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April ^0, Mt
The Record and Guide.
THE RECORD AND GUIDE,
Published every Saturday.
191 BroadT^ray, l^T."^.
Our Telepb.one Call is
ONE YEiR, in advance, SIX DOLLARS.
Communications should be addressed to
C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway.
J. T. LINDSEY, Busmess Manager.
APRIL 30, 1887.
We repeat what we said last week, that there are the very besfc
reasons for believing that the New York Central Railroad has
decided to build an underground railroad from the Grand Central
Depot to the Brooklyn Bridge. The tunnel in which the tracks
will be laid will run under Elm street, which is to be widened and
extended on one end to the bridge and on the other to Lafa¬
yette place and 4th avenue. The work is to be undertaken at
once and will be forwarded in the most expeditious manner, so that
the trains may be running in the early summer of 1888. There
will be four tracks; two for through and two for way travel. New
York imperatively needs rapid steam travel from one end of the
island to the ofcher. -But it ought to involve the Arcade plan, and
the route should commence at the lower end of Broadway and run
under that thoroughfare to 14th street. Then there ouglit to be
one branch to the 43d street depot, another under Broadway and
the Boulevard to the Harlem River. But the Broadway property-
holders have again managed to injure their own interests, and
their opposition to a steam road will result in building up a rival
their readers by taking the side of the Republican majority in the
There is a good deal of interest touching the appointments Mayor
Hewitt is to make during the coming month. His acfcion will teU
the story of his attitude towards the political organizations and the
public. It is to be hoped he will select business men for business
positions. Ex-Mayor Grace made some^ excellent [appointments,
but he was over-fond of lawyers, as witness his Board of Education.
That Board ought to have a practical architect or builder among
its members. One of the Fire Commissioners should be a builder.
The Police and the Park Boards ought to be reduced to three
members, so as to prevent deadlocks, or, perhaps better still, one
executive head, responsible to the Mayor and the public, would be
better than any board however constituted.
Somehow the stock market does not 'boom," notwithstanding
the improvement of business throughout the country. All the
leaders of the " street" have been bullish since the opening of the
year, and stocks have been accumulated to sell out to the general
public when higher prices were reached. But somehow the spec¬
ulative public have not " caught on " as yet, and the high-priced
stocks are still unsold. One explanation of this backwardness of
the buying class to come forward is to be found in the broadening
of the market. A perfect avalanche of new securities have been
poured upon the " street." The new bonds literally run up into
the hundreds of millions which have been taken but not yet
absorbed by foreign and domestic investors. Then there is Richmond
Terminal of some $405000,000 in addition to 5,000,000 of preferred
and 8,500,000 bonds. Of Columbus Hocking Coal and Iron there
are 43,000 shares, all of which have been marketed, and then there
is Forfc Worfch, Erie and Western, Philadelphia Gas and numerous
other new securities which have found a ready market among
speculators who expect to resell them at higher figures. Now the
•■street"cannot have its cake and eat it also. Money is being
spent in the^' reorganization schemes, and if these new securities
are to be carried it will be impossible to put up the old favorites.
With everything in its favor it is just possible that the]market may
be smashed if the various cliques suspect that the public will not
come in to take the loads off their hands.
The Democrats in the Legislature have made a very bad record
in the way in which they have opposed a high license bill. This
measure was called for by the Democratic as well as by the Repub¬
lican press, which in this matter represented public opinion. But
the Republicans have also been in the wrong on other matters.
They have defied the will of the voters of the State in the matter
of a convention to revise the Constitution of the State. Then the
action of the Republican Senate in not acting upon the nominations
of the Governor is wholly indefensible. Papers like the Post, Times
and Tribune discredit the intelligence of their readers when they take
the side of the Senate against the Governor in this matter. We
have never been partisans of Governor Hill, but when he makes a
nomination for Railroad Commissioners it is the business of the
Senate to confirm the appointments, unless the persons named are
grossly unfit. To "hang up" a nomination ought to be made an
offense punishable by fine and imprisonment. The corruption of
oui: State and city politics has been largely due to the disposition of
legislative bodies to force Governors and Mayors to put men into
office wifch whom they have made private bargains. Any Consti¬
tutional Convention that will meet hereafter wiU strip Senates and
local boards of the power to confirm, and will lodge the sole
authority in the Executive. Governor Hill's rebuke to the Senate
was deserved, and, were this matter to be presented to the voters of
tbe State without prejudice, would be indorsed by nineteen out of
every twenty. Yet here we have leading New York Republican
papers dishonoring themselves and discrediting the intelligence of
The Assembly has indorsed the block system of indexing by the
remarkably large vote of 70 to 12. The friends of the measure say
that it is almost certain to go through the Senate by a nearly
unanimous vote. Undoubtedly, the "block" is a vast improve¬
ment upon the present system. If it is put in force and works
well, transfers of real estate will be cheapened and expedited. In
other words, the delay and cost of conveyances of realty would be
very greatly abridged. It will be time enough to discuss further
reform when it will be seen how the block system of indexing
affects real estate interests.
Our Prophetic Department.
Mr. Realty—The price of land is at once rising and falling ;
that is to say, it is rising in this country, in Australia, New
Zealand and Cape of Good Hope, while it is falling in llurope. Can
you give the philosophy of the changes in values here and
Sir Oracle—^You do not sfcafce all the facts. Agricultural land
is falling in value in the Old World because of the competition of
distant regions in wheat and other food products. The swift
steamship lines now reach all parfcs of the earth upon which wheat
can be grown and wherever cattle can be raised. As a consequence
farming land is worth far less than formerly in old Europe. In
the past generations land represented the chief possession of the
capitalist class; speculation was at one time confined to land.
This was before the era of exchanges, when stocks and food prod¬
ucts had not the advantage of long and short sales. Hence in a
general way the new lands, on which wheat can be grown and
cattle raised, are rising in value. This is as true of Australia, New
Zealand, South Africa, Hindoostan and South America, as is of
North America. But their improvemenfc is at the expense of the
owners and tillers of the soil in Europe.
Mr. R.—I notice you carefully avoid mentioning city property ?
. Sir O.—And for the reason that, while agricultural land is fall¬
ing in value in the Old World, there is a steady addition to all
values of city property. European trade is as profitable as ever
before, perhaps more so, but it is made in manufacturing—in
fabricating articles of use and luxury for the rest of the world.
Hence, while the raisers of grain are suffering, their land deteri¬
orating in value and their mortgages becoming heavier, owners of
urban property are becoming richer. All the capitals of the Old
World are growing rapidly. Berlin, for instance, is adding to its
population and wealth in a way that suggests New York, Chicago
and Kansas City. But, of course, there is no such wild speculation
in land values in the Old World as we are now having in the New.
Mr. R.—This impoverishment of the landed proprietors of the
Old World must have a political and social result. What is it ?
Sir O.—The land-owning caste was once and for hundreds of
years the leading one in Europe, and was firsfc, last and all the
time an upholder of the throne and the altar. The Roman
Catholic Church at one time was enormously wealthy in land, but
Henry VIII. commenced the work of spoliation in England, and thei
example has been followed in every country in Europe as well as
in Mexico and South America. The landlord was supreme in the
politics of Great Britain up to the abolition of the Corn laws.
Gladstone's Irish Land laws were a serious blow at the noble own¬
ers of the soil. It is the banker, manufacturer, the merchant and
the great speculators who now dominafce in the councUs of the
British cabinet. In twenty-five years the bulk of the agricultural
lands will be in the hands of freeholders—actual tillers of the soil
in Great Britain and Ireland. As the masses are getting the ballot
in all parts of Europe it follows that politics will turn more and
more upon industrial differences. The working peeple wfil demand
their share of the wealth they create, and their natural opponents
will be the middle and capitalistic classes—those who have been
enriched by trade and the growth of centres of population. There
will be less interest in international topics and much more in
industrial questions affecting labor and capital.
Mr. R.—^Well, we seem to be moving in the [same direction.
Look at our Labor party 1 What a heavy vote it polls in the large