OCR Interpretation

The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, March 20, 1917, LAST EDITION, Image 2

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

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1917-03-20/ed-2/seq-2/

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to put over a new franchise, grab
bing the streets for fifty years and
quashing public ownership of the
street railways.
City Comptroller Pike in a" report
to the council gave a detailed list of
the advertising expenditures of the
Chicago Surface Lines for the year
ending-Jan. 31, 1917, totaling $66,
783.58. This was asked by a council
order of Feb. 19, introduced by Aid.
Kennedy of,the 27th ward.
But more important than the list
was a statement that accompanied it
in which Pike said that the accounts
of the car company were so juggled
that the people paid 55 per cent of
the bill.
"I beg to advise," began the state
ment of the city comptroller, "that
the bulk of the advertising expenses
charged to the Traffic Account is not,
in my opinion, a proper charge
against Operation, by which the city
suffers to the extent of 55 per cent.
"I have always contended that this
should be charged to the Non-Partnership
Account In the first place, I
don't see where such expenditures in-
crease the revenue of the company
or improve service.
"We have not been able to obtain
copies of all of the advertising, but,
from what we have seen, the purpose
seems to be to secure legislation
rather than traffic.
"A new deal with the traction lines
has been proposed and is now under
consideration. The traction com
panies want terms as favorable to
themselves as possible. But by such
an advertising campaign the city
pays 55 per cent of the expenses for
the companies to present their side
of the case."
Later, to a reporter for The Day
Book, Mr. Pike said :
"There is no doubt that the street
car companies have been charging
this money to wrong accounts. They
claim that it should be charged
against operating expenses for better
service. But I don't think the coua- j
cil will see the proposition just that
"If the council decided the money
was charged against the wrong ac
count the matter could be placed be
fore the board of supervising en
gineers and I'm sure the city would
get a fair settlement out of the com
pany. "If the contention set forth by me
is right, the city is paying over half
of the advertising 'bills of the sur
face lines and is not getting a bit of
advantage out of it
"One thing looks significant. The
traction companies have started ad
vertising only in the past year or so.
It is a new thing. I think this might
be connected with the fact that they
are asking for a new and stronger
But Aid. Kennedy, who began the
move by an accounting from the Sur
face Lines, had a lot more consider
ably warmer things to say about the
financial habits of the car company.
"The public utilities say they are
not mixing in politics this spring," he
declared. "Of course, the fact that
Aid. Merriam, Buck and Kearns were
eliminated just as the. car company
and gas combine ask for more ad
vantages from the city, can't be
counted against these dear, innocent,
public utility firms.
"Oh, no? They are out of politics.
But if I were directing a street car
company like some of v our traction
experts are, and I were going, to ask
for special privileges from the peo
ple of a city like Chicago, I would
certainly want the newspapers with
"If I could spend $66,000 a year for
advertising, I think I migfft expect
the newspapers to treat me a little
better than they otherwise might
"Of course, if I could make 'the
people pay over Jialf of the cost of
this advertising and I had the same
outlook on life that some of our
financiers have, I would charge It to
an account that would subtract' it
from the 55 per cent which goes to

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