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The Record and guide: v. 35, no. 898: May 30, 1885

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May 30, 1885 The Record and Guide. 616 THE RECORD AND GUIDE, Published every Saturday, 191 Broadwav, N". "ST- TERMS: OIVE TEAR, in adrance, SIX DOLLARS. Cotumunioations should be addressed to C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway. J. T. LINDSEY, Btisiness Manager. Vol. XXXV. MAY 30, 1885. No. 898 Business has been dull during the past week. There has been a fall in the price of grain and cotton and an indisposition to trade or speculate in any of the exchanges. The business outlook is not reassuring; the one hopeful sign is the cheapness ot money. Owners of unemployed funds are apt to get tired after a time and venture upon new business risks. Should that take place, there will be a revival in business. Judge Cowing was quite right in insisting that lawyers should not delay justice in his court by absenting themselves, and so making trials needlessly expensive as well as an obstruction to justice. But then the judges are more to blame than the lawyers for the waste of time of the courts. It is alleged that they are off on an average five months in the year, and if Saturdays, Sundays and holidays were included they do not sit regularly for more than six months. In the General Sessions there are two courts and three judges, hence one judge is always off duty. During July and August there is only one court in session and two of the judges are at liberty. It is computed that out of the 365 days each jud;;;e sits 144, and the salary is $12,000 per annum. All our judges are overpaid and underworked. It is a scandal upon our judiciary l hat our court business is so far in arrears and so costly. The press and the public ought to impress upon the judges that their laziness and indifference to the interests of litigants is scandalous in the extreme. The Broadway Surface Railroad seems, at last, to be a fixed fact. Within a month's time cars will be running from the Battery to Union square, and all the omnibus lines wiU have been withdrawn. It does not seem as if any interest will be injured by this change. The busiest part of Broadway above the City Hall Park is between Fourteenth and Thirty-fourth streets, upon which horse cars have been running for many years. The successful efforts of the Broad¬ way property holders to prevent the building of surface, under¬ ground or elevated loads on Broadway, below Fourteenth street, had the effect of reducing the value of their property very greatly. Horse cars on Broadway will help the retail business on that thor¬ oughfare and add to the value of store property. Sundry Broad¬ way property holders are still energetically protesting against the proposed Arcade Road, yet it is as certain as any sum in arithmetic that steam under Broadway would double, if not treble, the renting value of every building tt directly affected between the Battery and Union square. Among the many admirable qualities possessed by land owners foresight is not one. They generally become rich in spite of themselves. --------•-------- The shareholders of the Real Estate Exchange should see to it that the prestige of that institution is not made use of to help or hurt city improvements, about which there may be an honest differ¬ ence of opinion. Mayor Grace's friends tried very hard to commit the Exchange against a portion, at least, of the new park projects on the other side of the Harlem. The Legislative Committee orig¬ inally took the ground that it would be unwise for the Exchange at the very outset of its career to commit itself upon the matter at all, but by using machinery known to politicians, fourteen mem¬ bers of the committee were induced to partially favor the Mayor's plans. It was obviously unfair to call this an expression of opinion on the part of the 500 members of the Exchange. An effort is now on foot to make it appear that the Exchange is opposed to the Broadway Arcade Road, because the sub-committee of its Legislative Committee has seen fit to hear evidence as to the desir¬ ability of the bill now pending before the Governor. There is no new light to be thrown upon this subject, and we protest in the name of some, at least, of the members of the Exchange against using its name either for or against the Arcade project. There are a few Broadway property holders who are honestly opposed to that enterprise, while there are others, far more numerous, who just as honestly believe that a steam or electric road under Broad¬ way would be of immense advantage to New York City and would double the value of store property on our great thoroughfare. No one has a right to speak in the name of the Exchange in a matter of this kind, be they right or wrong, without a vote of all the share¬ holders. --------•-----'—- The morning papers give as news the table of assessed valua¬ tions of real estate,^ showing the increase this year over last, which was published in The Record and Guide last January. We have nothing to add to our remarks made at that time beyond a comment on the increase in property exempt from taxation. The total now amounts to $265,694,060, of which $178,894,060 is city property, $12,640,000 is United States prop¬ erty, $40,211,500 is church property, and $33,948,500 comes under the head of miscellaneous. In ten years' time there has been an increase of $18,000,000 in the assessed value of exempted church property, and of $19,000,000 in the assessed value of schools, libraries and the like. The exempted property is getting to be altogether too large, and there needs be some revision of the tax list in the interests of the real tax payers. Silver Lining to the Business Cloud. The following very important dispatch from Vienna appeared in the Herald recently. Nothing of greater moment has been flashed as a message by cable since the American resumption of specie payments on the first of January, 1879. Baron Bleichroden, the Berlin banker, who is at present in Vienna, has the mission to offer Prince Bismarck's assistance to Austria in the manage¬ ment of her finances. (Jermany has the gold standard. Austria has a depreciated currency. Austria is in a position similar to that ot the United States after the war. She is rich in greenbacks, or rather in bluebacks, because they are printed in this color. Germany has intimated to Vienna her willingness to introduce the double standard if Austria will consent to regulate her finances upon the same basis. In such case Germany would render all possible assistance to Austria in procuring the necessary means. The banker. Baron Bleichroden, has been making a careful study in Vieima ot tho conditions for such action, which would revolutionize the Emopean money market. Prince Bismarck, who has won such great victories in poUties, hopes to gather equally high laurels on the battlefield of finance. In the event of his success in rehabilitating silver. Prince Bis- mark could justly claim to be as wise and far-seeing in finance aa in statecraft and diplomacy. He is, however, mainly responsible for the woes which came upon the business world, due to his putting Germany upon a gold unit basis in 1873. He thought he would cripple France when he exacted the monstrous war indemnity from that nation in gold, but he and the rest of the world were surprised to find that the nation which paid the subsidy continued prosper¬ ous and the one which received it experienced a financial panic be¬ cause of its attempt at the same time to discard silver as a money metal. Should Austria consent to this proposition of Germany, bi-metal¬ lism would be virtually re-established, for France, Italy and Switzer¬ land are already substantially on a bi-meiallic basis. The United States is partially bi-metallic, and Congress, when it meets next December, will be called upon to abolish the present sU¬ ver coinage law and permit the unlimited minting of silver the same as gold, upon a fixed ratio. But what will be this ratio? Clearly that which has always obtained in the Latin Union, of fifteen and a half parts of silver to one part of gold. Tliis was the European ratio, and some 600,000,000 five-franc pieces correspond¬ ing to our dollars are now in circulation in the Latin Union alone, based upon that ratio. True, gold because ot its scarcity is doubt¬ less worth more than it was when that ratio was originaUy estab¬ lished, but it is not credible that commercial Europe would consent to the recoinage of the entire mass of silver, not only of Europe, but of the East Indies. It would be too gigantic an operation, and would create an unnecessary disturbance of prices ; but the present American standard would embarrass our people, for our silver dol¬ lar contains 3 per cent, more of the white metal than the corres¬ ponding coin of Europe. Hence we would probably have to recoin and make lighter by 3 per cent, our silver dollar. The change to bi-metallism would be instantaneously beneficial. The clouds which now hang over every money market in the world would disappear as if by magic. The cruel trade-killing shrinkage of prices would not only stop, but there would be an enhancement of values, and the money locked up in banks and idle would be productively employed, for business men would realize instinc¬ tively that the addition of silver to the money metals of the com¬ mercial world meant a wholesome advance in values. There would be no inflation—that word would be inapplicable to an advance in values, based on a natural addition to the precious metal currency of the world. The blight on business everywhere to-day is because gold has been made the sole unit of value at a time when its pro¬ duction from the mines has been steadily decreasing. The reorganized Central Park Department is winning goldnn opinions from all sorts of men. For years this department has bf en under a cloud, due to internal dissensions, but the board is now working harmoniously. The Legislature when it next meets Qught to increase its membership to five or seven bo as to ineure