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October 4, 1902.
RECORD AND GUIDE.
ESTABUEHED-S^ MARpK 21^^ I8S8.
DnbTED p RtfL Estate . BuiLoif/G *;_Ra(rTECTURE .KousoJold DEOaijiiDtl.
Busit/Ess AftoThemes OF Ge(Jei^I l^TtRfST.
PR.ICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE, SIX DOLLARS
Fubllshed eVery Saturday
Conimanli-ations ahould bo (iddresacd to
C. W. SWEET. 14.16 Vesey Street. New York
S. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager Telephone. Cortlandt 3157
"Entered at the Post Office at JVeto Tork, Tf. Y., as second-class matter."
OCTOBER i. 1902.
THE stock market may he said to still ocetiEy the position
it was pla'-'ed in by the, action of Secretary Shaw. Monday
evening it appoareil to he booked for a big break on the mor¬
row, with possible panic and the widespread confusion tliat
results from panic The Secretary by vigorous action and a
disregard of conventional interpretations of the law—in fact mak¬
ing an interpretation to suit the case—prevented all that. But
he has not prevented the liquidation that must come to those
who, disregarding the signs of the impending storm, refused to
take shelter, and, indeed, continued to make what they thought
was to be hay because the sun was not entirely obscured. The
measures that have been taken are emergency measures only,
and will be discontinued as soon as the emergency has passed.
The events of the week show that the time has come when some¬
thing jnore than a margin and a sanguine disposition is needed
to make money In the market. Experience and study of what
may be called financial phenomena come into play again, anj
even they are not aUvays going to be successful. Conditions for
the moment call for declining prices. Not only is there no in¬
vestment buying to speak ot upon which the strength of the
market depends, but the circumstances of the hour have con¬
verted both the professional and lay publics to the short side.
If they are deterred somewhat from acting upon their new con¬
victions by the knowledge that the market will be helped in the
case of need, they know that in the long run high money rates
will inevitably produce liquidatiofi, and that means lower prices.
To-day's bank statement ought to make a flattering showing
compared with those of earlier weeks, as it should reflect the
results of Secretary Shaw's relief measures, but it assuredly will
not show, that the banks have any resources available for specu¬
lative operations in stocks. The bank statement and a satis¬
factory outcome of the coal conference at Washington, the re-
■6;ult of which is not known as we go to press^ may rally
prices somewhat, but their elTects will be short, because they
cannot remove evils inherent in the situation, or increase the
available pecuniary resources of the market. The amount of
nervousness existing was shown by the rapid break in prices
on the unconformed report, later denied, that the Comptroller
of the Currency had put himself in opposition to Secretary'
Shaw's relief policy.
IN advancing their discount rate by the unusual figure of 1
per cent, from the high rate of 3 per cent to the abnormal
one of 4 per cent., the Bank of England gives an intimation to
this centre that their resources are not available to us, except
upon high terms. The hint, if it may be so mildly designated,
is not lost on this side, and has already had some effect upon
prices. Europe is very much concerned about the condition of
the United States. The financial papers all dwell upon it. From
Berlin it is stated: The bourse continues strongly under the
influence of New York. The money situation there gives occas¬
ion for grave concern on the German bourses. It was feared
tba:t the violent ebb in the tide of prosperity in the States
long predicted had at last set in. The financial press is indulg¬
ing more than ever in discussions of the dependence of continen¬
tal exchanges upon the course of speculation in New York. The
money rates there are intc»-preted here as indicating a highly
unsound state of the market, which must reflect upon the Ger¬
man bourses. Besides this reflex action, a direct influence is
dreaded, since German operators have large bull engagements
in American railways, both in New York and in London. France,
though more academically concerned takes a similar view of our
circumstances; and London, which is more directly interested
in our affairs than either Berlin or Paris, may be said to have
crystallized its opinion in Thursday's action of the Bank of
England. All this means that not only is New York shut out
from help from abroad, but the circumstance may compel the
withdrawal of that already accorded, in which case we will have
to depend upon our exports of cotton and grain chiefly, to ward
off shipments of gold. It may be, too, that owing to the pub¬
licity given to the facts, the coming close-of-the-year rush for
money will ante-date the usual period, and ws may get our an¬
nual spasm over earlier than usual, even if it is more than or¬
dinarily violent in passing. In all this it has to i>e borne in
mind that foreign flnancial authorities do not yet comprehend
either the extent of our resources or the way in which the-
business position is sustained, by their development, and the
rapid growth of population. Unless we are deceived by what
have hitherto been reliable signs—immigration, railroad earn¬
ings, crop statistics and commercial and manufacturing reports,
what we are now suffering from is a sort of pecuniary con¬
junctival trouble, all demands coming at once. When this is
cured, with some loss of blood, of courae, we will go on again
without having experienced the disaster predicted for us.
Orj^anized Labor and the Pennsylvania
LET there be no mistake. The leaders of organized labor
in this city are committing a grave error in insisting on
an eight-hour clause in the contract with the Pennsylvania
Railroad, and their supporters in the, Board of Aldermen are
committing a still graver error in standing hy them. The in¬
sistence on this stipulation is an error from every point of view.
U is an error from the workman's point of view, because it im¬
perils the consummation of an improvement which will give
steady and remunerative employment to thousands of skilled
and unskilled laborers. It is an error from the point of view of
the property owner, because the Pennsylvania terminal will be
an enormous convenience to the residents of New York, and will
help to lead many employees of that road to take up" a domi¬
cile in the vicinity of theManhattan terminus. And it is an error
from the point of view of the Board of Aldermen, because that
body is already viewed with suspicion by the intelligent and
effective public opinion of the city, in such wise that if it keeps
on using its powers only to obstruct and delay important public
improvements, it will soon find even its present functions very
very much diminished.
Doubtless the labor leaders believe that the firm objection of
the Pennsylvania Railroad to the labor clause is a mere "bluff,"
and that its managers are so anxious to get their Manhattan ter¬
minus that they will make any sacrifice to obtain the franchise.
But in this opinion they are most assuredly mistaken. The
Pennsylvania Company has a great deal to gain from the con¬
struction of its tunnel, but the terminus in Manhattan, while
extremely desirable, is not essential to its interests as a whole.
It has become the most powerful and prosperous railroad cor¬
poration in the country without such a terminus, and so it will
in any event remain.
The tunnel is expected to cost some $50,000,000, which is a
very large sura of money. It is an open secret that many in¬
fluential stockholders thought that it was more than Man¬
hattan terminus was worth to the company. They were wrong;
but it is obvious that no corporation will commit itself to such
an expenditure under disadvantageous conditions. It stipu¬
lated, for instance, that it should receive a perpetual franchise,
just because it was seeking terminal facilities for a trunk-line
railroad, and was not merely a road that terminated at the city
Une. For much the sam.e reason it cannot accept a rigid eight-
hour clause. It employs thousands of hands, engaged in every
kind of labor, in many different States, and the acceptance of
a rigid eight-hour day on one important job would embarrass
all its relations with its employees.
This consideration is so obvious and conclusive that every
business man will recognize the impossibility of compromising
the point. If workingmen do not want to work more than
tight hours a day on the job, let tjiem make their own terms
with the corporation that employs them, and not try to tie its
hands by the exercise of political influence.
It is obvious, we believe, ttiat.tiie City of New York stands
to lose more by the abandonment of the Pennsylvania tunnel
than does the railroad itself. It is true that the city, like the
railway, has dispensed with the tunnel in the past, but it could
not do so in the future with much more serious results. The
Pennsylvania tunnel, connecting as it does with the Long Island
Railroad, will give New York an opportunity to expand, which
is indispensable to its future growth, and which could not be
secured save by the co-operation of those railroads. It means
increased prosperity to the shops, theatres and restaurants of
the city. It means the addition of many million dollars to its
taxable property, and the city obtains these benefits, not only