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May 19, 1888
Record and Guid
ESTABUSHED ^ft\ftRPHei'-i .__.^
De/oTED IO^KeA.L Eswe . BuiLOI^G ^CKITECTOl^E .HoUSEHOLD DESORATIOtJ.
Sl'5]^/E5S Mb Themes of Ci^Ei^ftL 1;^t£i\es7
PRICE, PER TEAR IN ADVANCE, SIX DOLLARS.
Published every Saturday,
TELEPHONE, . . . JOHN
Communications should be addressed to
C.W. SWEET, 191 Broadway.
/. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager,
MAY 19, 1888.
Wall sti-eet is taking on a summer dullness. Stocks a short time
since looked .buoyant and there was some advance in prices, due to
government bond pui-chases. Bui it seems after all tbat there are
not many bonds in the market for sale at present quotations; hence,
unless unexpected developments make their appearance, tbe close of
tbe fiscal year -will not see much of a reduction in the Ti-easury sur¬
plus. There is really nothing on -which to bull tbe market, for the
crop outlook is poor and tbe trade of tbe country is not active.
This is shown by the great accumulation of money in Wall street
and its unnatural cbeapne^is. Tbere does not seem to be any hope
that tbe administration of Congress -will do anything to revive tbe
■waning trade of the country.
Tbe grain market has been excited during the past week. Our
winter wheat is seriously injured and the planting season has been
late. Then it is believed tbat the foreign supply of small grain wUl
not be as large as in former years. The importation into Western
Em-ope from India for tbe t-welve months ending March, 1888, was
only 36,000,000 bushels of wheat compared witb 41,005,000 bushels
of tbe previous year. The news from California and Australia fore¬
shadows a short crop ; the Russian yield of wlieat is as yet an uncer¬
tain quantity, but her surplus is always less than that of India and
the United States. Then the ruinously low price of small grain for
tbe last few years bas discouraged farmers everywhere from plant¬
ing this season. So far it looks as if Mr. Samuel Benner's predic¬
tion in The Record anb Gitide of Jan. 8tb, that the money was in
grain and not in stocks for tins year, was coming true. But the
season is young yet and our yield may be better than we now expect.
Still, after the prolonged depression in the price of grain, an advance
for several seasons will be in order.
The price of silver is again at its lowest point, forty-two pence an
ounce. This is not a good indication for the times. We shall never
_ see prosperity again until the money metal wliich is most in demand
by tbe great mass of mankind is better appreciated. G®ld, it will
be recaUed, is not popularly used, even in gold unit counti-ies ; silver
is the exclusive medium of exchange in the retail tralHc of seven-
eighths of the population of this globe.
Since tbe tune of the first Napoleon England has been subject to
war panics ; that is, fears of invasion by France or some otber mili¬
tary continental power. There is sometbing of a scai-e as we write,
dne to statements as to defects in the army and navy recently made
by Lord Wolseley, the only general, so far as known, England can
now boast of. He says the army wants more men, and tbat a mag¬
azine rifle should replace tbe inefficient weapon now in the hands
of the rank aud file. In truth the whole British army, scattered
all over the world, if massed together would not be equal to more
than one army corps of one of the continental powers. Tbe soldiers
of Russia, Germany, Austria and France aie numbered by tbe
millions, wbile the grand total for the English mibtary force is not
more tlian two hundr-ed and fifty thousand men ; hence there would
seem to be real reason for alarm. It is, however, a curious histor¬
ical fact that wbile there has been no serious attempt to invade
England smce tbe shipwreck of the famous Spanish Ai-mada in
ancient times, when sea-going vessels were of very imperfect con¬
structiou, that country was more frequently oveiTun tban the soil
of any otber part of Europe. Danes, Norwegians, Saxons and
others repeatedly invaded wbat is now England. But since the
conquest by WiUiam of Normandy tbere has been no serious attempt
by any foreign power to land a conquering host on tbe English
coast—the Armada being tbe only exception. Of course we do not
lose 'sight of tbe landing of Richmond, the Duke of Monmouth,
Wilbam of Orange, and the Pretender, but none of tbese were for¬
eign invasions—they depended for their success or failure upon the
condition of the internal politics of the counti-y.
StiU an invasion is not an improbable event. Tbe "wooden
walls of Old England" are no more. Her ironclad fleet is not
supposed to be as efficient as that of some of the otber continental
powers. Should Boulanger get into control in France he might, to
retain his hold on tbe French people, prefer to attack England with
its small army rather than Germany -with its large one. The
Enghsh to-day can hardly be caUed a militaiy people. Tbey hava
stUl plenty of courage; but trade, not war, has beeu tbe chief
pm-suit of tbe British nation of late years. The daily Times draws
a moral on tbe present war scare in Eugland whicb we have often
pointed out in these columns. It says:
There appeai-s to be a happy-go-lucky state of mind for the rulers of a
great and rich nation, withm an houi-'s saU of a continent where every
nation is under tbe utmost stram not to be outdone by its neighbors in fche
completeness of its military preparations. After aU, it may be doubted
■ivhetber it is so reckless as om- own. We are a week's sail from any
powerful nation, but we are reaUy under heavier bonds than Great Britam
to keep the peace. Por we have no navy to prevent the landing of a hostile
force, and there is no reason why a single army corps, once landed, " might
not take possession of the eounti-y" and stay as long as might be needed to
mflict damage amounting to a thousand times as mucb as it would cost to
defend tbe threatened points of the coast. Mihtary meu seem to be agreed
that it would bc very hazardous for us to quarrel eveu with Mexico. Of
com-se there could be no doubt of the ulthnate issue of such a quarrel, but tbe
advantages tbe Mexicans would gain in the early stages of a war would be
such as Mexico would bave no means of reimbursing ns for when at last
om- enormous resom-ces became available.
It is true chat Govei-nor HiU is not in favor witb the Cleveland
Democrats of this State, so he has not been made a delegate-at-
large to tbe Democratic National Convention, nor will he be prom¬
inent in advocating the claims of the President for re-election.
Nevertheless the Democratic State Convention indorsed HUl and
liis administration of State affahrs, not indeed in the regular plat¬
form, but in a series of supplementary resolutions. The Governor
is an astute poUtician. He is playing a waiting game. His veto of
tbe higb license law gives him great strengtb with the liquor mter-
ests, and he will in all probabiUty veto the Election Reform biU.
He will thus become the natural leader of tbe poUticians of the
baser sort of both parties, yet it is not Ukely he will be run for
Governor this faU, as it might prejucUce President Cleveland's can¬
vass. The civil-service reformers and Mugwumps could hardly
support a ticket wliich bore the uame of David B. HUl. Wearenot
in love witb HiU ourselves. He represents about aU that is bad in
tbe organizations of the two parties, but be is an able man and he
has a futm-e. Whatever office he aspires to be will have the back-
mg of a powerful hquor interest, wbile the machine pohticians,
Republican as well as Democratic, wiU do aU they can to keep him
in public Ufe.
The platform makers of both parties are sorely puzzled as to the
choice of planks. The tariff is dangerous to handle, due to tbe
maction of Congress and the di-vision of sentiment in both parties.
Civil service reform wiU be indorsed by the rival organizations, yet
not one out of a hundred of the politicians of either party beheve
m it, nor do tbey intend to pay any attention to tlien pledges should
they get into power. The Democrats have succeeded in di-iving Mr.
Cleveland away from the position be took in favor of this reform
in tbe flrst two years of his Presidency, while nothing is more
certain in the event of a Republican success that every RepubUcan
office-holder would be replaced by a good working Democrat.
These politicians are profound beUevers in the spoils system, and if
they bad then- way our civU service would emulate tbat of Tm-key
or other haU-civilized communities. It does not seem as if tbere
would be any Uve issues in the coming Presidential contest.
The Democratic State Convention did get in one new plank in its
platform. It denounced trusts; tbis action was inspired by the
Tammany delegates, led by Roger A. Pryor. Of com-se it wUl hot
amount to anything; sucb trusts as represent organized capital
wluch offers to produce and distribute goods cheaper than is done
under the competitive system will Uve and thrive, even if all the
pohtical parties and all the newspapers took sides against them.
They are a part of the business macliinery of the age and an out¬
growth of pre-existing industrial conditions; but if these combina¬
tions of wealth aim sunply at selfish ends and are intended to
depress wages, and at the same time charge exorbitant profits, tbey
wiU come to grief whether tbe politicians attack tbem or not. Of
course the Democratic party plank on trusts is pure demagogism
aud bas no more point or sense than has the anti-monopoly fuhni-
nations of newspapers Uke the Times,
It would be a wise stroke of policy if the Repubhcans m the
Senate and House would help to pass a moderate aud sensible tariff
reform biU, cutting down excessive duties and extending the free
hst. Were this done, it would deprive the Democrats of a cam¬
paign battle cry, and there would be no talk of auy more tai-iff
reduction for ten' years to come. The tariff of 1883 was a deception.
Its effect was to increase duties, not to reduce them. Hence it was
not satisfactory, and tariff agitation was kept alive and is now a
serious menace to aU protected industries. We Bay this in the