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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 68, no. 1757: November 16, 1901

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RECORD AND GUIDE. 647 ^ ESTABUSHED "^ il\W.CH 21^^ 1S6S. DeVoteB to Real Estate . BuiLdijJ'g ApcKitecture .^{ouseiIoid DEGORfnml, BusirJESS mIdTheses of GeiJer^. IKIERPT. PRICE PER. YEAR. IN ADVANCE SIX DOLLARS Published every Saturday Communications Bbould be addressed to C. W. SWEET, 14=16 Vesey Street, New Yorfc J. T. LINDSEY, EuainsBB Manag'er Telephone, Cortlandt 3167 "Entered at the Fast 03ce at New Tork, N. Y.. as second-class matter." Vol. LXVIII. NOVEMBER 16, 1901. No. 1757 THE announcement of the terms of the treaty of peace, made between the lately belligerent railroad magnates, created disappointment on the Stock Market, because they were not un¬ derstood. At first it appeared as if Mr. Hill had ouly succeeded in bringing about that consolidation of Northern Pacific and Great Northern that he. tried to efEect some years ago and was prevented from doing by the threats of some of the attornies- general of the northern states. As a matter of fact the agree¬ ment has a much wider scope than this. It brings into friendly relations with the northern roads and the owners of Burlington, the Union Pacific the owner of the Southern and Central Pacifies. The agreement consummated taken with the alliances among the trunk lines, makes for settled and conservative conditions in the railroad world such as were never seen before. The object of all this gigantic work is to produce a state of such stability that railroad security values may be maintained within a compara¬ tively small movement either way year in and year out, and an investment confldence created in them that they have never known yet. Undoubtedly the agreement is well calculated to at¬ tain this object, but while such plans as these can only be made in good times, they can only be tested in bad ones, and the sat¬ isfaction that is created by tbeir adoption is tempered by the knowledge that they have still to undergo that test. However, plans must be made before they can be tested, and, the market .considered, the one just announced is a step towards holding •quotations of those railroad securities that now stand high and ;advanciug those that do not. This will be surely seen later on, , Much of the selling of this week was professional and perfunc- ;tory—that is on the time-worn theory that one should sell on iappy consummations. It was assisted and encouraged by the ■gold exports and accompanying advance in money rates. It is Intimated that as much more gold will go out next week as goes this and some more the week after; then the European demand is e.xpected to be met. This may be or it may not. Of late years the movements of gold have been very uncertain, not to say surprising. FOE the next week or two the European markets will be more than ever dependent upon the movements of money. Un¬ til the yearly settlements are provided for there will be no eas¬ ing of rates. The stress of affairs is shown by the maintenance of a four per cent Bank of England rate and the low price of Consols and other government bonds. When the best security in the Old World goes begging at a discount of nearly nine per cent It may he taken for granted that there is a decided scarcity of money. This is furtlier shown by the heaviness of Imperial German S's and French Rentes, both typical of investment safety. The question is, will a day soon come when these will be taken up for a speculative advance as they were ten years ago, or have we come to a point where the demands for money are so great and continuous that securities offering so low a return as these do can never again sell at a premium? It is extraordinary that Consols sell month after month at what formerly would be con- rsidered panic prices and the explanation has not yet shown it¬ self. The cost of the Boer war is offered, but that is not satis- ■factory considering what is behind the security; and there only remain's the suggestion that the expansion of the world's busi¬ ness in the past ten years so absorbs the world's capital that the best and soundest of governments have to pay more for their money than they did. When they offer a loan at a discount that is merely another way of raising the rate of interest. Despite the disturbed condition of the money market and the low prices for Governments, the situation is not without its favorable feat¬ ures. Items of news or statistics crop up here and there which relieve the gloom somewhat. For instance, the London Econo¬ mist points out that the general trend of prices in Great Britain for October was slightly upward, after having been the other way continuously for the thirteen previous months; the iron and steel trades report more inquiry and so on, until it seems that with the turn of the year, when those dreaded settlements already referred have been made, there will be a more cheerful prospect all around. 1 ii Why They Weep. "HE landlords are weeping and gnashing their teeth at the prospective expense." This sentence was used gleefully In the course of an address delivered one evening this week be- for the Church Association for the Advocacy of the Interests of Labor, and was supposed to represent the deserved agony of the landlords when contemplating the pecuniary results to them¬ selves of the provisions of law which require old tenements to be altered to suit the notions of sentimental philanthropy. It seemed to be the idea that it was a mighty flne thing to take money out of the pockets of the landlords anyway and the pros¬ pect of endless cheap charity thereby opened out was no doubt particularly fascinating. The conduct of this association with the name too long to be quoted twice, and those who think with them recalls the story of the Scotchman, who was dining and wining sumptuously and expensively in a public dining-room, and who, thinking he saw reproof in the looks with which he was regarded from the other tables, said: "My freends, 1 wush ye to oonderstand that I'm no traveling at my ain expense." In the same way it is well known how tremendously and lavishly char¬ itable people generally can be when its "no at their ain expense," But these good people who believe so heartily and thoroughly in charity aud the relief of the poor when it can be done vicari¬ ously do not seem to perceive that they are talking rank social¬ ism. That is tne term usually applied to propositions for rob¬ bing the individual for the beneflt of the community, and they are more to be expected from those who worship Johann Most and follow the counsels of Emma Goldman than from bodies that claira to be enlightened and honest. The tene¬ ment houses wbich they think so poorly of were built under sanction of law and ought to have the protection of the state contract. We wonder what they would have said if, instead of being entertained by a picture of the landlord writhing in agony, each of these people, who apparently enjoyed that picture so much, had been asked to contribute from his or her own pocket, from one to five thousand dollars to improve the surroundings of the people who dwell in tenement houses. We fancy that then the question would have assumed a new phase in their eyes. Yet that is exactly what the landlord is not merely asked to do, but ordered by law to do. Of course it will be claimed that the landlord has duties towards his tenants which others have not, and the money is to be spent upon his own property. Both of these things are true. But every department of the city govern¬ ment has always been keeping the landlord up to his iuty towards his tenants; then why, despite building, sanitary and po¬ lice laws amended session after session and made more exacting each time, is the landlord found so derelict still, that he has to be punished finally by an ingenious form of confiscation, making him do and pay for a great many things which he does not think necessary, and which the tenants themselves do not ask for, al¬ though as anyone who has had experience with tenants knows hashfulness is not one of their failings—and the doing and pay¬ ing for which may ruin him? Now as to the attitude of the landlord, metaphorized for the sake of oratorial effect into "weeping and gnashing of teeth," that is a perfectly fair and natural one. It is the right of a cit¬ izen if he is oppressed by any particular act of the Legislature to appeal for protection to the courts and to agitate for the law's repeal. It was to afford protection against oppression that the courts were created, and one of the duties of a legislature is to undo unjust exactments. This is what the landlord is preparing to do. His position is that what the new tenement house, law asks him to do is unreasonable, both in its physical requirements and pecuniary consequences; therefore, he proposes to resist its demands. We have in these columns already shown pretty con¬ clusively what the consequences of the enforcement of the law will mean to very many landlords whose all is embraced In a small equity in an old tenement house. Any broker who handles this class of property could give numerous instances of old peo¬ ple who have the modest savings of a long life of industry in¬ vested in a tenement three-fourths mortgaged, and who would simply be pauperized for the remaining brief span of their exist¬ ence. It is not improbable that these people do contemplate the future with misty eyes and set lips; and who, knowing all the circumstances, can wonder. But it is not on sentimental grounds that the law should be resisted or amended into reasonableness, but because it violates those principles of justice that exist hetween the state, and ths Individual, and which are supposed to guarantee to the latter