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The Michigan Central Railroad

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From a Boston special to the Chicago Tribune we take the following : The directors' report of the Michigan Central Railroad Company tor the year ending with may 3lst, is just out. After arocapitulation of the linesowned by the coinpany, the report says tho gross earnings of the niaiii line and loased linea for the year have boen : From passungers ... $2,3(0,948 8(i Freight 4,918,951 93 Miscollaneous - - - - 354,170 91 Total ... f7,634,081 70 Being in excess of the earnings of the year bef ore $331,963 64. The operating expenses during the samo time, exclusive of taxes, were $5,316,549 64, and the taxes have been $207,092 39. These expenses have been in excess of those of last year by $536,706 93. The net earnings of the property have been during the year $2,110,430 31, being less than the year bef ore by $204,743 29. This is a statement doubtless discouraging to stockholdors at its flrst aspect, though when the causes are considered in connection with the business of the year, there will be found inuoh ground of hope in the future. First, there has been an increase of tonnage on the main line above the prior year of 177,162 tons, or 12 1-2 per cent. Though tho earnings from this busiuess have increased only 6 7-100 per cent. The increase in through-freight carried over the road has been 260,392 tons, being 57 87-100 per cent. The increase of Eastbound through-freight has been 262,563 or above that of the same kind of freight of the prior year of 48 25-100 per cent. There has been a slight falling off in through West-bound freight of 2,171 tons and a large falling off in local freights of the road of 8,420 tous ; but on the whole, the increase of business has been large, notwithstanding the disturbance and depression on every class of business during three-fourths of the year, resulting from the financial condition of the country. The very large increase in the East-bound tonnage of the road is wholly the result of the large improvements which have been made during the last two years, which enables it to do that kind of business with a facility and dispatch fully equal to those of all other lines, and which it is believed will enable it at áll times to command a fuli share of all the business between the West and the East. But while the business in the aggregate has so largely increased, the earnings therefrom have not increased in proportion, and especially the net earnings. In the East-bound cattle business, which is very large, and was formerly a very valuable one, the rates havebeen almost totally destroyed for the past year through the effect of causes connected with Eastern roads, and which this company have had no ability to obvíate, and that whole business has been done during that time at not much, if any, above cost, and is now doing at much less than the cost of doing it. All the other business from. the West eastward since the crisis of September has been irregular.; for a time after the commencement of the panic suspended, then gradually reviviug, but never in a volume to fill the capacity of of the roads. Between Chicago and New York the competition for it, therefore, has been active, and rates have not been maintained. The average rate of all freight carried over the lines of the company has been during the year only 1.29 oents per ton per niile, against 1.57 before. The difference in the rate has made a loss to this oompany upon the business which it has done of $606,950.12, all of which is taken from the net earnings, or what should be such, of the company. There have been laid with steel rails upou the main line 72 1-2 miles of doublé track, which, with the air line, makes 175 miles in all of doublé track between Detroit and Chicago. Of this 288 5-100 miles have been laid during the first half of the present fiscal year. The bridges and culverts generally under this track are of masonry, and constructed in the most permanent and substantial manner. The main line has been laid with steel rail the entire length of it, with the exception of sixty-five miles, and the whole track rebalanced so far as was necessary. The whole line of both single and doublé tracks is probably in as good condition as possible with tracks not wholly steel. The shops are substantially completed, and are both convenient and adequate. A new station or passenger house has been built at Jackson, adequate to the convenience of the public and the company. Smaller ones have been built at other points along the road, but only where the necessity had booome so urgent as to be imperative. ! During the past year additional , ings to the extent of twenty-three miles have been laid. The entire siding now . laid, including that in the Chicago and Detroit yards is 123 miles, or about 1 twenty miles less than half the entire ' leneth of the road. A large yard at . Michigan City, aad also at Jackson, with adequate siding tor standing and distribution of cars, and making up of trains, has been constructed, and an additional engine-house at the former place. The works for the supply of water at the various stations have been enlarged to meet the increased demand upon thein. It will be seen that the result has been almost a complete reconstruction as well as enlargement of capacity, and this was inevitable, otee the determination being had, to make the road adequate to the business it might reasonably expect with the development of the West, which has been so rapid, and will be so continuous. Another and principal cause of the large ratio of the expense of doing the business the past year to the earnings is tho diminished ratea at which tho business has been done for the reasons above stated. Had not the rates been almost totally demoralized, partly by the dissensions among the managers of railroads, the earnings of this company would have been from the same business, $600,950.12 greater than they were during the year, and, with no additional cost, the rate of expense in proportion to earuings would have been very much reduced. Tha ratio of expenses to earnings during the year bef'ore last on the maiu line, inoluding taxes, was 65 90-100, and exclusivo of them 62 80-100. During the last year it has been 08 10-100, including taxes, and and 65 45-100, exclusive of them, but during the year there have been carried the whole length of the road 260,392 tons more freight, with only $320,404 10 increase of earnings. Had the same rates ruled during the year as they did during the prior year, the ratio of expenses to earnings would have been, with taxes included, $624 08 ; deed taxes excluded, $60 05. There has been expended for oonstruction during the year, $2,000,636.62. Among the items of expenditure are the grading and substructure for a doublé track and steel rail on the main line, $1,093,444 02; for additional siding, $240,512 12 ; repairs to shops for cars at Detroit, engiue house at Jaokson, Detroit, and Michigan City, passenger depotB, coal-shutes, and passenger cars, $623,00727. Though all the contemplated improvement made on the permanent property of the company was substantially completed before the panic occurred, yet there was a large debt remaining unpaid in various forms. This has been partly paid by the sale of the bonds of the company, and but for the disturbance in the business of the company by the financial crisis, and the effect upon the revenues of the company, the remainder would have now been almost eutirely liquidated, leaving the future earnings above expenses, and interest applicable to dividends. The board regret to say that it is now probable that the earniugs until January niay be required to extinguish the remaining floating debt. Jones, being told that he looked seedy, and asked wbat business he was in, repliBd, " The hard wear business - look at my wardrobe." At last the Pree Prest has touchod the vital point in fixing the responsibility of the State Treasurer and his associate State officers for the continuous large balance in the State Treasury, finding it in the manipulation of the legislation under whioh suoh balances accuinulate. The act from which it quotes- see another column - has a very " innocent" title, but in its provisions it amends various, statutes, changes the time and manner of paying appropriations to the several State institutions, and, in tact, tnakes them dependent upon the whims and freakB of the Auditor-General. That officer is to provide blanke (fat for the State printer), audit bilis, after they have been audited andpaid by the boards or officers contracting them and knowing all about them, and may withold inoneys until his unreasonable requests are complied with. It is by such legislation, made with a purpose not known to the Legislature, that appropriations due to State institutions are kept in the vaults of pet banks, that the State may get the enormous interest of four per cent., which interest ought to accrue to the benefit of the inr stitutions in aid of which the appropriationg are made. It is such legislation which authorizes the Auditor-General to poke his official nose into the affairs of Asylums and University and Normal School, etc, and under which he claims to disallow bilis already paid by competent and sworn officers, bilis which, by the law iteelf, must le paid befare they go forward to lam, to be audited. It is such legislation, so procured, that accumulates money in the Treagury under the pretense of holding it to buy up undue bonds, levying forced loans upon the taxpayers in ad-v anee of the needs of the State, that the State officers may speculate on the margin of interest above four per cent., although the tax-payer-pays ten and twelve per oent. for the money wherewith to rjay his taxes. And for this legislation the State administration, the agent of the Eepublican party, is responsible. The Ann Arbor Argus, usually careful in its statements, builds an editorial item this week whioh will bear reoonstruction. It says " the Sanilac Jeffersonian bases its opposition to Mr. Conger upon his votes for the salary-grab legislation in the last Congress." The fact is, Mr. Conger voted against the passage of the salarygrab law, and for lts repeal, and the Jeffersonian finds no fault with his votes on that subject. - Detroit Post. Now it may be that Mr. Congeb " voted against the passage of the galary-grab law, and for its repeal ;" we have not the record at hand and cannot " speak from the book." Besides, if this is so, Conger is not the flrst or only honorable member of Congress who has talked one way and voted another, who has given his whole influence for a measure while recording his vote against it. And if our memory is not largely ai fault, this is the beat that can be said for Mr. Conger. But, we have the remarks of the Sanilac Jeffersonian, and we beg leave to cali the atteution of the Post to this language: " No man can be elected in this district, except by mere default of the opposition, who cannot be placed upon a platform oondemning the salary-grab, and Mr. Conger would make a very consistent figure on suoh a platform." It is possible that we may have mistaken tho meaning of the Jeffenonian's words, that the phrase " very consistent figure " was not ironically intended, and was inteuded for praiseDoes the Post so think V Perhaps a further sentence or two may throw a little light upon the question and aid thePosi in revising its conolusions. We quote : "Any nominating convention will fail of its duty to the party, that does not condemn that legislation and the taking of the pay." What pay ? " We are loyal to the party, but we do not conceive that Mr. Uonger can fitly represent the prevailing ideas which the party desires should govern Congressional legislation." The Argus evidently builded its editorial item better than the Post knew. The Post's correotion of our assertion that the Jeffersonian is the only Republican journal in the district opposing Conger is cheerfully accepted. As " straws show which way the wind blows," a little incident or narrativo may give the reader an ide of how the tide is setting on the woman suffrago question. An old resident of the county, well known in political circles, tells us that when the' Legislature decided to submit the woman suffrage proposition to the electors, to be voted upon ia November, he gave the matter considerable thought and finally determined to rest bis vote upon the shoulders of the female members of his family ; that is, to consult wife, daughters, daughters- in- law, niecos, grand-daughters, etc, of the voting age, and to cast his vote in accordauce with the expressed views or wishes of the maj ority. His canvass had included, at the date of out conversation, seventeen bers of his family circle. Of these, sixteen did not want the woman suffrage amendment to be adopted, and did not o are to vote if it was adopted. The other one thought sometimes that she would like to vote, especially on tamperance and kindred subjects. As we are ocoasionally told that Democrats are old fogies and tho natural opponents of woman suffrage, it is well enough to say that the gentleman in question is a Eepublican of the striotest seot, and that the one lady of the family hankering after the ballot is the wife of a Democrat. The Atlantic & Pacific Insurance Company, of Chicago, is pronounced Insolvent.