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allowed, and that we will show some of the gentlemen who think we are biased at the start, that we are fair in the matter. Mr. NICKERSON.— Mr. Chairman, perhaps if I made a statement to the Committee — * The CHAIRMAN. — The Chair will rule that you are out of order, sir. Alderman HENNESSEY. — Mr. Chairman, it seems to me, after our inviting the public and representatives of public bodies here to discuss this question, we are bound to hear them and give them an opportunity of going into the question. What Alderman Curley says about legislative hearings may be true, but I think we can set an example here that will be better, if that is the case. This hearing is being conducted in the interest of all parties, and I think we cannot hear too much concerning this momentous question. I am in favor of giving everybody who has any facts to present a hearing. I think that the Chair is in a position to control the speakers and keep them within bounds. Alderman CURLEY. — Mr. Chairman, I believe the motion I made has answered the desired purpose. It is evidently not only the wish of the Committee, but apparently the wish of all present, including myself, that questioning may be permitted by any person appearing before this Committee. Since that is the desire of all persons, including the members of this Committee, I most respectfully withdraw the motion, Mr. Chairman, and trust that courtesy will be extended to all. The CHAIRMAN. — The motion has been withdrawn. If Mr. Nickerson desires to ask questions of Mr. Kiley, the Committee will be glad to have him do so. Mr. NICKERSON. — Councilman Kiley, have you given any study to chapter 34 of the Revised Laws? Mr. KILEY. – Yes, sir; I have given a great deal of study to it. Mr. NICKERSON.— I asked you the question because I knew you had. Do you think, speaking as a friend of municipal ownership, that municipal ownership would get a square deal to start with under chapter 34 of the Revised Laws 7 Mr. KILEY. — Well, I don’t know what the purpose of the question is, but I will answer that question in this way. Chapter 34 of the Revised Laws was originally enacted upon the demand of a large number of the citizens of our community for municipal ownership. There was a demand from several of the cities and towns throughout the Commonwealth for the right to maintain their own lighting plants. There was an association, and there still is an association, of gas and electric lighting companies in this State. They have formed an association for mutual protection. They employ certain distinguished gentlemen in the State House -— the slickest, the most adroit, and, perhaps, the choicest corrupters — corrupters is the proper word to use — of Legislatures that can be procured within the Commonwealth. They also have on their pay-roll some of the more respectable attorneys, or attorneys of more respectable standing, if I might so term it. Their business is to prevent good legislation from going on the statute books and to put upon the statute books bad legislation. Although the original act, chapter 34, was intended as an enabling act, to enable cities and towns to manufacture and distribute lighting for municipal purposes, there are now, I think, 31 sections in the act, and, I dare say, that of all those sections, 25 have been put in for the purpose of preventing municipalities from going into the business, with good advantage to themselves and to their citizens. So that I say perhaps one-tenth of the legislation contained in chapter 34 is in the interest of the people, and nine-tenths is in the interest of these corporations and stands between the people and their own. Onetenth of it was put there to give to the people what belonged to them — the control of their highways, the right to string their wires and erect their poles, to build their plants and to light their own highways, and to sell their lighting if they wanted to do so. But these adroit, these slick, these clever men who are employed in the halls of legislation for the purpose, as I say, of stopping good legislation and putting upon the statute books corrupt legislation, bad legislation, have made chapter 34 a monument to their genius. Does that answer the gentleman’s question ? Mr. NICKERSON.— Not just exactly. Perhaps I will put the question a little broader. You are a friend of municipal ownership, are you not? Mr. KILEY. — A sincere friend. Mr. NICKERSON. — And you want to see municipal ownership, if it is started in Boston, started properly 2 Mr. KILEY. – Yes. But, Mr. Chairman, right here I would like to have the credentials of the gentleman who is asking me these questions a little more carefully presented before I answer them. I would like to ask the gentleman if he appears here in the interest of the lighting companies, or whether he is a friend of municipal ownership? The CHAIRMAN. — He has stated that he represents a certain combination of citizens’ associations, represents them as chairman of a committee appointed to appear here, and not in a professional capacity. I asked him that question myself. I will interrogate him further if you desire me to do so, Mr. Kiley. Mr. Nickerson, do you represent any other person, body or corporation, except the association of which you have spoken 2 Mr. NICKERSON.— Excepting that I am a taxpayer of the City of Boston I represent nobody except myself, except that I appear for the committee to which I have referred. I have no brief from any one, and I think before the Committee gets through they will be satisfied, and the gentleman will be satisfied, as to my position. I don’t mind the question, Mr. Kiley, and I will simply say that I come here as an honest citizen, and that is all. Alderman HENNESSEY.— I would like to ask the gentleman a question — whether he is in favor of or against, or appears here as representing those in favor of or against, municipal ownership 2 The CHAIRMAN.— Have you any objection to answering that question, Mr. Nickerson 2 Mr. NICKERSON.— No, Mr. Chairman. I will simply say that I have a request to make later on behalf of the United Improvement Association, as representing a committee of the association appointed on this subject. We have given a great deal of thought to this subject in our association; our committee has taken some action, and we are going finally to present certain suggestions to this Committee in regard to the matter. Mr. KILEY.— Before going further, Mr. Chairman, I would like to know the animus of the questions directed at me. I would ask the gentleman now if he will tell the Committee whether the association he represents is in favor of or against municipal lighting 2 The CHAIRMAN.—Will you answer the question, whether the association you represent is in favor of or against municipal lighting 2 Mr. NICKERSON.—Well, the thing has never come to a vote — that is the best way to put it — in the central organization. In the central organization it has never come to a vote. We have voted in our local organizations on the subject, but never in the central body, which sent me out. Mr. KILEY. —All I desire to say, Mr. Chairman, is that I believe the gentleman is here as a paid employee of the corporations. The CHAIRMAN.— He states that he is not. Mr. KILEY. — Well, Mr. Chairman, he does not deceive
me a particle. I can see that from the purport of his questions; and I believe, Mr. Chairman, that he ought to be absolutely honest with me and with the Committee. He does not deceive me a particle, and I want to tell him so IlOW. The CHAIRMAN. — Well, Mr. Kiley, the only information we have is his own statement, and the only way it becomes material is that I feel, and I think the Committee feel, that we want to know who everybody is and whom he represents when he appears here either to ask questions or to answer them. The only way we can ascertain those facts is to ask any gentleman who appears here to propound questions whom he represents, and what his views on the subject are. I think the Committee feel, and I shall rule, of course subject to appeal by any member of the Committee, that it is immaterial and irrelevant to pursue the matter beyond the statement of the person who appears before the Committee. If a person appearing before the Committee states that he does or does not represent this or that interest, or does or does not favor this or that view of the question, I shall rule that the Committee is bound by his statement and is not entitled to take evidence on that question, because that would lead the Committee into endless collateral issues. Mr. KILEY. — Mr. Chairman, I do not refuse to answer the gentleman's questions at all, but I simply state that I believe, notwithstanding the statement of the gentleman, that I understand why he is here. I am willing to answer the questions, but he does not deceive me, if he does you, Sl}". Mr. CHAIRMAN. — Then you had better answer the gentleman's questions. Mr. NICKERSON.— Mr. Chairman, I desire to make a statement as to my appearance here. The CHAIRMAN. —I understood that you had made such a Statement. Mr. NICKERSON. — I haven’t yet. I have tried to several times. The CHAIRMAN. — I certainly understood that you had already done so. However, you may do so now, if you wish, if Mr. Kiley will temporarily suspend for the purpose. Mr. KILEY. — With pleasure. A Gentleman present. — I would like to ask the Chair a question. The CHAIRMAN. — The Chair must rule the gentleman at the present moment out of order. Mr. Nickerson has the floor to make a statement.
The same Gentleman. — I wish to rise to a point of order, then, Mr. Chairman. The CHAIRMAN. — The Chair will rule that you are not entitled to rise to a point of order. Mr. NICKERSON.— Mr. Chairman, I am chairman of a committee sent out by the United Improvement Association of Boston — which is composed of local organizations, as I have stated — for the purpose of getting a change in chapter 34 of the Revised Laws. Our committee believes that whether a man is in favor of or opposed to municipal ownership he still should believe in a revision of that law ; and later I am going to ask this Committee, on behalf of those people, to embody in their report a request— The CHAIRMAN. —I think, Mr. Nickerson, if I may interTupt you, that you are wandering from the point raised, the point being who and what you represent. The Chair felt that you had fully stated your position on that point, and so ruled, but as you wished to make a further statement on the subject the Chair was glad to hear you — anything further on that subject and not upon your individual views or the views of those whom you represent. I understand that the Committee now merely wishes to hear a full statement of whom you represent and what side of the question you favor, and nothing more. Mr. NICKERSON.— I believe I have stated that exactly as I intended to. Mr. KILEY. — Mr. Chairman, I insist on an answer from him before answering his question. He states that he represents certain improvement associations. Who are they, and what do they represent? Alderman LINEHAN. — Mr. Chairman, I desire to ask the gentleman one or two questions. The gentleman stated a moment ago that he had already stated and made clear the association he represented. For my own information, Mr. Chairman, I desire to ask the gentleman one or two questions. The CHAIRMAN. — Confining your questions to the issue of whom he represents? Alderman LINEHAN. — I am not going to confine my questions to anything in particular. The CHAIRMAN. — Well, the Chair cannot pass on your question without having some idea of what it refers to. Alderman LINEHAN. — I ask the gentleman if he will consent to answer questions 2 The CHAIRMAN. — The Chair has ruled, for the purpose of saving the time of the Committee, that the Committee does