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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 59, no. 1518: April 17, 1897

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ecord and Guiae 643 ____-J^ _^ , ^ ESTABLISHED-^ H,ABf;Hfil*i^l8S8. Dented 1° R.E^L ESTAJZ.BmLOIfib Afi,ClfITECTUI^E .HoUSnfOLD DEGCHiATlMj,! .Birsiiiess ajId Themes of GeiIei^VIi^terp*!.. '^^ PftlC£, PER YEAR, IN ADVANCE, SIX DOLLARS. Published every Saturday. Tklkphohb, _ . . . . Cortlandt 1370 Communloationa should he addreased to C, W. SWEET, 14-16 Vesey Street. J T. LINDSEY, Business Manager. "Entered al the Post-offiee al New Yorlc, N. Y., as secotidrctass mailer.' Vol. LIX. APRIL 17, 1897. No. 1,518 About S^ilo,(lull.mill new buildings liave been planned tor so far this year. Have you obtained your share of it? Do you know o! the many other large jobs now bielne prepared, and of the hundi'eds of customers in your line who are about lo come into market Cor materials? You can obtain this informa¬ tion daily from lbe F. W. Dodge Co. (Inc.), 310 Cth avenue, southeast corner Ctb avenue and 20th street. NOT only is there little or 110 lioiiie (Icnidiid for stocks, but the stock mai-tet is also sutterinjj from the trouble abroad in South At'ricau mitiiog: issxies, to which we refer iu the sric- ceediug paragraph. Europe has all the week been a seller iu this niarkefc and thi.s accounts for much of the weakness wc have seen of late, es])ecially iu Reading, Atchison, Louisville and other stocks which are traded in on both sides of the Atlantic. Liist Spriug the London leaders in Kaffirs were lai'ge.speculative buyers of Americans, and now that Kaitirs are getting panicky attain they are- probably throwing over tlieir Aniericaos, for which there is a market, though a email one, to support the T^aflirs, for which there is practically none. In fact, our market is inore depressed by what is occurring abrotid than by events at home. The latter are ratlier f txvorablo to quotations than other¬ wise. If business is du!I. it is sound ; railroad men have been encouraged by the decisions of its managers to keep the Joint Traffic Association together pending a decision by the Supreme Court of the United States; we have heard (he worst of the flood news and the time is near when railroad earnings will compare favorably with those of last year, the terrors of the coming political campaign having sent their shadows far ahead of the dates for the nominations. It was about this time last year that business began to shiink up and it continued that pro¬ cess until the free silver candidate got the cold shoulder from New York in the following August, and commerce confldence. Believing that the business of the country is continuing the process of building up, we think any liquidation forced hy the circumstances ot the moment will aft'ord another good oppor¬ tunity for buying, with hope for good proflt in (he near futnre. ACCORDING to all appearances another big slump in Kaffirs is coming. The correspondent at Johannesburg of The Ji(itni«))i.(s/(Loudon) gives a very gloomy picture of the condition of the Band gold mining industry generally and of the Biirnato enterprise especially. For the first he predicts, that being unable longer t.i s(em tbe tide of mis-government and taxation, the crisis will arrive at the end of this year at the latest. Referring to the second, he says the Cousolidated lu- ve.ftnient Cotupany is in a distinctly bad position; that it is coinpk'teij' wrajiped up with the mining industry and especially with tlic llarnato grouij of mines; (hat it advanced over X1,0()0,(>00 to these mines, most of whicli are shut down or are working at -i hw-s. Tlie coi'respondent further adds that the Compiiiiy and Uarnato himself are the victims of the policy of the lioer government. The political oouditiou in the Transvaal and especially at Johannesburg as described by this correspon¬ dent is as forbidding as the financial, or more so. The publica¬ tion of this letter has had a good deal to do with the reports now eirculating in London regarding Barnato's financial condition. The Loudon market, in the entire absence of outside support, cauuot take any large amount of mining shares without ntter demoralization of quotations; perhaps not at all, eonsidei'ing the delicate and dangerous condition of pol i tic b iu South Africa. London, Paris, Amsterdam and Berlin markets are all interested in tho outcome and are also, of course, with other European markets, very sensitive to movements on the Turko-Grecian frontier, where there are all the elements for a big explosion unless disinterested powers can avert the tiring of tbe train, ii^ncouraged by the shouts of the foolish, Greece has got herself into a pretty mess, from which ouly the Great Powers cau extii- cate her, and tbis will now probably ouly be done after she has sult'ercd souicwliat at Turkey's hands and is ready to give bonds for her good behavior in the future. Under the influences of these two matters of great importance, both iu their nature de¬ pressing, a renewal of speculation is impossible and ti curtail¬ ment of general busiuess most highly probable. GOVERNOR BLACK having consented to give ahearingon tbe Charter for the Greater New York before deciding whether he will sign it or not, a vrayj strong and representative delegation, in which the Real Estate Exchange, we arc glad to say, will take a very prominent and honorable part, will go from this city to urge him to withhold his signatute in the interest of good government and the right of the people to decide upon the form of government tbey shall have. Tbe Governor cannot be blind to the fact that New York City as a whole is utterly op¬ posed to this cliarter, even if he may be justified in doubting whether it is opposed to consolidation altogether, aa we ou the ground kuow it to be, The charter has been condemned on one ground or another by every non political association represent¬ ing the thought, intelligence, industry and wealth of the com¬ munity, ami we raay take it that these associations are most thoroughly representative of the city. The manner of the pas¬ sage of the act containing tlu' charter, the throwing in tbe face of a protesting community a known reverse of its wishes, is per¬ haps the most obj(;ctionable and dangerous thing about the whole matter. It is trttnipling free goveinment underfoot in the most wanton and disgraceful manner. This, themostimpor- taiit bill that wiis ever before the Legislature of theState of New York, was passed practically without debate oi' the observances of any of the ordinary restrictions devised to prevent unwise and hasty legislation, and with studied disregard of the opinion openly and clearly expressed of the community most affected. The action of the Legislature upon this bill forms about as un¬ desirable a precedent as can be fouud in all parliamentary his¬ tory since tbe day of popular government. If this bill becomes law it will be going back to the days of edicts and nominal use¬ less franchises with a vengeance. No doubt the opponents of the Charter will make a thorough case before tbe Governor and will not fail to point out among the many objections to it the injury that is being attempted to be done to free institutions through it. The Charter has been examined from many points of view aud from every oue of them fouud defective and calculated to produeeinjury in as many particular directions. Two members of the drafting commission, Mayor Strong and Mr. Low, could uot as honorable men allow it to go to the Legislature without calling attention to several quite radical defects, aud the errors and dangers discovered since are legion. Now it is a question whether the Governor of tiiis State will join forces with those who would force this condemned and despised instrument upon the -people of this city, despite their respectful, intelligent, specific objections. Surely not. — ■ THK newspapers lat<'ly have referred frequently to the com¬ mercial prosperity which the chief European countries are enjoying, particularly Great Britain and Germany. One day the figures we read relate to the increase of Eugiish exports and imports aud the next to the marvelous strides which the Teutonic manufacturer is makiug in the markets of the world, Tlie affairs of both tbese nations sharply contrast with our own, which are become so stagnant and deplorably out of joint that even the most hopeful believers iu the vitality of this country find it difficult to preserve the old optimism which in the past bas been one of our happiest possessions. It is notable that tha talk oue hears now everywhere as to ways and means to bring about an improYement in our condition runseutii'ely to political remedies. Dependence is put wholly upou legislative action, as though Congress were the heart of the nation and prosperity solely a statutory affair. Last Fall the cry was that the new administration would carry good times into Washington with tbe baggage and other personal effects of the incoming govern¬ ment, and now confidence is pinned upou the Dingley biU. By- aud-byitwill be something else—anything but tiie effort of seventy millions of peoide dealing with the national resources of a continent. It is useless to go into the endless controversy ahout Protection and Free Trade, A theoretical determination of the question is apparently impossible, but a certain amount of practical msdom on the subject may be derived from experi¬ ence. For instance, regard the present commercial prosperity of Great Britain and Gei'many. In the one case it has beeu obtained with a free trade policy, in the other under protection. Anyone is free to maintain, of course, that either of these nations might be better off thau it actually ie witb an opposite commercial polity, but the fact stands that both are well to do, both progress uuder opposite regimes. The lesson app.irently is that neither Free Trade nor Protection bas quite the force which is theoretically ascribed to one aud the other. Under either, if steadily adhered to, people may become industrially gieat. The real evil {which tho aff'airs of this country exem¬ plify} is a shifting, uucertaip policy pei-iodically reyoUitioniziug