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becemiber 17, ISSt
The Record and Guide.
THE RECORD AND GUIDE,
Published every Saturday.
191 Broadvfay, IST. ^y.
Our Telephone Call Is • - - •
OKE ¥EiR^ in advance, SIX DOLLARS.
Conununicatious should be addressed to
C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway.
J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager.
DECEMBER 17, 1887.
The Real Estate Exchange is rather dull just at present as the
auction sales are very few, but there is a good deal of trading, and
the feeling is hopeful as to the future. Next year promises to be
an active one in real property, especially in NewYork and vicinity.
It looks as if there will be a great deal of speculative dealing in the
23d and 24th Wards. The underground road connecting with the
42d street depot will bring the other side of the Harlem nearer by
twenty minutes' time than it is to-day. Then the Harlem Canal,
with its promised ten miles of wharfage, will make valuable a
large section of country in the 23d and 34th "Wards.
Mayor Hewitt is quite right in saying the Board of Aldermen
should be abolished. It is doubtful if there has been a Board of
Aldermen for the last fifty years the majority of whom were hon¬
est. For years we have been contending that more authority
should be lodged in executive officers and less in city or State
legislatures. We want power and responsibility to be exercised by
officials in full view of the public, such] as Governors, Mayors or
heads of important State or city departments. When Brooklyn is
joined to New York, as it should be some day, we can afford to
have a Board of Aldermen elected on a general ticket, but with
restricted powers ; but the single district cannot be depended
upon to give us capable or honest legislative bodies.
Associated wealth in the form of corporations, trusts and syndi¬
cates is making itself feltj not only in all departments of our home
industries, but in the internationaljtrade of the world. We have
heard of the Standard Oil Company, of gas, sugar, India rubber,
cotton seed oil, cattle, dressed beef and oiher trusts which seek to
monopolize certain raw materials or manufactured products which
are a prime commercial necessity, and now comes to the fore a new
development—this time lu our international trade-^of syndicates
which are making corners in the metals. There has been a giant
speculation in tin, copper and lead, and more recently m quick¬
silver. These speculative combinations virtually affect the whole
earth. If they succeed in their present undertakings we will hear
of them in cotton, grain, provisions and other articles essential to
mankind. The Trust in our own country is not subject to law as
yet, but even if we succeed in time in putting them under legal
regulations, how about these international syndicates? They can¬
not be touched until a congress of nations is held and regulations
adopted putting these syndicates under some international control.
Practically the wealth of the world is being concentrated in a few
hands, while its control is vested in a snaall group of men of bound¬
less enterprise and great ability. Is there not some relation be¬
tween these few men who aspire to practicaUy control the wealth
of the entire world and the Anarchist who aims to destroy all
It is semi-officially announced from Washington that the Admin¬
istration will not favor any disposition Of the surplus in the Treasury
until Congress acts first upon the question of the reduction of the
revenues. It will not favor any purchasing of bonds, or their
refunding at a lower rate of interest, by paying out cash as a bonus
for making the change. There is now about $50,000,000 loaned to
the banks, free of interest, upon the deposit of government bonds.
The Secretary of the Treasury hopes to lend out seventy, if not a
hundred miUion, before the close of the spring season. On the
first of January the Department will be able to anticipate the
interest on the entire bonded debt of the nation^ This semi-official
announcement goes on to say that, if not interfered with, the
Administration can make things pleasant until the end of the fiscal
year, June 1, 1888.
Uf course this simply means that the Administration proposes to
try and coerce Congress into a reduction of the tariff by keeping
the surplus in the Treasury as a menace to general business. Its
action will be very satisfactory to the bondholders, whose secu¬
rities will be in greater demand than ever; nor will the banks
object, as it gives them the practical control of the surplus to loan
out to their customers, at market rates, money on which they pay
no interest. The banks can WeU afford to influence their news¬
paper organs to shout for revenue reform, while they retain a
monopoly of the use of the government funds for nothing. Then,
for the time being, people who need bank accommodations will be
satisfied if money is kept easy by this use of the surplus.
But will the country be satisfied with this policy ? What have
the money-lenders done for the country that they should receive
this tremendous bonus? Of course they will influence the press to
decry subsidies for steamship lines, harbor fortifications, or needed
public improvements. It is all right to give the people's money into
the hands of the bank managers to make a profit out of, but it is
all wrong to spend it in such a way as to extend our commerce,
improve our waterways, or insure the safety of our seacoast cities.
Queer logic this, but one sees it in the newspapers every day.
Congress will in some way try and make money easy. The
Administration will, for a while at least, keep on lending the public
money through the national banks. It will anticipate the interest
of the public debt, and will in every way increase the coinage most
needed in the retail trade of the country. Senator Beck has a bil*
before the Senate to get rid of greenbacks aud national bank notes
of larger denominations than one hundred dollars. The biUs so
retired to be reissued in notes of silver and gold certificates of
twenty dollars and under. He also wishes to withdraw the ten
dollar bank notes so as to furnish a still larger field for the silver
certificates. This and other measures that are on foot promises to
give us an excessive supply of one, two and five dollar certificates, as
well as of metallic minor coinage. This will stimulate the retail
trade and will raise prices. It will be aU very well for a while, but
when the reaction comes there will be a crash.
Mayor Hewitt is quite right in insisting that the city shall not
agree to pay money for costly improvements which in the end wUI
mainly benefit private corporations. If Elm street is widened
from Oth street to the City Hall, and then extended to the lower
part of the island, it should be with a distinct understanding
having the force of positive law that the surface shall not be used
for horse-cars or cable companies. Riverside Drive, Morningside
avenue, West Eud avenue and Sth avenue should also be forever
kept sacred from the horse-cars. But we want rapid transit. A
tunnel under Elm street, connecting the Brooklyn Bridge with
the 42d street depot, would be a useful public improvement; that
is, if we cannot get the Arcade road under Broadway. The right
kind of an elevated road over Elm street also would not be objec¬
tionable. Then the franchise for these improvements should be
sold by the city, not to the higheot bidder for a gross sum of
money, but to whoever would perform the service for the lowest
fare, after guaranteeing every passenger a comfortable seat. The
return to the city treasury is a minor matter compared with an
efficient service with the cheapest possible rates to the public.
The suggestion that a tunnel should be constructed running from
Duane street to the new street that is to be opened between Nassau
and William is a very good idea. The plaza on the New York side
of the bridge is now over-crowded and woul^ become practicaUy
impassable if another line of travel were turned in upon it from
the north and south. The underground passage should be on the
Arcade plan. By all means let us have this avenue opened from
the lower part of the city to the 42d street depot. Then the
widened Elm street should connect with Lexington avenue, which
should also be widened from 14th street to the Harlem River, bub
no horse or cable cars should be tolerated, as they would interfere
with the vehicles which now need unobstructed passageways to
the upper and lower ends of the Island.
The Interstate Commerce law should be amended so ao to permit
pooling arrangements between the railroad corporationst subject to
the consent of the commissioners. The railroads are uow at the
mercy of some of the great Trusts which can deprive them of cer*
tain lines of business unless they openly or secretly accept ratea
which barely pay. The dressed meat business of Chicago, for
instance, is controlled by four concerns. They recently transferred
their whole business over the Canadian lines so as to bring their
American trunk lines to terms. The public have complained, and
justly, at the favors shown to the Standard Oil Company, but that
all embracing monopoly in dealing with raUroads had a giant's
strength and used it like a giant. Its business was so enormous that
in bargaining with competing roads it could make its own terms.
Congress ought to make stringent regulations affecting these great
Trusts and monopolies. They should not be permitted to deprive a
road of business when the rates and service were the same as other
roads. There is no objection to pooling, provided rates and fares
are reasonable, and this fact ought to be recognized in the Interstate
Mayor Opdyke in one of his messages suggested a sort of city
Senate, which he thought might work well. It should be com¬
posed, he said, of representabives of the great Exchanges, the