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Febmai-y 28, 1889
Record and Guide.
"^y" ^ ESTABLISHED'^ MARCH^l^^ 1858,
De/oJID to I^EA,L ESTME . gUlLDIf/c A|lCl(lTECTai\E .(JOUSEUOLD DEGOf^ATloH.
BiJsiiJess AtJoTneMEs op GeHei\^11kt€[\es-[
PRICE, PER lE.tR IN ADVANCE, SIS DOLLARS.
Published every Saturday.
TELEPHONE, - - - JOHN 370.
-Communications should be addressed to
C.W. SWEET, 191 Broadway.
/. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager.
FEBRUARY S3, 1889.
The January boom showed itself in the bond market this year
and was followed in February by an upward movement in stocks.
Not, indeed, along the whole line, but in groups of securities and
specialties located in the States eaat of the Mississiijpi. Grangers
and the Southwestern stocks declined, aud bave kept back the
general market. The past week has been a ti'ying one to the
speculators, due to the uncertainty of the presidents of the roads
west of the Mississippi coming to a common understanding. Nor
is it likely that a complete agreement will soon be reached. There
are, however, several factors which ought to help the mai'ket.
Since the first of January railroad returns show a handsome increase
over last year. The lines east of the MississiiDpi River are in perfect
accord aud maintain rates without any trouble. Then money is
easy, though it is probable that the next five weeks wUl see a better
demand for call and time loans.
The general business of tbe country is uot in very good shape—
for coal, u'on and steel are depressed. The outlook in the stock
market is somewhat dubious. Bonds and good stocks are selling
pretty high in view of the dividends they pay. Then money will
be in gi-eater demand within tbe next few weeks, and we shall cer¬
tainly ship some gold. Fortunately there is no immediate danger
of foreign war, and hence Europe will probably continue to pur¬
chase our securities. In view of the uncertainties of the situation,
we think the prudent capitalist who converts his stocks and bonds
into money will find himself better off by June 1st than if he loads
up with even good securities at present prices. In other words, we
believe the time is not very distant when a lower rauge of values
will be established. Still there may be spurts of activity and higher
prices iu the interim,
The sale on Tuesday of the balance of the realty belonging to the
estate of the late Joshua Jones proved a great success. Exception¬
ally high prices were realized for the various parcels and the com¬
petition was sharp throughout the sale, A total of $2,103,800 was
realized, against $1,907,800 realized at the November sale of part of
the same estate. There was a great difference, however, in the two
sales. On Tuesday there was no great excitement, because it was
generally believed that good prices would be realized aud the
market maintained, whereas in November, when so much vacant
property was oft'ered, there was doubt and uncertainty as to how
the market wouldbe affected. Both sales have been great successes,
and it is a matter for congi-atulation that such a fine showing
The Lynch estate sale on Thursday did not prove the success
anticipated by the owners. A total of over $325,670 was realized
for the lots sold, which is about 25 per cent, less than the value
placed thereon by exports, and, what is still more astonishing, about
the same percentage less than was offered for the lots at private
contract. For instance, $69,800 was realized for two Sth avenue
fronts, for which 1^90,000 cash was hid immediately before the sale.
These lots seem to have brought as much less as the Jones estate
parcels brought more than was expected.
case. The fact is, these two bills are simply the renewal of the
old opposition that contested the establishment of the parks.
These, measures are not in the least for the public wel¬
fare, and they cannot be too peremptorily put down. The
Legislative Committee of the Real Estate Exchange, at the meeting
tliis week, gave its approval to bill No. 231, a measure emanating
from the same source as bills 182 and 383 ; but it is to be hoped that
no such mistake wili be made when the latter are brought up for
consideration uext Tuesday.
The recklessness of statements permitted in the daily press these
days is disgraceful. Of anything approaching to careful editing
there is httle trace. A statement, which has heen widely copied,
appeared lately, thi-owing doubt on the wisdom of tbe government in
spending large sums of money for making and experimenting in the
manufactm-e of large guns for naval purposes. The writer stated that
the life of a big gun is about 300 rounds, and that after that number
has been fired the.weapon is practically worthless, the rifling bein^
destroyed and accm-acy of aim impossible. Common sense alone
should have questioned an assertion of this kind. The writer, who¬
ever he was, got hold of the wrong end of a fact. The life of a big
gun, far from being ended, has scarcely commenced at the two-
hundredth rouud. There are guns in the Fi'ench and Enghsh naval
services ten, fifteen and twenty years old, the efficiency of whicli is
not in the least impaired, though nearer to 2,000 than to 300 shots
have been fired from them. So far as the rifling of a gun is con¬
cerned it is subject to very little wear, for the shot itself doesnot
move through it as in the case of a small rifle. The weak spot in a
big gun is the hardened copper vent which passes vertically tbi-ough
the interior jackets to the chamber and by means of which the
powder is ignited. The iuterior opening of tlie vent is subject to
corrosion; and if this is permitted to go very far it extends between
the jackets, and in time destroys the gun. To prevent this a rule exists
in most of the navies that the vent shall be tested after a certain
number of rounds have been fired. In the English navy the number
is one Imndred. If the vent is fouud to be souud, the gun is
passed for another hundred rounds; if not, a new vent is put in.
This, however, is a small matter of a precautionary natm-e, and only
crass ignorance could construe it as meaning the ruin of the weapon.
After twenty years of inactivity, during which millions upon mill¬
ions have been shamefully squandered without any visible return, a
serious effort is now being made to give us a navy competent to at
least protect our enormous and rapidly growing interests at home
and abroad. It is only fair to demand that, as this effort is of such
importauce, any criticism the authorities are subjected to should be
well grounded and reasonable. The new armored and unarmored
war vessels now building or recently completed are to be armed
with six, eight, ten and twelve-inch guns, the last named being
about forty-eight tons, ana adverse criticism might have such an
effect in Congress that the action of the government would be ham¬
pered and so delayed that for some time to come we should have a
naw as useless as ever in case of an emergency.
Senate bill No. 182, of which Assembly bill No. 885 is a copy, is
about as offensive a piece of legislation as bas beeu proposed at
Albany for some time. It authorizes the Department of Pubhc
Parks, with^the concurrence of the Sinking Fund Commissioners, to
exclude from the areas of the parks iu the.33d and 24th Wards and
the adjacent districts in Westchester County as much land as they
may consider proper ; while the Commissioners of the Sinking Fund
are to sell or lease this excluded property upon whatever term,s
please them. What is the object of this move? After yeai'S of
agitation and opposition the city has just acquired these new parks,
and to anyone not acquainted with the promoters of the two bills
the true reason of their existence must seem obscure. The idea of
a city, perhaps the most poorly provided with parks in the world,
selling its newly-acquired property, to say the least, is astounding,
and requires some more cogent reason than is forthcoming in this
Hitherto the only public baths New York haa had have been
those which lay at various points oa the East and Hudson Rivers.
If, however, the bill introduced by Senator Cantor passes the Legia-
latm-e, the poor of New York may hope in the future to have better
opportunities to keep clean. It is quite obvious that in their own
homes, bath-tubs are nouj too numerous, and that they should have
better chances in both siunmer and winter to use soap if they want
to. It is proposed that the new bath-house shall be situated in
Essex Market. The premises are also to contain facilities for poor
washerwomen to laundry their clothes at small expense. This
experiment has long been tried in England and on the Continent,
and the results have been satisfactory.
The foreign trade of this country last year, excluding gold aud
silver coin aud bullion, was more than seven million dollars less
than in 1837, the decrease in exports being $33,523,597, and the
increase iu imports $16,384,011. Those who hold to the pecuhar
idea that the more a nation exports and the less it imports the
richer it is becoming will uot consider the year's trade satisfactory;
for this increase in imports aud decrease in exports was accom¬
panied by au excess of imports over exports amounting to
$33,425,042. This is contrary to the usual course of our foreign
trade. For years past we have sent abroad between $100,000,000
and $200,000,000 worth of merchandise a.nd specie more than we
have received. Between 1874 and 1886 alone the excess of exports
amounted to a total of about $1,670,000,000, and granting that a
portion of this may be accounted for by the undervaluation of
imports it still leaves a vast sum which on auy " balance of trade "
theory must be regarded as a dead loss, for no one imagines that
the foreigner owes us that amount and is waiting his convenience
for a settlement. Apart from the figures which may or may not
ti-uly represent tbe exact state of our commerce, we may safely
conclude that this country is not giving away or extending credit
to foreigners to anything like the amount of a billion and arhalf.