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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 63, no. 1618: March 18, 1899

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March i8, 1899. Record and Guide 465 Bi/sntess Alto I^emes of GEjtenfl iKrenpi.* PRICE PER TEAR IN ADVANCE SIX DOLLARS Published every Saturday. Tblbphone, COBTIJJJDT 1370, Communloatloni should be addressed to C. W. SWEET, 14-16 Vesey Street. /. 2. LINDSEY, Business Manager. "Entered at lhe Fosl-Ofiice at New York, N. Y.; as second-class matter." Vol. LSIII. MARCH IS, 1899. No. 1,618. WE may put aside the sensational movements of a few se¬ curities on- tlie Stock Marltet as being unaffective of the general situation. It is allowable to express surprise that anyone should be so reckless as to go short of Sugar with Its his¬ tory. This is a stock very satisfactory to handle in a certain way; hut, as no outside speculative move can he made In it un¬ observed of the insiders, who have shown themselves always ready to turn a penny on one side or the other, it ought to be shunned by the independent outside operator. After giving us thia surprise on the bull side insiders are Just as likely to treat us to a sight of the big slump the outside bear operator has been working for as anything else. As to the market generally, it is gradually becoming apparent that the iate advance discounted a long way ahead everything that was good in the situation, even when it is admitted that the times are very exceptional. Any thinking person will hesitate to base an opinion on known pre¬ cedents afforded hy our commercial history as soon as he real- iz«B something of the change that has been produced in the con¬ dition of the world In a comparatively short period. We of the generation of steam have become accustomed to rapid develop¬ ments, but even with this education we have to rub our eyes, when we read of peaceful communities having been formed in the regions where Livingston was lost, and the camera presents to our eyes the picture of the engineer at work with locomotives and steel truss bridges along the trail made by Stanley and his human pack train. Correlatively this means later a develop¬ ment that will ultimately test the ability of the manufacturing nations to meet the demand for manufactured goods. The bril¬ liance of this prospect is dimmed, however, by the fact that we are a good way from its realization and also by the fact that prosperity does not reach its climax by a straight, level road, but by one in which there are many ups and downs. For instance, in our own case, we have benefited by large harvests accom¬ panied by crop failures elsewhere, and hy being able to harbor our resources through not having to buy abroad. Now we are buying more abroad; crops promise to be good elsewhere and our own are subject to uncertainties which are already creating anxiety in some places. Consequently, the immediate outlook does not look as rosy as 4t did a month or two back, and this fact will certainly reflect itself in security prices. JUDGI'NG by the vote In the German Reichstag this week, public opinion is turning more than ever to the necessity for a reduction of military burdens. This is proved, not so much by the adverse vote on the bill to increase the efEectlve strength of the army, because the Reichstag has more than once rejected similar proposals of the government, as by the willingness of the latter to accept a compromise, rather than appeal to the country , from the Reichstag, as was done in former similar occasions. Evidently the government was not so sure of the publie as before and would not risk an appeal to it. No people have faced the sacrifices involved in universal military service more cheerfully than the Germans, so that it is quite significant of a period hav¬ ing been reached when the government is defeated in the Retch- stag and dare not appeal to the people on a question of military preparation for defence. The Italians have long heen sick of the onerous military burdens falling to them as members of the Triple Alliance. The Russian people, we are told, are not in¬ formed of the Czar's peace proposals for fear the news should cause them to agitate for relief from military duty; and while the French apparently have lost none of their devotion to the army, it must diminish as the hope on which that devotion is based, the recovery of Alsace and Lorraine, fades out of sight. TJie Peace Conference has now more reason for gathering than if^ had when the mere expression of the wish of an individual, ruler though he be of a hundred .millions of people. It only needs tt>&t tbe British House of Commons should refuse the increased naval vote asked for by the government to show that all civil¬ ized peoples are sincere and united in their desire to put an end to a state of things that bears within it all the elements of dan¬ ger to their most cherished and lofty aspirations. Economically considered, the great armaments of the present day are absurd. As their practical use has degenerated Into a mere show of strength behind diplomacy, they would be just as efficacious if a half or even a quarter of their present size. What Europe is paying for ia not military defence, but the gratification of the military pride of their rulers. When the Kaiser expressed Jeal¬ ousy of the size of the Bremen and Hamburg commercial fleets as compared with his own no one seems to have seen its absurd¬ ity, and the Reichstag voted him more ships with which to make a bigger splurge among his fellow potentates and spread abroad the gospel of his sacred person which already was so thoroughly accepted at home that his wish was law. A change in Euro¬ pean public opinion that would prevent ahy further en¬ largement of the military establishments, even if it did not at once cause their reduction, would, besides its higher and worthier consequences, relieve the business situation of a fear that has been only too prevailing and embarrassing in the past ten years. ' ANOTHER suggestion comes from the President of the Bor¬ ough of Manhattan for the Improvement of the Borough, which, though in a way practical, does not commend itself so readily to the judgment as the proposed extension of 6th ave¬ nue from Carmine street to Canal street. This suggestion is the widening of Pell street, from the Bowery to Mott street, and its extension west to Miilberry street and the Park of that name; also the extension of Elizabeth street south to Chatham square. The avowed object of this improvement is not so much to benefit the traffic of the city by easing communication, as to break up what is known as Chinatown in New York City, and to suppress the awful state of things that is said to exist there. If no otner reason can be brought forward to support this suggestion we are inclined to think it had better be dropped. The good intentions and energy of the Borough President and those who are with him in this work are not to be questioned for a moment, but it seems that they have overlooked the fact that wickedness belongs to people and not to buildings. If Chinatown were razed to the ground, its people would still exist, and prp'bably under the ne¬ cessity of securing new housing spread themselves and their abominations in many directions. The police and the reformera of this city do not agree upon many points, but they may be said to agree on one, namely, the advisability of centralizing vice so that it can be brought under restrictive or reforming influences. If that Is putting it a little too strongly, it can be certainly said that both police and the religious and philanthropic workers among the slums are opposed to scattering any known vicious body of people through the city at large. Without something more practical than has yet been urged in favor of the work there is no more reason for widening Pell street than for widening any other extremely narrow street. As regards the moral question, if Chinatown is what it is reported to be and is to be suppressed, it should be insisted on that the human elements that compose it be carefully gathered together and put where they will do the minimum of harm, and not be allowed to spread the contagion of moral disease through the community. The proposition is one that involves such serious consequences that it ought to be weighed very carefully, indeed, before final action is taken. 1 1 THECitlzens'Commltteewhoare fighting the Amsterdam ave¬ nue grab ought not to allow themselves to be induced to change their base of operations hy any compromise offered by the offending railroad company. On the contrary, they should stand more firmly than ever behind the Ford bill and their own de¬ mands. To make concessions now means defeat, while there is a chance that firmness may be rewarded by victory in the Legisla¬ ture, and failing that in the courts, If the committee only continue to fight faithfully for their rights. The amendment proposed by the counsel to the Third Avenue Railroad Company Is only a ruse to bring them out of a strong position in order that they may ex¬ pose themselves, or their arguments and princlples.which amount to the same thing, to slaughter. The leading counsel for the peo¬ ple, a very able constitutional lawyer, has assured them of the safety of their legal position and of their ability to maintain It in" the higher courts, as they have already done In the lower, and they should leave It to the members of the Legislature to decide for themselves whether they will accept the onus of denying a popular demand which at the same time can be gratified else¬ where. This would be a very profitless position to take, especially for those who come frona this city and desire re-election.