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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 51, no. 1311: April 29, 1893

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April 39, 1898 Record and Guide. 653 ?iM££ ESTABLISHED ^ N\ARpH giu'^ 186*.^^ Bif5)R(E5» Atto Themes Of Gej^'^ I^tcij^s? PRICE, PER TEAR IN ADTAIVCE, SU DOLLARS. Pablished every Saturday, TSLBPHOirai) .... COBTLANDT 1S70. Commnnlcations should be addreased to C. W. SWEET. 14 & i6 Vesey St, J. 7. LINDSEY, Businesa Manager, "Entered at tha Post-office at New York, N. Y., aa second-class matter.'''' Vol. U. APRIL 29, 1893. No. 1,311 Everybodtj interested in architecture and in. buildi-ng should read the Architectural Record. 25 cents a copy. Record and Quide office. Not. 14-ltf Vesey street. rpHE financial situation has been helped somewhat by the decla- -*- rations that have been drawn, although by main force, from the administration on the subject of the national currency. Eecent experience should teach it that its duty ia to carry out the law and not wait for the views o£ any particular section of the country. The most important statement made was that showing that the Sherman Silver law was as objectionable to the Treasury Depart¬ ment as to the average New York banker, as it tends to increase the chances of its repeal. The prospect of an early meeting of. Congi-esa to consider the repeal of that law is also encouraging, because it ia hoped that its members will not be blind to the change that has taken, and is taking, place in the West on the subject of silver. The East needed no change. It accepted the law of 1830 as a compromise, or as an experiment, and was so quickly convinced of its unwisdom that its repeal has been au open desire for many a long day. Undoubtedly the strongest pressure will be brought to bear on Congress when it meets, to secure a change more in consonance with sound economic principles, and it is only reasonable to assume that this pressure will be effective, seeing that it will come from nearly all parts of the country. This is the only good feature in the situation. However, the satisfaction that can be obtained from the condition of affairs as they stand to-day, ought to be reflected in somewhat better prices, helped, too, by the reactionary tendency that can be expected from the market after the dissipation of so much that was depressing. Permanent improvement, though, will depend upon much more stability in currency matters than can be assured to-day. rriHE position Secretary Carlisle has taken on the monetary -1- difficulty is, we believe, from oue point of view, at any rate, extremely encouraging. It is always a good thing when a physi¬ cian clearly recognizes the nature of the disease he has to deal with, for then he may dispense with temporary treatment which merely suspends, but cannot avert the crisis. The Sherman law is the sole impediment to putting this country upon a sound monetary footing. It is quite as ridiculous for a wealthy and prosperous nation like ours to be distressed for gold as it would be for itito suffer for the lack of silk goods or diamonds or any other product that is for sale at a price in the markets of the world. Comparatively poor countries, like Austria for instance, can supply themselves with gold when they need it. But for the United States to make any considerable bid for gold so long as the Sherman law is in force would be very much like floating our possessions on a stream that is swiftly running away from us. So long as that law is in operation Secretary Carlisle may make issue after issue of bonds until the National debt is again up to war figures, but as the gold comes in it will slip away from him and the people of this country will be forced to have a day of reckoning with its unscientific monetary sys¬ tem. Is it not better to have this day of, reckoning before the evil attains to greater proportions than at present. Temporally replen¬ ishing the stock of gold in the Treasury by bond issues will surely create a feeling of false security. Everything will run along in a happy-go-lucky way with frequent disturbances, until some one of these disturbances will be coincident with a strained and unsatisfac¬ tory condition of commercial affairs, and asharpand perhaps disas¬ trous panic will be the result. Would it be wise to run any such risk for the sake of temporizing ? It is plain that the silver men are per¬ fectly willing to sacrifice the country to then- theories or to their per¬ sonal greed, as the case may be. They will not budge an inch so long aa the Treasury can scrape gold together, no matter what price is paid font. Secretary Carlisle is wise, it seems to us, in holding back the issue of bonda as a last resource. He can employ that expedient in case of the gravest necessities. In the meantime let the people face the real position they are in. THE statistics of English foreign trade during the month of March are considered, on the whole, to be uot unfavorable. The imports, it is true, show a large decrease for the month, but this is nearly all accounted for by the diminution in the arrival of food stuffs, caused by the exceptionally large quantities of wheat imported this time last year, and the short supply of raw cotton. Ia the exports the decrease is insignificant, amounting to only slightly over one per cent, a difference that is more than accounted for by the circumstance that March this year contained a portion of the Easter holidays, while the corresponding month of 1892 was free from any such disturb¬ ing influences. So far, then, as any inference can be drawn from them, these figures indicate a check in the down¬ ward tendency which has for so long a period characterized the com-se of English foreign trade ; but as to whether the revival is merely temporary, or whether a real turning point has been reached, no definite conclusion can, of course, be drawn from the figures of a single mouth. A leading French economist, who has recently reviewed the financial situation in France, is very gloomy as to the financial future of that country, which is in his opinion entering upon a period in which the annual deficits will reach $60,000,000. He predicts thab the year 1894 will uot pass without tho Government having recourse to a loan of .^200,000,000 or $300,- 000,000. Quoting from official returns, he finds that the apparent deficits in the ten years from 1882 to 1891 amounted to 566 million francs, or 56 millions annually ; but the real deficits were probably three or four times aa much, because a number of expenses, representing 1,500 million francs, were excluded from the ordinary Budget met by loans. He makes the House of Depu¬ ties responsible for these enormous exiienditures. Expenses have been increased to win electoral favor, and important branches of revenue have been compromised by ill-advised innovations. In spiteof these facts the securities of the French government com¬ mand a higher price than the securities of the German government. The chief J cause for this lies in the fact that the German government never goes into the market as a buyer which with other governments has proved to be an efficient means to support and to raise the quotations of their loans. It is not probable, how¬ ever, that Germany will adopt thLs practice. Although the national debt is growing, there is nothing about it which would justify unfavorable opinioDS. At present the debt of the Empire amounts to about 1^^ milliard marks. Prussia'o debt is now nearly 6 mill¬ iard marks, with an annual requirement of 260 million marks; but the latter is more than covered by the regular yield of the railroads, Oivned by the Prussian state. The progress of the railroad system, of military armaments and other indisiiensable expenditure will continue to add to thepresent national indebtedness, but at the same time the system of taxation will be reformed so that the debt will involve no risk at all. IT is very well known that, for many years past, the managers of the great trans-Atlantic steamship lines have been becom¬ ing more and more restless at the piers of New York, and that they retained their leases only because tney were bound by ties stronger than their inclinations. But, one by one, they are drop¬ ping out, some to Brooklyn, some to Hoboken, and some to Jer¬ sey City; and it is clear that the influences which have already drawn away so large a portion of our maritime trafiic will soon be sufficient to draw away the remainder. The disappearance of the Guion line, which has recently removed its landing place to the west side of the Hudson River, gives us a new and significant example of the prevailing trend. There are several causes for the exodus that is going on, such as greater economy, greater facility in traffic, and greater freedom and more independence in the environment; but the main cause, of course, is the simple fact that New York is losing her grip as the commercial centre of the port, and her long-worn distinction is passing over to other hands, We are managing our affairs with such consummate address that with approximating forty miles of the best water in the world in our possession a company can go over to the rock-ribbed and boulder- covered shores of Bayonne and after investing $3,000,000 in digging artiflcial channels and building warehouses find the investment profitable 1 We are a great people in New York, somewhat deficient in engineering intuitions and common sense, but really remarkable for politics and street parades. THIS is a territorial question, and while dreaming of consolidation, and indulging in other moon-struck; fancies, we must not allow ourselves to make any mistake about it. It is the interest of the district known as New York that we must keep in view, and it will serve us .a very poor purpose to put on more top feathers, increase salaries, build new and finer piers, and play the municipal swell-head generally, when the piers already in our possession are