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REPORTS OF SPECIAL COMMITTEES,
Mr. AMBROSE SNow, Chairman of the Special Committee on Harbor Defences, verbally reported that the Committee had visited Washington and had urged upon the Senate and House Committees on Appropriations the necessity of making immediate provision for the protection of the sea coast cities. The Committee had also visited the Navy Yard at Brooklyn, and made an inspection of Captain Ericsson's vessel, the “Destroyer,” and would submit a report on the result at a future meeting of the Chamber.
Mr. Isaac PHILLIPS offered the following resolution :
Resolved, That it is earnestly desired that the National and State authorities should, at the earliest possible moment, adopt measures to regulate the beating of railroad cars or carriages engaged in the transportation of passengers, either by substituting steam through pipes connected with the locomotive, for the fire stoves now used, or by such other means as will effectually prevent the burning to death of the travelling public.
The resolution was unanimously adopted.
Mr. Gustav SCHWAB offered the following preamble and resolu
Whereas, A bill has recently been introduced into the Legislature of this State authorizing the construction of a low bridge across the Harlem River at the northerly terminus of Second Avenue, which would forever obstruct navigation of said river; and
Whereas, The improvement of the Harlem River will now soon be commenced by the United States Government ; therefore, be it
Resolved, That this Chamber remonstrate against the passage
of any such Act, and request the members of the Senate and Assembly to prevent the passage of the same, and thereby preserve to the commerce of this City the full benefit of the Harlem River improvement when completed.
On motion of Mr. CHARLES S. Smith, the President was authorized to appoint a Special Committee of Three, to prepare a memorial embodying the facts contained in the preamble and resolution, and present the same to both Houses of the Legislature.
The President appointed as the Special Committee, Messrs.
FREDERICK A. CONKLING,
The Chamber then adjourned.
Monthly Meeting, Thursday, April 7, 1887.
A regular monthly meeting of the Chamber of Commerce was held this day, at one o'clock, P. M., at the Rooms of the Chamber, on Nassau-street, between Cedar and Liberty streets.
JAMES M. Brown, President.
And a quorum of members.
The minutes of the last regular meeting, held March 3, were read and approved.
REPORTS OF STANDING COMMITTEES.
The Secretary, in behalf of the Executive Committee, reported the following named candidates for membership, and recommended their election :
Nominated by WILLIAM H. M. SISTARE, Joun AUSTIN STEVENS, Jr. Joux S. TILNEY,
JouN AUSTIN STEVENS, Jr. EDWARD F. C. YOUNG,
ANDREW J. C. Foyé.
These gentlemen were, on one ballot, unanimously elected mem. bers of the Chamber.
The Secretary further reported the following resolution, which was unanimously adopted :
Resolved, That Messrs. SAMUEL D. BABCOCK, D. WILLIS JAMES and HENRY F. SPAULDING be and they are hereby appointed a Special Committee to nominate Officers and Standing Committees of the Chamber, to serve for the ensuing year, and that said Committee be requested to report the nominations for the action of the Chamber at the Annual Meeting, to be held on Thursday, May 5, proximo.
Mr. Francis B. Thurber, in bebalf of the Committee on Internal Trade and Improvements, submitted the following report on the bills before the Legislature authorizing the construction of bridges across the Hudson River upon plans which, it is believed, would be an obstruction to navigation : To the Chamber of Commerce :
Your Committee on Internal Trade and Improvements, to whom was referred the preamble and resolutions adopted by the Managers of the Produce Exchange March 30, 1887, protesting against the construction of bridges across the Hudson River between the Cities of Albany and New-York, upon any plan involving the construction of piers in the bed of the river, and requesting similar action by other Exchanges and Chambers of Commerce in this State and the West, respectfully report as follows: It would seem to be altogether unnecessary
Committee should enlarge upon the importance to the commercial interests of this City of maintaining the navigation of the Iludson River, unobstructed and free from any impediment or hindrance by piers or bridges which can in any degree impair or curtail its usefulness as a great commercial highway. It is the outlet through which the commerce of the canals must reach this City. It is the chief corner-stone of the system of water communication through our State between the West and the East, and upon its preservation in all its present perfection rests the value to the State of its canal system. It is the key to all the great natural advantages possessed by the State, in respect to transportation and internal commerce. For these reasons, among many other, it seems clear to your Committee that this Chamber should vigorously oppose, before the Legislature, all schemes for the construction of bridges across the Hudson River between the Cities of Albany and New-York upon any plan which involves the building of piers in any part of the river, so as to obstruct in any degree the free and unobstructed flow of its waters.
Therefore, your Committee respectfully recommend, that the Committee on Internal Trade and Improvements be instructed to prepare a suitable remonstrance, to be forwarded by the Secretary to the Senate and Assembly at an early day, and that the Chamber take such other measures for the preservation of this great commercial highway as may seem appropriate and effectual.
(Signed) FRANKLIN Epson,
Chairman. New-York, April 7, 1887.
The report was unanimously adopted, and the Committee requested to prepare a remonstrance as therein recommended, for presentation to both Houses of the Legislature.
REPORTS OF SPECIAL COMMITTEES.
Mr. Gustav SCHWAB, Chairman of the Special Committee appointed at the last regular meeting to prepare and present to the Legislature a memorial against the passage of the bill before that body, authorizing the construction of a bridge across the Harlem River at the terminus of the Second Avenue, submitted the following memorial, which the Committee had transmitted to both Houses, pursuant to the resolution of the Chamber :
To the Honorable the Legislature of the State of Nero-York in
Senate and Assembly convened :
May it please your Honorable Body :
The Chamber of Commerce of the State of New-York respectfully represents, that an Act recently introduced into the Senate, and referred to its Committee on Commerce and Navigation, entitled “ An Act to provide free passage for persons, animals and vehicles over the Harlem River in the City of New-York," proposes to authorize the Second Avenue [Surface] Railroad Company to construct a bridge across the Harlem River from the northerly terminus of Second Avenue to Lincoln Avenue, on the northerly shore of said river.
That there is great danger of such Act being construed so as to revive an obsolete and extinct privilege, originally held by said Railroad Company under its charter of the year 1855, by which charter said Company was authorized to construct such bridge in an oblique direction across, and at a low elevation above the river ; and that by the revival of said extinct privilege the construction of such bridge would become practicable, in disregard of Section 10 of Chapter 345 of the Laws of 1879, whereby jurisdiction over the Harlem River was ceded by the State to the United States on condition that all bridges thereafter to be constructed should cross the river only at right angles and at not less than 24 feet elevation above high water of spring tides, &c.
That there are now two bridges crossing that section of the Harlem River within one block of each other, one being the low bridge at Third Avenue, used for general traffic, the other an elevated railway bridge, having free footway for persons, and starting close to the easterly line of Second Avenue.
That the bridge to be authorized by the proposed Act would be located between those two existing bridges, where it is not required by any existing traffic, and that by its proximity to the other bridges it would inevitably obstruct the navigation of the river in a high degree, as will readily appear from the annexed sketch of its location.
That the conditions under which the Congress of the United States has several years ago made an appropriation for the improvement of the Harlem River by opening a navigable channel 400 feet wide and 15 feet deep through it to the Hudson River at Spuyten Duyvil have lately been fulfilled by the acquirement of the right of way on behalf of our City, and that the United States Government is about to commence active operations for opening up
of that water course to the commerce of this State and for adding some fifteen miles to the available water front of our metropolis.
That the great and undeniable value of this improvement would be seriously diminished, and in a great measure rendered nugatory by any such obstruction to the navigation of the river as would result from its being crowded by bridges located in such close proximity to each other, and particularly by the construction of any additional bridge of low elevation and crossing the river in an obligue direction.
Your memorialists confidently appeal to your Honorable bodies, urging them not to allow the commercial advantages that are sure to result to our City and State from the improvement of our natural waterways, to be jeopardized by the passage of any such illconsidered measure as the Act above referred to.
And your memorialists will ever pray, &c.
The memorial was unanimously approved, and ordered to be placed on file.
Mr. Isaac PHILIPS called the attention of the Chamber to a recent and important decision of the United States Supreme Court, in a case involving the right of an importer to maintain a suit to recover an excess of duty after the goods in the importation had passed into his possession.
The following is a statement of the case : A recent decision of the Supreme Court of the United States, which changes materially the hitherto practice under the law in reference to bringing and maintaining suits against Collectors to recover back duties illegally exacted in excess of tariff requirements, should be well understood by importers of foreign merchandise. For many years it has been deemed lawful in entering goods for consumption to pay an estimated amount of duty, and to obtain at once possession of all the goods, excepting such of the packages as might be ordered to tbe public store for appraisal. On the report of the appraiser the entry would be liquidated accordingly,