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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, September 22, 1913, Image 2

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1913-09-22/ed-1/seq-2/

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vaealnst the insanitary conditions that had cost the lives of many clerks em'
ployed in the main postoffice, and no attention being paid to our protests
by Postmaster Campbell, I managed to get Prof. Henderson, Former Health.
Commissioner Evans and Mr. "Wing of the Tuberculosis Institute to accom
pany me through the postoffice building one night unknown to Postmaster
Campbell. They made a thorough inspection and turned in a written re
port to the postmaster. The report declared the building to be the most,
insanitary structurein the loop district. Yet Mr. Campbell failed to take
any action. After 'waiting a few months for relief and none being forth-
coming,' Ttold some of the newspaper boys of the situation, with the re
sult that considerable publicity was given the conditions that prevailed in'
the building.
"At that time Postmaster Campbell declared roundly and emphatically
that the statement of the medical men, as well as my own, was" not founded
on fact, that the building was in
good shape and denied that four
clerks had died of tuberculosis in a
space of four months.
"For exposing the conditions I was
dismissed from the postal service by
.then Postmaster General Hitchcock
On the charge that I had given in
formation to the public press in vio
lation of the Roosevelt 'gag rule.'
"Now, after having served as
postmaster for over six years, Post
master Campbell suddenly discovers
the building is insanitary and a
-breeding place for germs. It is true
that the parcel post business addsfto
the congestion in the building, but
the space and facilities there have
been inadequate since the first day
the office moved in from the tempor-
ary building.
1 "It is politically significant that
Mr. Campbell never before publicly
condemned the building as inimical
1 to the health of the employes and the
public. It was a Republican adminis
tration that was responsible for the
Impractical Building in the first place
and it was a Republican administra
tion that felt the criticism when I ex
posed the conditions three years ago,
and they 'fired' me for doing so.
Postmaster Campbell and the former
secretary of the treasury, Mr. Mac
Veagh, are responsible for closing up
light and air shafts in their vain at
tempts to hide the real conditions
and make a little moreroom from
time to time rather than to declare
the extreme necessity of immediate
action in erecting a new building.
"Now, however, the Democrats are
in power at Washington and Mr.
Campbell feels that he can afford to
tell the truth. What he said last Fri
day afternoon was absolutely true,
but the question he ought to answer
is: 'Why not this frank statement
years ago? Why at this time, when
he is conducting a quiet campaign to
hold on to his job by having his
friends say he is a good postmaster,
etc.?' Undoubtedly his statement at
this time is part of his plan to win
public sentiment and approval to en
able him to hold on to his job. Had
he spoken years ago many lives
would have been saved and Chicago
would have had a greatly'improved
service during the past.
"The facts are that because of lack
of executive ability and any sense of
Initiative and his refusal to listen to
the suggestions of his subordinates
that Postmaster Campbell is respon
sible for the lack of development and
improvement that is apparent to
every one who is familiar with the in
ner workings of the Chicago postof
fice. it is true tne receipts of the of
fice nas increased Irom year to year,
but no credit can be given any, one
for tne fact tnat Chicago s commer
cial life has developed the service to
the patrons has certainly not.
"The postoffice clerks' union has
repeatedly pointed out that floor
space could be saved by. using it dur
ing the day time to work the circular;
2

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