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Telephone president summit
How a billion-dollar national phone
trust is behind the grab of the, little
Automatic phone system of" Chicago
was brought out todaybef ore council
B. F. Sunny, the $75,000 a year
president of the Chicago Telephone
Co., testified, Stephen Foster, attor
new for the committee, put the
screws to Sunny, Foster knows the
inside. He is attorney for companies
fighting against being strangled by
the Bell monopoly. By hard dragging
and many keen questions, Foster got
from Stumy these facts:
Patent rights worth big money will
go to the American Telephone &
Telegraph Co. (the Bell monopoly) if
the city permits the Automatic sys
tem to be sold to the BelL
Nobody at the Chicago Telephone
Co., not even Sunny himself, is sure
the Automatic system will be used if
the Chicago Telephone Co. gets it
Chances are it will be scrapped.
Sunny, the Bell crowd, ani every
body in on it, are pfenning to add the
$6,300,000 sale price to the Chicago
Telephone Co. capitalxatibn. This
would shoot- phase rates higher than
The aiaapog thing of tie day was
the bum ulhtnory of Sunny. There
was surprise or laughter on nearly
every face in the room when Sunny
coony said he didn't know anything
about the proposed sale of the auto
matic to the Bel monopoly except as
he had heard .ft talked about among
A. T. & T, officers and among Illinois
Tunnel Co. officers.
Foster Mr. Sunny, yoa were vice
president of the American Telephone
fe Telegraph Co. and- a director in
1913, when this contract was writ
ten? Sunny Yes.
Foster Tou are also president of
the Wisconsia Telephone Co., the
EfMriff"1 Telephone Co. and the
Cleveland Telephone Co., are you
'Sauny-lM.' Tea. "
Foster Yet you were not consult
ed in the making of this -contract and
know nothing about it until A. T. & T.
officers in New York and officers of
the Automatic compway in Chicago
told you about it?
Sunny I did not assist in writing
the contract and I know nothing ex
cept what I learned by, reading it
Foster You don't know why the
A. T. &. T. wants' to pay $6,300,000 for
this property, whieh you say may
be scrapped? You don't know what
consideration, is expected by the
A. T. & T.?
Sunny I know nething besides the
statements made in the contract
Foster Now, Mr. Sunny, the Bell
system has 8,000,000 phones in itself
and owns companies having 5,000,
000 other phones. These are all man
ual and not automatic. It's a proper
ty with $1,000,000,000 of capital in it
Now you-say the Bell system is ready
to install any new superior phone.
Would the Bell company scrap its
billion dollar investment in the man
ual phone in order to demonstrate
the superiority of the automatic?
Sunny Well, I think the answer to
that is that if the automatic te more
successful the Bell would adopt it as
Foster What would the Chicago
Telephone Co, do with the automatic
Systran in Chicago if permitted to buy
it for $6,30,000 as proposed?
Sunny I can't say. first we would
investigate its uses. That would take
about six months. Then we would
deckle what to do with it
Foster -What would your company
do about the $,300,000 purchase
Sunny WwonW pt the $6,300,
000 on our books aad add it to our
capital account the same as- other
expenses or property.
"Bill, wot' s a centenarian?"
"Dinged if I know but they must be
a sickly lot they're always dyiaV'