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The Record and guide: v. 38, no. 957: July 17, 1886

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July 17, 1886 The Record and Guide. 913 THE RECORD AND GUIDE, Published every Saturday. 191 Broad-wav, IsT. l£r. Onr Telephone Call Is.....JOHN 370. TERMS: ©NE YEAS, in advance, SIX DOLLARS. Communications should be addressed to C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway. J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager, Vol. XXXVIII. JULY 17, 1886. No. 957. The semi-annual Index of the Conveyances and Projected Build¬ ings in Neio York and Kings Counties for the last six months up to July 1, 1886, is now ready, and all subscribers of The Record and Guide are entitled to a copy free of charge. It will accompany this issue. Binders may he secured at this office for |l each. A volume ichich should he in the hands of every huilder, con¬ tractor, architect, and owner and dealer in real estate, is now ready and can he procured at the offi,ce of The Record and Guide, It is a new edition of the law relating to huildings in the City of Neio York, loith added matter, marginal notes and colored engravings to illustrate the subject. It contains the law limiting the height of dwelling-houses, also the existing Mechanics' Lien Laio. This work is edited by William J. Fryer, Jr., lohose original and tcell-thought-out comments give it a special value. The volume tcill also contain a complete directory of architects in New Yoi'k, Brooklyn, Jersey City, Neivark and Yonkers. The hook is handsomely hound in cloth, and is sold at the low x:)vice of seventy five cents. The bull speculation in Wall street now under way simply reflects the hopeful feeling prevalent everyvphere that our fall business will be more than good. All the railroads show increased and increasing earnings. Our winter wheat crop has been secured in excellent condition and is a large one. Our corn crop looks well, and there will be plenty of cotton for export. The domestic exchanges of the Country are largely in excess of last year. We shall build double the number of miles of railroad in 1886 than we did in 1885. The strikes have checked production so that consumption has more than overtaken the stock on hand. The real estate situ¬ ation never looked better, and next fall promises to be the best autumnal season for realty New York has ever experienced. If a war ohould occur in Eastern Europe, which is not an unlikely contin¬ gency, the country would witness an era of prosperity which would be second only to the " boom" of 1879-80. The House of Representatives have voted (307 to 65) that the Treasury Department be instructed to use all the surplus funds on hand, $110,000,000 excepted, to pay the public debt at the rate of $10,000,000 per month until the prescribed limit is reached. The vote in favor of this resolution, which was proposed by Mr. Morri¬ son, was mainly from the South and West, and no doubt represents the judgment of a great majority of the American people. The average citizen cannot understand why we should continue to pay interest on a debt when we have money enough on hand to discharge a large part of the principal. for itself ten times over. It would employ labor, help trade, stimulate our iron and metal industries, and give us a sense of security by putting our coasts in a state of defense. But Congress sternly refuses to appropriate an adequate sum for any of these needed purposes, yet devotes our surplus to paying debts before they are due and to cheapening the price of money, thereby stimu¬ lating speculation in stocks and the agricultural products of the country. ---------------% It is to the credit of Senators Evarts and Miller, of New York, that they voted in favor of appropriating money to begin the Hen¬ nepin Canal. This projected improvement, it will be remembered, is designed to unite the waters of the Mississippi and the lakes by a ship canal. If constructed vast quantities of grain, cattle, lumber and other Western products would come East to Lake Michigan instead of being floated down the Mississippi. This would add largely to the business of Chicago and all the lake ports, and would indirectly swell the commerce of the metropolis. It would, indeed, greatly enlarge the traflic of the trunk lines that lead to this city. But our Eastern papers oppose the improvement bitterly and call it a " job." It is creditable to the Senators wiio represent us in the Upper House that in the face of these outcries they can vote for this very desirable public improvement. The Sun quotes European authorities to prove that a check has been giving to the shrinkage in prices whicb has been going on so steadily since Germany and the United States destroyed the parity between gold and silver as money metals. It is jijuite true Ihat wool, tin, sugar and certain manufactured articles have advanced in price throughout the world in the last three months, nor is it unlikely that grain and perhaps cotton will be higher in the next four than they have in the preceding four months. Then in this country we have the advantage over other nations in that the con¬ tinued coinage of the silver dollar maintains prices ; but still the fact remains that gold continues to appreciate, because there U vastly more used up in coinage than is produced in the mines. There may be a temporary reaction in prices but in the long pull it will be found that quotations will go still lower. The shrinkage in prices, due to some general cause, seems to affect everything which enters into the trade of nations. It now seems that drugs have been reduced iu value one-third since 1883. Opium, which sold for $3.75 per pound the first year, is now oft'ered for $1.75, Quinine, worth $1.80, is offered for sixty cents i)er pound ; and so through the entire list of drugs. The shrinkage is even greater than in the case of cotton or grain. It has not, how¬ ever, affected retail prices, which are nearly as high now as in times when medicines cost very much more by wholesale. It is a curious fact that although there are higher profits in drugs than in any other articles of trade, sometimes reaching 1,000 per cent,, yet there are more adulterations in them than in any other class of articles dealt in in a retail way. There is no assurance as to the purity of medicines in countries where there is no government supervision. In Germany the selling of drugs is a government monopoly, and doctors can depend upon their prescriptions being made up from pure drugs. Our Eastern papers are scolding the House for passing the resolu¬ tion on the ground that it is likely to impair the public credit, but why a nation's credit should be injured by paying its debts they do not explain. Nevertheless, while recognizing the fact that this vote expresses the will of the people, we take the liberty of doubting whether it is wise to pay our national debt at this time and in this manner. There is no dearth of money in the channels of trade for it goes begging in Wall street at 3 per cent, per annum. The pay¬ ment of the debt would only add to the amount of unused money at the banking centres and will stimulate, an advance in stock values; in other words, will-add to the current bull speculation. . It would also reduce the value of trust funds held for widows and orphans, and will eventually cause a shrinkage in the cuirency by withdrawing the bonds from the market upon which the' national banks have made their currency issues. . If Congress had agreed to use the surplus funds of the nation productively the effect would have been wholesome ; .that is, if it had voted to expend say thirty millions in river, and harbor improvements, a like amount in fortifications'to desfend our sea- coast cities, and .equally large sums fota navy much need, and for cannon to guard oar coasts aAd^^arm .pur stipg, a hundred and Mtj miUioas B^mt ia tbif way wlfcfeM .iwo y^ps wQ]il