Chicago Tribune

STATE COUNCIL JOINS MOFFETT TO FIGHT VICE.
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United Effort Planned to Make Chicago Safe for the Bluejackets.
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With the State Council of Defense, United States Attorney Charles F. Clyne, and social reform agencies volunteering their aid, Capt. W. A. Moffett, commandant of Great Lakes, yesterday took positive steps to carry out the instruction of Secretary of the Navy Daniels that vice conditions in Chicago be remedied.

Capt. Moffett has asked Samuel P. Thrasher of the Committee of Fifteen to present the evidence his organization has of evil conditions. He received a mass of reports of investigators indicating that the "lid" has been tilted to an unusual degree during the last few weeks and that liquor has been sold to soldiers and sailors in a number of resorts. It was upon similar reports of investigations that Secretary Daniels based his instructions to Capt. Moffett.

Council Will Assist

The State Council of Defense, over the signature of Samuel Insull, chairman, sent the following letter to Capt. Moffett during the day.

Referring to the information in this morningís papers which states that the secretary of the navy has instructed you "to take such steps as he (you) deems necessary to correct the evils" as to vice conditions in this city, we will be very glad to cooperate with you is any way within our powers that you may think desirable to assist you in carrying out the instruction of Secretary Daniels.

Coincident with the dispatch of the letter it became known that State Council agencies for some time have had a careful check on the vice situation.. At several meetings of the council the problem has been talked over. Some members became so exercised over the apparent laxity in law enforcement that they advocated an entire divorce of the police department from city control.

Bring Guilty to Book

United States Attorney Clyne came to the front with a declaration that those responsible for any situations which may have an untoward effect on the conduct of soldiers and sailors must be brought to book.

He was particularly exercised over reports that reform associations have obtained liquor on "affidavits" signed by such names as "Billy Sunday" "William Kaiser." The merits of the "affidavit system" itself, which was inaugurated by Hinton G. Clabaugh of the bureau of investigation, have been the topic of considerable discussion.

Mr. Clyne said that the old five mile zone about military centers in which the sale of liquor was forbidden had been extended to ten miles. This zone, he said, takes in the Great Lakes naval training station and in his belief the same restrictions might apply to Camp Commodore and the Municipal pier, where sailors are also training. A literal application of the spirit of the zone restrictions, he admitted, would close all of the saloons in Chicago.

Officials Visit Moffett

It is reported that Acting Chief Alcock and Hinton G. Clabaugh of the local bureau of investigation had a conference with Capt. Moffett at Great Lakes yesterday.

They agreed upon a report on conditions and it is said this has been forwarded to Secretary Daniels.

It was said the document reports conditions in Chicago above criticism, in view of the large number of sailors and soldier who visit the city daily and because of its many saloon and great size.

"The report will be made public at the proper time," was Capt. Moffettís only comment.

Acting Chief Alcock declared the city "is cleaner today than ever" and that "itís a slander on Chicago and on our soldiers and sailors to say a thing of that kind."

"This is old stuff. It wonít go. Itís Thrasher and Funkhouser," he declared. "We are willing to cooperate with the government or with any organization in anything to eliminate vice, and we have been doing so. I am now investigation and when I have finished I will have something to say."

Mr. Thrasher answered the police chief by declaring "I have no apology to make for any information I sent to Washington, and can substantiate every word of it.

Things Open Up Lately

"The fact is that for a long time Chicago, by strenuous efforts, was kept unusually clean. But as soon as Maj. Funkhouser was ousted as the second deputy things opened up. For the chiefís benefit I will say that I have sent thirty-three notices to property owners where resorts had reopened in close proximity to the old south side redlight district within the last few weeks. They have been informed that suits will be instituted unless conditions are remedied. That is three times the number usually sent out in a similar period."

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"Daniels Waits Report."

Washington, D. C., Sept. 12 — [Special] — President Wilson today signed the dry zone bill which virtually gives the president power to make all the leading centers of population dry territory for the period of the war.

Secretary Daniels would not say today whether he contemplated invoking this new legislation to extend dry zones in Chicago. He said he still was awaiting a report from Capt. William A. Moffett of the Great Lakes Naval Training station upon his request that action be taken by Capt. Moffett to correct conditions of lax law enforcement complained of in Chicago.

 

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