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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, December 23, 1913, NOON EDITION, Image 4

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Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1913-12-23/ed-1/seq-4/

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lUtU. -. 1,1 JrU,v LLJJ LMI,
Washington, Dec. 23. In a speech
to the House, Rep. Lewis, Maryland,
bitterly assailed the telephone and
telegraph "trusts" fortheir alleged
extortionate rates to tne public and
stated that government ownership
was the only way the American peo
ple could hope to obtain equal facili
ties along these lines with the people
of other nations.
In an exhaustive summary of an
investigation of the sort of service
which the average American now ob
tains from private companies he
showed the following:
'yhat the citizen now pays more for
his telephone and telegraph service
than the citizens in any other coun
try. That telegraph companies are not
rr conducted efficiently.
ihat governmental ownership is
noTssary to extend the telephony to
the masses.
That the government should only
purchase telephone lines utilizing
new patents to extend the same lines
into the telegraphic field.
"Investigation discloses that our
telegraph rates are the highest
among twenty countries," Lewis de
clared. "They run from 25 cents to
$1, while in other countries they
average about 12 cents, or a cent a
word. The result of these abnormal
rates is that we rank but ninth as
telegraph users, with one and one
tenth telegrams per person per an
num. "Against these conditions it ap
pears that our postal rates average
lower than other countries and that
the number of letters 101 per per-v
son is the highest m the world.
"The telegraph companies seem to
be lacking in institutional economy
or efficiency. The operation of send
ing a telegram is loaded down with
74 Incidental services and processes,
not less than fifty of which would be
replaced by affixing the postage
stamp. The inefficiency is further
exaggerated by the duplication of
telegraph offices in all the important
cities and the denial of the service at
many thousand necessary ppints.
"A striking feature is the discovery
that the telegraph service is a rela
tively declining institution, and that
it would be unwise now to postalize
it as a single service. To take over
the telegraph lines alone and operate
them merely as telegraph lines might
result in postal bankruptcy."
Lewis cited the increasing use of
the long distance telephone over the
telegraph, but asserted its develop
ment in this country had been curbed
by high rates. The average inter
urban rate in Germany, he said, was
four cents; in the United States it
was 20 cents. In many cases, he said,
the American rate was six times
o o
Although a warm-blooded reptile,
the alligator is perfectly at home in
water. By means of muscles which
close the eyes, ears, nose and throat,
it can dive and capture and eat its
prey beneath the surface. The alliga
tor propels itself in the water by
means of its powerful tail.
The muscles which control its
enormous mouth, strong enough to
crush a dog or bite a plank in two,
are practically all used to close it,
so that a man can easily hold the jaws
closed merely by the pressure of his
The alligator is the American rep
resentative of the African crocodile
family. The American reptile has
shorter legs, which makes it less
active when out of the water.
o o
There's nothing like putting a fair
valuation on folks. A baroness is su
ing,, a St Louis man for $2,500,000
for alleged" breach of promise.

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