Record and Guide.
ESTABUSHED^ *\WPH21U> 1868.
Dev&teD to BfKi Estate . BuiLoif/o Appt^iTEcruilE ,Kouse«oui DEOca^TwH,
Busii/ess Aifo Themes of GeSQ^L IKterest .
PRICE, PER YEAR IN ADVANCE, SIX DOLLARS.
Published every Saturday.
Uommunloatlous sbould be addressed tu
C. W. SWEET, 14-16 "Vesey Street.
J J. LINDSEY. Business Manager.
Brooklyn Office, 376-282 Washington Strkkt,
Opp. Post Officb.
"Entered at the Host-office at New York, A. Y., as second-class matter."
APRIL 21, 1894.
For additional Brooklyn matter, see Brooklyn Department immediately
following New Jersey records (paqe 642,.
THERE in no break iu the dullness of business. In whatever
deparfineut oue looks, AA^hether iu stocks or grain or cotton,
ill goods niiinut'acured or uninaimtactured, the story is the same.
But the absence of trade is not affecting prices as much as it
would hiid the dullness supervened ou an era of large produc¬
tion and e.tteiided opei-ations. It is simply a conditiou of Availing
upon all sides, until the decision of Congi-ess on the Tariff Bill
is reached, Avith jierhaps a feeling of disappointment that the
hopes for the defeat of that measuie, arou.sed a few Aveeks ago,
have not yet beeu cdiifirined. Iu Wall street there have been
several bear pools on certain stocks, resulting in discomfiture to
the members of the pools. The mist.ake made was in attempting
these operations on a very narrow mtirket. Any movement to
either raise or depress the price of a particular stock iu such a
market as this is liable to come to giief because it (-aniiot tind
anywhere tlie concealment necessary to success. Then, too,
quotations are still Ioav and do not offer any inducement to
holders to part Avith their securities, especiidly in a time when
mouey is so plentiful as now. At the same time there is a tendency
in finaucial quarters to take a gloomy view for the moment and.
as in such cases is usual, the news in circulation is made to match.
If trade improved this tendency Avould disappear like magic,
but with no demaud for money in the banks and no customers in
the commission brokers' offices the most is mtide of the condi¬
tiou of the Treasury, the gold exports and labor disputes. Of
course these are thiugs not to be lightly passed by, but their
influence ou prices cau only be proportioned to the size of the
prices theiuselves, and these, as Ave have said already, are not high
aud in mauy cases much below values.
SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT'S budget speech illustrates very
well indeed not only how rapidly people's vieAvs change,
but also hoAV quickly actual couditious are modified. Not many
weeks ago it was the general belief iu England that there would
be a deticieucy of at least ,$10,000,00(1 in the governmental
receipts for the yetir about to close, as well as an inevitable
increase of $22,.500,000 iu the expenditures of the year just
opened, for Avhich provision would have to be made. The fact
uow appears to be that, owiug to tlie improvement in business
the actual deliciency is only iibout tiiS.30,000, and the prospects
are so good that uo special provision in the Avay of extra taxes
will be made either for that or to meet the expected
deticieucy of the current year; they Avill be met by
borroAAing or abandoning the tixed reductions of the
natioual debt. One remark of the Chancellor of the
Exchequer is important iu view of the continued
aud erroneous reports of Great Britain's intentions in regard to
silver, Avhich Avas to the ett'ect that tlie financial system of the
couutry had stood the test of recent commercial troubles so Avell
that any attempt to change the currency Avas unuecessiiry. Com¬
plaints, too, are arising that the banks are inconvenienced
already by the coinage of uuueeded silver. The practictil settle¬
ment of the Baring estate is another matter for congratulation.
Liabilities of $10.5,000.000 have been reduced to less than
$15,000,000, with assets sufficieut to cover the balance Avithout
the guaranteeing syndicate having been called upou to put up a
dollar, and meantime the parties Avho made these liabilities have
not been rendered helpless by their insolvency, but have been
able to make for themselves a new busiuess, small coiupared
with what they ouce did, yet by uomeaus iusignificaut. NotAvitli-
standing the improvement in busiuess, prices in Great Britain
have on the whole had a doAvnward tendency, doubt¬
less due to the faet that so far only a small minor¬
ity can benefit by the change and the majority, who still
feel the pinching shoe, are rushing their goods to market to
raise needed cash. France, like ourselves, finds that whatever
its other advantages, the republican is not the most economical
form of government. It is calculated that since 1876 the aug¬
mentation of the cost of the public^ervice has amounted to $440, -
000,000. Suez Canal receipts continue to increase in comparison
Avith the returns of last year. That Paris is now taking the
lead iu regard to Italian loans is thought to foreshadow an eud
of rhe commercial ditt'erences between France and Italy. Ger¬
many is discounting the speculation tliat preceded the passage
of the commercial treaty Avith Russia through the Reichstag.
Reliable Berlin advices, referi-ing to the recent proposition for
the lehiibilitatioii of silver, are to the ett'ect that there is nr
probability of its producing any practical ettect beyond abund¬
ant di.scussion. As a result of the Austro-Bussiau commercial
treaty the Vienua Institute of Commerce has seut an expert into
Russia to report on the ai-ticles that had best be sent there for
sale. Naturally the news from South America has improved the
value of Brazilian securities iu the foreig-n markets and wiU
doubtless improve trade in that direction.
bl KioMAKii T. Ely, Univehsity of Wibconsin.
AVHAT MAY I OWN?
THE question iu regard to the ethical right to own property
of this or that kind is one which is frequently niised. It is
indeed a questiou Avhich is troubling many persous who have
sensitive consciences, and perhaps there are few persons having
even a normal conscience who Avould uot refuse to own property
of some sort or description. The discussions couceruing landed
property have iu particular made some persons uneasy iu regard
to the oAVuership of land. The writer met not long siuce a cler¬
gyman of some piduiiiu'iici', aud indeed some means, Avho held
that he could uot, Avith his vicAvs of landed property, own land.
His views Avcre substantially those of Mr. Henry George. This
clergyman, ou account of his residence near a great city, had
had o]iportuiiities to make large gains by laud OAvuerslup, but he
refused to embrai-e these opportuuities. Was this clergyman
riglit from his oavu standiioint 'i That is to siiy, granteci that
the change Avhich he advocated Avith respect to land ownership
was desirable, Avas lie called upon to renounce the advantages of
We hiive just seen tluit private property is a social trust. It is
a trust committed to us for the general welfare by society.
Society alone can change or revoke this trust. The individual,
as such, is poAverless to change the institution. Has he then a
moral right to refuse to accept the trust when it comes to him
naturally'? He may attempt to show that private property in
land is socially iujurious. If he believes that it works decided
harm, he -cauuot, as an upright man, refuse to do this. But,
having explained his views in regard to landed property, and
uaATug endeavored to convince society of its mistake,
has he not done his full duty? His refusal to
accept the institution as it exists does not mend
it. On the contrary, if he refuses to own landed property it does
uot cease to be privately owned; but it will probably be owned
by some one who has a less sensitive conscience than he in regard
to private oAvnership. He has thus, on account of what seems to
be a mistaken vieAv. very likely produced harm rather than good.
Should a Iiersou feel very strongly on the subject he might
accept OAvnership aud use the gains of OAvnership for the propa¬
gation of his opinions concerning the nature of lauded property.
This would be a consistent course, which could be easily under¬
The same line of argument holds with regard to a multitude
of institutions. Oue may hold, as the writer does, that public
gas-works are jireferable to private gas-Avorks. Is this auy rea¬
.son, however, why oue should not gain all the advantages which
he is able to secure from the existence of private gas-works ? It
would seem not. It is a reasou Avhy a mau who holds that private
gas-works are less beneficial than municipal gas-works should
use such opportunities as may present themselves to teach the
public what he believes to be the correct yiew and to induce this
public to adopt a sounder practice. Why, however, may
not a person who holds to the desirability of muni¬
cipalization of the gas supply say in eifect to the
geueral public: "I hold that you would gain decidedly
by the niuuicipnlization of the gas supply. I have said this
openly aud have endetivored to persuade you that the course
you are now pursuing is au uuAvise oue. You have uot, how¬
ever, as yet been able to accept my views, and you cannot, of
course, blame me if 1 derive whatever advantages I am able to
secure fiom the existence of a private gas supply. Of course,
again, I may employ the gains derived from private ownership
to shoAV that public ownership is better. Aud, indeed, I should
do this, unless I see some other Avay to employ this income to
better advantage for all parties concerned, myself and my
•Commeuced in No. 1,357. Copyrighted by the Recobd and Qciob.