Newspaper Page Text
ylJ m''f 'i'i '"twv" THE OHIOAGrO JSAGLS3. ' "i, M i i Ml r-i .' ? Mil Ml ' ' ,1 ii:. i 'i ; rl '!' If I I ' I ! N f t i HUTS ABOUT THE GAS TRUST. The Consolidation Bill Violates the Con stitution at the Outset by Its Faulty Title: Violates the Constitution in Taking Away the Right of a City to Grant Franchises, and Gives the Trust the Right to Charge Three Dollars per 1,000 Feet for Gas. Provisions of the Ordinances Granting Fran chiies to Various Consolidated Companies in This City. One of Them Was Forfeited for Non-Compliance with Contract Back in 1892. Some Interesting Information Which the Oity Oouncil Should Call For from Various Officials. The Gas Trim paid 5250,000 to mem ber of tbe Fortieth General Assembly of Illinois for a law under which It could rob the people to Its heart's con tent. But It overlooked a few points that even bribery couldn't cover up. Sectlou 13 of Article 4 of the Consti tution of Illinois declares that no sub ject not embraced In the title of a bill shall become a law. There arc some subjects In the body of the Infamous gas-cousolldatlon and frontage bill not embraced in the title. Ueuce the law Is void. THIS LAW. known as the "GAS CONSOLIDATION ACT," empowered ill existing pus companies to consoli date with and merge into a single cor poration, "which shall le one of said merging and consolidation corpora tion," and Inasmuch as tills ACT, con veying purported authority, grants to all then existing gas companies In the city of Chicago certain exclusive rights aud privileges, not contemplated by or given them by any ordinance of the Chicago City Council, and as the right to Issue franchises and prescribe terms for privileges granted thereby Is ex pressly reserved to and held to bo In herent In the City Council by the State Constitution of 1870, which provides that the State Legislature shall not grant and caunot convey rights nnd privileges In the streets of cities to cor porations or Individuals, except by and with the consent of the local authori ties (meaning the City Council), it Is unconstitutional on that paint. LET US LOOK AT SOME PERTI NENT FACTS relating to this point: In ordinances passed by the Chicago City Council, prior to the passage of tbe "Gas Consolidation Act," aud un der and by virtue and existence of such ordinances, certain bonds, con tracts, privileges and obligations were assumed by certain gas companies, in return for franchises granting them provisional rights In the use aud occu pancy of the streets, always subject, however, to the reservations held In said ordinances for the benefit nnd pro tection of tho peoplo comprising the municipality of Chicago, the intent and object of which provisions is apparent and well known, and In such ordi nances it Is expressly stated, reserved and provided, to wit: 1. CONSUMERS' GAS, FUEL AND LIGHT COMPANY.-.! perpetual fran chlso passed April 29, 1SS2, granting the corporation tho right to tho use and occupancy of the streets, in return for which tho corporation agreed and bound itself by bond nnd various pen alties, to lay all feeders and service pipes at the time of laying main pipes, without subsequent disturbance of the surface or pavements; to extend Its main pipes, when ordered by a major ity of tho City Council, In any block, one-half of which shall bo Improved by buildings; that tho corporation should not extend Its pipes beyond tho city, or allow any connections to bo mndo with Us pipes to supply gas to any con sumers outside of the city; that It should not charge more than 25 cents per foot for service pipes, nor charge general consumers of gas more than $1.73 per 1,000 cubic feet, giving con sumers of more than 100,000 cubic ffot per year a rebate of 25 cents per 1,000 cubic feet; that said company should be nubject to all existing general or dinaneei concerning gas; that tho city fdiould have tho right to inspect meters and that tho gas supplied should bo of the uniform n vera go of 1(1 sperm can dles, burning 120 grains per hour In n 5-foot burner; that tho company's rights nnd privileges provisionally granted should be forfeited unless with in threo years from date of acceptance of the ordinance it had erected and hud In operation works and mains suf ficient to distribute ten million cubic feet of gas every thirty days, said works to cost not less than $500,000; that If said company should directly or Indirectly sell, lease or transfer Its franchise and privileges to any other gas company or companies, or cease to manufacture and furnish gas for a period of mora than ten consecutive days; or If It should fall or refUM to extend its main pipes whui requested to do' so by a majority fit H Council, OGDEN GAS COMPANY.-An or dinance passed Feb. 25, 1805, granting n llfty-ycnr franchise, subject to all general ordinances regarding gas com panies then In force, the company agreeing to chnrge n fixed maximum price of 00 cents per 1,000 cubic feet to general consumers nnd 75 cents to the city, or ?10 per nunum for each street lamp consuming four cubic feet per hour, Including the labor of light ing nnd extinguishing the snme, the city expressly reserving Its require ments of this labor as n part of the con sideration for the ordlnnucc; also that the company shall pay the city not less than 3Vj per cent, of Its gross receipts; make a statement annually under onth of its gross receipts to the Comptroller, who shall have free access to Its books at nil times; submit Its meters to In spection nnd quality of gas to test, ns prescribed; expend on Its works at least $100,000 within twenty-four months from acceptance of ordlnnucc; manu facture and distribute five million feet of gas every thirty days within three years from dnte of acceptance; nnd the ordlunncc prescribes ns Accepted tbnt the price to consumers shall never ex ceed the rate prescribed by the ortlln ntice; thnt tho compnny shall not charge nny person for service pipe, but shall lay the same nt its own expense, and the company agrees nnd did give filed with the ordinances passed nnd franchise contracts mutually entered Into by the city and gas companies, which latter gained valuable lights and privileges thereby, nnd whoso du ties and obligations, ns well ns the rights of the city and of Its citizens, nre therein specified, reserved nud pre scribed. CAN RAISE THE PIUCE. Tho IN FAMOUS "GAS CONSOLIDATION" ACT provides thnt after one year the GAS TRUST may charge nny rnto charged by any company with which merger or consolidation Is made, as, for Instance, with the PEOPLE'S GAS LIGHT AND COKE COMPANY, which lias a perpetual franchise from the Slate and tuny chnrge ns much as $2.75 per 1,000 cubic feet to the city nnd ?3 per 1,000 feet to general con sumers, thenceforth and forever. S U P R E M E C O U R T AGAINST THEM. Tho Illinois Supremo Court has held nnd decided that an ordinance granting franchise privileges Is a con tract by, mutual consent, nud the rights nnd privileges so granted nre consider ations In the same, and evasion or re pudiation of the spirit and letter of the contract or nny change therefrom un less by consent constitutes a forfeiture of rights, nnd, ns It has nlwnju been held n proposition In both English nnd American law thnt "ACTS conferring Its rights nnd privileges should cense aud be of no more effect nud thnt this termination "shall not be required the Judgment or decree of nny court;" thnt the price charged for gas sliould never exceed the rate named In the ordinance nud thnt It would neither sell nor lease Its franchise or privileges uud would not enter Into nny combination with nny gas company concerning rate or price to bo charged for gas and should give bond of 5500,000 to satisfy nny damages to the city of Chicago or any consumer of Its gas who should suffer through violation of any obli gations, or conditions of the ordinance, the liability not to be limited by the amount of the pcunlty of said bond. 2. EQUITABLE GAS LIGHT AND FUEL COMPANY.-An ordinance granting a perpetual franchise, passed Aug. 10, 1SS5, authorizing the company to construct, operate nud maintain works, lay mains nnd service pipes, the company agreeing to charge not more than 25 cents per foot for service pipes; to charge not more than 5L75 per 1,000 cubic feet for gas, with a re bate of 25 cents per 1,000 feet to nil users who consumed over 100,000 cubic feet per nunum; "any attempt to col lect a greater rato would work a for feiture of all rights and privileges;" that meters nnd quality of gas shall be subject to inspection nnd tests; thnt mains should bo extended upon de mand by two-thirds voto of the Coun cil In nuy block three-fourths of which shall bo Improved by building; thnt the company should expend 5100,000 within tho first twclvo months nud lay mains nnd distribute within threo years gns to the extent of Ten Million feet every thirty days; that If said company shall at nny tlmo enter Into nny com bination directly or indirectly, with any gas company or companies, concerning rnto or prlco for gas, or shall directly or Indirectly sell, or transfer Its rights and privileges, nil its rights nnd privi leges under Its franchise, without nuy judgment or decreo of any court, shall fully cease and term Inn to absolutely, and the company was required beforo the ordinance becamo operatlvo to give a Iwnd of 5100,000 ns surety to tho city or nny consumer of Its gas for any dam age they might sustain by reason of any fniluro of tho company to perform nny or slnglo of tho obligations Imposed by Its charter, said bond not to be set up as tho limit of liability. UNIVERSAL GAS COMPANY.-An ordlnauco for a fifty-year franchise, passed by tho Council July 23, 1604, which provided expressly that tho com pany should not chargo general con sumers to exceed $1 per 1,000 cubic feet, and thnt upon this chargo tho Universal should pay tho city 10 per cent, of its gross receipts, ana ir, or when, tho company should reduce the price to 00 cents or less, the company should bo released from paying tho city nny percentage. This company wns required to expend 100,000 upon Its works nnd mains within twelve months, and within threo years to have a plant capable of supplying to con sumers ten million feet of gns every thirty days; tho compnuy wns required to deposit 5100,000 In cash with tho City Comptroller nnd glvo bonds of 5100,000 additional for faithful compli ance with nil provisions of tho ordin ance; ngreo that tho rate named should never bo exceeded; that the company would not enter into nny combination with any other gas com pany; and that Its liability for any damage resulting to the city or consum ers for nny damngo resulting to the city or cousumors for nny Infraction of tho provisions of Its franchise would not bo limited by Its bond; nil upon the express condition thnt tho com pany should not sell, lease, transfer Its privileges or enter liito nny combina tion ns to prlco with nny other trust or corporation, nnd tho company spe cifically agrees that for any violation of its obligations to tho city or consum ers, Its plant, mahlncry, tools and ap pliances shnll revert and belong to tho city, without Intervention or process of law; and it Is expressly provided that tho city shall have tho right to pur chase tho pUurt entlro at an appraised value at the wA of fifty years. .'4?BBlssCT, ' A ' VaWMfc'- " 4. ( 5 jfeSBBBBBBBBBBBBBK " A .MLMH X J-rUs SSBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBV1, o JLadBBsWts vM- - " whBHk 'sbbbbbbbbM'W )wiWlBBBBBBBB J 'SBBBBBBBBapM,s-& -( V&iMUlBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBk TSBBBBBBBBBMtH'.'i''?'. 471SilBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBP "BBBBBBBBBBSHWt-'( ' : ? ' ' 'Wllli&nBMBK I BBBBBBBsK iW ' 1 1 'iMmrrXt.Uf BsbbbbM IBBBsbbbV-. BBBBBBBBBBBBBHRS2- ' iflr2wK VAM-'VwfVJ' !lsBm "VB' BBBBBBBBBwiS-Jh.rjifilX. t ' ''vT fcT'jiSBBBBBBV' ' BBBBBBBBMBfclai SweBi" - , nty; MiiBo ' mZ". SBBBBBBBBBBBBralWiiBV ''MLsbbbbbbbbbbbW Mtfl jBlHf IbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbW V-nF .BBBBBBBBHraT'&HBKBlM; l.iBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBHBBiBBBBlsBBBWMtl .SBBBBBBBLsHHP 1BBSBbW IsBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBVBHBKSBBBBBBBBBBnBHBBM lease, nnd shall not Increase the price charged by it for gas of tho quality furnished to consumers during ANY PART OF THE YEAR IMMEDIATE LY PRECEDING such purchase or lease, or such CONSOLIDATION," tin der penalty (section 12) of Liability IN DAMAGES THEREFOR to tho PER SON AGGRIEVED, and shall, for each offense, forfeit two hundred dollars, In nn action for debt, In the name of the people of the Stato of Illinois, or by nny person who may sue for the same, and such company shall also bo llnblo to proceedings QUO WARRANTO for violation of either of said provisions, and If adjudged guilty the court may glvo Judgment of ouster from Its fran chise, UNLESS THE COMPANY SHALL CEASE AND DISCONTINUE such violation, as and when determined by tho court," thereby attempting In tho last paragraph to destroy any rc courso by tho city or by tho people as to continuous intermittent violations of franchise restrictions and requirements ns to price, quality and Inspection of gas. MURRAY & CO. ' ItTABtllHKD ! ALD. W. T. MAYPOLE. Who Wants to Be a State 8onator. bond of 5100,000 ns surety thnt nil the provisions of tho ordinance shall be faithfully carried out, under unlimited liability for damages, aud that at the expiration of tho life of tho ordinance tho city shall havo tho right of fran chise at an agreed appraised value. CHICAGO ECONOMIC FUEL GAS COMPANY.-An ordlnunco pnssed July 31, 1801, conveying a franchise for fifty years for tho supply of both man ufactured nud natural gas, upon tho same general provisions nnd require ments goverulug tho other coiupnuies, especially tho provision of Section 12, which provides that In case the said compnuy should nt nny timo In any manner enter Into n combination di rectly or Indirectly with any other gas compnny, Its ordinance nnd privileges should become null nud void and all rights revert to tho city without refer ence to nuy court or legal appeal. Tho company agreed to charge for Illumi nating gns 51.10 per 1,000 cubic feet, with 10 cents reductlou per 1,000 foot for prompt payment, and 00 cents per 1.000 for natural and fuel gas, with 10 cents reduction for prompt paymcut; agreeing nud contracting nlso to pay tho city 3 per ceut. on gross receipts from Illuminating gas aud 0 per cent, on gross receipts from snlo of natural or manufactured fuel gns, and to fur nish gas to tho city for 517.50 per street lamp post per year. ON THE 20TII DAY OF FEBRU ARY, 1802, a preamble nnd resolution wns passed by tho City council, re pealing tho abovo Chicago Economic Fuel Gas Company ordlnnnce, and declaring all pipes and connections In tho streets of Uie city to bo city proper ty, In neeordnnco with tho provisions of the ordlunnco regarding forfeiture, and upon tho ground Uint a majority of the stock of snld company had passed iuto tho hands of the Gas Trust. THE OGDEN. It Is now currently reported, nud thero nre grounds for be lief, thnt tho Ogdon Gas Company has entered upon u contract with the Gas Trust agreeing not to extend Its plant or pipes nny further for n period of threo years. ALL EVADE THE LAW. All of tho abovo companies and corporations have ovnded the plain letter nnd legal requirements of their franchises nnd by the terms of bald franchises have forfeited every right and prlvllego con tracted for with tho city nnd conveyed provisionally by ordlnnucc. VIOLATE FRANCHISES. It Is pro vided In nn ACT regulating tho condi tions for tho granting of rights aud privileges for lighting and heating pur poses by cities, alto passed by tho lato -JOTII ASSEMBLY, that no gas com pany In futuro shnll bo granted privi leges of building or extension of mains nnd pipes, except they secure petitions signed by owners of more than ono hnlf tho froutngoof each tnllo aud frac tion of a mile of any street or alley, which requirement Is designed to pro tect the merge companies In their Ille gal evasion of contract obligations, and prevents any competition, through tho organization and operation of now companies, now and forever In tho fu- I turc, and sold ACT Is directly la con- special privileges upon or granting pub lic property to private individuals or corporations nro construed strictly against the grautecs nnd In favor of the State" or the municipality. MENACE TO ALL. Section 0 ol tho GAS CONSOLIDATION ACT is retroactive, and provides that "nny corporation purchasing or-leas tug tho property of any other com pany shall be subject to and perform for each of tho compnules so entering Iuto snld agreement tho legal OBLIGA TION8 now resting upon each of them respectively under their charters and ordinances!' "in tho snmo man ner nnd to tho snmo extent ns If the companies had remained Individual and distinct," nnd, providing, however, "that nothing in this act shall bo con strued as extinguishing said companies entering Into tho agreement or agree ments mentioned, or annulling or Im pairing any of their respective fran chises, licenses or privileges, but that they shall soverally bo regarded as still subsisting, so far ns tholr contlnunueo for tho purpose of upholding nny right, title or interest, power, prlvllego or Im munity over exercised or enjoyed by any of them, may bo necessary for tho protection of their respective creditors or mortgagees, or any of thorn" aud SECTION 10, of tho ACT, which Is a vlolutlon of the letter of tho Constltu tlon, In thnt Is attempts to supcrsedo tho rights expressly vested In the City Council by tho Constitution, In relation to grant privileges in tho streets of the city, and would destroy tho vested rights nnd property Interests of tho city nnd liabilities and obligations to tho city nud Its citizens assumed by tho gns companies, under their ordl nances nnd frauchlso contracts, by pro vldlng thnt "the purchaso and sale or lense, or consolidation nnd merger, shnll not be held or construed as a vio lation of tho provision of any ordlnauco or bond given theroundcr," thereby en dcnvorlng to protect tho evaslvo and dishonest gas companies nt tho ex penso of the legal and equitable rights of the city and Its citizens. READ AND PONDER. This snmo CONSOLIDATION ACT, In SECTION 10, provides that "Ir taso tho property sold, or leased, or nequlred through consolidation or merger, Is subject to mortgngo OR OTHER LIEN, such mortgage or other lien shnll be nnd re inula a Hen upon ALL PROPERTY ho bold, purchased, leased or AC QUIRED, so that tho samo shall bo liable for and respond (to the payment) of such mortgage or other lien exist ing nt tho tlmo of such snlo or leaso," and "Any corporation purchasing or leasing tho real estate aud personal property of any other company or com panies shall PAY AND DIS CHARGE nil debts and LIABILITIES of each of tho companies, and actions may bo brought and maintain ed and recovery had thcrcforo against tho company so purchasing or leasing, or ngalnst such consolidated corpora tion," and In SECTION 11 It Ib provided that tho consolidated corporation, or GAS TRUST, "shall furnish gas to con sumcrs as good In Quality as it fur nished provJous to such purchase or The City Council should ask for tho following Information: 1. The Comptroller shold bo directed to report forthwith to the Council, at Its next regular meeting, what, If any, receipts have como to tho city from gns companies under the provisions of nny of tho gas ordinances; what, If any, struct lamps nro being supplied with gas by the Ogdcn Gns Company; capacity of the plant, nnd If said com pany or any other Is performing the labor of lighting and extinguishing said lumps, nnd what, If nny, contracts have been let to gas companies for sup plying the city with gas, together with the name, or nnmes, of said company, or companies, and tbe amount of which snld contracts have been let, and by what authority. 2. Tho Corporation Counsel nnd the Comptroller should be Instructed to re port forthwith to tho Council whether, In accordance with tho provisions and requirements of tho resolution of Feb. 20, 1802, tbe franchise of the Economic Gas Compnny was duly forfeited aud Its pipes and equipment recovered to the city, nnd, whether any permit has been Issued granting any other com pnny the use of snld pipes, aud also whether any measures have been taken to recover to tho city its rights and In terest In tho pipes nnd equipment of other gns companies, which, by eva sion nud infraction of their ordlnnnce and franchise contracts, have forfeited snld franchise and their plant nnd equipment to the city, nnd what, If any, measures havo been taken by the city to recover pcnnl sums on bonds filed by nny of tho nbove named companies ns surety and gunranteo for the per formance of their obligations to tho city nnd to gas consumers in general, under tho terms of nny franchise which nny of said companies through evasion or noncompliance with nil the terms nnd requirements of said frau chlso have forfeited. 3. The city gas Inspector should bo Instructed to report forthwith, direct to the Council, what. If any. tests have been made during the past year of tho power nnd Illuminating quality of gns, ns required by tho various gas ordin ances, provisionally granting street nud other privileges to gas companies, nnd it such required tests havo been made, to stato for what company, or companies said gas was Inspected, ex amined nnd tested, and where nnd by what process said gas was manufac tured. 4. The Comptroller, tho Corporation Counsel, tho City Gas Inspector and tho Commissioner of Public Works should bo severally Instructed to re port forthwith to tho Council, In whnt, If any, respect any of tho gns compan ies grunted ordinances and franchises by this Council havo violated snld or dinances nnd hnvo hereby becomo lia ble to forfeiture of their franchise rights and privileges back to tho city. 5. Tho Corporation Counsel should bo directed to communlcato with tho At torney General of tho Stato aud to re quest his co-operation and support In tho inauguration on behalf of the city of Chicago of proceedings In QUO WARRANTO, for tho purpose of dis covering the present condition and sys tem or operation and responsibility un der their ordinances nud franchises of tho various gns companies and the con solidation of theso companies known as tho GAS TRUST, which nre operating under tho provisional ordinances uud franchises granted them by tho Coun cil, with the view of determining In a court of last resort whether the said companies, or tho said GAS TRUST nro legally fulfilling tholr duties and obligations to tho city and its citizens. TENTS. BPraHyBBBJuM44B7g! FLAGS. Manufacturers of I Ell I u for AM PurPsM AWNINGS ARoTdYnoM 010110 of Ivary OlullO Description. PflUCDC WhIUOanvaa UUf tllO and Watar Proof. FLAGS f AU Ntiona NOT! CHANQI OP ADDMSSl 329-333 S. CANAL ST. RUDOLPH HURT, Tailor and Hatter. 693 BLUE ISLAND AVE., CHICAGO. (BttwMn 18th and ISth .) Uniforms of AU Kinds a Specialty. ' PRICES REASONABLE, W. D. CURTIN & CO., Undertakers Embalmers bHHHb1bbIkw jflsV i "Bumps" Bllllugs cares nothing for Chicago. If his exorbitant bills nro not paid all tho peoplo In Chicago may break their necks In tho dark, for ho will turn out the gas on them. Corporation moucy buys bailiffs and bribes Juries, Corporation money buys legislation. Is this sort of freedom guaranteed by tho constitution? At Inst the peoplo of Chicago aro In a fair way to obtain their rights, Tho lufnmous Gas Trust will soon hnvo a foe worthy of Its steel. When tho Trust bought tho Infamous frontngo legislation at Springfield, it shut out nil now gns companies, but It did not shut out tho solid and honestly conducted Ogdon Gas Company, which now proposes to parallel all of tho Gas Trust lines in Chicago. Tho Ogdcn. compnuy stands for cheap gaH aud good gas. . All of its customers nro satisfied with It, and that portion of tho city served by It Is tho best fronted In tho gns lino of nuy part of Chicago, Tho Ogdcn company means business, It has tho money. It has tho machinery. It has tho brains nud tho ability to carry out lis projects In every way. It will bust tho Gns Trust. now ninny pollco nnd flro ofllclnls get clothes for nothlug at Work Brothers? With tho corporations buying tho courts and denying tho peoplo Justice; with tho corporations buying tho Leg islature and depriving tbe people of tholr rights, of what use Is a Republic? and Livery... 148-160 Walla Street, LIVERY: 148 and 150 Wells Strett. 176 Grand Avanuc TUs)ht)n Main ' JOHN ADANK, ' Livery, Boarding, ZfDc SALE STABLES. 831 and 333 Webster Ave. (Tel. North 646.) CHAS. BURMEISTER, UNDER TAKER! 303 Larrabea Street, Ttlepkoat North 188 CHICAGO, ILL. n. K. SLOAN. J. CORNISH. SLOAN & CORNISH, Livery and Undertaking. ssV m i a 8a i and 2833 Archer Ave., Chicago. Tslsphona Yards 721. Hearses, Carriages and Baggies. Orders Promptly Attended to Day and Night. E. MUELHOEFER & BRO. UNDERTAKERS. 112 and 114 Clybourn Avenue, Tln)nNrth4ll. OHIOAQO. ' .