“When an inventor produces any improvement in manufacture he does the world a good; when the manufacturer who adopts this invention, at the same time discharges his adult male operatives and substitutes child labor, he vitiates the good that has been done and works a great harm to society.
“The crying evil of to-day is child labor, and the labor of women in trades and at work that is manifestly fit only for men.
“I shall make no lengthy appeal to you to adopt a direct means of securing your rights. I shall set you an example by announcing that I pledge my support to Mr. Nevins in anything that he may do that has for its object the emancipation of the women, children and men of this country from industrial slavery.
“There is a living to be had for every inhabitant on the earth if he will work. We in America should guarantee more than subsistence to our citizens. A life of plenty is here for all if the social conditions can be readjusted.”
Peter Bergen, a socialist who represents Kansas, is the last to speak. His views are those of the radical. Nothing but instant centralization of all the land and property of the country to be owned and operated by the people as a whole, appear to him to offer an adequate solution of the social problem. He is ready to aid in any movement that is calculated to bring this condition about. He rails against the tyranny of landlordism.
“What justification is there to the laws that will permit an alien to hold land idle in this country until American energy improves the surrounding property? What justification is there in permitting an alien to withdraw rents from this country without paying a tax toward the support of the Federal government?
“I have fought for this country; I have paid a land tax on my farm and a tax on everything I consume. What does the alien land-holder pay? Nothing.
“I am ready to defend my home and country now. I will ever be loyal to it, for it is the best in the world.
“Its government is not perfect; it is our duty to make it so.
“Let us confiscate the lands of expatriated Americans as an initial step.
“The man who will not contribute to the support of the government does not deserve its protection.” His words are uttered with vehemence.
When he concludes this recital of personal grievances against the Trusts, the chairman announces that at the next meeting the members will be given full particulars of the purpose of the syndicate.
The forty men separate, each carrying with him the conviction that at length the time has come when something definite is to be decided upon in the war against Trusts.
Trueman remains in Chicago after the close of the Anti-Trust conference so as to be present at the National convention of the Independence party. He is one of the delegates at large to this convention, and hopes to be able to exert an influence over its deliberations, now that he has won some renown as a speaker.