Baltimore Evening Sun (25 January 1913): 6.


The super-Mahon’s proposition to the county papers is frank, unequivocal and characteristic of the man. He will pay cash for any help they give him. He wants the Senatorship, and he is willing to put down the price. It will now be in order to observe how many of the county papers have self-respect and how many of them are Hot Towels.

The Hon. Meredith Janvier in Wednesday’s Letter Column:

I * * * believe that the Free Lance will very shortly wed.

I myself have heard the same report, but give it little credit. All bachelors lie open to that peculiarly offensive slander. In the present instance, I suspect the gabbling and inconscionable suffragettes. On the one hand, they can’t imagine a contented married woman, and on the other hand, they can’t imagine a contented bachelor.

If the Hon. Dan Loden had larger quarters he would appoint more clerks. As it is, he appoints them anyhow, and stables them in the corridor.--Adv.

Boil your drinking. water! Cover your garbage can! Weep with Harry Martyr!

The official Towel of this morning contains a long statement by the Hon. Richard Gwinn, City Register, explaining his method of apportioning city deposits among the various depositories. By this statement, as interpreted by the accommodating Towel, it appears that the super-Mahon’s Calvert Bank, far from being favored, is actually put to the torture by the Hon. Mr. Gwinn, for in the first place its deposit is less than those of six other city banks, and in the second place it carries an “active” city account--i. e., one against which current checks are drawn--and so it is put to heavy expense for tellers and bookkeepers and can’t make much profit on the city’s business.

Let us consider the first point first–the point, that is, that the Calvert Bank’s deposit is really less than the deposits of six other banks, and not greater. Is this true? If you count in all city moneys held by the banks, regardless of its official guardianship, it is; but if you count in only such moneys as the Hon. Mr. Gwinn has the disposal of, it is not. In other words, the fact that six banks contain certain large and inactive deposits, paying thereon a rate 1 per cent. higher than that paid on ordinary city deposits, is a fact entirely beyond the control of the Hon. Mr. Gwinn, and not at all to be credited to his official ardor.

What are these large deposits? In the main they consist of money received for the city’s stock in the Western Maryland Railroad. This money was received in 1902, during Hayes’ administration, and was then placed on deposit by the Commissioners of Finance at 3¼ per cent. interest. It is still on deposit and it is still in charge of the Commissioners of Finance. The Hon. Mr. Gwinn has no control over it whatever and could not withdraw it if he would. So clearly is this understood that such deposits do not appear in the honorable gentleman’s biweekly statements of moneys in his custody, and did not so appear in the statement of January, printed in the super-Mahon’s Municipal Journal of January 17, and quoted by me in this place last Saturday.

The Western Maryland money thus on deposit, according to the Sunpaper of this morning, is as follows:

National Bank of Baltimore $500,000 National Bank of Commerce 340,000 Mercantile Trust & Deposit Co. 1,979,000 Baltimore Trust Company 1,184,000 Security Storage & Trust Co. 60,000 American Bonding Company 200,000

These deposits are sufficient to make the total city deposits in five depositories--the National Bank of Baltimore, the National Bank of Commerce, the Mercantile Trust, the Baltimore Trust and the American Bondong Company–greater than the current city deposit in the super-Mahon’s Calvert Bank. And in the case of a sixth depository, the National Marine Bank, the total deposit is raised by a deposit of $79,695.81 made by the Commissioners of Finance out of their uninvested sinking funds, and by a deposit of $132,910.16 made by City Collector, the Hon. Jacobus Hook, out of taxes collected by him and not yet turned over to the City Register. The Hon. Mr. Gwinn has no control whatever over these funds. They are deposited and managed by the Commissioners of Finance on the one hand, and by Colonel Hook on the other.

We come now to moneys indubitable in the custody of the Hon. Mr. Gwinn--that is to say, to moneys of current account. Here all injustice to the Calvert Bank suddenly disappears, and it emerges as the favorite city depository. On January 15, according to the Hon. Mr. Gwinn’s own statement, it had a city deposit of $144,032.39, or but $956.61 less than its combined capital and surplus. No other city depository had a deposit relatively one-half so large, or even one-quarter so large. Even counting in the Western Maryland money deposited by the Commissioners of Finance and the taxes deposited by Colonel Hook, it was more favored than any other bank.

But was this favoritism unprofitable, as the Hon. Gwinn would have us believe? Was the large profit swallowed up by extra expenses? Was the role of “active” bank a vain and costly one, making great demands upon amiability and patriotism? Then why was the Calvert Bank put among the “active” banks within a week after the super-Mahon had taken office? And why did he go to such pains to conceal the fact?

The Calvert Bank was not an active bank during the Mahool administration. If it got any deposit at all it was a small deposit--one commensurate with its modest capital. But the moment the super-Mahon came into office he made it an “active” bank and gave it a large city deposit, and thereafter he exercised his best ingenuity to keep the fact from the public. When reporters for the Evening News got wind of the transaction, and demanded a statement of city deposits at the City Register’s office that statement was refused, and it was only by a threat of legal proceedings that it was ever forthcoming.

Are we to assume, in view of all this, that the super-Mahon’s bank is barely put upon, that it suffers by his assiduous attentions, that his fear of publicity was a fear of being taken in cruelty? Are we to assume that the present position of that bank, with an active account running to its total capital and surplus, is worse than its position would be if it had a small account, say of 3½ per cent. of its capital and surplus, such as many other banks have? I leave the answer to any sane man. More especially, I leave the answer to the Hon. Mr. Gwinn himself.