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The Sugar Trust Autocracy

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The little paraphlet on the Stigar Distribution Combine, by Congressman John DeWitt Warner, just issued by the Reform club, is a most interesting document. It should be read by every consumer of sugar in the United States. It contains the summarized results of investigation into the doings of the trust in every section of the country, including the accounts, correspondence, and proceedings of local organizations, by which the inner workings of this gigantic monopoly are laid bare where it most effects the American people. It also gives the secret history of the wholesale grocers' associations which are subsidiary to the trust and are paid handsomely by it for their extortions upon the people in keeping the prices of sugar up to the trust demands. The authot's conclusión is as follows: "With the Spreckels in control of Hawaii, and the Havemeyers extending their plantations in Cuba, the tlie trust dictates to every branch of sugar production and distribution in the United States, taking under its wing every one concerned - except those who consume sugar. From its office at 117 Wall street, cable messages fly daily to its agents in Cuba, flxing the price of raw sugars there; to San Francisco announcing 'Cuban parity,' at which arriving Hawanan sugars are to be valued; to Louisiana, telling her planters what - in view of Cuban and Hawaiian prices - the trust condescends to offer for American sugar; and to its representatives all over the world, giving the limit- based on Cuban parity- at which they can piek up Australian, Java, Philippine, Brazilian and other sugars. when these are temporarily depressed in prices. In an adjoining room the quotations at or above which the subservient dealers throughoüt the country are permitted to sell sugars, are daily settled, and through the four great sugar brokers who stand nearest the throne these are passed to the forty others who await the Jsugar trust's nod at New York and telegraph to the waiting hundreds in other cities of the land. These iu turn so promptly notify their patrons, the thousands of Wholesale grocers of the country, that before their doors are opened all dangerof anyipurchaser getting his sugar below trust prices is over for the day. By discount from his bill or periodical remittance, as the case may be, each faithful wholesaler is promptly and liberally paid for his loyalty, and whenever, in the criáis of legislation, he hears the bugle cali of the trust, he instantly steps into line, ready to bombare! nis congressman with telegrams or tight him with ballots at short range until the sugar trust cause is triumphant. Such is the grandest trade organization the world has ever seen. The sugar trust dictates íthe tribute that shall be renderetl it by the American people. The Wholesale grocers are revvarded by whateverof largessthe trust thinks necessary to insure their loyalty. And the public ? - 'The public be damned'- and it is." A committee of the state teachers association recently met at Lansing :or the purpose of considering what school legislation is needed at the coming session of the legislature. After hearing the views of delegates rom different sections of the state as to their particular needs, a re)ort was agreed upon and the same vill be placed before the association at its meeting in Lansing, next week. If the recommendations of his report are approved by the state association, they will then be urged upon the attention of the legislature. Among other things, the report will recommend a more stringent, compulsory school law. Under the operation of the present law there are many cases in our large cities that cannot be reached. Children under the age of admission to the reform school, although habitual truants and "toughs" are not or may not be reachable under the present statute. The report will also recommend a severe law against the sale of cigarettes to children. This evil of cigarette smoking is alarmingly prevalent, even among children of tender age, as is well known by all teachers and superintendents, especially in the larger cities. A modification of the I law relating to the qualifications and I term of service of the county coramissioner of schools will also be recommended. The judgment of the ; committee was that the COtnmission] er ought to be elected for four years, and that three years of practical jschool-room experience should be exacted as a qualificatioa in addition to the other educational requirements. Thesubmission of an amendment increasing the salary of the superintendent of public instruction tothrce thousand dollars will also be urged. Some other minor recommendations will be made, but the above are the most important. Congress is about to adjourn for the holiday recess. Sorne considerable progress has been made by the house during the month in the way of legislation, but the senate has done nothing. It seems to be the purpose of the minority of that body, with the support of the democratie sugar senators, to block all legislation. Even the recommendation of the president that the discriminating duty on imported sugar be répealed, because it conflicts with our treaty obligations, notwithstanding the fact that the conflict and the consequent bad faith of our government is admitted by all, has fallen on deaf ears. The position of the senate is a disgrace to the country, but nothing eau be done to remedy the situation so long as the antiquated rules of that body reniain in force. The currency question seems to have entirely superseded the tariff issue before the country. The importance of monetary reform, as viewed by the people, is shown by the unwonted interest they have manifested in the issue. The need of some change which will relieve the govemment from the present intolerable situation is recognized by all. The house is making commendable effort to evolve some satisfactory scheme of reform out of the babel of conflicting opinions. But it is thought that even though the house passes some measure of relief, it will have no possible chance of getting through the senate. The present regime will termínate on the fourth of March, but there is no prospect of anything better from the new congress. A bilí has passed the senate for the establishment of a national military park on the battle field of Shiloh.


Ann Arbor Argus
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