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Newspaper Page Text
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CHICAGO FEDERATION OF.LABOR CONDEMNS LAND
TRADE BETWEEN SOUTH PARK BOARD AND I. C.
Proposed Contract Denounced as a "Plain, Bold, Tremendous
Steal of the People's Property."
After listening to a discussion
of the proposed plan for the beau
tification of the lake front, involv
ing a gigantic land trade between
the South Park board and the Il
linois Central railroad, the Chi
cago Federation of 'Labor, at its
meeting yesterday, condemned
the proposed contract, and de
nounced it as a 'plain, bold, tre
mendous steal of the people's
E. B. Butler of the Chicago
plan commission argued in fa
vor of the trade. Frank Comer
ford, an attbrnev reoresenting
the opponents of .the plan, taking
the other side.
Mr. Comerford contended that
the .contract, whereby the road
would get property alleged to be
worth $20,000,000 in return for
land valued at $4,000,000, was" pi
racy. He also said the I. C. had
no title to the majority of the land
it proposed to trade, and would
be getting something for noth
ing. The I. C, he said, was occupy
ing most of its right of way as a
squatter, and had reached out
and taken whatever it wanted.
The three big points he raised
. In the original grant the I. C.
had been given its land as lessees.
After the legislature had attempt
ed to present it with the property
the U. S. supreme court decided
the state had no right to dispose
of the land.
That not having fee simple title
to this ground, it could claim no
That the riparian rights "on
such portions of its right of way
as it had purchased had been for
feited because it had filed in sub
merged land in fr6nt, the title of
which rested with the state.
It was significant, he said, that
the legislature had denied the
South Park board the right of
condemnation in the present pro
ceedings, the same right vested in
every park board and railroad in
the state. When he had inquired
about this he was told by an ad
vocate of the "city beautiful"
plan that the "Illinois Central's
friends in the legislature have
given us the best bill we could
get." . -
An intimation of the reason
for the willingness of the I. C
to agree to the present trade, af
ter opposing it for years, was
given, when the speaker declared
that at present a suit brought by
the state against the railroad was
now pending in the superior
court, which was in effect an
ouster proceeding. The road's
title to the property in question
could not pass the scrutiny of a
court, he added.
That the opponents of the plan
will not stop if the council passes
an ordinance favoring: it was