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January 29, 1S87
The Record and Guide.
THE RECORD AND GUIDE,
Publiahed every Saturday.
191 Broad^vay, 3Sr. "Y.
Our TTeleplione Call is - - - - - JOHN 370.
ONE YEAR, in advance, SIX DOLLARS.
Communications should be addressed to
C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway.
J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager.
JANUARY 29, 1887.
of the field ; but the various improvements in telephonic commu¬
nication, which now cannot be used because of the existing
monopoly, would be made immediately available. There are some
really marvellous inventions ready to be put into operation should
the patents of the Bell people be legally discredited. Everyone
who uses the telephone is aware of its present imperfections. It
will probably never be employed for long distances, because of the
impossibility of making it pay as a rival to the telegraph, but it
ought to and would supersede the latter throughout regions of
country not over a hundred miles distant. Then the Bell telephon e
seems to be a corrupting influence in our press, as is shown in the
bitter attacks on Secretary Garland and the administration for
testing the validity of the hurtful monopoly based upon this patent.
The stock market just at the moment has a very sick look. There
is not much dealing. Prices rule low, andthe bulls do not attempt
to sustain their specialties. The labor troubles and the Interstate
Commerce bill are given as the cause of this depression in stocks.
This state of things can, however, be but temporary. The business
of the country is all right. Every spindle in allftur cotton factories
is running, iron foundries and steel factories cannot begin to
turn out the orders sent to them, railroad returns are all improv¬
ing, and the Congressional appropriations will be so large as to still
further stimulate business. The outlook is hopeful in spite of the
stock market. So far it does not seem as if the building movement
this spring will be quite up to that of last spring. The plans for
new houses run behind those of last year, both in number and
outlay of money. But this is plainly because of an excessive move¬
ment early last year. All real estate people agree that unless some
great disaster occurs the building in 1887 will exceed that of 1886.
The measures before Congress to punish the Canadian govern¬
ment for its action towards our fishermen look like pure dema-
goguery. We are in no position to menace Great Britain or any
other naval power. A vote to create a navy and to build twenty
great steamships for commercial purposes, but which could be
changed into commeice destroyers at short notice, would be far
more efficacious in bringing Great Britain to terms than in passing
bullying resolutions through Congress. "We are so contemptibly
weak and open to attack from the ocean that we cannot afford to
be bellicose. It is quite true, however, we could easily overrun
Canada in the event of a declaration of war ; but would it pay if,
meanwhile, England should seize New York and all our seaboard
cities? The indemnity she would demand, and would get, would
run into the hundreds of millions.
A good deal is being said in the newspapers respecting the Union
Pacific refunding bill, and the imputation of corrupt motives has
been freely made in the discussion. We have always regarded the
Thurman act as a mistake. It put the government in the attitude
of a greedy money lender, thinking of nothing but its own pecu¬
niary investments. The Union and Central Pacific roads were
originally constructed to bind the Pacific coast to the rest of the
Union, and to advantage, if possible, the traveling and trading
public. The United States furnished the money to build the two
roads, and then added gifts of land of value sufficient to rebuild
them three times over, after which the properties were handed
over to private corporations, with the final result of adding enor¬
mously to the fortunes of Jay Gould, Huntington, Stanford, Dillon
and other very rich railroad magnates. These people made all the
money they could out of the corporations, and were merciless
toward the traveling and trading public. What the government
should originally have done was to have built the roads itself,
under the plans of its army engineers, and then to have leased it
to a corporation, with restrictions as to the fare and fieiglit charges.
This would have built up the country rapidly ; no one would
have been oppressed, and the people would have been benefited
and not Jay Gould, Huntington & Co. This would have saved us
the Credit Mobillier scandals, would have protected the public,
and the road would not have cost one-third the sum now repre¬
sented by its stocks and bonds.
In the Queen's speech. Parliament is notified that the Salisbury
Cabinet would lay before it bills "to expedite and cheapen the
transfer of real estate." In fact, more and more attention is being
given to this important matter all over the world. It seems now
likely that Great Britain will move in this matter faster than the
United States. Of course the need of relief is greater there than
here; for titles under the old feudal precedents are very uncertain,
and the cost of conveyancing land makes the transfer of ownership
very difficult. But our people ought to be up and doing. Our
land laws are a scandal, and are unworthy of practical people
who pride themselves on their expeditious and efficient ways of
transacting business. We can buy and sell stocks clieaply, cer¬
tainly, and surely, while the transfer of land is costly and requires
an unnecessary expenditure of time; and, after all, there is a sense
of insecurity to the purchaser.
The labor troubles are dwelt upon in Wall street as a bear argu¬
ment for putting down the price of securities, but really they show
that trade is prosperous, and that the working classes wish to take
advantage of the general improvement in business. It is not
unlikely that as the warm weather approaches we shall hear a
great deal more about the labor associations, for they are very well
organized and have the backing of the Knights of Labor, but of
course the latter will try and settle the matter without strikes.
The present coal strikes are awkward, and if we understand the
demands of the men they are not unreasonable, as they ask nine
instead of the seven dollars a week they have been receiving. The
companies could well afford to pay the advance, as they could
easily make it up on the enhanced price of coal. But they are
fighting for what they call a principle. They will not recognize
the Knights of Labor or any other trade organization, and sub¬
mission to the handlers of coal would be probably followed by-
demands affecting the entire railroad interest of the country.
Hence the stubbornness of the coal companies to resist a demand
which is not in itself unreasonable.
The Thurman act was passed to satisfy the indignant public who
saw how the road had been used to pour money into the coffers of
Jay Gould & Co., but that much-vaunted enactment did nothing
to protect the traveling or business community. Everyone who
lived along the line of the two roads or used them was indignant
and eager to patronize new railroad lines which came in time. The
Union Pacific now cannot pay its debt to the government, and
hence the funding bill which, if passed, will discharge its obliga¬
tions to the Federal Treasury within seventy years time. The gov¬
ernment has botched this business from the beginning, for in
effect it has furnished money to build properties for a few rich
railroad speculators. All Federal expenditure should be for the
community and not any other interest, even its own.
If the pending litigation should invalidate the Bell telephone
patent it would be a great boon to tlie business public. The Bell
Company would do well enough in that case, for it has possession
On the flrst of next September there will be a change in the
method of dealing in cotton in this city. At present a purchase
of "■ futures" does not require the handling of that " flocculent
fibre," Thus, while the actual cotton handled at this port amounts
to only about 800,000 bales the dealings on the Exchange yearly
aggregate over 30,000,000 bales. It is contracts that are now
bought and sold, but after September next certificates will be dealt
in representing actual cotton in store. In other words, the dealing
in this article will assimilate to stock and bond transactions where
actual certificates are bought and sold, and on which money is
advanced by banking and lending institutions.
This new departure in cotton speculation will, it is expected,
have far-reaching consequences. Tt will give the banks a new
article upon which to lend money, and it will necessarily make
New York a great cotton port. It will have its effect on real estate,
for warehouse room will be needed for the storing of the cotton
which will find its way to New York, and which will be subse¬
quently shipped from this port. Of course, certificates represent¬
ing cotton stored in other ports will probably be dealt in, but the
disposition will be to give the preference to cotton actually in or
near this city; hence the railroads will have longer hauls of cotton,
and the coasting steamers will advantage from the freight they
will receive for bringing it to this port. Ife ought also to swell
largely the export trade from our harbor. This new way of doing
business will also better our Cotton Exchange, for instead of deal¬
ing in one variety of that article it can buy or sell anyone of th©
The table we publish elsewhere, analyzing the mortgages given
by the great fiduciary institutions of this city during the past year
will be found very interesting to all lenders and borrowers of
money, It shows what rates of interest have been charged, an^