Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub
[graphic]

The Outlook

SATURDAY, JANUARY 6, 1906

6

If the Tammany boss decided that he will put the Democratic Mayor McClellan's. and district leaders party above the Tammany organization, Appointments

are to control the and in at least one critical position the coming administration of Mayor McClel- city above his party. He has decided lan in New York, the fact does not to do this at the risk of alienating valuappear in the Mayor's appointments. able support in the Board of Estimate Reports of Tammany rage and resent- and Apportionment, which holds the ment against Mr. McClellan may be power of the purse, and of arousing the exaggerated, but they are not incred- hostility of the most powerful of his erstible. The Tammany doctrine that pub- while supporters. The Outlook hopes lic office is a piece of property which that the subordinate places in the city by right belongs to the

who government will now be filled in no less works for a successful political organiza- high-minded manner. tion Mr. McClellan has apparently disregarded. For Police Commissioner he has selected an army officer not a Demo

We reported last

The Traction Merger week the purchase of crat, not even a resident of New York in New York City City. In making General Theodore A.

the surface railways Bingham head of the police he has indi

of New York City by the capitalists who cated his determination to use the police

now control the elevated and subway force as an instrument, not for party systems. This transaction proves to be reward, but for public service. Whether rather a merger of the two, and is founded General Bingham can possibly avoid the

on a stock-watering operation of gigantic serious difficulties, not to say failures, of proportions. The figures are thus given his honest and courageous predecessor, by the New York " Evening Post,” the Mr. McAdoo, is another question. The

comments of which are the more signifianomaly of a temporary head of a per

cant since no one will suspect that jourmanent body is one that may frustrate

nal of anti-capitalistic sympathies : the best plans of the most efficient man.

The full plan of combination of the BelMessrs . Oakley, Featherson, and Best,

mont and Ryan traction interests is now heads respectively of the water and light- ent 550,000,000 Interborough stock into $70;

before us.

It contemplates turning the presins, of the dock, and of the bridge c00,000 Bonds, witheal. Bonus 5 of $31,500,000 departments, Mr. McClellan has had the

in new stock; converting the $52,000,000 outcourage to let go, in spite of their very

standing Metropolitan Street Railway stock powerful political influence, and in their

into $78,000,000 new stock, and buying up places has put men of good reputation with stock of a new one.

the stock of the old "holding company,

This is, clearly Messrs

. Ellison, Bensel, and Stevenson. enough, a stock-watering plan on the scale The reappointment of the present Com

of 1901. We are not likely to hear again missioner of Street-Cleaning, Tenement

very soon the assertion which the Subway's House Commissioner, and Health Com

financial managers have been wont to make missioner may be regarded as deserved. terprise in which capital inflation has played

with pride, that here at least is a railway enWhether the new Fire Commissioner,

no part. The new plan, if carried out sucMr. O'Brien, formerly the Mayor's sec

cessfully, will change all that, and will change retary, proves efficient or not, he owes

it on much the same lines as Jay Gould his appointment to the Mayor's personal stock of the Elevated Railway.

selected, a generation ago, for watering the confidence in him, not to political "pull." We naturally turn to the New York It is evident that Mr. McClellan has “ Times” to find what defense there is

an

a

[ocr errors]

for this stock-watering operation. Its capacity by borrowing on its incomedefense is mainly silence; perhaps it re- producing property, which now it cannot gards the figures as part of the news not do. As Mr. Coler has explained in The “fit to print;" the only editorial reference Outlook, under present conditions the we find to it is in the following sentence: richer the city is the less it can borrow. “It must be plain to every man's under Two years would be sufficient to secure standing that the capitalization of the such an amendment. With such new concern is based on an expectation amendment it could borrow all the money of largely increased business-of carry- that is needful, and meanwhile it could, —

, ing more passengers.”

if necessary, borrow enough to make a beginning in subway construction. It

looks as though the merger, which was It must also be plain intended to put the city under the control Monopolistic or Municipal Control to every man's under

of a monopoly, might give municipal standing that if this

ownership a new impulse. expectation is not realized, it will not be the men who have issued the stock who will suffer from the “great expectations.”

The New York It will be either the stockholders—many The End of the

Insurance Invesof them innocent purchasers—who will go Insurance Investigation

tigating Commitwithout their dividends, or the employees

tee finished its sessions for the taking of whose wages will be reduced because the

testimony last week. There are before enterprise does not“ pay.” In any case, it, however, several weeks of hard work the public will pay for the service more

in preparing its final report and its than a fair interest on the actual cost of

recommendations for legislation. Mr. constructing the new railways. It is because this is plain to men of understand- John C. McCall

, the Secretary of the

New York Life Insurance Company, ing that the Rapid Transit Commission are

presented the most interesting testimony preparing to meet the merger with wise

of the last days. Mr. McCall had been plans for preventing the city from being

sent to Paris by the trustees of the at the mercy of a monopoly. For this

Company to obtain a statement from two methods are proposed. The first is

Mr. Andrew C. Hamilton, who had an endeavor to secure a new combina

been its representative in matters relattion of capitalists to bid against the

ing to legislation and taxation, of the monopoly and so enable the city to

manner in which he had spent the large secure fair terms for the franchises it is

sums of money which the Company had to grant. There seems to be good pros- paid him from time to time. Mr. Hampect that they will secure such inde

ilton was found by Mr. McCall in a prependent bids. The other method is thus

carious condition of health, which made stated by Mr. Charles Stewart Smith,

it impossible for him to return to appear who we may well believe represents the before the Committee in person. He views of the Rapid Transit Commission : did, however, prepare a statement which

In the subway situation the city will not was presented to the Committee. In it seek to enter the field of municipal construc- Mr. Hamilton presented a long explanation and operation unless it is compelled to do so. However, if the Belmont-Ryan

tion of the reasons which led the New interests do not offer terms adequate for the

York Life, in co-operation with the valuable right they want, then it becomes the Equitable and the Mutual, to organize a imperative duty of the city not only to own

secret legislative bureau to protect the the new subways, but also to build them and run them when built. Should we be brought companies from legislation which the offiface to face with such a condition, the city cials regarded as inimical to the interests will be found abundantly able and willing to of the companies and to aid in securing construct, and to operate as well.

favorable legislation. He asserted that For this purpose an appeal will probably secrecy was essential to the success of be made to the State Legislature to pro

the work of the bureau, secrecy not only pose an amendment to the Constitution from the public but from the officials of enabling the city to add to its borrowing the companies themselves. He had

:

[graphic]
[ocr errors]

gone into the work with the distinct an accounting of any particular sum, understanding that he was not to be that he had accepted whatever Mr, called upon to account to the companies Hamilton gave him, and that he was not by detailed statements as to who his aware that he had not received an acrepresentatives were and how much he counting for " every dollar he had ever paid them. He had, therefore, kept had from the New York Life Insurance no books showing his expenditures, Company.” He could give no explanahad demanded no vouchers from the tion of the discrepancy of $45,000 men he employed, and had made his shown to exist between the

money

which payments, not by his personal checks, Mr. Hamilton had received and the but by cash, drafts, and certificates. He money for which he had accounted. declined to give the names of any of his Mr. John A. McCall, the President of representatives. He submitted a state- the New York Life Insurance Company, ment of the amounts which he had ex- is reported to have said that the statepended on behalf of the New York Life ment was “very satisfactory," and that alone since 1899, grouped under very gen- he regarded it as a “very good report.” eral heads. The aggregate amounted to It is extremely doubtful if the policy$720,550, of which $160,000 was his per- holders of the New York Life will share sonal compensation, $34,000 was for rent Mr. McCall's opinion. and clerk hire, $74,000 was for traveling expenses for himself and his representatives, and $451,000 was for retainers and

Mr. Richard Wightman, fees for his representatives and for newspa

Life Insurance

the President of the Life

Without Agents per articles. The largest yearly expenses

Insurance Club of New were during 1904 and 1905, amounting York, testified that several years ago he to $142,000 and $147,000 respectively. conceived the plan of writing life insurance The size of these amounts was explained by advertising followed by correspondas being due in the former case to large ence, without the intervention of agents. expenditures in an attempt to create a He made a contract with the New York public sentiment throughout the country Life Insurance Company, and by means in favor of Federal supervision of life of advertising he obtained in three insurance, and in the latter to increased months a larger number of policies than activity in legislation due to the troubles any other agent of the Company, although in the Equitable Life Assurance Society, not a larger volume of business. His and to the fact that the bureau in that contract was then terminated by the year was practically carried on by the Company on the ground that its terms New York Life and the Mutual without had been violated by him; but he testimaterial assistance from the Equitable. fied that he had never been able to find With regard to the sum of $235,000 out in what the violation consisted. His charged against him on the books of contracť with the New York Life was on the New York Life Insurance Com- a commission basis, and during his conpany, concerning which inquiry had nection with the Company he found that been especially made, Mr. Hamilton the cost to him of writing a policy was stated that the discharge of obligations fifteen dollars, and that his commissions incurred during the past two years, not from the Company on such a policy included in the payments shown in his amounted to about sixty-five dollars per statement, and his own unsettled accounts thousand. If he wrote a policy of one for retainers, commissions, and percent- thousand dollars, his profit amounted to ages, would account for a large portion fifty dollars, while if he wrote a policy of of it. As an evidence of good faith, five thousand dollars his profit amounted however, he offered to place in the cus- to three hundred and ten dollars. After tody of the company the sum of one the termination of his contract with the hundred thousand dollars, to be held New York Life, Mr. Wightman formed subject to a future audit and settlement a connection with the Reliance Life of these accounts. Mr. McCall testified Insurance Company, of Pittsburg. At that he had not asked Mr. Hamilton for this time a combination was formed by

[ocr errors]

the Equitable, Mutual, and Prudential Committee, “ from among the mass of Life Insurance Companies to prevent excellent material,” and the prospect is Mr. Wightman's advertisements from that “these offices will be administered appearing in the magazines. These with a simple view to the public service.” companies informed certain publish At one time it looked as if the officials ers that if Mr. Wightman's advertising elect and the City party leaders would was carried theirs would be discontin- be overwhelmed with applicants for ued, and offered to other publishers place; but the dangers of the situation large advertising contracts if his adver- have been successfully passed. The tising should be refused. Their opposi- punishment of ballot frauds proceeds tion was based on the ground that Mr. satisfactorily. The courts have directed Wightman did not mention in his adver- in some cases the opening of the ballottising the name of the company that would boxes, and thus enabled the District Atwrite the policy. Mr. Wightman testi- torney to corroborate his other testimony. fied that he was unwilling to do this for The members of the whole election the reason that it would weaken the board in a Fourteenth Ward division and force of the club idea which he was the “boss” of the division were concarrying out in his advertising. As a victed (or pleaded guilty) of stuffing the result of this opposition he was led to ballot-box to the extent of two hundred form the Life Insurance Club of New ballots. They received two years each, York, which has been in existence the maximum penalty. In sentencing for about a year.

This Club writes the prisoners the judge declared : life insurance entirely by advertising I see no reason why mercy should be exand correspondence, and employs no tended in this case to any of the defendants agents. Mr. Wightman testified that except Williams. The men have been conthe premiums charged by his company fense against the laws of the Commonwealth

victed or have pleaded guilty to a gross ofat most ages and on most forms of -an offense which I regard as so grave as insurance average ten per cent. lower to call for punishment to the fullest extent. than the premiums charged by other A few days later the election officers of companies, and that the saving to a pol- a Seventh Ward division pleaded guilty icy-holder on a twenty-payment policy to stuffing the ballot-box to the extent of would amount to about the sum of three scores of fraudulent votes. In a Fifteenth annual premiums. He believed that Ward case the opening of the ballot-box this saving would be increased by the by the court commissioner disclosed payment of larger dividends than is the that although forty-four straight City custom in other companies, made pos- party votes had been cast, but thirteen sible by the economies resulting from a had been returned, and that the box had discontinuance of the agency system. been stuffed to the extent of two hundred

fraudulent votes. These cases afford

interesting evidence as to how the “orThere has been no abate- ganization” has been able to maintain Affairs in

ment of the reform move- its control of Philadelphia politics. Philadelphia ment in Philadelphia since Preparations for the special session of the November election. . Mayor Weaver the Legislature which meets January 15 and his colleagues have gone steadily are nearly completed. The Personal forward with their work, and although Registration Bill, prepared by the Elecdevelopments have been less sensational tion Reforms Committee, has been gone in their features, they have been none over most carefully, and, when introthe less important and satisfactory for duced by Representative Sheatz (who that reason. The officials elected in introduced it at the regular session, November have announced their appoint- where it received such scant consideraments, which seem to give very general tion), will represent the views of all the approval. Some old and tried officials forces interested in its passage. It will have been retained, but the bulk are be given the united support of all the new ones, selected, according to the state- reform forces. The “ripper repeals ment of the Chairman of the City Party have been prepared by the Committee

[graphic]

a

of Seventy, and the apportionment bills moval of all non-elective officials and by the Philadelphia City Club, and will, employees, including the Tax Collector, like the registration bill, represent the the Chief of Police, the Judge of the Corcombined forces. Bills to carry out the poration Court, the City Attorney, and other reforms made possible by Governor the City Comptroller. The Mayor and Pennypacker's call are being drafted, the four Aldermen constitute the City including treasury reform. No legislator Council, and this Council may impeach will be given a chance to say that there and remove the Mayor or any other of was no disposition to accept the oppor- its own members for any cause affecting tunity offered, as every point will be his efficiency and honesty. A refercovered by a carefully prepared meas- endum upon the granting of a franchise ure. If the members of the Legislature may be had whenever five hundred qualare sincere, they will have no trouble in ified voters ask for it. It will be seen giving effect to the demands of the that this form of municipal government voters, and they will be able to adjourn combines the advantages of home rule within the two weeks which Governor and of direct responsibility by the few Pennypacker has indicated as being nec- elective officers. Theoretically, it will essary to carry out the recommendations not please those who believe that minor of his message. He has not given any officials should be chosen directly by the intimation of his intention to enlarge the people and be removed only after tedicall for the special session and include ous litigation before the courts. The ballot reform and uniform primaries. belief is gaining ground, however, among

advocates of municipal reform that, while

all power must come from the people at The city of Houston in large, it should be so applied as to bring A Municipal Experiment

Texas has for the last half- about actual executive efficiency; the

year been carrying on an ex- dissipation of the elective choice among tremely interesting experiment in munici- a multitude of only slightly responsible pal government. Its chief feature is the officials is obviously without economy concentration of power in the hands of in power and extremely likely to make the Mayor and four Commissioners who the punishment of incompetent or coract as his assistants, and who combinedly rupt minor officials almost impossible. have a certain degree of checking power The actual working of the Houston exon the Mayor's actions, but only in a periment has been excellent. A special few specified matters, mainly relating to article in the Boston “Transcript” from expenditures. The new form of gov- its correspondent in Houston declares ernment was established by a charter that “the public is well pleased with the granted by the Legislature, and the idea experiment.” He adds: was in part inspired by the effective

The period has been meteoric in respect methods of the Commission under which to new policies which have taken the place the city of Galveston had spent millions of aged ones. The five commission officials for improvements and the re-establishing have used their power freely, and they have of all that had been destroyed by the brought about a new order of things. They

have shaken loose many of the barnacles of great flood. The central aim of Hous- maladministration, and plugged leak-holes of ton's new charter is concentration of extravagance and graft. The new set of power in the hands of the Mayor, with

officials, while enjoying an unusual scope of direct responsibility from him co-exten

power under the charter, are more than ever

under the eye of the public, and their acts sive with this power. Only four city capable of being more openly viewed. officers are chosen by popular votenamely, the Mayor and four Aldermen at large, who are at once appointed by

The adjournment of the Mayor as Commissioners, respect

The Demands of

the Shamokin Conively, of taxes and finance; police, fire,

Mine Workers

vention of the anthraand electricity; streets and bridges ;

cite mine employees sewers, parks, water, and public health. on December 16 without formulating The Mayor has absolute power of re- for the public the demands the United

the Anthracite

« PredošláPokračovať »