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The Independent. (New York, N.Y.) 18??-1928, February 14, 1884, Image 16

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20 (212) T H E I N D E P E N D E N T . [February 14, 1884. O r i e n t a l R u ^ s -A N D - C arpets. We are offering an extensive assortm e n t of the above goods at a great reduction in price. PARTIES intending to fu rnish will certainly be profited by an inspection. ^ b t o a c X v r u j <bXj> | b l . N E W Y O R K . f i n a n c i a l . THE MORRISON TARIFF BILL. M r . M o r r is o n , the Chairman of the Com­ mittee of Ways and Means, after not a little blowing of trumpets and sounding of gongs, has at last, on his own responsibility, intro­ duced into the House of Representatives a tariff bill. It is his bill, and not that of the committee of which he is chairman. The House, as was of course expected, referred it to this committee; and what the bill will be when it comes back to the House from the committee remains to be seen. The majority of the committee consists of Dem­ ocrats; and they will undoubtedly put upon the bill some sort of Democratic stamp, provided they can find out to their own sat­ isfaction what the stamp should be. The real object of .Mr. Morrison and the Democrats in both houses of Congress is not so much to reform our tariff laws and make them better as it is to make a party record for the next Presidential campaign. The tariff is destined to be one of the prom­ inent issues of that campaign, if not the most prominent; and in respect to it the Democrats, who include the larger part of the Free Traders of the country, want to fix up a record in Congress with which to go before the people next Fall, and upon which the Democratic Party can and will unite for the purpose of gaining a political victory. This is the secret and ruling mo­ tive of Mr. Morrison’s bill, as it will be of the bill reported by the Committee of Ways and Means to the House. Actual legisla­ tion in a practical form is not the main ob­ ject sought. Mr. Morrison and the Demo­ crats very well understand that the oft- repeated Democratic doctrine of “ a tariff for revenue only” will not meet the political emergency; and the latest expression of wisdom as to what will do, so far as Mr. Morrison and his special advisers are con­ cerned, we have in Aie bill which he has just introduced into the House of Repre­ sentatives. The ostensible object of the bill is to re­ duce the amount of taxes collected by the Government in the form of tariff duties,and thus get rid of the large surplus which has been collected for a series of years. The general principle of the bill for the attain­ ment of this end is a uniform reduction of twenty per cent, on the present rates of tariff duties, without any readjustment or redistribution of these duties considered with reference to specific articles. This idea is simple enough; and it certainly re­ quires no great skill to conceive of a twenty per cent, reduction of tariff duties. Should the bill become a law, how would it work? This is the question which the business community would like to understand? It is by no means certain that such a re­ duction in the rates of duties would lead to a corresponding reduction in the amount of revenue collected by these duties, The amount of revenue collected by a tariff does not depend exclusively upon the rate pf duties, so that it wjll Vp large or small as the duties are high or low. The amount of the importations into the country upon which these duties are levied is a much more important factor in the problem. It is very easy to see how a high rate of duties may decrease the amount of revenue there­ from, and how a low rate of duties may have just the same effect—in the one case,by decreasing the amount of importations, and, in the other, by increasing importations. It is to be remembered that the importations upon which tariff duties are levied, consti­ tute a variable quantity, and that the amount of the revenue derived therefrom is most materially affected by their quanti­ ty. If Mr. Morrison’s proposed reduction of tariff rates would lead, as seems proba­ ble, to a very considerable increase of im­ portations, then the bill would fail to attain its own end. We should then buy more foreign goods, without collecting a less amount of tariff taxes, making up for the loss in rates by the increased amount of the imported goods taxed. This, however, is not the only question involved. How would the twenty per cent, reduction practically affect various branches of industry in this country? Would it so far withdraw the protection which they now enjoy as seriously to cripple them or destroy them altogether? We answer this question by quoting as fol­ lows, the language of another: “ The bill may justly be described as o ne to de­ stroy the s a lt industry of the U n ited States ; to wipe o u t the American pottery indu s tr y ; to de­ molish im p o rtant m a n u factories of g lass; to destroy the lead a n d copper m ining in d u s tr ies; to reduce the wages of coal m iners and iron miners, as well as the wages of operatives in cotton and woolen mills, iron furnaces and rolling mills, and in nearly every other branch of iron and steel m a n u facture ; to oppress the rice-growers of South C arolina and Georgia ; to depress the wages of laborers on the sugar plan­ tations and in the sugar mills of Louisiana, and to elim inate wool-growing from th e list of productive industries in the U n ited States. I t provides th a t the reduction of 20 per cent, shall apply to salt, to unpolished cylinder, crown and common window, and to unsilvered, polished plate-glass exceeding tw enty-four by sixty inches in size, w h ether or n o t such reduction carries the rate below the rate imposed by the tariff of March 2d, 1861. In other cases no rate is to be reduced below the rale imposed by th a t act, which Colonel M orri­ son takes care to describe as the ‘ Morrill tariff.’ ” A sweeping aud uniform reduction of twenty per cent, on the present rate of tariff duties, though a very simple thing for Mr. Morrison to conceive in his head, and to express in words, is, nevertheless, a very grave matter to various branches of industry which, by such a reduction, would be left without adequate protection. The principle of the bill is a false one. We be­ lieve in reforming our tariff system, but not in this way. The true theory is so to levy tariff duties as to make them incident­ ally protective where protection is needed ; aud this is always a question of fact in re­ spect to each specific article, and to be de­ termined by looking at all the facts in re­ lation to that article. A tariff reduction that overlooks this principle, or fails to ad­ just itself to its requirements, is funda­ mentally wrong; and this is the serious difficulty with Mr. Morrison’s bill. We do not believe that it will become a law, and are very sure that no such bill ought to be passed by either house of Congress. FIDELITY INSURANCE. As so little is known regarding Fidelity Insurance, the following information has been obtained from the American Surety Company, of this city, recently organized for the purpose of acting as surety on all description of bonds. Bonds are now required of officers and employes of the National Government, State aud Municipal Governments, of Coun­ ty Officers, Bauks, Insurance Companies. Railways, Manufacturing and Mining Com­ panies, and of almost every well-managed corporation and business house. The laws of New York authorize sheriffs, surrogates, judges and heads of depart­ ments to accept the surety of a company like this. Tne American Surety Company has a capital, paid up in cash, of $500,000, and has th? most prpuiiu^nt responsible board of trustees ever presented to the American public by any corporation. It is the only company organized in this coun­ try doing this branch of business exclusive­ ly. It is the largest company of its kind in the world. It is national in its character, its stock being held by prominent and in­ fluential men connected with the more im­ portant interests in the large business cen­ ters of the country. The President of the company is the Hon. Richard A. Elmer, well known throughout the countiy as being possessed of qualities peculiarly fitting him for such position. He resigned from one of the most im­ portant positions under the General Gov­ ernment, that of Assistant Postmaster-Gen­ eral, to accept this office. Mr. Elmer won great distinction during his administration of the affairs of the post-office department, covering nearly three years of the most re­ markable period in the history of postal transportation. Postmaster-General Gresham, in his letter accepting Mr. Elmer’s resignation, pays him the following high compliment: “ . . . . F o r myself I cannot perm it the occa­ sion to pass w ithout a ssuring you of my personal esteem, and of my high appreciation of the ability and integrity w ith which you have dis­ charged the duties o f a very responsible position during a period of peculiar difficulties.” The Vice-President of the company is Mr. Lyman W. Briggs, well known as a specialist and thorough expert in this par­ ticular line of business, and with large prac­ tical experience. To Mr. Briggs belongs the credit of introducing and success­ fully establishing surety business in this country. The first company organized by him contemplated doing other branches of insurance business in connec­ tion with surety business, but more as a matter of prudence, as surety business was something of an experiment, being entire­ ly untried in the United States. Its devel­ opment, however, was so rapid, and the favor with which corporate suretyship was received so marked, that Mr. Briggs was soon convinced that the scope afforded by his company was too limited to accommo­ date future developments of the business; and also that a business of such importance and dignity of character should only be transacted by a company formed especially for that purpose. He therefore resigned his office in that company and immediately set about organizing the American Surety Company. The following are among the Trustees: John J. Knox, Comptroller of the Currency; Julius Wadsworth, Vice-President Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway; A. H. Barney,New York; C. N. Bliss, of Bliss, Fabyan & Co.; William Dowd, President Bank of North America; George M. Pull­ man, Chicago; William B. Leonard, of Decker, Howell & Co.; John C. Eno, Presi­ dent Second National Bank; W. G. Desh- ler, President Exchange National Bank, Columbus, O .; Lyman W. Briggs, New York; George B. Sloan, ex-Speaker N. Y. Assembly, Oswego, N. Y .; William A. Wheelock, Central National Bank; George R. Blanchard, Vice-President N. Y.,Lake Erie & Western Railway; Tlios. E. Tutt, President Third National Bank, St. Louis, Mo.; F.W. Vanderbilt, New York; Wm. B. Kendall, of Bigelow Carpet Company; Pat­ rick Barry, of Elwanger & Barry, Roches­ ter, N. Y.; H. H. Cook. Director, Bank of North Ameerica; Theo. N. Vail, Supt. Am. Bell Telephone Co., Boston, Mass.; M. W. Cooper, N. Y. FIRE INSURANCE STOCKS. We copy from the Journal of Commerce the following table, giving the status on January 1st, 1884, of the New YTork City Fire Insurance Companies—the boos: value and last sales being based, not on the actual par of the shares, but on each $100 of such value. Quotations of last sales are up to February 6th. RRN V III® : | c c | F f s * O 4 m • § « • a . 7- If! • s « : n a • r* I C q & P* American E x ... ...$200,000 6 loo 133 42 127 64 110 'A m e rican ........ 400,000 6 50 239 78 252 62 150 Bowery............... 300,000 6 26 225 46 217 34 156% Broadway .......... 200,000 7 26 265 88 265 67 176 7 X 17 231 85 233 69 168% •Citizens ............ 6 20 243 66 243 31 145* (Pity ..................... 6 70 181 58 182 09 125 ' Clinton................. . 260,000 5 100 151 25 146 59 120 Com m ercial ....... . 200,000 3* 60 124 28 122 89 90 •C o n tinental __ . 1 , 000,000 7.70 100 255 78 266 18 241 Eagle .................. . 300,000 7* 40 318 78 326 10 260 % Em pire City ........ . 200,000 3 100 120 53 127 90 80 Franklin & E mp . 200,000 5 ICO 164 41 156 61 110 Exchange............. . 200,010 3 H 30 135 56 136 13 100 % F a r ragut ............. . 200,000 5 50 153 10 111 59 110 Firem e n ’s ........... . 204.000 4 17 119 89 124 92, 85 Firem e n ’s T rust . 150,000 3% 10 119 2,4 111 49 79 Greenwich .......... . 200,000 7%qr• 25 255 34 232 40 290 Germ a n ia ........... 0 50 174 26 181 78 140 Ger. A m erican.. . 1 , 000,000 7 100 251 73 268 50 205 Globe ................... . 200,000 6 50 155 04 155 03 110 % G u ardian ............. . 200.000 3 100 102 97 107 34 61 H a m ilton ............ . 160,000 5 15 169 62 174 11 113 Hanover ............... . 1 , 000,(00 5 50 171 56 177 72 137% Home .................... 3,000,000 5 100 159 13 155 44 145% Howard ............... . 600,000 — 50 112 84 108 82 65 Irving ................... . 200,000 _ 100 100 11 102 00 65 •Jefferson ........... . 200,010 5 30 242 29 242, 32 130 Knickerbocker.. . 210,000 3 30 141 21 143 62 90 Kings C o u n ty... . 150,000 10 20 229 22 232, 44 201 Lafayette ............. . 150,000 5 60 134 14 139 92 97 •Long Island ...... . 300,000 5 50 133 33 134 54 115% Man’I’s & B’lrs . . . 200.000 3 100 177 13 170 85 M echanics .......... . 250,000 5 50 161 85 133 00 135 Mech. & T r a d __ . 200,000 — 25 174 46 188 53 113 M e rcantile. . ....... . 200,000 3 50 103 63 109 94 64 M erchants’ ......... . 200,000 5 50 164 84 177 33 100 M o ntauk ............. . 200.100 5 50 135 03 136 62 110 N a ssau ................ . 200,000 5 50 176 48 182 58 115 N a tional ............. . 200,000 5 37 X 133 18 136 30 92% N. Y. Equitable.. . 210,000 6 35 259 28 262 15 150 New York ........... . 200,000 4 100 125 86 135 10 95 N iagara ............... . 500,000 5 50 202 17 164 84 132 V, North R iver ....... . 350,000 4 25 127 45 128 22 108 Pacific .................. . 200,000 7 25 285 45 287 87 181 P a r k ..................... . 200,000 5 100 143 69 137 36 100 % People’s ............. . 200,000 5 50 148 64 153 39 115 Peter Cooper __ . 150,000 6 20 234 60 235 29 169% Phenix,................ . 1 , 000,000 5 50 164 14 168 61 150 R u tgers ................ . 200,000 6 25 178 31 181 63 120 Standard ............. . 200,000 3 % 50 168 08 160 50 100 % Star ...................... . 500,000 — loo 102 22 101 33 62% Stuyvesant ........ . 200,000 5 25 170 10 163 50 125 S terling .............. . 350,000 — 100 105 79 107 04 64 U nited S tates... . 250,000 5 25 192 57 190 67 131% W ill’sb’g C ity ... . 250,000 10 50 272 73 273 37 206 W estchester ....... . 300,000 5 10 161 34 167 52: 125 MONETARY AFFAIRS. T h e quantity of idle funds is steadily in­ creasing upon the local market, owing to the lack of demand. Borrowers, with the proper security, can dictate their own terms with the lender as regards rate of interest, as the supply is so much greater than the requirements of business necessities. There is a confident feeling, however, that the worst of the depression and hard times are over, though there is no sudden improve­ ment looked for, as it is believed that the restoration of confidence among merchants and bankers will be of gradual growth. Borrowers on call on pledge of stock collat­ eral were accommodated at 14@2 per cent, and holders of Government bonds at 1@2 per cent. Time loans on stocks were qnoted at 44 per cent, on stocks and prime mercantile discounts at 4@ 4£ per cent, for double names, and 5@-5£ per cent, for single names. The domestic exchanges are less favorable to this center than for some time past, but the receipts from the interior continue largely in excess of the shipments. The specie imports amounted to $170,089 and the specie exports to $216,300. S t o c k M a r k e t . —The stock market has been less buoyant this week, the “ bears” having had the advantage in some cases, while in others the “ bulls” held sway. The principal changes in the situation appear to be the increasing strength of the Van­ derbilt properties and the manifest weak­ ness of the Gould interests, as it is reported that Mr. Gould’s position is somewhat questionable: being heavily loaded with stocks, he is believed to be a seller rather than a buyer. The market is evidently under the control of the bull interest, as they seem to be able to lift prices in 6pite of all opposing influences, such as lack of outside support, the firmness of exchange, poor railroad earnings, etc. The situation for the time being seems to be one full of uncertainty, though the market has a firm undertone, which may or may not bring an advantage in the future. U . S. B o n d s .— T h e government bond market was quiet, but firm. The 4£s cou­ pon advanced f and the 3s 4. The closing quotations were as follows: Br<i. A'iked Bid. Asked 4)68,1891, re# USX 113)6 Currency 6 s, ’96.129 — 4 ) 68 , 1891. coup... 1 14X U4% Currency 60 , ’96.131 — 4 s, 1907, reg 123% 124 Currency 6 8 ,’97.133 — 48 , 1907, co u p .... 123% 124 iCurrency 6 s. ’98.136 — Tnree p er c e n ts. 100% — * C urrency 6 s. ’99.137 — R a il r o a d B o n d s . —Railroad bonds were active and strong. The largest transac­ tions were in New Yrork, West Shore and B. os, at54|@54f. Chesapeake and Ohio Firsts (Series B.) advauced 1 per cent, to 101; do. Currency 6s 1 per cent., to 53, but reacted to 52; Iron Mountain 5s I f per cent, to 74§; Texas and Pacific Land Grant In­ comes 1 per cent- to 00; Denver and liiQ

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