Chicago Tribune

Tells Finance Committee Report Is "Filled with High Power Explosive."
Public Officials and 200 Police Figure in Secrets Between Documentsí Covers

The finance committee of the city council put itself in a ticklish position yesterday by insisting that the "key" to the report of the vice commission be made public.

As an alternative it suggested that Dean Sumner and other members of the commission would be granted no further appropriations with which to publish more copies of their report.

Chief Justice Harry Olson, one of the three members of the commission with access to the safety deposit vault containing the "key," called the bluff of the finance committee by suggesting that if its members were in earnest the key might be produced — not, he said, as a mere matter of exposure.

"It will be subject matter for a grand jury," said Judge Olson, "and if it goes to Mr. Wayman it will be subject matter for a special grand jury.

Contains "High Power Explosive,"

"There is enough high power in that document to shock this nation from Golden Gate to Ellis Island. There may be an idea that the key would expose only Chicagoans of means who pose as members of society on incomes derived from the rental of houses for immoral purposes — social Jekyll-Hydes. It may expose some of these. But it also contains evidence regarding some 200 members of the police department, public officials and others responsible for this remarkable state of affairs in what we call a civilized community.

"If the finance committee wants to force us to give up this report it may do so. I venture to say that they will not."

Olson Hears Sumnerís Plea

Judge Olsonís entry into the discussion was by chance. He was in the council chamber on maters relating to adult probation while Dean Sumner was pleading with the finance committee for $5,000 with which to put out 15,000 more copies of the report. He said:

"The key contains the names of several hundred police officers and others," he said. "The vice commission is not a prosecuting body. We have investigated the subject and mad our report and not it is up to the city officials to act. There is a grand opportunity for a mayor to do a great work in this connection, if he would. We point the way in our report. The city should accept the recommendations of the vice commission as the opinion of experts.

Vice Industry Overworked

"The vice industry is overworked in Chicago at present. Not more than half the resorts that are operated make money. There are more places open than are required. Segregation of vice has been proved a failure in Europe and we believe the only successful method to adopt is careful, persistent, continuous repression.

"I think the circulation of additional copies of the commissionís report will do much good if the copies are distributed with intelligence and kept out of the hands of the young."

Then it was that the question of publishing the key was broached.

One alderman began hectoring the dean in regard to producing the key, with the threat of "no key no more money."

Dean Would Not Expose

The dean didnít think that this would do. He said that it might work injury to many persons who where openly charged in the report with things for which they might not be responsible. He explained that it was impossible to prove all of the allegations in this terrific document. He thought that no good would come of it and that it had been nursed and cajoled for years without an effort to wipe it out.

The it was that Mr. Olson spoke.

"I disagree," he said. "The people donít tolerate it. They donít know of it. The men of family, living in respectable surrounding, have not the slightest idea of the fearsome evil that exists here. Let them once comprehend true situation and they will start something that nobody can stop.

Points to Public Officials

"Itís the public officials who are responsible," and Judge Olson drew a ring around the room; then touched his own chest. "Why, you men are not excited by the disease bread in these places, which is worse than smallpox — yes, and worse than leprosy. If I told you there was a man here with smallpox, youíd scatter. This more terrible thing doesnít faze you.

"And the serious part of it from the standpoint of your own official responsibility is the fact that the youth of the city are so easily drawn into it. It is so accessible to them. They are ruined before they know it.

Mark with Red Tag

"I advocate the health departmentís tagging every one of these places with a red card — a danger tag — just as they make the house that harbors scarlet fever."

Ald. John Richert, chairman of the council committee on finance, said last night that he considered it extremely improbable that the commissionís request for an appropriation of $5,000 for the additional copies would be allowed. Action on the question was deferred but the chairman said he believed a majority of the committee members were opposed to the expenditure.


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