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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 59, no. 1520: May 1, 1897

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May I, 1897 Record and JCte6^IfipRf^LEsTATE.B^^L0IIfe AppKrri:CTyiff.KoiisEtfaDlteaaifiiDiV PRIC£, PER YEAR, IM ADVANCE, SIX DOLLARS. IPublished every Saturday. TBLBPHONB, - . . . . OOHTLANDT 1370 tlommunloatlona should be addressed to C. W. SWEET, 14-16 Vesey Street. J. T. LINDSET. Business Manager. "Entered al the Post-office at New YorJc, N. Y., as second-class matter." Vol. ux. MAY 1, 1897. No. 1,520 NEITHER in commercial nor financial circles is there any ac¬ tivity, or extraordinary signs of renewed enterprise. The jog-trot is still the favorite pace, but tbat is one that does not encourage the use of any high descriptive power;everyonelinows what it means without any elaborate explanations. One feature in the situation that cannot be disregarded is the gold export movement. The amount to go this week, it must be confessed, is surprisingly large, considering the large trade balance in our favor, shown by last reports. Not only is this so, but it is esti¬ mated in quarters entitled to credit that before this movement is ended between $30,000,000 and $40,000,000 will be shipped. It is explained pai-tly by tbe large purchases made abroad under the stimulus of anticipated increased tariffs and partly by the sale of securities by Europe in tbis market. There are no other reasons why gold should go abroad at this time. The hypothesis that we are loaning money abroad is not supported by the con¬ dition of the European money markets, where the rates are, if anything, lower than our own. A sti-ong stock market under heavy gold shipments is always an anomaly. At this moment there Is some excuse for it in the facts that there has been so very little speculation for so long a time that the scare of a couple of weeks ago shook out the very timid holders, and that other holders of securities bave sbown such a determination to cling to their holdings. But a heavy and protracted gold export ■movement will inevitably bring prices down in the long run by reason of the great and pervading disturbance that a shifting of the precious metal from one side of the Atlantic to the other al¬ ways causes. This movement ought to have one good result, however; it ought to recall to people's minds the object of the great political battle of last year. Although the forces of fraud- money were defeated, the victors seem to have neglected alto¬ gether to take advantage of the victory. Nothing is being done to reform our currency, and our friends abroad will not touch our securities so long as this is the case. Had there been a hearty attempt to deal Avith this very serious problem, we would not be shippng gold to-day. The help that can be looked for from Congress is vei-y little, apparently. Is it any wonder, there¬ fore, that business drags and that capital is timid? EVEN those who have most severely condemned the recent Hellenistic movement will be glad to learn that the Powers have decided to intervene and save the Grecian people from fur¬ ther suffering and humiliation. The lesson they are learning has gone far enough, not only for their own good, but also to act as a warning to the most disaffected of the Balkan States. No one can want to see a condition arise which would make it diffi¬ cult to get the Turk over the Thessalian border again. This war, which is now occupying so much attention, ought to have a lesson also for the foolish people who have, for a couple of years or so, been crj'ing out for tbe suppression of the Turk. The admirable way in which the Greek attack on Turkey was repulsed and the would-be invader invaded ought to show tbem that the discipline of tbe Turk would have to be very carefully undertaken and could uot be achieved except with great sacri¬ fice of life and treasure. His recent success is not likely to in¬ crease bis humility, while the experience he is gaining at this moment will be very valuable from a military point of view. King George's imitation of Dr. Jim's raid will not land him in Hol¬ loway Jail, more's the pity, but he will doubtless have hereafter plenty of opportunity to regret his folly and to mourn the de¬ parture of tbe day of the regal swashbuckler. The unsettled condition of affairs in the Baat has caused the postponement of the issue of two large Government loans, one for Austria and one for Rassia, and added to this direct effect must be the great indirect effect of restrained enterprise on all sides. Further evi¬ dences of the unsatisfactory state of affairs in South Africa come to hand from day to day. The French Bank of South Africa, formed two years ago, with great flourishing of trumpets, to assist Parisian mining speculation, has paid no dividend, and is now being incorporated with the Banque Intemationale and French Mines d'Or et Exploration Company, with a loss of thirty per cent of the origiual capital, that Is to say, only seventy per cent of the stocks of the absorbing companies are given for 100 per ceut of that absorbed. British iron and steel manufacturers seem to have accepted it as inevitable that they must now count the United States with Belgium and Germany among their com¬ petitors in tbeir home market, but the amount of competition the British manufacturer can suffer and still survive does hlra great credit. Of ten millions of cedulas and ready money voted by the Argentine Cougress for tbe relief of the distressed agri¬ culturists iu the provinces of Santa Fe and Entre Rios, only seven millions were applied for, proving that the reports of loss of crops in those provinces were exaggerated. It is not ex¬ pected that the exports of wheat from the Argentlnas will be much less this year than they were in 1896. X CCORDING to the recently announced opinion of Corpora- -^"^ tion Counsel Scott, the Department of Buildings has noth¬ ing to do witb the administration of the Raines Law, that it need not go about inquiring whether a hotel bas partitions of a cer¬ tain thickness, or windows of a cei-tain area. In this Mr. Scott seems to have endorsed the opinion of the attorney to the De¬ partment. But he goes further, and, disagreeing with the attor¬ ney to the department, declares that it Is not necessary for the department to inquire, or the applicant to state, when application for a permit to erect or alter a building for hotel purposes is made, whether liquors are to he sold in the building or not. The two lawyers agree in tbis, that the Rainesi Law places no duty upon the Department of Buildings that has not heretofore ex¬ isted. The definition of a hotel is simply a definition for the purpose of the liquor-tas law; that is to say, a hotel in which liquor is not sold need not have any of the requirements of the liquor tax law. This simplifies the matter somewhat for owners and architects. Further, if Mr. Scott is right in his separate con¬ tention, that the Superintendent has no right to refuse a permit for a hotel building or conversion of a building into a hotel, if the plans submitted therefor comply with tbe building law, it will not be necessary to regard the Raines Law at all, except in the probabilities that, should it be the intention to apply for a license to sell liquor in such hotel when built or converted, the Excise Commissioners may require some evidence of the struc¬ tural requirements of the liquor law having been complied with before granting it. As to what are known as "Raines Law ho¬ tels," neither the law nor its interpretation by the Corporation Counsel or attoruey to the Department of Buildings, offers any comfort to the owners of these except what may be found in the view that it is not required of the Department of Buildiugs that it should set on foot an investigation to detect and expose them. The whole position seem to be this; that there is a difference be¬ tween a hotel in which liquor is sold and one in which it is not. The Raines Law subjects hotels in which liquor is sold to the building law requirements aud certain other stnjctural condi¬ tions, with which, however, the Department of Buildings has nothing to do, and those in which a liquor business is not car¬ ried on need only comply with the building law requirements re¬ lating to hotels. — ■---------- THERE is a quiet discussion going on as to the advisability of forming a United Building Ti-ades, composed of repre¬ sentatives of the different employers' and employees' associa¬ tions, in order to find a more sensible mode of arranging dis¬ putes thau by means of strikes, sympathetic and othenvlse, and lockouts. The committee, ai^pointed some time since by the Mason Builders' Association to confer with other organizations, has been working steadily, and has received some encourage¬ ment. A proposition of this kind involves a good many delicate questions which bave to be carefully considered, but, so far, it has been received vei-y favorably, even though not at once adopted. One of the largest employers' associations in the trade, the Architectural Ironworkers' Association, last week informally endorsed the principle iuvolved—that of arbitration by a cen¬ tral representative body of bosses and men—though postponing formal action until they were fully supplied with details. There is no doubt, so far as the employers are concerned, they would be glad to see their way clear to joining in any movement which would provide a rational way of dealing with disputes between themselves and tbeir employees. If they do not at once adopt the suggestion now made it is because they doubt whether the men can be brought to see its wisdom also, and think it Ib use- I