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Newspaper Page Text
TELEPHONE USERS' ASSOCIATION HOLD
PROTEST MEETING AGAINST 'PHONE GRAB
The first cry of organized protest
against the deal by which the Illinois
Telephone & Telegraph Co. proposes
to sell out to the Bell telephone trust
was made yesterday.
And the cry came from the busi
ness men "Who "would be deprived of
the automatic telephone service if
the council should allow the Illinois
Telephone & Telegraph Company to
get away with the deal with the Bell.
The cry was made at the first
meetins of the Chicago Telephone
Users' Association, organized recent
ly, to see that telephone subscribers
get a voice in telephone affairs.
The meeting was held in the La
Salle Hotel. Harold D. Stroud, who
recently resigned as commercial su
perintendent of the Illinois Tele
phone & Telegraph Co., was made
Clyde S. Teeter, secretary of the
Washington Shirt Company, spoke
on behalf of the business men.
"So far as I can Bee," Teeter said,
"the carrying out of this deal of the
automatic company with the Bell
people means the junking of the au
tomatic. That, at least, has been the
course of the Bell telephone company
in similar circumstances in other
"Chicago cannot afford to allow
such a thing as that to happen. The
business men of Chicago should see
that it does not happen.
"It would mean not only the car
rying destruction of all competition,
the monopoly of telephone business
by the Bell, with the increased rates
that follow always in the trail of
monopoly, but the junking of the au
tomatic would mean great incon
venience and loss of business to
twenty thousand automatic sub
scribers. "Surely these subscribers who have :
invested their money in the auto-1
matic company and whose business
depends to some extent on the auto
matic have a right to be heard before
any such deal as this is allowed to go
Stroud followed Teeter with a
"The acquisition of the automatic
company by the Bell interests is of
more than local import," he said.
If the Bell interests are allowed to
acquire the automatic plant here they
will acquire with it the automatic
patents and will be in a position to
Junk every automatic telephone plant
in the United States and establish an
absolute monopoly throughout the
length and breadth of the country.
"Thus the deal is one which inti
mately affects not only the people of
Chicago but the people of the entire
"The City of Chicago has now, if
it wishes to exert its rights, the power
to end this deal at once. I
"The City of Chicago under the
forfeiture clause now has the right
to confiscate the automatic plant and
run it itself.
"The Illinois Tunnel Company has
forfeited all its rights to plant, fran
chise and life by arranging the deal
to sell out to the Bell interests.
"The deal was made July 7. The
price at which the automatic was to
be sold and the people betrayed was
fixed at ?6,300,000.
"And all this was done before the
city was notified' of the negotiations'.
Such action violates the forfeiture
clause in the automatic company's
franchise, and gives the people the
right to take over the plant.
"There is no reason why the city
Bhould not do this. Surely the City
of Chicago is capable of running a
A second meeting of the associa
tion will be called some time next
week, probably Monday, at which
organization will be effected, officers