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May 21, 1893
Record and Guide.
Dev&teũ 10 He\L Eswe BuiLoif/c ARcrfiTEcrai^E .Housdíold Degoratioií
BUSl^/ESS AtÍD ThEMES Of ÛEfjEIVl 1;<TEI\ESÎ
ESTABUSHEd"^ íWPH ^l'-i^ 1869.;
PRICE, PER YEAR IIV IDTAIVCE, SIX DOLLARS.
Published every Saturdaij.
TKLBPHONB .... CORTLANDT 1370.
Communications should be addressed to
C. W. SWEET, 14 & i6 Vesey St.
J. 1. LINDSEY, Business Manager.
"Entered at the Post-offlce at New York, N. Y., as second-class matter."
MAY 31, 1893.
THE BUILDING LAW.
Legislative bills affecting buildings and building operations in
this city having finaUij all been determined for this year, The
Record and Guide can now safely proceed to complete its publica-
tion of the new building law and other laws relating to buildings.
The volume could not well be issued iintil pending legislation was
settled, and although many subscribers are an.vioiisly waiting for
thebook, the causefor what hashad the appiearance of delaywiU
now be readily understood and recognized as aproper and impera-
tive deferment c/ the publication.
THE stock uiarket has received the bad news of the wcek on the
whole favorably, though it cannot be said that the declines
have brought new buying of the kind and quantity necessary to
create a change of sentiment on the general movement of prices.
The characteristics presented are those of a bear market; no sooner
does decline cease in one spot that it begins again in another ;
buyers are suspicious of values and particular in theirj choice.
There are indications of a desire to realize on some of the better
class of stocks, notably Lake Shore and others of the Trunk liners
especially likely to be affected by any rate conflict. Floods the dam-
age of which is quickly remedied when once they subside have a very
disquieting infiuence so long as they are present, and make thé out-
look so very dark for the farming classes and others along the
banks of the great streanis. Until there are signs of vigorous
buying it is hardly safe to look for anything more than a rally.
At the moment most people are more occupied in trying to figure
out why stocks, particularly non-dividend stocks, sell as high as
they do, than in making any calculations for an enhancement of
their quotable value.
SOME of the principal European countries have proved to be in
the past so utterly unscrupulous about borrowing more money
than their means warrant that the continued confidence placed in
them by investors is very singular. We have referred recently to
the way in which the Portuguese bondholders will have to make
concessions to the bankrupt condition of that country, relinquish-
ing probably more than a half of their interest—a loss that the bond-
holders of an American rf.ilway have very rarely sufĩered. Spanish
credit has also been sufĩering a great deal of late. Spain has
paid her way since her Jast great arrangement with her
creditors. She then had a large 3 per cent debt, the interest
charges upon which she could not possibly meet. The arrange-
ment come to after protracted negotiations was that instead of 3
per cent the bondholders should accept \% per cent interest, con-
verting 4 per cent bouds yielding them an equivalent amount of
interest, and the result was a large reduction of the interest charge
and a writing down of the principal of the consolidated debt by
upwards of $750,000,000. Prior to 1883 the whole history of the
Spanish debt was one long record of repudiation, default
and rearrangement. There had been an arrangement iii
1876, and another in 1874. Portugal on the other
hand has done nothing since 1852 to reduce the
payments to her bondholders. But she has invariably met
interest payments by fresh loans. Her debt rose from less
than $150,000,000 in 1860 to about $700,000,000 in 1891, with
hardly anything to show for it. Such methods can, of course,
have only one end, and the largeness of the country's resources
only postpone the inevitable bankruptcy. Four of the chief nations
of Europe and any number of smaller ones are just in that condition
now. Italy's political obligations havo involved her in such finan-
cial straits that she is now very nearly placed in the situation of
being obliged to cut down her expenses or compound with her
creditors. Russia and France have both long been living far beyond
their means, aud recently Germany also has been doing the same
thing, although Germany's debt is comparatively so small that the
government can borrow with impunity. Furthermore, this living
beyond their means will not stop until the present gigantic military
expenditures become unnecessary.
WITH to-day expire the thirty days when bills left for the con-
sideration of the Governor at the adjournment of the Legis-
lature must be signed or fail to become laws. The total number of
bills left for executive action at the close of the session was 447.
Many of these bills have received the Governor's signature, quite a
number have been vetoed, and some left to die without action.
Three of the bills left in the Governor's hands related to the
Mechanic's Lien Law. Two were vetoed and one signed—the latter
simply amending the present lien law so as to make it applicable to
municipal corporations as well as to contractors. The bill to Regu-
late the Practice of Architecture, or what is commonly called the
bill to License Architects, has not and will notreceive the Governor's
approval. The bill wiU either be vetoed or allowed to die. This
information may be accepted as entirely reliable. The Governor has
signed the bill to appoint a commission of three experts to draft
building laws in grades suitable to the various cities in this State,
excepting the cities of New York and Brooklyn. The Commissioners
have not yet been appointed, but it is pretty well understood who
they will be. The bill amending^certain sections]of the Consolidation
act so as to more fully provide for electrical and other appliances
in hotels and similar buildings, for the purpose of detecting fire or
other sources of danger, and giving timely warning to the inmates,
was made a law by the Governor on Thursday last, but does not go
into efîect until the flrst day of Jiily next. The Governor has signed
the "Sweaters" biU, which greatly extends the powers of the
State Factory Inspectors. Some of the sections of this new law
relate to elevators, hatch doors, fire-escapes and other constructional
features in factory buildings. New York City should have been
exempted, for the new building law amply covers all such matters.
It is quite probable that a clash of authority willensue betweeii the
Factory Inspectors and the Department of Buildings when some of
the provisions in the factory law is attempted to be enforced.
Strong protests were made against the measure, and the Governor
hesitated long before he slgned the bill, but the labor interests just
now seem to be getting everything they ask for, and theií per-
sistency finally secured favorable action on the bill.
THERE seems at length to be a chance for the creation of that
long-delayed and much-discussed steamship line between
Milford Haven and Montauk Poiut. Lately we have uot heard
much about it; but the granting by Congress of American registry
to the City of New York and the City of Paris has encouraged
Austin Corbin to go to the National Legislature aud ask for the
same privilege for English-made vessels of not less than 7,000 tons
biirden and equal to a speed of not less than nineteen knots an hour
on the same terms which accompanied the granting of the privilege
to the Inman liners. It is generally believed that Congress cannot
consistently refuse the application; and if it granted several
important results will follow. In the first place, something wiU be
done to rcstore the American flag to that position on the high seas
to which the wealth and trade of the nation eutitle it. Secondly,
the ocean voyage across the Atlantic will be shortened by some-
thíng like 350 miles, which, to people who dread the sea, will be an
important saving. The new route ought to command a great deal
of traíEc for tbat reason. More interesting, however, to the resi-
dents of Brooklyn is the qnestion as to what eíĩect the new steam-
ship line would have on this city and on Long Islaud gener-
ally. Directly, perhaps, this efĩect will not amount
to much. The Long Island Railroad Company will
have to extend its tracks from Bridgehampton to Fort
Pond Bay ; it will have to improve its roadway and equipmeut so
as to run rather heavier and more sumptuous trains than it does at
present; and the new line will, of course, give employment to con-
siderable labor at this end. But more important than these direct
efíects are likely to be the indirect eíĩects. If the new line is suc-
cessful, the trafflc of the Long Island Railroad Company will be
largely increased, and it will be more readily able to carry out the
improvements, which have loug been contemplated in the way o£
tunnels under and bridges over the East River.
IF there is an industry in this State which is in need of intellí-
gent public supervision, it is the industry of supplying light
to private consumers in oixc large cities. We pointed out recently
the efforts which are being made in Massachusetts to regulate the
gas and electiic light companies in order if possible to prevent the
wholesale " working " of the urban consumers in the interests of
private capital. Such a commission is needed in this State also; but
it is useless to ask for such a sensible enactment from Legislatures
which pass such measures as tlie Uhlmann East River Bridge Bill,
the " Huckleberry " Railroad Bill, and the bill granting New York
city franchises to the East River Gas Company. In all of these
cases a pretence was made of protecting public interests by the
insertion of a provision in the bills requiring that, generally at some
future time, the company shall pay some petty percentage of its