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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, July 02, 1914, NOON EDITION, Image 5

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

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1914-07-02/ed-1/seq-5/

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ONE MAN'S OPINIONS
BY N. D. COCHRAN.
The Claflin Failure. There's an
other side to the story of the failure
of the big Clafln N. Y. drygoods
house, We read in the papers about
the $30,000,000 or $40,000,000 failure,
of the stores all over the country that
were involved, of the many banks that
held Claflin paper, etc.
Here's "the other side of the story:
At least 1,400 employes had pur
chased stock in the Claflin concern.
The company had sold shares to them
on the instalment, employes paying
something each week out of their
wages. One estimate is that employes
had about $800,000 invested. They
have been promised their money
back, but they are worrying.
The workers also contributed to
various funds, conducted by the com
pany. It is reported that the money
in the vacation fund will be returned,
by court order, to about 350 girls.
There were also sick funds and old
age funds all handled by the big
company that failed.
This money, taken from the hard
earned wages of employes, ought to
be paidback in full before one penny
is paid to those who had only prop
erty rights in the assets of the Claflin
company. The money should not be
treated as part of the assets of the
company. It belonged to the employes
who were induced to put it in the
hands of the management.
The Trib Has Reformed. My at
tention has been called to the fact
that the Tribune has reformed. It's
this way the Trib now is opposing
granting a special privilege to Levy
Mayer to- violate the building or
dinance and put up a 260-foot hotel
on Michigan boulevard, where the
Stratford now stands. In which the
Trib is right.
It appears, however, that on March
25, 1901, the same Trib had an or
dinance passed by council as follows:
Be it ordained, etc., Sec. 1. That
permission and authority be, and la
hereby granted to the Tribune Com
pany, and that the Commissioner of
Buildings be, and he is hereby direct
ed to issue a permit to said Company
to erect on the premises leased by
said Company and owned by the City
of Chicago, at the southeast corner of
Dearborn and Madison streets, a 12
story building, with a height not ex
ceeding 170 feet above the sidewalk."
The point is that at that time the
building code of Chicago limited the
height of buildings to 130 feet.
This is not surprising. I imagine
the Trib would oppose NOW a mid
night lease by the school board of
school lands to a private concern
with no provision for revaluation for
99 years. Yet the Trib used its po
litical pull with 6ne school board to
get for itself that kind of a lease of ''
the school land it now occupies.
It ought to be easy for each reader
to write his own editorial comment '
on this reformation of the Trib. l
Shocked and Unshocked. Former
Chief Judge Edgar M. Cullen of the
New York court of appeals, stand
patter, remarks thus:
"Unless I am utterly mistaken, '
there is now a strong tendency in
courts, in legislatures and, worst of
all, in the people themselves, to dis- "
regard the most fundamental prin
ciples of personal rights, Judicial de
cisions are made, statutes are enact- ,
ed and doctrines are publicly advo
cated which, when I was young,
would have shocked our people to the .
last degree."
There have been great improve
ments since the judge was young, "
due, mostly, to the monopolization of
personal rights by the five per cent
of our people. When Judge Cullen
was young corporations had some re- '
spect for the law and personal rights
and there really were personal rights ,
such as free speech, free press, free
assemblage, regardless of shock to
the parties who subverted those 3
rights.
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