44 THE CLASS STRUGGLE to Thirty five Hundred Dollars a year, and while the Borough Presidents were raised from Five Thousand and Seventy five Hundred Dollars a year to Ten Thousand Dollars per annum the Street Cleaners were allowed to get along as best they may upon their old wages.
The instances of the foregoing might be multiplied a hundred fold, but those above given are characteristic and give the reader a fair example of the Assembly. great many may wonder as to whether the Legislators are honest or otherwise. could not state that they are dishonest. could not say that they have sold out to the Capitalist class.
But that was quite needless. Had they done so, they could not have worked with greater faith and devotion for the interests of those who are the possessors of the wealth of the State and against the interests of those who have created that wealth than they actually did. Nor could they have done it with greater skill.
While would not say that the Legislators are dishonest, will let the speaker of the House say something as to that. One day, probably five or six weeks before adjournment, the Speaker of the House publicly stated to the men on the floor, that the next time he will observe an Assemblyman voting for an absent neighbor, dire punishment will be meted out to the culprit. As to the honesty of men who will do that, no comment need be made.
To those who are in the habit of trusting Capitalist candidates for office because of their reputed, or rather boasted, efficiency let me note this fact. That because of mistakes and other improper ways of drawing proposed bills, amendments are often made by the introducers. In some instances bills have been amended as many as six and seven times. Of course, a great many of these amendments were made because of pressure which was brought to bear upon the introducers by various interests. So widespread and expensive has this habit become that at one session the speaker openly stated that the cost of the single item of amendments for one day during the previous WAR LEGISLATURE 45 week was just the trifling sum of Three Hundred and Fifty Dollars.
To mention the numerous bills which were introduced by Comrade Shiplacofi and myself would be taking up altogether too much space. For the purpose of this article, it would serve no practical use. For, none of these bills became law as yet, though the bill introduced by Comrade Shiplacofi to prohibit the third degree by the police passed the Assembly. In the passing of that there is one significant fact. The vote was practically unanimous. It was a complimentary vote by the Assent: bly to the Socialist representation. It was complimentary be cause the Assembly knew that the bill could not pass the Senate.
Even if it did, the Assembly hoped that our liberal Governor Whitman would not stand for such a humanitarian measure.
Our activities in the Assembly this year could be summed up by the instancing of what occurred at a public hearing of one of the writer bills. It was the bill which proposed to prohibit the advertising for strike breakers without stating that a strike or lockout is on at the employer place. public hearing was demanded and given on that bill. The opposition at Assembly public hearings is usually heard first and the aflirma tive is heard lastly. The opposition to. this bill came from the New York Central Railroad Company, from the Lehigh Valley Railroad Company, from the Brooklyn Rapid Transit, from the New York Traction Trust and from the Allied Dry Goods Association, which represents all the Department Stores of the City.
The wealth represented by that opposition was over Two Billions of Dollars.
When the opposition finished, the chairman of the committee, before whom the bill was pending, stated to the writer that inasmuch as only twelve minutes of their allotted twenty was used up by the opposition, the aflirmative shall please take no more. The committee had other important business to attend to. To this the writer, on the spur of the moment, replied in substance: The opposition could well afford to make the committee a present of 40 per cent. of their time. Because the opposition represented vast wealth, tremendous property interests