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Newspaper Page Text
ONE MAMS OPINIONS
BY N. D. COCHRAN
Wets and Drys. That wet and dry
thing goes deeper than party politics.
Illinois, can see it now. Instead of
the legislature being made up of Re
publicans and Democrats, with a
sprinkling of Progressives, it is made
up mostly of Wets and Drys.
You will find this true of both Wets
and Drys- in any legislature where
the fight is on, that the Wets don't
- care what a member is otherwise so
long as he is Wet, and the Drys don't
care how a member votes on any
thing else so long as he votes Dry.
Two of the most persistent lobbies
that infest any state legislature are
the Anti-Saloon league and the liquor
interests; and notwithstanding all of
their professions of eminent respecta
bility the Drys are no better than the
Wets when it comes to other legisla
tion affecting the Interests of the peo
ple. If anything, the Wets are more
red-bloodedly human than the Drys.
I speak from years of experience
with both of them.
The Franchise Problem.. Jitney
buses in American cities may solve a
problem in franchises. Where they
are operated under private ownership
no franchise is granted by city coun
cil, as has been the custom with
street railways. Owners are merely
licensed and the service regulated by
Under this plan there is no issue
of bonds and watered stock? The
game in the slreet railway business
has been to get franchises and then
capitalize the franchise value by is
suing millions of watered bonds and
stock, not based entirely on money
actually invested, but partly on the
mere privilege to use the streets.
Having been given, a franchise for
a term of years, the company felt
amply protected in its franchise to
practically ignore public sentiment
and do about as it pleased. The right
Of regulation i? P?Wom ekercfsetftii a
manner--that helps the- public. Chi
cago straphangers ought to know
I think the time is not far ofE when
cities will not grant long-term fran
chises, but, when they permit public
utilities to be operated for private
profit, will merely permit the use of
the streets during good behavior,
under public regulation. Watered
bonds and stock can't be floated on
that kind of a grant
The public utility would have to
be operated on a business basis to
earn its profit Under the bonding
system the promoters take their
profit in advance. They make sure
of their investment and then some
with the bonds, and every dollar of
stock' being water becomes velvet
when dividends can be taken out of
The autobus requires no tracks, no
poles, no wires, no conduits. One
broken-down bus can't block an en
tire line. If one street is out of use
he autobus can use another. It
wouia ue as u no mvesuiieui mux lu
be made in a street railway system
except to buy cars. Autobuses can
be put on as fast as they are needed.
The preliminary investment is trivial
compared with what is necessary in
building a street railway system.
And, of course, the best kind of
service will come only through pub
lic ownership and. operation.
Chicago shouldn't spend a dollar
on subways until the jitney bus has
been given a thorough. trial.
"I haven't seen Hemmandshaw for
"No; he hasn't been out of the
house since his accident"
"Was he seriously. injured?"
"No; but he feels the disgrace
"Yes. After living in Ihe heart of
the city all his.life, he went to, the
country one day last week and wag
nw QVSrby Pflk wagon,"