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March 3, 1888
The Record and Guide.
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DEV^TEIi'tO HeA,1- EsTAJE , ©UlLDlf/c 7^Jl.Ct(lTE;eTvJ[^E ,HoDSEHOLO DEGClR,AT10tJ..
Bi/5ltJESS aiJd Themes op GeiJer^I l;JT£i\Es-f
PRICE, PER VEAU IN ADVANCE, SIX DOLLARS.
Published every Saturday.
TELEPHONE, - - - JOHN 370.
CommuRications should be addressed to
C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway
J. T. LTNDSEY, Busmess Manager.
MARCH 3, 1888.
The building returns for Ihis month and the year, so far, justify
the forecast we made in January, that there wouid be lesa money
spent in houae construction during 1S88 than in 1887 or 1886. This
check to construction is wholesome, for there were rather more
edifices erected in 1887 than was justilied by the increase in popu¬
lation and bud'ness. Of course this will bear for a time hardly on
builders and working people, but the halt can only be temporary.
The metropolis ia increasing in every way, and with a new start in
business will come renewed activity in building operations. The
conveyances and mortgages also show a falling off compared with
former years, and one specially bad symptom is the increase in the
6Um total of tho mortgages as compared with the consideration in
tbe conveyances; that is to say, there is less cash paid proportion¬
ately in the new transactions than in the old ones. The statistics
will be found elsewhere.
"Why would not Seth Low make a good candidate of the Repub¬
lican party in the next Presidential election? He gained a deserved
reputation when Mayor of Brooklyn. It waa as Mayor of Buf¬
falo that Grover Cleveland won his spurs as a popular executive
officer. Ex-Mayor Low is a first-clasa man in everyway; he is a
protectionist, but he favors the liberalizing of our existing tariff;
he thinks also that the surplus revenae could best be spent in fos¬
tering our commerce and making needed public improvements.
Although still young he would be classed as a solid man. It
would be in his favor that he has not created any antagonisms in
public life, while his persona! record is of the best. He speaks
fairly well, and if he is not ao eloquent or witty as Chauncey M.
Depew yet there is no danger that he would " shoot off his mouth,"
as the brilliant President of tha New York Central road some¬
We were not disposed at first to favor the State investiga¬
tion of the trusts, but the inquiries by the Senate Commission have
brought out a great many interesting facts, a knowledge of which
will help to guide public opinion in dealing with these great combi¬
nations. It does not look well for the Republican State Senate to
try and cripple the investigation byrefusingthe requisite authority
to ita own special commission. It will be noticed that the interests
which are being investigated have little or nothing to do with the
tariff, but it is remarkable how many and varied are the industries
in which combinations to maintain prices are taking the place of
unlimited competition. This State investigation may take the edge
off the one authorized by the House of Representatives. Tbe latter
was prompted by the belief that evidence would be forthcoming
to show that the tariff had made these great monopolies possible;
while it is true that great protective intereats have profited very
greatly, the fact is now established that trusts were brought into
existence by the necessities of our home business in industries not
fostered by protective duties.
The great engineers' strike on the C. B, & Q, road has caused not
only inconvenience but enormous losses to hundreds of thousands
of people who are not iu any way responsible for this dispute. As
we have urged time and again, the only way to put a final end to
all railway strikes would be to make the engineers, firemen, con¬
ductors and brakemen a part of the police force of the nation.
They should do their work under government regulations, the com¬
panies of course to pay their salaries, but the pay, the hours of
work and the discipline should be military in its character, as it ia
for instance on the continent of Europe. Railway strikes are
never heard of there. The fact ie, both the companies and their
employes are servants of the nation. They are doing a public work
and are paid by the public. It is simply intolerable that millions
of people should be incommoded and suffer loss in money and time
by such strikes aa have occurred on our railway systema and in the
coal regions during the past two years. Government employes, be
they soldiers, sailors or office-holders of any kind, have never been
tnown to strike, yet they are often very badly treated. Making
the railroad employes part of the police force of the nation would
he almost a guarantee against a civil war at any time in the future.
Then to carry this idea out further, the engineers, conductors and
drivers on our city transportation lines should form a part of the
police force of the city.
New Jersey, it seems, is to have local option and a high license
hereafter. Each locality has the right to choose between the pro¬
hibition of the liquor traffic, or it can allow the sale of strong
drink under a stringent license law. Thia compromise has worked
exceedingly well in the South and Weat. When public opinion is
favorable, the sale of liquor is prohibited. In tte large centres of
population, where a prohibitory law cannot be enforced, liquor
can be eold upon the payment of a license, which makes a hand¬
some contribution to tbe funds of the municipalty, Had we a
similar law in NewYork, the liquor interest would he forced to
contribute at least $3,000,000 annually lo our city treasury. This
would more than pay the expenses of several of our largest depart¬
ments. By all means let us have a high license law, and so take
away from the burdens of real estate taxation.
The House haa agreed to appropriate $1,500,000 for Custom-
House buildings and warehouses in New York. Really the nation
will not spend anything under this appropriation, for the present
Custom House site will when sold more than pay the 'cost of the
new buildings. The House have also agreed to spend money for
public buildings as follows:
Charleston, W. Va.............S'iS.OOO
AllenCowo, Penn................ la^.OUO
CouEcil Bluffs, Il................ 10.000
Du'ulli, Minn.................... 150,000
Chattanooea, Tpn............... 75,000
Buffalo, N.Y. (site).............250,000
Omaha. Neb., (site)............ Si(JP,000
Bar Hdrbsr, Me................ S5,000
NewYork ..................... ],50U,i00
Charlestown, S. C.............. aoo.OOO
Teiarkaoft ..................... 10',000
Columbus, Ga ................. 100,000
I ndia napoli a, lad............... 125,000
Bay City, Mich................ 150,0r0
Milwaukee, Wig ............... 400,000
Of course everyone in New York knows that we need new
Custom House buildings, but this is a large country, and there are
other places besides New York which require post-offices and court
houses quite as mush as'we do a new custom house. A glance at
the above list will show that they are all important and growing
centres of population, yet our "fool editors" keep on bawling
" pork" when an appropriation is asked for any other place than
this city. If we want anything done for the metropolis we should
at least be fair to other cities. This is a good year to erect public
buildings, for there has been a check to the construction of private
edifices, and then we have the money to do it without borrowing.
Instead of less than $5,000,000, Congress ought to appropriate at
least $30,000,000 for structures which will be needed before the
nation grows older.
It is evident that President Cleveland intends to be re-elected,
aod that he will not scruple to use the party machinery and the
spoils system to effect his object. His retirement of Commis¬
sioner Sparks, who had offended the Land Grant railroad com¬
panies, hia indorsement of Col. John R, Fellows, and now his
proposed transfer of Ganeral Nawton to a government position,
all bave the same end in view. The Board of Public Works of New
York has the greatest patronage of any department of the city
government, and undoubtedly an understanding has been arrived
at with Mayor Hewitt to put an active politician in General New¬
ton's place. We do not say this in disparagement of President
Cleveland, or to score a point against him. He is acting as ninety-
nine out of a hundred would do in his place. We believe, more¬
over, that he is sincerely desirous of forwarding civil service
reform, notwithstanding his indorsement of Fellows and hia pro¬
motion of General Newton in order that the Public Works Depart¬
ment may supply workers and means to help swell the Democratic
vote next November.
Surely from very shame Congressmen should not propose or vote
for any more pension bills. They are the boss swindle of the age.
During the war 2,300,000-men were enrolled in the Union armies ;
it is safe to say that 500,000 of theae names included persons who
re-enlisted, yet applications for pensions were made by 1,200,000
ao-called aoldiers. Of course one-third to one-half of these appli¬
cations muat have been fraudulent in view of the numbers wbo
were killed and who have died since the war has closed. In 1879
there were 30,000 applications for pensions ; the very next year
these increased to 110,000. We have spent since the olose of
the war $883,000,000 for pensions; of which, of course, two-
thirds must have beena pure steal that went into the pocketa
of pension agenta and bogus soldiers. What wonders could
have been done with $500,000,000 of this money if it had
been spent in river and harbor improvements, in rehabilitating
our merchant marine, in constructing a navy and furnishing us
with seacoast defences and proper guns toman them? But the
money has been wasted and the nation has nothing to show for it.
And now another pension bill Is before Congress, with every chance,
that it will pass because of the splendid organization of the G, Ai