Fire Prevention Bureau Attacked.
In a special message to the council of New Orleans Mayor Behrman attacks the local fire prevention bureau and holds it responsible for the high rates of insurance ruling in the city. The mayor points out that, while the city is exerting itself to its utmost to furnish adequate protection agains loss by fire, complaints are persistent and repeated that the property owners are being assessed exorbitant rates of insurance in New Orleans. The mayor states that the fire department is being enlarged both as to membership and equipment, the water service has been greatly improved and to the extent that has evoked the highest commendations. “It would seem (says the mayor) that appreciation of those efforts should be reflected through a reduction in the rates of insurance premiums. * * * If it is true (continues the mayor) that the Fire Prevention bureau is engaged in the practice of fixing insurance rates and insisting on these rates being charged by the various insurance companies, it would “be well to determine what authority said Fire Prevention bureau has under the laws of our Commonwealth to engage in such practice. I am of the opinion that it has no such authority in law; in fact, I am inclined to the belief that, if it is doing so, this practice is in direction violation of law.” The mayor considers the matter of sufficient importance for the council to direct the city attorney to confer with the district attorney of the parish of Orleans to investigate the matter thoroughly and take the steps necessary to remedy the complaint.