« ПретходнаНастави »
perform their duties, would do much toward ridding our present system of its imperfections.
If measures more radical in their nature, having for their objeet the exaction of taxes which are justly due, should be deemed wise, I hope their passage will not be prevented under the specious pretext that the means proposed are inquisitorial and contrary to the spirit of our institutions. The object is to preserve the honor of the State in its dealings with the citizen, to prevent the rich, by shirking taxation, from adding to the burdens of the poor, and to relieve the landholder from unjust discrimination. The spirit of our institution dictates that this endeavor should be pursued, in a manner free from all demagogism, but with the determination to use every necessary means to accomplish the result.
THE CANALS. An analysis of the expenditures by the Superintendent of Public Works shows that of the aggregate cost of repairs and maintenance of the canals for the year ending September 30, 1883, the sum of $240,535.54 was expended during the four months from October 1, 1882, to February 1, 1883, and $349, 319.36 for the remainder of the year under the administration of the present Superintendent. This latter period comprised all but two months of the season of navigation. For the fiscal year, which begins October 1, 1884, provision must be made by tax to meet the cost of maintenance, which is estimated at $650,000, in addition to the required contribution of $450,000 to the canal debt sinking fund, and $500,310 for interest on the canal debt. This total of $1,600,310 can be met by a tax of fifty-seven one hundredths of a mill, the canal tax for the current year being one and forty-seven thousandths mills.
Navigation during the year has been uninterrupted from the opening until the close of the canals, with but two exceptions of a few hours' duration ; the standard depth of water has been fully maintained and the general good narigable condition of the canals is evidenced by the amount of tonnage transported, and the regularity and speed with which boats have made their trips.
The exhibit of the canal business for the season just closed, in my judgment, fully justifies the policy adopted by the people of relieving this commerce of the burden of tolls. It was unfortunate that in the first year of free canals, the one when most attention would be given the subject and most interest manifested in its operation, the season of navigation should be very materially shortened by a late opening and early closing on account of the weather. But notwithstanding the loss of thirty-three days, as compared with the year previous, or about one-seventh of the average period of navigation, the tonnage for the year was 5,775,631 tons, an increase over last year of 324,350 tons. Comparing the tonnage for the two seasons on the basis that they were of the same duration, the excess in favor of this year is 823,371 tons.
Remarkable proof of the increased commerce attracted to these water-ways by the abolition of tolls is found in the fact that the shipinents of grain from Buffalo by canal this year aggregated 42,350,916 bushels against 29,439,688 bushels last year; and the statistics which will be transmitted by the Superintendent of Public Works will exbibit like increase in the other freights which comprise the great bulk of the canal traffic.
These figures assure those interested in canal navigation that the liberal policy adopted by the State will make reasonably certain a continuance of employment and opportunities for the capital and labor of our citizens. They also give promise to the people who have assumed the expense of maintaining the canals, of a full return, in the benefits which must accrue from securing to our State a traffic of such proportions as to add materially to its business and wealth.
Pursuant to a policy which for a number of years seems to have prevailed, no improvements have been made upon the canals, and expenditures have, in the main, been limited to the cost of snperintendence, and such repairs as were absolutely necessary to preserve navigation. That the banks, prisin and structures are now in sufficiently good condition for present purposes I have no doubt. But I agree with the Superintendent of Public Works, that it is not wise to rely wholly upon a continuance of the good fortune which has so long attended the canals; and without hesitation, I concur in his proposition to take ineasures to inaugurate a system of such constant and gradual repairs as ordinary prudence demands.
Public EDUCATION. The Superintendent of Public Instruction furnishes the following statement concerning the public schools for the year ending September 30, 1883: Total receipts, including balance on hand October 1, 1882
$13,206,065 14 Total expenditures..
11,858,594 09 Amount paid for teachers' wages ,
8,265,452 83 Amount paid for school-houses, repairs, furniture, etc....
1,925,671 27 Estimated value of school-houses and sites
31,011,211 00 Number of teachers employed during legal term of school ..
21,122 Number of teachers employed during any portion of the year.
31,570 Number of children attending public school.
1,041,089 Number attending normal schools...
6,270 Number of volumes in school district libraries..
701,675 Number of persons in the State between the ages of five and twenty-one...
1,681,500 There seems to have been for a number of years, a steady decrease in the number of books contained in school district libraries. In 1860 the number reported was one million two hundred and eighty[SENATE JOURNAL.]
six thousand five hundred and thirty-six; in 1881, seven hundred and seven thousand one hundred and fifty-five; in 1882, seven hundred and five thousand eight hundred and twelve, and now seven hundred and one thonsand six hundred and seventy-five. If it is proposed to continue the advantage of these libraries, it is quite evident that there should be a change in the extent and manner of their supply, or in the means of their preservation.
The Regents of the University report that there are twenty-four literary and thirteen medical colleges connected with the University of the State. Of these, two have been chartered during the past year, to-wit: Canisius College, of Buffalo, and Niagara University, at Suspension Bridge.
There are under the visitation of the Regents two hundred and seventy-seven academies and academical departments of Union schools, comprising about thirty-six thousand scholars and one thonsand four hundred teachers.
The instruction of common school teachers has been carried on during the past year in ninety-five academical institutions, in which 1,611 scholars have been trained. These classes are under the care of an inspector appointed by the Regents.
The removal of the library building has necessitated the arrangement of the State Library in temporary quarters in the New Capitol.
Arrangements for the removal of the State Museum to the State Hall as soon as it is vacated have been made. The printing of the Paleontology, allowed by the last Legislature, has been resumed by the Regents.
Banks. Eight new banks of discount were organized during the year, and one failed, leaving the total number eighty-four, the condition of which on the 1st day of October, 1583, was reported as follows:
Increase during the year
21, 761, 700 2, 956, 000
1, 488, 716
Of the increase in capital, $1,300,000 was the result of the conversion of banks from the National to the State system.
On the 1st day of July last, one hundred and twenty seven savings banks reported to the Superintendent of the Banking Department, but of this number twelve transact no business and have but a nominal existence. During the year one new savings institution was organized, and one closed after paying its depositors and creditors in full. The condition of these savings banks on the day nanied was as follows:
$483, 662, 008 15
716, 307 30
Increase during the year.
$23, 538, 425 49 20, 087, 168 96 2, 957, 654 24 493, 602 30
The immense financial transactions of these institutions, intended to be semi-charitable in their nature, shown in the fact that during the year the deposits received from and withdrawn by their million of depositors, aggregated $304,592, 251.95, exclusive of the interest credited, calls for the exercise of the utmost care that the safeguards which surround them and which have given contidence to those who intrust their earnings to their keeping, should be jealously protected.
The reports made July 1st by the sixteen loan, mortgage, guaranty and indemnity companies, doing business in this State, exhibit the following condition :
Increase in number. Resources ..
$160,137,764 04 $20,379,229 90 Capital paid in.
13,537,000 83 957,500 00 Surplus and profits.
12,244,412 42 2,390,035 64 Due depositors..
125,283,170 17 20,394,985 01 Other liabilities.
9,229,350 92 *3,207,130 45
Sixteen institutions for the safe-keeping and guaranteeing of personal property with a capital aggregating $2,886,900 were under the supervision of the Banking Department on the 1st day of October.
In my last annual message to the Legislature I took occasion to say :
“ State supervision of banks is worse than useless unless it is thorough and effective. Under the law, as it now stands, the Superintendent of the Banking Department must cause an examination to be made of these institutions only when, in his opinion, there is good reason to suspect an unsound condition or false reports. It would seem that the solvency of the banks and the protection of depositors would be better assured, if one or more examinations, in each year, were made compulsory on the department.”
The evidence accumulates to prove the necessity for such an enactment as was then suggested, and which will be duly submitted for your consideration.
INSURANCE. The statistics furnished by the Insurance Department show that our citizens have suffered no losses during the year by failure of any of the companies doing business under its supervision.
On the 1st day of July, 1883, there were doing business in this State one hundred and forty-seven joint-stock fire insurance companies, with total assets of $169,983,924.56, including a net surplus of $51,978,273.33; fifteen marine insurance companies with total assets of $23,253,860.86, including a net surplus of $4,440, 141.59; twenty-nine life insurance companies with total assets of $449,602,347.17, including surplus as regards policy-holders of $76,751,390.73, and seven casualty insurance companies with total assets of $3,617,413.41 and a net suplus of $1,331,038.81. There were hundred and thirty-one co-operative insurance associations doing business in this State January 1, 1883. Of these, one hundred and nineteen were New York State companies and twelve were organized in other States; the number of certificates in force issued by these associations was four hundred and forty-three thousand two hundred and ninety-six. During the year 1882, one hundred and nineteen thousand three hundred and eighty-five certificates were written and fifty-one thousand three hundred and eighty-one terminated. The losses paid ainounted to $7,430,856.51.
The amount of securities on deposit with the Insurance Department July 1, 1883, for the protection of policy-holders insured by the various insurance companies transacting business in this State was in the aggregate $13,488,347.68, as follows: New York State life insurance companies
$2,662,508 75 New York casualty insurance companies.
301,567 73 New York fire insurance companies..
1,693,000 00 Fire insurance companies of other States..
100 00 Foreign insurance companies. ...
8,831,171 20 Under the provisions of the law passed April 2, 1883, to regulate the formation and conduct of co-operative insurance associations, by placing them under the superintendence of the Insurance Department, thirteen of such associations have been incorporated, and five organized in other States have been admitted to transact business in this State. By the operation of the new law the standard of this class of insurance has been materially elevated. A number of fraudulent and mismanaged societies have been driven from business, and those honestly and prudently conducted have acquired a better place in the confidence of the community.
A remarkable saving in expense has been effected in this department during the past year under the present administration.
On the 30th day of April, 1883, there were thirty clerks employed in the department, whose annual salaries amounted in the aggregate to $48,650, together with an attorney at a salary of $4,000, while at the close of the fiscal year, September 30, there were but seventeen clerks employed at an aggregate annual expense of $28,150, and the services of the attorney had been dispensed with as unnecessary. The Superintendent 'feels confident of his ability to still further reduce these expenses without, in any manner, diminishing the efficiency of the department. As a result of this reduction, the fire, marine and life insurance companies, and