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The Seattle Republican
SINGLE GOPIES 10 GENTS THE SEATTLE REPUBLICAN Is published every Friday by Cayton Publish ing Company. Subscriptions, $2 per year; six months, $1.00, postage prepaid. Entered as second-class matter at the post office at Seattle. __ CAYTON PUBLISHING CO., Inc. Main 305 422 Epler Block Seattle, Washington HORACE ROSCOE CAY TON - Publisher SUSIE REVELS CAY TON - - Associate Eleven years in a reformatory for the theft of a nickel is a fair specimen of the gallantry of the "South ern, gentleman.'' The typos last week made us say, "Henry Clay Wilson" instead of Henry Lane Wilson, but typos, un less you watch them, are liable to make you say most any old thing. In refusing to see office seekers President Wilson will save to the people a whole lot of valuable time, and likewise relieve himself of much worry. If war is declared between the United States and Mexico the Ninth cavalry can boast of having the first taste of the tempting morsel. Gov. Lister has had the time of his life and while he can pat himself on the back and say, "I won," yet few governors of this republic would like to win under similar circumstances. The legislature having failed to pass any "dry" legislation it is currently reported that, the petition fiend is going to get busy right away soon. Mr. Tariff is planning to make a lengthy visit US Washington City in the very near future and if he keeps in the same frame of mind that he now ia he is going to turn things topsyturvy- Even the members of the legislature now know Mrs. Lister is a hard kicker when she thinks she is be ing imposed upon. It is reported that the representative from Dou glas county in the legislature was voted by the ladies "a dear little darling." "Turkey wants peace," comes the report. There is nothing unusual in this as she does not seem to have the kind of men in her army that would inspire her to want war. Atlanta, Georgia, is a great place for the majesty of tlie law to take its course and as a result there were more murders committed in that city last year than in all of England. There may be no evil influences hovering abo it the number "thirteen," but Gov. Lister will hardly 'sk another legislative session of the thirteenth legislature in 1913. Peuhaps the Bull Moosers of Seattle are thankful to the Progressive members of the late legislature for what they did not do, which accounts for them banquet ting them* If Bryan ever wants to run for Congress again he will have the divil's own time if he remains in Seattle or Kitsap county. Bryan will not be able to do any thing while in Congress that will make Seattle look with favor upon his candidacy. "Single tax helps the rich and hurts the poor," is posted about the city of Seattle just now. The state ment may be true, bue we are surprised to find that the rich is so deeply interested in the future wellfare of the poor. The poor seem; to be of the opinion th&t it is well to keep an eye out for the wolf in sheep's l clothing. SEATTLE, WASH., FRIDAY, MARGH 14, 1913 MUNICIPAL OWNERSHIP IN QUESTION "There is no question about it there is more waste in municipal ownership than in privately controlled corporations. We have a civil service board and yet there is the same lack of ability of the heads of de partments to get work out of employes as in the years before the civil service board was created. I am not making any attacks upon civil service, but I must say that it has not raised the standard of efficiency." This statement was made by Mayor Jost of Kansas City, Mo., in an address before the Brotherhood Club of the Independence Boulevard Christian church, ac cording to the Kansas City Journal, and it is a frank expression of what most citizens who have had oppor tunities to observe know to be the truth. In these times of political unrest and agitation it is considered somewhat of a sacrilege to express honest criticism of anything that bears the name of "reform," but Mayor Jost has braved the menacing power of the faddists and has told the simple truth. Theoretically the civil service system is an ideal form of conducting municipal affairs, and municipal ownership is an ideal way of dealing with public utility corporations. But in prac tice neither has worked satisfactorily. The testimony of the city attorney of Kansas City, Kas., that the mun icipally owned electric light plant of that city is a magnificent success is not to be considered. That plant has been working only about a week and there is no evidence that a high degree of efficiency or the present low schedule of priecs can be maintained. The whole scheme was worked nicely out on paper, but it has not been put to the practical test. Al municipally owned utilities work out on paper, but few if any stand the test of time and experience. There is one insuperable reason why municipal ownership fails, and that is politics. Undoubtedly a city could run a water works plant, or a gas plant, or a street railway system, quite as successfully as a pri vate corporation if it were possible to bring to the man agement the same expert knowledge, the same strict and definite supervision and the same individual inter est as exists under private or corporate control. But as long as politics is the dominant factor in municipal affairs, so long will it be impossible to run municipal enterprises as efficiently and as economically as cor poration concerns are run. The average employe of a city will not give satisfactory service unless he is made absolutely accountable to a superior officer who has the unquestioned power to discharge him without right of appeal. No superintendent can get good service out Dr. Booker T. Washington, who is enjoying his first visit to the Northwest, is being received with open arms in every place he appears, thus demonstrating that, the leading citizens of this section of the United States thoroughly appreciate the one higher up, and that too, without taking into consideration either his color or previous condition of the higher up; It can be said without fear of successful contradiction that Booker T. Washington is the world's educator. VOLUME XIV. MJMBER 50 of the men under him when these men owe their posi tions to political favoritism and know that they can defy their superiors as long as they stand well witli the political powers. The right kind of civil service has been accepted as the best system of employment for cities. But Kansas City never has had the right kind and will not have until the heads of departments are empowered to discharge loafing and incompetent em ployes. The whole fabric of municipal government is honeycombed with insubordination and contempt for authority. The employe who has passed a civil service examination and got a snug berth is apt to believe that he has a life tenure of his job whether he gives it his best efforts and most careful attention or not. No head of a department can get the best work out of his men unless he is vested with authority to enforce his or ders. —Public Utilities. MINNESOTA PLAN FOR REGULATION. A. O. Eberhart, re-elected last November as gov ernor of Minnesota, is among the public officials who believe that enlightened public sentiment is tending to wards reasonable regulation of public utilities rather than public ownership and that state regulation is the more wise and practicable plan from the standpoint of the public. In his inaugural message, delivered re cently, Governor Eberhart declared positively in favor of regulation by state-wide commission as preferab.'e to either public ownership or local control by municip alities. The fact that Mr. Eberhart already has served one term in the office of governor of his state gives added force to his argument and added importance to his views on this subject. "In my opinion, public utilities must be either owned or controlled by the people," said Mr. Eberhart in his inaugural address. "Where control can be vested in a fair, impartial and ocmpetent authority, removed as far as possible from political influence, it is fan su perior to ownership. It has been found by experience that it is very difficult to keep municipality owned plants out of politics. As a general principle it is true that the state or the city should not go into any busi ness which can be transacted as well by individuals. In the case of public utilities, the selfish greed of hu man nature too often takes advantage of the people's dependence to demand excessive rates of grant unfair discrimination as between localities and individuals. Even municipally owned public utilities are realizing now the necessity of state-wide regulation, and a strong demand for such regulation ocmes from producers and consumers alike throughout the state. "Owing to local conditions and influences, it is im possible for local commissions to be as successful in their regulation of these utilities as a state-wide com mission. The regulating authority and the regulated are too closely related and dependent upon local con ditions and it is almost impossible to be impartial and fair." Minnesota is one of the numerous states in which new laws for regulation of public utilities are under consideration and its legislature is in session at the present time. A public utilities bill has been introduced by Senator Murray of eßnville county, but it is ex pected that it will be amended in several important particulars before it can beocme a law. The bill provides for a state public utilities com mission of three members to be appointed by the gov ernor at salaries of $5,000 each, but present sentiment appears to favor the idea of placing all of the public utilities under supervision of the state railroad com mission whose jurisdiction now includes only steam railroads. This is the plan that was adopted in Wis consin. The Minnesota law as now drawn would include under state regulation all steam railroads, electric and other traction railways of all classes, canals, express service, pipe-lines, gas, electric lighting, power, heat, water, oil, sewer, telephone, telegraph, and all other utilities in public ues. The bill is framed with the idea that the commis sion shall act as a court of appeal to which complaints in regard to the rates or service cf public utilities may be taken for adjudication but shall not have power to direct the operation of any individual company. It is provided that the state supreme ocurt shall have full power to review all acts of the commission.—Public Utilities.