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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 45, no. 1158: May 24, 1890

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May 24, 1890" Record and Guide. 789 ^^. _.till '^ ^ ___________^WfcRpH21u^lB6fi.'^ De/oTED to f{Vi ESWE . BUlLDIf/O Ajf,Ct(lTECTJl^E .KoUSEUOLD DEGDF^^TlOli. BusiiiEss Alto Themes of GeHeRA^ 1;Jt£i\esj PRICE, PER VEAR IN ADVANCE, SIX DOLLARS. Prthlished evei-y Saturday. TELEPHONE, . - - JOHN 370. Commiiuications should be addressed to C.W. SWEET, 191 Broadway. J. T. LINDSEY, Busineos Manager. Vol. XLV. MAY 24, 1890. No. 1,158. It is a rea! misfortime for the bull market, about whicii of late so much has been written, that during the last week it has had no better pap than that which was offered it by the Richmond Terminal people. Unless the quality of the food gets better the outside public will soon have a bad case of indigestion, and stocks will rattle down at as lively a pace as they ever mouiited upwards. There is, however, a much better outlook ahead. It would seem to be a certainty that next week the "Western rate troubles will be settled, particularly as Mr. Gould holds the key, which he is likely to ttu-n very suddenly; but if one is to believe the Chicago dispatches there is every probability of an Eastern trunk line war. Congress is sure to pass a silver bill of sorae kind, and it looks as though it would be an extremely liberal one. There seems to be some difference of opinion as to the effect of the Silver bill on our gold exports. It is assumed in London that the total ot our silver exports will be replaced by gold, plus the gold which would be sent in the ordinary course of affairs. If, however, they act on any such assumption it maybe confidently asserted that they reckon without their host. The coinage of silver in this country and the issue of silver certificates has heen accompanied not by loss but byan increase in our amount of gold. Disregarding any such possibility, then, as a cloud on the future course of prices in "Wall street, it is perhaps better just at present not to expect too much of an immediate advance. The rate situation in the West is not all that it might be. A Chicago newspaper says that the lines east of that city are on the verge of an upheaval, which promises to dwarf the passenger rate war of the Western lines. Commission paying has been growing to such proportions that scalpers have taken advantage of it to cut the rate to New York. If this be true, it would possibly act as a severe check to the market—one which could be counter-balanced only by the possibility above referred to of Mr, Gould settling the rate difficulty on the Westei-n lines. On the whole, while the market cannot be considered an undoubted purchase, it would be just about as dangerous to sell it. We print on another page a series of interviews regarding the advisability of tbe city's owning and operating whatever uew rapid transit facilities Time and our political masters at Albany may vouclisafe to us. It will be seen that nearly everyone of the gentle¬ men interviewed is opposed to a complete cession of any transpor¬ tation franchise to a private corporation, and several indorse tbe more radical view expressed two weeks ago in these columns, that the city itself is the only owner that can be safely trusted with the management of so great a ptiblic necessity as rapid transit facilities must be in a city conditioned as New York is. The principal objec¬ tion urged against the city's bailding or operating new lines is that our politicians, who would have charge of the matter, are too cor¬ rupt to be trusted with any further powers or duties. It must be admitted that there is some force in this, though at the same time it is hard to refrain from commenting on the character of a com¬ munity that persists in tolerating a government which it dares uot permit to deal with new municipal necessities as they arise. Moreover, th6 objection is an objection in so far only as our present corrojpt government is irremediable, and indeed those who m-ge tliis objection plainly imply that at best good government in New York City is a remote possibility. This view, however, is too pessimistic, and though it is far from our intention to extol the system of spoils and plunder that is dignified by the name of government in this city, it has been shown in cer¬ tain directions that average or even good results are not altogether impossible under it. But of more importance than this is the daily increasing bodyof facts^demonstrating the success, not absolute but relative, of municipal management of public works throughout the country when those works must be, from their very nature, monopo¬ lies. Government here is no worse than in Chicago, Philadelphia, Eichmond and other cities. Yet there the municipality has success¬ fully undertaken works, such as the supplying of gas and electricity, with results that are ou the whole more satisfactory to the public than those produced under private ownership, yet in this city people probably wordd oppose municipal control of the gas supply for the very reason given for the opposition to the city's owning and operatiug new transportation lines, viz.: that our officials are not to bs trusted. We believe that any one who will carefully weigh the many considerations iuvolved in the matter will be in favor of the city's owning, if not controlling, any further transportation lines that may be'created. ----------»---------- The Special Committee of the Massachusetts Legislature appointed some time ago to visit the aeveral cities in this country which own their own gas plants, and to report on the practical operation of these works, have—assuming that they were unpreju¬ diced in their investigations—demonstrated an incapacity to deal with matters of public concern which even iu persons of less pre¬ tension would aeem startling. A glance at the part of the report of the committee which pertains to the city gas works of Rich¬ mond is enough to show their inability properly to perform the task assigned them. The committee give §33,065 as the apparent cash balance derived from the gas works in the city treasury at the endof last year. They are generous enough to add to this sum 135,558, or the amount of gas furnished