crown CU Home > Libraries Home
[x] Close window

Columbia University Libraries Digital Collections: The Real Estate Record

Use your browser's Print function to print these pages.

Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 45, no. 1144: February 15, 1890

Real Estate Record page image for page ldpd_7031148_005_00000263

Text version:

Please note: this text may be incomplete. For more information about this OCR, view About OCR text.
February 15, 181iU Record and Guide. 319 mm #:_________________ De/oteOtof^LEstate.BuiLoif/o Af!.cHiTECTai^E.HouseHou)Decor^tioi*. BasitJESS Atb Themes of GeHeriiI IjJtcresi PRICE, PER VEAR IN ADVANCE, SIX DOLLARS. Published every Saturda-y. TELEPHONE, - - • JOHN 370. Communicationa should be addressed to C.W. SWEET, 191 Broadway. J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager. Vol. XLV. FEBRUARY 15, 1890. No. 1,144. The stock market for the ^week has not been of the bull kind which so many operators have been waiting for ; on the contrary, the bears have had much the best of it, and ifc is evident ,that there has been not'a little selling of long stock by some parties who do not view the immediate future as likely to be favorable to higher prices. London is talking and ^believing, mistakenly so we think, that^this country will soon be compelled to export at least six to ten millions of coio, and the directors of the Bank of England believe in the policy of a high bank rate until they attract it. A great many securities have been bought in the London market of late by American houses, and these must be paid for either in gold or com¬ modities. The cotton market is now largely in^the hands of specu¬ lators, so that no large quantities of this staple is likelytobe shipped, and our exports in cattle and provisions are falling off, while im- ports,owing to higher duties likely to be imposed by Congress, are sure to increase, no matter what the effect may be later on. Money in Berlin, Frankfort and Paris is decidedly easier, and as Russia is sending gold balances to England in considerable quanti¬ ties, which bankers say will remain for two or three years, it is almost a certainty that money will soon beat normal figures again, and that the Bank of England will shortly reduce its rates, which will liave a favorable effect here. This bank is beginning to realize that if the gold standard should be adopted by France and this country that there is not enough of this metal to go ai'ound with the present business methods. General business throughout _the country has]_been quiet this week, largely because of the difficulty which farmers have with the bad roads in getting back and forth to market. The indications, however, for a good season continue favorable, and manufacturers of best woolen and cotton goods, with some special exceptions, have had an excellent trade in spring goods. -^---------a---------- The present session of Congress will not be very much older before the discussion about the tariff will be in full blast. The Committee on Ways and Means is said to have made great progress since the cessation of public hearings, and by the end of the month a measure similar to the old Senate Tariff bill will be reported to the House, The Democrats, of course, will stick to the Mills bill. Once the matter gets started, we shall undoubtedly have another exhibition of how capable the average Washington " statesman " is to deal wisely and disinterestedly with a subject of grave impor¬ tance to the nation. It will be treated of course, first and last, as a matter of "politics." We shall be overwhelmed with talk, buncome and hazy political economy, and in the end notliing worth doing will be done, and other needed legislation will be impeded. There is no use looking to Congress just at present for any sane consideration of the tariff problem. It is outsideof the Legislature, among the people, that tha discussion will bear fruit, and the matter receive serious attention. The sentiment of the manufact¬ urers of the country at present is undoubtedly strongly in favor of the maintenance of the tariff very much as it is, or of the imposi¬ tion of even higher duties on manufactured goods, whereas there is a growing opinion that something would be gained by extending the free-list by adding to it certain raw materials. That such firms as the American Screw Company, the Corliss Engine Company, the Rhode Island Locomotive Works, the Rhode Island Tool Company, the Brown & Sharpe Manufacturing Company, should petition for free iron is a fact that, no matter wbat its value may be, is of some significance. The Queen's Speech contained the announcement that a bill " facilitating and cheapening the transfer of land will again be pre¬ sented." Presumably tbis is the same measure which the Lord High Chancellor fathered last year, and which is designed to put . an end to tbe last vestige of primo-geniture in England. The reform is founded, aa all land transfer reforms must be founded, on the admirable system of laws which prevail in Australia and New Zealand. It does away with aU the cumbrous mass of rights which have made it difficult for a man to own a clean title to real prop¬ erty. It puts an end to the creation of estates entail; it abolishes tenancy by courtesy and the right of dower, and it invests the per¬ sonal representatives of a deceased person with the earoe powers in regard to real estate as they now possess in regard to personal property. In other words, it permits the owning and conveyance of real estate, without regard to the wishes and supposititious rights of other people. Real property has always suffered from the fact that it is the most tangible form of wealth. The claims of relatives and debtors bave always been vested in an equity in the real estate of the debtor, no matter whether the debt was financial or family in character. And this, of course, has rendered real property from many points of view an undesirable form of investment, and has certainly had the effect of making rents higher than they need necessarily be. The movement to relieve real estate of these bur¬ dens, wliich was begun in Australia, has spread to England and Canada, and has begun to be discussed in this country. But as yet even many of our best lawyers are totally ignorant, not only of the details, but the general purpose of the Torrens act. Tbe multiplicity of instruments recorded in this county have forced a solution of the difficult problem of indexing them in such a way as to give a per¬ manent and convenient notice thereof to subsequent purchasers. The importance of the question is recognized in England, but very httle attention has been given to its solution, because the renewal of the shackles which prevented the landholder from calling hia property his own has been and is the first duty of the reformers. The fate of the present bill will be watched with interest. What a double-headed commentary is the announcement recently made that the Emperor of Germany has dismissed in disgrace from tbe army, two young officers for their eagerneRS to make merchan¬ dise of themselves and their titles in the matrimonial mart of America. A stinging rebuke to us aa a people is the fact that citizens of any civilized country on the globe have come to believe it a matter of fact, that American women with money galore put themselves and their ducats in the hands of an agent in order to secure the great desideratum—a titled spouse. The victims of this sorry joke are surely in a position to appreciate How much a fool that's been to Rome Excels a fool wbo stays at home. Their credulity brought not only its own reward, but also shows how ready foreigners are to beheve the most absurd and behttling statements of American social life. We are at once both glad and sorry that the San Francisco scamp has been shown to be a rascally " agent," for it has proved that lovers of a game of chance and money are not all in the United States, and that running after false gods is not distinctively an American pastime. k- Two measures have been reported favorably to the Assembly this week which concern tlie government of New York City, and which, at any rate in the long run, will be to the advantage of citizens. One is Mr. Hoag's bill to put the Dock Department under the con¬ trol of the Board of Estimate and Apportionment, and tlie other Mr, Blumenthal's bill to do away with the Commissions that are now necessary to acquii-e sites for school houses. To speak of the latter, first: THE RECORD and Guide announced many weeks ago that the introduction of sucb a bill was in contemplation. It shoidd be passed without delay. Eighteen months' trial of the machinery now in operation for acquiring school sites has shown clearly that even the old methods in force, until the passage of the existing law in 1888, were better in every way than tliose of the present system. It was expected tliat the existing law would enable the city to ac¬ quire land needed more cheaply and expeditiously than before. But it has nofc. In fact it has operated in exactly the other way. The Supreme Court Commission process has worked as all commis¬ sion processes work, viz., slowly. The expense, too, has been con¬ siderable, especially in dealing with low-priced sites in the upper wards of the city, and taxpayers have not been protected from the exaction of property-holders, as the awards made last summer abundantly prove. Whether the Board of Education will be able to do any better is questionable. So long as men are morally lax in dealing with their feUow-citizens in a corporate condition there will be delay and excessive awards in obtaining land for municipal pm-- poses. But one piece of machinery may work more economically than two, and by giving the Board of Education fidl powers the friction that arose last year between the Board and the Commis¬ sions will not occur. As to the bill to put the Dock Depart-ment under the control of the Board of Estimate and Apportionment, it too should be passed. It shoidd be passed more on principle than because the city wiU obtain immediately auy great benefit. The Dock Department has been for years miserably mismanaged under a kind of Barnacle system, in keeping with the ramshackle docks, which are so ludicrously inadequate for the commerce of the first port of the continent. The recent "investigation"—if the term may be used to describe that guarded admission of light into dark places—has put the Department in popular disfavor, so that no one will be inclined to oppose the proposed change of control. Eut, as we have said, it is on principle that the bill should be passed. Di¬ vided authority in municipal management has proved a failure in