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From THE TIMES-DISPATCH March 30, 1918 Street car conditions, in many ways not dissimilar to those existing in Richmond, have been met in Con Public SAFETY FIRST EFFICIENT SERVICE News Vol. IV*?>*o. 6. Richmond, Va., March 21, 1918. Whole No. 79 Published by Virginia Railway and Power Company. necticut by the Public Utility Commission, which per mitted the Connecticut Trolley Company, controlling practically all the lines in that State, to increase its fare from 5 to 6 cents. The commission held, according' to the Spring-field Republican, that "it is not an unreason able advance, but is justified by existing conditions, re sulting from the war as they affect the cost and selling price of the company's product. The State Commission finds that the old rate did not afford sufficient revenue; but it points out that the added revenue should be joined with economies so as to produce a higher degree of effi ciency.,, Locally, the question of permitting- a flat 5-cent fare instead of compelling- the sale of six-for-a-quarter tickets has become a political issue, which is unfortu nate from the standpoint of a just settlement to all con cerned. It should be a matter of dollars and cents?and nothing else. There can be no denial of the fact that costs of operation have grown amazingly. These costs must be met if adequate service is to be maintained. The solution would seem to be simple. Let the com pany's books be opened to an impartial commission, and if the figures show that costs have gone so high that proper service cannot be given and a reasonable rate of interest on the money invested earned, there should 9 be no objection on the part of the public to the necessary increase, provided that, as in the Connecticut case, at least a part of the added revenue be used in securing greater efficiency. However, it will be well to remem ber at all times that what might have been a reasonable rate of interest on money earned a few years ago must not be demanded now. It is a time of universal sacrifice, and public service corporations should expect to fare no better in this respect than private business enterprises. All either side to the controversy desires is a fair deal, and it would seem a comparatively easy matter to secure it for both. President Wilson Urges Prompt Action y Correspondence Between the Secretary of the Treasury and the President is Interesting to Citizens of Richmond Because it Has Direct Bearing on the Local Petition for an Increase in the Carfare to 5 Cents in Order to Maintain the Service. Since the necessity for affording financial relief to street raihvay and other public sendee companies has become nationwide, Hon. William G. McAdoo, as Secre tary of the Treasury, has taken cognizance of the matter because of the importance of protecting the traffic arteries of the country and safe-guarding its industrial life. In bringing the matter to the attention of President Wilson, Mr. McAdoo says: "These papers indicate the existence of genuine appre hension regarding the adequacy, under present conditions, of the services and rates of local public utilities. The view is expressed that increased wages and the high cost of essential materials and supplies have affected them as they have affected everybody else, and that united effort will be necessary in order to meet alike the public reuire ments for service and the corporate financial needs upon which that service depends. "As Secretary of the Treasury, I must take official notice of these matters. It is obvious that every part of our in dustrial and economic life should be maintained at. its maximum strength in order that each may contribute in the fullest measure to the vigorous prosecution of the war. Our local public utilities must not be permitted to become weakened. Transportation of workers to and from our vital industries, and the health and comfort of our citizens in their homes are dependent upon them, and the neces sary power to drive many of our war industries and many other industries essential to the war is produced by them. "It may be that here and there, because of the promi nence given to less important interests immediately at hand, State and local authorities do not always appreciate the close connection between the soundness and efficiency of the local utilities nad the national strength and vigor, and do not resort with sufficient promptness to the call for remedial measures. In such cases, I am confident that all such State and local authorities will respond promptly to the national need when the matter is fairly and prop erly brought before them. "Our public service utilities are closely connected"with and are an essential part of our preparations for any suc cessful prosecution of the war, and the unfavorable ten dencies which the accompanying papers reveal may most effectively be checked wherever they may be found to exist, and the needed relief obtained, only by prompt action on the part of the respective local authorities. "I earnestly hope that you may feel justified in ex pressing the conviction that the vital part which the pub lic utilities companies represent in the life and war-mak ing energy of the nation ought to receive fair and just recognition by State and local authorities." To this letter President Wilson replied a few days later as follows: "The White House, Washington, February 19, 1918. "My Dear Mr. Secretary: I have examined with care the memorarnda and letters which you transmitted to me with your letter of the 35tli. I fully share the views you express regarding the importance of the public service utilities as a part of our national equipment, especially in war-time. It is essential that these utilities should be maintained at their maximum efficiency, and that every thing reasonably possible should be done with that end in view. I hope that State and local authorities, where they have not already done so, will, when the facts are properly laid before them, respond promptly to the neces sities of the situation. "I shall be glad to have you communicate with the local authorities whenever the information in your possession suggests that such a course is desirable and in the national interest. Cordially yours, (Signed) "WOODROW WILSON. "Hon William G. McAdoo, "Secretary of the Treasury." The Third Liberty Loan Campaign opens to-day. Every American must do his part Be among the first to fix your name to an application for Liberty Bonds. Do not wait! Do it NOW!?TO-DAY! , 0 Published by Virginia Railway and Power Co.