THEY TALKED AND THEY
TALKED AT THAT PEACE MEET
Gamut of Topic Run and New National Party Formed.
In an orgy of anti-war oratory about 200 pacifists, Socialists, and professional pro-Germans spent yesterday at the Auditorium recital hall in an attempt to argue the country out of war. It was the "second American Conference for democracy and terms of peace." and it will continue today.
"Peace without punative indemnities and without forcible annexations" were the terms they offered to Germany. A message was sent to the council of workmenís and soldiersí delegates of Russia to the effect that the conference backed it in those same terms of peace.
Presto! A New Party.
A good time was had by all. They criticized the government, the president, the American soldier, and the newspapers with undiminished lung power. Advocates of various hobbies — single tax, socialism, credit systems, and the referendum and the recall — got in their work. A new national political party offering $3,000 jobs to all the faithful ones was introduced. The presidential candidate was to be the man who secured the most signatures to a petition.
There were men with bobbed hair and sport shirts disclosing long, angular necks. Foreign looking individuals with hanging jowls and bull necks spoke in broken English. A few college youths with dreamy eyes and bulging foreheads decorated the audience. Whiskers and German dialect prevailed.
St. John Tucker Indignant.
The program went quietly enough until Irving St. John Tucker stopped the proceedings to deny that he had called President Wilson a "black moral traitor." He called a statement to that effect in an afternoon newspaper "an infamous and scurrilous lie" and read from the text of his speech.
Some one had been called a "black moral traitor" in the speech, but it was vague as to who it was. Mr. Tucker made it clear that he meant "forces including bought newspapers and the moneyed powers which are attempting to overthrow the democracy of the American people," and not the president of the United States.
A woman, who said she represented 900 miners of southern Illinois, said the conference must stand behind those miners when they refused to accept conscription. She was heartily cheered.
When she had finished, a man with an undisguised German accent not to mention a German name, was given the floor to shout that there was no law that can force the American boy to fight on foreign soil. If there should be such a law, he said, he demanded its repeal at once.
Another man with a foreign accent, who was apparently within the age for conscription, said:
"All we have is our lives, and who is going to guarantee us those now ?"
Louis Potter, ward of Dr. Cornelia de Bey, offered a method for financing the war.
A Rap at Gompers
After that Mr. Blumenberg of the Social Party in Grand Rapids defied the government. J. Deutelbaum "from Detroit" told those present what he thought of Samuel Gompers, president of the American Federation of Labor, for landing his assistance to the government in its time of need.
"He did not consult the rank and file of the labor people when he cooperated with the government," Deutelbaum stormed.
Mr. Kruse of Chicago was next, his black flowing tie mixing with his blond locks. He was followed by Mr. Langer of Milwaukee, who spoke in a German-English mixture. Mr. Bobinsky of Chicago followed, and Mr. Gray, also of Chicago, spoke and said that he had been twice warned by the government that if he did not stop speaking and writing against conscription he would be either interned or sent to Fort Leavenworth.
"But Iím here, speaking again," he said.
"Good for you!" shouted the audience.
"Iím going back to the miners of southern Illinois," said Mrs. Ella Reeve Bloor. "I want to tell them that you will stand behind them if they resist the draft."
There was wild cheering.
"You will have to support them when they resist conscription," she concluded amid cheers.
Feels for American Poy.
"Donít let our American poys go to fight for English plutocracy," said Frank Friedersdorf. "There is no law on the land that can force the American poy to fight on foreign soil. If there is, let us go and repeal it so quick as we can."
William H. Holly was one of the speakers, and he admitted that he did not agree with most of the audience on all subjects.
"I feel," he said, "that President Wilson has done as much to deserve the confidence of the American people as any president we have ever had."
There were cries of "No, no."
"If any war is justifiable," he concluded, when they had finished, "this one is justifiable."
He was interrupted again with shouts of "no," and boos.
"Thatís all right," he said. "I donít expect you to agree with me.