Not. 25-Dec. 3, 1883
The Record and Guide.
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NOVEMBER 35—DECEMBER 3, 1883.
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The great petroleum boom and collapse is made the subject of an
interesting article from an expert. All trading in this great min¬
eral product should read the matter we furnish to-day. Sir
Oracle in the prophetic department takes a flying glance at the
future of Europe, and advances some novel theories as to the flnal
result of the international contests yet to take place in the Old
World. Wliile the Germany of Bismarck may hold Russia in
check, yet some mighty Muscovite is yet to arise, who will be to the
rest of Europe, what Philip and his son, Alexander the Great,
was to Gre(ce—its conqueror. The house-furnishing and decora¬
ting department will be found of especial value. " Over the
Ticker" has several revelations of ihe tape worth heeding. Editor¬
ially, several important matters are discussed, such as the utility of
the gold certificate and the influence on trade of the change in the
coming administration. Our real estate markets contain all the
news and gossip interesting to dealers and owners of realty.
Why Not an Early Session of Congress.
The prw>ss of the country should call upon President Arthur to
convene the Congress, just elected, on March 4th next, when the
term of the existing Congi ess expires. One of the serious defects
of our "out-of-date" national constitution is, that it directs the
election of a Congress -which, unless specially convened, does not
come into existence until thirteen months after it is chosen. A
year makes vast changes in this fast age of ours, and when Con¬
gress finally comes together it often misrepresents the attitude of
the various constituencies which called it into being.
There is doubt and distress in all business circles, because of the
political revolution effected at the polls at the recent election. It
is settled that we are to change the personnel of the office-holding
body, a veiy serious matter in itself. Probably 70,000 influential
men in politics and public affiairs expect to lose their positions,
and give place to new and inexperienced functionaries. It has
also been decided that our tariff and tax laws, wliich vitally affect
every business interest in the country, will be altered and
amended in such a way as to injuriously affect existing values.
The fiat has gone forth that we must manufacture more
cheaply, so as to compete with other nations in the markets
of the world. In Great Britain, or on the Continent, a general
election is promptly followed by the assembling of Parliament or
tlie Legisl.itive Chambers, and the immediate formation of a
ministry to carry into execution the will of the electors. The
change is made rapidly, but wilh«i^s there is a year's delay in the
assembling of the Congress chosen. Then more time is wasted by
our legal legislators in objectless debates. During this delay, every
business interest suffers. The tariff could be readjusted in the last
session of the present Congress, but that body will not dare make
the attempt. As soon as this becomes evident. President Arthur
should promptly make it known that he intends to convene the
Democratic Congress on March 4th next. Let the representatives
of all manufacturing interests demand tliis extra session. They
had better know the worst at once. A discussion of tariff prob¬
lems for two years would keep our business interest disturbed for
all tbat time« and this tbeoountry cannot afford.
The Peril of the Gold Note.
Is there not danger m the continued issue of the gold certificate?
Under a law of the last Congress owners of gold coin or bars could
deposit them in the Uuited States Treasury, and receive therefor
an equivalent in face value of gold notes or certificates. Under
this act over $30,000,000 worth of gold coin paper lias been issued,
and the demaud for more of this cun-ency continues. The oi jginal
design was to utilize the stores of gold scattered all over the
country. It was noticed that after resumption the gold which
came to us from abroad, as well as that produced hy our mines,
was absorbed outside the trade centres. Only a small portion of it
was held as a reserve in the banks, while scarcely any was made
use of in the retail trade of the nation. It was driven out by the
greenbacks and national bank notes of small denominations.
Hence the device of issuing gold notes so as to practically set free
the vast hoarded private deposits of gold for use in the channels of
trade. The design was, practically, to inflate the currency by
making available for business uses this inert mass of the yellow
metal. But so far, although Ave have had over $30,000,000 of what
a leading journal calls "inflation," money has been tight and
scarce, and there has been distress in every departnoent of business.
During "bull" times, every dollar in gold which reached our
shores from Europe was made a basis of four dollars in discounts.
At this rate the $30,000,000 representing heretofore unused gold,
should have supplied over $100,000,000 of available lending capital,
but, notwithstanding this, there is no relief to the money market.
It has been found that these gold notes can be used to lock up
money. Tliey also possess the still more dangerous power of being
available for paying foreign debis. They are, in fact, the best cur¬
rency in the world, and as such will be driven out cf the country
in course of time by the operation of the well-known law, which
obtains in all commercial nations, whereby the poorer currency
eventually supplants the more valuable. In other words, our
silver, which is at a discount, and our paper money, which of
course has no intrinsic value, will speedily retire the gold note just
as they did the metal and the coin into which it is convertible.
It is strange how our legislation all aims to help the foreign
seller at the expense of our own people.
The vast bulk of our gold coinage is in double eagles, which
never circulates among the jieople, and which is of iiO utility
except for the banking houses, which expect in time, to ship them
abroad. But to still fui ther expedite the flow of gold, or its equiv¬
alent, abroad, we have autliorized the issue of these gold certifi¬
cates, "^'hich will be steadily drained away to foreign nations for
payments of goods we may wish to purchase. Nor will these cer¬
tificates come back. They are so perfect a currency, that they will
remain in London, Paris, Amsterdam and Berlin, because of the
impossibility of their depreciation, as they represent dollar for
doilar, an actual deposit of gold in the Treasury of the United
States. Instead of expanding our currency, and vivifying all
departments of trade, the gold notes are a measure of contraction,
and if their issue is continued, the United States Treasury will be
heaped up with stores of gold unavailable for our own purposes, and
really owned by foreigners who have no interest in our markets.
These gold notes will also be taken by travellers in lieu of bills of
exchange, for by so using them they will save^the bankers' commis¬
Instead of gold certificates and silver certificates, had our
Government issued bullion certificates, payable either in silver or
gold, there would be no danger of any foreign demand for them.
Fortunately, Congress will soon reassemble, and during the coming
winter there should be some modification of the law authorizing
the issue of those gold notes, which will keep them in this country.
We ought long ago to have retired our greenbacks and national
hank notes of all denominations under twenty dollars. This would
at once have created a market for gold and silver small coin.
Europe does not produce gold and silver as we do, yet retail trade
is mainly carried on by the money metals, because of the non-
recognition by governments of «mall notes, hence gold and silver
have a value abroad, that is, a currency value, which they have
not in this country, and hence the constant tendency of our gold
to go to those nations which have one more use. for it than we have
that is, in the channels of every-day trade.
The eulogies passed on Thurlow Weed were not altogether
deserved. He was kind-hearted, a warm friend and a very ardent
patriot. But here commendation should cease. He made a trade
of politics and enriched himself in the lobby. He owned stock in
nearly all the street-car, ferry and other companies which secured
charters at Albany when he was a power in legislative circles.
Not long before his death he claimed, with justice, to be the devisor
of the various non-partisan boards which have been the curse of
our municipal government. Three-fourths of the corruption and
waste of the various local departments has been due to the scheme
which Weed devised of appointing two commissioners from each
party at the bead of the most important bureaus of the city govern-