WASHINGTON, April 16, 1913 (UP) - "If men of power and wealth consult their conscience in business they will not have to worry so much about the law," emphatically asserted Vice President Thomas R. Marshall today. The vice president has been deluged with a flood of criticism from rich men and women following his speech in New York last Saturday night when he warned millionaires that if they are not careful they will find a proposition raised and carried that all great fortunes shall escheat to the state.
"When I said in New York that Carl Marx and hunger and a longing for happiness were abroad in the land," said the vice president, "I was expressing not alone my own opinion but the opinion of others. From men of all classes I have heard expressions of disgust with the present economic policies. Men are asking that the opportunities that once existed, now monopolized, shall be restored to them.
"Men of judgment have expressed to me the opinion that were a vote to be taken on the proposition that all estates over $100,000 revert to the state upon the death of the owner-the $100,000 being exempted-it would be carried two to one.
"The present tariff monopoly is the chief cause of our unrest, and men are asking with concern whether there is any difference between the manufacturer who comes to the government to ask for help in his business and the poor man who goes to the workhouse to get help.
"The question is being pressed why the government should be expected to guarantee profits to the manufacturer when it does not guarantee the difference in the cost of food at home and abroad to the consumer with an extra dollar for a rainy day.
"There are many evils that can not be reached by statute, and men are saying-and strong men, too-that if business men do not consult their conscience instead of their lawyers when they are thinking of driving a weaker competition out of business, the people will take the matter into their own hands and go to extremes to remedy the situation.
"I am an American. I would go down to the ditch to shake the hand of the poor man, but I would also be glad to shake the hand of the rich man. We are all brothers. But I believe that the men of power should know what the rest of the people are saying, and I repeat what has been said to me."