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February 15, 181iU
Record and Guide.
BasitJESS Atb Themes of GeHeriiI IjJtcresi
PRICE, PER VEAR IN ADVANCE, SIX DOLLARS.
Published every Saturda-y.
TELEPHONE, - - • JOHN 370.
Communicationa should be addressed to
C.W. SWEET, 191 Broadway.
J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager.
FEBRUARY 15, 1890.
The stock market for the ^week has not been of the bull kind
which so many operators have been waiting for ; on the contrary,
the bears have had much the best of it, and ifc is evident ,that there
has been not'a little selling of long stock by some parties who do
not view the immediate future as likely to be favorable to higher
prices. London is talking and ^believing, mistakenly so we think,
that^this country will soon be compelled to export at least six to ten
millions of coio, and the directors of the Bank of England believe
in the policy of a high bank rate until they attract it. A great
many securities have been bought in the London market of late by
American houses, and these must be paid for either in gold or com¬
modities. The cotton market is now largely in^the hands of specu¬
lators, so that no large quantities of this staple is likelytobe shipped,
and our exports in cattle and provisions are falling off, while im-
ports,owing to higher duties likely to be imposed by Congress, are
sure to increase, no matter what the effect may be later on.
Money in Berlin, Frankfort and Paris is decidedly easier, and as
Russia is sending gold balances to England in considerable quanti¬
ties, which bankers say will remain for two or three years, it is
almost a certainty that money will soon beat normal figures again,
and that the Bank of England will shortly reduce its rates, which
will liave a favorable effect here. This bank is beginning to realize
that if the gold standard should be adopted by France and this
country that there is not enough of this metal to go ai'ound with
the present business methods. General business throughout _the
country has]_been quiet this week, largely because of the difficulty
which farmers have with the bad roads in getting back and forth
to market. The indications, however, for a good season continue
favorable, and manufacturers of best woolen and cotton goods, with
some special exceptions, have had an excellent trade in spring
The present session of Congress will not be very much older
before the discussion about the tariff will be in full blast. The
Committee on Ways and Means is said to have made great progress
since the cessation of public hearings, and by the end of the month
a measure similar to the old Senate Tariff bill will be reported to
the House, The Democrats, of course, will stick to the Mills bill.
Once the matter gets started, we shall undoubtedly have another
exhibition of how capable the average Washington " statesman " is
to deal wisely and disinterestedly with a subject of grave impor¬
tance to the nation. It will be treated of course, first and last, as
a matter of "politics." We shall be overwhelmed with talk,
buncome and hazy political economy, and in the end notliing worth
doing will be done, and other needed legislation will be impeded.
There is no use looking to Congress just at present for any sane
consideration of the tariff problem. It is outsideof the Legislature,
among the people, that tha discussion will bear fruit, and the
matter receive serious attention. The sentiment of the manufact¬
urers of the country at present is undoubtedly strongly in favor
of the maintenance of the tariff very much as it is, or of the imposi¬
tion of even higher duties on manufactured goods, whereas there
is a growing opinion that something would be gained by extending
the free-list by adding to it certain raw materials. That such firms
as the American Screw Company, the Corliss Engine Company, the
Rhode Island Locomotive Works, the Rhode Island Tool Company,
the Brown & Sharpe Manufacturing Company, should petition for
free iron is a fact that, no matter wbat its value may be, is of some
The Queen's Speech contained the announcement that a bill
" facilitating and cheapening the transfer of land will again be pre¬
sented." Presumably tbis is the same measure which the Lord
High Chancellor fathered last year, and which is designed to put
. an end to tbe last vestige of primo-geniture in England. The
reform is founded, aa all land transfer reforms must be founded, on
the admirable system of laws which prevail in Australia and New
Zealand. It does away with aU the cumbrous mass of rights which
have made it difficult for a man to own a clean title to real prop¬
erty. It puts an end to the creation of estates entail; it abolishes
tenancy by courtesy and the right of dower, and it invests the per¬
sonal representatives of a deceased person with the earoe powers in
regard to real estate as they now possess in regard to personal
property. In other words, it permits the owning and conveyance
of real estate, without regard to the wishes and supposititious rights
of other people. Real property has always suffered from the fact
that it is the most tangible form of wealth. The claims of relatives
and debtors bave always been vested in an equity in the real estate
of the debtor, no matter whether the debt was financial or family
in character. And this, of course, has rendered real property from
many points of view an undesirable form of investment, and has
certainly had the effect of making rents higher than they need
necessarily be. The movement to relieve real estate of these bur¬
dens, wliich was begun in Australia, has spread to England and
Canada, and has begun to be discussed in this country. But as yet
even many of our best lawyers are totally ignorant, not only of the
details, but the general purpose of the Torrens act. Tbe multiplicity
of instruments recorded in this county have forced a solution of the
difficult problem of indexing them in such a way as to give a per¬
manent and convenient notice thereof to subsequent purchasers.
The importance of the question is recognized in England, but very
httle attention has been given to its solution, because the renewal
of the shackles which prevented the landholder from calling hia
property his own has been and is the first duty of the reformers.
The fate of the present bill will be watched with interest.
What a double-headed commentary is the announcement recently
made that the Emperor of Germany has dismissed in disgrace from
tbe army, two young officers for their eagerneRS to make merchan¬
dise of themselves and their titles in the matrimonial mart of
America. A stinging rebuke to us aa a people is the fact that
citizens of any civilized country on the globe have come to believe
it a matter of fact, that American women with money galore put
themselves and their ducats in the hands of an agent in order to
secure the great desideratum—a titled spouse. The victims of this
sorry joke are surely in a position to appreciate
How much a fool that's been to Rome
Excels a fool wbo stays at home.
Their credulity brought not only its own reward, but also shows
how ready foreigners are to beheve the most absurd and behttling
statements of American social life. We are at once both glad and
sorry that the San Francisco scamp has been shown to be a rascally
" agent," for it has proved that lovers of a game of chance and
money are not all in the United States, and that running after false
gods is not distinctively an American pastime.
Two measures have been reported favorably to the Assembly this
week which concern tlie government of New York City, and which,
at any rate in the long run, will be to the advantage of citizens.
One is Mr. Hoag's bill to put the Dock Department under the con¬
trol of the Board of Estimate and Apportionment, and tlie other
Mr, Blumenthal's bill to do away with the Commissions that are
now necessary to acquii-e sites for school houses. To speak of the
latter, first: THE RECORD and Guide announced many weeks ago
that the introduction of sucb a bill was in contemplation. It shoidd
be passed without delay. Eighteen months' trial of the machinery
now in operation for acquiring school sites has shown clearly that
even the old methods in force, until the passage of the existing law
in 1888, were better in every way than tliose of the present system.
It was expected tliat the existing law would enable the city to ac¬
quire land needed more cheaply and expeditiously than before.
But it has nofc. In fact it has operated in exactly the other way.
The Supreme Court Commission process has worked as all commis¬
sion processes work, viz., slowly. The expense, too, has been con¬
siderable, especially in dealing with low-priced sites in the upper
wards of the city, and taxpayers have not been protected from the
exaction of property-holders, as the awards made last summer
abundantly prove. Whether the Board of Education will be able
to do any better is questionable. So long as men are morally lax in
dealing with their feUow-citizens in a corporate condition there will
be delay and excessive awards in obtaining land for municipal pm--
poses. But one piece of machinery may work more economically
than two, and by giving the Board of Education fidl powers the
friction that arose last year between the Board and the Commis¬
sions will not occur. As to the bill to put the Dock Depart-ment
under the control of the Board of Estimate and Apportionment, it
too should be passed. It shoidd be passed more on principle than
because the city wiU obtain immediately auy great benefit. The
Dock Department has been for years miserably mismanaged under
a kind of Barnacle system, in keeping with the ramshackle docks,
which are so ludicrously inadequate for the commerce of the first
port of the continent. The recent "investigation"—if the term
may be used to describe that guarded admission of light into dark
places—has put the Department in popular disfavor, so that no one
will be inclined to oppose the proposed change of control. Eut, as
we have said, it is on principle that the bill should be passed. Di¬
vided authority in municipal management has proved a failure in