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April 11, 1886
The Record and Guide.
THE RECORD AND, GUIDE,
Published every Saturday.
191 Broad^wav, IST. IT.
Onr Telepbone Call is
Ol^E YEAR, in advance, SIX DOLLARS.
Communications should be addressed to
C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway.
J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager.
APRIL 17, 1886.
Just at the moment things do not look promising. There is a
hesitancy in general trade and a marked falling off in orders for
new goods. Nor is the real estate market as buoyant as it was.
The sales of the past week have developed weakness. Certain
dealers have been overdoing the market and offering more property
than investors would take at high figures. The renting of housea is
not as brisk as it was. Indeed, some agents say that the coming
May will see a larger number of unrented residences than usual.
The labor troubles seem to be paralyzing business in every direction.
opposed the construction of the Arcade, yet had it been built BroadÂ¬
way property would have been worth double what it ia to-day, and
the city would have had real rapid transit, for the Harlem River
could be reached from the Battery in twenty minutes' time. But
all is well that ends well.
The sympathies of the public were with the conductors and car-
drivers when they struck for $3.00 a day for twelve hours' work.
But the outside public do not justify the tie-up of yesterday.
Demanding fair treatment and fair wages is one thing, but to put
vast numbers of people to inconvenience in order to force the
Third Avenue Company to discharge half a dozen non-union
employes is, in the judgment of disinterested persons, little short
of an outrage, and the company will have the backing of the comÂ¬
munity in fighting this demand to the bitter end. Then the boyÂ¬
cotting of Mrs. Gray's bakery was a most unwise proceeding, and
has done more to damage boycotting as a practice than anything
that has yet occurred. This is not to be regretted ; the boycott is a
dangerous weapon in the arsenal of labor agitation, and should
never be resorted to except in very extreme cases, if at all. These
excesses and mistakes of the labor organizations are tending to disÂ¬
credit them with the business community. It is all right to demand
of employers fair wages and good treatment, but they must be perÂ¬
mitted to conduct their business in their own way and with their
own agents. Tiie American public will not tolerate the assertion
of extreme demands, either on the part of employers or their workÂ¬
people. Senseless tie-ups like this on the Third avenue road and
boycotting like that of which Mrs. Gray has been a victim will, if
continued, turn the tide of public feeling entirely against the labor
In his conference with Mr. Powderly, Mr. Jay Gould presented
one view of the railway difficulty in connection with the labor
disputes which has often been given in these columns, but which
has been overlooked in the general discussions of the press on the
subject. Says Mr. Gould :
It is the public duty of a corporation and every individual member of it
â€”of a railroad corporationâ€”to operate the road for public use. It is the
duty of all employes alike in that respect, from the President down. They
clothe themselves, so to speak, with public duties. It is unlike the employes
of a manufacturing company or any private organization. A railroad is a
public thoroughfare, a public organization, and it has contract duties to the
State and to the public; and from the President down to the lowest
employ^, when they take service with the railroad they assume their share
of those public duties.
Time and again has The Record and Guide urged that the true
solution of this whole trouble would be for tbe government to
make all railway employes a parfc of the police force of the nation.
Engineers, conductors, brakemen and switchmen should wear the
national uniform, and their wages and treatment be subjecfc to
regulations by Congress. This would pufc an end forever to all
strikes, and would add a force of half a million men who would be
under the command of the Federal authorities, and would insure
us not only againsfc strikes but local insurrections. The Southern
rebellion would not have lasted three months if the railway
employes were at the orders of the military authorities of the
nation. Then, were the engineers, conductors and car-drivers of
our city steam and horse-car companies made a parfc of the police
force of the municipality, we would hear no more of senseless
sfcrikes and tie-ups, and a force of at least 15,000 men would be pracÂ¬
tically added to our local militia, who could be depended upon to
suppress riots and keep the peace in times of great public exciteÂ¬
ment. Both inter-Sfcate and local railway lines are intended for
the public convenience primarily; the wages of the operatives and
the profits of the stockholders are only incidental considerations.
Jay Gould is a man of great courage in a financial way. He
would probably run away from a man bigger than himself if the
former showed fight. Bufc in his officfe Mr. Gould is willing to face
any danger to himself or his forfcune. Yet those who have seen
him recenfcly say thafc he is very much excifced jusfc now. Matters
have nofc turned oufc as well in the Soufchwesfc as he expected. He
had the Knights of Labor afc a disadvantage, and he thought he
could discredifc them. Hence he refused to arbitrate ; would not
recognize the labor organization, and certain results followed
which he did not foresee. The labor disputes have got into ConÂ¬
gress. Other interests are being attacked which affect him nearly,
and, worse than all, there is a probability of legal proceedings
againsfc himself which may prove awkward. His enemies say that
Mr. Gould has been guilty of illegal practices which, if the laws
were rigidly enforced, would land him in Sfcates prison. T. V.
Powderly is not.the kind of man to make careless threats, and if
the Knights of Labor can raise $500,000 there are plenty of lawyers
who could be hired to worry the life out of this great Wall street
operator. The money interest in the Southwestern sail way system
has been transferred to New York. Very few persons in Texas are
interested in stocks of the Gould roads. Rightly or wrongly the
public feeling in that region is with the strikers. This is shown by
the meetings held in St. Louis to try and bring about arbitration.
If the lawyers get after Gould's past transactions he may gefc more
law than he bargained, for.
The Broadway Arcade Railroad biU has been indorsed by the
Legislafcure of this Sfcate. There were only two vofces against it iu
the Senate and seven in the Assembly. This settles this important
matter, for the measure has friends enough in the Legislature to
pass it should Governor Hill interpose a veto. What a difference it
would have made had Governor Hoffman nofc vetoed the original
Arcade bill when it passed through both branches of the LegislaÂ¬
ture. By this time we would have had sfceam transit under BroadÂ¬
way, connecting every part of thafc thorougLfare with the railway
system of the cpuntacy. The Broadway property-holdere then
Judge Joseph Donohue is confessedly one of the ablest members
of the New York bench. He is a well-read lawyer, can see a
point quicker than mosfc of his associates, is prompt in his decisions,
and has many ofcher elements of popularity with fche legal proÂ¬
fession and the public. But, somehow, there has always been a
great deal of talk about this judge. He has been charged time
and again with favoritism and suspected of wrong-doing. The
members of the bar dared nofc say much, because they feared ifc
might damage their cases when taken to his court. The charges
which, it is said, will be brought againsfc fchis judgejare his overriding
the law by injunctions for the beneflt of sporting men and liquor
dealers. He enjoined the police, for instance, from interfering
wifch the bookmakers at Jerome Park. Perhaps, technically, he
was wrong, but certainly in that matter he had the countenance and
supporfc of every turf man in the State. Our laws on that subject
are preposterous, and if there was any legal way of evading them
the !public sentiment of the vast majority of 'the counfcry would
sustain him in the course he took. Then his infcerposition againsfc
drinking wine after one o'clock at a masquerade ball does nofc seem
so heinous a matter to the patrons of those hilarious gatherings. Of
course this is nofc the view of respectable and pious people, bufc the
latter comprise, after all, but a small portion of the community
and they never go to masquerade balls. Still, law is law, and
Judge Donohue has no business to nullify it by the abuse of legal
process. Bufc whafc a pity it is fchat so brighfc a judge should have
his good name called in quesfcion by actions which may not be
blameworthy, yet which lay him open to suspicion.
The political and social changes which are taking place in Europe
cannot be well understood without reference to the difference in
the presenfc price of land compared with whafc it was formerly. In
the generations gone by it was the great landowner who repre^
sented the accumulated wealth of the cummunity and who formed
the class basis for aristocratic rule. Corporate wealth is practiÂ¬
cally a creation of this century, and the banker, the merchant, the
manufacturer and the railway king have taken authority away
from and accumulated more wealth than the landowner. But the
fatal blow to the latter has. been the competition of grain-growing
countries, such as the United States, Australia and India. The wheat
product of these countries could not have been utilized were it nofc for
steam navigation, which has so cheapened transportation thafc the
lower-priced labor and land and the more fertile soil has rendered the
farming of the old and high-priced land of Western Europe unprofitÂ¬
able, or comparatively so. The distress in the British Isles, and
especially in Ireland, is largely due to the facfc thafc agriculturisfce
have become impoverished by thÂ« sompefcifcion of other nations,