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Chicago eagle. (Chicago, Ill.) 1889-19??, January 25, 1913, Image 1

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Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84025828/1913-01-25/ed-1/seq-1/

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ntrd Second Clatt Mttr October lit 1669, t the Poit
Office at Chicago, Illinois, under Act of March 3rd, 1879.
INDEPENDENT IN ALL THINGS, NEUTRAL IN NONE.
Entered at Second Claia Matter October 11, ISM, at the Port
Office at Chicago, llllnole, under Act of March Srd, lira.
TWENTY-FOU1ITH YEAIt.KO. 17.
Chicago; satukday, januahy 25, 1013.
fliftftfiiflf WIIOI 1C TTJMEtt 1,21 I
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BIG METER GRAFT
It Is Again Bearing Its Head in the
City Hall with the Same Old
"Waste" Cry.
The Restriction of the Use of Water Would
Bring on a Pestilence Among the
Chicago Poor.
Chicago To-day Has the Poorest "Water Service of Any
Large City in the Whole World and
with Less Reason.
Tho Water Fund Is Constantly Depleted to Help Out Other Depart
ments of the City Government that Have Run Short.
Chicago gives to Its people the poor
est water service of any city in tho
world for tho money they pay for it.
With an cxhaustlesB body of fresh
water at her door Chicago is constant
ly talking about installing water
motors in every flat and in every home
to stop "waste." This la In tho faco
of the fact that the enormous surplus
In the water fund Is constantly being
appropriated to meet other expenses
of the city government instead of
being used to extend and build up the
water system. Water meters in every
flat In Chicago would bring on a pes
tilence in this big city in a short time.
Tho follows who uro shouting for
water meters aro grafters.
Every man who talks of water
meters or water waste In the homes
of Chicago should be charged as a
public enemy.
Tho people cannot have too much
water.
To limit its use means postilenco
and disease.
Now York goes 168 miles for fresh
water and the great aqueduct which
carries it to her people cost over
$500,000,000. It Is one of the marvels
of modern times and ranks alongside
of the Panama Canal as ono of the
wonders of the world.
Liverpool, England, Is supplied with
fresh water by an aqueduct which
brings a supply from Wales and yet
there Is no talk of "waste" over there.
Other European cities go even farther
for their supply of water.
But Chicago, with an abundance at
hand, Is always howling about "waste."
Who is behind this water meter
graft anyway?
An enormous sum was diverted from
the water fund this winter to supply
the wants of other city departments
as you can learn from the recom
mendations of the finance committee
to the city council in tho printed
council reports.
If tho water fund was properly used,
a pumping station could be built a,t
the lake end of overy section line In
tho city.
If this was done you would hear
no more about "water waste" and the
i necessity for meters in every bouso.
'President Wilson will probably act
against tho Telophone Trust. The
Toft administration will go down in
history as the friend of trusts. Attor
ney General Wlckersham, instead of
proceeding against the Telephono
Trust under the Sherman act has
turned tho matter overvto the Inter
state Commorce Commission, which
can only Institute proceedings for
overcharge on long distance com
munications botween states.
Calling the commission's attention
to the Immensity of tho subject, Mr.
Wlckersham said:
"There are said to bo somo 0,000
independent telephone companies,
representing investments aggregating
many millions of dollars, which to
gether operate more than 4,000,000
telephones. No one of those companies
represents capital or business com
parable In size with that of the Amor
lean company or any of Its principal
, subsidiary companies.
l "The American Telephone and Tele
graph Company, either directly or
through subsidiary companies whose
stock it owns, operate what Is known
generally as the Sell telephone sys
tem, which reaches upwards of 70,
000 .places, distributed among prac
tically all the states of the union1
having some 4,500,000 telephones In
use, and operating tho principal long
dlstanco lines between tho states.
"It has tAi invested capital of a
book valuo of nearly $000,000,000. It
also Is tho owner of a large block of
stock of the Western Union Telegraph
company, through which It practically
controls tho operations of tho tele
graph and cable linos of that corporation."
Draft of a bill increasing the salary
of aldermen to $5,000 and limiting the
number to one from a ward was or
dered favorably reported at a meet
ing of the judiciary committee of tho
council. The corporation counsel will
bo aBked to draft tho measure.
From discussions that came up in
the committee it is probable that If
such a(blll should bo recommended by
the committee it will also carry a pro
vision that the number of wards be
Increased to fifty. This suggestion
when made by Alderman Henry D.
Capltain seemed to meet with the ap
proval of most of the aldermen pres
ent After receiving assurances from the
surface companies that the elevated
railroad valuations recently agreed
upon were acceptable for merger pur
poses, the Local Transportation Com
mittee of the Council on Tuesday in
structed a subcommittee to Inves
tigate further tho problem of valuing
the real estate holdings of the ele
vated lines.
The committee now has before It a
sub-committee report fixing tho com
bined value of the elevated roads at
$73,000,000. This Is based on what the
Chicago Elevated Railways Company
paid for them. Originally it was the
city's Idea to have the valuation put
on a physical basis. A real estate val
uation was made last year, but the
city's experts' figures were $29,940,
37C.09 bolow those of the companies'
experts. By a method of computa
tion which took Into account "as
sumed" buildings and similar Horns,
the company's valuation was made to
total $46,439,018.09. The city's was
$10,493,208.
Work on a new charter for Chicago
was started at the city council meet
ing Monday night. Alderman Henry
D. Capltain is sponsor for tho new
movement. A resolution ho presented
was sont to tho judiciary committee,
and ho announced that before that
body ho will, continue to fight for a
complete revision and expansion of
tho city's powers of self-government.
He did not propose tho immediate
calling of a charter convention. He
urged merely tho turning of a small
wheel that later, ho hoped, would set
In action tho great wheels of a power
ful charter movement. His resolution
provided for tho appointment of a
committee of flvo to roport back a
method of organizing that movement.
Tho resolution recited the city's
financial difficulties resulting from the
Supreme court decision on tho Juul
law last fall and its constant battle
for legislation on specific subjects. It
declared "Chicago has been and Is
today laboring undor severo restraint
duq to out of date and antiquated laws
preventing the people from enjoying
the fulloBt returns from the taxes paid
and obstructing progress that should
be.mado toward building up Chicago."
It provided tho committee of Ave
aldermen to be appointed should re
port for a "charter convention 6r commission."
Notice to list personal property and
file capital stock at, the same time
will be given to the tax payers this
year. The new plan was discussed at
a meeting of the board of assessors
and Its adoption recommended. Notices
to this effect will bo sent outnbout
the end of March, and commencing in
the first week of April the schedules
are expected to begin coming In.
Several of the Aldermen have ex
pressed wonderment that the big Tele-
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phone Trust, which Is fighting so
hard to maintain high rates, does not
adopt tho automatic system which has
lowered rates and given satisfaction
wherever tried.
One alderman asserts that It Is pos
sible to supply local telephone service
In cities a't two cents per call, phu
a rental charge so low that every"
household could have service
This would help the company's long
distance business.
Over capitalization and antique
methods are what make telephone
service between cities far removed
so high as to be prohibitive.
Any attempt to lengthen tho terms
of aldermen should be squelched. The
term of two years Is plenty long
enough. Until we have tho recall the
shorter the term for an official the
better for the people. The peoplo can
re-elect a good alderman and at the
Bamo time they don't have to wait too
long to get a crack at a bad one.
Alderman Jacob A. Hey gained the
thanks of North Slders when on Mon
day night ho Introduced Into tho city
council a resolution for nn Investiga
tion of the service on the Northwest
ern elevated.
Albert J. Hopkins' election to tho
short term In the United States Sen
ato would meet with the hearty ap
proval of every fair minded man in
Illinois.
Reducing salaries of policemen,
firemen nnd city employes twenty per
cent and giving $700,000 of money
due tho city to tho telephono com
pany to raise the salaries of its em
ployes Is a flno record for tho city
council.
A referendum J on phono rates Is
demanded by the people.
The public is watching the tele
phone situation closely. It has been
milked so long to keep up big divi
dends, that a reduction of rates all
along the line Is demanded.
Taxpayers are not looking with any
relish' upon the efforts of cortaln re
formers to havo legislation passed
that will raise taxes. They are car-
THOMAS A. 8MYTH.
President of the Sanitary District.
rylng a pretty heavy load as It is with
out adding any excoss baggage.
The follows who have grown rich
boosting phone rates In Chicago will
not havo so many to follow tholr ex
ample when the State Axes the rates,
THIS
City Council Will Reduce Salaries of
Police, Firemen and City Employes
Twenty Per Cent This Year.
But Will .Tote Away Seven Hundred Thousand
Dollars to Raise Salaries of Phone
Trust Employes.
The Most Outrageous Act on Record in the History of
Self Government Robs the Chicago Public
to Help Monopoly.
No Redress for the People Is In Sight and the
Grin and Bear It.
Probably tho most extcaordlnary
action ever taken against a free peo
plo Is that Just foisted upon the Chi
cago public to benefit tho Phone
Trust.
For years tho people have demanded
n reduction of phono charges.
Tho enormous dividends of tho
phono trust Justified the demand.
An expert omployed by tho city,
after giving full credit to tho trust for
all of Its expenditures and alleged
Iosbob by "depreciation" found that
tho people wore entitled to tho re
maining surplus of $700,000 over and
IS
above fat dividends and other act
earnings.
Instead of giving this to the public
In a reduction of rates some aldermen,
deliberately voted to donato most of
this great sum to tho Phono Trust so
that It could ralso tho salaries of Its
employes and glvo them old age pen
sions. This is something new in the his
tory of government by nnd for monop
olies. To mako tho public pay for raising
tho salaries of tho employes of a cor
poration Is 'a greater outrogo than tho
popular Imagination has over con
ceived of before.
When you got n "wrong number"
threo or four times In succession, re
member that tho Incompetent employe
who gave It to you had tholr salaries
raised at your expense.
Whenever you .are Insultingly or In
solently treated by a phone employe,
remembered that you have been
mulcted to raise the offender's salary
and to provldo an old ago pension for
tho guilty person.
Whenevor you got a "busy signal"
for a number that has not been busy
at all, remember that tho employe
who fooled you is enjoying a raise of
salary and a prospective pension at
your expense.
If you are a property owner and
have paid an exorbitant assessment
for paving an alley, remember, when
the Phono Trust tears up that pave
ment to plant new poles, that you
have also been mulcted and are still
being assessed for the raising of sal
aries of -Trust phone employes.
If the Council abolishes the flat
telephone rate for the reason that the
telephone trust asks It to abolish It,
then the Council should order the
company to give a rebate of two cents
upon every five-cent call. The tele
phono trust complains that flat rate
phones Increase Its burden 25 per
cent. That users of flat rate phones
only pay ono and a half conts a call,
while the wholo service, medium
and flat, costs tho company over two
cents a call. Very well, let the Alder
men say to the phono crowd: "We
have cut oft 25 per cent of your bur
don. This will Increase your revenue.
OIvo the people the benoflt and let
them have a rebate of two conts rr
every call."
Glvo tho people a referendum voto
on the telephono ratos.
The Chicago Telephone Company,
which Is suffering so much from
want of funds, according to certain
city "oxports" that It will have to
raise telephone ratos on the people
In order to exist, paid 8 per cent In
dividends JA8t year.
Think of it!
Eight per cent on twonty-sevon Mil
lion dollars
This is the company that started
with n capital stock of half a million
and now has a capital stock of twenty-seven
millions.
It pays 8 por cont annual dividend
on twenty-Beven millions and puts up
a twenty-two story modern omce
building besides.
Tho people of Chicago are such
easy marks that the phone crowd want
to got moro out of them and asks for
an increase in rates at, the hands of
the City Council.
FIERCE
Victims Will Have to
And two "experts" agree that this
"poor" company la losing money I
In 1911 the Chicago Telephone Co
pany paid 8 per cent In quarterly divi
dends of 2 per cent March 81, t per
cent, June 30; 2 per cent, September
30; 2 por cent, December 80, 1911.
Here, is a nice little nest egg of
$2,160,000 divided up among the stock
holders. When to this Is added the profltf
paid the "parent" Bell Telephone
Company, the amount grabbed off the
people of Chicago Is simply enormous.
Instead of raising telephone rates,
tho City Council should lower thea.
The Telephone Trust will be fought
by the people until It ceases to be a
monopoly and until Its charges are
as reasonable as the government it
self would charge for similar public
service.
People who Imagine that the past
ing of an ordinanco by the City Coun
cil will do away with a public demand
for better conditions and lower rates
in the telophone service are mistaken.
The telephone Is a necessity to the
people and no one knows this better
than (he monopoly whlcn controls It
The purchase of newspapers or the
purchase of public officials will not
help the cause of monopoly.
The newspapers which support mo
nopoly have lost their Influence with
the public, which Is intelligent and
possessed of a good memory.
Public officials who give away the
people's rights or show favors to the
telophone monopoly will not be foV
gotten. On the contrary, thoy will be prop
erly branded and will be retired to
private life.
The people are in no frame of mind
to bo trifled with. They aro showing
this overy day and at every election.
Tho man who sells thorn out to a
trust may win tho approbation of
somo millionaire-owned dally paper,
but tho common citizen, who is in
suited, neglected and overcharged by
tho telephone service, will not forget
Thero Is ono thing that tho average
voter has a knlfo up his sleeve for.
That thing is tho public official who
favors tho Telephono Trust.
Watch your alderman on tho telo
phone question.
Ono thing tho people aro sick and
tlrod of Is homo rule that favors
phono magnates.
Tho questions of prohibition and lo
cal option nro tho growing Issues
which will havo to bo met at Spring
field. Theio are morn aldermanlc candi
dates In tho Hold at present than
thoro over havo been at this tlmo of
tho year.
Homo rulo means phono rule.
Bettor elevated sorvlco for North
Sldors Is needed,
Col. James Hamilton Lewis Is tho
cholco of tho peoplo of Illinois for
United States Senator.
If "Homo llulo" In tho mnttor of
public utilities moans Phono Rule, tho
peoplo don't want it.
va a- jjtj'Xri")-'' .
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