News Item from the Boston Globe, January 16, 1913



January 16, 1913.

Joseph Walker of Brookline, ex-Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, who last Fall ran as the Republican candidate for Governor, and ran in vain, has joined the Progressives.

In a statement issued last night he cites the election of John W. Weeks to the United States Senate as evidence that "the Republican party in Massachusetts is to be permanently dominated by the old reactionary leadership" and that "we have arrived at the parting of the ways."

As a progressive, he says, he feels there is no longer place for him in the Republican party. He therefore renounces allegiance to that party, to join the Progressive party, recommending all progressives in the State to follow his course.

His statement follows:

"The election of Mr. John W. Weeks to the United States Senate can have but one meaning, namely, that the Republican party in Massachusetts is to be permanently dominated by the old reactionary leadership, with which I have no sympathy and in which I do not believe.

"There seems to be now no hope of reorganization of the Republican party in which progressive principles or progressive leadership will be recognized.

"If the Legislature can be dominated by private and special interests in the selection of a United States Senator, it can be dominated by the same interests in matters of legislation. The same methods which have been used by these interests, acting through a political machine, to elect their representative to the Senate, may be used to affect legislation in which they are interested.

"In spite of myself, I am at last convinced that there is but one effective remedy, namely, to revise our political machinery so that the people may not only nominate and elect all Representatives directly, but also may legislate directly whenever their interests demand such action.

"I therefore will hereafter cooperate with those who are trying to devise a practicable and satisfactory method of initiative and referendum. I am convinced that this is necessary in order to free the people from the dominance of the private and special interests which have so clearly proved their power to control the Legislature. [page 2]

"In Massachusetts we have arrived at the parting of the ways. The Republican party, under the dominance of the old leadership, has definitely rejected all Progressives. As a Progressive, I feel that there is no longer any place for me in the Republican party. 

"I, therefore, with deep feelings of regret, renounce my allegiance to the Republican party, of which I have been an active member all my life. And I join the Progressive party with which I am in real sympathy and the success of which, I believe, will make for social welfare.

"Now is the time for all Progressives in Massachusetts to leave the Republican party and build up the new liberal party already established under the name of Progressive. While a fundamental principal of this new party will always be absolute independence of private and special interests and a complete reliance on the people, still it will stand firmly for the protection of all legitimate business interests.

"I urge all liberal Republicans earnestly to consider this proposition and take such action as will end forever the dominance in politics of those who have some interest to serve other than the public interest."

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