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The day book. [volume] (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, March 17, 1915, NOON EDITION, Image 10

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1915-03-17/ed-1/seq-10/

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The following interview with Wm. Hale Thompson was sought by a
Day Book reporter in"or4er to let the public know what Thompson stands
tor in the way of live public issues that affect the daily life of the men,
women and children of Chicago:
"I am for the people and I am against the public service corporations in
every situation where the people are not getting a square deal from those
"There is not a public utility corporation in Chicago that has any kind
of a hold on me. If I am elected mayor of Chicago I will be free to meet
the street car companies, the gas company, the electric light and power
company and the telephone companies and do whatever the people want
This is what William Hale Thompson said to a Day Book reporter. In
an interview covering more than two hours of time, with phone calls break
ing in half the time, Thompson lined out his claims as a man of the people
in this way:
"If I am elected I go into the city hall free rom the entanglements
that tie up an organization gaining control of a city hall. I know that it
has generally been the case that before a man could be elected mayor he
had to deal with organizations m 35
wards of the city and when he got
into the city hall everything was
promised away and he couldn't do
what the people want done.
"I will be free to handle the auto
matic telephone situation and give
the people whatever they want. Sev
eral propositions have been brought
to my attention about the proposed
merger of the automatic with the
Chicago Telephone Cd. which con
vince me that there is more behind
the whole of it than is generally
known. I would have engineers and
investigators make reports I could de
pend on and I would act on that in
formation. "As it looks to me now, it is not a
fair deal to the people of Chicago to
permit the sale of the auotmatlc sys
tem to the Chicago Telephone Co. at
a price of $4,000,000 or $6,000,000,
that price to be added to the capital
ization of the Chicago Telephone Co.,
and the interest charges taken from
the telephone users in higher phone
rates. Ddorer service and reduced
amounts in the 3 per cent of gross!
profits paid the city. Prom what I
have gathered the automatic prop
erty isnot worth the amount which
the Bell company wants to pay for it
"I have not made an investigation
of the telephone situation. But I am
for what the people want If you
show me that the automatic phone is
regarded by telephone .engineers and
experts outside of Bell influence as
superior to the Bell manual phone,
then I would go mighty slow before I
would ever consider authorizing the
sale of the automatic.
"I don't like the idea of telephone
competition. The people don't want
two phone systems in one town. I've
been in towns where when a bell
rang you'd have to pick up two or
three different receivers before you'd
get the right one. The besplan is
to have all the phone users of a city
on the same system of exchanges.
"Understand me clearly, though I
am against phone competition I be
lieve there are possibilities in the au
tomatic situation. If it could be
proven that the city can operate an
automatic system and give Users a
penny-a-call service I would be for it
I'm for what the people want
"What do I mean when I say I'm

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