SLAPS AT MAYOR FOR FAILURE
TO WARN ‘TRAITORS.’
Ald. Kerner Asks Council to Adopt an "Address" Naming Thompson.
Socialist members of the city council entered into a warm discussion of the war yesterday and other aldermen denounced the recent Auditorium "terms of peace" meeting and similar gatherings when Ald. Otto Kerner presented and "address" for adoption.
The latter explained that mayors of other cities throughout the country have issued proclamations advising citizens to refrain from criticisms of the government and its officials, to observe the mandates of federal authorities, and to show their loyalty, but that as yet Mayor Thompson had not issued like counsel. He explained that a legislative body could not issue a proclamation, though it was within its province to adopt an address containing sentiments which might be expressed in a proclamation.
Speaks of Treason.
"But this address," interrupted Ald. Kennedy, "says there shall be no discussion of the relative merits regarding the war. I don’t think Ald. Kerner means this. He knows that soon there will be held in Stockholm a conference where men will seriously discuss the merits of this conflict."
Ald. Rodriguez, another Socialist, said he interpretted the "address" as being opposed to criticism, and he asked for information.
"I mean exactly what I say," retorted Ald. Kerner. "I was in hope that the council could adopt this in toto. The constitution of this country says that treason is giving aid to an enemy in time of war. Criticism at this time is giving aid and comfort to our enemies. You socialists must realize that. I care not what happens in Sweden; I’m talking about American soil."
Meeting Called Disgraceful.
"This is no time to have a house divided against itself," declared Ald. Wakowlak. "This resolution will not bar free speech as far as pure free speech is concerned. The recent meeting in the Auditorium had no purpose except to divide a house against itself. Such things together with the riot in Grant park, are a disgrace to the city."
On the motion of Ald. Nance, who said he believed the aldermen desired a more intimate knowledge of the contents of the address, the latter was ordered published and deferred for one week. Ald. Michelson, administrative leader, mentioned the Republican — the city hall organ which has been criticizing the government — when he attacked the address and asked whether "Kerner had a monopoly on patriotism." Ald. Johnson, the late socialist member of the council, also talked. He said that members of the political faith were being to register, but he added: "There might be a legal way of avoiding it later on."