Please note: this text may be incomplete. For more information about this OCR, view About OCR text.
February 3&, 1888
The Record and Guide.
De/oTEO ;0 KeaL EsTAJE . SuiLDI^G AflChflTECTUKE ,KOUSEHOID DEflOR^TlOtJ.
Bi/5it/ESS ab Themes of Ge^eraI Ij^t£I\esx
PlilCE, PER YEAK IN ADVANCE, SIX DOLLARS.
Published every Saturday.
TELEPHONE, - - - JOHN 370,
Communications should be addressed to
C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway
J. T. LTNDSEY, Business Manager.
FEBRUARY 25, 1838.
Congress keeps on'chattering and doing nothing. The business
of the country halts because no sign cornea from Washington as
to what will be done with the finaaceg. The surplus keeps on
■accumulating and hereafter must remain in the Treasury, for the
banks cannot loan it out with advantage. Apart from the
uncertainty no great harm haa been done, because money
bas beeu easy. Capital ia fearing to embark in new enter¬
prise or extend business. But March and April ought to
see a greater demand for money to help spring trade
movements, and then we may see serious trouble because of the
locking up of the currency in the government vaults. As we have
all along pointed out, the fatal mistake of the administration was
in precipitating a tariff debate before providing means by which
the surplus could have been used to help the business of the coun¬
try. So the orators are at work chattering, the session is slipping
away, and the businesa of the country is seriously interfered with.
It will be the old, old story: Time wasted in unnecessary talk; then
confused, hasty and corrupt legislation at the close of the session,
vetoes by the President, finances left in disorder, and each party
trying to throw the blame on the other. " Go forth, my son," said
the sage, " and see with bow little wisdom the world is governed."
Public meetings ought to be held in every city in the country
calling upon Congress to expeTJite legislation. Three months have
passed and not a thing has been done. Wall street very fairly
represents the attitude of the trade of the country. The operators
do not know what to do, hence there are few sales of stocks and
business is at a standstill. We have no press to represent the real
feelings of our business public. The Exchanges would do well to
origitiate these mass-meetings we speak of, so as to give Congress
to understand that Its non-action is disapproved by the country.
Let the surplus first be disposed of. It is then time enough to talk
of so rearranging our tariff and tax laws as to prevent the accumu¬
lation of another surplus.
A speech made by Chauncey M. Depew at the Chicago Union
League Club on Washington's Birthday gives internal evidence
that the President of the NewYork Central Railroad would net
object to being President of the United States, and would thank¬
fully accept the Republican nomination for that position. The
speech is wise and witty, but evasive. It has not the boldness and
suggeativeness it would have had were not the Presidential
bee buzzing in the orator's bonnet, Mr, Depew might as well have
spoken out manfully as he is wont to do, for he has no more
chance of of the Presidency than he has of beiug struck by light¬
ning. Mr. Depew has made his reputation by the frankness,
eloquence and point of his public addresses, and he does himself
injustice in imitating Orator Faff, who had two tones in his voice,
With the exception of Abraham Lincoln we have never had a really
eloquent President, True, Buchanan was a trained speaker, but he
was s^ cold-blooded a poliiician that he never committed himself
ou any subject outside of strict party lines. What a pity we can¬
not have so able a man as Depew in the White Houae! What
splendid messages he would write, and what wise and witty
speeches he would make to delegations that waited upon him.
AU the advices from Washington agree that nothing is-ill be done
this season to nationalize our telegraph system. The Western
Union Company will retain its monopoly and Jay (Jould will have
the quoting of prices from all the markets of the world. It is his
employes who will have the first intimation of any change in the
quotations of grain, cotton, provisions^e very thing, in short, that
enters into international trade. A.U business and family secrets
are to he intrusted toJayGould's servants. What tbe nation ought
to do is to purchase the telegraph system for a fair price. All that
Congresa is likely to do will be to put it under the oversight of the
Interstate Commerce Commission, which already has ten times the
work it can properly attend to.
According to the Commercial BitlletMs Washington corre¬
spondent there is not the slightest poasibility that Congress will do
anything to rehabilitate our merchant steam marine, nor will tbere
be any auxiliary navy called into life ; hence we muat drag along
another year without any hope of seeing our flag on distant
seas, or having vessels of our own that could become " commerce
destroyers" in event of a war with foreign nations. Our seaport
cities will also continue to be absolutely at the mercy of any foe.
The creation of a fleet of steamships would be a great thing for
tbis port, but our city presi very generally objects to the expendi¬
ture of government money for that purpose. Ifc will, however, be
seriously proposed before the session is over, and then they can
show their public virtue by shouting "job," "pork." Some day
we will bitterly repent that we have not ships, harbor defences,
guns, and a steam marine that would be a menace to foreign naval
powers in event of war. The insane policy ot those who govern
us is to leave us naked to our enemies.
The Fisheries Treaty seems to be designed to postpone final action
on some very grave points. We will always be in trouble with our
northern neighbors while ifc remains a dependency of the British
crown. There can be no real peace until we have absolute
reciprocity in trade. Then, our railroad situation is constantly
menaced by the rivalry of the Grand Trunk and Canadian Pacific
systems. These are not amenable to the operations of our Inter¬
state Commerce law, and hence endless confusion in rates, with
the prospect of irritating disputes over very vital matters. Indeed,
the only real solution of our difficulties with Canada would be its
annexation to the United States. That gordian knot, however,
will probably never be cut except with the sword.
A certain Mugwump city paper, which is very much opposed to
James G. Blaine as a possible President, thinks that some provision
should be made whereby able men, one of whom he certainty is,
should be made Senators for life. Statesmen of his ability and
knowledge of public affairs should be utilized for the service of the
nation. This is worth thinking about, for in our present govern¬
ment our ablest men are excluded from the service of the nation.
Mr. Blaine.-however, did not shine as a Senator; the arena for dis¬
playing his remarkable powers was in the House—there he waa
without a rival. No one had any chance in a debate with him, and
by his energy and eloquence he could confound and successfully
antagonize any opposing party, however numerous. We have
always thought that at least a hundred of our representatives should
be chosen on a general ticket, under some minority representation
scheme that would insure the return of the ablest men in both
parties. If one-third of the House represented the best men of the
country, instead of each man a district, there would be less com¬
plaint of log-rolling and the legislation would be for the country
and not for the locality. The French people have very greatly
improved the composition of their Chamber of Deputies by electing
them on general tickets iu the departments rather than from single
disiricts as in the old way. Our experience in this country is that
the smaller the district the more disreputable its representative.
Compare our Mayors, for instance, who are generally able and
honest business men, with our Aldermen, who are nearly always
quite the reverse.
The Philadelphia Times, in a leading editorial, tells of the forma¬
tion of a Manufacturers' Club, which it claims will he a very
important organization, with branches in all parts of the country
wherever there are large manufacturing interests. The objects of
the club are thus described :
Theobject of tbe Manufacturers'Club is two-fold. First, it proposes to
make battle for its ideas of a true protective policy and to command unity
of interest and effort in imprfsnng the presumed necessities of our manu¬
facturers upon Congress. Sicond, it proposes to make labor strikes prac-
lienlly impossible by a cohesion of interests that will induce ail to espouae
the cau-e of fellow manufacturers who are suffering from strikes, by a
general lock-cii"; that will deprive striking labor from receiving support
from others ia the same calling. Tliese are the chief aims of the Manufact¬
These are very desirable objects, from a purely selfish point of
view, and undoubtedly if the manufacturers work together they
will be successful. We have no idea that Congress wiil this year
do anything to reduce the tariff so as to affect home industries.
Then this will be a bad year for labor strikes, especially in those
trades where the employers are organized. Even in good times
"bosses "can hold their own againat striking workingmen when
they pull together. The one advantage the workmen have had over
them was in their unions, against which the employers worked
each " on his own hook." Hence we think that this year the united
manufacturers will be victorious, not only against the tariff
reformers, but in getting the better of the trades unions, The
Eeading corporation has won against the striking coal miners, and
we do not see any prospect of a great strike being successful this
year, because of the check given to railroad and house building,
the depression of our iron industries and the general dullness in
trade, due to a Presidential year, and the doubts about our finances,
But some victories often prove more disastrous than defeats, If