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Newspaper Page Text
A LOT OF "FUNNY BUSINESS" IN
THE FIELD TUNNEL DEAL
More "funny business" of law and
legal technicalities about the Mar
shall Field & Co. tunnels under Wash
ington street cai&e -off yesterday.
More law and more evidence must
be brought into court before a de
cision can be made as to whether or
not Field's can be stopped from build
ing a tunnel they have already built
Boiled down to common sense that
can be understood by common peo
ple, that was what the court said.
Judge John P. McGoorty overruled
the city's demurrer against an in
junction restraining Field's from
building a tunnel. But the overrul
ing is "temporary." Which means
that sometime along next spring or
summer maybe the people of Chicago
will find out what the law and the evi
dence is and what it means. About
one year after the Field tunnels are
all done and ready for use, the court
will make its last pass on an injunc
tion asked for nearly a year before
work on the tunnels started.
Three points raised by the Field
lawyers, Maj. Tolman and Jphn P.
Wilson, were held by Judge McGoor
ty to be good points. He "sustained
three exceptions" ,in their "answer."
The city council has the right to give
away the use of land under .streets to
a private corporation when "not
unreasonable," said the court. In this
case,, "unreasonable interference"
would have to be shown. It must be
proven that the tunnels stop traffic
or obstruct public convenience or
It has taken the court from last
October until yesterday to find out
that there is not enough law and evi
dence in the case. One question to
be decided is whether the city council
has the right to, "is within reasonable
exercise of its power," in giving away
land under streets for tunnels. Judge
McGoorty says opinion on this ques
tion should be given "after a full
hearing of all questions of fact, as
'well as-those oflaw.applicstbfeto this
case." On one point the court wa3
sure. The city council has a sure
and perfect right to sell, lease, rent
space under sidewalks under certain .
conditions because the city has "ex
clusive control of its streets."
The real rock bottom question in
the whole case when it started was:
Shall the Marshall Field & Co. be al
lowed, to dig two tunnels, one 80 feet
wide and another 15 feet wide, un
der Washington street, between State
and Wabash? Attorney George P.
Merrick, who started the contest, said
he was representing the people.
When the city council gave the
Field's the permit to build the tun
nel it was called a "grab" and a -"steal"
by Aid. Utpatel and other
members of the council. The Muni
cipal Voters' League made an issHe of '.
it and says that the question of who
owns an alderman can be decided by
looking at how he voted on the
Field tunnel ordinance. The City
Club and other organizations passed
resolutions slamming the tunnel or
dinance, saying it would make more
overcrowding in the loop and was a
bad precedent to set.
AnJnjunction was asked for before
any shovel was put to work on the
tunnel. But the court, gave no de
cision Work on the tunnels commenced
and was about three-fourths over
when the court "took under advise
ment" the question. Now, after four
months of "advisement' there is no
This is a sample of the cases that
throw the courts open to criticism for - -lack
of speed. A snail or a turtle i
travels at lightning express speed
compared with the legal and judicial
machine in Cook county which haa
handled this case algainst "Marshall :
Field & Co.
England has many women employ
ed in unique trades. For instance,
there are, 8 women plumbers there,
231 blacksmiths, 56 carpenters and