THE KNICKERBOCKER GETS 2 WEEKS MORE
Additional Assents to Satterlee Resumption Plan Coming in Rapidly.
MARK TWAIN'S WARNING
Tells Fellow-Depositors Who Are Holding Back to Hurry Back, as Does Justice Clarke Also.
Cheering news for depositors in the failed Knickerbocker Trust Company came from more than one quarter yesterday. At the hearing before Justice Clarke on Staten Island yesterday the announcement was made that $34,600,000 of deposits have already assented to the rehabilitation plan of the Parsons-Satterlee committee and that the present Directors had finally sent in their resignations, making possible the immediate consideration by the Voting Trustees of the long list of new Directors and officers tentatively selected by the committee. Justice Clarke granted a further extension of two weeks in which to get full assents to the resumption. Later a cheerful appeal, and at the same time a warning, from Mark Twain to the backward depositors was made public by Attorney Herbert L. Satterlee, counsel to the depositors' committee.
Mark Twain, who has something like $50,000 tied up in the company, has already sent in his assent to the plan. He is afraid that enough of the others will stay out to hold up the reorganization and leave the company to the mercies of a permanent receivership, which he says would be more expensive than a harem. His letter read:
Mark Twain, He Knows.
To the Other Depositors; The time is very short. Mr. Grover Cleveland, a depositor, has approved the Satterlee plan for resumption, and it seems to me that that ought to satisfy every depositor that that plan is safe and wise. If we accept it we shall lose no part of our money; if we do not accept it the Knickerbocker will be delivered over to a permanent receivership. I have already tried a permanent receivership once and did not like the result.
It costs more to keep a permanent receive than it does to keep a harem. Anybody who has had experience in these matters will indorse this statement. In the long run - in the very long run - we got some of our money. All the depositors were disappointed and there was much regret. If we accept the Satterlee plan and do it immediately, it will be well for us; if we refuse, we invite and insure a shrinkage, which the patients will not find enjoyable.
I have not been invited to say these things; still it has seemed worth while to say this. Very respectfully yours, MARK TWAIN.
After hearing the arguments of Attorney Satterlee and of Messrs. Davies and Soley, counsel for the Directors and stockholders, Justice Clarke granted a further adjournment of two weeks. The lawyers offered evidence showing that $34,600,000 or 85 per cent of the depositors had assented to the plan and assured the court that it was reasonable expected that the other 15 per cent could be brought into line within two weeks. Assents have been coming in at the rate of over $1,000,000 a day recently. Many depositors were only waiting to learn the make-up of the new directorate which the voting Trustees will select this week. The tentative list of Directors and officers was not submitted to the court, as has been expected, and will be withheld for a time.
A representative of Attorney General Jackson said that in view of the progress the depositors' committee was making he saw no reason to oppose an adjournment.
The Attorney General's opinion on the application of the receivers for the employment of counsel made strong objection to the petition of the receivers for the approval of their contract with counsel on the ground that it furnished no estimate of the nature or amount of the legal work required. The contract provides that the attorneys' fees shall not exceed three-quarters of 1 per cent of the assets. He said that he believed upward of $50,000,000 would pass through the receivers' hands, and he believed the compensation should have a maximum yearly limit.
Justice Clarke's Warning.
In granting the adjournment, Justice Clarke said that the depositors had the assurance that the whole matter of the reopening would be thoroughly reviewed by the Superintendent of Banks and would be further passed upon by the Superintendent of Banks and would be further passed upon by the court before it was made operative. He laid stress, however, on the necessity of practical unanimity of assent, and warned those depositors who were holding out in the hope of taking advantage of the opening by calling for their money in full at the expense of the other depositors that might be disappointed. On this point he said it was very doubtful that the court would permit anything of the kind. A minority, however small, may block the whole plan for resumption, and it was for them to decide whether they will do that or whether they will come into a plan which means a resumption of business.
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