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Newspaper Page Text
The city was sold put for a measly
half million dollars.
Citizens all over Chicago protested
vigorously against council consenting
to this sale, and a brave fight was
made by a minority of aldermen who
tried honestly to represent the inter
ests of the people.
But the loop interests were too
strong for them. There is a connec
tion between the utilities, and natur
ally all of the influence of the street
railways, and the gas and electric
companies, the Marshall Field estate,
the big banks and Big Biz generally
was thrown on the side of Ogden Ar
mour and others.
The loop newspapers didn't even
let their readers know what it was
all about, during the two years' fight
to make the Automatic gang line up
to their contract The Herald was
the only one that gave its readers
any helpful information, and Oscar
Hewitt did that.
The other papers just shut their
eyes while the phone trust went
through the people's pockets.
This policy of the press was help
ful, of course. Most of the people of
Chicago, who depended upon the loop
press for information, were kept in
ignorance of all of the facts in the
fight. They didn't know what it was
all about. The one paper that did
have the gall to play the game openly
for the phone trust was the Daily
News. It can't be accused of not
having the courage of its convictions,
for, while it didn't give its readers
all the facts, it did advocate editori
ally that council approve of the sale.
To be duly grateful the Chicago
Telephone Co. ought to give the Daily
News a page ad.
That deal was one of the rottenest
ever pulled off in any city in this
country. No pretence was made that
the trust wanted to buy the Auto
matic in order to merge the two sys
tems and effect economies in opera
tion. On the contrary, it was boldly
admitted that the trust was going to I
pay $6,300,000 for a plant it intends
to throw on the scrap heap.
Getting absolutely no benefit out
of the sale except that beggarly
$500,000, the city has consented that
the plant be junked and that Bell
phone users may be taxed in phone
rates to pay $1,500,000 of the price.
And patrons of the phone trust will
be taxed in one way or another to
pay $4,300,000 of that price.
Under the franchise agreement
that Automatic plant really belonged
to the city of Chicago. For the com
pany had agreed that if it didn't have
20,000 bona-fide subscribers by a
certain date the plant would be for
feited to the city. Making that agree
ment the original company got a
subway franchise and then separated
the telephone system from the sub
way. Now it is to sell the phone sys
tem and keep the subway, and the
people have to foot the losses on the
Yep, the loop is Chicago. And
rmost of the aldermen outside of
the loop deliberately misrepresented
their constituents in order to serve
their masters of the loop.
Walter Fisher has added another
scalp to his belt He helped the trac
tion bosses put over the unification
ordinances in 1907, and now he has
helped put one over for Ogden Ar
mour and the phone trust
Walter may now tighten up his
belt and get ready to put over a uni
fication deal for the elevated lines
and give municipal ownership anoth
er swift kick in the slats.
There are other big jobs ahead be
sides that One will be .the move of
the public utility gang to make all
users of illuminating gas quit that
and use electricity for light, while
Peoples Gas makes only a cheap gas
for heating purposes.
But that's another story and I'll
save it for some other day.
Population of the city of Panama
increased by 6,000 during the last
year. Total now 65,000.