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October 8, 1887
The Record and Guide.
THE RECORD AND GUIDE,
Published every Saturday.
191 Broaci-way, 1^. Y.
Our Telephone Call Is - - - -
OSE YEAR, in advance, SIX DOLLARS.
Coznmtuilcatioiis should be addressed to
C, W. SWEET, 191 Broadway.
J. T. LINDSEY. Busiuess Manager.
OCTOBER 8, 1887.
Mr. John Mullaly's book on " The New Parks Beyond the Har¬
lem" is now ready and can be had at the offices of The Record
AND Guide, 191 Broadioay. It icill also be found on the neivs
stands on the Elevated road stations. The volume comprises one
hundred and thirty-two pages of fine print and contains everything
that can be told about the four thousand acres which New York has
provided for its future citizens on the further side of the Harlem
River. A map showing the location of all the parks and thirty
illustrations are embraced in the work. Mr. Mullaly was the
Secretary of the Commission tvhose efforts gave us these new parkSy
and what he says is practically official. The price of the brochure
is one dollar in cloth a7id fifty cents in paper.
The stock market has beea feverish during the week, with a
tendency up to Thursday towards lower quotations. But the con¬
summation of the telegraph deal, aud the assurance by President
Corbin that the Reading will not be foreclosed, stimulated prices
towards the close of the week. Apart from these deals there are
no new factors to give better Wall street prices. Stocks, however,
have passed into strong hands, and the brokers say there are fewer
eecuritiea in their offiees than for a long time past. There can,
however, be no very buoyant market until Congress and the Presi¬
dent agree upon some solution of our financial difficulties.
The business situation continues good. There is a large con¬
sumption of goods going on, and the West-bound traflSc of the
railroads was never so heavy. It is said, however, that the move¬
ment is unnatural, for it is not based on large crops or good prices
for our agricultural products, but on fictitious values due to the
land speculation now raging in the West. The Kansas City, Den¬
ver, St. Paul and other Western merchants, are supplying goods
for a community which thinks it is richer than it really is, and
whose paper profits are likely to disappear at any time. With
only an average cotton crop—with a diminished corn and wheat
crop—with pasture and potatoes a failure over large sections of the
West, there is no justification for any expectation of a large con¬
sumption of goods in the agricultural States-
President Cleveland seems to be very well received in whatever
city he visits. He ia certainly popular in the best sense of the word.
Still we doubt whether he was wise in making this trip, for hia
enemies will make all the handle they can out of it. If he does not
say anything indiscreet other persons will, for which he will be
blamed, and then his presence ou so many platforms will be con¬
strued to mean that he is fishing for a renomination. He would
have done quite aa well had he stayed in Washington.
Why does not the press say more about the Australian and Eng¬
lish system of voting? In those countries the government supplies
the tickets and does the work now so badly performed by our party
machines. The expense of the election is assessed upon the candi¬
dates. This is really a vital matter and it ia surprising that all the
Civil Service reformers do not heartily indorse this much-needed
change. The excuse for the spoils system ia that it provides a way
for raising money to supply the machine previous to election. By
all means let us adopt a reform which will get rid of the trading
politicians, and this could be very effectually done by the Aus¬
tralian system of voting.
While the Anti-Poverty meetings are largely attended and there
is a great deal of personal enthusiasm for Dr. McGlynn and Henry
George, it is now very certain that the united Labor vote will be
smaller in this city than it was the last Mayoralty contest. The
Socialist vote will probably not amount to much, but their leaders
control a great many foreigners who will not now cast their ballots
for Henry George. Still the new party will gain a good many
votes in the State—enough, perhaps, to defeat the Democratic State
ticket and lose that party many Assemblymen and local oflicera.
The next Legislature,promiflea to be a very mixed body. The Re-
publicaus may bave t^ largest representation, but tha Prohibition¬
ists as well as the Labor party will return a good many of their
The tables we gave last week of buildings projected in Septem¬
ber and for the last nine months show that there haa been a check
to new building operations. The total cost for the year so far is
over $59,000,000, againat about $49,480,000 last year for the same
period, and |36,500,000 in 188>, But September of thia year shows
a falling off in the number of new plans and the amounts proposed
to be expended as compared with the Septembers of last year and
the year before. There haa been a sharp check in west side build¬
ing, but an increase in the region east of the Central Park as well
as for the 38d and 24th Wards, The prospect now ia that the
coming twelve months will see very much fewer new buildings
started than during the past twelve months. We will get back to
the figures of 1886, if not to 1885. The check will be a wholesome
one, for it is an undoubted fact jthat we were building more of a
certain kind of houses than the immediate demand warranted.
The plans of Messrs. Olmstead & Vaux for improving Morning¬
side Park seem to be judicious. In time, if their programme is
carried out, the region north of the Central Park will have a
pleasure-ground unlike anything of the kind in the world. It will
be a side-hill recreative resort; though narrow, it will be long, and
eveiy step, from north to south, will be a surprise to the visitor, for
the propo?ed plan involves very unique and picturesque effects.
The work, it seems, ia soon to be commenced, and the landscape
architects in charge think that the !$250,000 appropriated ought to
be sufficient to make the new park a very favorite resort.
From the report of the government engineers, it appears that the
work of clearing out the channel in the lower bay progresses very
slowly because of the small Congressional appropriation. The
great foreign steamers cannot get in or out of this harbor at all
tides unless there is thirty feet of water in the channel of the
lower bay. The work would require about $4,000,000, and would
probably take two years' time; but the New York press and our
New York representatives oppose so bitterly all river and harbor
bills that New Y'^ork harbor has to suffer, and the necessary deep¬
ening of the channel may be postponed from eight to ten years.
As a matter of fact the very best thing we could do with the
surplus in the Treasury would be to spend it on works of public
utility. This would get the funds into circulation and distribute
them in a way that would be productive and helpful to the trade
of the nation. The press of all parties is clamoring for a lowering
of tariff rates or a repeal of internal taxes, but any tinkering with
tariffs or taxes affects very vital interests. It interferes with trade,
makes business ventures uncertain, and is not to be thought of
unless the whole ground can be gone over and considered from
every point of view, But there will not be time when Congress
meets to settle the tariff and the currency questions. What is
needed is to get the money out of the Treasury; hence appropria¬
tions ought to be made at the very beginning of the session, not
only for river and harbor improvements, but for new war ships,
defensive batteries, guns and harbor fortifications. If these call
for a $100,000,000 expenditure there will be no further need of
troubling ourselves about the surplus, and then we could go to
work and attend to the tariff and internal revenue reforms.
But 1888 will be a Presidential year, and a Congress composed of
interested politicians can hardly be depended upon to give us wise
legislation on currency and tariff questions. We are among those
who believe the tariff should be amended. There should be an
increase in the free list, lower duties on the necessaries of life,
and then something should be done to make our currency more
elastic so that it could be increased as the population and trade
transactions of the nation grows. There is plenty of fiscal and
business legislation needed, but the first and prime necessity is to
get the surplus out of the Treasury and into the channels of
The following is part of an interview between a Tribune reporter
and the officer in chai'ge of the Hell Gate improvement:
" And how are you getting on with the removal of Flood Rock ?"
*' We are at work with three dredges on the northern end of the reef and
have been renaoving rock at the rate of a thousand tons a week ever since
the opening of tbe working season. We have an appropriation of $113,0UO
granted in August, 1S86, which will be exhausted at the end of the working
year, and we expect to remove 50,000 tons of rock with that money. That
will be a total of 78,000 tons removed. The whole amount to be removed
before there is a 2&-foot channel over the whole reef is 290,000 tons ; so you
see we shall have accomplished rather more than a quarter of our task
when we come to an eud of our resources."
"There was no appropriation then voted this year for the Hell Gate
*' No. We are an integral part of the River and Harbor bill which did
not pass, and the consequence is that work will have to be suspended until
Congress passes another River and Harbor bill."