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October 13, 1888
The Record and Guide.
THE RECORD AND GUIDE.
191 Broadway, N. Y.
ONE TEAR* in advance, SIX DOLLARS.
Communications should be addressed to
C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway.
J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager.
OCTOBER 13, 188S.
Lord Coleridge is evidently astoniBhed at the apathy of the
American people respecting the ehortcomingB of the judicial
machinery of this country. Respect for his entertainera forced him
to'gaurd his utterances; hence the significance of the following,
which occurred in hia speech at the Academy, "One thing
seems to me clear—that in England, with our fewer judges, we
dispose, and dispose without arrears, of a very sufficient and satis¬
factory number of cases; and in this country upon the whole in
many States, and certainly, as I understand, in the courts of the
Union, there is a very considerable arrear at the present time."
Io plain words the Lord Chief Justice of England declares that our
courts are insufficient, as they waste time and money and fail to
do justice between litigants. Something like this has been
repeatedly complained of in these columns. The reason is obvious.
The whole machinery of onr government is in the bands of lawyere,
who subordinate the interests of tbe community to their own.
In Eugland other classes than the lawyers are in authority, and
hence the promptness of tha courts and the higher respect in which
the judges are held. Some day there will be a revolt against the
exclusive rule of la\vyerB in this country.
President George S. Coe is a financial Bourbon who learns noth¬
ing and forgets nothing. In 1878 when the Bland Silver Bill was
passed he united with other New York bank presidents in pointing
out the evils which would come upon the country from this partial
attempt to remonetise silver. The premium on gold, he said, would
go up and there would be a ruinous fall in the price of our national
bonds, while confidence in the financial situation would be impaired,
In short, evilt innumerable would follow from the over-riding
of President Hayes' veto of the Bland bill. But none of these dire¬
ful prophecies proved true. On the contrary the premium on gold
diminished, the price of our bonds rose in all the markets of the
world, and, better than all, that great rise in prices began which
did not culminate until the summer of 1881. Of course there were
other factors which helped to bring about these happy results, but
using silver as well as gold proved to be a blessing instead of a
curse to the country. Yet here is President Coe using the same
arguments against silver at the Bankers Convention in Louisville
which proved so fallacious in 1878. The New York papera report
very fully the points made against silver by the various speakers,
but utterly refuse to publish anything said in favor of that metal
at the convention. Mr. E. C. Bobne'a able paper on the apprecia¬
tion of gold and the ruinous effect on prices due to monometaliam
ia barely mentioned. Yet, what would the South and West have
done without silver certificates? These have furnished an almost
perfect currency in a country where there are few national banks.
Though not a legal tender they hold their own with gold because
of the parity of the two metals due to the Bland law.
The revelations respecting the condition of tbe Comptroller's
department are really startling. It seems to be corrupt in all its
bureaus. It aeems incredible that a system of robbery should have
continued for twelve years without being discovered. That Mr.
John Kelly should not have suspected what was going on is likely
enough. He is an active party chief and should never have been
appointed Comptroller, as it was an office for which he was in
every way unqualified. The robberies, it appears, commenced
when Andrew H. Green was in office, and have ccmtinued up to
within the last three months. It now seems as if the dead Carroll
■was made a scapegoat; others in the office were undoubtedly more
guilty than he, For years the Record and "GuiDE has been urging
an amendment to our city charter that would not only authorize,
hut order the city taxpayers to keep informed as to all disburse¬
ments of the city money. The representatives of the taxpayers
should examine every bill and compare it with the work against
which it was charged. It will not do to set one official to watch
another; the best detective is tbe one who has an interest in the
matter in hand. Anyone can now see the incredible folly of the
decision of the Court of Appeals which gives every official a right
to be tried before he can be discharged from office. The decision
wae made in the face of the law which aimed to give executive
officers authority to remove subordinates, so as to increase the
efficiency of the service. This, the Court of Appeals nullified,
because of an old common iaw precedent of the English courts. It
was a decision as preposterous and outrageous in its way as the
Dred Scott decision, and the judges who rendered it ought to have
been denounced as enemies of the commonwealth. Court decis-
iona that are an affront to common sense, and which shields mis¬
conduct in officials, should not be tolerated. However, this confu¬
sion in the Comptroller's office will necessitate a reorganization of
our entire city government. The politicians must go to the rear,
and business men must come to the front in the management of
municipal affairs. A citizens' organization is now in order, but
it must be engineered by men of conscience, brains and business
The Platforms of the Future.
The October elections, and those which will follow in November,
will have little real significance. The two historic parties are
moribund. The people generally are tired of the Republican party,
and they distrust the Democrats. A very full vote waa called out
in Ohio, but it was on a moral and not a political issue. The relig¬
ious community and the women united to try and pass an amend¬
ment to the constitution, prohibiting hereafter the sale of intoxi¬
cating drinks in that State. No decision was reached upon any
political issue because none was called for. The Republican plat¬
form favored protection, the Democratic plank in their platform on
the same subject was a juggle of words, but between the lines
there was a promise that the present tariff would uot be interfered
with. In Iowa, however, the Democrats were more outspoken,
putting forward the free-trade issue, gaining many votes thereby.
The faot is the politicians trained in the old theories of govern¬
ment are puzzled by the situation. The tendency of the age ia
toward centralization, and the demand is for government to exer¬
cise functions which would have been considered despotic In times
past. Corporate power must be subordinated to the great corpora¬
tion of the nation. Great improvements are needed, which only
the general government can carry out. But every newspaper and
the platform of both parties re-echoes the old Jefferson shibboleths
looKing towards a limitation of tbe powers of the government, so
as to give corporate and individual selfishness full swing. The
question which called out the great vote in Ohio was one which
involved the exercise of unusual power by the central authority.
A large minority of the people of that State, following the exam¬
ple of Maine, Kansas and Iowa, demanded that a stop shall be put
to the manufacture and sale of stimulants by individuals. This,
if carried, would have been a more vital interference with per¬
sonal rights than has ever been attempted hy the more paternal
governments of Europe, where autocratic rule has obtained for
In spite of all the efforts of the existing parties, it is clear that
the new issues, the vital ones, will be those which look to an
assumption of greater authority on the part of the central power.
Executives will be charged with heavy responsibilities, and the
community and not the railway magnates alone will determine what
they shall be taxed for transportation and freight. The whole
tendency c f things is towards the exercise of larger powers by those
in authority, checked, of course, and held responsible by public
opinion, as voiced by the public press and through organized public
assemblages. The following would seem to be the measures which
the public will demand future Congresses to enact;
1. The nationalization of the telegraph. This indispensable
necessity of commerce and social life must be taken away from the
one person who now controls it, and lodged in a government
2. The transportation companies must be put under government
oversight and control. The community whom they tax must become
a party and have its say in tbe fixing of charges for fare and
3. A great system of public works must be undertaken, the
Mississippi leveed and joined with the lakes, by a canal to be built
by the government. Our rivers and harbors and waterways must
all be so improved as to render communication cheap and com¬
4. Our unelastic national bank currency must be withdrawn, and
all future paper issues be made by the government, based upon gold
and silver deposited in the government vaults. All the bullion of
the nation, coined and uncoined, to be the basis of the paper
government issues. All notes of less denomination than twenty
dollars should he withdrawn, so that gold and silver could take the
place of paper in all tbe channels of retail trade.
5. The creation of a navy befitting a nation of 56,000,000 of people
and tbe erection of the necessary works to guard our now utt'^rly
defenceless sea-board cities.
6. Free ships and freer trade, so as to make markets for our
manufacturers abroad. Removal of all the impediments to the
creation of a merchants marine.
This'list might be extended, but v?jll suffice for present. As a