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Statehood Contest

Statehood Contest image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

The question of the adinission of new states to the union is now and always has been in very large degree a matter of partisan advantage. A territory is not admitted to statehood, or refused admission, because it is properly prepared for that relation or because it is not properly prepared, but because its admission or rejection will advautage or disadvantage the party in control of congress. These causes are operating in congress now just as strongly as of yore. It is a peculiar circumstance to find Senator Quay, oue of the most notorious spoilsmeu in congress, standing out on the omnibus statehood bill in opposition to his party therefore. But the matter is eusily explained. In this particular case there are personal reasous and certain advantages for him and his friends which outweigh party consideratious. Ile therefore wants the territories admitted. For once he appears to be tnorally right in his position, though, even though his motive is seltish. The repnbllcan party stands pledged to statehood for the territories through a long series ot years. in 1SS8 the republican natlonai platform declared: The república q party pledges ltself to do all iu its power to facilítate the admission of the territories of iNew Mexico, Wyoming, Idaho and Arizona lo the enjoyment of self-governmem is states, such of them as are qualiii( il as soon as possible, aud the others is Boon is they become so. Iu 1890 Idaho and Wyoming were admltted. ïwo years later the party agato declared for statehood for the territories in the following language We favor the adinission of the remaining territories at the earliest practical date, üaving due regard to the interests of the people of the terri tories and of the United States. The pledge was repudiated, however, after election, or at least noth ing was done. Again in 1806 ihe re publican platform leiterated this pledge in exactly the same words and auin failed to keep its pledges during the tour years of power. But in 1900 the party catne forward again with this pledge in its national platform: We favor home rule for, and the eany admissiou to stateliood of the terntories of New Mexico, Arizona and Oklahoma. But up to the present time notliing has been done to redeem the pledge and b strong fight is now being made under the leadership of Senator Beveridge of Indiana to prevent any action. The fact that republicans who went on the stuinp and advocated the party platform are now, as during the past dozen years, ready to go even to the leneth of holdiner un the senntA tn prevent the redemptioii of these pledgea shows how little their platform pledges mean af ter they have been retumed to offiw. . Uetrayal of platform pledges seems to be takou as a matter of course. In fact platforms have served their purpose when the election is over, and the people appear to accept that fact without much ad and contain their souls in peace unt the next time the party gets around to decelve them with specious pledges which it nevor intends to keep.