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December 8, 1888
Record and Guide.
"^ ^ ESTABL1SHE3) ^ MARpH ^l^^ 1668.'
DEvillEO TO P,£AL EsmTE . SUILDIJ^G Aj?,Cl(lTEtrTU^E .KoUSEiJoLD DE60R,AnotJ.
Biisii^ESS do Themes of Ce^Jei^I. 1;Jt£i\es-[
PRI€E, PER YEAR IN ADVANCE, SIX DOLLARS.
Published evei-y Saturday.
TELEPHONE, - - - JOHN 370.
Communications should be addressed to
C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway.
/. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager.
DECEMBER 8, 1888.
Tlie President's me.ssaRe calls attentiou to the neglect of Cono-ress
to attend to nece.ssary legislation. It displayed a .great deal of
industry in passing- pri^-ate pension bills, but it failed to revise the
general pension laws which -would have relieved its calendar of
literally thousands of unnecessary bills. It seems there are over a
hundred ways of dealing with pensions which takes up the time
of Congress and the Executive, when a I'evision of the Inw would
put a stop to imjiroper appropriations and save the time of all con¬
cerned. It seems that our pensions are something phenomenal in
the history of nations. A quarter of a centm-y after the war is over
we are paying out .$81,01)0,000 per annum, one-half of which is,
of course, pure steal. The total annual cost of tli(! German army,
the most efficient and about the largest in the world, is .fllO,-
000,000 of our money per annum, so that our pensions cost half as
much as tlie total disbursements of the German army. Were the
pensionspaid in Europe on the same scale as in this country, there
would not be any money left foi- armies or lighting-, for the national
treasuries would all be banki-upted.
Then tliere i^ the Supreiiie Court of the United States. It is three
yeai-s and a-Iialf behind its work. That is to say. any new case can¬
not even get a hearing until over three years has past. Thisgorging-
of the business of that court has been complained of for years.
Many well-devised plans have beensubmitted to Congress to remedy
this denial of justice, but the pottering lawyers who form the bulk
of our lej^lslators will uot act on this vital matter. It is to the
credit of the Senate that its calendar is comi>aratively clear. It is
the house which is generally so tardy. To make that body efficient,
at least one-third of its members should be elected on a general
ticket. It seems impossible to make any representative feel a
responsibility to the nation. All he carets for is the locality he
represents. Hence his stolid neglect of national interests such as
are involved in tliia Supreme Court matter.
Secretary of the Navy Wliitney will go out of oihce with more
credit than any other member of President Cleveland's Cabinet.
We never thought he did right in deliberately ruining- John Roach:
but he certainly has given ns the nucleus of an excellent navy.
What a. pity our traditional methods of Cabinet making do not
admit of the retention of so admirable a Secretary of the Navy as
Mr. Wliitney has proved to be. He ought to be kept iu office until
his work is done. It is worthy of remark In passing that the only
department of the government which reflects credit on Grover
Cleveland's administration is the one that spent money and did
something. It was uot the departments which merely saved
expenses which gave the administration any feclat. If the country
should get into trouble we have some good ships to take our part,
and these must be credited to Secretary Wliitney. Robert T. Lin¬
coln saw fit to discredit every River and Harbor bill which came
before him when he was Secretary of War. He gave texts for the
howlers agaiust any expenditures for public improvenrents, aud his
reward is, probably, perpetual banishment from public life. Samuel
J. Randall, when the Democrats got possession of the House of
Representatives, during the hard times, so manipulated the appro¬
priations in the direction of economy as to throw thousands of
people out of employment right and left. This lost the Pi-esideucy
to the Democratic party in 1880. Tbe Cleveland administration
would not spend the surplus beyond giving bonuses to the wealthy
owners of the national debt, and it had its reward on tlie Bth of
November last. Had the Democratic policy been to spend the sm--
]ilus in useful public improvements, as recommended this time last
year by The Record and GmoE. Grover Cleveland would have
been re-elected, and not defeated. Tlie way Secretary Whitney is
regarded tells the story of the true feeling of the American people.
The newspapers are filled with paragraphs telling of the doings of
tbe "White Caps," and denouncing them for their illegal and brutal
actioDB. The existence of these " White Caps " suggests a moral.
It seems their business is to punish people who lead scan¬
dalous Uves: drunkards who will not suppoi-t their families; tiban -
doned women who scandalize their rural neighbors are the princi¬
pal victims of these secret organizations. The aim of the " White
Caps " is to punish vice and discourage immorality. Their actiou
is outside the law. as there is no legal machinery provided for rid¬
ding a rural neighborhood of people who violate all social conven¬
tions. The remedy for this state of things would seem to be more
stringent laws against immoral practices and a more rigid enforce¬
ment of all laws against crime and vice. Unfortunately our laws
are not only loose, but are rarely enforced. A growing farming
community may well be excused for trying somehow to discipline
drunkards, loafers and loose women. The generation growing up
has to be considered, and this accounts for the illegal doings of the
so-called " White Caps,"
The Wall street outlook is a blue one. Attempts have been made
to organize a large trust or clearing' house which would insure the
maintainence of rates on the railroad systems, hut without success.
Still, doubtless, some scheme will be cooked up to restore rates, and
a pressure will be brought to bear ou Congress to modify the Inter-
State Commerce law in the interests of the securitv holders. De¬
cember- is usually a jioor month for stocks. Taxes ou houses, farms
aud unoccupied lands are generally paid this time of the year.
Speculators close out their accounts to see how they stand, and
money is withdrawn from the "street" to pay iuterest and divi¬
dends at the begiuning Of the New Year. Hence the " bull " mar¬
kets do uot flourish in December. Some time in the not distant
future there will be a radical change in the situation. They will
somehow settle their differences, which will involve an understand¬
ing between all the lines of the country. The public will not suffer
as the history of the evolution of the raih-oad in the Uuited States
proves tliat as the lines become merged aud unified the service
becomes better and cheaper.
Our raih-oads are doing an immense business. None of the lines,
indeed, have cars enough to carry the freight. But the managers
all act as if they were insane, for they keep cutting rates so that
the raih-oad returns show smaller gross receipts thau last year.
Hence, notwithstanding our enormous crops, stock values are
beiug steadily depressed. Then Europe seem.s to have stopped buy¬
ing our securities. This is due to several causes. One is the
sc-ramble for gold, whicli just uow .seems to be wanted for Russia
aud tlie Argentine Republic. For the fiscal year ending the Ist of
July last, it is computed that Europe bought about §100,000,000 of
our .'securities, generally bonds. This overcame the adverse balance
of trade against us, and furnished us money at a time when we
very much needed it. It now looks as if next spring would see a
heavy movemeut of gold away from this country. Our imports
have increased and the total value of our exports decreased. We
have not sent eitfier flour or wheat to the foreign markets for some
The average Wall street man, in reasoning about Jay Gould,
geiierall.v talks nonsense. Tliey had a story last week that he was
buying Atchison aud Sante Fe. Now. as a matter of fact, Gould
was never a buyer of securities made by other people. He always
talks ■■ bullish" because he has railroad property to sell, and he
keeps on selliug every chauce he gets. Those who are buying Atch¬
ison wish to sustain the price. He certainly has no use for the
$70,000,000 of capital stock of that unfortunate and badly managed
corporation. Gould would doubtless be willing to wreck the Atchi¬
son and Sante Fe so as to force it into a combination with Missouri
Pacific, but Gould is not iu the business of purchasing stock owned
by other people. Ail the certificates in his possession are on sale.
Hence his perpetual '-bull" talk aud constant selling out of his
The report of the Directors of the Real Estate Exchange for this
year is not entirely reassuring. It seems that under last year's
managemeut the Exchange has taken a step backward, in so far as
the annual member,ship shows a decrease as compared with the
prevloits year. There are so mauy real estate brokers and agents
in New York to whom membership in the Exchange would give a
certain standing, that it is impossible to believe that with a rightly
directed effort the annual membership could not have been largely
augmented. This is a source of strength, both in money and num-
bei-s, to whicli more attention should be attached hereafter. The
report is not only somewhat ambiguous in places, but it should have
given the figures of the annual membership as compared with last
year, as well as the number of those who dropped the annual mem¬
bership and took up stock membership, either by purchase outright
or by renting the seats of stockholders, which, by the way, was
done in quite a number of instances, to the peraonal interest of the
stockholders so renting- out their seats, but to the pecuniary
detriment of tbe Exchange. It also appears that in a total
income of $48,093 from vai-ious sources an espenditui-e of
$16,031 has beeu involved, or over 33 per cent, of the whole,