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May 86, 1888
Record and Guide.
^ ~- I -
DEV&TEO to f^L ESTWE , BuiLOIf/c AftcKlTECTUt^E .HOUSEHOLD DEOOR^IlOtl,
BUsit^Ess aiJd Themes of Ge^JeivL 1>(T£i\est
ESTABLISHED ^ JAARCH 2li2^ 1868. ^
PRICE, PER VEAR IN ADVAiVCE, SIX DOLLARS.
Published every Saturday.
TELEPHONE, - - - JOHN 370.
£oramunieations should be addressed to
C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway.
/. T, LINDSEY, Business Manager.
MAY 36, 1888.
A Kew Departtire Galled For.
The effort to dispose of the surplus in the Ti-eastiry by cancelling
part of the national debt is no-w an admitted failure. The rich
holders of government bonds have advanced the price so that at
present market values an investor -would ouly realize 3J^ per cent,
on the purchase price. This, of course, is unnatural, and shows
that there is practically a corner in the nation's obligations, which
has been very profitable to the rich individuals and corporations
who hold the securities, but a decided loss to the government,
which is to-day practically the only purchaser. After six weeks
boud purchasing about $25,000,000 have been paid out, and, as the
accumulations still continue, the surplus has been reduced less than
$12,000,000. At this rate there -will be about $120,000,000 surplus at
the close of the fiscal year ; nor wiU there be any way of getting
the accumulations out of the Ti-easury by the same policy unless a
further extravagant bonus is given to rich holders of these cornered
This policy of Treasury purchases of government bonds before
their maturity was entered upon by the administration without a
word of objection from the leaders of either of the two gi-eat parties
into which the country is divided. It has had the almost unani¬
mous support of the press, yet it has proved upon trial to be a
deplorable fiasco. Has not the time come when there should
be a new departure? Why should the nation give a bonus—
that is, pay extravagant rates—for bonds owned by a com¬
paratively few rich individuals and corporations who are
determined to exact from the Treasury every cent that can be
squeezed out of it. Our readers will bear witness that we have
stood almost alone in the daily and -weekly press of this city in
objecting to such a policy. We have insisted that the large surplus
should be used productively in river and harbor improvements, in
rehabilitating our foreign steam marine, and in erecting works to
defend our exposed sea-coast cities. We have also held that
thirty or forty milhons would be well spent in pubhc buildings,
such as post-offices and court-houses, where they may be required.
Were the surplus thus expended it would disti-ibute the money
where it would do the most good. It woidd stimulate industries
and employ labor, and the business public and not the few owners
of our government bonds would be benefited.
During the past week the papers have been filled w^ith harrowing
details of the disastrous effects of the inundations caused by the
overfiow of the Mississippi River. This has been due to the criminal
neglect of Congress in not appropriating large sums yearly to build¬
ing levees and improving the channel of what John C. Calhoun once
so aptly called our "great inland sea." In this matter of pubhc
improvements, under the auspices of the government, we are beliind
all civihzed nations, and are on a par with States like Morocco.
Even semi-civilized China expends millions of dollars upon her
rivers, where our outlays for similar purposes are in the thousands.
Russia to-day is spending vast sums on her internal waterway
system, and Germany is about to open a canal between
the German Ocean and the Baltic. But this country, which
needs the largest outlays—for Nature has been generous
in giviag us magnificent streams and lakes to help our
internal commerce—haa been contemptibly parsimonious in this
most important matter. Because, owing to the constitution of the
House of Representatives, thex-e are a few questionable appropria-
• tions to catch votes tfl carry river and haibpr bills, the shortsighted
" scrub" writers on the press keep shouting " Cheesequakes" when
an effort is being made to improve our waterways. Our city press
realizes the situation when our o^vn harbor is in question. We
know that five millions or thereabouts should be appropriated for
necessary work to make our harbor and rivers what they should be,
yet BO provincial is the temper of aux newspapers that they oppose
any appropriations beyond our own limits, and cry "job" when it
is proposed to levee the Mississippi or unite it with the lakes, as it is
proposed to do by the Hennepin Canal.
The time has come when a party should be organized that -will
reahze the imperial destiny of this nation. After all, it is by then-
public works that we judge of the great empires of the past. We
recall Rome to-day because of its splendid pubhc roads, its aque¬
ducts and the ruins of its bridges and State buildings. Egypt -vriU
always be memorable for the manner in which it utilized the waters
of the Nile by artificial lakes, reservoii-s and locks, so that the fer¬
tilizing stream was stored when too high, to be available when the
water supply was deficient. This is the way we should treat omr
Nile—our " great inland sea," the Mississippi. Our business commu¬
nity and the members of our exchanges should unite to bring thia
matter homo to our press and Congressional representatives. We
are interested Ln every public improvement, for all our rivers, lakes
and harbors, as well as our railroads, contribute to the wealth and
growth of the meti-opolis. Our people should rise to the height of this
great argument and insist that the siurplus money of the nation
shall be used, not to further enrich those who already liave too much
of this world's goods, but to improve our business facilities, ad¬
vance om- industries, employ labor, and thus leave behind us public
works that will vie with those of the great empires that have gone
The following communication is one of many expressions of opin¬
ion indorsing the -views so often taken by The Record and Gutoe :
A TIMELY COMJIDNIC ATION.
Editor Record and Guide:
SiRr—In your issue of the ISth inst., in referring to the River and Har¬
bor bill, you express the statesmanlike wish that it shoidd appropriate fif ty
nailhons instead of twenty-five, and that it should pass by so large a
majority as would insui-e it against a veto from tbe President; that is, if he
can be restrained from what he will mistakenly consider another oppor¬
tunity to pose before the voter as an economist, as well as to earn the
praise of what you so aptly term " the provincial press of the metropolis."
It is to be hoped that the people have tired of the Democratic cry of
economy, in big letters. "Bob" IngersoU I beheve it is who said:
" Blessed is the country where the rich are extravagant and the poor are
economical." He might have added that ciu-sed is the country where the
rich and the government are economical, for the poor will have no oppor¬
tunity to practice economy—they must staiwe or strike.
While Congress is tariff tinkering business is suffering and the surplus
It cannot beneflt any people or country if their bank and treasury vaults
and people's pockets are overflowing with money, if the government or
people who own it refuse to spend it and thus put it in circulation. Buy¬
ing bonds will not remedy the evil, for those who seU their bonda do not as
a rule use the nioney In business, but deposit it until they find an invest¬
ment equally gocd.
The greenback, depreciated by and despised of capitalists and mono¬
maniac metallists, brought prosperity in the midst of a most devastating
wai\ because it circulated.
Congress is not justified in paying off the debt at this time. On the con¬
trary, it would be better for Congress to provide for the spending of the entire
accumidated surplus and several hundred milhons more in fulfilling that duty
which was surrendered to it by the several States—the duty of maintain¬
ing the army and navy and of guarding and defending the sea-coasts and
harbors of the United States—a duty which was sm-rendered to it and
assumed by it because it was for the general welfare and protection.
This duty, through a most contemptible and niggardly short-sightedness
through mean party differences, and through an utter lack of true states¬
manship bas been most shamefully neglected, -with the result that to-day
we stand defenseless before the world.
It may well be considered high treason on the pai-t of Congress and the
Senate to so neglect their plain duty; and, in the event of a war, should
any of our great sea-board cities or the national capital be destroyed, it
would be hard to prevent the people from so considering it and meteing to
the culprits the punishment they would so richly deserve.
To have prosperity money must be spent—not hoarded. It therefore
seems the plain duty of the government at this time to buy all that it needs
—forts, ships, guns, public buildiags.
The complaint is general that the wheels of conmierce are almost at a
standstill. But lot the people understand that the government is going to
inaugm-ate an era of improvements; that it is going to build a navy, forte,
great guns, public buildings ia all cities where government business
demands them; inci-easo the naval force and om- overworked army and
postal force; improve the rivei-s and harboi-s, put and keep the levees of
the Mississippi in perfect order; foster foreign commerce by granting sub¬
sidies to steam lines to all principal ports—of South America particularly.
In short, that it is going into the market to buy all ^t needs and should.have,