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The Record and guide: v. 36, no. 907: August 1, 1885

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August 1, 1885 The Record and Guide. 855 THE RECORD AND GUIDE, Published every Saturday. Our Teleplioue Call Is JOUIV 370. TERMS: ONE YEAR, in advance, SIX DOLLARS. Coiumimications should be addi-essed to C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway. J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager. Vol. XXXVI. AUGUST 1, 1885. No. 90^ TJie Mechanics' Lien Lau\ with full Manjinal Notes and com¬ plete Index has been published in pamphlet form by The Record AND Guide. Copies canbe obtained at the office of pnbllcationy iVo. 191 Broadway, price 2.^ cents. This valuable work should be in the hands of every man interested in building or in ihe sale of building material. --------------9-------------- The Duke of Marlborouj;h is trying to push through the House of Lords a bill to cheapen and facilitate the transfer of laud in Great Britain. The late Lord Cairns succeeded hi getting a bill througli Parliament having this object in view, but as its provisions were permissive rather than mandatory it has been practically a dead letter. The Cairns act supplied the basis for the famous Torrens' Laws of New South Wales. The Duke of Marlborough is a man of signal ability ; indeed, by many he is regarded as i>ossess- ing more varied talents than his brother, Lord Randolph Churchill. He evidently wishes the world to forget the evil social reputation he once bore by linking his name with a beneficent measure of public policy. Bad and unreasonable as are our land laws those of Great Britain are far worse. It will be noticed that one of the first acts of the Salisbury Cabinet was to forward the bill introduced by the Gladstone government, helping the laboring poor of Ireland to acquije small landed possessions through advances of money made from the natioual treasury. The tendency of things in Great Britain, as on the continent, is to encourage the distribution of large estates and help facilitate the transfer of land to those who actually till it. ■----------------------------------------------------•---------------------------------------------------- The remarks of President C'oleman, of the Tax Department, made before the State Board of Assessors at their meeting in this city last Tuesday, sounded trite enough iu some particulars to men acquainted with the methods of estimating real estate values; but they apparently contained a revelation to the gentlemen for whose information they were delivered. **Where did you get your infor¬ mation?" asked Mr. Coleman, in seeking an explanation of the methods used last year by the State Board in increasing the assess¬ ment on property in New York. To this question the assessors replied that their knowledge had been derived from the Building Department's report of new buildings, from inquiries at real estate oftices and from the sales of real estate. Upou receiving this answer, Mr. Coleman called the attention of the assessors to a few of the various devices used for the purpose of increasing the mar¬ ket value of property, and showed how easily the results of sales could be made deceptive. But his statement that the total of values in New York is no higher now tban it was in 1870, is very wide of the mark if he was not badly misreported. He said very justly, in the course of his remarks, that the only true way of esti¬ mating the value of property is by the rental. But he would hardly say, we think, that the total rent roll of New York is no greater at the present date than it was fifteen years ago. Still, it is unques¬ tionably true that the assessments for this city or county, compared with the assessments for other counties of the State, are much too high, and the State Board will do justice by reducing instead of increasing the returns of the local assessors. well-informed quarters are often misleading, and the wise operator both here and abroad does better when he relies ou his own judgment. There are not so many Americans as usual in Europe this year, partly because our rich people have not as much money to spare as in former seasons, but more especially because it was feared the cholera would prevail on the continent during the summer. So far, however, this scourge has been confined mainly to Spain, and it does not seem likely that it can reach all parts of the continent this season. Then its virulence is not as marked as it was In Italy last year, while it does not begin to be as fatal as it was in Egypt two seasons ago. Indeed, this pestilence might die out in Europe as it did in its last visit to this country when, being introduced by way of New Orleans, it ravaged the valley of the Lower Mississipi)!, but was not heard of after it reached the Ohio. The poison of the pestilence seems to lose its strength as it travels westward, and dies out after the lapse of the third year from its origin in Hindoostau. There is not an anti-monopolist in the country, not alsoalunatic. who will not hear with a feeUng of relief that the New York Cen¬ tral road proposes, on certain terms, to lease the tracks, rolling stock, etc., of the West Shore road. With this feeling, too, will come a sense of profound indifference to the nature of the terms ofiFered. When the West Shore road was built the Central road was practically not only a four-track road, but a double and triple road over most of its extent, equal, with increased rolling stock, to twice the amount of traffic which it can, by any possibility, secure iu a quarter or half a century. Very little sympathy can therefore be expected for the stock or bondholders of the West Shore road. and the terms which they are getting, according to the circular of Drexel, Morgan & Co., seem to be remarkably good. The Central road would hardly be the gainer could it obtain the property of the West Shore road for nothing. The possession might add something to the (luality of its rolling stock; but in the maintenance of its tracks, depots, terminal machinery, etc., it will be forced to carry a load which will place it at a disadvantage with the competing trunk line roads to the West, while it will gain nothing for its local traffic. Could the tracks of the West Shore road, between Buffalo and Albany at least, be removed to-morrow, its depots burned down and its road-bed delivered over to the original own¬ ers, the New York Central road would save money. But the adven¬ ture has furnished a lesson which may be worth more than 150,000,000 to the railroad managers of the future. Insiders who get points from those who ought to know most about what will affect the market price of stocks fare as badly in Europe as they do in America. The London Times' Berlin cor¬ respondent states that when the trouble existed between Russia and Great Britain, Bismarck believed that war would ensue and was anxious that it should take place. His banker was aware of the chancellor's views, and he not only sold the market short but induced all his clients and friends to do likewise, but the Emperor William was averse to a war taking place and by correspondence found that the Czar was opposed to the Russian military party which desired to bring about hostilities. The Emperor's favorite court banker was soon made aware of his patron*s views and he A recent decision by the Kentucky Court of Appeals brings into a strong light the duties and obligations of directors while adminis¬ tering the franchises of a corporation. The Newport Street Rail¬ way Company was chartered in the year 1SG4, and a majority of the stock was held by one Robbins, who was also a director of the company. Not having sufficient funds to complete the enterprise, the nuiuagers made an arrangement with three men named Kellogg, Morton and Carrick, to take the bonds of the company atfiOor (i5 to the dollar, Robbins and a sufficient number of other directors with¬ drawing, aud allowing the three capitalists to be made dirpctors in their places. This plan was followed, and the bonds, held as indi, vidual property, were sold afterwards, some at 75 cents ou the dol¬ lar and some at i)ar. In the case growing out of some debts con¬ tracted by the corporation, and which finally reached the Court of Appeals, the court held that "directors of a corporation will not be allowed, under an arrangement with each other, to issue the bonds of a corporation and then purchase them at less than their value, or if the value of the bonds is in fact paid at the time, and the director then proceeds under such an arrangement to sell the bonds on his own private account so as to realize a profit, he will be held to account for that profit to the creditor or stockholder of the corporation; it is, in fact, the money of the corporation and, not of the director." How many transactions would this decision reach in New York? In the Keap libel case now on trial in this city it was *'developed that while Drexel, Morgan <& Co. sold the first million of Metropolitan Elevated Railway bonds for the benefit of the company the second milUon was taken at 95 by the president of the company and a director." If this is a correct report of what was developed the case looks quite parallel to the Kentucky case. The report published by the Supervisors of San Francisco, in relation to the section of their city known as Chinatown, will go further than anything else that has appeared to justify the opposi¬ tion to Chinese immigration so long manifest on the Pacific coast. The report is not based mainly upon class interests. It is not put in the terms of the Sand-lot orators; but is a calm statement of the conditions of Chinese life where the Mongolian population is numerous enough to form a district. It is a picture of filth and immorality discovered by careful investigation wliich is altogether and his friends went long of the market, and of course profited I shocking; and it must be said that no city having learned of the greatly when peace was assured. The moral is that points even from J existence of such a plague spot as Chinatown within its boundaries