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Deciefnfcer (J. 1884
The Record and Guide.
THE RECORD AND GUIDE.
Published every Saturday,
191 Broadway, N. Y.
OXE YE\a, iu advance, SIX DOLL.IRS*
ConuQunlcatioos should be addressed to
€. W. SWEET, 19! Broaiiway.
J. T. LINDSEV, Busiueaa Manager,
DECEMBER G, 1SS4.
Tlie election of thirteen directors of the Real Estate Exchauge
and Auction Room (Limited) will talje place next Monday. Niae
of the Board of Directors of last year ara candidates for re-election.
It will undoubtedly be bsat to coutinuo the sarae ofiicers in power
for oae year more eo ihit the plana of the originators of the
Exchange can be fully carried out. The annual report, we under¬
stand, will show that the E."ccliaugo ia on an excellent financial
footing, and that iti prospects aro all that could be desired. The
rental outside of the hall and offices of the Exchange itself will
amount to 6 per cent, gross on the capital stock, while the sources
of revenue to be developed sliould in time pay (;ood dividends to
the shareholderg. It is said that the membership of the Real
Estate Exchange will compare very favorably in wealth with that of
the Stock Exchange. An interview wilh Mr. George H, Scott,
secretary of the Exchange, published elsewhere, will be found very
interesting to members who wish to know the exact status of that
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It is to be hoped that the Laud Transfer Reform Commission
are in readiness to report as soon as the legislative session commen¬
ces. They have had nine months to deliberate on this matter, the
points of which are well understocd by all intelligent members of
the legal profession. There should be no excuse for any delay.
It is unfortunate perhapa that the entire commission are lawyers.
A reform of our land laws is so vital a matter that a real estate
owner and a dealer should have been representiid on the commis¬
sion. Tliere is a suspicion that the legal profession cdnnot be
greatly interested in a reform, which, if it fulfills its purpose, will
cut down the exorbitant charges that are uow necessary in trans¬
ferring titles to real estate.
corporation! and to Congress. The business of the roads, now
regarded as the private property of the directors for use on the
stock exchauges, should bs made public in reports sworn to by lhe
officers, and false swearins should be punishable by fine and
imprisonment. Directors in insurance and olher companies who
make fraudulent statements are sent to prison and lined ; but rail¬
way directors have frequently told the most deliberate false¬
hoods to their stockholders and the public, and, there is no law to
punish them. In time this proposed commission might liavo
power to giant permits to build new roads, but the Reagan bill now
before the House is au abomination iu its present shape.
Cjrporation Counsel Lacombe's iuterpretationof the newconsti-
tutioual amendment shows that marked defect of the legally trained
mind which is apt to place a greater value on a fiction than ona fact.
Upon an examination of the figures any average business man would
say that New York city owes something over $90,000,000 ; but the
city's legal adviser, while not disputing the fact, is of opinion thnt
the apparent debt of $135,000,000 prohibits the city from incurring
further indebtedness, although under the constitutional amend¬
ment wo would not reach our litnit until we actually owed about
$123,000,000. It is this pottering with words and definitions, and
giving them the preference to facts, wbich has discredited our
courts in dealing with business disputes. The leading exchanges
of the world are unanimous in refusing to recognize courts-of law.
Tliey have establiabed their own arbitration committees to settle
the question of I'acts involved in all business disagreements.
Practically the Corporation Counsel's decision will be a good thing
for the city iu temporarily, at least putting a stop to the creation
of new indebtedness. Tax payers will not be sorry for this, that is
if provision can be made for giving us the new parks in tho annexed
An in'.er-State railroad bill is very much needed, but some of the
provisions of the Reagan bill now under debate in the House are
preposterous. They aim to put a stop to consolidations, pools and
understandings between competing lines. The theory underlying
this proposed enactment is that the railroad companies are plun¬
dering the public, The very reverse is the fact. It is the public
whicli is now profiting at the expense of our railway system. AVe
are suffering from rate wars and the carriage of freight and pas¬
sengers for less than cost. The business of the government should
be hereafter to protect railway property from undue depreciation.
No more new lines should be permitted unless authorized by the
central government, and every consolidation or connection of rival
roads should be encouraged, as ii saves expense and is an accom¬
modation to the public. There should be no more buildiog of
Nickel Plate and West Shore roads. The money invested in the
stock of theie companies miglufcbetter have been thrown into the
sea, Unnecessary railways are a national calamity, and permanent
competition between them is, and always has baen, an illusion.
Secrelaty MoCuHoch's recommendation to withdraw the one and
two-dollar greenbacks so in lo afford a place for tlio circulation of
silver dollars and small gold coin has cften been advocated in these
columns, Ours is tho greatest gold and silver producing nation in
tlie world, and we should have made use of the precious metals in
all retail transactions, but, iustead, we have deliberately set them
aside and substituted paper in their place. When the national
banking law was passed it provided that the one and two-dollar
bills should be withdrawn when specie payments were resumed so
as to leave a place for g.ild and silver coins to circulate. They
accordingly were retired from circulation on the 1st of January,
1879. But Secretary Sherman, in order to discredit tho silver dollar,
issued one and two dollar greenbacks in place of the cancelled bank
notes. It was a shrewd move for the object he had in view, and
has furnished a standing newspaper argument against the silver
dollar; indeed it makes its last appearance in President Arthur's
message. The other commercial nations. Great Britain, France
and Germany, prohibit the issue of small notes, and hence gold
and silver is almost the only retail currency" known
abroad. Having oue more uae there than in this country
gold as well as silver naturally gravitates towards Europe
except when the balance of trade is against the nations of that con-
•■inent. We ought to stop the issue, not only of the ones and twop,
but of the fives and tens, both of the national banks and the
government notes. We would then not only utilize the gold now
p'led up in tho bank vaults and hoarded among the people, but
attract some of the yellow metal from Europe, and slimlilate the
production of our own ininep. We then would coin eagles and halC-
eagles. Our present gold coinaje is almost exclusively in double
eagles, which are convenient for banks and for gold exporters, but
practically useless as a currency.
Secretary McCulloch's report, by the way, is a very rotable ono.
It is a plea for fuller and freer trade with other nations, and for
subsidies by government in aid of our foreign commerce. Were
the Secretary'^ policy carried out it would greatly advantage the
trade of this city, for it would give us lines of steamships sailing
under the American flag to all the principal ports in the world. The
merchant princes of New York would in time vie in wealth with
the present race of railway kings. But the purblind press pf thia
city will antagonize all the recommendations of the Secretary of
the Treasury to add to the commerce of this port.
Both the President and his Secretary of the Treasury unite in
recommending that the tariff be modified so as to abolish duties ou
raw material and that treaties be entered into with other nations,
especially with South American States, to give a market abroad
for our manufactures. The home market is confessedly insufficient
to consume all the goods we produce. These views are uot novel¬
ties to the readers of The Record and Guide.
The meeting in favor of the passage of a bankruptcy act by
Congress wrs falsely described in the papers as being an important
one. As a matter of fact the merchants and business mon of New
York were conspicupus by their absence. All bankruptcy laws
passed so far by our government have been swtudle.s upon tlie
commercial community. The assets of the bankrupt estates have
invariably been eaten up by tlie court ofEcials and the lawyers.
Tne legal sharks who profit by these bankruptcy acts aro very
smart. They detail conBdence men to dog the editors of the city
press so as to induce them to write articles favoring a bankrupt
law. The editor-', managers and loader writers of the various jour¬
nals are fairly run down by these plausible scamps, who claim to
represent the mercantile community; but the latter, while tliey
would be very glad if a national bankruptcy law was enacted which
would be efficient, know from bitter experience that no oue so far
passed has been of the slightest value to them. The laws enacted
have thus far proved such monstrous swindles that they have been
quickly repealed. No Congress of lawyers can bs trusted in fram¬
ing the bankruptcy act for the mercantile community.
But we ought to have a national railway commission with power
to collect statistics, settle differences and make suggestions to the
William M. Evarts is the best candidate mentioned as United
States Senator from this State. This is the greatest Ftate in the
Union and it ought to have its very foremost citizen as its repre¬
sentative in QUI" upper chamber, Chauncey M, Depew would make