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Newspaper Page Text
ONE MAN'S OPINIONS
BY N. D. COCHRAN
Influence of Advertising. The
people of Chicago now have a splen
did opportunity to see how the ad
vertising game works. They will be
able to see if the advertising placed
in Chicago newspapers by the Chi
cago Telephone Co. wijl chloroform
the papers into a deep sleep while
the phone trust grabs the Automatic
plant and establishes an absolute
phone monopoly in Chicago.
Council is asked by both the phone
trust and the tunnel company (which
owns the Automatic) to give the
city's consent to a sale of the Auto
matic plant to the trust.
The city is to get nothing at all in
consideration for this consent. Coun
cil is asked to waive one of the con
siderations given by the tunnel com
pany for its valuable franchise.
The promoters of the tunnel under
Chicago's business section, agreed
that if it was give na franchise and
didn't do certain things then the
franchise and the Automatic plant
would be forfeited to the city. One
of the forfeiture clauses was that
the plant and franchise would be for
feited to the city if the Automatic
didn't have 20,000 bona-fide subscrib
ers by a' certain date long since
Another was that the plant and
franchise would be forfeited if the
company sold or agreed to sell its
plant to another phone company do
ing business in Chicago.
Both of these clauses have been
violated. The tunnel company hasn't
got 20,000 bona-fide subscribers and
never did have. It has agreed to sell
its outfit to the phone trust.
Now both the telephone companies
ask the city's consent to a sale
which would waive the city's right to
a forfeiture on account of the sale.
And there is evidently something
queer about that proposed count of
Automatic subscribers. Various bod
ies of reputable citizens have de
manded a fair count a count in the
open, so that everybody can know
whether it is fair or crooked.
Certain councilmen appear to be
oposed to an open count. And the
matter has become a public issue.
Now let's see what the newspapers
are going to do about it.
Why is the company so persistently
advertising? Is it because that ad
vertising brings it more business? Is
it legitimate commercial advertising?
Or is it a direct subsidy to the news
papers to make them keep their
mouths shut while franchise grab
bers and public service promoters
tighten their grip on Chicago and
again go through the people's pock
ets? Don't forget that if YOUR council
consents to that sale, and the trust
pays several millions for the Auto
matic and then junks it, the trust will
have the right to increase its rates
and make telephone subscribers pay
interest on every dollar it pays for
- WHY should any councilman favor;
Editor Day Book J. Kernes says:
"The only hope that remains for la
bor is the co-operative common
wealth." I want to ask him if he does not
think that thousands of idle men?
would be put to work at once if a 5
per cent tax was laid on the 400,000
vacant lots in Chicago that are now
being held idle and out of use.
A 5 per cent tax on these vacant
lots would be such a burden that it
would be no longer profitable to hold
them idle and the owners would have
to throw them on the market for sale
or put men to work on them. F. Wil
liams, 218 S. Western Ave.
Editor Day Book A reader saya