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JPebTnary 2i 1895
P.ecord and Guide„
ESTABUSHED-^ tfJWpH eW^ 1S68.
Dev&teS) to Re\L Estate . BuiLDitJb Af^cif iTEerui^ .KouseHoid Dztxss^noit,
BUsk/ess aiJd Themes ofGEriER^L lifTER,E&T.
PRICE, PER YEAR IN ADVANCE, SIX DOLLARS.
Published every Saturday.
THLBPHONB, ----.. COBTtANBT 1370
OommunioationB ahould he addressed to
C. W. SWEET, 14-16 Veeey Street.
J. 2. LINDSEY. Buainesa Manager.
BKOOKXT[r Office, 276-282 Washington Street,
Opp. Post Office.
"Entered at the Poal-offtce at Nmo Tork, If. Y., as seeondrclass matter.'^
FEBRUARY 2, 1895.
For additional Brooklyn matter, see Brooklyn Department immediately
following New Jersey records (page 187 .
ARRAN&EMEKTS have undoubtedly been made to afford
some relief to the Treasury iu supplying it with gold.
These it is hoped -will tide it over the time until the new Con¬
gress can be called together and aet. The country has to pay a
liigh price for this convenience, and the situation at the same
time is not made wholly satisfactory. Congress is a very uncer¬
tain factor, and the nervousness of security holders will not
wholly disappear until our currency methods are refoiined.
Moreover, while busiuess is continually improving, it is not at
such a rate as to justify any large rise in the prices of securities.
Manufacturers all over the country are gradually increasing
their working forces and thereby increasing the buying power
of the working classes upon which, after all said and done, tbe
prosperity of the country depends. There is room for believing
that, if the relief the Treasury has obtaiued is substantial,
■and especially if it takes the lorui of biinging gold
from abi oad in a way that it cannot go back again
by an early steamer, prices geuerally have not dis¬
counted the improvement in the situation that that wiU
loccasion. But other considerations will weigh heavily in special
■cases. Eor instance, it is hard to see how the Grangers can go
back to figures prevailing a year ago until there are good indi¬
cations that the results of the harvest of 1895 wiU be better than
they were last year. General Electric is obviously iu a bad way,
presumably because developments will compel a readju-stmeut
of the capital account lessening the offsetting assets. It is not
likely either that the company is doing any better than other
manufacturing companies. The anthracite coal companies are
still iu a state of indecision in respect to an agi'eement to restrict
production and to maintain prices. What this means was shown
by the reports for 1894, issued by Lackawanna and Delaware &
Hudson, both of which showed large losses in net earnings.
Unless an agreement is soon arranged there will be a drop in
the prices of coal stocks, because it is hardly possible that all tbe
companies will be satisfied with present conditions for long and
some may force the fighting to secure a better position when the
inevitable readjustment of the percentages of output does come.
IT is a singular thing, but a fact, that the several countries of
Europe have become apathetic on the subject of politics.
The thrill which a great change generally imparts to a whole
nation now seems to spend its force in the parliamentary cham¬
bers. This was seen when Prince Hohenloe supplanted Gen.
Caprivi and M. Paure succeeded M. Casimir-Perier and ouly
raised the public pulse of eifier Germany or France slightly and
momentarily. The Giolotti scandal in Haly creates no great
public excitement. England seems inclined to cast herself on
the bosom of the Conservative party as she always does when
inclined to take a political nap, and the best finance minister Hun¬
gary ever had gave his portfolio into untried hands without dis¬
turbing values in the least. Probably tbe universal necessity
for looking after individual andjprivate concerns occasions the
collective indifference to public ones. Then, too, the collective
thinking capacity is limited. It likes a few things at a time to
occupy it, and just now the prices of iron and corn and other
typical goods have the call ou the public faculties to the exclu¬
sion of politics. Recently, Consols and other Government secur¬
ities have shown signs of giving way from the abnormal quota¬
tions to which they have reached, but there are no fresh signs
of a demand which will reduce the enormous lioldings of money
not only in Europe but even iu India and other remote places,
and the fact that we do not see rates for mouey advancing ou a
legitimate demand proves that there is no improvement in tbe
business situation. If trade does not go backward its forward
movement is not of the moat encouraging nature. The returns
of the foreign trade of Great Britain in 1894 illustrate this. In
imports the quantity received was 9 per cent greater and the
declared values 8 per ceut lower than in 1893 j the imports
of raw material for manufacture and manufactured articles fell
off in quantity 3 per ceut and iu price 2 per cent. The labor
reports for December, however, indicate on the whole no increase
in the numbers of the uuemployi^d, but, if anything, a decrease.
The budget of the Russian Finance Minister contains some
figures which are interestiug inasmuch as so little is known
except in the v.igue8t way of the development of his country.
These figures show that the production of pig-iron was in 1881,
546,000 tons, and in 1893, 1,416,000 tons ; the productiou of
steel 376,000 tons compared with 600,000 tons; the output of
coal 4,180,000 tons againsc 920,000 tons. The Russian cotton
industry now employs 200,000 looms and 6,000,000 spiudlea.
Sanity and Eapid Transit.
AT last we stand upon firm ground in this hitherto imbecile
matter of Rapid Transit. The whole problem finally has
been put beyond the voice of cranks, schemers and newspaper
blatherskites. What would have been done under reasonable
conditions at the very outset has now been accomplished. After
trying for years to evolve a practicable system of Rapid Transit
from the ferment of popular ignorance and editorial preaching,
we have turned to experts competent to pronounce both upon the
engineering and financial sides of the matter. Henceforth it
will be crass presumption for person.=% qualifietl only by (he inten¬
sity of their personal desires to propose new schemes. One must
possess undoubted abililies to questiou -n-ifhout impudence the
final judgment of aboard of experts of real ability.
The outlook now, if uot promising, is at least intelligble.
Hitherto it has not been so. Everything, at last, is reduced to
the point of action, and the question no longer is, "What are
we going to do f but, "Are we going to do what we ought to do
if we really want Rapid Transit-?" The rei)ort of the Board of
Experts must be pleasant reading for all well-infonued and
iudicious citizens. It recognizes the fact that the city requires a
system of transportation dittering entirely from anything it now
possesses. Our present machiuery can only temporize with our
difficulties. It offers no real solution to the Rapid Transit prob¬
lem. Au underground road is the only way out of the trouble.
An overground system iindoubtedl.7 would be more comfortable
and more popular with the people, hut apparently it is not prac¬
ticable, all existing conditions considered. The underground
routes advocated in the report avoid as many difficulties as can
be avoided without sacrificing the efficiency of the new system.
Best of all, iu laying out the new transportation lines the Board
of Expei'ts was clear-headed enough to see that there are present
emergencies to be met as well as future requirements provided
for, and it proceeded to recommend the doing of what unques¬
tionably shoidd be done. The Record and Guide has been
advocating for years the imperative necessity of increasing the
facilities of the elevated roads. It is hard to say why the public
have not made this demand upon the company long ago. The
company is uot to blame upou this point. It must not be for¬
gotten that theie was a time when the Manhattan people were
ready enough to build additional tracks. They even went so far
in the face of senseless popular opposition as to construct a
third track along a considerable part of one of their lines. If
people had known what was best for themselves at the time in¬
stead of falling iuto an attitude of opposition because of preju¬
dice against Jay Gould, they would have supported the company
in its efforts to give better service to its patrons. As it is now,
the Manhattan Company, wc believe, are not so anxious to make
costly betterments. They have felt the pinch of competition of
the cable roads. They are rather of the opinion, wejudge, that
there is more money in maintaining things just as they are than
iu changes and expansions.
The extra tracks recommended by the Board of Experts
should, of course, be built. Steam power should be replaced by
electric traction. Were this done we should not have, of course,
a real rapid transit system adequate to meet the great and
increasing requirements of the city, but we should have a very
serviceable system sufficient in part to satisfy the needs of the
moment. There is no city iu the world that would tolerate for
a day the' hog [method of transporting human beings which
now prevails on the elevated lines. There is no excuse for it.
It is beastly and uncivilized.
We trust that tho Rapid Transit Commissioners will now pro¬
ceed with the utmost energy to carry out tiie plan advised bp
the Board oE Experts. Every decent man in New York City
should co-ooerate with the Commissioners and assist tliem with
his voice and infiueuce. Rapid Transit has ceased to be an
engineering matter. It has become a question of s-tnitation and
morals, andiu these aft'airsall good citizens should be interested.
Real estate men particularly have largo financial interests
bound up in Rapid Transit. The further expansion of New York
City is impossible until people can travel very much faster and
with much more comfort, from one end of the city to the other.