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December 3, 1887
The Record and Guide.
THE RECORD AND GUIDE,
Published every Saturday.
Onr Telephone Call Is • - - -
OIVE YEAR, in adrance, SIX DOLLARS.
Communications should be addressed to
C, W. SWEET, 191 Broadway.
J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager.
DECEMBER 3, 1887.
The stock market looks weak, and it seema as if the experience of
past Decembers would be repeated. The last month of the year is
generally signalized hy lower quotations. It is a time when
accounts are closed up—when money is being withdrawn from the
street by the great corf orations who have surpluses, the funds
being required for the payment of the January dividends. Then
the meeting of Congress gives an element of uncertainty as to the
future of the money market. If that body would not do quite eo
much talking, and acted promptly and wisely, especially in the dis¬
tribution of the Treasury surplus, we would not only have a buoyant
stock market bat the trade of the country would be prosperous
until such time as the crops of 1888 were gathered. It is not, how¬
ever, at all likely Congress will act wisely. When the flood-gates
of talk are opened a body of lawyers can do nothing but spout and
procrastinate. In the meantime the surplus will have accumu¬
lated and the busiuess of the nation will suffer.
The newspapers continue to talk nonsense about the Panama
Canal, and persist in advocating the preposterous Nicaragua scheme.
Despite all ths unfavorable reports, the American people may rest
assured that the Panama Canal will be completed and will be open
for business before the Nicaragua Canal is commenced. If the two
were finished at the same time the Panama Canal would, of
course, have all the business, for ships would pass through it in less
than two days, while the rival route would take nearly two weeks.
Our American leaders of publio opinion are pursuing the same
**dog in the manger" policy that the English publicists did when
De Lesseps was building the Suez Canal. It was declared to be a
wholly impracticable enterprise ; its cost would be ruinous, and
it would be a failure in any event. This is what foolish Americans
are now saying about the Panama Canal.
The English had good reason to dread the opening of the Suez
Canal. True they have captured it, and the tonnage which passes
through it is mamly that which carries the British flag. But Eng¬
land is ceasing to be the warehouse of the world because of that
canal. The products of the East are now being distributed by way
of the Mediterranean Sea. It is Italy which, m the near future,
will control the trade between the Orient and the Occident. Eng
land is being impoverished in every way. Her agricultural class
ia being ruined by the competition of America, her South Pacific
colonies and India. All the world now bars out her manufactures,
and the Suez Canal is slowly but surely taking from her her for¬
mer commercial supremacy. At first, doubtless, the Panama Canal
will injure our overland trade, but finally the canal itself must
belong to the American Union. One fact, however, should be
kept in mind, despite all our press may say, the Panama Canal
will flnally be completed and opened to the commerce of tho world.
missible in a court of justice. Without exactly saymg so, the Times
gives the impression that an innocent man has been convicted
because he was poor and disliked, while a rich rogue has been
allowed to escape through the meshes of the law. Well, this kind
of thing has occurred before.
And now the Commonwealth Club has a panacea for our politica
ills. It wants to clothe the forms of our primary elections with
the sacredness and sanction of our regular election machinery.
It takes it for granted that if the majority really rule and the
"bosses" are suppressed that future legislatures and Boards of
Aldermen will be virtuous. But this plan will not work if the
body of the voters are themselves corrupt. The money of candi.
dates have often debauched majorities in many of the Con¬
gressional districts of the States. The fact is, the only reform
likely to be effective is the adoption of the Australian system, the
features of which in detail were published in The Record and
Guide of last week.
The Times says there was no case against John Most. He was
I^L convicted because of his alleged bad character and odious person-
^^ ality. He never really committed any offense against our laws,
^^■but he has served a yearns imprisonment and is likely to go to
^^Bjail again because of an interpretation put on hia language which
^^■he disclaims. The same paper declares that law defeated justice
^^^iii Jacob Sharp's case. There was no doubt at all of his guilt, yet
the Court of Appeals unanimously agrees that Judge Barrett made
' ness of it in permitting evidence against him wbich was inad-
We have always held that the Judge in Sharp's case seemed to
think more of the newspapers and public opinion outside than he
did of the forms of law. The jury were forced to convict by the
threat of " embracery." Nearly every newspaper in town would
have held up the jurymen as a set of perjured villains if they had
not brought in Sharp guilty. The trial, as conducted by Judge
Barrett and the press, was a screaming farce. Of course Jake
Sharp is the corrupt scoundrel he was charged to be, and it ia a
grave discredit to our legal machinery that under its forms he
could not be punished. Of course, also, the further trial of the
boodlera is now out of the question. Our people ought to bear in
mind that the cause of all our trouble is that under our system of
government it is impossible to elect honest Aldermen or
There seems to be no doubt but that Great Britain is passing
through a severe industrial crisis, the gravity of which cannot be
overestimated. England was prosperous when she was the one
great manufacturing couutry of the world. When competition
commenced in Europe and hostile tariffs interfered with the sale
of her goods she kept opening new markets in Asia and elsewhere,
but now practically all civilized as well as uncivilized nations are
trying to manufacture their own home consumed goods; hence
England's manufacturing supremacy haa culminated. Then
American, Indian, and other competitors have ruined the agricul¬
turists, so it seems aa if that apparently powerful nation "was
tottering to ita fall." There is keen distress and poverty through¬
out Eugland, Wales and Scotland, as well aa in Ireland. The
Anarchist and the red flag will be heard of frequently in connec¬
tion with the discontent of the laborers of Great Britain.
A Herald reporter has interviewed a secret agent of the English
Socialists, now in tliis country, who makes the following state¬
ment, which accords with our own advices, and is undoubtedly
The old powerful trade unions are to-day mere charity organizations.
The Engineers' Uniou, which has 50,000 names on its rolls, had last year to
support twenty thousand of its members who were out of work ; more¬
over thousands of countrymen are pouring daily into London hoping to
Qud work. Over one hundred thousand paupers are being supported in
the London workhouses; the prisons are overstocked and new ones are
being built; agriculture is ina hopeless state and cau never be revived;
hundreds of landlords' wives are trying to make a living by dressmaking
and other such work; and, on the whole, there are no words in the English
language which can describe the misery of the masses iu England. The
cause? Well, the immediate cause is the want of foreign markets. The
limit of conquest has baen reached in this direction, and in the few still
existing outlets for trade England cannot compete with Germany; hence
have arisen overproduction and overpopulation, and English workingmen
have ceased to be either earners or consumers.
Not only has England lost in her foreign markets, but in those
that are left she has the active competition of Germany, whose
merchants are as enterprising and as skillful as those of England,
and who are better educated and more economical. Undoubtedly
the government of Great Britain has grave perils to encounter in
dealing with tbe distress of the agricultural and manufacturing
classes. Look out for bad news from abroad.
The Standard, Henry George's paper, states that in all proba¬
bility the Labor party will not run an independent Presidential
ticket next year. This ia really an important announcement, for
if that policy is carried out it makea this organization a balance of
power party, which will be, as it were, up at auction between the
great rival political organizations. The seventy odd thousand
ballots polled for Henry George did not affect the result of the last
State election, for, contrary to general belief, the votes seemed to
have been drawn equally from both the other partiea. The liquor
interest was thrown very generally in favor of the Democratic
party, while the extreme Prohibitionist refused to vote for the
Republicans, which lost them the State. This winter the Republi¬
cans will make an earnest effort to capture the Prohibition vote,
and this will give the more importance to the Labor people, who
will probably ask for planks in the respective platforms, rather
than for any share in tho spoils. If the George party can hold
their votes they may be able to determine the result in several
important States, including New York. It ia quite clear that an
independent Labor party would cut but a poor figure in the Presi¬
dential election. But Henry George repudiates the wise counsel of
his paper during hia absence. He iasista upon running a Presi¬
Of course tbat means that there will be a George Labor party