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March l3, 188t
The Record and Guide.
THE RECORD AND GUIDE,
Published every Saturday.
IQl Broad^way, ISTo Y.
Our Teleplioue Call Is - - - - - JOHN 310,
ONE YEAR, in advance, SIX DOLLARS.
Communications should be addressed to
C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway.
J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager.
MARGfl 12. 18S7.
General business is not up to the expectations of dealers. There
has been a marked falling oif in the demand for woolen goods, nor
are our cotton goods so eagerly sought for. In fact, there is a very
general hesitancy in trade circles. Still railway returns are very
good, aud holders of securities think tliat there will be a bull mar¬
ket further along. The stock market is consequently dull but
strong, while the feeling in real estate circles could not be
better. Transactions are larger, and there is more trading than
is usual even &t this time of the year. Tiie dealing in real estate
contracts has got to be quite a feature of our market. The build¬
ing plans show no falling off, while there is a demand for lots
within the city limits which would seem to indicate the growth of
a very speculative feeling.
President Cleveland has not yet appointed a Secretary of the
Treasury. If he is wise and wishes to strengthen his administra¬
tion he will appoint to that position a Western Democrat who
ia in accord with the great mass of our citizens on the silver ques¬
tion. Congress is overwhelmingly for bimetallism, and has been
ever since the commencement of the coinage of the silver dollar,
which has proved such a blessing to all the material interests ol
the nation. A continuation of the policy of past administrations
in financial measures would be flying in the face of public opinion
and the past experience of the country.
The President would also do well to be careful as to whom he
appoints on the Interstate Commerce Commission. They ought
to be persons familiar with railroad matters and possessed of strong
common sense. The commission should not be a general alms¬
house for politicians out of office, or for railroad lawyers out of a
job. The Interstate act was purposely made vague in its terms, so
as to admit of interpretations that would help rather than embarrass
the railroad interests of the country. A Board composed exclu¬
sively of lawyers might become too technical and lead to unnec¬
essary litigation, thus defeating the object of the promoters of the
Five million dollars would not be too great a cost for repaving
New York if the work was to be done by the present head of the
Department of Public Works. If New York was the best paved
city in the world it could easily be made the cleanest and the
healthiest of all the populous centres of traffic. We are surrounded
by salt water and the tides carry away impurities within a few
hours' time. After our pavements are reconstructed our sewer
system should be taken in hand. A proper tenement-house law
and an efficient Health Board with plenty of money would soon
convert the metropolis into an ideal city, so far as sanitary matters
are concerned. These various changes will call for large expendi¬
tures, but it would pay, and our taxpayers would not regret the
expense if they got so rich a return for their money.
The proposed purchase of the Baltimore & Ohio road by the syn¬
dicate of capitalists, which was so successful in consolidating the
West Shore with the New York Central, and which is now reorgan¬
izing the Reading corporation, haa been the event of the week in
stock circle.1. When carried out it will strengthen the market for
securities and have far-reaching, effects upon many important
interests. The Baltimore & Ohio will then become a New York
corporation, and its trains will run to this city over the Reading and
Jersey Central roada. It is on the programme also to form a
connection with the Richmond & Danville Southern and Western
lineg. In other words, this is another step in the process of unify¬
ing the railway systems of the country. Undoubtedly, in time the
combination will include not only the Baltimore & Ohio, the
Reading and the Jersey Central, but the Richmond & Danville, the
Georgia Central and the Norfolk & Western as well. The public
will be the gainer by these practical consolidations of now isolated
There ought to be no hesitancy on the part of the.Legislature in
passing the necessary appropriations for completing Riverside
Morningside, Mt. Morris and East River Parks. These improve¬
ments will cost about $1,500,000, but will .idd three times that
amount to the taxable value of the adjoining real estate. The
property-holders have already been assessed for these contemplated
improvements, and the city is growing so rapidly in population
that these parks are needed not only for the people who live near
by, but for our citizens generally for recreative purposes.
The Civil Code has passed through the State Assembly and ought
to be adopted by the Senate without any trouble. The leading
lights of the Bar Association oppose the enactment of this code,
but then lawyers always oppose reform in legal methods. In this
they imitate the members of other professioijs. New and even
better ways of doing old things are never acceptable to those who
are accustomed to a certain routine. Hence the Roman lawyers
bitterly opposed the reformed codes which are now regarded as the
glory of Roman jurisprudence. No French lawyers of note
favored the famous Code Napoleon. Our own lawyers objected to
reform in the methods of legal procedure and were unanimous in
declaring against the C^de of Criminal Procedure as well as the
Penal Code. Yet, when enacted in spite of them, they admitted
that the changes were to the advantage of the publio. The Civil
Code is now objected jto, but it is indisputably a reform of the
utmost moment, and one which is inevitable some time or other.
By all means let the Senate end the matter this session by adopting
the new Civil Code.
There is'a remarkable unanimity on the part of our daily press m
favor of the high license bill. Undoubtedly the newspapers in
this reflects public opinion. People who use liquor as well as those
who don't are agreed that the traffic in strong drink and beer
should yield something to the city Treasury—as it does in so many
of the Western cities. We have too m.any whiskey shops. It
seems that there is a saloon for every 129 person.^, counting the
women and children as well as the men. One to every 1,000 persons
would be quite enough. Even the best hotels and restaurants are
quite willing to see a high license act, as it would affect unfavor¬
ably only those establishments which are an injury to the public.
Let our representatives bear in mind that nine out of every ten of
our voters favor a stringent license law.
It is understood that a proposition is to be made in the Legisla¬
ture to authorize a "L" road on Broadway, between Seventy-second
street and the Battery. Something of this kind will be done some
day, unless the property-holders will withdraw their opposition to
the Arcade scheme. At Thirty-fourth street the proposed elevated
road would naturally connect with the Sixth avenue track. This
would be a very great public accommodation, and it need not be a
nuisance; but, of course, the Broadway property-holders and the
press will unite in putting a stop to the proposed improvement.
Every person or official connected publicly with this enterprise
will be denounced as a public plunderer, and the legislators at
Albany will scarcely authorize the proposed road in view of the
fate which has overtaken the " Boodle " Aldermen.
Our newspapers.all seem delighted with the failure of the river
and harbor bill. But this does not happen to be the feeling in busi¬
ness circles. Mr. Jesse Seligman undoubtedly voices the best
opinion of our business public when he says, in the Epoch:
I would expend whatever surplus there was in making internal improve¬
ments. There is probably no government in the world that has done so
little in the way of internal improvements as the United States has done;
and I think that it is now high time that v/e should do something to secor j
our natioual safety, as it is obvious that our navy, our forts, our harbora,
and even some of our rivers, have been too long neglected.
President Fry, of the Bank of New York, says, in the earns
I think a very large amount of money might be very advantageously
expended in improving the Mississippi River, which is the great water high
way of the country, as well as other rivers and harbors. Much money
might be used in building custom houses and other public buildings actually
needed in places in the interior part of the country. Of course such venturea
should be entered upon wi?ely aud judiciously. As to the amount of money
which should be kept in the Treasury, I think §100,000,000, the amount
required by law, is quite sufficient.
These views have been held by The Record a^d Guide for years.
Has not the time come when a determined effort should be made
to set our daily press right on this important matter. New York
is grossly misrepresented by its press. We want millions of money
spent here on this harbor, to make it the port its commerce demands.
But how can we expect an appropriation for the channel in the
lower bay when this contemptible yelping is kept up by tbe cura
of our city press, who affect to see corruption in every proposition
to improve the rivers and harbors of the country. We repeat what
we have often said before, that we should spend from fifty to sixty
million dollars per annum in internal improvements. It would
repay the. business of the country a hundredfold. These are the
figures of the United States Engineering Board, composed of army