New York Times

But They Reach Chicago Too Late To Stop Peace Rally
Ordered Patrolmen to Guard the Delegates Whom They Dispersed on Saturday.
But Illinois Law Seems Inadequate —Governor Explains His Position.

CHICAGO, Sept. 2. — The pacifist convention, which was broken up yesterday by police acting under orders of Governor Frank O. Lowden, held a public meeting today at which they had police protection provided by Mayor William H. Thompson.

On discovering Mayor Thompson’s defiant move, Governor Lowden dispatched four companies of militia from Springfield to prevent the meeting, but they arrived here too late. So, the People’s Council of America for Democracy and Terms of Peace managed to perfect formal organization after its sessions had been prohibited by Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin.

A statement was issued by Governor Lowden tonight as follows:

“The Governor was informed about noon today that the so-called National Council of America for Democracy and Peace proposed to hold another meeting in Chicago this afternoon, the Chief of Police having been instructed not to interfere. This, of course, was a big surprise to him. Having no State troops in Chicago, the Governor tried to communicate with General Carter, commanding the Central Department at Chicago, for the purpose of preventing this meeting. He also tried to communicate with Sheriff Traeger, but was informed that the Sheriff was out of town, and would not be back until late this afternoon. He at once ordered the Adjutant General to proceed to Chicago with troops to prevent the further continuances of the meeting.

To Incite Draft Riots

“The Governor is satisfied that this meeting was designed for the purposes of bringing on draft riots and obstructing the Government in other respects. For that reason he has felt that he should use all the resources at his command to suppress such meeting.”

Governor Lowden expressed surprise at the refusal of Mayor Thompson to co-operate with him in putting down the so-called peace meeting. The Governor sent Mayor Thompson a telegram yesterday explaining his position, and expressing the belief that the Mayor would agree with him that the pacifist conference should not be held in Illinois.

The Mayor started to hand out his aid for the pacifists early this morning. They got their first word at a secret session at the Foreword office, 1, 144 South Halsted Street. They were told over the telephone that the police not only would not interfere with their meeting, but would supply protection, and furthermore, that the management of the West Side Auditorium would give them a lease if the applied for it.

The Committee of Arrangements, including Seymour Stedman and Robert H. How, both local socialists, got options on five halls, then visited Police Chief Schuettler to ascertain if the indirect word from the Mayor was authentic.

“Sure, go ahead — just as long as you behave yourselves.”

The delegates announced a meeting for the West Side Auditorium, and opened the session between 2 and 3 o’clock in the afternoon.

H. H. Merrick, one of the patriotic citizens of Chicago, got word to Governor Lowden through Adjt. Gen. Dickson on the long-distance telephone at Springfield. He explained the announced program.

Governor Seeks Troops

The Governor attempted twice to get Sheriff Traeger on the wire and order him to use his 200 deputies and bailiffs to disperse the crowd and prohibit the meeting. The Sheriff was at the funeral of Judge Honore. The Chief Executive of the State could not wait. He attempted to get in communication with Major Gen. W. H. Carter, commander of the Central Division of the army, to have troops dispatched from Fort Sheridan or from other camps where guards had been mustered into the United States service. That took too much time, so the Governor ordered a battalion of the Ninth Infantry to take a special train to Chicago.

Chief Schuettler remained at this office all day and evening, but the Mayor, after he had given the Chief instructions, departed from his Lake Forest home for a day of outing at Lake Geneva, Wis. General Carter and Sheriff Traeger sent messages to Governor Lowden late in the afternoon. The Sheriff’s was a tender of aid, but the
. . .
Companies I, B, L and H from Centralia, Carmi, Harrisburg and Salem, under Major C. W. Harris, to entrain and get to Chicago in four hours.
Meanwhile the People’s council had started it convention. Stedman, a lawyer of Chicago, was elected Permanent Chairman and Louis P. Lochner Secretary.    

At 8 o’clock the special train carrying troops ordered from Springfield was nearing the city limits. All the facilities of the railroad system were centered on speeding the soldiers and preparing for their detrainment. Meantime, the Seventh Regiment, armed for immediate duty, was resting under arms at the armory on orders from Maj. Gen. Carter.

A few minutes before 5 o’clock General Carter and Governor Lowden got together on the long-distance telephone and made their plans. General Carter ordered the Seventh Regiment of the Illinois National Guard, which has been taken into the Federal service, to assemble at once in the armory.

Warned of Troops’ Coming

Congressman William E. Mason was about to address the pacifist convention when Stedman announced to the audience that he had received word that the State troops were on their way to break up the meeting.

“Is it the wish of the assemblage that we adjourn or continue in session?” he asked.

“We’ll stick,” shouted a dozen.

“All right,” said Stedman, “but when the troops come, offer no resistance.”

Rabbi Judah L. Magnes of New York delivered the keynote speech. He said in part:

“Through the free discussion the American people might, while helping democracy throughout the world, develop rather than restrict our democracy here at home. Is it worthy of a democracy that citizens holding divergent views be driven from place to place to find opportunity for discussion ? That they be threatened with imprisonment, that they be spied upon and maligned because in these miraculous days of change, of death, and of life, of misery and hope, as lovers of America and their fellow-men, they speak and labor and struggle for democracy and peace ?”

In relation to peace negotiations, Rabbi Magnes said:

“The President’s message does not call for the dethronement of the Kaiser, despite of newspaper headings; nor of any of the present rulers of Germany. The President will take the word of the present rulers or of any ruler of Germany if, and only if, this word of the rulers is explicitly supported by the German people in ways acceptable to the other peoples of the world. What are the ways ? To this is the issue between the belligerents now resolved. Then let this issue be clarified from every angle, in every way, so that the German people can give clear answer, yes or no.
“Should the President specify further the nature of the evidence required from the German people, it would be courageous and worthy of the solemn aims to be achieved if he addressed his communication direct to the German people. An address to the German people by the President of the United States during a war between Germany and the United States might well become one of the momentous documents of history.

Congressman Mason took a fling at Governor Lowden indirectly. He said:

“I’m interested now more in free speech in Illinois than in what one European country shall pay another in indemnities. War is here, a small issue now has not been so much misery in this country since Bunker Hill, and there have been enough tears shed to float a battleship.

Mason Refers to Treason

“Our good President Wilson wants the people of Germany to speak. I ask that the people of this country be permitted to speak. Let them vote whether they want peace. If that be treason, make the most of it.”

Ex-Senator John D. Works of California delivered a speech in which he said this was

 “the first time I ever heard of a Governor prohibiting peaceful assemblage.”
“We are not against democracy,” he asserted. “We are for it. We are against conscription, and we have a right to be heard on that subject. I wish more men had Mayor Thompson’s spirit and the determination to carry it out.”

The remarks of all the speakers brought wild applause from the delegates, about 300 of whom were in the Auditorium.

“We have accomplished our purpose,” Chairman Stedman said in announcing an adjournment at 6:50 o’clock. “But the adjournment is taken because our lease on this hall has expired. Our next meeting will be announced secretly by the heads of the organization.

The pacifists appointed a National Executive Committee as follows: Seymour Stedman, Chicago; J. D. Works, Los Angeles; James H. Maurer, Reading, Penn., member of the Pennsylvania Legislature; Professor Scott Nearing, Toledo; Jacob Panken, New York; Morris Hillquit, New York; Professor H. W. L. Dana, Columbia University; M. A. Toohy, Toledo; Mrs. W. I. Thomas, Chicago, National Secretary of the Woman’s Peace Party; George Roewen, Boston; Frank Stevens, Arden, Del.; Leila Faye Secor, New York; Rebecca Shelly, New York; Elizabeth Freeman, New York; and Dr. H. W. Waltz, Cleveland.

Later committees were appointed on American Liberties, Economic Conditions, Revolutions, and Peace Terms.

A Committee of Seventeen on Platform was appointed with Morris Hillquit of New York, Chairman of the National Committee of the council at their head. After four hours of deliberation the committee reported a platform of principles that was adopted by the convention by unanimous vote. The platform called for the progressive disarmament of all nations, repeal of the conscription act by the United States Congress, a concrete statement by the Administration on its war aims, peace without conquest, annexation or indemnities.

Delegates Confer at Hotels

After the meeting disbanded the delegates went to a downtown hotel, where they maintain Headquarters. The manager of the hotel said the leaders asked for a suite in which a meeting could be held, but this was refused. Shortly afterwards, word came to the hotel that the troops had arrived from Springfield and that Federal soldiers had been ordered out in Chicago. The delegates then left the hotel in small parties.

There were conferences of leaders of the conference at their hotel rooms, and it was reported that an attempt would be made to hold a second session of the delegates tomorrow at the West Side Y.M.C.A.

It developed tonight that the meeting for today was planned last night, while publicly it was announced that the conference had broken up and that the delegates would go home as a result of the interference of the Governor.

When the special train bearing the troops arrived at the station nearest the hall where the conference had been held, Adjt. Gen. Dickson was advised by Secret Service men that the meeting was over. General Dickson communicated with Governor Lowden and then went to a hotel.

A fleet of taxicabs, which awaited to hurry the soldiers to the meeting place, was dismissed and the soldiers stacked arms and took quarters for the night. The 250 soldiers were met at the station by Sheriff John E. Traeger, with a squad of Deputies. The Sheriff greeted General Dickson and reported that he had been ordered by the Governor to co-operate with troops, and had many special Deputies ready for action.

Mayer Thompson dropped out of sight after authorizing the meeting.

Mayor Widely Criticised.

In the light of what happened today and what may happen in future as the result of a clash in authority between the Governor and the Mayor, there is much speculation as to what will or can be done to suppress Mayor Thompson.

There is talk of impeaching him, but this does not seem feasible under the Illinois law, as he is not a civil officer. The law provides for the impeachment of the Governor or other civil officials, if they neglect or overstep their duties, but make no provision for removal of a Mayor. The State has no recall, so the only weapon at hand is that of public sentiment, which is extremely strong against Thompson.

The press, without exception denounces him bitterly, as do many friends who had stood loyally back of him in the storms of criticism caused previously by his propensity for seizing the wrong horn of the dilemma.

“The Governor is the supreme executive power of the state,” said John S. Miller, attorney, today. “The constitution of Illinois is conclusive on that point. ‘The supreme executive power shall be vested in the Governor,’ says Section 6, Article V of the State Charter,. ‘who shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.’

“Language could not be plainer. The City Government is simply an agency of the State, exercising local authority by grant of the State. If my memory serves, the Supreme Court of the State has decided that the police force of a city are officers of the state. Therefore the police force is subject to the orders of the Governor, who is the supreme executive of the State.

“In case of a conflict between the Mayor of a city and the Governor of the State in which the city is located, orders issued by the Governor to the police force would be supreme. A police officer who would refuse to obey them would, in my opinion, do so at his peril.

“The Governor may exercise his supreme executive power through such legal agency as he may select. I see no reason why the Governor might not, instead of sending troops, order the police force of Chicago to carry out his orders. The police should be bound to obey, no matter what contrary instruction may be issued by the Mayor.”


 WASHINGTON, Sept. 2. — War Department officials said tonight that Major Gen. Carter, commanding the Central Department, had made no report on the situation at Chicago. All the departmental commanders have full authority to take such steps as may be necessary to meet emergencies arising in their districts.

The pacifist and I. W. W. movements in the Northwest have been watched closely by the Federal Government, and various outcroppings of the propaganda have been viewed with suspicion. Efforts have been made through Federal agents to get a line on the character and extent of this movement, its origin, and those behind it, their records, and antecedents. The question of the constitutional right of free speech is involved in the problem when the speeches do not verge on seditious utterances.

    The Federal Government has been counting upon the local authorities to deal effectively with dangerous outcroppings of the movement and with public meetings that fall short of actual sedition or treason. Officials of the War Department asserted tonight that in cases like that at Chicago Federal troops could not be voluntarily used to interfere unless the Governor should ask the Federal authorities to use troops. No report on the matter had reached the War Department tonight.

    There have been two previous cases this year in which the Governor of Illinois has asked for the use of Federalized troops to quell disorders. One was during the riots at East St. Louis, Ill., when Federalized State troops guarded bridges. The other instance was during the Joliet Penitentiary outbreak last Spring.

    Mayor Thompson and Governor Lowden have been political friends who worked together in the combination with Senator Sherman against Dineen until this year, when the war developed tendencies in Mayor Thompson that the Governor would not tolerate. Thompson has been accused of being pro-Germanic and pacifist in his tendencies. He was not in favor of sending troops to France, and wanted an embargo placed on the shipment of munitions to Allies. These things, with the action of the Mayor in ordering the police to protect the peace council meeting, are regarded here as having been too much for the stanch Americanism of Governor Lowden, and the split between them over the episode in Chicago today is believed to mark the permanent parting of the ways politically.

    The Governor and the Mayor, with Senator Sherman, last year formed the combination that defeated Governor Dineen’s political plans and resulted in the election of Lowden as Governor and of Thompson as Republican National Committeeman from Illinois in place of Roy West, Republican Committeeman, who was Dineen’s candidate.


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