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Newspaper Page Text
THIRTY YEAR CAR FRANCHISE GETS MORE
HARD POUNDING FISHER REPLIES
Slick Walter Fisher, who gets $150
' a day from the city, but who argues
as though he were hired by the trac
tion lines, withstood another day of
W pounding yesterday at the 30-20
franchise bill upon which the local
transportation committee is having
public hearings." And he came
through in the same tricky, success
ful way, shedding questions like a
duck sheds water and handing back
two to the witnesses' one.
Tomaz Deuther, representing the
Northwest Side Commercial Men's
ass'n, again appeared before the
committee and asked that a hearing
be given Saturday to a lawyer whom
the association would hire to point
out the defects in Fisher's $300,000,
000 plans to tie up Chicago body and
soul for at least 30 years, and prob
ably longer, quashing all hope of
public ownership in the meantime.
Fisher tried hard 'to find out just
what the attorney was going to con
' tend, and, failing in this, he tried to
' get the name of the lawyer. Why
lie wanted this he didn't say.
Morton L. Johnson, president of
the Chicago Public Ownership
league, voiced the sentiments of
those he represented when he asked
in the name of organized labor that
'no action be taken in this legislature.
"Tell us what you are for and
against," asked Fisher.
"We are against this so-called 30
year bill. We are for municipal own
ership. We don't want any such
franchise given away by the city.
"The city could finance the same
scheme on 4 per cent bonds. The
traction interests are asking 6A.
The difference between theee two
figures' every year is about $6,000,
000. "In 30 years it would amount to
almost enough' to take over the
"Your subway and traction com
missidn has it all figured out where
the people live and how many pass
through the loop What do they
know about conditions ten years
from now? Nothing. We are plan
ning some big things, such as zon
ing and redistricting, which may
change the entire character of parts
of the city and overthrow the figures
of the engineers.
'The present franchise of the trac
tion lines has ten years to run. Why
should we change and make it thir
ty? The service is bad enough with
out giving them another hold on us.
"We advocate better use of pres
ent police and city ordinance pow
ers. We want to wait at least for an
other year. Meanwhile we can have
hearings on this. We object to the
attempt to rush it into the legisla
ture. "We fel that we have not had a
sufficiently long time to present our
side of the question, and If the mat
ter is to be called up in the council
Monday night we will not have had
a chance t oconsider it
"I want to protest against the
habit that transportation committee
aldermen have of staying away from
these meetings. I think every mem
ber should be here to get the facts.
It looks as though some of them had
decided on their votes without even
seeing what the matter is all about.
"There is no reason why we can't
wait. The traction lines' present
franchise has ten years more to run.
Why not wait at least a part of this
ten years and meanwhile we can at
tempt to change the state constitu
tion so as to permit public ownership.
"The transportation committee is
asking us to take the choice of two
evils, a long franchise or rotten serv
ice. There is no necessity in either
of these. If the laws we have now
to regulate car service were enforced
there would be no need of a change'