Svenska Kuriren -- January 01, 1920Necessary Legislation
Congress will convene again on January 5 to resume the work suspended for the Christmas holidays. The most important legislation is the adjustment of the economic status of the railroads, their position in respect to the state and their workers, at the time when the railroads in accordance with the decision of the President, are to be returned, to their owners on March 1. The Senate has passed the Cummins Bill, and the House of Representatives has passed the Esch Bill. Both are now in the hands of a conference committee that will seek to equalize the differences for a joint decision. The greatest difference is the strike question. The Senate bill would take the right to strike away from the railroad workers, while the Esch Bill does not suggest limiting the rights of the workers.
No matter how much one may deplore and yet seek to counteract the difficulties 2which arise through strikes, particularly in enterprises or institutions upon which the undisturbed progress of the entire community life is dependent, we still believe that prohibiting strikes by law constitutes an encroachment on the personal freedom which is guaranteed the American people by the constitution. Therefore, we consider such an abridgment to be self-evident in the nature of basic law. Thus, nothing can be effected, except in the manner prescribed by the constitution itself. We hope, in the meantime, that this stumbling block will be avoided for a quick settlement. We will simply invite an economic crisis, with serious consequences, if we do not put the railroads in order so that they may again take up their duties under properly organized conditions, as much as possible before the time set for returning the railroads to private operators.
We place, without doubt, this indigenous question first of all. It appears 3to us far less important whether or not, as it is now rumored, a compromise can be effected in regard to a ratification of the treaty of peace. We now hear talk about deliberations in that direction among the leaders in Congress. But we cannot see what these deliberations can accomplish when we know that the only compromise which can be thought of is for President Wilson to show that he is willing to abandon the intractable standpoint he has taken heretofore.
If he does not, then the question of a compromise falls short of itself. The thought of what may follow thereafter need not frighten anyone. Those who should be most anxious for a quick peace settlement - the American people - do not appear to permit such minor matters to upset their digestion. We should like to think that a much larger number of American citizens uneasily await what is to be the situation in this country after January 16, 1920, and whether or not the highest court settles the prohibition question before 4then, than those who will permit their reasoning to be occupied by the final fate of the League of Nations. Indifference in this regard is greater than ever, for a year ago the League of Nations had at least some interest as news. At the same time, one can also truthfully say that opposition to America's mixing in European politics increases with each day that passes. But it is still not so strong but what the majority of the people would be satisfied if a settlement could be effected between President Wilson and the Senate, in respect to the League of Nations. Taken as a whole, however, one still considers it to be of less importance in comparison to other questions which stand nearer to us, and about which, we therefore are able to form our own convictions.
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