Chicago Tribune

Chicago’s Ministers Ask Mayor for Immediate Action on Morals Report.
Dr. A. W. Harris Thinks $15,000,000 Estimate of Profits Too Low by Half.

"Favorable and immediate action upon the recommendations of the vice commission to establish a permanent morals commission for the city of Chicago," was urged upon the mayor yesterday in resolutions by ministers of Chicago in joint conference at the Central Y. M. C. A. building. A committee consisting for Frank D. Burhans, Smith J. Ford, Benjamin L. Hobson, Herbert L. Willett, and Joseph A. Vance was appointed to press the matter upon the mayor and the city council.

The tendency of society to avoid such unpleasant subjects as the social evil was deplored in a speech from Abram W. Harris, president of Northwestern University.

"The social evil," he said, "is not a crime, but a disease. We must diagnose it before we can treat it properly. The vice commission estimated its annual profit at $15,000,000. In my opinion that figure might be doubled."

Condemns Police Grafting.

Police grafting on the proceeds of prostitution was excused as well as condemned by Dr. Harris.

"By the illicit attitude of society toward prostitution," he said, "the policeman becomes law, judge and executioner. That he should constantly resist the temptation to turn this position to his own profit is inconceivable."

"Vice Decides Elections."

The influence of the vice district in political matter was denounced by several speakers.

"Existing conditions are the result of the effective exercise of political power on the part of the vice system," said Edwin W. Sims, United States district attorney. "It is well known that many honest public officials have gone to their political graves through the influence of organized vice on the job at an election."

Low wages and wine rooms were declared a prolific source of immorality among women and girls.


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