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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 55, no. 1419: May 25, 1895

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nii'^rFi.l May 26,1895 Record and Guide, ESTABLISHED-^ M.ftRPH 21^^ 1868, DE/o-jd) TO Pj^t Estate,BuiLDiffe ArpKitectui^e.KouseKou)DESORATiorf, Bi/sit^ESS AfioThemes of Ge^raI If/iERfsi. PRICE, PER YEAR IN ADVANCE, SIX DOLLARS. Published every Saturday. TELEPHONB,......COETLANDT 1370 Oommunloatlone should be addressed to C. W. SWEET, 14-16 Vesey Street, /. 2. LINDSEY. Business Manager. Brooklyn Office, 276-282 Washington Street, Opp. Post Offiob. "Bnlered at the Post-office at New Tork, Hf. T., as second-class matter." Vol. LV. MAY 25, 1895. No. 1,419 For Brooklyn matter, see Brooklyn Department immediateli' followino New Jersey records {page 896). THE stock market has had its reaction and all the harm frost. could do to prices, it may reasonably be concluded, has been done. Having had the bad news of the crop situation we raay expect to have the good which is sure to I'ollovF the eud of the cold snap and the return of warm weather, to stay now it may be hoped. If this should be the case, ic will soon be fiumd that the position of the farmer has been very much bettered in the past fortnight, because it is impossible that any fi'ost at this time of the year can have done enough damage to offset the rise in the price of produce that it caused, and because it will affect the gi-ain iu the farmer's bauds as well as that he expects to harvest later ou. This view of the case act-ounts for the strength of the gi'anger stocks under the alarm that was created by the record of the- weather bureau. It is worth while pointing out, though it has been urged so often before, that the success of railroads in the strictly agricultural region.s dependa O'l a protitable crop. Wheu, as we have seen in the past year, wheat sells belo"" the cost of production it follows as plain as print that there is, or is going to be, distress and com¬ mercial prostration in the regions where wheat is the staple product, even though preceding harvests yielded uot ungener¬ ously, and wheu, with even a moderate crop, prices are paying ones to the farmer, the buying power of the communit.y is good with the result that the miscellany of freight necessary to the profitable existence of a railroad is created. Bond-buying has recommenced with considerable vigor and promises to put all good issues up iu a way that will make returns on investments 8m.aller than ever known before. The advance in prices iu the ti'on trade is also another favorable feature of the situatiou, especially as it is accompanied by reports of increased demaud in some lines. Other signs, equally agreeable, cau be found by those who choose to search and they will all have their influence on figures in the secuiity market. R' the prize she has been striving for for yeai's. Later, when the Japanese shall have recuperated and strengthened their forces, the success of the larger power may not be so iuevitable. There ia oue result of this phase of the Eastern situation which seems to be overlooked, and that is that Russia must abandon ht-r am¬ bition either toward India or toward China. She would be helpless against England and Japan in coalition. Which will she do^ The Fublio and the Eailroads. THE Southern Pacific report for 1S94 has two very promin¬ ent features, oue pertaining exclusively to itself and the other having, of course, a personal signiBcance, but also a bear¬ ing on the benefits of the railroad iu general toward the public and its policy toward them. The first is the way in which thia vast property was managed during a very trying year so as to meet all its responsibilities aud even to show a surplus. The secoud of these feature.'^ appears iu a fact which may be adduced from the figures contained in the report, that the operation of this railroad, wiih ita affiliated lines by land and water making altogether a transportation system of 13,000 miles, has beeu carried ou almost entirely for the good of the public; in other words, the positiou of the stock caunot be said to be a bit better than it was when first issued. Taking the whole system operated, and setting results in com¬ pariaon with the year 1893, there was a falling off last year of $3,277,545 in gross earniuga, $1,170,507 iu ojieratiug expenses, and $2,107,037 iu net earuinga; reductions in other receipts increased the loas of income to .$2,107,840 ; charges against in¬ come decreased $1,338,447, leaving a surplus of $769,302. This must be accepted as a satisfactory result considering the fortunes that have attended other Southwestern roads, notably the Atchison, which did not come near earning fixed charges in 1894, even though it has to be admitted that the surplus would not have beeu so large if (he eame amount had heeu expended for betterments and additions as it has hitherto been cnstoraai^ to expend. In 1893 this item amoanted to $311,-567, and last year to ouly $11,149. Payments for taxes also were reduced $243,471, and there are other items in the atatement that sug¬ gest that the bookkeeper was called iu to stretch the blanket over the year's doiugs. Tliese matters are trivial in comparison with the exteut of the operatious of this property, as cm be seen when it is stated that the gross earnings of laet year amounted to the enormous sum of $44,772,003, and it ie fair to assiHue that, taken all in all, both ends met. Mr. C. P. Huutiugton, in dealing with the causes of the de¬ cline iu earnings, mentions the strike of last year, rate cutting, the partial failure of the California wheat harvest and the ac¬ companying low prices obtained for the grain, and the atti¬ tude of the public in the -several states througii which the Southeru Pacific properties run. He says: "The attitude of the people of Louisiana toward the railroad iuter¬ ests has ever been characterized by a manifest disposi¬ tion to treat them with entire justice. In Texas a better understandiug of the mutuality of interests between the railroads and the material prosperity of the State is rapidly gaining ground, aud as tlus grows better counael toward rail¬ road interests will prevail. In California the general busiuess depression aud certain hostile inlerests have done much toward prejudicing a portion of the public against the railroads, but with the return of better times this prejudice will undoubtedly disappear." These are the expressions of one whose position ia too delicate to pennit him to openly express his whole opinion or to treat the subject in other than diplomatic terms. Those vrho have studied the question of the relations of the interests of the railroads individually with those of the communities through which tbey mu know that one suffers with Ihe other. Unfairness toward railroad investments bars out other invest¬ ments, and prevents development to the injury of the whole community. Jf an example were wanted it could be found iu the South, which to-day is recovering in prosperity just in pro¬ portion as the states composing it become convinced of the ex¬ pediency of dealing honestly and justly by capital. If any argument were needed to show that the public bas re¬ ceived most of the advantage of the operation of the railroads of the countiy, it cau be fouud iu the repoits of the Southern Pacific as well as iu the reduclion aud passing of dividends and the bankruptcies which will make the past two years notable in railroad history. There is no charge thatthe Southern Pacific has uot been honestly manaced. It may be urged that the bonded capital of railroads is usually more thau the cost ot' buikling, and that when interest is earned on that a fair returu is obtained on the business. If that were so, it is not the whole case, beoause the bonded is a fixed capitalization, and unless some value is giveu to ihe stock by profits there can be none of that success in tlie form of iucrementary value that everyone hopes to see the year bring wheu he sets out on auy commercial undertaking. Lookiug at the results of the business of the Southern Pacific Compauy siuce it was organized ten years ag», m