Vol. VI—No. 13.
RALEIGH, N. C., MARCH 28, 1912.
One Dollar a Year.
The Parcels Post.
Do Our Congressmen Pepreseni us or the Express Company and
On the editorial page of the Statesville Land
mark of March 19th, appears the following:
“Merchants who are alarmed about the parcels
Post bill, which they not unnaturally think will
give an advantage to the mail order houses, may
calm their fears so far as the measure now before
Congress is concerned.” Writing to a constituent
who had expressed concern about the bill, Con
gressman Page of the Seventh District, says:
“The truth is, I think you have been misinform
ed enitrely as to the provisions of this bill and the
effect of the legislation proposed. The bill merely
Puts into operation the schedule of rates that is
effective between the United States and foreign
Countries by which merchandise can be transport
ed for twelve cents a pound and is limited to a
Package of twelve pounds.
“Now to show you that this can not possibly
hurt you by the mail order houses, you only have
to make a little calculation to show that it is twice
as high as present express charges. On the other
hand the bill provides that originating on the
I’ural free delivery routes, the rates shall be five
•^cnts a pound for the first pound, and two cents
a pound for each additional pound, w’hich will give
you and every other local merchant an opportun
ity to reach your customers in the country.
“The people who have been most zealous for the
Parcels post bill are not, it should be said, satis-
had with this measure. They want the mails to do
iPuch of the business now' done by the express
'Companies but at a much lower rate.”
I wonder if Congressman Page and other Con-
Si’essmen are equally as frank with their farmer
•Constituents who w'rite them and ask that they ad
vocate and vote for a general parcels post bill? It
‘ardly probable. The majority of representatives
ip Congress are non-committal on bills that they
‘ii'o opposed to, when writing constituents who fa-
the bills. They write courteous replies, deal-
Seneralities and promise to give the matter
be consideration when it comes up.”
Page’s letter to his merchant con-
^ ctuent is interesting in that it shows not only the
^Perations of the parcels post bill but the intenfe
ten would infer that there is no in-
Congress to give the people any
of from the robbery of the express companies.
rates provided in the bill “is twice as
isn’t express charges.” Fellow farmers,
Poopi^,^*^ outrage on a patient, long forbearing
Con ^ it not an insult to'our intelligence?
Psk not only give us a stone when w'e
^ouid ^ hut, presuming on our ignorance,
make us belie.ve it is bread,
lieent ^•^st not be molested. The intel-
mercantile class must be catered
the farmers w'ill be fed on garden seeds.
farm bulletins, long speeches and nice letters. 1
for one am getting tired of that kind of diet.
Why is it that the agricultural class, which is
the strongest numerically in the country, can not
secure legislation to relieve it from oppressive con
ditions that are unjust, if the needed legislation is
detrimental to any other class? Why should not
the strongest class dominate our law making bod
ies? One reason is that we permit other classes
to furnish the men who are to represent us in our
law making bodies, and too often these men are
not identified with our interests or in sympathy
with our condition. A majority of our National
Congress are men who are or have been corpora
tion attorneys. It is but natural that these men
should be more concerned about the interests of
the classes that they have been identified with.
But they will do our bidding if we make our de
mands in no uncertain tones and persist therein.
And here is where we have “fallen down” in the
past. We have never marshalled our full strength
and made a united, determined fight for any re
form legislation in the interest of our class.
Whenever w'e do this our demands will be grant
ed, or,—we will chose men who will represent our
interests rather than corporate interests.
Now why should we not have a general parcels
post such as Germany has, where an eleven pound
package can be sent across the empire for twelve
cents. All of the leading countries of the world
have such a parcels post, except the United States.
Our government is responsive to the interests of
Big Business rather than to the will of the people.
A parcels post like that of Germany would ben
efit both the city and country people. It would
uring producer and consumer of food products
closer together and lessen the cost of living.
The merchants are lighting the parcels post,
claiming that it would subject them to tne com
petition of the mail order houses. 1 do not believe
any local merchant’s business would be hurt by a
general parcels post. The rural classes do not buy
anything until they need it and then they want to
see it and feel of it” and try it on before paying
But usppose we admit for the sake of argument
that the mail order houses would become compet
itors of the local merchants. Can not the local bus
iness man compete with the city house five hun
dred to one thousand miles away? He evidently
thinks that he can not do it. Why? Isn’t it be
cause he is not satisfied with a reasonable profit?
Or is it because of the round-about expensive sys
tem of distribution that obtains in the commercial
world? A system whereby commodities are
handled by two or three agencies instead of one.
If this be true, why do not the merchants in their
organized capacity inaugurate a reform movement
that will change the present 'system and lead to
the adoption of an economical one? If they will
not do this, then where is the justice in requiring
nine-tenths of the people to pay tribute to one-
tenth in the form of unnecessarily high prices in
order to maintain an expensive method of doing
business? There are too many men engaged in mer
cantile pursuits. There is hardly a railroad town
in the State with a thousand or more population
that has not a greater number of merchants than
necessary. This does not lead to competitive un
derselling. The price of nearly all manufactured
products is fixed by monopoly or the trade on a
common level. Patronage is won by clever ad
vertising, a good display of wares, courteous
Why should the public be forced to maintain
express companies at a cost that is but little bet
ter than highway robbery? Why should not the
railroads do this work as they now carry the
heavy freight. Why not have passenger train
freight and freight train freight and both at just
and equitable rates. The average cost per ton for
delivering freight is less than one dollar. The
average cost per ton for delivering express is more
than thirty dollars per ton. And yet the repre
sentatives of the people (?) in Congress will do
nothing to relieve the situation.
A man prominent in State politics and well-
known throughout the State, told me a year or
more ago that one of the Congressmen from North
Carolina w'as drawning three salaries; one as rep
resentative of the people (?) in Congress, one as
attorney for a rail-road and one as attorney for
an express company. Do not ask me to name the
man. The gentleman did not volunteer to give his
name, and I did not ask him. If you want to
know whether it is the Congressman from your
district, write to , him.
In conclusion let me say, there is a community
interest that should unite all classes for the com
mon good. The church, the schools, morality' tem
perance, good roads, etc., all represent the prog
ress and life of any community. There should be
no division here.
“But in business matters there is some conflict
of interest between the different classes. The
seller wants to sell in the highest market; the
buyer wants to buy in the lowest market. The
money lender wants a high rate of interest; the
money borrower wants a low rate of interest.
But even here the different classes should get to
gether on an equitable basis that is fair to all.
We would thus eliminate as far as possible all
clashing and friction. Nothing is ever settled un
til it is settled right.
Candor compels me to say that little or no ef
fort has been made to harmonize class differences.
The merchants are organized and offering no con
cessions. Middle men continue to multiply, both
between the farmer and the consumer or manu
facturer and between the manufacturer and con
sumer. As a result, the farmers are going to put
into operation a plan of their own through the
medium of the Carolina Warehouse, Incorporated.
(Continued on page 9.)