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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 49, no. 1248: February 13, 1892

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February 53, lâíî Record and Guide. 239 '^^ \ ESTABUSHED''^'íW.CH21ij"^186e.^ De/oteO 10 f\EA,L EsTAiE. BuiLoiKc Ap.oKiTE(rraixE ,KouseWoU3 Degoí^tioiI. Bl/Slf/ESS AltoTHEMES' Of GEfjEI^L 1;JT€1\ESÎ PRIiE, PER ¥EiR IIV ADVAIVCE, SIX DOLLARS. PiMished every Saturday. TKLEPHONK .... CORTI/ANBT 1370. CQmmunications sbould be addressed to C. W. SWEET, 14 & i6 Vesey St. J. ĩ. LINDSEY, Business Manager. "JEntered at the Post-office at New Tork, N. Y., as second-class viatter." VOL. XL]X. FEBRUARY 13, 1892. No. 1,248 THE ReadÍDg deal is the biggest advertisement which tbe stock market has had in years, and may well infJame the public mind 80 as to produce a season of speculatiou. It shows clearly how an intelligent and wealthy body of capitalists can, by a well- conceived plan, turíi 'Wall Street into a whirlpool within twenty- four hours, reaping Jarge profits by the operation; and the example is not likely to be lost on the a'stute American financieis. It is quite possible that this Reading deal will be only one among many, whicb, by following each otlier iu succession, wiU give the markec recurring spasms of excitement. It is true that tbe specolative side of the deal is r.ot yet consummatod; and that some signs of weakness were displayed on Friday. The coming week will develop how far the advance in price in the coaiers can be sustained: and if the rise is suslained, the elîect will certainly encourage other big poola to try similar deals. It should be remembered that this Reading transaction means an actual saying of several million dollars a year, so that it is not only the speculators that will profit thereby. THE arrangements for a return to specie payments by Austro- Hungary are very nearly compleled. The Hungarian Finance Minister lias beeu having long conferences lately with the leading statesmen and financiers of Austria. It appears to be beyond doubt that the governraents will place their respective bills before the legislative assemblies eai'Iy in the spring. In consequeuce the price of all securities has been steadily rising. The Hungarian Finance Minister has also held long conferences with the head of the Vienna house of Rothschild, wúth whom he has arranged method of obtain- ing the necessary gold. According to the best reports, there is uoc at present any idea of a State loan íor this purpose, for the cofîers of both governments are ■well filled. The first step will be a confereuce of experts, chiefs of banking first, preiidents of chambers of commerce and representa- tives of the government to decide the details of Ihe oijeration, and above all to settle tlie proportion between the old currency and the new. The abiiity of Austro-Hungary to take this step is the result of the commercial prosperity of the past few years, which con- verted a deficit into handsome surpluses. The causes of this pros- perity havebeen several. Lately the country has fared becter than its neighbors, because its crops were fair in size and were sold at good ijrices. One of the cbief causes, however, has undoubtedly been the introduction of the zone tariff on the railways. This metUod of making rates did not have this beueficial effeot simply because the raihvay mile- age was blocked off and the same charges made for passengers and freight deposited vvithin the block or zone. The importance of the change consisted in the fact that the rates were largely reduced and consequently trading was immen.sely stimulated. The indus- trial life of the whole nacion was quickened, both production and consumption increased, and prosperity set in. ASSEMBLYMAN WELLS ouglit to be supported in his opposi- tion co the bill fathered by Edward Blurphy, Jr., authorizing the consolidation of all the surface roads in NorCh New York. If the measure is passed an organizdtiou, to be known as the Union Railway Company, which has obtained all the franchises of exist- ing roads, would briiig them under one management and equijj them with tlie troUey system. Certaiu features of this schcme are notonlj'unobjectionable but desirable. North New York would undoubtedly benetit tiy haviuga vigorous and progressive corpora- tion, well" backed with capital, take possessionof the existing ineflS- cient aud feeble local roads, and the trolley is so obviously adapted to light subm-biu Iratfic tliat it is very much needed north of the Harlem and ought to be iutroduced. But while there is no objection to the purposes of the bill, the way in which these pur- poses are to be accomplished is utterly bad. The Cantor Act is to be abrogaled in favor of the Union Railway Company, so that the city wiU not receive a cent for what will eventually be a most ralu- able franchise, and the railroad is not required, as is every other street railway in New York, to pay half the cost of pavins the Btreet betwefen its tracks. To pass such a measure would not only be injurious itself, but it would constitute a most vicious precedent. For all the talk one might have assumed it to be settled that corporations operating public franchises should pay roundly for the privilege. Mayor Grant and other Tammany oíHcials have repeatedly announced their adherence to this prin- ciple; and if he has any respect for consistency, he ought strenu- ously to oppose such a measure. These particular franchises may not be worth much at the present time, but they are worth some- thing, else capitalists would noc be wiUing to invest large sums of money in them, and eventually they will be worth a great deal more. The passage of the bill would virtually mean the gift for all time, to one company, of the right to carry surface passengers in North New York. 'We have had enough of that kind of busi- ncss south of the Harlem. 'What ought to be done with a company desiring to operate such franchises is obvious. Considering the desirabUity of an extension of the lines and a change of motive power, the fran- chise:> could be given away for a certain small number of years; but after the expiration of such a time, or after the company's gross earnings reach a certain amounc, it should be made to pay comfort- able percentage thereof to the city. Unfortunately the Cantor Act would exclude such an arrangement. This act, by the by, as we have frequently pointed out, ought to b". repealed, and :i statute more flexible in its provisions substituted in its place. So long as it remains the law, a relative justification exists for any proposal to except a certain railroad or place from its provisions. These proposals are continually being introdaced, because the busi- ness of surface transportation in the State is very much injured by the existence of the act. They wiU not cease until some measure is passed which makes provision for the vai-ying conditions under which tranchises must be granted. POLITICAL indignation is usually the cry of the politically lost. To denounce one's opponents in the name of the ten command- ments is the last ref uge of the entrapped, the outschemed. HiUism apparently is not a very clean phase of politics and no doubt might be much protested against with advantage to the nation at large. But the recent meeting in the Cooper Union did not perceive what in reality it was protesting against, if its proteiit was really some- thing more than the cry oí the lost. To listen to the good gentle- men who addressed the meeting,an innocent mightbe ledtobelieve that a convention is a solemn meetiug held with the sacred intent of getting at the wiU of the people. From what was said no one could imagine that conventions are gen- erally nothing but purely formal methods accepted by political ringsters to carry out their own plans. Mr. HiII's midwinter cDuvention is merely a flagrant example of a common practice. Party rule in this country is an unstable despotism. The voteris given the privilege of sbouting and balloting for the individoals nominated by a fesv wire-puUers. The idea that the rank and flle have any active part to play in the selection of a can- didate is ludicrous. If Mr. HiII depended for support upon the voters of his party iustead of upon the party despots and wire- puUers where would he be ? But Mr. HiU makes no mistake about the nature of conventions and the making of nominations. He is reputed to be an astute man. DURINGthepension and other extravagances of the lastRepub^ lican Congress The Record and Gtjide pointed out that the inevitable effect of such waste of public money would be a reaction to a period ot extreme parsimony. So it has turned out. The Democrats of the present House are making economy one of their chief virtues, as indeed they must do in order to make the " BiIIion Dollar Congress" an effective campaign issue. Representativo Holman is iii charge of the appropriations, and his antecedents justify the opinion that he will try to run the affairs of the country on ihe principle that any money spent by the goverument is badly spent. The regular appropriation bills will be cut down to the lowest point possible, and any measure callĩng for a large special expenditure wiU have a very small chance of passage. Cities all over the counlry in need of public works to be supplied by the national government wlll feel keenly the effect of this parsimony. In New York, for instance, it is very necessary that some steps should be taken about a new site for the Post-oâice. At best it will take five or six years to eecure a building more adequate to the needs of the city, and if the purchase of the site is to be delayed a couple of years the result will be that eventually it will be bought at an increased cost. Meanwhile the mail service wiU suffer from inadequate accommodations. As New York's inter- ests will be injured, so wiU those of other localities. Needed improvements will fail to be authorized, and others which