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Newspaper Page Text
PENNY PHONE SERVICE FOR CHICAGO. LOOMS
UP AS AUTOMATIC PHONE DEAL FAILS
Chances for a penny phone service
instead of nickel service loomed up
as a possibility for Chicago today
following the refusal of Att'y Gen.
Gregory to O. K. the Automatic
phone deal. Members of the Public
Ownership league and the Penny
Phone league say that only crooked
politics and crooked business can rob
the city of the pe.nny phone.
Aid. Lewis SKts, chairman of the
gas, oil and electric light committee,
.said today the first business that
would come before the committee
when it meets in October will be the
forfeiture ordinances looking toward
municipal ownership of the Auto
matic phone system. Sitts said:
"These forfeiture ordinances were
placed on file with a view of consid
ering if the telephone deal fell
through. The chances of the city in
court action and forfeiture were nev
er brighter than at the present time.
There are two forfeiture ordinances
now in the hands of the committee.
One was introduced by Aid. John C.
Kennedy and the other was prepared
at the request of the committee by
Former Corp. Counsel Richard Fol
som." Aid. Rob't M. Buck said: "The city
has now a real chanqe for municipal
ownership of the Automatic phone.
Now is the time for action. When
the gas, oil committee meets again
I shall do all in my power to aid in
the passage of a forfeiture ordinance."
" Att'y General Gregory at Washing
ton refuses to grant permit to Amer
ican Telephone & Telegraph Co. and
Chicago Telephone Co. for the pro
posed grab of the tunnel phone sys
tem of Chicago.
Six months allowed by city ordi
nance for sale are now up and it will
be a long, hard road to pass another
ordinance like the last one through
the present cfty council.
Att'y Ralph M. Shaw for automatic
boldholders is going to start suits
against the A. T . & T. and Chi. Tel.
Co. for failure to carry out contract
Public Ownership league, Penny
Phone league, Teachers' Federation,
women's clubs and labor unions take
the 'latest development as a victory
for their three-year fight.
Aldermen Merriam, Buck, Ken
nedy and others of the minority that
fought the automatic phone sale
were planning today to take advan
tage of the action of Att'y General
Gregory who yesterday refused to
0. K. the automatic sale.
"The three-year fight by minority
aldermen and by the Public Owner
ship league has has several good re
sults," said Aid. Kennedy. "Without
our protests and demands the deal
would have gone through as first pro
posed without a cent of compensa
tion for the city.
"It was our fight that raised com
pensation from nothing to $500,000.
Now we are going to try to find a
way to get hold of all the property
of the people of Chicago in the tun
nel system. We believe on the face
of things now that the people have a
right to the whole system.
"That is, all the phone equipment,
stations, instruments, wires, poles,
and all, is today the property of the
people of Chicago. I favor forfeiture
action which will put this property
in the hands of its rightful owners."
"According to theutomatic phone
franchise ordinance, the property
was to be forfeited to the city in the
event that the operating company
failed to get 20,000 subscribers and
develop a genuine phone service giv
ing genuine competition," said Aid.
Merriam. "This ordinance was not
complied with. A majority of the
council held that the property's sale
should be sanctioned and the city
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