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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 55, no. 1406: February 23, 1895

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P-. Peb^-^f Kecora ana ouide. 285 ESTABUSHED -^ M^RPH Z\^ Dri6TED TO RE\LESTWE.SmLDlf/c A,R.crfTTEeTURB,KflUSEHOU)DEaa(JTlM( Bi/sit^ESs Aifo Themes of GEffeR^L IjIiwesi . PRICE, PER YEAR IN ADVANCE, SIX DOLLARS. Published every Saturday, Telephonb,......-Cortlandt 1370 Oonununlcatlona ahould be addressed to C. W. SWEET, 14-16 "Vesey Street. J. 1, LINDSEY. Businesa Manager. Brooklyn Office, 276-282 Washington Street, Opp, Post Office. "Entered at ihe Post-office al Sew Tork, if, T., as second'Class matter." Vol. LV. FEBRUARY 23, 1895. No. 1,406 For additional Brooklyn matter, aee Brooklyn Department immediateli following New Jersey records {page 308). WITH S UPPLEMENT. THE governnieDt bond sale has so far only proved sometbiug that Deeded no demou strati on, namely, that all the gold wanted by tbe goveiDment can be obtained abroad if it is yvill- ing to pay the price. The ett'eot of this operation will be prob¬ ably to adjust payments for trade balances so that no more gold need be exported tor some time, probably not until next year. Meantime, being a hopeful people, we can imagine no end of things occurring in our favor. When Congress was called together last December we pointed out the disturbing influence that its actions would have on prices. Now that it is soon to adjourn it is not iiureasonable to expect that prices of securities will react from the depressed condition iuto which they have been forced for the tliree mouths that Congress has been sitting. We are now facing the more cheerful season of .spring: instead of the gloomy and dormant one of winter, which is a fact that is not without ettect on the business of the couutry. While too much stress cau easily be laid on tbe favorable features of the situation, it is fair to expect an improvemeut in prices as a result of the .suppressiou, temporarily at least, of scare quotations in the exchange market, and on the prospect of the dispersion of the mischievous combinatiou corauiouly kuowu as Congress. The full story of the bad business that was doue in 1894 has yet to come out through annual reports and other channels, and as it appears it will m.ako its iutluence felt on prices, e-specially in particular cases. The Granger roads are making desperate efforts to keep uxi uet earnings and the Coalers show no proper disposition to come to an agreement tbat will give them all a chance to do better, and nntil the prospects of these two classes of investmeut properties are brighter and more certain, their securities will continue to be objects of suspicion and liable to bear attacks on every fitting occasion. ACCORDING to the London Economist Japan is about to ex¬ perience a financial crisis as a result of her war with China. The depletion of: the specie reserve of the Bank of Japan has been steadily going on siuce the war commenced; the balance of trade is against the country, aud large payments must continue to be made abroad for ships and supplies; gov¬ ernment bonds are docliuiug and in most instances selling at a discount. A little accentuation of these occurrences would make Japan as anxious for peace as she now appearn tobefor the prosecution of the war. European advices contain more re¬ marks on the amouut and cheapness of money, on the increase in bank deposits and reductions in withdrawals, than on trade conditions, from which it may be judged that trade is as dull as fever. New loaus of merit are over-subscribed many times. In Berlin a small South African railway loan brought out so many biddersthat the allotment was ouly 15 per cent of the amount applied for. The Board of Trade returns for January show im¬ ports into Great Britain to have declined 4,4 per cent, tbe fall¬ ing oft' being principally in raw cottou and wool, and exports to have increased 0.4 per cent, whicli figures support the supposi¬ tion that trade is very dull on the other side of the Atlantic. The quantity of wheat imported from America was considerably larger than in January of 1894. Attempts are being made to form a combination at Prague to reorganize the sugar trade by limiting production of beet-sugar. New Zealand has passed an advances to settler,^ bill, and the government has promptly re¬ ceived application nuder the measure for .$5,000,000. The United States loan is creating no end of interest, not only because tbe people in Europe are glad to get au opportunity to subscribe for any good bonds, but also because curiosity is ex¬ cited as to whefhep the moyement of which tbe loan is a part aretofore _. will have anyisubstantial beneficial effect on trade and finance here. ----------■---------- Business Men in Municipal G-OTernment. DURING tbe past thirty years many of our Mayors have been reputable business men, and so have some of the heads of departments; but it will scarcely be denied that ou tbe whole the municipal government of this city has not been in the hands of the better class of business men. In England, on the con¬ trary, the municipal administration of the great cities is wholly in the hands of the large local merchants. "The councilors," says Albert Shaw iu his receut work on " Municipal Government in Great Britain," " tbe councilors, as a rule, are the represent- ■itives of the best elements of business life. They are men of intelligence and character, and of practical conversance with iffaire." The position, he adds, is one of honor and the councils are almost universally in higli repute. The reason that thia example has not been followed in America is the necessarily ab¬ sorbing character of busiuess life in a new and rapidly develop¬ ing community. The English cities have the benefit of their past. In the Middle Ages and later, the local burgesses were.the local magistrates, because the political status of municipal cor¬ porations was unsettled, and the security of private interests de¬ manded that the rights of the city should first be won from feudal superiors and then protected from feudal and I'oyal encroach¬ ments. What was a necessity witb the early communes has be¬ come a tradition with their successors of tbe present day. The business life of English cities has become adjusted to the neces¬ sities of municipal service. With us, however, not only waa no such tradition ever deeply established, but the competition of our business life has beeu so intense and exhausting, and the oppor-^ tunities of making mouey so many aud various, that it has be¬ come customary with American business men to neglect munici¬ pal duties. An organization of politicians with no standing in the community has been permitted to " squat" in our City HaU; andnow thatthemoreconscientiousbusiness men are wakingup fco their public functions, they are confronted hy the e-xtreme dif¬ ficulty not only of exterminating this political organization, hut of substituting for the habitual inditi'ereuce of their less en¬ lightened fellow-citizens a persistent and intelligent interest in uiunicipal affairs. Unless such an interest is created there is no hope for perma¬ nent municipal reform. Business mon are the natural and inevita¬ ble directors of local affairs. For maladministration of our State and national governments they cannot be held immediately re¬ sponsible, because national and State politics require for their proper regulation the whole time and attentiou of a body of men especially equipped for the pui^iose ; but the general man¬ agement of municipal aflaiis requires no such training,' What is needed is qualities like common sense, a knowledge of the city's interest.^, a "practical conversance with affairs," and the ability to handle large interests in a large way. Business men alone possess these necessary qualifications. In order properly to manage municipal affairs, they need the assistance of a body of competent experts; but experts are no more fitted for the general direction of city government than would the engineers of a railroad be fitted to manage! its finances. The chief busi¬ ness men of a city are substantially its largest stockholders, and theirresponsibility for its proper management is necessary and indisputable. If we only had somo reason to believe that business men would be as unable to escape this responsibility as were their proto¬ types in the Middle Ages we should have some promise that the preseut municipal reform movement iu this and other cities would be permanent. It is very well for our cilizens to rise in their wrath and turn the rascals out; but a wave of reformatory enthusiasm inevitably subsides, and the politicians are only biding their time. If the Good Government eluhg want good government they can get it only hy taking a lively interest in the positive problems of New York municipal government. The best promise forthe future seems to he in the fact that these problems are becoming so important and so urgent that business men can no longer aft'ord to neglect them. A proper disposal of tbe various questions of municipal economy, good water, cheap gas, rapid transit, plenty of "park space, proper housing of the poor, clean streets, etc., call forthe expenditure of many million dollars, and vitally aftect the well-being of rich and poor alike. In the matter of rapid transit, for instance, nothing was accom¬ plished until the Chamber of Commerce, out of patience with the dilatory action of muncipal otBcials, took the matter up and indorsed municipal ownership. If iutei ference on behalf of rapid transit waa considered unavoidabln by our repre¬ sentative bu-siness men, it is reasonable to suppose that it will prove equally unavoidable in other important matters; and such interference can be made permanently effect¬ ual ouly through the permanent control by such interests of the regular machinery for the municipal governmeot of the city. TbiB will not all take place at once; but the f eodeucy will un- ^Quhfcedl;?-fiet Bt^rongly in that direction, Tllfi Su|:li8ll citj.p^ m