My 9, 1887
The Record and Guide.
THE RECORD AND GUIDE,
Published every Saturday.
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J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager.
JULY 9. 1887.
To an impartial outsider railroad aeeuritiea look like a purchase.
The financial occurrences which shook public confidence in the
closing days of June had the effect of marking down the price of
stocks and bonds below apparently their normal value, but the new
fiscal year will bring us more available money for speculative pur¬
poses; and, then, there are several great deals which are soon to be
completed, and which, when definitely announced, will enhance
the value of all stocks. Of these the Western Union Telegraph
matter is the most important. Undoubtedly an understanding is
being arrived at with the Baltimore & Ohio, which will be
announced within this month. The Reading reorganization is
complete, and that of the Wabash, I., B. & W, and Texas Pacific will
soon be concluded. Then, the railroad earnings are all phenom¬
enally large. There is really no argument in favor of lower quota.
tions but the possibility of the unexpected. Real estate continues
buoyant, and the conveyances keep on largely exceeding those of
Notwithstanding the appreciation in price and the cancelling of
government bonds, the organizing of new national banks keeps
right on. Since the beginning of March there have been sixty-nine
new banks started, and of these thirty-six had only $50,000 capital,
and eighteen more had between $50,000 and $100,000 capital. This
is a wholesome growth, as the banks are needed in localities that
lack such facilities for the transaction of business. Every new
bank creates a fresh demand for government 4}^ per cent, bonds.
In spite of what the newspapers say, the country ivould be
benefited if our surplus was expended in necessary public works.
Instead of paying our national debt, it would be economy for us to
borrow $300,000,000 or $400,000,000 more, to be spent on river and
harbor improvements, the creation of a navy, and proper defences
for our seacoast cities.
The Tribune persists in asserting that the coffee, wheat and real
estate speculations are due to an excess of currency. It shows that
there is now less money in the banks and more in the channels of
business than there was a year ago; and it also claims that the issue
of small silver certificates inevitably leads to currency inflation.
But, as compared with other nations, have we too much currency ?
The latest computation is that we have about $19.85 per capita—
that is, $4.50 of silver per head, $9.75 of gold and $5.60 in legal
tender paper money. In far more densely settled France there is
$52 per head—that is, $14.50 in silver, $33.50 in gold and $15 in
legal tender notes of the Bank of France. Yet France, with
nearly three times our currency, is not suffering from any specu¬
lation due to currency inflation. There is, of course, more or less
activity in this country in the various departments of business, and
there is a tendency to speculation, but it ia due to some other cause
than a redundant currency.
Among the issues which will enter into the next Presidential
contest will be one relating to our immigration laws. There is a
growing feeling that some check should be put upon undesirable
immigrants, not only paupers and lunatics, but very poor people
who are likely to become a burden, and others who are not wanted
from race or inferior personal characteristics. Prof. Boyessen puts
the case strongly in a recent number of the Fontvi, But the best
and most significant outgiving on the subject ia contained in a
letter of Master-Workman Powderly. He undoubtedly in this
matter represents the bulk of the working classes, who object to
foreign immigrants for the same reason that the California work¬
ingmen insisted upon the exclusion of the Chinese. As Mr. Pow¬
derly points out, the politicians have not said much so far. They
never lead, but always follow public opinion. This question, by
the way, promises to develop antagonisms in the labor party.
Henry George is an advocate of free immigration. He thinks it
monstrous to exclude even paupers. His land theories will make
no headway among the farming population, while his free trade
Dotiona are anything but acceptable to skilled mechauica employed
in the protected industries. There is a good deal of trouble ahead
for the followers of George and Powderly.
The advocates of the gold unit of value forget nothing and will
learn nothing. They have been beaten at every point in this
country ; but they still seem to have the President and his Cabinet
in their interest. A couple of years ago Mr. Manton Marble was
sent to Europe with the avowed purpose of testing foreign govern¬
ments on the subject of bi-metallism, Hia real purpose was to
thwart the policy of this country and help along the cause of gold
monometallism. We stated the purpose of the Administration
when he was appointed, and his subsequent conduct justified what
we said. It is now announced that Mr. Edward Atkinson has
been designated by Secretary Bayard to go abroad on some secret
mission connected with the metallic currencies of the world, Mr.
Atkinson is a man of marked ability, who can marshal figures to
help sustain any cause he is interested in ; but he is one of the
most pronounced and fanatical of the gold monometallists. He
will do what he can—which is considerable—to discredit inter¬
It is really exasperating that after the experience we have had
with silver coinage, which has been such an unmixed blessing to
the country, that all our Federal oflficials who deal directly with the
finances should be such bitter enemies of the use of silver as one of
the precious metal standards. As a nation, we suffered severely
from 1873 to 1878, when under an exclusive gold rej/ime, while we
have prospered as a nation since 1878, when the silver coinage law
was passed. We exported our gold by hundreds of millions pre¬
vious to 1878, while we have increased our gold store since 1873
from less than $200,000,000 to over $060,000,000 in 1887 So manifest
have been the beneiits of the silver coinage that every successive
vote in Congress has shown increasing majorities for the use of
silver in our currencies. The opposition to the national policy here
in the East is dying out, and a thousand Marbles and Atkinsons
will not be able to change the determination of the American
people to bring about, if possible, international bi-metallism.
If Dr. McGlynn'a quarrel with Archbishop Corrigan and the
Papal authorities had been with regard to the public schools, or
some question affecting the integrity of the Union, the press of the
country would have backed him up in his position, that, as a
citizen, he should not be called to account for hia views on political
matters; but hia advocacy of Henry George^s objectionable land
theories has procured for him the hostility of the newspaper press,
which naturally represents the employing class and those who
have a property stake in the community; hence the curious spec¬
tacle is furnished of all the ultra-Protestant papers sustaining the
Pope for excommunicating a priest becauge of the latter^s objection¬
able opinions on a secular question. But the newspapers have
somewhat too hastily come to the conclusion that the interdict of
the .Chur«h makes an end to the priest. He certainly has a large
backing among the working classes, and seems to be personally
popular among tens and hundreds of thousands of people, who
would never have heard of him but for his quarrel with hia ecclesi¬
astical superiors. He is in no danger of starvation, for he can
make more as a lecturer than he ever could as a parish priest.
He will be a power in our politic3,;provided he does not run for
office himself. That would hurt him more than any excommuni¬
cation from Rome. In dealing with this troublesome case the
Church has again shown the value of its splendid discipline. There
was more or less sympathy felt for McGlynn by many American
priests, but they have been silenced. Two distinctively Roman
Catholic journals took the part of the protesting priest. One was
forced to change hands and the other has suspended recently.
Father McGlynn seems to have many adherents when he appears
in public halls; but they are not the kind of people who support
newspapers. But this episode in the history of the Roman Cath¬
olic Church in America is significant, inasmuch as it ia the first
occurrence in which any section of the Catholic priesthood or laity
haa rebelled against its ecclesiastical superiors.
Ours is the only country on earth to-day in which there is an
unreasoning public opinion against government expenditure for
needful public improvements. We have just heard of the com¬
mencement of the Kiel Canal by Germany, to connect the German
Ocean with the Baltic, The British government is aiding directly
the opening of new lines of railway all through India. Russia is
perfecting her railway system in Central Asia, and it ia possible
now to ride from St. Petersburg by steam travel all the way to the
frontiers of Afghanistan. Russia ia also engaged in the creation of
a gigantic railway system in Siberia, whore, in five years' time, the
Pacific Ocean will be reached. Moreover, Russia haa been develop¬
ing for years the water courses of Siberia, and this new line of
railway will make available for wheat culture enormous stretches
of fertile territory. It would require a good deal of space to tell of
all the projects now on foot to open new avenues for internal and