annually to extort from the public six times the sum that is produced as revenue to the Government by the tariff.
As an example, take the single instance of lumber. Men came in, mostly from the North, who bought up our timber in eastern North Carolina for a mere song. A tariff was imposed on lumber. Little lumber could be imported here from Canada by reason of the freight; but immediately the amount of the tariff on lumber was added to the price, with the result that the lumber barons have grown immensely wealthy while everybody who build houses or need lumber for any purpose pays the added price, caused by the tariff, which additional sum goes not to the Government, but to the tariff barons. There is one lumber company now in New Bern which was worth almost nothing a few years ago and which now appraises its holdings by the million. So much out of the pockets of the people, so much into the pockets of the Lumber Trust.FOR ELECTION BY THE PEOPLE OF SENATORS,
JUDGES, AND POSTMASTERS.
For more than twenty years I have advocated the election of United States Senators, United States judges and postmasters by the people. Twenty years ago the lower House of Congress passed a bill almost unanimously to amend the Constitution by the election of United States Senators by the people. Four times or oftener the House has passed a similar bill. The majority of the Senate has always consisted of men who attain their seats by the aid of the Special Interests. They did not wish this change in the mode of their election. They did not dare to vote squarely against these bills, but killed them by the chloroform process of reference to a committee, which did not report. At last, in this year, public sentiment became so pronounced that the bill was reported and it passed the Senate, but there was a sham fight over a matter of detail which caused a difference between the two Houses, the enemies of the bill hoping thereby to delay or defeat its passage. But in the face of the coming Presidential election the public could not be defied and the bill was passed at last to amend the Constitution in this respect and is now before the legislatures of the States for ratification.
Speaking frankly to my fellow-citizens, I state a well-known fact, that a majority of the Federal judges owe their selection to the aid of the great corporations. And they are usually selected from the ranks of the lawyers who serve them. Without imputation upon their integrity, it is permissible to
say that a man does not change his standpoint by ascending the bench. Lawyers who all their lives have been engaged in representing these great Interests before the courts and trying to persuade the judges of the correctness of their contentions, when they in turn become judges, retain the same views. Originally, all the judges. State and Federal, were appointed and held for life. In nearly all the States this has long since been changed so that the judges are elected by the people, and for a term of years. In the few States in which this has not been done the judges are removed by the Legislature by a majority vote as they are in England. There is no reason why the State judges should be elected by the people and United States judges should not be. Nothing is more undemocratic than that any public official in high position should be selected without consulting the people over whose lives, liberty and property he shall bear sway, and that notwithstanding his incompetence or bias he shall continue to hold office during life. This life tenure is restricted almost solely to the United States judges, and it has been maintained by the influence of the great Financial interests who desire that those officials shall be utterly indifferent to the popular will.
I also favor the election of postmasters by the people of each locality just as sheriffs and constables are chosen. there is no reason why a small coterie of politicians, in some back room, shall assemble in conclave and designate the postmaster for Greensboro or Charlotte, who thereupon shall be appointed by a man from Ohio or New York. This process would be ludicrous, if it was not an outrage, under our form of government. If our postmasters were chosen by the people of each locality it would greatly relieve the strain of a Presidential election. And had this been the law in the past in nearly all the years since the war North Carolina would have had Democratic postmasters and Democratic Federal judges instead of those who have been placed over us contrary to the will of the majority of the people of our State.INHERITANCE AND INCOME TAX.
My next proposition is in favor of a graduated inheritance and income tax, under which small estates, below a certain amount to be determined by law, should be entirely exempt, while larger estates should be taxed at a rate increasing with the size of the estate. In England one-third of the entire revenue of Government is raised by such a tax, the ratio rising to 15 per cent upon the larger estates. As a result, England has no tariff tax whatever except upon liquors and tobacco, to the very great relief of the mass of the people. The tariff, being upon consumption, is levied practically according to population. An ordinary sized family of laborers pays as much or more to the tariff than the usually small family of the millionaire in New York.
Should Mr. Rockefeller die to-day he would leave an estate of nine hundred millions. Mr. Carnegie would leave six hundred millions, and these sums are rapidly increasing. John Jacob Astor left one hundred and fifty millions, and there are numerous other estates approximating this. These large estates have beer accumulated by obtaining legislation which favored such accumulation, at the expense of the people, the farmers and laborers who create the wealth and get so little of what they create, or by preventing any legislation which would stay such accumulations. It is therefore but just and right that this superfluous and dishonest wealth should pay a high income tax, or in case of death a high inheritance tax, increasing in ratio in proportion to the size of these great estates.
Where the income is more than $1,000,000 per annum or the inheritance is more than $10,000,000, I think the graduated rate of tax on the excess should be 100 per cent. We know these sums have either been accumulated in defiance of law or by manipulating legislation. In justice to the people these sums should be returned to them by taxation of these vast sums which are a menace to the public welfare.INITIATIVE, REFERENDUM, AND RECALL.
Governor Wilson, in the three speeches he made in this State at Chapel Hill and at Raleigh, advocated the initiative, the referendum, and the recall, except for the judges, Mr. Bryan advocates the same measures without any exception. At Baltimore the nomination of Mr. Wilson was the direct result of pressure from the people at home. The politicians were against him. These measures are matters for
State legislation, and therefore were not in express terms placed in the Baltimore platform.
The initiative and referendum have been placed in the constitutions of fourteen States and will be adopted by others this fall. I have never favored the adoption of the recall as to the judges or any specified officers, but think that the authority should be left in the Legislature to provide for it as to such officers as public sentiment may demand. It is a power which will rarely be exercised. It will be like a gun behind the door, which will compel decent behavior. If this provision had been in our Constitution in 1870 the Legislature might have prescribed the submission to the people whether they would recall certain officials and thereby have saved the State much humiliation. The referendum is simply a provision which requires that upon a petition signed by a specified number of electors any act of the Legislature shall be submitted to the people at the ballot box for approval or disapproval. We had a referendum in this State when the prohibition statute was in 1881 thus submitted to the people and was rejected. Upon another referendum a similar statute was submitted to the people in 1908 and was approved. The only difference is that now an act of the Legislature cannot be submitted to a referendum unless the Legislature which enacts the law shall so provide, while by the new method a specified number of the voters can require any statute to be submitted to the people.
The initiative is a requirement that when a Legislature has refused to adopt a desired statute, upon petition by a prescribed number of electors, such proposed statute shall be submitted to the people. The object of the initiative and referendum is that when the Legislature, under the domination of powerful interests, has passed acts contrary to the public will or has refused to enact laws which are desired, the people at the ballot box can pass upon these measures. The effect of the initiative and referendum is to restore the government of the people and to enable them to secure legislation which, they desire, or defeat the legislation to which they are opposed, and the recall is to unseat public officials who having secured office by pledges have afterwards shown a disregard of their duties to the public. These measures are therefore peculiarly objectionable to the “Special Interests” and to their agents and lobbies, whose occupation will be gone. But no one who believes in the capacity of the people for self-government can oppose them.FOR A STATE-WIDE PRIMARY.
I also favor a State-wide primary for the selection of United States Senators and State officers and electors for President and Vice President. These measures have been adopted already by a great many States and will be adopted ultimately by all. The professional politicians who have been in the habit of delivering the vote of certain localities to candidates in consideration of reward in money or office are very much opposed to this measure. If the people are competent to elect their public officials they are competent to nominate them.FOR GENERAL PARCELS POST.
I also favor the general parcels post. Both political parties have indorsed this measure in their platforms. But so far the “Special Interests” have been able to defeat its adoption. We therefore still have the absurd situation that an 11-pound package can be exchanged by mail between any point in this country and in any foreign country at a moderate rate, while between two adjacent towns no package of over four pounds can be carried by mail, and that only at a very high rate. The explanation is the power of the five great express companies who monopolize the carrying of packages in this country and their dominating influence, especially in the Senate. In that body for many years the express companies were represented notoriously by Mr. Platt, who was elected as Senator from New York to represent the express company, of which he was president. On recent investigation of the matter by Congress it was found that these express monopolies extort from the people of the United States annually a net profit, above all expenses, of eleven million dollars, which is 50 per cent of the assessed value of all their property. Ought not the people to be relieved of this enormous taxation laid upon them without their consent by these monopolies for the purpose of increasing the already inordinate wealth of a
few men? Besides, the parcels post will extend to every rural free delivery and will thus accommodate several millions of people who are not now served by the express companies, and the farmers will be enabled to send their produce of every kind to town at cheap rates, in packages not exceeding 11 pounds, and it will enable the merchants in the same way to send out their goods to the people in the country. This system has been enforced for years in every other country in the world, and its adoption here has only been defeated by the dominating influence of the express monopolies.
The express companies have diligently sought to secure the aid of the merchants to oppose the adoption of the parcel post by Congress by a false argument that the merchants will be swallowed up by the great department stores. The experience of the forty-eight countries which have adopted the parcels post proves this to be untrue. In those countries their merchants have profited by the parcels post fully as much as the farmers. Even if there was any force in the suggestion, which there is not, that the department stores would cut into some of the trade of the merchants, this is no reason why the farmers and the public generally should be deprived of the privilege of shipping and receiving packages up to 11 pounds at cheap rates.REGULATION OF COMMON CARRIERS.
My next proposition is the public regulation of railroads and all other common carriers, but the operation of the telegraph and telephone by the Postoffice Department, as is done in every other country on earth except this. With us the powerful influence of these great monopolies has prevented the adoption of this measure.
The regulation of railroads by the public was long bitterly contested, but is now settled in favor of the people. The only practical difficulty is to regulate them in the face of the constant issue of injunctions by the Federal life tenure judges at the instance of the railroad companies.OPERATE TELEGRAPH AND TELEPHONE
In all other countries than ours the telegraphs and telephones are operated at about one-third the rates charged in this country, with better pay and shorter hours to the employees. Besides, a telegraph office is to be found at every country postoffice, and telephones are extended to all subseribers who wish them. In this country the telegraph offices are only to be found at paying points, the traffic is operated at the highest price it will bear and the employees are paid as little as possible and the longest hours possible are exacted. The result is that hundreds of millions have been accumulated to swell great estates in New York. In proof of this a congressional investigation a few years since showed that at that time the telegraph monoply held one hundred and twenty million dollars in stocks and bonds besides their plant, and yet the stockholders altogether had never paid into the concern more than five hundred and forty-five thousand dollars, just a little over one-half a million. The whole value of its plant and its one hundred and twenty millions of its stocks and bonds, besides 8 per cent dividends paid for years on that watered stock and bonds, has been accumulated by inefficient service, high rates to the public and low rates and long hours to the employees. Wherever the Government operates the telegraph and telephones as a part of the postoffice service there is no desire to do more than pay expenses. The rates are made as low to the people as consistent to that end and the employees are neither overworked nor underpaid. We actually had to pass an act in North Carolina to forbid telegraph operators being worked more than sixteen hours a day.EXTEND PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND GOOD ROADS.
The next matter which I advocate is:
The extension of our Public School system and of Good Roads.
The highest tax that the American people pay, except that which we pay to the great Trusts and Monopolies which control our Government, is the tax which we pay to ignorance and the “mud tax.” If relieved of the enormous extortion of the Trusts and Monopolies, North Carolina could in one year place our entire Public School system and Roads on a par with the most favored community on the globe, and could pay our public school teachers salaries many times larger than they are now receiving. The average pay of a school teacher is as low as
$250 a year in some States and averages only $500 in the whole Union! This is simply iniquity. There is no other word for it.ENFORCEMENT OF LABOR LAWS.
The next thing I advocate is:
The enforcement of laws regulating the hours of labor and prohibiting child labor and requiring safety appliances.
On the one side of these questions stand the public welfare and the right to the reasonable enjoyment by the people of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” guaranteed by the immortal Declaration of Independence at Philadelphia in 1776. We should have a longer lived and a happler race. As to safety appliances, we would by their use in one industry (Railroads) alone save yearly the lives of 10,000 men and the wounding or crippling of over 100,000 others. Statistics show that in England, France, and Germany, in the Railroad business alone, the number of men crippled, wounded, and killed, in proportion to the number employed, is less than one-twentieth of the number os killed, wounded, or crippled in this country. We may again ask, Why is this the case? and there is the same answer, that these great corporations in this country use vast sums in controlling the elections and in the control of newspapers and in the maintenance of lobbies. Shall we always be thus subjected, not only to robbery, but to the loss of life and limb by the wealth creators of our country, in order that the privileged few may grow still more inordinately rich?PUBLICITY OF ELECTION EXPENSES.
A further proposition that I maintain is to put an end to this control of our Government through the election of public servants by a statute which shall strictly limit the purposes and amounts for which candidates or any others for them may expend money, either in the primaries or in elections, and the fullest publicity, both before and after, of the items for which all money has been expended on those occasions.
This will strike at the root of the evil means by which Rockefeller has piled up 900 millions of dollars, with an annual income of 200 millions; which has enabled Carnegie to accumulate 600 millions, with an annual income of 120 millions, and which has enabled Morgan to amass even probably a larger sum than either. It will enable us to elect officials who will enact laws that will really and actually dissolve the great trusts and stop the overworking of men and the employment of children of tender age, the slaughter of employees by employers failing to use safety appliances, and will also enable us to exact fair and just taxation out of the great wealth of the country which now practically escapes all taxation, which is now borne almost solely by the honest part of our population.TO FULFILL ALL PLEDGES MADE.
My last proposition is the execution in good faith of all pledges made before election. My enemies are as certain of that as my friends, and therefore it is that they oppose me so bitterly.AS TO BENCH AND SENATE.
It has been said that I am too good a judge to be spared from the bench. This sounds complimentary and has misled some of my friends. Those most insistent upon it are those who desire me neither on the bench nor in the Senate. They are, however, more interested in keeping me from going to the Senate. It will be readily seen that the great issues before the people will have to be fought out in the United States Senate. If my conduct on the bench has proven thus satisfactory it is ground to believe that I will render faithful and effective service to the cause of the people in that wider arena of the Senate. If the charge had been that I had been inefficient on the bench, then there would be ground to argue that I should not be sent to the Senate.
Before the war, when the feeling between the Whig and the Democratic parties was intense, one of our eastern counties sent a gentleman to the Legislature who was a strong Democrat, but with no experience in public life. I think his name was Becton. At any rate, his name came on the roll call immediately after that of Mr. George E. Badger, who was the Whig leader. When Mr. Becton got back home his friends told him that they had been fearful lest he should make mistakes, as he had had no previous experience, but that he had surprised the county
by the admirable party record he had made, and asked him how he did it. He replied that he knew nothing about most of the questions that came up, but that he knew Mr. Badger was thoroughly informed and whenever Badger had voted “no” he had voted “aye.” and when Badger had voted “aye” he had voted “no.”NOT WANTED BY THE INTERESTS.
Now, my friends, you who are engaged in farming, merchandising, or other business may not always be thoroughly informed as to the records of candidates and the ways of the Senate. But you do know that these great combinations of capital are thoroughly informed on these points. They have made their fortunes by means of the legislation they have procured or defeated in the Senate. They have sent to the Senate Mark Hanna. Foraker, Penrose, Quay, Platt, Depew, Aldrich, and others of like character. They always maintain a majority in that body. The nomination of Governor Wilson and his probable election makes it much more important to them to scrutinize every possible candidate for Senator. In North Carolina they would, of course, prefer a Republican Senator: but as that is impossible, they will turn their attention to defeat the man who is most objectionable to them. And whoever that man is, it is he whom it is your interest to elect.
Can any one present doubt that to the “Interests” I am the most “Undesirable Citizen” as a candidate for the Senate who ever came down the pike? A man who proposes to establish Government banks, as in Germany, to furnish farmers, small merchants, and workingmen money from Postal Savings Banks at 2½ per cent at the times when they need it, instead of, as now, Government loaning it to banks; who proposes to operate the telegraph, the telephone, and the parcels post by the Government, and thus deprive big business of so many millions of revenue; who favors the election of Senators by the people, jeopardizing the control of that body by the Special Interests, and the election of United States judges by the people for a term of years, thus depriving them of their ever ready help in time of need; the election of postmasters by the people, and primaries, and the restriction of the use of money in elections and primaries, whereby their claws will be clipped, and who advocates making the great corporations furnish safety appliances and prohibiting the working of children which now reduces by competition the wages of labor—a man who proposes to do these things is indeed one that they will defeat at all hazards.
Neither of my competitors attempted to do any of these things, nor are they now stating that they will advocate them. It necessarily follows that I am the man whom the great interests will most seek to defeat. In 1902 when I was a candidate for Chief Justice every influence and every paper and agent that the Southern Railway and the American Tobacco Company could control was put in motion to secure my defeat. My personal character and integrity were assailed. I was nominated at the Democratic Convention at Greensboro by an overwhelming majority, and though I am told they raised a fund of $25,000 to defeat me at the polls. I was successful by 60 odd thousand majority. I say these things in no sense of boasting, but in gratitude to the unterrified Democracy who loved me for the enemies that I had made.THE FORCES THAT SHOW HATRED.
When, may I ask, has the American Tobacco Company, or the great railroads, shown such animosity against either of my competitors? That their hatred of me still continues is shown by this fact, that I now have in my pocket letters from intelligent, reliable men who are employed in one of the great railroad systems of the State, that they have been threatened with discharge if they continue to support for the Senate a man who is objectionable to the owners of the system, and those who have joined the “Clark clubs” have especially been notified that they must withdraw therefrom under penalty of losing their jobs. It is reasonable to suppose that the men down here who have served these notices upon their employees have not done so without authority from those higher up. The real owners of our railroad systems are Plerpont Morgan, Belmont, and Ryan, whom Mr. Bryan named at Baltimore. These men have grown fat upon the profits they have made out of our people. They believe that they own their employees and have a right to control their votes.
AS TO HIS COMPETITORS.
As to the contest between my two competitors, in which Governor Kitchin has asserted that our senior Senator has voted a greater number of times on certain matters with the other side than he had with ours, and the Senator's reply as to the number of times he has voted on each side, I am not greatly concerned. I have not kept the mathematical statement as to the number of times given by each in my head. We all know the results. We know that when the senior Senator entered the Senate Mr. Rockefeller was worth 300 millions, according to report, and that he is now worth 900 millions; that Mr. Carnegie and other owners of the great estates have accumulated in the same ratio, and that this has been done at the expense of the public, by taking that which belongs to the wealth creators and giving it to those who control legislation in Congress. We know that neither of my competitors during their long terms in Congress effected or suggested any adequate method to curtail the accumulation of these great sums.
Senator Simmons voted on both sides of the Lorimer question. He must, therefore, have been right one time. It is fair to presume that his second sober thought was right, especially as it was in accordance with the views of the public. He must, therefore, have been wrong the first time. He declared that Lorimer was his peer and that acting on his conscience he could not vote to turn him out. On the same evidence on the second trial, he faced an aroused public sentiment by turning “his peer” out of the Senate. Of the 46 Senators who voted to keep Lorimer in, not one so far has been reelected, but 21 are now “out” themselves. Will North Carolina fall below these 21 States? When Judge Saunders tried an action for slander of a woman in Harnett, he told the jury that he could express no opinion on the facts, but that in a case, just like it, in Moore County the week before the jury had given $10,000 damages, and they could say whether the reputation of a woman was worth less in Harnett.AS TO PROMISES AND APPROPRIATIONS.
The measures which I have proposed in this speech have been discussed and advocated by many others. Neither of my competitors has given any assurance to the public as yet that they will sustain these measures, nor have they suggested any that are better. It is true, Governor Kitchin in his candidacy for Governor threatened to put the trust barons behind the bars, and to put stripes upon them. The public cordially concurred in that proposition; but he took no effective steps to that end after his election. It is said that our senior Senator has procured some appropriations for our eastern rivers. I am glad that he has gotten back for our State even a small part of the great sums which North Carolina has been sending to the Federal treasury. But this was not difficult for any one to do. The Republican finance committee had no cause for special grudge against our senior Senator, and that element is always ready to make any appropriation possible in order to retain an excuse for a high tariff. His reëlection for a third term would be the opposite of the policy now generally shown in the other States, which are electing new men who are efficient in pressing the progressive ideas, which Senators who have long been in office, like our Senator, have not been doing.HIS BATTLE FOR THE PEOPLE.
In conclusion, I will say that the cause I am battling for is your cause and not mine. If this contest is to be settled by a fight between the well-organized and well-disciplined battalions of politicians who are mustered under the banners of my competitors, I am not in it. But if the masses of my fellow-citizens feel that they have a deep personal interest in having these views pressed earnestly in the Senate, because to their interest, then I shall be your next Senator. The matter is for you to decide.
Fellow-citizens, I thank you for your attention.
Logo of the Allied Printing Trades Council, Raleigh]