OCR Interpretation

The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, January 17, 1916, NOON EDITION, Image 8

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

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1916-01-17/ed-1/seq-8/

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This morning's papers carry a
story on "talk going on in the gas,
oil and electric light committee of the
council to make" the. Automatic Tele
phone Co. pay $500,000 as a forfeit
for failing to live up to its franchise."
The committee meets tonight to
pass on a proposed ordinance of sale
allowing the Automatic company to
sell its property and franchise to the
American Telephone and Telegraph
Co. for $6,300,000. Kempster B. Mil
ler, telephone engineer, says the
property is worth, at the most,
$1,700,000. Bernard E. Sunny, pres
ident of the Chicago Telephone Co.
says it's worth $4,200,000. Sunny's
engineers place its value at $2,900,
000. And the A. T. & T. are willing
to give up more than $6,000,000 for
this property.
Why this generosity on the part
of the telephone trust?
Morton J. Johnson, pres. of the
Penny Phone league, has explained
the reason to the committee. He has
also called this committee "rank and
rotten." Johnson says the A. T. & T.
wants to use the purchase price for
an increase in long distance tele
phone rates and the local company,
in purchasing it from the A. T. & T.,
wants to use the purchase price in
making new local rates.
Always eager to protect the city,
the aldermen are going to fix an
amount in the ordinance that the
company can add to its capital ac
count to be used in rate making.
Ralph Shaw, att'y for the tunnel
company, says Sunny has told him
that the Chicago Telephone Co.
wouldn't purchase the property from
the A. T. & T. if they were not al
lowed to add $3,000,000 to their cap
ital account So the "talk is" that
they will.
And how about the difference be
tween the $1,600,000 valuation of Mil
ler and the proposed $6,300,001$ pur
chase price?
) When the committee first started
out in the telephone matter it hired
Judge Stephen Foster to act as its at
torney. So many other attorney?
were around representing the various
interests that they didn't feel safe.
Judge Foster first recommended
that the city confiscate and operate
the plant. He says the city now, by
virtue of the franchise clause in the d
ordinance, owns the plant of the Au
tomatic Phone Co. But the great ma
jority of the committee does not want
this. "They abhor forfeiture."
So they are going to let the sale
go through. When Judge Foster saw
this he told the committee that the
city should take the $5,000,000 differ
ence betwen the price of the A. T. &
T. and Miller s valuation.
And now there is talk pf the com
pany being compelled to pay $500,000
as a forfeit among the members of
the committee. The stock and bond
holders of the Chicago Tunnel Co.
want to get their fingers on this
$6,300,000. It will pay them back,
pretty nearly with interest, the mo
ney they have sunk into the Chicago
Tunnel Co. That is probably why the
papers come out this morning and
tell the people of Chicago that there
is talk of a $500,000 forfeiture being
made when Judge Foster, att'y for
the committee, has told them that
$5,000,000 of the $6,300,000 purchase
price can be theirs for the taking.
All of the delegates of the Chicago
Federation of Labor were yesterday
instructed to attend the meeting of
aldermen tonight The different ward
branches of the Penny Phone league
will turn out Women's clubs and
other civic organizations will have
representatives there. ft
o o
While some folks are optimistically
"looking for better things," the real
guy has got his sleeves rolled up
working for them.
Train killed woman at crossing in
East Orange, N. J., but didn't even
break thetwo dozen eggs she carried,
in a basket

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