The Sub -- Treasury Plan
It is objected to the plan adopted by the National Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union at St. Louis in relation to the erection of Warehouses and elevators for the storage of farm products, that it is impracticable and involves the expenditure of too much money to carry it into operation. Its practicability has been demonstrated in other countries, and even in our own country today it occurs to us that we have something very nearly akin to it in the whiskey warehouses. The distiller is permitted to store his products in a bonded warehouse where it may remain for years without the payment of the government tax, and until he finds a market for it that suits him. The government practically loans the distiller the amount of the internal revenue tax on every gallon of his product from the date of its manufacture until the date of its sale, upon the same plan practically as that proposed for the products of the farm. Do we hear any kicking against this kind of sub -- treasury scheme? It occurs to our obtuse understanding that the farming industry of America is fully as important, and entitled to fully as much favor from the government, as the producer of rot -- gut -- whiskey.
As to the expense of the scheme we have to remark: It is wonderful how economical some people become when anything is proposed to be done for the most important industry on the face of the earth. The government can sell its bonds at a discount of 40 percent and receive in payment there for a currency depreciated by special act of congress; and after those same bonds have been in the hands of the purchaser five or six years make them payable in gold, and these great economists utter no complaint. It can quadruple the National debt by contraction of the circulating medium, and we hear no objections. It can demonetize silver and open the door to foreign speculation in this metal as a commodity and it is all right; but it will never do to expend anything to help or encourage the farmer. Now these fellows may as well understand that the farmers are not asking them to grant these things as a matter of favor for they would not expect it to be done if they did. They have formulated their wants as demands and not as requests, and they propose that these demands shall be recognized. They have the force and power of numbers to back these demands and any legislator who neglects or refuses to heed them may as well stand from under. These things are going to be done, and all the sophistry and flattery and soothing syrup of professional politicians will not pacify the aroused spirit that stands behind this great reform movement. Banks, corporations, monopolists, trusts, combines, and thieves have had their day. The people now propose to take a hand in the management of public affairs and they advertise in advance that they have no need for the counsel of political demagogues or place hunters.
The new State of Montana sends another banker to the United States Senate. It will now be in order for the people of Montana to kick about.