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council; no big financial interests to unite oughly Scotch, as it is among the worst of the rich and influential, the press and the American cities. So I went to Edinburgh, bar, the club and the church on one side, the most beautiful of all British cities, as it and leave democracy untaught and unled is the centre of the culture, literature, and blindly to carry on the burdens of self-gov- traditions of Scotland. Here one should ernment. This absence of privilege frees find the Scotchman at his best. I went to the best talent of the city; it unites its purse the Town Hall. The Lord Provost and the with its patriotism. It is this absence of town clerk were away. I wanted to see the class interest that binds and fuses the whole council. It would not meet for several weeks. people into one ambition-an honest city, It seldom met oftener than once every three an economical city, a serviceable city. And weeks. I looked into its enterprises. “We they get it, too. The city's properties are don't go in for such things as Glasgow does,” worth $95,000,000, and the annual reve- said an official. “We lease our tramways nues from reproductive undertakings alone, to a private company. The gas and water exceed $15,000,000. All these enterprises are in the hands of a parliamentary comare handled with the most scrupulous hon- mission. The members of our council are esty. None of their earnings sticks in the too busy with their own affairs to devote hands of contractors, aldermen, or clerks on much time to the city.” Glasgow, I found, its way to the city treasury. Such a thing was in disfavor. Its thrift and enterprise as official corrruption is almost unknown. were undignified-almost vulgar in the
A city with such a citizenship would have minds of the Scotchman of the capital city. gotten good government under any charter. So I returned to Glasgow, to the man on So it was not the form of government that the trams, to the business man in the club, to explained it all, although the method of the tradesman in his shop. For I had come choosing the council makes it very easy to to believe that it is the people that explain secure good men. Nor is it home rule. For the official, that it is they who control the the British city is more dependent upon Par- administration. We have seen that fact in liament than the American city is upon the Cleveland, where the people have achieved State legislature. Parliament is most exact- efficient government; we have seen it in ing in its control and supervision of the city. Chicago, where, if the people have not good Special permission has to be got at West- government, they at least have aspiring adminster to enter any industry, to build tram ministration; we have seen it in Philadellines, to lay water or gas mains, to borrow phia---which is a people in eruption. for any improvement. Parliament deter
So I went to the people and listened to mines the amount which must be laid aside their talk of Glasgow. But it was not in a sinking fund for all undertakings. Its Glasgow so much as it was the trams, the finances and its activities areonly determined gas, the telephones, the parks, the bowlingby the people after Parliament has given its greens, the baths, the concerts, the splendid consent, and it took five years of unremmit- sewage works, and the everlasting rates. It ting effort to secure permission to run the was the Alderman So-and-so, and his speech telephones. The absence of the spoils sys- at the last council. It was Scott Gibson tem offers some explanation. Only it is a re- and his condemnation of his fellow-memsult, not a cause, for there is no act of Parlia- bers for voting a few pounds out of the ment making the merit system compulsory. treasury for some dinner or other. It was
a longer ride on the trams for a cent. For the man on the street knows about these
things. It is this that keeps him alert. He The explanation of Glasgow is deeper is a good citizen because it is his city; it down than the form of the charter, deeper gives him more for his money than
anyone than the merit system, deeper than the else, and it gives him many things. method of electing councilmen by popular nominations-important as these things are.
THE CITY'S ENTERPRISES It is deeper than the Scotch character, thrifty, prudent, and careful though it is. So I came to believe that the Glaswegian I fancied it was the Scotch character, de. loves his Glasgow, as his forbears loved their spite conditions in Pittsburg, the most thor. Highlands, because Glasgow loves its people.
"We don't compare our tramways with Glasgow awoke. A campaign for municiManchester or Liverpool,” one of them said pal ownership was started. Two elections to me. “We have the best system in the were fought over this issue. In 1892 the United Kingdom." I think that is true. I city decided to take over the operation. have ridden on most of them, and the Glas- This was done two years later. gow system seems to me the best of them all
The private company predicted failure, The service is as frequent as could be asked, said the city would go bankrupt. So they and you get a seat for a fare. You get it on refused to sell the council their cars, because top of the cars if you want a smoke, and the they expected the system to come back to cars go everywhere. They are cleaned and them in a short time. disinfected every night; they are bright as The first thing the city did was to reduce fresh paint can keep them; they have no the hours and increase the wages of the emadvertisements on them; they are easy rid- ployees. Then free uniforms were added, ing and are laid on concrete foundations along with five days' holiday each year on with grooved rails, which offer no obstruc- pay. This increased consideration for the tion to other traffic. The conductors are employees now costs the department somecourteous—they have to be. They have thing like $500,000 a year. The council 1,000,000 critics, all watching them. did not stop here. Hauls were lengthened
I went again to see Mr. James Dalrymple, and fares cut down 33 per cent. To-day the general manager of the street-railway one may ride a half-mile for a cent; two and system. He had been recently promoted to one-third miles for two cents; and three the position from that of head bookkeeper. and a half miles for three cents. For fares The chief, Mr. James Young, had resigned, are arranged on the zone system. You and his first and second assistants had been pay for what you get. The main thing is, called to other towns. The managers of the what does the average
1905 British tramways are not often engineers. it was 1.89 cents, while the average fare They are business men whose duties are charged per mile was nine-tenths of a cent. those of administration. They are not elec- Of the 195,000,000 passengers carried, 30 trical experts. Mr. Dalrymple had just re- per cent. paid but one cent, 60 per cent. but turned from America, where he had gone in two cents, and only 10 per cent of the total response to a request from Mayor Dunne of number carried paid more than the latter Chicago. He did not tell me his impressions sum. All fares in excess of two cents might of America, or express an opinion of our be abolished and the earnings would hardly ability to manage municipal enterprises. show it. He did say that he had made a study of the And the cost to the city for carrying the street-railway systems in America, and had average passenger (not including interest been entertained by the managers in all of charges) was just under one cent in 1905. the leading cities. And their opinion of An examination of the earnings and exmunicipal ownership and American politics penses shows that the Glasgow tramways we all know. But Mr. Dalrymple is a could pay all operating expenses, could Scotchman. He could not be that and not maintain the system, could pay local taxes be convinced that no other people in the the same as a private company, and still world can do what Glasgow has done. carry passengers at a universal fare of one That's Scotch nature. They feel that way cent. "It could do this, and make money. even toward England. It's human nature, On the basis of last year's earnings it would too, for haven't we been sending men to make about $75,000, even if there was no Glasgow for years to learn how that city increase in traffic. For the operating exdoes things?
penses and maintenance charge in 1905 For Glasgow has made good on her tram- were $1,884,150. If the 195,767,519 Pasways. A private company ran the system sengers carried had paid one cent each, the from 1871 to 1894.
earnings would have been $1,957,675. But the service was bad, and the treat- But there would be an increase in traffic. ment of the employees intolerable. The Glasgow proved that in 1894 when it repeople protested. They tried to regulate duced its fares by 33 per cent. In three the abuses. The company was arrogant; years' time the number of passengers carried for what could the city do about it? Then doubled; by 1905 the number had more
than thribbled. This was accompanied by paid for itself, but carned about a million a great increase in the mileage of the system, dollars besides. It has also repaid the cost as well as the electro equipment of the lines. of the old horse lines, as well as a splendid But all over England they say it's cheap manufacturing plant where all the cars and fares and good service that make municipal equipment are built by the city by direct dividends on the tramways. The chief labor.” complaint in Glasgow is that the tramways Such, at least, are the figures which “The make too much money. The man who Glasgow Corporation Tramways" publish rides protests mildly that his fare should be to the word. I asked Mr. Dalrymple about still further reduced, or the length of his the effect of municipal ownership on the ride extended.
people. He said: During the first eleven months after open “The opening of the trams in 1894 was ing the system in 1894 it earned as a horse coincident with, many people would say it line, over and above operating expenses, was the cause of, the renaissance of civic the sum of $208,525. Since that time the enthusiasm that has characterized the last growth has been tremendous. The system ten years of the life of the city. Undoubtwas opened with 63 miles of track. It now edly the more things the city does for the has 147. The gross earnings were $1,066,- people, the more the people are interested 187 in 1895. In 1905 they were $3,721,854. in the city. Municipal ownership fosters During the same period the number of pas- interest in municipal affairs." sengers carried increased from 57,104,647 The man on the trams is evidently right. to 195,767,519. The council is almost em- He owns the trams; therefore he is interbarrassed to find proper means to dispose ested in them. He owns the gas, the water, of the profits. In 1905 the system paid the electricity supply, and the telephones. working expenses, pu: $334,036 into main- Therefore he watches them. He loves tenance and repairs, and paid $188,731 in Glasgow just as does the Lord Provost, the local taxes. There still remained $1,837,- hard-headed alderman, the man in the club, 704 as net profits. This was equivalent to the care-taker of the city's sewage works. a dividend of 12.3 per cent on the total cap- The city is his parent. It cares for him. ital investment in the plant, and 20 per cent. And it is worth working for. It is so big in on the present outstanding indebtedness. its ideals, so big in its achievements, so big
That is why the man on the tram com- in its kindness and goodness. plains. He says the council is not only The Glaswegian still grumbles a little in making him pay for his ride, but also pay his pride. Probably he will always grumfor the plant, by charging twice as much as ble. That is one of the things government it costs to carry him. He thinks it unfair to means to him. He got his trams, his telecompel this generation to make a present of phones, his parks, his concerts, by grumthe enterprise free from debt to the next one. bling. But his present trouble is a bigger He points to the fact that the system is one. He says: “We extended our tram lines worth $14,965,305. In eleven years' time far out into the suburbs; we had so many the debt has been reduced to $8,335,939, poor, such terrible slums, so much sickness, while $762,873 additional has been paid vice, and misery. We wanted to give our into the “common good” as well as a like people a chance, wanted to get them out of sum in taxes. At this rate, the plant will be the tenements and into the country where free from indebtedness in less than ten land was cheap. We reduced our fares. years' time.
In consequence, earnings fell off. Instead The council replies by saying: "Look at of making land cheap for the poor, we made your fares. They have been cut down one- it valuable for the landlords. We cut down third. Those who travel are better off by commuters' fares a pound a year, and rent$1,000,000 a year than they would have als went up exactly one pound a year. We been under private management. In eleven sought to secure cheap homes for our people, years' time the savings alone to the passen- but the land speculator appropriated the gers exceed the total bonded debt now whole thing.” against the system. The enterprise has Then he did what he always does—this already paid for itself out of earnings and Glaswegian. He worried the council, and savings. It looks as though it had not only the council in turn went to Parliament.
The council said: “We have created im- makes money, even in the face of the commense fortunes for the land-owners about petition of the old established company. the city. But not content with what he has The telephone was the last big enterprise already got, the landlord wants more, and taken over. The city has had the water sits idly by until the people must have his supply since 1855. It bought out two priland at any price.” The council introduced vate companies. Then it went to Loch a bill in Parliament to tax these land values Katrine, 34 miles away, in the heart of the and retake to itself a portion of the millions Highlands, to get a supply. Glasgow spent which its enterprise had created, and which millions for pure water, and now has one of it is now fined for using. It did more. It the finest supplies in the world. It makes laid aside $5,000 to promote the bill. Tons money, too, though the rates for domestic of literature were distributed and the city's use are but ten cents in the pound of rental. officials were turned into agents for propa- This means that for every $100 of house rentganda work. When Glasgow wants a al paid an additional charge of $2 is made thing, it wants it hard. Then the council for water service. called a conference of cities on “The Taxa- The gas supply is also owned by the city. tion of Land Values.” More than one hun- It was bought from private parties in 1869. dred local authorities responded. Then It is run for the benefit of the people and not they all moved on Parliament and proceeded for the sake of dividends. Gas is sold at 51 to worry the members. Of course, Parlia- cents a thousand cubic feet for domestic ment wouldn't listen. For the members of use; for power purposes the price is but Parliament own Great Britain. They are 43 cents. The very poor are encouraged to getting rich out of the growth of the towns. use gas by penny-in-the-slot devices by And they have paid no taxes on their land which one can get enough gas with which as land for several centuries at least. This to cook a meal for two cents. It also enis a fact-English land has not been re- courages industry by low prices. This diappraised for taxation since the seventeenth minishes the smoke nuisance. Despite the century.
reduction in price, the net profits in 1905 In its attitude toward Parliament, Glas- amounted to $271,930. gow reminds one of a terrier barking at the The price of gas has been reduced from heels of a mastiff. I fancy Parliament must year to year. It was 78 cents in 1885, 60 hate this heckling, thrifty municipality that cents in 1895. To-day it ranges from 43 to is forever making war on the abuses and 51 cents. The financial showing is almost privileges which everywhere exist in Eng- as remarkable as the tramways. While the land and which are so profitable. For the capital expenditure is $18,319,170, the presmembers of Parliament not only own the ent actual indebtedness is but $9,340,200. land, they own the big city franchises, just The surplus of expenditure, over and above as the United States Senate owns or repre- the debt against the undertaking, is $8,978,sents the big railroads. And it must be an- 970. This is what the city has made through noying, this nagging against monopoly.* owning the plant, in addition to the millions But that's the way he got his municipal tel- saved by cheaper gas. ephone system. For five long years the city The electricity supply has been owned spent money and energy trying to induce since 1892. The city bought out a private Parliament to permit it to open an exchange monopoly for $75,000. Then it proceeded in competition with the private company to make the plant useful. For that is the which was giving bad service and charging policy of Glasgow, to make itself useful to high rates. It finally got permission in its people. It proceeded to enlarge the sys1901. The system has now twelve thou- tem, to extend the conduits all over the sand subcribers and covers 143 square miles. city. It has since spent about $6,000,000 An unlimited telephone service cost $25.55 on the undertaking. Now it can serve eva year, and a limited one only $17.03. The erybody, and serving everybody, can repopulation served is about a million. Then duce charges. It also sells power to the the private company reduced charges. But tramway department and to manufacturing despite the cheapening of rates, the exchange plants. For Glasgow tries to encourage in
*They say in England if the Glasgow man doesn't go to dustry just as it aims to promote comfort heaven when he dies he will make it very uncomfortable for
and convenience. For very small consum
ers, the rates for lighting are 12 cents per of the prodigal son finds most favor in the kilowat hour and 2 cents for all current in Scotch soul. There is no waste here. In excess of a small minimum. For power and her thriftiness, Glasgow takes profit from heating purposes, the charge is from i} cents her people. Possibly they love her the betto 3 cents according to the quantity used. ter for her thrift. But it looks like usury The average price received from all con- tothe outsider, her enterprises earn so much. sumers is 5.09 cents.
In 1905 the gross profits of her five big unGlasgow says it would be just as absurd dertakings were as follows: Tramways, for the owner of a sky-scraper to permit a $1,852,855; gas, $718,154; electricity, $543,private elevator company to collect fares 952; water, $763,904; telephones, $100,961. from his tenants, or for an outside plumber The total profits were $3,979,826. Of this, to own the fixtures and collect for light and however, $1,398,880 was paid for interest on heat, as it is for a city to turn over its streets the investment. But a snug little sum of to private tramways, gas and electric light- $2,580,946 still remained in excess of what it ing companies. Glasgow prefers to do its cost the city to pay all charges against these own plumbing and run its own elevators. enterprises.
These are the big things Glasgow does. But the council does not use these earnThey are the spectacular exhibits. But it ings to relieve the taxpayer, as is frequently does other things. A mere enumeration of asserted. Not a penny of it goes to such a its enterprises makes a long catalogue. It purpose. It is all returned to the underruns several farms upon which it uses the taking--used to pay bonds, improve the sysstreet refuse as fertilizer. It has brought tem, and reduce the cost to the consumer. them to a high state of fertility, and pro- The same thrift characterizes little things. duces provisions for its departments. Even For Glasgow neglects nothing. Her motto from this source it has a net income of is “Let Glasgow flourish.” Interpreted $3,000 a year. It has a wonderful system by the aldermen this means municipal divof sewage disposal which is nearing com- idends. The city makes money on its slumpletion. The River Clyde has always been a clearanceschemes, upon which model dwellfoul-smelling stream, but the city is expend- ings have been erected, and which are now ing millions to purify it through the destruc- paying their way in rentals at a rate which tion of its sewage and the use of the sludge in time will leave them free from debt. as fertilizer. The city fire department has Glasgow undertook this project back in a big workshop at the central station where 1866. It cost a lot of money, but it checked it builds all of its own apparatus, just as the disease and brought down the death-rate. tramway department erects its own cars. The undertaking showed a deficit for a numGlasgow seems bent on being rid of the ber of years, but is now justifying itself private contractor. The alderman smiles financially as well as otherwise. when charged with socialism, and says it is But Glasgow has few deficits. A coungood business for the city to erect its own cil committee hates a shortage in an undercars, to make its own fire apparatus, and taking just as a proud banker suffers from employ its own men. And now the council a bad loan. Some years ago the city conis after the big contractors who build and ceived the idea of Saturday afternoon consewer the streets. It recently asked for ten- certs in the public halls. At first they were ders for the construction of a sewer. The of a rather frivolous sort. They now offer lowest bid received was $600,000. The city the best of entertainments, and during the suspected a combine, and proceeded to build winter months fine oratorios and splendid the sewer itself at a cost of only $375,000. choral work is presented to weekly audiNow it receives estimates from its own en- ences of 30,000 people. The admission fee gineer on all jobs, and is rapidly becoming is but two cents, but even this pays. Not its own contractor. It pockets the profits much, it is true, for profit is not the object, which formerly went to the middleman, just but the joy of it all is heightened by the fact as it pockets the dividends which formerly that it pays its way. Even the sewage colwent to the tramway company.
lected at the sewage disposal works realThus Glasgow looks after her people. izes a handsome sum, when sold as a ferShe is as frugal as a Scotch parent. I fancy tilizer, as does the cleansing department, the parable of the talents rather than that which has the care of the streets.