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Even after this election, the Lords were still inclined to rebel against giving up their veto power, but through the influence of the Prime Minister, the King was induced to threaten to pack the House of Lords with enough new members to bring about the passage of the law. The result was that the Lords yielded, and the British Government became to that extent more representative.
Can we not do as much in this country as the British did ? Can we not reduce our Federal judiciary to its constitutional powers? If not, we can at least arrest its further growth. We can prevent its further encroachment upon the law-making branch of the Government. The plan I propose will do this, and I believe will be accepted by the people in all parts of the country without regard to party, as the quickest means of restoring their government to the people.
We are confronted today with a situation wherein we must make a choice that will determine the destiny of this nation in all the generations to come. This choice is simple but fateful. Shall the people rule through their elected representatives or shall they be ruled by a judicial oligarchy? Shall we move forward in our development as a nation, carrying out the will of the people as expressed by their ballots, or shall all progress be checked by the arbitrary dictates of five judges until the situation becomes so desperate that it can no longer be endured?
I have no doubt what the choice of the American people will be when this issue is submitted for their decision. The American nation was founded upon the immortal principle that the will of the people shall be the law of the land. The courts have forgotten this, but the people have not. When they have an opportunity they will overwhelmingly declare that they will no longer tolerate a condition under which the wheels of progress may be blocked by the arbitrary dictates of a majority of nine judges, but that a way shall be opened whereby the nation may move forward in peace, in order and in harmony to achieve the great ideals of freedom, prosperity, and happiness enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and in the preamble of the Constitution of the United States.
United We Stand, Divided
We Go Broke
Benjamin C. Marsh
From an address before convention of
Mr. Chairman and Fellow-Workers: I am only the hired man of a farmer organization and I want to assure you that I appreciate very much this opportunity to talk to you about the interests, the common interests, of the farmers and the other workers, and I am going to tell you this: There is only one thing that the big financial interests who today hold and run our government are afraid of, and that is when the farmers and the other workers get together and say, “This is our Government and we are going to run it for the benefit of ourselves." (Applause.) And now, just a little secret which will please every newspaper reporter—that bunch down in Washington are scared stiff because they know that is going to come about, that combination, within the next few years. (Applause.)
I have got to confess to you that I am a preacher's son. (Laughter.) My folks were missionaries over in BulgariaAmerican missionaries. They had me cut out when I was in college to be a missionary to South Africa, but then I traveled over this country a little bit, and I made up my mind that there were enough heathen, that if I stayed at home and straightened them out I would do my part, and I am not so particular where they go after they die, either. (Laughter.)
Now I am leading up to this: I am grateful that you have a text here—a fine text. Why? Because that bunch of bankers and financial interests and the rest of them in this country are the ones who are trying to drive down the wages of all workers on the farms in order that they may get more unearned profits, and that bunch of bankers and the rest of them, through the Federal Reserve Board, are the ones who cut down the prices of farm products one-half and more over night.
You don't have to be much of a doctor of philosophy, you just have to have a little sense, to realize that when the bunch that is trying to trim you is the bunch that has trimmed the farmers, that the farmers and the other workers have got to get together and put that combination out of business. (Applause.)
They know you are going to do it within the next ten years, too, and that is what is worrying them!
Now, my friends, I don't represent all the farmers of this country by any manner of means; the Farmers' National Council does not! Why, the farmers who own anywhere from a million acres to five hundred thousand acres, the farmers who rent out fifteen, twenty or forty farms and are willing to pay their hired help a dollar a day for ten hours' work, with or without board, don't love me for sour apples. (Laughter.) Why? Because they know perfectly well that the real farmers of America are not the landlord farmers; they are the farmers who are producing the goods on the farms, and their interest right down the line is just exactly the same as yours, and I am happy to say that I am speaking and representing only the farmers who are actually producing the goods, the farm products, and not the landlord and the banker farmer.
Maybe some of you people saw the other day that we had a so-called agricultural conference down in Washington, D. C., called by the Secretary of Agriculture on instructions from the President—a so-called agricultural conference because they had among the horny-handed farmers down there four railroad men, eight bankers, four packers, representatives of the fertilizer trust and the milling trust and every other combination that had been bleeding the farmer blind, and they thought they could become farmers by going down there to Washington. (Laughter.)
Well, the President of the Chicago Board of Trade spilled the beans down there and spilled them badly. You have heard of the American Farm Bureau Federation, organized by the big financial interests, and what did Robert McDougal, President of the Chicago Board of Trade do (and remember that the Volstead Act is still in force) but get up before that bunch, and there were over 150 real farmers there, and say the Chicago Board of Trade thinks a great deal of the farm bureau movement. He said, “It is a sort of a grandfather of the farm bureau movement." And then, in cold English that was all taken down by the stenographer, he said, "The Chicago Board of Trade gave a thousand dollars cash to each of the farm bureaus first organized, county farm bureaus, starting with the one in Bloom County, New York, and spreading out to Iowa and the other northwestern states."
Do you get the point? What would you labor folks do, what would you railway men do, if you learned that the Association of Railway Executives had contributed a thousand dollars to a hundred of your local railway unions? "Oh, no" you would say, "they are helping us out."
But, take the condition of the real farmer. A week ago today I was out in Mitchell, South Dakota. I met twenty-five or thirty of the farmers. They have a woman out there running for Governor, a very clever woman, and they are broke. They are so broke they are trying to live on the interest of what they owe. It is a pretty hard proposition even for as able a person as the farmer to do, and they are going to make a real fight out there. They are collecting, not cash—they can't collect much cash from those farmers—but they are selling the chickens and they are selling bushels of potatoes and they are selling hogs, and sending the proceeds in for the political campaign, working, of course, with labor, for there were representatives of several labor organizations of the State of South Dakota at the meeting.
While I was there, they showed me a letter from a farmer's wife in the southwestern part of the state. She said, “We absolutely can't send you a dollar, although we want to, but I am sending the last thing we can spare—my little watch. I want you to sell that watch and use the proceeds to try and elect Miss Dailey Governor of the State of South Dakota at the meeting."
My friends, with the farmers all through the Northwest in that frame of mind, let me tell you that all of Wall Street's hell can't beat this getting together of the farmers and the other workers. (Applause.)
And, that isn't exceptional. You see, if I use strong language it is because I was reared to be a preacher. (Laughter.)
That isn't exceptional. Of course, in every one of the northwestern states (and I sort of like this Northwest; I went through college, worked my way through college down here at Grinnell, Iowa; I feel at home out here) in every one of these states the farmers and the other workers are pulling together. You can't fool them any more. Why, the safest and the best American is the one who can get farthest away from Wall Street. I think that is a pretty good test of his being a hundred per cent American. There are exceptions, but by and large, you have out here in these northwestern states a combination between the toilers on the farms and in the factories and transportation and mines and trade, and it is spreading East. They used to talk about the three wise men that came out of the East but, believe me, there are about ten or twelve million wise men and women from the West out here that have more sense than any three wise