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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 43, no. 1089: January 26, 1889

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January SO, 1888 Record and Guide. 103 ^^ ^ N\ ESTABUSHED'^ WRpHaiu^ 1868.;^ DeV&teD to ^^E^L EsrwE. BuiLDiKo A^ciCitectui^ .KobsEMoLD DeoqratioN. ■ BusitJESS Alio Themes or CEjJERftl-l;^TEi\EST PRICE, PER YEAR IIV ADVANCE, SIX DOLLARS. published eva'y Saturday. TELEPHONE, - • - - JOHN 370. fommunications should be addressed to C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway, T. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager. Vol. XLIII. JANUARY SC, 1889. No, 1,089 Trade reports indicate a partial revival in business. Our real estate market has been active and buoyant for the season. But stocks have been dull aud depressed, although tliere were many factors that were encouraging to the bulls. Money is easy; rail¬ road rates in the West and Southwest are well maintained; the winter lias been an open one, and the returns from the various transportation lines show gratifying increases. Then there is an unusually good demand for bonds of all kinds; yet, notwithstand¬ ing these favorable indications, the stock market proper shows no signs of animation. Prices have fallen off, and operations are con¬ fined to dealings not particii^ated in by the outside jDublic. The difficulty is dne to the overbuilding of railroads during the past three years. Usually periods of excessive constmction are followed by a panic, but as tlie work was done very largely witli European money the strain iias been less felt. Still, time is required to digest the mass of new stocks put upon the market, and hence the hesi¬ tancy of investors and speculative dealers. There is no real dilBculty except among the newly-built Western and Southwestern lines, but these affect sympathetically the price of stocks of all the roads east of the Mississijipi. It is too soou to say that we will not have an advancing market. February may see a rally in prices, but it will probably be followed by a broken spring, due to the change iu the administration and tlie uncertainty as to the future financial policy of the country. In attempting to solve tlie rapid transit problem JIayor Grant will meet witli two formidable obstacles. If he favors the esten¬ sion of the sunken tracks of the Hudson River Road to the Battery he will be charged with playing into the hands and adding to tlie profits of a great railroad monopoly. Theu, should he countenance additional tracks aud extension of tbe elevated system, some noisy demagogues will raise tbe cry that he is acting as a tool of Jay Gould's. Yet these two measures are the best that can be done to give us rapid transit within five years' time. So lie will have to pretend to favor a new company, which will be met by a world of obstacles and could not fiu^nish necessary relief for ten years at least. Oiu- free press, with its liberty of unlicensed speech, gives characterless fault-finders a chance, by their clamor, to put a stop to needed public improvements. Mayor Hewitt's scheme of rapid transit was an admirable one and quite practicable, but it involved partnership with tlie Central Road, which set the paper politicians howling. We could have had rapid transit from 48d street lo the Battery ten years ago, but even the courage of old Commodore Vanderbilt failed him in face of the terrific clamor of the press and the stump. WiU it be always thus? It is a notable fact that in January real estate auction sales have been held at which the bidding was spirited and prices high. "We could never see any sense in crowding afl the real estate busi¬ ness of this great city into the spring and fall months. There is always a market for securities, grain, provision, cotton, petroleum and other products every secular day iu the year. Real estate is just as valuable in January as in April or October, aud ought to be as salable. Duriug the past week there have been some excellent auction sales and the jirioes obtaiued were quite as good as if the property was sold in the heig'ht of the season. A lull during the summer months might be tolerated, and then transactions would naturally decrease in activity during the holidays; but it wouldbe to the interest of dealers to keep business as good during the winter as during the spring and fall months. Ti-avelers on our railroads will not, we think, suffer by the con- ti-ol the Pullman Company has secm-ed over the sleeping-car and saloon-car service of the couutry. They wil! be better served in every way, and doubtless in time fares will be reduced as they ought to be. If this is not done voluntarily power will undoubt¬ edly be given the Interstate Commerce Commissiou to make sleeping-c^r charges more reasonable. The Wagner system will irfolMCbly join forces wjtb tlj9 Fvillnian Compaiiy, and then there will be only one vast monopoly for the nation to deal with. It will be found that better terms for the public can be made in dealing with one great corporation than iu trusting to an aimless and unorganized competition of several small palace-car companies, ------------»---------_~ Of course criminals, paupers, insane and diseased persons should not be pei-mitted to land upon our shores. In trying to put a stop to this undesirable emigration the Ford bill is all right; but when it is proposed to keep out of the country would-be emigrants who hold objectionable opinions ou political aud social subjects that is quite a different matter. No ablebodied, healthy man or woman should be excluded. We waut population, and the foreigners give us about our only supply of domestic servants. What if some of these people do hold extreme and even dangerous views? That kind of nonsense does not last long in this country. At any rate there is no way of being sure what a man believes, and, in nine cases out of ten, good government will convert the most radical Communist and make him a good citizen. By all means let us wel¬ come all who can work and add to the wealth of the community. We might restrict the right to vote to those who can read and write, but this should apply to natives as well as foreigners. The Mugwump and Democratic press have been assailing tho Senate Tariff Bill so vehemently that the average Republican resents any criticism upon the proposed enactment. Yet, as an entirely independent journal, we doubt the wisdom of many of the provis¬ ions iu the Senate measure. The replacement of the impost on sugar by a bounty seems to us au experiment that cannot be com¬ mended. It opens the door for fraud, and increases, unnecessarily, the force of internal revenue olficers. A subvention in aid of steam¬ ship lines is quite another matter, for though a bounty it involves no comphcation, as it is a mere addition to tbe pay for postal service. Ti'ade follows the flag, and hence all commercial nations but our own have given liberally to their steamship lines to encour¬ age commerce. Our tariff aud other enactments, while helping manufacturers, are a direct discouragement to our foreign trade, and it is not fair to help one group of industries at the expense of another. It is to be regretted that the system of bounties was introduced iuto any legislation intended to affect om- agricultui'al products. Then the building interests as well as other vital industries will object to the large increase of duties on sheet tin. If it becomes a law it will increase the cost of every house built hereafter. We do not produce any tin in this country, and yet raise over §3,000,000 by a customs duty which we now proposes to double. This is not only a needless tax upon the builder, but upon the immense canning interests. It unnecessarily enhances the price of all tbe foods put up for use by the bulk of our population. It is a tax upon kitchen utensils, makes the myriads of milk cans dearer, and it is a tax upon the laborers' dinner pails and the food of the infants. There are other features of the Senate bill quite as objectionable as the bounty principle and the extra impost on tin. Party majorities can often be more unwise than individuals. The Democrats dm'iug the recent session have furnished many in¬ stances of this truth, and now here are the Republicans about to imitate their bad example. The Republican majorities were, after all, in the agricultural States; the manufacturing States did not increase their majorities. Indeed, two of them—- Connecticut and New Jersey—cast theu- electoral vote for Mr, Cleveland. Wliat the Republicans should do would be largely to extend the free list, so as to give manufacturers cheap, raw material; and then they should have liberalized the existing tariff so as to remove all cause of complaiut, and thus keep up a protective tariff which would not be questioned for fifteen or twenty years to come. It was the raising of the duties of the tariffs of 1883, under a pretence of reducing them, which gave life to the agitation which culminated in the Mills bill. An addition to tariff burdens will only keep alive the agitation, making it the pivotal ques¬ tion in the next Presidential election. Kings, it is said, should so rule their people as to prepare for the time wheu kings would not be needed. So tariffs should be so manipulated as to render them uimecessary wben the industries they protected were fully established. The principal nations of the civilized world have combined within the last thirty to fifty years to take away the monopoly of manufacturing from Great Britain. The people of France, Germany, the United States and tho British Pacific colonies are not particularly in love with impost duties as such, but tbeir people think it desirable, for obvious rea¬ sons, tliat the shop and the factory should be near their farms— that it is not wise to send raw products tlu-ee to five thousand miles to be worked up into manufactured goods and sold to them at a price fixed by a rival nation. Tliis is the feeling which has sus¬ tained tariff legislation. It is not from any desire to help a hampered class in any community.