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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 61, no. 1577: June 4, 1898

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Dp^TtDpRiEJj-EsTMT.BuiLDijJb Aj!printtnui^E,HtsJSEtfoiiiDBiinfTiti4 BtfsiWESs Alto Tholes of GEjiER^ Ifrttn^l. , PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE SIX DOLLARS. Published every Saiurday Telbphoxk, ... - C0HT1.ANDT 1370' Communlcatloiia should be addressed to C. W. SWEET, 14-16 Vesey Street. J. 1. LINDSEY, Business Manager. "Entered at the Posl Office at New York, N. Y., asseeond-ctaaS -matter." Vol. LXI. JUNE 4, 1898. l.ol', AT intervals this week the stoek market has given signs of hesitation, and tbere have been extensive realizings; but on the whole it bas been strong and at the close gives indications that new buying will easily absorb all offerings, with, besides, some signs of shifting of speculative interest. A movement that will tend to broaden the market would be a very acceptable one. It was natural, as a result of the advance in grain prices, that the Grangers should be the first to be benefited, but the market has for some time been too narrow to be healthy, and it will be a gocd thing if the grangers, now quite high, go into the back¬ ground for a while in order that others may have some atten¬ tion. The war gives the professional operator his motive from time to time with opinions divided as to whether we are to have an early peace or a long war, and very much clouded as to facts for bases. It is amusing to read opinions delivered on this mat¬ ter, even when coming from Washington, Each side is very deterrent to the other; no prophesy of early peace is given with¬ out a proviso that a long war is possible, and no prediction of a long war without a qualification that an early peace is within the possibilities. The public is allowed to know so little of the actual feeling of the administration that it has only surmise to go upon, and, what every oue can see, that Spain is as foolish to continue the war as she was to go into it at all. Common sense points to an early close of hostilities; and, if any official importance is to be attached to the dispatch to the London "Chronicle," which was published yesterday in the daily press, it is as a hint that Spain cSn save her Eastern poss'essions by at once abandoning her Western and saving this country from further trouble and expense in forcing her out. This would prob-_ ably be a solution of the difficulty satisfactory to our people provided it could be applied at once. If we have to really take the Philippines and the Spanish West Indies by force of arms the problem will be entirely changed, and it is for Spain to say whether that is to be the case or not. A SECOND reduction of a 'half of one per cent,, made iu the Bank of England rate only a week after the flrst, ought to dispel any fears of tight money or dangerous political com¬ plications tbat may linger in the minds of the timorous. Tbe rate is now 3%, a fair working one, that may be expected to en¬ dure for some time to come. Looking over the movements of money in the last sixty or ninety days, we may envy, while we congratulate the London centre on tbe comparative ease with which it bas met unusually heavy demands for gold. Had New York been called upon to send away a third of what London bas bad to send in so short a time, both the money and security markets would have been demoralized, Tbis is due to the difference between a scientific and a sentimental system. Here the Treasury would bave to supply the gold needed from its not too adequate resources; tbere the banks, whose rightful business it is, supplied it, and, of course, did it In a way to protect tbeir own and 'the community's interests. It is wholly a matter of system. London has the right one and New York the wrong. When wiil Congress be induced to see the error of our ways in this respect aud provide a fitting remedy? Some interesting figures relating to the production of pig iron in Eussia have recently been published. They show that it increased from 890,631 gross tons in 1890 to 1,839,839 gross tons in 1897. The Banque de Paris reports net profits of about 12% on its capital for 1897 against 10% in 1896; the increase is attributed to profits from foreign loans floated. The changes in the Customs regime in Canada take effect partly on July 1 and partly on August 1, and according to them from the latter date imports from the United Kingdom and her colonies will enjoy a differential favor of 25% in tbe Canadian tariff. Berlin is beginning to talk about tbe in¬ creased importance of Germany in what la becoming to be called the Near East, as a result of the development of the Anatolian railways, which is an important German enterprise in Asia Minor, under the tutelage of the Deutsche Bauk. Tbe able di¬ rector of the latter concern, Dr, Siemens, is credited with the vast scheme of extending the" Anatolian railways beyond Dlar- beker to BagdaiJ, and later on to Teheran. It is stated that the plans for bis project, wbicb touches the domain of international politics, and which therefore call for observation by statesmen as well as by economists, are already laid out. In tbis case Germany's, commercial and political position in Persia would reap the benefit. In the autumn the Emperor Wilhelm proceeds to Jerusalem, and it would be an extraordinary thing if the skil¬ ful and far-sighted pi'omoters of these plans omit to put before bis eyes a lucid statement of their case. In Turkey Germany sways considerable influence to-day. and her progress towards the Euphrates and Tigris is not to be taken lightly. Austria- Hungary is jubilaut over the harvests prospects; barring ac¬ cidents, the agricultural results will be better thau for rqany years. WAR has now been in progress a sufficiently long time to allow some estimate to be formed coucerning its effect on the building industry. It formally dates from April 21. But the war fever as reflected in Congress, the diplomatic correspond¬ ence with Spain, and tbe attitude of the daily press, had reached an acute stage by the close of March. It may be assumed that the war period began about the first of Aprii. But before at¬ tempting to ascertain tbe effect on the building industry of the war and the preliminary agitation looking toward war, we muat eliminate other causes of depression that may bave been present. Tbe extraordinary offlcial statements regarding the city's debt and the uncertainties surrounding tax valuations and taxes con¬ sequently arising, must bave had a seriously deterrent effect. The troubled condition of tbe labor market has undoubtedly wrought considerable injury. Nevertheless some part of the strikes and Icckouts of this year will have to be classed by any one familiar with their origin rather among the concomi¬ tants than among the causes of depression. Contractors and, pos¬ sibly, employees, flud the present moment opportune for fighting out old disputes which tbey could not afford to stop work for in busier times. The question next arises, What sort of a year were we entitled to expect in the light of the recent past? In 1895, 1S96 and 1897 the plans filed represented tbe magnificent sums total of ?S4,111,033, $71,889,765 and $83,668,840, which have been equalled or approached individually only once in tbe history of New York City; namely, in 1890, The estimated cost of tbe im¬ provements for -which plans were filed in tbat year was $74,676,- 373. In view of the extraordinary activity of these three con¬ secutive years, a considerable reaction would naturally be ex¬ pected. It is surprising, therefore, to find that during the flrst quarter of the present year the number of buildings projected de¬ creased ouly 3.2 per cent,, as compared with tbe flrst tbreo months last year, and tbat the estimated cost of the projections fell off only 9,39;. From these flgures we should bave been en¬ titled to expect a full realization of tbe brilliant activity prom¬ ised by the buoyant tone of general business at the beginning of tbe year. On the other hand, since the war period began, namely, since the beginning of April, the records show a diminution of 44 per cent, in new buildings, as compared witb the correspond¬ ing weeks last year, and of 40.1 per cent, in tbe estimated coJt. Th« percentage cf less from January 1 to May 28 is 25,3 in tbe number of projected new buildings and 31.3 in the cost of the same. THE wisdom of an alliance of some sort witb Great Britain depends upon the course we adopt in this matter. If we return to the old way of living, tO' the old land and tbe old boundaries, there will be no necessity of bothering ourselves with the perplexities of a European partnership. If we restrict ourselves wisely to the ample domain of our traditional policy we shall have few enemies and will be invincibly strong to pro¬ tect ourselves. The validity of any policy, is, of course, de¬ termined by conditions. The "home" policy advocated by Wash¬ ington may be found insufficient in time for the destiny of this nation, but we are yet a long way from having exhausted its possibilities. If we adhere to it we muat leave England alone. She will be well repaid for ber sympathy with us in this war and the valuable diplomatic aid she bas rendered us if hencQ- forth the "historical enmity" of this country is replaced by cor¬ dial good will. On tbe other band, if "expansion" and conquest," under no matter what guise or by what name known, are to be¬ come permanent possibilities of our national aciivity as some assert is inevitable, we cannot do better than join in some form of confederation of the Anglo-Saxon race. Were England to ally herself witb us she would in some measure be making tbe