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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 62, no. 1594: October 1, 1898

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October i, 1898. Record and Guide 451 *^, Btfsofess A»fo Themes of GeiIeusI IifTtn.E»7.s PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE SIX DOLLARS. Published every Satjirday. Telephokb, Cohtlandt 1370. Cnmmunlcations should be addressed to C. "W. SWEET, 14-16 Vesey Street. /. 2. LINDSAY, JBusiness Manager. WITH SUPFLEMEN'i: " Entered ut the rost-0.ffice at New Tork, JV. F., as second-class matter." Vol. LXII. OCTOBER 1, 1898. that, if maintained for the balance of the year, will put South Africa at the head of the gold producing countries of the world. The production of the British dollar for use in the Far East ex¬ plains somewhat the demand for silver ■which has been apparent all this year. It is coined at Bombay and circulated throughout the Straits Settlements, Siam and other Eastern territories. In the first named alone $15,782,000 were imported. It is reported that the terms of arbitration o£ the boundary dispute between Argentine and Chili can only result in giving the latter some thousands of square leagues of fertile land; ia Iact,that the whole ■agreement is one of concession to Chili. But this is thought mitch more advisable than war, which remained, or seemed to remain, the only alternative. The Brazilian budget for 1898-'9 contem¬ plates a revenue of ?341,1G4,000, and expenditures of $34G,000,00O, leaving a deficit of $4,836,000, which it is proposed to cover by a draft upon the savings hank deposits. The state of business in Australia is indicated to some extent by the banking averages for the June quarter, whieii reveal a stationary, if not retrogres¬ sive, condition of affairs. Deposits decreased £2,131,840 and ad¬ vances i551,513. Coin aud bullion decreased £971,294. 1,594 AN appropriate text for a discourse on the probable course of prices on the Stock Market would he the recent Atchison operating statement and the action ofthe Atchison Junior securi¬ ties on its publication. The statement showing, as it did, a large proportionate increase in operating cost, seemed to have sur¬ prised some people who had been thinking that all additional business a railroad received was profit. When emerging from the hands of a receiver, during whose administration all sui-- plus earnings had been applied to improvements and the effi¬ ciency of the property built up, a railroad can for a little time make a great record for low operating cost. But railroading ia nowadays a business that always requires expenditures, propor¬ tioned to its extent, for improvements, and this fact will assert itself some time or other, and have to be met to some extent out of earnings. Just now Northern Pacific is making the low record, hut this is due to the huiiding up of the plaut by the late re¬ ceivers aud the provisions made in reorganization for carrying on the work. Owing to the necessities that always crop up and must he provided for, there is no doubt that Northern Pacific will in due course, like Atchison, not be able to present such favor¬ able statements as it has done, and that the visions of large divi¬ dends on securities low iu order of seniority will be dissolved by hard facts. It is not only in reorganized properties that in¬ creased cost of operation will appear. In times of adversity the managers of railroads generally do only necessary repairs and provide only imperative additions to rolling stock, expecting when good times come to be able to make good whatever may become deficient by the carrying out of this policy. For years past this system has kept the rail mills idle aud kept down the price of rails, and it is only recently that the mills have become active. Much of the increased earnings of the railroads must go in the direction indicated and away from the stockholders, who allow themselves to become too sanguine of dividends through ignorance of the necessities of the properties they are interested in. This accounts for the disappointment displayed when the St. Paul directors failed to raise the dividend rate ou their com¬ mon stock, and the recent break in Atchison preferred when it was disclosed that dividends upon that security were as far away as ever; and will further account for disappointments yet to come. THE demands of the United States for gold, at a time when it has more in sight than was ever known hefore, is dis¬ turbing the money-mind of Europe quite a little, aud it is also helping to make rates higher, a condition that is usually accom¬ panied hy increased difficulty in obtaining accommodations. In spite of this, though, the security markets keep strong. French imports for the first eight months of the year amounted to 3,049,- 406,000 f., aud for the same time last year to 2,556,478,000 f.; ex¬ ports to 2,275,613,000 f., and for the corresponding period of 1897 to 2,546,421,000 f. The great German canal scheme mentioned last week will, it is estimated, involve an expenditure of about $90,000,000, The rise in wages already secured and the fears for general demands in the same direction, to which the Kaiser's Hanover address against strikes is supposed to have pointed, have formed the basis for an attack on industrial shares listed on tbe Berlin and other German bourses; and, while the tone is good for the (ime being, this matter must threaten the situation until satisfactorily disposed of. Austrian spinning mill owners have resolved to reduce production because exports are falling off. Other commercial conditions in Austria-Hungary are im¬ proving, hut the political conditions are again threatening to make the situation unsatisfactory. The Rand continues to in¬ crease its production of gold; for August it was 376,911 ozs., and for the first eight months of the year, 2,697,917 ozs., an output AMASS of official statistics, relating to prices of provisions and wages in India, for some years prior to and since the closing of the mints to the free coinage of silver iu 1893, have been submitted to careful analysis hy the London "Economist" and the results published in the number of that journal,last lo hand. The object of the inquiry was, of course, to determine if possible whether the position of the Indian laborer had been ben¬ efited or injured by the restriction of silver coinage. The inves¬ tigation disclosed, first; That between 1887 and 1S93 there was a diminution in the purchasing power of the rupee; or, in other words, there was a rise in the price of the articles of general con¬ sumption by the mass of the people. And a comparison between 1897 and 1S93 shows not only a heavier, but a much more gen¬ eral decline. There seems from the figures no reason to doubt that to the native population the cost of living in India is now appreciably greater than it was ten years ago. Second, wages, 1897 compared with 1SS7, moved upward, but only slightly in comparison with the artieles or daily need. 'The result is that the Indian laborer is not so well offi as he was ten years ago, in that his earnings procure for him less of the necessaries of life now than they did then. It is not proved how much of this is consequence and how much coincidence of the closing of the mints. Crop failures, war and pestilence have influenced the movements of both the prices of provisions and of wages, though differently, hut to what extent and in what direction it is not always possible to precisely determine. Still, it having been as¬ serted that restriction of the currency has been favorable to the laborer, it ought to he noted that investigation of the facts and statistics goes to disprove that assertion and to suggest that the solution of the Indian currency problem lies in the direction of a compromise between gold and silver. OR some reasons we regret to see that renovating coat oC paint now going upon the Registers building. We con¬ fess, the structure needs it, but so much more besides is needed that there is a possibility that when the exterior is sophisticated with white lead and linseed oil the public will lose sight of tho ramshackle condition of the antequated and dangerous structure in which the most valuable set of records in the country are housed. True, paint is a highly inflamable substance, and when substantially covered with it the Registers office will be a degree or two more combustible than before, but, unfortunately, the first impression that the popular eye receives from paint is not one of danger. Rather, it suggests newness and a condition of high order and serviceableness. None of these ideas Is at all com¬ patible with the actual state of the Registers offlce, and so, in a way, when the painters have finished their job, the building wiU not point its own moral, as it has so eloquently for some years past, but will need more commentary from the Press and Public than ever. The difficulty might be overcome by placarding the buiidiug with signs such as these: "This building is one of the most dangerous down town," "Occupied by the city at a criminal risk." "Condemned by every Register, by all lawyers and citi¬ zens who frequent it." "Remember the Maine." Register Fromme, we are afraid, is too strict and decorous au official to permit the realization of this suggestion. Of course, as the city does uot supply him with proper quarters, it is right that he should keep those that are provided for him in the best condi¬ tion possible, but it is passing disgraceful that the real estate records of New York are kept in so great jeopardy, and this last coat of paint merely emphasizes the fact anew. Evidently real estate interests don't count for much In a city which derives the greater part of its income from them.