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Newspaper Page Text
'ow. without any consideration to the people of Chicago, the company
wants that protection to the people taken away from them.
AND THE PLAIN PURPOSE IS TO COMBINE THE COMPANIES AND
ESTABLISH A TELEPHONE MONOPOLY. THEN THE BIG COMPANY
COULD DO AS IT PLEASED, AND USERS WOULD HAVE TO TAKE
WHAT THEY GET.
And they'll get what (he company gives them.
While it is true that one telephone would be better than two if the one
were not controlled by a private corporation, still it is also true that the
automatic, by competition for business, has undoubtedly prevented Bell
service from being rottener than it is now.
And there are 35,000 automatic users who evidently prefer that service,
to the service of the Chicago Telephone Co. with its old-fashioned instru
ments. When attorneys for the two companies appeared before the council
committee on gas, oil and electric light -not long ago, the attorney for. the
I. T. & T. Co. said he was unable to give the capitalization of the company.
He said it was authorized to issue $30,000,000 of bonds, but had issued only
part of them. He accepted Aid. Merriam's suggestion of $5,000,000 as pos
sibly near the figure.
At that meeting Aid. Merriam pointed out that the automatic got into
Chicago on a promise to supply unlimited service at $85 a year, and to sup
ply better service at lower rates than the people were getting then. But
that now the proposition was to sell out and make users pay a higher rate,
which would mean an advance to the new ordinance rates of the Chicago
Telephone rates of $125 a year.
At that meeting the attorney for the Chicago Telephone Co. said his
company didn't want to buy the telephone rights' of the Illinois Telephone
& Telegraph Co., but might buy its telephone property. Which probably
meant the big company didn't want to buy from the little company the right
to sell service for $85 when it was getting $125 for its own service.
And that means, very likely, that the same thing would happen in Chi
cago that happened in San Francisco and Omaha when the Bell Co. bought
out the independent automatic the automatic plant will be junked in due
course of time, and telephone users will be taxed to pay the Bell concern
what it cost to junk the automatic.
There was another cute little joker worked by the telephone trust, or
by the franchise-grabbers who got the franchise for the Illinois Telephone
& Telegraph Co., in anticipation, no doubt, of the deal the two companies
are now trying to pull off.
There is more in buying out the I. T. & T. Co. than junking the Chi
THE ILLINOIS TELEPHONE & TELEG RAPH CO. HAS A FIVE
YEAR OPTION ON THE AUTOMATIC ELECTRIC CO., WHICH OWNS
THE AUTOMATIC TELEPHONE FACTORY HERE IN CHICAGO, AND
THE OWNERSHIP. OF THAT COMPANY WOULD CARRY WITH IT THE
OWNERSHIP OF ALL THE AUTOMATIC PATENTS.
CHICAGO IS THE HOME OF THE AUTOMATIC TELEPHONE, AND
IF THE CHICAGO TELEPHONE CO IS PERMITTED TQ BUY THE I. T.,
& T. CO. IT WILL THEN OWN THIS OPTION ON THE AUTOMATIC
FACTORY, WHICH IT CAN THEN BUY AND JUNK THE. WHOLE AU
TOMATIC TELEPHONE BUSINESS IN THIS COUNTRY.
It will appear from this that the city of Chicago is now asked to be a
party to a deal which would make it possible for the telephone trust to get