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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 42, no. 1081: December 1, 1888

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fJDecember I.'ISSS Record and Guide. im De/oTED to F^L EsrME . SuiLDIf/c Ap-CKlTECTUI^E,HoUSEHOU) DEBORAnoH, BUsiiiESS Atio Themes ofGErJERftL I;Jt£i\est PRICE, PER TEAR IN ADVANCE, SIX DOLLARS. Fuhlished every Saturday. TELEPHONE, . . . JOHN 370. Communications should be addressed to C. vv, SWEET, 191 Broadway, /. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager. Vol. XLII. DECEMBER 1, 1888. No. 1,081 Among the recent developmGiita in Wall sti'eet is the fact that Jay Gould is getting members of his family into the directories of all the Southwestern roada. He will be represented in the Atchison & Sante Fe road and also in the St. Louis & San Fi'ancisco, and now it is announced that liia eldest son is .to be a director of Rich¬ mond Terminal. Thia means, in time, that all the roads iu the South and Southwest and extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans will be practically under one control. We have fre¬ quently pointed out that this consolidation of interests was some¬ time or other inevitable. A¥hen the practical consohdation is accomplished it will be as good a thing for the pubhc as for the security-holders. Railroad history shows tbat when the transporta¬ tion lines unite the pubhc get the benefit of reduced rates and better accommodations. It is the new lines running short distances which charge lugh fares and rates. The practical consohdation of the Richmond Terminal system with the Missouri Pacific and the Atchison will make the greatest ti-ansportation system in the world under one management. It will then be in order for the Pennsyl¬ vania Central to unite with the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, and perhaps Rock Island too, using the Union and Central Pacifies to get access to the Pacific coast. Ultimately, of course, the Northwestern road will also be extended to the Pacific slope, and the Vanderbilts will control lines reaching from Boston to San Fi-ancisco. Oui's is certainly a great country for the consolidation and unifying of railroad interests. The Wall street bankers, iu their circulars, do not think it possible that there will be any legislation amending the Interstate Commerce law during the coming short session of Congress. We venture to predict, however, that a determined effort will be made to get rid of the interdiction against pools contained in the present law. An effort will also be made to modify the long and short liaul clause, and then it would be have ten days' notice of reduction as there now is of an advance in rates. Our railroad corporations represent fully 9,000 miUion of capital. The pressure brought to bear on the members of the Senate and the House will come from every influential portion of the country. When we recall how powerful have been railroad corporations in the several States in moving legislation we can form some estimate of what all tlie cor¬ porations combined could do in a short session of Congress such as will sit next month. Of course we take no stock in the complaint that the Interstate Commerce law has done the railroad corporations any harm. On the contrary, we believe that they have been benefited by it. Still the prohibition of pooling is undoubtediy a defect in the law aud ought to be modified. Some forty of the largest shippers in New England were recently asked in what way the Interstate Commerce law affected them. Twenty-five of the great corporations and firms could not see that the law made any difference in their busi¬ ness. Thirteen said that they were embarrassed in many ways by the operation of the law, and some few said they were undoubtedly beneflted by it. The fact is the depression in the railroad system is due to overbuilding and to the authority given subordinates to make rates. Tlie Interstate law will not interfere with the restora¬ tion of rates, and were a method employed that involved responsi¬ bility in the freight departments of several corporations we might expect a far better condition of things in the railroad systems of the country. Mr. Samuel Benner's prediction that 1888 would be a dry year is not borne out by the facts. This has been a wet year, to the advan¬ tage of our corn, hay and other crops. But the same prophet was quite correct in looking for higher prices for wheat and other agri¬ cultural productions; while he was equally happy in forecasting depressions in the stock market. However, he predicted a boom in business if the Republican National ticket was chosen. It is true that matters look pretty well in the various departments of trade, but the stock market has been unduly depressed since the result of the election became known. However, the crop year is young yet, and the corn and cattle roads ought to give a good account of themselves before the next harvest. Prophecying, how¬ ever, is a very risky business. The railroad corporations of the Southwest propose to form a gigantic trust, which will get rid of competition among themselves and advance rates to a paying figure. This movement is in keeping with the spirit of the times, for aggregated wealth in all depart¬ ments of industry is endeavoring to get rid of wasteful competition. There are many and serious difficulties in the way of this combina¬ tion of raCroad interests, but all the signs of the times indicate the final success of the movement; nor cau there be any reasonable doubt but that all our transportation Unes wUl in time be managed under a system wliich will involve a Clearing House, the establish¬ ment of paying rates, and a fan- return to aU who own raUway securities. Of course, there is danger that, in tune, the business public may have cause for complaint; but the governmeut, repre¬ senting the community, can be depended upon to regulate the rail¬ way systems of the country and protect the public against abuses which might arise out of an irresponsible monopoly. It is notice¬ able that the short-sighted newspaper press, which have been so unwisely denouncing trusts, are forced to admit tbat these raUroad combinations are not only desirable but inevitable. However, as tbe election is over, they can afford to talk more sensibly than they did formerly on this vital matter. The great sale of the Jones estate caUs attention to the fact that the auction room of the Real Estate Exchange is too small to accom¬ modate the crowds who wish to attend the disposal of great realty offerings. A hall double the size of the Liberty street institu¬ tion would be none too large, for as New York and Brooklyn gi-ow the number of large sales will naturally increase. Then, in time, our Exchange ought to be the mart for the whole country. There is no reason why it should not be the headquarters for the sale of realty located in any parfc of the United States. However, the present Exchange salesroom might be made more available by the construction of two or more galleries, occupying the present bare waUs of the room. Properly constructed the tiers would help cure the acoustic defects of the haU. These balconies also might add to the income of the Exchange, as they would supply desk facihtiesfor traders who did not care to Mre an expensive room. Tbe exceUent prices obtained in this and all other executors' and petition sales, points a moral which auctioneers and dealers should take to heart. The average investor gives the best prices at such sales. He knows there is no doubt about them, but he will not bid on ordinary sales, for he is not sure that the offering is bona-flde. It is within the power of the auctioneers and their customers to get as good prices foi' ordinary sales as for those offered under the order of a Court. The Jones sale brought in nearly $2,000,000; but the return to the Exchange was only $360. Tiiis is a preposterously smaU sum-. It ought to have benefited that institution by at least $1,000. The buyers who would pay the difference would consider it a trifle. It is absurd to make the same charges aud conduct sales in thfe same way as when New York was a small town. The decision of the Court of Appeals of tbis State, pronouncing unconstitutional the legislation against the Broadway Raih'oad franchise, is a commentary upon newspaper sensationalism which the public would do well to keep io mind. The clamor was a senseless one from start to finish; and Com-ts aud legislators were forced by the newspapers to act in an entirely Ulegitimate manner. Of course the whole " boodle " business was a bad one, and cannot be defended; but the real defect was in om- legal machinery. We ought to have had a railroad on Broadway thirty years ago ; but the only way it could be brought about was by bribing Aldermen and Com-ts. Tliis was done by the late JaUe Sharp and his asso¬ ciates ; but they were not to blame for a condition of things which liad existed for years. The indignation should have been spent upon the abominable maeliinery for carrying out pubhc improve¬ ments as weU as upon the rascally Aldermen and their moneyed tempters. In other words, the community itself was more to blame than the people who either bought or sold the franchise for the Broadway Railroad. But what a deafening clamor the newspapers raised, yet, in view of recent Com-t decisions, how unwise was their action, as well as that of the Courts and legislators they influenced. Oue cm-ious result of the Congressional elections is tbe elimina¬ tion of the sympathizers with the labor movement from the next House. James B. Weaver, of Iowa, who once received about ;-150,000 votes on the Greenback ticket for President lias been elected to stay at home. He is really an able man, a good parlia-mentarian, and was bitterly opposed to laud gi-ant jobs. It was the corpora¬ tions which doubtless defeated him. John J. O'Neil, of St. Louis, an ardent representative of the laboring classes, has also been left without a seat. Mr. Hem-y Bacon, of Newburgh, the violent dfenouncer of ti-usts, was also defeated. Rev. Luther McKinney, of