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Record and Guide.
De/o7ES) to fW- Estate . BuiLoiKc Afi^rfiTECTJi^E .KoiisnJoiD Deomv^tioiI.
BKsit/Ess A^to Theme? of GESEi^il I;<tei\est
ESTABLISHED ^ «ARPH Bl'-^^ 1868.
PRICE, PER VEAR I!V ADTAIVCE, SIX DOLLARS.
Published every Saturday.
Telepho.vk .... Cortlandt 1370.
Communications should be addressed to
C. W. SWEET, 14 & i6 Vesey St.
J. 1. LINDSEY, Business Manager.
NOVEMBER 14, 1891.
CLOSE OF THE ARCHITECTURAL EXHIBIT.
The Exhibition of Architects' Drawings in the roams of The
Record and Guide, Nos. 14 and 16 Vesey street must be closed on
Saturday, November 21st. This exhibit is ove of the finest and most
extensive that has ever been displayed in New York City, and those
who desire to study the 300 examples of tlie best architectural work
of the day should visit the Exhibition without delay. Admission
is free. -
A COMMUNICATION to the Evening Post last wt\ek states so
clearly the complaints of stockholders as to tbe remarkable
performances of the present management of the Lake Erie & West¬
ern R. R. Co., heretofore referred to in these columns, that we
quote from it in part as follows:
If tho manngement earnestly wishes to explain to tbe public whatic bas
done, so that there may be no mistake a'lout it, let it be understood that
> the stockholders complain:
(1) That the proxies given to certain directors at the request cf the com¬
pany's secretary, to be used at a special meeting of the strckholders, to be
held at Bloomington, III., on June 25, 1890, to authorize the acquisition of
the Fort Wayne, Cincinnati & Louisville Railroad, and the placing of a
first mortgage thereon of the same amount per mile as on the re-t of the
line, were used at an adjournment held three days afterwards to put a
second mortgage on tfae entire line, including tbe acquisition, thereby
increasing the mortgage debt per mile by 50 per cent.
(?) Stockholders complain that after the wording of the proxy bad been
strained so as to give a colorable right to use it for a purpose which bad
been concealed from the stockholders when solicited, all news of the action
was suppressed. Not only were the stockholders not informed of the
intention, but they were not informed of the action until a fortnight ago.
Nothing is said about a second mortgage in tbe president's report for the
year ending December 31, 1S9U, nor in the company's statement appearing
in Poor's Manual for 1891, issued only last Juue. The news only reached
Wall street last month, and the shuCk was expressed by a decline of 'i.i per
cent in the market value of the common shares and nearly 10 per cent in
(3) Stockholders complain because the bonds have bean privately dis¬
posed of to brokers on what they believe to be terms ruinous to the
(4) They complain that the mortgage does not protect them, inasmuch as
the bonds are to be delivered by the trustee on demand of a majority of
the Board of Directors, tbe trustee not being bound to know to what u=e
the bonds or their proceeds have beeu or are to be put.
Calvin S. Brice, President of the Lake Erie & Western Railroad
Company, makes an effort to answer these complaints in a circular
letter to the stockholders this week, and we have the lawyer and
politician combined in his attempt to do the best he can with a
difficult case. So far as he quotes from the proceedings taken, he
only confirms the facts stated by indignant stockholders. There
were but two courses before him when he wrote this circular ; one
was to own up frankly, make the best excuse possible and announce
that the question of ratifying the increase of 50 per cent in the
mortgage debt would be regularly submitted at a meeting of
stockholders to be called for that purpose, and that if the majority
was opposed to the mortgage, why theirs was the sovereign will.
This would have been the manly course, would have silenced all
opposition and have placed the responsibility with the owners of
the property' and settled all question of validity of the bonds, but
instead he attempts to throw dust in the eyes of the stockholders
and befog the public by aproduction which evidences a low opinion
of their intelligence, and will only tend to provoke the growing
opposition to more determined action. The more the issue is forced
between the deceived stockholders and the management, the worse it
will be, not only for the management, but for the parties who have
contracted to buy the new bonds.
India, Australia and South Africa. Of course, among the colonial
investments those most sought after have been the issue o£ the
colonial governments, and among the colonial governments none
have stood higher than the Australian States. Recently a number
of these colonies have been borrowing too largely in the English
market, and cries of warning are being heard against lending so
readily in the future. The prices of the issues of the various
governments have declined and are declining. Nevertheless,
the fever for borrowing still continues. Undeterred by an
unfortunate experience only a few months since, Victoria
has announced her intention of bringing out a Public Works loan
aggregating $30,000,000. The new Premier of New South Wales,
in a recent speech, also foreshadowed a largely increased outlay
of money on public works. The finances of tbis second colony are
in a far better shape than those of her neighbors ; but the speech
has, nevertheless, made the holders of her issues somewhat nervous.
Tbe smaller Australian colonies are pursuing a very similar policy ;
and at present it looks as if the result would be what it was in New,
Zealand. That is, the colonies will exhaust their credit
in London, and then settle dawn to a period of depression,
while the country grows up to its improvements. We
mention these facts, because tbey may in the future
affect the readiness of Englishmen to purchase American
securities. Probably for the next couple of years the Australian
demands on the English market will be met, but having been
met, they will not therefore cease. On the contrary, the more that the
Australians fet the more they will want; they will come to crave
the artificial stimulus added to trade bv the spending of the bor¬
rowed money. Finally, of course, English investors will stop lending,
and it will be increasingly easy to float American securities in that
market. In this connection it is interesting to note that several of
tbe Australian colonies are undergoing at present a period of reac¬
tion from a rather excited real estate speculation. The years of
1889 and 1890 were, the world over, years of a certain amount of
inflation ; but the recovery from it has been raore rapid in Amterica
than in any other country.
IS it tben true that Boss Croker is converted to ballot reform?
In that case we can consider it to be assured that the voters of
this State will have, in time for the next election, a blanket ballot
as the sole legal medium of voting, the said ballot to be printed
and distributed at the expense of the State. It is true that the
elections have been won by a party _ whose record has not been
favorable to balldt reform and whose recent declarations on the
subject, through its candidate, have been, to say the least,
equivocal. Nevertheless, no matter who controls the Legislature,
there is no doubt that Boss Croker could, if so he chooses, have the
ballot law brought to a pitch of Australian perfection, for the
Republicans are committed to such a measure. But what does this
mean ? We have been told that the voters of this city were to such
an extent the unwilling slaves of corruptionists that, if once we
could get an absolutely secret ballot, which could in no way be tam¬
pered with, we should thereby put an end to any delivery of votes
according to order. Furthermore, as " deals " and other dubious
political technicalities are dependent for success on the ability of
dealers successfully to deliver the votes, we were to expect that in
the future tbere would be no more " deals" and that an era of
honest politics would begin. So the secret ballot was loudly pro¬
claimed to mean the downfall of the "practical" politician.
Well! we obtained a ballot which is nearly secret; and in
the fall of 1890 a candidate was placed in the fleld who
was committed against " deals," and who, if he was elected,
was to sit in the mayoralty chair as an embodiment of Virtue. Alas,
however. Virtue seemed to bave as little chance to enter the City
Hall through the rather secret ballot boxes as through those which
were open as the ambient air. This trial of the Australian system
made its advocates still hotter for a blanket ballot, and during the
campaign of this year tbe issue for and against this reform was
vigorously pushed by the People's Municipal League. But what
we should like to know is this: If the blanket ballot is going to be
so effective as a squelcher of "deals," how is it that Boss Croker,
whose political life, according to good authority, derives its susten¬
ance from such fruity material, comes out in favor of so ob¬
noxious an improvement? If Mr. Croker does bring about the pas¬
sage of a blanket ballot act we may be sure that it is not going to
harm Tammany. In truth, every election but provides additional
confirmation of the contentiin so often advanced in these columns,
that Tammany will never be dislodged by the employment of
merely political methods.
TT'NGLISH investors have always preferred the colonies of their
■^ own country to all the available fields for placing their
money; and consequently have enormous interests in Canada,
ASININITY, at last, has had its day, and the newspapers of this
city are now adopting the right tone about Chicago and the
World's Fair. By and by, perhaps, even the Herald will recognize
that it is both silly and in very bad taste to endeavor to
belittle what, be it a success or a failure, is a great
national enterprise involving the credit of the country.
The petty spirit which the journals of New York have