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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 55, no. 1410: March 23, 1895

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Marcli 23,1895 Record and Guide. 453-::^ -Wil. ESTJ\BUSHED-^tt^RPH2I*^^ 1668. Bi/sn/ESs a(Jd Themes Of GEfiER^LlfrttnEST. PRICE, PER YEAR IN ADVANCE, SIX DOLLARS. Published every Saturday. Telephone,......CoETLANiyr 1370 CXunmunlcatlonB should be addressed to C. W. SWEET, 14-16 Vesey Street. J. 1, LINDSEY. Buaineas Manager. Bbookltn Office, 276-282 Washington Street, Off. Post OmoB. "Entered at the Fost-offtee at New York, N. Y., as second-class mailer." Vol. LV. MARCH 23, 1895. No. 1,410 For additional Brooklyn matter, see Brooklyn Department immediateli following New Jeraey records {page 482), TT^HILE business in the East is picking up and the move- *y ment of prices on cur Exchanges imparts a cheerful toue to things generally, reports from the West show that the im¬ provement is by no means general throughout the country. A dealer iu a representative hne doing business in Chicago thus writes toa correspondent here: "There is no denying the fact that business throughout the West is dull; in fact, it is pros¬ trate. Our men report the same thing from their several terri¬ tories; our Wisconsin man reports the same as Indiana, and Missouri is precisely in the same conditiou as Illinois aud Iowa. Chicago local trade is worse than dull. We are not alone iu tiiis, as everyone is experiencing the same thing. It is for no lack of effort that we cannot get orders. The men are out and scouring the country, but the situation is literally as described above. The only thing we can do is to make'the best of it; do all we can; it must go at that. Men get nervous at being kept out, as you see plaiuly that some are. We bave decided to keep them out. Itis diftieultto look into the future, but we hope the tide may soon tarn; it has heen running tbe wrong way loug enough. We do not recommend auy more cuts in prices and do not think it is a matter so much of price as it is of a very dull market, caused by the lack of consumption. When people need goods they are going to buy them," This shows what we have pointed out before, that the conditions in the East favor advance before those of the West, and, in fact, that not much encouragement can be espected from that quarter until the outlook for tbe agri¬ cultural interest has definitely improved. If further confirma¬ tion of this fact were required it would be found in the reported earnings of the Granger roads, which continue to lower eveu the poor records of last year. The stock market has, to a great ex¬ tent, taken its tone from the strength of foreign specialties and, while the movement is of considerable importance iu showing a revived, though still limited confidence in American securities, the dullness that has succedeed to the activity of the past week or ten days needs uew buying forces to prevent a reaction. T3EP0RTS from Europe are occupied more by matters finan- -^* cial thau matters commercial. From this it may be .judged that there is no movement in trade either one way or the other to excite iuterest. Money is, however, beginning to harden, though it -will be some time before the demand grows large enough to make a rate healthy for the bauk-s; for that matter a higher rate would be healthier for everybody as indicating more uses for funds thau have heen found for a lou^ time. Applica¬ tions on the market for new funds are expected in the near future from the British Government in conuoction with the naval outlays and from Chili which is converting her paper cur¬ rency into a metallic one, mainly silver. There are those, too, who look for a demand for gold on Loudon from the United States, not merely as a result of the boud sale, but from the re¬ newal of iuterest there iu our railroad securities. It certaiuiy ouly needs that there shall be some confldeuce shown in thom ou this side to induce London, Amsterdam and Berlin to take hold agaiu, which event must inevitably effect tbe conditions of thu balances on either side of the Atlantic. Opiniou is strong in all the financial centres of Europe that if peace can be arianged between China and Japan, the wants of the former in the way of money, and of both in the way of materials and supplies, which only the West can furnish, will be large. The first inference is probably justified, but the second should be received with a degi-ee of reserve. Japan knows the value of eontrolliug trade and the profits to be obtained, from supplying one's neighbors. She has shown herself so determined to keep whatever game was played between China and herseH' in her own hands that we may look for a very fine-piece of t^ -ty making work, by -which China will be reserved, as an Esquimaux- would a seal or a whale's blubber, as a carcase into wbich she can cut asher need.-; or ambition prompt her. The war has placed the regen¬ eration of Ciiiua in the hands of Japan aud the piocess willbe the transfusion of the manners and spirit of the people ofthe islands into those of tbe mainland. The prospects for the close oC the Bri Government's fiscal year are for an evenly balanced budget. The decline in the Febrnary trade reports is partly ex¬ plained by tbe full in prices, the favorable returns with which comparison was made and the interruptions to business, both oa laud and sea, due fo the storms that prevailed that month. TEb French code of civil proceedure has beeu changed so that in all actions brought by a foreigner, principal or by iutervention, the plaintiff must furnish security for costs aud damages arising out of the trial uuless he possesses in Frauce real property- of suf&eieut value to assure payment. Tbe Government has intro¬ duced a bill into the Chamber of Deputies to interdict strikes and combinations of workmen on the railroads and in certain other public services. There is some talk tbat the conversion of the Russian Central 4I38 will go to Berlin, though this is proba¬ bly talk only tbere being more reason why it should be done in Paris where the loan is most largely beld. Prices in Vienna continue to decline, though in a moderate way that tends to re¬ move some fears that existed for the safety of financial condi¬ tions there. --------«-------- The Ea^eneration of Eailrostd Interests, "VTOW that the fluaucial sky Is clearing we may expect to see -^~ the work of reorganizing nur bankrupt railroad proper¬ ties pushed with something like vigor, and the immense mileage now in the hands of receivers gradually put iuto a position where it will cease to be a menace fo Ihe prosperity of still solv¬ ent roads. Similar work always characterizes the beginuiug of a period of prosperity. Ten years ago the process began with the rehabilitation of the West Shore and tlie Nickel Plate, to be followed by that of Reading, Jcr.^ey Central, Lake Eiic and Western, and also unfortunately by fhe bankruptcy of Atchison, and its reorganization in 1889 and 1890. In 1895, however, a much severer task awaits the railroad reorganizer. Owing to tbe play of unscrupulous men with our railroad properties. a3 well as owing to the severity of the business depiessiou, there are more railroad companies representing a greater mileage in the care of i-he courts than was ever tbe case before iu this or any other country. In tact it may be said that this mileage is greater than all the railroad mileage of the country at, com¬ paratively speaking, a not very distant period. If a parallel can be drawn at all, though it will be one of intensity, aud not by any means one of volume, it is with the collapse that at¬ tended the railroad business in the British Isles as a result of the manipulations of Hudson, the Railway—King, so-called. We have had uo man so overwhelmingly predominant in our rail¬ way affairs that he can be said to have held rejjal sway, but wo have had what was much worse, a number of adventurous and greedy princelings each of whom has grown rich by the ruin of his charge. The present case is aggravated, too, by propei-ties magnificent ia themselves, burdened with a debt forced on them in times of high rates, and which ought to have been put through a remodelling of their capital ten years ago, instead of being allowed to stagger along uuder burdens which tbe changed" condition of the times made too heavy for them to bear. The railroad interest of the day has, therefore, not only its owu immediate, but also some inherited sins to expiate. The penalties are severe and very distasteful, but they must be paid before the faults committed are remedied, no matter how they may be shirked for a time. These peualties are the scalingdown of old and the contribution of new capital. If the owners of railroad securities could only be made to see it, they would do much better to discount losses iu earnings in the future than gains. That would be a way to secure something like perman¬ ence to new conditions, providing, of course, that the manage¬ ment of tbe luture is morally better than that of the past. The teachings of railroad history all point to this one great fact, whieh was acknowledged in a practical and business like way by the reorganizers of tbe Richmond Terminal Company. If the experieuee of the past teu years, or any number of years for that matter, iil ibe railroad world have taugbt anytbing positively and clearly, it is that the tendency of rates is to decline and tbe tendency of c,^pitai to increase ; that is to saj, with an ever in¬ creasing vol um e of business, rates, both passenger and freight, go down while the necessary labor and appliances for handling them always increase and must be provided either by a sacrifice of profits or an increase of capital, and consequently of interest or dividend charges. The neglect of this lesson of experience has intensified, though it may not be wholly responsible tor tbe troubles which have followed the Reading aud Atchison proper¬ ties since they were last reorganized. Leaving out the misman¬ agement of McLeod and Reinhardt in considering the state of those two properties, it will he easily seen that bad the provision for amplification of their working forces been more generous, more elastic, they would in all probability be meeting their in-