Page images
PDF
EPUB

rection, or execute the laws." But this bill has no limitation in this reict.

That measures of this nature should be debated at all in the incils of a free government is a cause of dismay. The question is nothing Sthan whether the most essential rights of personal liberty shall be suridered, and despotism embraced in its worst form. The administration asserts the right to fill the ranks

by compuln. Persons thus taken by force to be put into an army may be compelled serve there during the war,

they may be put on any service at ne or abroad for defense or for invasion, according to the will and pleas2 of the government. This power does not grow out of the invasion of the intry, or even out of the state of war. [s this consistent with the character of a free government? Is this civil erty? Is this the real character of our constitution? No, Sir, indeed it not. The constitution is libelled, foully libelled. The people of this country ve not established for themselves such a fabric of despotism. They have I purchased at a vast expense of their own treasures and their own blood Magna Charta to be slaves. Where is it written in the constitution, in what icle or section is it conained that you may take children from their parts. compel them to fight the battles of any war in which the follies the wickedness of the government may engage? Under what concealment

this power lain hidden which now for the first time comes forth, with a mendous and baleful aspect to trample down and destroy the dearest rights personal liberty? Who will show me any constitutional injunction which makes it a duty of e American people to surrender everything valuable in life, and even life elf, not when safety of the country and its liberty may demand the sacrie, but whenever the purposes of an ambitious and mischievous government iy require it? Sir, I almost disdain to go to quotations and references to bye such an abominable doctrine has no foundation in the constitution of e country. It is enough to know that that instrument was intended as a sis of a free government, and that the power contended for is incompatible th any notion of personal liberty.

The supporters of the measure fore us act on the opposite principle.

It is their pleasing duty to ee us of the delusion which we have fondly cherished, that we are the subets of a mild, free and limited government and to demonstrate by a regur change of premises and conclusions that government possesses over us a ver more tyrannical, more arbitrary, more dangerous, more allied to blood id murder, more full of every form of mischief, more productive of every rt of misery, than has been exercised by any civilized government, with le execption, in modern times.

What would have been more absurd an for this constitution to have said that to secure great blessings of liberty gave to government an uncontrolled power of miliary conscription ? Sir, in granting Congress the power to raise armies, the people have granted 1 the means .. which are consistent with the }iberty and security of je people themselves, and they have granted no others. .. A free governent with arbitrary means to administer it is a contradiction, a free governent without adequate provisions for personal security is an absurdity, ee government with an uncontrolled power of military conscription is a lecism at once the most ridiculous and abominable that ever entered into le head of man. Sir, I invite the supporters of the measuress before you to look to their itual operation. Who shall describe the anguish and distress which they ill spread over those hills and valleys, where men have heretofore been ccustomed to labor and to rest in security and happiness. Anticipate the ene, when the class shall assemble

to throw the dice for blood, hen a group of wives and sisters shall cather around the theatre of this orrible lottery as if the strokes of death were to fall from heaven before jeir eyes,

and in the majority of cases, sir, it will be the stroke of eath. Under present prospects of a continuance of the war, not one-half of em on whom your conscription shall fall will ever return to tell the tale [ their sufferings. They will perish of disease and pestilence, or they will ave their homes to whiten in fields beyond the frontier.

Into the aradise of domestic life you enter, not indeed, by temptation and sorcery, ut by open force and violence

nor is it for the defense of his own ouse and home that he who is subject to military draft is to perform the isk allotted to him.

.

I would ask whether the supporters of these measures have well weigbar the difficulties of their undertaking, have they considered whether it will be found easy to execute laws which bear such marked despotism on their front, and which will be so productive of every sort of misery in their execution! For one, sir, I hesitate not to say that they can not be executed. I expres the sentiments here as I shall express them to my constituents. Both the and myself live under a constitution which teaches us that “the doctrine of non-resistance against arbitrary power and oppression is absurd, slavish and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.” With the same earnest ness I shall exhort them to exercise their unquestionable right of providing fa the security of their liberty.

In my opinion, the sentiments of the free population of this country art greatly mistaken here. The nation is not yet in a temper to submit to cutscription. You may talk to them as much as you please of the victory and glory to be attained ... They will hold those objects in light estintion if the means be a forced military service ... They will not be charmed out of the remensbrance of their substantial interests and true happiness. Similar pretenses, they know, are the graves in which the liberties of other nations have been buried, and they will take warning.

Laws, sir, of this nature can create nothing but opposition. If you scatter them abroad like the fabled serpent's teeth, they will spring up into ariel

A military force cannot be raised, in this manner, but by the mean of a military force. If the administration has found that it cannot for an army without conscription, it will find, if it adventure on these experiments, that it cannot enforce conscription without an army. The government was not constituted for such purposes. Framed in the spirit of liberty and the love of peace it has no powers to render it able to enforce such laws. The attempt, if we rashly make it, will fall, and, having already thrown away

our peace, we may thereby throw away our government. 1097 In the issue of the American Socialist June 30th, 1917, the article

entitled “Hoover's Efforts to Bring Belgian Diet Here Exposed". The article was thereupon read by the witness. And further the article published a letter from Hoover received by the editor of the American Socialist and the reply sent to Hoover, giving the Socialist view of the conditions as they exit today. Hoover's letter was entitled “Would Save any Imaginary Waste." And the reply of the Anterican Socialist was headed “Our Editor Replies (Witness reads said articles as follows: 1098

Hoover's Efforts To Bring Belgian Diet Here Exposed

men.

Herbert Hoover, picked by President Wilson to be America's food dictator, is trying to foist the Belgian hunger diet on the people of the United States

The editor of The American Socialist has been asked to join this campaim to direct attention away from the huge profits now being received by the food

! trusts. Altho not appointed as yet to any official position in the governmem, Hoover is carrying on this campaign using his own personal stationery.

We herewith publish the letter from Hoover received by the editor of The American Socialist, and the reply sent to Hoover giving the Socialist view of conditions as they exist today. Here is Hoover's letter:

Would Save an Imaginary Waste.

Washington, D. C., June 16, 1917. J. L. Engdahl, Editor, The American Socialist,

Chicago, Ill. Dear Sir:-I write to ask your special co-operation in an important phase of the work in conserving food for ourselves and our Allies. The plan ! now have in mind is designed prințarily to reach the church people and the women, but with the help of the press it can be made to cover the whee community.

Under date of June 18 there will be mailed to every minister whose name ! can secure a personal letter over my signature asking him to preach upon the subject of Food Conservation on Sunday, July first. In the same letter, I shall express the hope that this day will become known as “ Food Saving Day," and that it nsay be made the purpose and motto of every household in America to Save the Waste and Win the War.

say I have your assistance along the following lines: First, on Monday, le 25 (but not before) and on succeeding days, to announce in your paper

general plan for Food Saving Day, with whatever local arrangements for erving it may be decided upon, and to support it editorially. Second, on Monday, July 2 (but not before) and on succeeding days, to carry lisplay type the motto “ Save the Waste and Win the War,” to print also notes ibstracts of sermons preached on July 1, and most important of all, to drive ne the lessons of food conservation by your own editorial comment. should be especially grateful if your influence and that of your paper could used to enlist civic, fraternal, patriotic, and other organizations in the rt to make Food Saving Day really effective in conserving the food supply us and for our Allies, and in reducing the cost of living to our own people. Yours faithfully,

HERBERT HOOVER.

The above letter was sent to every editor in the United States. The reply of editor of The American Socialist was as follows:

Our Editor Replies.

Chicago, Ill., June 20, 1917. rbert Hoover,

Washington, D. C. Dear Sir :-I cannot co-operate with you in helping to put the people of the ited States on a starvation ration.

shall, however, do all in my power to give publicity to your statement before : U. S. senate that the food pirates have robbed the American people of 10,000,000 during the past five months. Perhaps you have been in Europe so much during the past few months that i do not realize America is already on a Belgian diet. If there is any more slack in the belt that bounds the American stomach it being quickly taken up by the continued high cost of living imposed upon us

the food profiteers. Your campaign cry, “ Save the Waste and Win the War", is a tragic joke the millions who can only cry back, “ We have nothing to waste!" Stop and consider this food question intelligently for just one moment. Don't u think this master holdup of a quarter million dollars, which you admit, has eady done more not only to empty the stomachs, but also the pocket books the American people, than a million sermons and a million columns of newsper publicity in support of your campaign could possibly do. Frankly, Mr. Hoover, your letter sounds too much like the empty vaporings at usually issue from the publicity department of huge corporations seeking befog the minds of the multitudes preparatory to putting something over in eir own interests. Socialist editors and Socialist speakers have given their best efforts to the od problem and will continue to do so. They will not advocate your policy of hunger, however. They will drive me the horrible facts of things as they are under tire present terrible systein extortion and exploitation. They will show that more than 7,000,000 men registered on June 5, will be rred owing to physical defects, most of these due to undernourishment. They will show that 350,000,000 acres of farm land now lie waste because the ices paid by the food trust to the producers, the farmers, do not pay for the Itivation of the land that should be at their disposal. Under the present system of profit and private ownership the more a farmer oduces the less he is paid. Moreover, they will continue to show that the conditions that prevail now are it new. They have prevailed all thru the present administration and many Iministrations before, both democratic and republican. They will continue to show that the only remedy lies in the public ownership ad control of the entire food industry by the people. Your letter indicates that you contemplate no radical change. No action has en taken by the present administration during the more than four years it is already been in office, altho it had before it the report and recommendations the U. S. Commission on Industrial Relations. Action will be forced, howrer, by the many who are now doing the hungering in spite of the few who re now wallowing in and wasting the wealth they have stolen. The many will irce action in spite of all your hypocrital pleas.

Sunday, July 1, Socialists in a thousand cities over the nation will hold mai meetings to advocate the repeal of the conscription act. The speakers at the meetings will also show why the Armours, Swifts, Morrises, Wilsons, Cudaby and other food dictators should be dethroned.

If the ministers to whom you direct your plea tell the truth from the pulpits Sunday, July 1, they will lose their jobs. Every editor who dares te the truth in his news or editorial columns will lose his job.

I know, because editors and clergymen are writing me almost daily the they are losing their jobs because they seek to tell the truth about the hig cost of living, about war and militarism.

I predict that some Socialist speakers will be arrested Sunday, July 1, fa telling about conditions as they exist. The ignorant who have been led astra! by your hideous propaganda will charge them with being pro-German, witi conspiracy, with sedition, etc., etc.

Is it not true that the profits of Armour & Co. in 1916 were $20,100,000 com pared to $6,028,197 in 1913 before the war?

Is it not true that the profits of Swift & Co. in 1916 were $20,465,000 compared to $9,250,000 in 1913 before the war?

Is it not true that the profits of every other food combination have increased in like proportion.

Knowing these facts, the increasingly high cost of living ceases to be a mystery.

Retail food prices in the United States jumped on an average of 9 per cent between March 15 and April 15, as shown by the administration's own depariment of labor.

This was the biggest advance during any one month since the beginning of the European war.

In the year ending with April 16 average food prices advanced 32 per cent. Onions during the 2 months went up 179 per cent; potatoes, 146 per cent. beans, 79 per cent; and flour, 72 per cent.

The Annalist shows that the food budget of the average American family has increased 74 per cent in the last two years. Wages in the meantime, eres in the well-paid field of organized labor have increased only 9 per cent.

Your hysterical plea, under these circumstances, of “Save the Waste", be comes a hollow mockery. Every intelligent human being in the land knows there is no waste among the great legions of the working ranks of America's citizens. That you do not seem to know it is a horrible indictment of those who are trying to raise you to place and power in the present crisis.

Let the government jail the Armours, Swifts and others of their kind, for treason to the American people, a just charge in fact of the unheard of robbery which you have yourself admitted.

Then let the government confiscate the food industries of the nation and operate them for the common good.

Almost immediately, I predict, there will come a great change that wil result in enough food being forthcoming to provide plenty and more for all

This, however, would probably be too much of a revolution to suit the ruling class, either in Washington or in Wall Street.

I have given space to your letter and this reply in the current issue of our weekly, the American Socialist. If you care to make any additional statement to our quarter million readers, I shall be glad to publish it, reserving tbt right to answer it.

Very truly yours,

J. L. ENGDAHL,

Editor, The American Socialist. 1099 “Isn't it true that the profits of Armour & Company 1916, Wert

$20,100,000 compared to only $6,028,197.00 in 1913, before the war? Isot it true that the profits of Swift & Company in 1916 were $20,463,000.00 compared to $9.250,000.00 in 1913, before the war. Isn't it true that the profis of every other food combination have increased in like proportion? Knoring these facts, the increase of the high cost of living ceases to be a mystery Retail food prices in the United States jumped on an average of 9%e he tween March 15 and April 15 as shown by the administration, under this department of labor. This was the biggest advance during one month sine the beginning of the European war. In the month ending with April 16, 1917 average food prices advanced 32%. Onions during the two months went up 179%; potatoes 146%; beans 79% and flour 72%. “The Analyst"-a publication-shows that the food of an average American family has increased 74% in

last four years. Wages in the meantime even in the field of organized or have increased only 9%. Your hysterical plea, under those circumnces, of saving the waste becomes a hollow mockery. Every intelligent nan being in the land knows there is no waste, I was present at a meetduring May, 1918, at Walsh's Hall and Mr. McDonough (who testified) was

walking up and down in front of the platform, very excited and shouting 0 to a man on the platform who was holding an American flag shouting

to him to hold it higher, hold it up higher. He did not seem to be dir the American flag high enough to suit McDonough. The stage was full women and children who were about to sing a song, one of the women the chorus got excited and told McDonough to sit down and he sat down I after the singing was over I was introduced. The audience seemed exd and I told them there was nothing to get excited about. It appeared t McDonough was excited because they had a Russian flag on the stage, a flag with an inscription on it, the flag adopted by the Russian revolutionists. aid that the red flag was not a new flag in the history of the human race t the red flag had been carried by our forefathers as they charged up aker Hill, Massachusetts, at the opening of the Revolutionary War. I pointed

that the working class had always been the class that had struggled for nan emancipation, that the working class had fought a Revolutionary war secure political liberty for the people of the United States, that the work

class, including many socialists had during the civil war struggled to lish chattel slavery here in the United States, to wipe out the slavery of black man. 'hen I continued to show that the Socialist movement today was the work

ing class movement being carried on to wage the struggle of today for 2 human emancipation, from the profit system. I didn't mention the cap

italist war at the next meeting. Most of the address was devoted to wing that the Socialist principle of co-operation was being forced upon the ious governments as the result of the war; that this was taking place in

United States, where the Government was taking over the railroads and er industries, the same thing Socialists had urged for half a century, enment and recruiting was not referred to, nor anything concerning conscription or military service.

The following proceedings were had with reference to the yellow and red cards, government's exhibits Nos. 124 & 125. Ir. Cunnea : Q First let me ask you that in regard to a yellow and red d. Ir. Fleming: I object to that. Ir. Stedman: Have they been excluded by order of court? Ir. Cunnea: I think the court should tell the jury those cards are with

wn.

The Court: The yellow and red cards introduced in evidence seven or ht days ago, being the red card and the yellow card which the witness preted as having been obtained by him at the meeting, those are withdrawn m the consideration of the jury. You are to pay no attention to those two ds. Treat them and the incident as if neither card had been offered evidence here. Proceed. Tucker was present and in his speech he referred to the profiteers as trait

He said that some of the employees of the big war industries and who I later been employed or later held official positions with the Government I sold secrets regarding the various war materials. Kruse spoke that ning. He had a copy of the leaflet issued by the National Office of the ialist Party containing Carl Liebknecht's speech before the court that sent i to prison. He did not refer to the military forces or enlistment or anyng of that kind or character. Referring to the American Socialist of Sepiber 8, 1917, a resolution that Lundeen introduced in the House of Repretatives entitled “ Congress Asked to Halt Sending Troops to Europe." Sepaber 9th issue of American Socialist there is a note at the top which reads

"All the Capitalist Dailies so far as we have been able to discover, have 3 completely ignored this important item of news, Representative Lundeen

sits in Congress from the Fifth Minnesota District, which includes Minpolis. In a referendum of his constituents he got results as follows: for r 2033; against war 16,822; for conscription 3,188; against conscription 331.” Then follows the special correspondence from Washington, D. C. as lows: Representative Lundeen of Minnesota introduced a joint resolution in

138525—19-VOL 2-24

« PreviousContinue »