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city the size of Toledo has necessarily got to be a monopoly; and that is what we are going to make it in Toledo if we can. It is all right to have your bus, and it is all right to have other forms of transportation, but they must operate, not in competing in a city of our size, but act simply as feeders and helpers to the one principal form of transportation which we must necessarily maintain if we are going to have a big, growing city.
That is the situation which we have in Toledo, Gentlemen. The city has even gone so far under this plan that we are doing the paving between the tracks and we are taking the money out of our general fund to do so; in other words, we are spreading the whole cost of that paving throughout the city on the principle, which I think is the correct principle, that transportation is absolutely a necessity for everyone in the city regardless of whether he has a Ford or a Packard, or any other form of transportation so that he can ride in a vehicle of his own and never patronize the street railway company. We must maintain our system and that is what we are doing in Toledo.
Gentlemen, I have certainly had a fine time whilst I have been here, and expect to stay a little while longer, but I did not expect, as I said, to make a speech, but it is certainly a pleasure to stand up here and look you in the face and greet you here this morning. I thank you. (Applause.)
PRESIDENT TODD :- Judge Brough, I think we will all agree, has run true to form in the remarks which he has made.
The Secretary has a communication to read :
The Secretary then read the following cablegram from Lord Ashfield:
"October 1, 1922. "American Electric Railway Association, Municipal Pier, Chicago,
NI.: Greatly appreciate invitation to attend Convention, and sincerely regret cannot accept. Every good wish for successful meeting and sincere regards to all.
"ASHFIELD, Chairman, Board of Directors,
"London Underground Electric Rys. Co., Ltd."
PRESIDENT TODD :- Some men have such a genius and capacity for work and their progress is so rapid that it is difficult to recount all their achievements. Such is the case with the genial gentleman who is now to address us. Graduated from Armour Institute of Technology in 1897 and from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1901, he first entered the electric railway field in 1903 as Assistant to the President of the Boston Suburban Electric Company. The years 1909 and 1910 he spent as General Manager of the Buffalo and Lake Erie Traction Company, after which he entered the service of the Boston Elevated Railway as Assistant to the Vice-President, rising to the office of Vice-President in 1912 and President in 1916. In the latter position he distinguished himself in the operation of this large property under unprecedented difficulties, winning not only the confidence, but the co-operation, of the public. During the war he became President of the International Shipbuilding Corporation, Philadelphia, and served his country for two years. He is now Senior Vice-President of the American ínternational Corporation, New York. It may not always be good taste to tell man's age, but I may confide to you that our friend is but forty-four years of age and has been a General Manager since he was not more than three years out of college. I take great pleasure in introducing to you our good friend, Matthew C. Brush, who will speak on “ Public Relations."
(Mr. Matthew C. Brush in the Chair.)
CHAIRMAN BRUSH :— Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen : Before I say a word, I would like to have the following gentlemen come up and sit on the platform with me. These gentlemen are to take an active part in this proceeding: Mr. H. B. Flowers; Mr. Martin Schreiber; Mr. Britton I. Budd; Mr. E. C. Faber; Mr. L. S. Storrs; Mr. W. H. Sawyer ; Mr. J. P. Barnes; Mr. C. E. Morgan, and Mr. P. S. Arkwright.
Gentlemen, Barnum had nothing on me. I am apparently to take charge of a Three-Ring Circus. One reason why Mr. Emmons selected me to preside on this occasion, as I understand it, was that my activity in the electric railway industry is not as great as it used to be. I have little or no authority in any street railway, and he figured that I was the one man who had been connected with the industry who dared to preside here on this occasion and get away with it.
He has laid out a scheme for these gentlemen to talk approximately five minutes on the question of Public Relations as connected with the industry. You know each of these gentlemen as well as I do. There is not one of them but could talk a much longer time and tell us a great deal that would be of decided advantage and interest to us. I understand that we have an hour, and we will divide that time among the nine men.
The term “ Public Relations” is so hackneyed that it is difficult to talk on the subject. It involves, to my mind, ninety-nine per cent of our business. If your public relations are wrong, regardless of what your mechanical devices may be, and no matter what your engineering training or managerial ability or your capacity as an operating official may be, it makes very little difference, in regard to all of those elements of our business, if our relations with the public - I am speaking of public relations in a very broad way - are not what they should be, and are wrong.
I think oftentimes we forget, in our efforts to accomplish real genuine success in the conduct of our transportation properties, that we are strictly a manufacturer and a seller of a commodity, namely transportation, and it does not do any good to manufacture this commodity in a good way, unless your relations with those who are to buy your commodity are of the proper kind — unless you get the good will of your patrons, you cannot expect to proceed in a broad way, as electric railway men, as salesmen engaged in selling transportation.
The talks that Mr. Wheeler and Mayor Brough gave us this morning are very helpful, and I would like to put what Mr. Wheeler said in a rather different form. I agree with him absolutely — you cannot go on running an industry involving approximately an investment of $6,000,000,000 — the investment in the steam railways is $23,000,000,000 - you cannot run that business with the present investment and the additional capital you must have, if you are going to have a disinterested, politically appointed body, telling you how to run your business. It is not in the cards, gentlemen, and there is no other industry in the world that is subjected to it.
A Public Service Commission appointed by a governing
authority may hold office for a day, two days, or a few weeks or months, or a few years, but they cannot run your properties with my money invested in them, because the fellow who has got to run that property has got to carry with him the responsiblity that goes with authority, and you have three distinct elements today to consider — the labor unions, the public service commission, and the president or manager of the electric railway, and they are all trying to run it and it cannot be done, and will not be done. You will never get the public to invest the money which must be available the Street Railway Industry until that thing is remedied. maintain that it can be remedied by establishing between the man who puts up the money to make the business possible —(he does not have to put it up and unless you make the investment attractive, he will not put up the money which is necessary)— you must establish between the man who puts up his money to buy rails, cars, equipment, etc., and the man who gives his time and effort to running the road, the cars, the power station, and the management of the employees, and everything else incidental to the operation of the road, and the man who rides and pays you the money for your services, harmonious relations, and you cannot establish the harmonious conditions which should prevail, the reciprocal relationship between these parties concerned, until you have your public relations on a broad and proper basis. If there is any dissatisfaction on the part of one or the other of these parties it is immediately felt, and affects the other two.
You cannot have a man on the outside looking in, and running your business, if he is going to run it; he has got to remain inside and look out, and assume the full responsibility that
goes with the job, and if the man outside thinks he can run the road better than you can, and will pay you back what you put into the proposition, let him run it.
There is not a man among the 1'10,000,000 people of the United States who is more opposed to public ownership of public utilities than I am, but you are not going to have the transportation industry, over which you gentlemen are presiding today, successful in its operations, as successful as it should be, with the character of talent that is running it, until the situation I describe comes true, and I speak advisedly.
Some gentleman said to me several years ago —“Can you not run the road and charge a 5-cent fare and make it a success?" I said, “No, gentlemen, I do not know how to do that." They said, “We do."
, We do.” I answered “Run it.” And they did, and you all know with what results. The people who elected them to office are the people who are paying the bills, and you have your reciprocal relationship there — you cannot do it otherwise.
I do not care how honest a commissioner is, you can never get a decision on any question on earth as genuinely as you will get it when the decision of a question affects a man's pocket-book. He may be a good fellow, and tell you that he will give you a square deal, but when you come around and commence to talk about taking his money, then he will give you the decision which is prompted by the way in which your proposition affects his pocket-book.
I have no suggestion as to how the problem is to be solved. I maintain that the establishment of proper public relations involves the particular element to which I am now referring.
Of course, the question of public relations is particularly a matter, to my mind, of human nature, and it is perfectly absurd to assume that because somebody in this room happened to be in the hardware business, and then decided to become a street railway man, that the mere fact of this change causes a change in his entire nature. It does not. He takes more interest in the street railway business, naturally. The ordinary hardware merchant is not interested in your business until it affects him, but under ordinary conditions if he goes down to the store and has a chance to sell a hammer, he will let you wait; but if there is more money in handling your job, he will help you.
Unfortunately, it would seem, human beings are such that any given person will think more of his own interest than anything else; his own interests are more important to him than anything else in the world.