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HOBBLE-SKIRTINGCOMBINE IS NETTING
Sacramento, Cal., April 20. Cali
fornia has set a new fashion in trust
Through a business deal by which
the people went into cahoots with an
independent cement concern, ready
to supply the material for the state's
$18,000,000 highway and other big
projects, instead of by means of an
ahtt-trust statute, it put a hobble
skirt on a $10,000,000 corporation,
" the powerful cement combine,, which
for years had dictated prices along
the Pacific coast.
'The man who designed the hobble
skirt was H. A. French, purchasing
agent in the state engineer's depart
ment. The deal will Save the state at least
$400,000 on material needed for pro
jects now under way, it is estimated,
a"nd means cheaper cement for thou
sands of contractors.
Incidentally, it is the second largest
cement contract on record, the Pan
ama canal being the largest, and is
accredited as being the most import
ant business transaction of the John
By its provisions the Old Mission
Portland Cement Co. is to supply 1,
500,000 barrels of cement, at stated
intervals, for $1.15 per barrel, as
against an average of $L50 which
the companies in the combine had
been demanding for years. Delivery
will begin shortly.
It comes from the best authority
that the independent concern which
stood ready to make more reasonable
prices, was offered $1,500,000 to join
the allied companies. The offer was
peremptorily refused. ,
Then several of the old firms made
bids designed to cut just underneath
what they thought the hew bid would
be. Hut when asked to bid on a sup
ply of 1,500,000 barrels, with privilege
of jenewal for a like amount, they
balked: Only one offer was made '
?1.35 per barrel, against the inde
pendent concern's $1.15.
Even at the final conference- of the
state officials in Gov. Johnson's office,
before the contract was approved,
Highway Commissioners Darlington
and Blaney, two of the three men
empowered to handle the people's
$18,000,000 funds, hung back.
"We have only a gentleman's
agreement with the old companies,"
they said, "and during the interval
before the Old Mission company de
livers its first consignment these old
companies will boost their prices to
top notch. We stand to lose $100,
000." "Perhaps," replied French, "but we
will make from $300,000 to $400,000
even though we should lose the $100,
000. Why not save the money in
stead of seeing how many excuses
we can rake up for not saving it?"
Meat prices in Manila have risea
100 percent within a yjear
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