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not care to hear evidence on the question of whom a person represents, aside from his own statement. Alderman LINEHAN. — How does the Chair know that the Committee does not care to ? The CHAIRMAN. — Well, the Chair makes this ruling, subject to being overruled by the Committee. Do you care to make a motion ? Alderman LINEHAN. — Does the Chair rule that that is so before the matter has been put to a vote? The CHAIRMAN. — The Chair rules, as a ruling of the Chair, that the Committee will not hear evidence on the question of whom a person represents, but will take his statement as final on that subject, because if we go into evidence pro and con on the question of whom any person appearing here represents, we shall be led into collateral issues, consuming unnecessary time. Now, if any member of the Committee is not satisfied with the ruling of the Chair, the Chair wishes that he will appeal to the Committee. Alderman LINEHAN. — Then, Mr. Chairman, if any man desires to come here and give his name and say that he represents the Bank of England, we are to take it for granted 2 The CHAIRMAN. — I think so. Alderman LINEHAN. — Without any question ? The CHAIRMAN. — Unless the Committee rules otherwise. Alderman LINEHAN. — Well, as a member of the Committee, I object to that method of procedure, Mr. Chairman. The CHAIRMAN. — Any motion ? Alderman LINEHAN. — I don’t make any motion, but I want it understood, Mr. Chairman, that I want, as a member of the Committee, to ask that man some questions. Mr. MCCULLOUGH. — I also desire to ask Mr. Nickerson some questions, Mr. Chairman. The CHAIRMAN. — On the question of whom he represents 2 & Mr. KILEY. — Let me suggest to the Chair first — The CHAIRMAN. — Alderman Linehan has the floor. Alderman LINEHAN. – Now, Mr. Chairman, I am going to ask that gentleman some questions. Will you kindly state your name, if you please? Mr. NICKERSON.— Jean P. Nickerson. Alderman LINEHAN. — Where do you live 2 Mr. NICKERSON.— 381 Hyde Park avenue, Roslindale. Alderman LINEHAN. — What association do you represent? Mr. NICKERSON. – The Mt. Hope Citizens’ Association. Alderman LINEHAN. – You represent the Mt. Hope Citizens’ Association ?
Mr. NICKERSON. — I represent them in the central organization, and the central organization is the United Improvement Association. Alderman LINEHAN. – Where do you hold your meetings? Mr. NICKERSON.— We have held one at the Parker House, at which Alderman Linehan was present and made a statement before our committee, if he will remember; we have held one at Young’s Hotel; we have held one at another hotel on Beacon street; and we have held regular meetings since that time at the office of William Hoag, Esq., Exchange Building, State street. Alderman LINEHAN. — Has this association delegated you by vote to represent them here? * Mr. NICKERSON. — They have. I am chairman of a committee appointed at a regularly organized meeting for the purpose I have stated. Alderman LINEHAN. — What is your object in coming here 2 o Mr. NICKERSON.— Because I am interested in the subject of municipal ownership, as I am in all other subjects for the improvement of Boston. Mr. MCCULLOUGH. — Mr. Nickerson, I understand that the United Improvement Association is composed of delegates of various improvement associations? Mr. NICKERSON. — Yes. Mr. MCCULLOUGH. – You have mentioned one, the Mt. Hope Citizens' Association. What others? Mr. NICKERSON. — Well, I haven’t a list with me. I am secretary, and I can furnish the Committee with the names of the delegates. Alderman Hennessey is a member of our organization and knows something about it. Mr. MCCULLOUGH. — Give me the name of one other association. Mr. NICKERSON. — The Harvard Improvement Association, the Dorchester Improvement, the Roslindale Citizens’ Association, the East Boston Citizens’ Trade Association, the South Boston Citizens’ Association, and so on. I believe there are twenty-six of them altogether. Mr. KILEY. — The Chair asked a question of the gentleman which he has not answered yet, and I decline to answer any question put by him until he answers the question put by the Chair, as well as by myself — namely, is he an attorney, and is he favorable to or against the proposition of municipal ownership 2 The CHAIRMAN. — Mr. Nickerson, are you an attorney 2 Mr. NICKERSON.— I am an attorney-at-law.
The CHAIRMAN. — Are you favorable to, or opposed to, the general proposition of municipal ownership 2 Mr. NICKERSON. — So far as my own opinion is concerned, or the opinion of my committee — which 2 The CHAIRMAN.—I understand Mr. Kiley's question to be, your own opinion ? Mr. NICKERSON.—I want to know which, Mr. Chairman. They are two entirely distinct, opposite positions. Alderman HENNFSSEY. —Let us have both, Mr. Chairman. The CHAIRMAN.—Yes, that is a good solution of it. Mr. NICKERSON.—I am absolutely opposed, with the present municipal conditions in Boston, to municipal ownership. As for the association, they have never taken a vote on the subject. Mr. KILEY.— Now that I know the gentleman's position — know that he is an attorney-at-law and know that he is opposed to municipal ownership, and believe he is here representing the lighting companies — I will answer his question. I believe also, Mr. Chairman, that he is paid for being here. The CHAIRMAN.— He has stated that he was not. Mr. NICKERSON.—I didn’t come here to bandy words with any one. My last question to you, I believe, Mr. Kiley, was whether you would not like to see municipal ownership started under favorable conditions? Mr. KILEY. —Why, of course. Mr. NICKERSON. — And do you think it possible — this is the exact question, one of the questions, I wanted to put to you — do you think it possible, with chapter 34 of the Revised Laws affording the only way in which we can go into this municipal ownership, that municipal ownership can be started in Boston in a fair manner, from the standpoint of a believer in municipal ownership 2 Mr. KILEY. — My answer to that question is this, sir, that as soon as you refer this to the people and the people's voice is registered at the polls it will be so recorded upon this question that the hair on the head of your principal, Mr. Burdett, will rise so quickly that there will be no question about the repeal of chapter 34 of the Revised Laws. Do I answer your question ? s Mr. NICKERSON. — That wasn’t quite an answer to the question. I thank Mr. Kiley for his compliment, because it is always a compliment to be employed by a big concern. They only employ smart men, and I don’t claim to be such a man. Simply this, Mr. Kiley, as a friend of municipal ownership, whether you believe that municipal ownership in Boston would have a fair start under the law as it is in chapter 34 of the Revised Laws, the only way in which the City of Boston can go into municipal ownership 2 Mr. KILEY. — Not as fair a start as I would like to give it. Mr. NICKERSON. — That is good. That is exactly what I wanted. I am obliged to you. Mr. KILEY. — I know that the gentleman is here to-night to bring that out, and I am willing to answer that question, putting it in that way, that chapter 34 could be made a little more favorable to the citizens. But, even with chapter 34, give us municipal ownership and put these grafters, those who are running the lighting companies, out of business. Put the lighting in the hands of a fair commission, such as is building our subways in Boston to-day, such a commission as the Transit Commission, and we will show a profit on the right side of the ledger pretty quick, notwithstanding all the difficulties that Mr. Burdett, Mr. Wardwell and all the other leading attorneys of these lighting companies have put into chapter 34 in the last few years. Q. (By Mr. MCCULLOUGH.) Mr. Kiley, you have been a member of the Legislature — what, if any, in your opinion, is the prospect of the City of Boston securing from the Legislature more favorable legislation towards municipal ownership? A. I think the people's voice will be registered to such an extent that we will get more favorable legislation in the near future. Q. But unless something of that kind is done, what do you think of the prospects 2 A. Oh, I say if this matter is submitted to the people their voice will be recorded in no uncertain tones, to such an extent that the Legislature will then be found to move in this question and wipe out chapter 34 of the Revised Laws. Q. (By Mr. NICKERSON.) Mr. Kiley, isn’t it true that, if this matter is submitted to the voters now, it will have to be municipal ownership under chapter 34 of the Revised Laws, without change? A. I don’t quite understand the question. Q. Isn’t it true that if the question as brought up by your order which you introduced in the Council, is submitted to the people, is passed by both branches of the City Council and submitted to the people, municipal ownership will have to be carried out under chapter 34 of the Revised Laws without change 2 That is, if this Board of Aldermen and Common Council should this year pass this order, without a change of that statute, wouldn't we have to go into municipal ownership under chapter 34 of the Revised Laws”
A. I understand that to be so. Q. Yes, that is right. A. I want to state further that I believe a great deal of chapter 34, however, will be nullified by the decision of the supreme court of this Commonwealth. Q. (By Alderman LINEHAN.) I desire to ask Mr. Kiley a question or two. In what way would you suggest changing chapter 347 A. To repeal the entire act and substitute therefor about four plain, simple sections, that would enable cities and towns to manufacture and distribute their own lighting. Q. What is there now in the act that you object to ? A. Well, there is so much there that I cannot conceive of my answering that question within any reasonable time, and I am not going to undertake to do so. Q. Name one section that is objectionable? A. Well, you know the act, but if you want me to do so I will read a lot of them to you. There is, to start out with, Section 2: “A city shall not acquire such a plant until it has been so authorized by a vote of two-thirds of each branch of its City Council passed in each of two consecutive municipal years and thereafter ratified by a majority of the voters at an annual or special city election,” and so forth and so on. Q. Why do you object to that? A. I object to that because it places the question too far from the control of the people. Q. In what way does it? A. Why should a two-thirds vote of each branch of the City Council be required for two consecutive years before the question is submitted to the people 7 Q. Doesn’t the acquiring of those properties require the expenditure of over forty million dollars 2 A. Yes. Q. Doesn’t an appropriation of $5,000 now in this government in the form of a loan call for a two-thirds vote? A. Yes. Q. Then, what is the objection to that section ? A. The objection is this, that when you pass a loan in the City Government now you pass it in one City Government, and you don’t have to refer it to the people. When the people are passing on an appropriation of their own money they can be trusted to do it right, to do it judiciously. But this section was not drawn for that purpose. This section was drawn to keep it away from the people. This section was drawn so that if it went through any City Government by any mistake the second City Government would