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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 61, no. 1573: May 7, 1898

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Record and Guide 821 ESTABUSHIDW iJympH BV^ 1868. Bi/su^ESs Alfa Themes Of GejJer^V lNtEfi.Esi. PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE SIX DOLLARS. Published every Saturday TBLKPHONB, .... OOKTLANDT 1370" Communications ahould bo addressed to C. W. SWEET, 14-16 Vesey Street. J. 1. LINBSEY, Business Manager. "Entered at tlie Post Offlee al Nero York, A. Y., as second-class matter." Vol. LXI, MAY 7, 1S98. 1,573 A DOZEN circumstances may be found in the record of the past week proving that business has simply been held up in the past month or six weeks to await first, the out¬ come of the Cuban discussions in Congress, and afterwards, when war became a certainty, for an indication of what the result promised to be. The actions at Matanzas and Manila removing doubt that exiS'Led in the commercial ■ftforid, renewed activity im¬ mediately follows. The stock market was the flrst to respond to improved good feeling, especially because it was least de¬ pressed by the fears that had previously animated business centres, and the rise in prices has been suDstantial. One of the most interesting movements of the week is that of Rock Island, which sold at the same price as St. Paul for the first time in six or seven years. There was a time when Rock Island had an investment value that St. Paul never had, and which it now promises to regain. The new 4 % bonds have again become favorites, and are booked for higher quotations than ever. Gen¬ erally the temper of the speculative public warrants the expec¬ tation of a continuation of the upward movement. Not alone is Wall street reflecting this cheerful feeling, 'but the improved re¬ ports from the iron and steel trade, tne satisfactory carpet sale in this city, and similar things all point in the same direction. In fact, the change of feeling in the past ten days is so re¬ markable that at first thought it may seem to be overdone, but a little consideration will show that this is not so. The high price of wheat, because of the promise of a successful agri¬ cultural year it contains, would alone justify a highly optimistic spirit, but when the probable extension of our foreign trade, as a result of the success of our arms, is added it is difficult to see bow we can be over-sanguine. A commercial era is opened t;; this country by the Spanish war more brilliant than any we have yet seen. JUDGING- by recent political announcements, the world will not fall into a condition of calm when our dispute with Spain is disposed of. Tbere is something ominous in Lord Salisbury's reference to living and dying nations and his intima¬ tion that the former would devour the latter, contained in the Primrose Day speech delivered this week. The fact that Britain is smarting severely under the diplomatic defeat in China will not make a settlement of the West African question with France easier when that question again becomes acute, as it must do soon. Then, too, tliere is Cecil Rhodes on his feet again, chast¬ ened somewhat by a harsh experience, it is true, but more de¬ termined than ever to secure a commercial highway from Cairo to the Cape proteeltd and controlled by one flag. This remark¬ able man has, while under a cloud, done what would have re¬ quired bright intellect to do under the best of circumstances. He defeated and then pacified the Matabeles, carried a railroad into Rhodesia, laid out vast tracts of land for cultivation and is now moving natives by the thousand into tbe new country in order that there may be no want of labor. By these means he has regained his political position in South Africa and his offlcial control of the Chartered Company. With a judgment improved by reverses and an ambition undiminished, Cecil Rhodes i6 likely to continue prominent for the rest of his days. The suc¬ cess of last Sunday's attack on the Spanish defences of tbe Philippines raises a host of conjectures as to what influence it will have on the Eastern question, while the deplorable result on Spain itself can for the present only be guessed at. There is also the question what Influence a successful war, placing in tts disposal valuable foreign possessions, will have upon the United States itself. There has been no time yet for public opinion to crystallize upon this question, but in view of the nation's de¬ sire to extend its foreign trade It is likely to modify its tradi- - tlonal policy of inclusiveness. In South America Chili has served what may be considered an ultimatum on Argentina, re¬ quiring that the boundary dispute be settled within a short time, and is evidently provoking a quarrel; and the Brazilian Republic has ended a period of extravagance in the usual way—by default¬ ing on its bonds. Leaving political and turning to financial and commercial matters, it may be stated that high rates for money are still maintained abroad, with the probabilities pointing'to still higher ones if the American demand continues. British and German trades continue active in all the main branches—iron, coal, cotton, etc. Seeing its intimate connection with Spain, where commercial chaos seems about to set in, the strength of the Paris market is remarkable and something to be thankful for. Trade conditions in Austria have been so bad that an in¬ quiry has been made by a representative organization into the causes. They are the usual ones^high taxes, expensive raw material, Leavy freights, etc. Regarding taxes, it is stated, for illustration, that in Vienna they amount to 71.88 fl. per head, compared with 25.18 fl. per head in Berlin. PRESENT indications point to a speedy victory for the stono contractors in their fight with the striking unions, al¬ though a general sympathetic strike ia not impossible. Tiie strike, it will be remembered, originated seven weeks ago with a demand by the Machine Stone Workers, Rubbers and Helpers' Association for an eight-hour instead of a nine-hour workday, tbe strike being joined sympathetically by the Journeymen Stong Cutters' Association. The contractors, represented by the New York Stone Trade Association, as stated in a previous report,have been entirely successful in their efioft to obtain men, who-have organized themselves into two new unions, namely, the Stone Cutters' Society of the City of New York and the Machine Stone Workers' Association. The two new unions, recruited largely from the strikers, comprise about 800 members in New York, Brooklyn and Newark, and work in the stone yards is pro¬ ceeding as if no strike existed. The agreement between the New York Stone Trade Association and the new unions is cal¬ culated to insure stability in the relations between the men and their employers. Each union separately contracts with the Nsw York Stone 'trade Association that, in case of disagreement between an employer and his employees, the disagreement shal! he arbitrated by a committee of six, consisting of three mem¬ bers from each party to the compact. The committee, if unable to reach a conclusion, shall have power to select a seventh member, whose decision shall be final. The contractors further pledge themselves to employ none but union members, who, in turn, covenant not to work for any contractor not a member of the New York Stone Trade Association. The wages and hours of work remain the same as those which obtained before the strike. The reciprocity clause in respect of employment is par¬ ticularly noteworthy, as it compels cooicerted action on the part of employere, something hitherto almost impossible of attain¬ ment. The New York Stone Trade Association contains,54 members, pretty nearly all the large stone contractors in New York, Brooklyn and Newark. The contractors are fully able to supply the cut stone which they have contracted to furnish for new buildings now under construction, and,.indeed, are aolicit- ing new orders. Hitherto, however, most builders, intimidated by the threat of the Board of Walking Delegates to order out the remaining trades, bave hesitated to accept stone cut in yards affected by the strike, although some builders have not been deterred from using such stone. But affairs have now taken a new turn by the resolution of the Builders' League for¬ mally approving and endorsing the position of the New York Stone Trade Association. The situation is also strengthened for employers by the renewal of the mason builders' agreement, which was arranged at a meeting held on Thursday evening last. Previously there was a fear that some of the bricklayers' union.=i, openly sympathetic towards the striking stone cutters, might influence the general body, but this, it seems,.they were unable to do. OF THE several sections of the old city of New York, that part of the former 24th Ward which lies east of the Bronx is undoubtedly most injuriously affected by the cessation of work on public improvements. The larger part of the land com¬ prised in this district is unimproved land held in large parcels. Some notable auction sales of estates, subdivided into building lots available for immediate improvement, have been held since annexation in 1895. But, generally speaking, the pr&fesaloQal real estate operator and builder, as well as the lay home- seeker, have hesitated to invest their capital until an official street plan shali have been adopted for the district, for in the absence of such a plan private improvements would be prac¬ tically a waste of money, except, perhaps, in the old village lay¬ outs. Mayor Strong's administration adopted the policy of 1