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published in America, today scorchingly denounced the merchant princes
of State street .
The curiosity of The Day Book was aroused by the extreme delicacy
shown by the trust 'newspapers in interviewing Dean Sunnier, since the
O'Hara commission began its work. '
There was a timerwhen the trust newspapers always rushed to Dean
Sumner whenever a discussion of vice came up, a time when the trust news
papers always referred to Dean Sumner as a great authority op vice.
But there has been only one interview with Dean Sumner published in
any Chicago trust newspaper since the O'Hara commission brought the
question of low wages squarely to the front and hoisted a number of our
best known merchant princes and big advertisers on a public gibbet
That one interview was a very short Jane. It only took up about a
paragraph. And all it contained was a statement by Dean Sumner that lie
was not in favor of a state minimum wage law.
These things seemed curious to The Day Book. Dean Sumner was
chairman of the Vice Commission.. He signed the Vice Commission's re
port. That report squarely laid the blame for vice at the doors of em
ployers who paid girls' miserably small wages, anjl prominently mentioned
among such the State street department store owners.
So a Day Book rep6rter went to Dean Sumner today and put the ques
tion squarely to him. The reporter said:
'Toil signed a vice report which denounced the payers of small wages
to girls, andJespecially the State street merchants; you always have been
urominent in any Chicago movements to check vice; yet, since the O'Hara
commission began its probe into low wages as the prime cause of vice, the
people of Chicago have not heard your voice lifted in support of the com-,
-mission. How is that?"
"You've got me wrong," said Dean Sumner immediately. "You've got
me entirely wrong. 1
"I was in the East when the O'Hara commission began its investiga
tion into the relation between low wages and vice.
"I took the platform on that subject immediately. Both in Philadel
phia and Boston I roundly denounced, the femall wages paid to girl em
ployes by manufacturers and department store owners as the one biggest
f:.ctor in the creation of vice.
"I can show you where, in several instances, I spoke on this one subject
for hours at a time. Indeed, there were occasions when I spoke almost all
night on that one subject the intimate relation between low wages and
vice. ' ,
"I know only too well from what I discovered as chairman of the Chi
cago Vice Commission how intimate that relation is. And I .do not hesitate
to say now, and I never did hesitate to say, that low wages is the chief
cause of vice. y , '
"I know what a giri who gets the pitiful wages paid by some of our N
lead'ng merchant princes is up against-that's what the Vice Commission,
spent time and money to find out.
"1 know, too, that the State street merchant princes, as they all are so
anxious to be called, are perhaps the worst offenders in regard to this pay
ings of low wages.
"That was one of the direct charges made in the Vice pommission re
port which I signed. And my opinion has not changed since. k
"These big-State street merchants went on the stand before the O'Hara