Hellraisers Journal: Eugene Debs for the Appeal to Reason: Calls Goldfield Report “an exceptional document.”

The people will ultimately see that
socialism is their only hope
-Eugene Victor Debs

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Hellraisers Journal, Wednesday January 29, 1908
From the Appeal to Reason: Eugene Debs on the Goldfield Report

From the Appeal of January 25, 1908:

DEBS AT THE WHITE HOUSE
—–
Interviews President and Arranges for
Congressional Action on Suppressed
Goldfield Report
-Washington News Service Established.
—–

BY EUGENE V. DEBS.
Staff Correspondent Appeal to Reason.
—–

EVD, Roosevelt, Goldfield, AtR, Jan 25, 1908

Washington, Jan. 17.-Arrangements have been completed here for a special news service, and a weekly letter to the Appeal by a correspondent whose reports of the proceedings in congress will be made from the Socialist point of view. The Washington column will therefore contain matter which does not find its way into capitalistic newspapers, and will be a feature of special interest to Appeal readers.

It is generally understood here that there is to be no legislation of any account by the present session of congress. Measures of little or no consequence have been introduced for no other purpose than to consume time between now and the approaching national conventions of the two old parties. Labor legislation is urgently demanded as usual by committees representing trade unions, but all such efforts will as in the past be barren of results.

It is note-worthy, however, that the labor committee of the house of representatives finds it necessary to explain publicly why it is unable to meet the demands of organized labor. Representative Gardner of New Jersey, who is chairman of the labor committee, and who today had a talk with President Roosevelt, is quoted as saying “Just how to steer a middle course between the demands of capital and the demands of labor is going to be the hardest kind of a problem.” The capitalists are crying: “Riot, revolution and anarchy.” The labor people are shouting: “Monopoly, oppression and tyrants.”

I have just had a talk with the President about the Goldfield troubles, and the report made by the special commission he sent to Nevada. That report has been asked for by the house, and I suppose will in due time reach us. It was printed in part about a week ago, but thus far we have not received anything officially from the president about the matter.

In connection with this statement of Chairman Gardner, it should be said that it is pretty generally understood that the report of the Nevada commission is not to be printed and made available for general circulation. It is not the kind of a document that generally reaches the masses. It is quite certain that if it were as favorable to the mine owners as it is to the miners it would already have been issued and very widely distributed through the channels provided for that purpose. The capitalist press, as a rule, has been silent with regard to this report. Only a brief paragraph or two of this vital document has been given publicity by the daily press. This is all the more significant since the appointment of the commission created such widespread interest, and its report was awaited with such eager anticipation by both capital and labor.

The report of the commission, which deals especially with the question of sending the federal troops to Goldfield, is certainly an exceptional document, and the candor with which that inexcusable act is exposed is in the highest degree commendable. Among those who know him well commissioner Neill is given credit for being honest and fearless in the discharge of his official duties; of course he does not view the Goldfield situation from the Socialist standpoint, but after being on the ground and conducting an impartial and thorough investigation, he and his fellow commissioners arrived at the conclusion that there was no excuse for federal intervention; that the troops should not have been called for or sent to Goldfield, and they reported frankly to that effect and fixed the responsibility where it properly belongs.

Goldfield Strike, Cmrs Smith Murray Neill, AmRofR, Jan 1908

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I have just been advised by a member of congress that there is a way provided by law for having the report of the commission printed and made available for general distribution. I have another appointment with the gentleman, and shall urge upon him the necessity of having this done in justice to the working class; and, as he is quite agreed that it was an outrage to send the soldiers to Goldfield, it is quite probable that he will take hold of the matter, and insist upon the publication of the report. Readers of the Appeal will be kept advised of this and other matters of interest to them and the general movement in the regular course of its Washington correspondence.

———-

[Photograph of Commissioners added.]

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SOURCE
Appeal to Reason
(Girard, Kansas)
-Jan 25, 1908
(Also source for clips within article.)
https://www.newspapers.com/image/67587156/

IMAGE
Goldfield Strike Report, Smith Murray Neill, AmRofR, Jan 1908
https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=_GhPAQAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&output=reader&hl=en&pg=GBS.PA16

Note: I believe that the Appeal to Reason misinterpreted the above dispatch from Debs in that it was Representative Gardner, and not Debs, who was the “I” in the quote: “I have just had a talk with the President about the Goldfield troubles…” Had Debs met with President Roosevelt after their very public feud over the Haywood-Moyer-Pettibone Case, it would have been national news. I can find no mention of any such meeting in any other newspaper. More research needed.

I believe the two paragraphs should have been punctuated:

It is note-worthy, however, that the labor committee of the house of representatives finds it necessary to explain publicly why it is unable to meet the demands of organized labor. Representative Gardner of New Jersey, who is chairman of the labor committee, and who today had a talk with President Roosevelt, is quoted as saying “Just how to steer a middle course between the demands of capital and the demands of labor is going to be the hardest kind of a problem. The capitalists are crying: ‘Riot, revolution and anarchy.’ The labor people are shouting: ‘Monopoly, oppression and tyrants.’

“I have just had a talk with the President about the Goldfield troubles, and the report made by the special commission he sent to Nevada. That report has been asked for by the house, and I suppose will in due time reach us. It was printed in part about a week ago, but thus far we have not received anything officially from the president about the matter.”

There are reports of Rep. Gardner meeting with Roosevelt on Jan 17th. For example:

Santa Fe New Mexican of Jan 17, 1908:
https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84020630/1908-01-17/ed-1/seq-1/

See also:
United States Congressional serial set, Issue 5374
Dec 2, 1907-May 30, 1908
60th Congress, ast Session
WDC, 1908
https://books.google.com/books?id=pZ83AQAAIAAJ
607. Papers Relative to Labor Troubles at Goldfield, Nev.
https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=pZ83AQAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover&output=reader&hl=en&pg=GBS.RA3-PA1
December 30, 1907
Report by Messrs. Murray, Neill, and Smith
https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=pZ83AQAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover&output=reader&hl=en&pg=GBS.RA3-PA16
End of Report, Commissioners sign thus:
https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=pZ83AQAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover&output=reader&hl=en&pg=GBS.RA3-PA29

Lawrence O. Murray,
Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Labor.
Charles P. Neill,
Commissioner of Labor.
Herbert Knox Smith,
Commissioner of Corporations.

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