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Mr. KILEY. — I simply desire to say at this time that the committee of the Council was composed largely of men who either by their votes helped to defeat the question or absented themselves from the Council to assist in defeating a Square deal upon this question. Mr. NOONAN. — Mr. Chairman, I rise to a point of order, that the gentleman is going into a discussion of what has taken place in the City Government in the past. The CHAIRMAN. — The point of order is well taken. Mr. NOONAN. — This Committee is here to discuss municipal ownership, and not to be ridiculed or have the law laid down to it by the gentleman from ward 8. The CHAIRMAN. — The Chair will rule the point of order well taken. This Committee, as the order under which it is appointed reads, is appointed to consider the subject of municipal ownership — not to consider the subject of who appointed it or how it was appointed. Mr. KILEY. — Mr. Chairman, I am willing to abide by the decision of the Chair. I have been fair on the question. I simply had a right to make the statement I did, as a member of the City Government. I am in one branch, and I have simply criticized the committee appointed in my branch. The CHAIRMAN. — The criticism is out of order. Mr. KILEY. — I am sorry that the Chair thinks it is unfair, out of order. However, I have done it. It is a matter of record now, and I am through. I don’t take the Committee seriously. Mr. NOONAN. — Mr. Chairman, I am somewhat surprised to see a gentleman who has held office in the City Council, who has been a member of the Legislature, and who has been honored by being elected President of the Common Council of this city, infringe on parliamentary law as he has done to-night. Mr. KILEY. — Mr. Chairman, I am sorry I have hit the gentlemen sitting at the left of the desk so hard. He is one of the gentlemen who was in the anteroom when the vote was taken. Q. (By Alderman CURLEY.) Mr. Kiley, you say that members of the Council voted against the acceptance of chapter 342 A. No, I don’t think that that act called for acceptance by vote of the City Council. I don’t think that is a fair question. We were not passing on the question of accepting the provisions of chapter 34. We were passing on the question of referring it to the people to find out whether or not they believed in going into municipal ownership under the provisions of chapter 34. We were not passing on the question of accepting or rejecting chapter 34. The law has been put there upon the statute book, and we have no authority either to accept or reject. Q. But the city could not engage in municipal lighting without first submitting the question to the people, under the provisions of chapter 34? A. That is a fair question. That is so. Q. Then, as a matter of fact, you were really passing on the question of the acceptance or rejection of chapter 34? A. Not at all. I cannot see how the one question follows the other at all. Q. I will state my object in asking the question. You stated here that many, if not all, of the sections of chapter 34 were objectionable? A. A good many of them — I say a good many of them make it difficult to go into the business of municipal lighting; but I say, no matter if those difficulties are there, that we can still go into the thing. I believe we can still go into municipal lighting and carry on the business — if it is done by a fair commission, understand; and such a commission as the Transit Commission, who handle a question much larger than this, much more difficult, involving a great deal newer ideas — because we are the pioneers in subway construction in this country and have done it successfully and have done it honestly — could do this much easier. There is no man of any business ability who will deny it. It is simply a question of honest or dishonest administration, and upon that question depends the success or the lack of success of any form of business. Q. Under the provisions of chapter 34, if the city desired to engage in the business of gas lighting, it would be necessary that the city purchase at a fair valuation all of the existing gas plants in the city, both in use and out of use 2 A. I don't agree with you on that, Mr. Alderman. Q. That was the opinion given at the last hearing by an authority on municipal lighting, Professor Parsons? A. I don’t think the supreme court would say that the city would have to buy the North End gas works, which are entirely obsolete and useless, with machinery away behind the times, and not in use for the manufacture of gas. I don’t believe the supreme court would insist that Boston should pay for that plant under the provisions of chapter 34. Q. On what do you base that idea that the supreme court would not do that?
A. Common sense, that is all, and a fair construction of the English language. Q. Do you think it common sense that they would pass on that thing in a manner that was in violation of that section of the chapter? A. It is common sense that the supreme court would construe the law as it ought to be construed — fairly. Q. The question was asked by Councilman McCullough as to the possibility of a change in chapter 34 making it perhaps more favorable to the city. From your experience with the Legislature, do you believe it would be a difficult matter or an easy matter for the city to have changes made in chapter 34 that would, perhaps, if adopted, be of greater benefit to the city than the chapter as it now stands? A. Repeat that, please. Q. Do you believe it would be a difficult or an easy matter to have a more equitable law adopted than the present law — chapter 34? A. Oh, I don't think there would be much difficulty in framing a law that would be more favorable to the people than that law. Q. Well, do you think it would be a difficult matter to have the Legislature enact any such law Ż A. Well, I know that you mean in view of the influence of the ever-present lobbyist on Beacon Hill; but I want to say to you now, Mr. Alderman, that whether this City Council adopts municipal ownership or allows it to be submitted to the people or not, next year an act will be submitted to the Legislature to repeal that law. I hope that in the mean time this question will be submitted to the people, and that they will be permitted to pass upon it. But, whether they are or not, there will be some act introduced that will repeal that law. Q. As a matter of fact, Mr. Kiley, the only redeeming feature of this act, so far as the people and the city are concerned, is section 102 A. Oh, I think there is a great deal more than that to it. I want to state, Mr. Alderman, if you will pardon me just a moment, I want to state that it is now pretty nearly two months since I have read the provisions of that act. There are thirty-one sections there, I think, and I don’t undertake to say that, with all the other matters I have to attend to, I can carry thirty-one sections of that law in my head. But, as I read and examined it while the matter was pending before the Legislature, I saw where there was an opportunity to make some changes that would be favorable to the public, and, as I state, if the Lord spares me my health I shall submit my ideas to the next Legislature upon that question. Q. The reason why I ask that question, Mr. Kiley, is this— speaking of the redeeming feature of the act, section 10; section 10 requires that, in the event of there being but one gas and electric light company in the city or town that proposes to adopt the provisions of chapter 34, the city shall be compelled to purchase that gas and electric light company. As at present constituted in Boston we have a Consolidated Gas Company, controlling all the gas companies; we have the Edison Electric Light Company. A. You are mistaken on that point, sir. Q. Very well. A. The Consolidated Company does not own all the gas companies in this city, and the Edison Company does not own all the electric light companies in this city. Q. The principal Ones, then — put it that way, Mr. Kiley. A. Well, that is nearer the fact. Q. If a consolidation was effected between the gas and electric light companies, through a failure on the part of the City Council to adopt chapter 34, and the city desired to engage in the business of municipal lighting, it would then become necessary for the city to purchase the existing gas and electric light companies, which would be one company, the two having consolidated. That, really, is the leading feature of chapter 34? A. Well, you know the Charlestown Gas and Electric Light Company is an independent company. It is capitalized for $500,000. Its stock sells in the market for 120, or thereabouts. It may be a little more than 120, but on January 10 of this year the stock sold in the market, as quoted at R. L. Day's, at 120. Its par value is 50. You can readily understand that if the City of Boston, through favorable legislation, bought the Charlestown Gas and Electric Light Company and manufactured their own gas and electricity at Charlestown Neck, even if they didn’t sell any to private parties, but simply to light their own highways, their own parks, their own squares and public grounds, and their own public buildings, it would be a good business proposition for the city, because the city to-day pays the Charlestown Company 32 cents an arc light a night. The Charlestown Company sells to the city an arc light per night at 32 cents. They buy from the Edison Company for 16 cents that same amount of light. In other words, they charge the city twice what they pay for it, and before they get it the Edison Company has made a correspondingly great profit on the manufactured product. In other words, the Edison Company sends the electricity through its conduits, from its power-house here across to City Square, where it is distributed into the wires of the Charlestown Company, sent through the different streets and fed into these arc lights. The city pays 32 cents a night for those lights. The Charlestown Company buys electricity, doesn’t make a bit of it, for 16 cents a light, selling it to the city for 32 cents, and the Edison Company realizes a handsome profit at the price which it charges the company. Further than that, if you will pardon me, Mr. Alderman, the Edison Company sells to the Charlestown Company for incandescent lights electricity at approximately 2 cents per kilowatt hour. If you will go over into the small stores on Main street, Charlestown, you will find that they are paying 20 cents per kilowatt hour for the same light. Now, the only cost in addition to what they pay the Edison Company for that light is simply for carrying it through their wires and distributing it in Charlestown. They don’t make any gas. They buy their gas from the Everett works, paying 30 cents a thousand cubic feet for it, and up to January 1 of this year charging the citizens of Charlestown $1 per thousand for it — 90 cents now. As I say, they buy their electricity from the Edison Company. They don’t make any. They are simply a wholesale concern, a distributing concern. They are like the milkman who goes around to the back doors with a team load of milk, selling a pint or a quart at a time. They buy from the Edison Company and from the New England Gas and Coke Works, and sell at retail to the people of Charlestown. The City of Boston appropriates for the Lamp Department of the city $850,000 a year. You could put a plant into the basement of City Hall that wouldn’t cost you more than $50,000 that would light this building, light the Old Court House, light the old Registry of Deeds, or this building out here, the old Probate Building, light the new Court House, the Common, the Public Garden, go out through the parks, lighting up all the public buildings all the way out. You would not have to do anything more than run out the wires, and you would have a handsome profit or saving on the basis of the charges made by the Edison Company in this city. This block across the street, right here on School street, is lighted by a private company, up as far as Province street. There is a private plant down in the Advertiser building. They sell the electricity to these concerns across the