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The Record and guide: v. 39, no. 998: April 30, 1887

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April ^0, Mt The Record and Guide. 583 THE RECORD AND GUIDE, Published every Saturday. 191 BroadT^ray, l^T."^. Our Call is JOHN 370. TERMS: ONE YEiR, in advance, SIX DOLLARS. Communications should be addressed to C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway. J. T. LINDSEY, Busmess Manager. Vol. XXXIX. APRIL 30, 1887. No. 998 We repeat what we said last week, that there are the very besfc reasons for believing that the New York Central Railroad has decided to build an underground railroad from the Grand Central Depot to the Brooklyn Bridge. The tunnel in which the tracks will be laid will run under Elm street, which is to be widened and extended on one end to the bridge and on the other to Lafa¬ yette place and 4th avenue. The work is to be undertaken at once and will be forwarded in the most expeditious manner, so that the trains may be running in the early summer of 1888. There will be four tracks; two for through and two for way travel. New York imperatively needs rapid steam travel from one end of the island to the ofcher. -But it ought to involve the Arcade plan, and the route should commence at the lower end of Broadway and run under that thoroughfare to 14th street. Then there ouglit to be one branch to the 43d street depot, another under Broadway and the Boulevard to the Harlem River. But the Broadway property- holders have again managed to injure their own interests, and their opposition to a steam road will result in building up a rival thoroughfare. their readers by taking the side of the Republican majority in the State Senate. ------,—»--------- There is a good deal of interest touching the appointments Mayor Hewitt is to make during the coming month. His acfcion will teU the story of his attitude towards the political organizations and the public. It is to be hoped he will select business men for business positions. Ex-Mayor Grace made some^ excellent [appointments, but he was over-fond of lawyers, as witness his Board of Education. That Board ought to have a practical architect or builder among its members. One of the Fire Commissioners should be a builder. The Police and the Park Boards ought to be reduced to three members, so as to prevent deadlocks, or, perhaps better still, one executive head, responsible to the Mayor and the public, would be better than any board however constituted. Somehow the stock market does not 'boom," notwithstanding the improvement of business throughout the country. All the leaders of the " street" have been bullish since the opening of the year, and stocks have been accumulated to sell out to the general public when higher prices were reached. But somehow the spec¬ ulative public have not " caught on " as yet, and the high-priced stocks are still unsold. One explanation of this backwardness of the buying class to come forward is to be found in the broadening of the market. A perfect avalanche of new securities have been poured upon the " street." The new bonds literally run up into the hundreds of millions which have been taken but not yet absorbed by foreign and domestic investors. Then there is Richmond Terminal of some $405000,000 in addition to 5,000,000 of preferred and 8,500,000 bonds. Of Columbus Hocking Coal and Iron there are 43,000 shares, all of which have been marketed, and then there is Forfc Worfch, Erie and Western, Philadelphia Gas and numerous other new securities which have found a ready market among speculators who expect to resell them at higher figures. Now the •■street"cannot have its cake and eat it also. Money is being spent in the^' reorganization schemes, and if these new securities are to be carried it will be impossible to put up the old favorites. With everything in its favor it is just possible that the]market may be smashed if the various cliques suspect that the public will not come in to take the loads off their hands. The Democrats in the Legislature have made a very bad record in the way in which they have opposed a high license bill. This measure was called for by the Democratic as well as by the Repub¬ lican press, which in this matter represented public opinion. But the Republicans have also been in the wrong on other matters. They have defied the will of the voters of the State in the matter of a convention to revise the Constitution of the State. Then the action of the Republican Senate in not acting upon the nominations of the Governor is wholly indefensible. Papers like the Post, Times and Tribune discredit the intelligence of their readers when they take the side of the Senate against the Governor in this matter. We have never been partisans of Governor Hill, but when he makes a nomination for Railroad Commissioners it is the business of the Senate to confirm the appointments, unless the persons named are grossly unfit. To "hang up" a nomination ought to be made an offense punishable by fine and imprisonment. The corruption of oui: State and city politics has been largely due to the disposition of legislative bodies to force Governors and Mayors to put men into office wifch whom they have made private bargains. Any Consti¬ tutional Convention that will meet hereafter wiU strip Senates and local boards of the power to confirm, and will lodge the sole authority in the Executive. Governor Hill's rebuke to the Senate was deserved, and, were this matter to be presented to the voters of tbe State without prejudice, would be indorsed by nineteen out of every twenty. Yet here we have leading New York Republican papers dishonoring themselves and discrediting the intelligence of The Assembly has indorsed the block system of indexing by the remarkably large vote of 70 to 12. The friends of the measure say that it is almost certain to go through the Senate by a nearly unanimous vote. Undoubtedly, the "block" is a vast improve¬ ment upon the present system. If it is put in force and works well, transfers of real estate will be cheapened and expedited. In other words, the delay and cost of conveyances of realty would be very greatly abridged. It will be time enough to discuss further reform when it will be seen how the block system of indexing affects real estate interests. Our Prophetic Department. Mr. Realty—The price of land is at once rising and falling ; that is to say, it is rising in this country, in Australia, New Zealand and Cape of Good Hope, while it is falling in llurope. Can you give the philosophy of the changes in values here and elsewhere ? Sir Oracle—^You do not sfcafce all the facts. Agricultural land is falling in value in the Old World because of the competition of distant regions in wheat and other food products. The swift steamship lines now reach all parfcs of the earth upon which wheat can be grown and wherever cattle can be raised. As a consequence farming land is worth far less than formerly in old Europe. In the past generations land represented the chief possession of the capitalist class; speculation was at one time confined to land. This was before the era of exchanges, when stocks and food prod¬ ucts had not the advantage of long and short sales. Hence in a general way the new lands, on which wheat can be grown and cattle raised, are rising in value. This is as true of Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Hindoostan and South America, as is of North America. But their improvemenfc is at the expense of the owners and tillers of the soil in Europe. Mr. R.—I notice you carefully avoid mentioning city property ? . Sir O.—And for the reason that, while agricultural land is fall¬ ing in value in the Old World, there is a steady addition to all values of city property. European trade is as profitable as ever before, perhaps more so, but it is made in manufacturing—in fabricating articles of use and luxury for the rest of the world. Hence, while the raisers of grain are suffering, their land deteri¬ orating in value and their mortgages becoming heavier, owners of urban property are becoming richer. All the capitals of the Old World are growing rapidly. Berlin, for instance, is adding to its population and wealth in a way that suggests New York, Chicago and Kansas City. But, of course, there is no such wild speculation in land values in the Old World as we are now having in the New. Mr. R.—This impoverishment of the landed proprietors of the Old World must have a political and social result. What is it ? Sir O.—The land-owning caste was once and for hundreds of years the leading one in Europe, and was firsfc, last and all the time an upholder of the throne and the altar. The Roman Catholic Church at one time was enormously wealthy in land, but Henry VIII. commenced the work of spoliation in England, and thei example has been followed in every country in Europe as well as in Mexico and South America. The landlord was supreme in the politics of Great Britain up to the abolition of the Corn laws. Gladstone's Irish Land laws were a serious blow at the noble own¬ ers of the soil. It is the banker, manufacturer, the merchant and the great speculators who now dominafce in the councUs of the British cabinet. In twenty-five years the bulk of the agricultural lands will be in the hands of freeholders—actual tillers of the soil in Great Britain and Ireland. As the masses are getting the ballot in all parts of Europe it follows that politics will turn more and more upon industrial differences. The working peeple wfil demand their share of the wealth they create, and their natural opponents will be the middle and capitalistic classes—those who have been enriched by trade and the growth of centres of population. There will be less interest in international topics and much more in industrial questions affecting labor and capital. Mr. R.—^Well, we seem to be moving in the [same direction. Look at our Labor party 1 What a heavy vote it polls in the large cities.