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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 69, no. 1782: May 10, 1902

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May 10, 1 02. RECORD AKD GUIDE. 843 DiVoTEDTDftE*,i.ElsTAn:.euiLDijJ'G ftjjci^nzCTiniEjiousErioiDDEeaifiimU Biisr»/ES!! A»toThemes of GEtto;^. iKCERfat. ■PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE SIX DOLLARS fabtished eVerp Satardap Communications should be addressed to C. W. SWEET. 14-16 Vesey Street. New YocS B. T. UNDSET. Business Maoager Telephone, Cortl&ndt S1B7 "Entered at (he Post Office af, New Tork, N. Y., as second-class matter.' Vol. LXIX. MAY 10, 1902. No. 1782 AFTER making a flne recovery from the troubles of last ■week, the Stock Market is inclined to settle back into .dullness. A good deal of manipulation has gone on to bring the small ptiblic frightened away by recent events, back into the market, btit without success, because tbe commission house business has fallen oil: to very moderate proportions. In this contingency dullness can only mean declining prices, because it is impossible to conceive of tbe manipulators continuing to play over a fished out stream. At tbe same time, it is to be borne in mind tbat extreme weakness is improbable, because there are a good many large financial operations yet incomplete, the suc¬ cess of which would be jeopardized by a bad break in quotations. The best opinion is that tbe market will he dull and dragging through the summer, with probabilities then dependent upon the crop prospects, whicb happen for the time being to be im¬ proving. Owing to the continued activity in general business throughout the country money is in good demand, and rates are likely to remain strong for sometime. It is almost sure, too, that gold exports only await an easing off in this deraand, and the consequent decline in rates. The business situation of Eu¬ rope is unchanged from the condition of moderate improvemeut last reported, and the strength of government bonds indicates, not merely where present speculative opportunities lie, but also that the demand for money for commerce and manufactures continues to be light. APRIL figures for gold production on the Rand reveal further progress. Estimates are for 120,000 ounces, "equivalent to $2,400,000, a jump, since mining was resumed last October, from 33,393 ounces and a value of $61)7,860. Revival of activity in South Africa is uot confined to gold mining; and, as the fortunes of tbat vast area are at present occupying so much attention and have such an important bearing upon the whole commercial situation, tbe following extracts from a speech de¬ livered recently by the chairman of the Standard Bank ot South ■Africa to the London shareholders have value. Notwith¬ standing the conservatism of the terms in which they are ex¬ pressed and the admission of unfavorable circumstances, they give a more cheerful view of the business conditions in place of tbat of paralysis so generally accepted. They are: "The more important channels of communication had been reopened, and many of the great industries of the country were again re¬ suming operations. In no direction had these symptoms been more observable than in the Transvaal, and the reports from the other of otir new colonies, which was chiefly dependent on agri¬ culture, indicated that tbe larger towns in the Orange River Colony had not greatly suffered, and that merchants in them had, on the whole, done fairly well throughout the period ol British occupation. In the Cape, the revenues of the Colony :appeared to be buoyant, After deducting working expenses, tbe earnings of the Cape Government Railways last year amounted to £4 8s. 4d. per cent, on a capital of £22,000,000 invested in these undertakings. The trade of the Colony showed aa increase -in-imports of more than £4.000,000, and in exports of nearly £11,000,000 over tbe returns of 1900; and it was stated that tbe block at the Docks was so great, bot-h at the Cape and at Natal, that important additions were to be made to the harbor worka at Cape Town and Durban. On the other hand, tbe expenditure of the Cape Government is believed to have been very heavy. The conditions in Natal resembled those in Cape Colony. The Budget showed a satisfactory surplus. The imports into the Colony in 1901 amounted to more than £9,000,000, and exceeded by 60 per cent, the imports of 1900. There were symptoms of a steady progress in Rhodesia. The output of gold in that great territory in 1901 rose to 172,000 ounces, or nearly double the output for 1900. Turning to the agricultural prospects of South Africa, he was afraiti he must speak with some caution. The devastation of territory and the destruction of floclis and herds, however unavoidable, had inflicted a serious loss, and the farm¬ ing community had suffered severely in consequence. The wool Industry particularly, it was feared, must experience a large de¬ crease in production, and probably some years would elapse be¬ fore the exports could be restored to the importance of normal limes. With the termination of the war it was to be hoped that these prospects might improve. Immigration and irrigation schemes—both matters of great importance—were, it was under¬ stood, occupying the attention of the various Governments." Tunnels vs. Bridges. y UST now another attempt is being made to create a public *—' opinion in favor of subaqueous and agaiust transpontine communications between the boroughs of Manhattan and Brook¬ lyn; that is for the substitution of tunnels under the East River for the bridges unbuilt. Who are back of this movement is easy to be guessed, and the resolution passed by the Rapid Transit Commission on Thursday, calling for reports on the several merits of tunnels and bridges by the chief engineer to the com¬ mission and by tbe Commissioner of Bridges will be received with satisfaction, as a rational method of providing a basis for arriving at a scientlflc conclusion. Most of tbe participants in this discussion have hitherto been laymen, eminent in their several ways, but not the men whose decision should be flnal in a matter depending so much upon technical inv~estigallon Cor its proper solution. It appears to us that so far attention has been directed only to a fraction of the problem involved, a large one, but still a fraction. As it ap¬ pears to tbe limited vision of these laymen, the question is one simply of carrying a large number of people in railroad cars from one borough to the other. If that were the case it would most probably settle the question for their favorite tunnels. But, as will be seen from the figures showing the number o£ vehicles that crossed Brooklyn Bridge last year, giveu on an¬ other page of this issue, it is a much larger question thau that As our figures show there was an average of 3,318 teams daily passing over the bridge, and we are further informed that these ligures are 20 per cent, below tbe record, because there has been a decline of tbat proportion in this class of traffic since the trolley cars commenced to run over the bridge. This indicates a vast movement of travel for whicli the city ought to ^supply facilities, and which it is reasonable to conclude will be much larger when the city drops the mediaevalism of tolls and pro¬ vides bridges on which provision is made for the electric cars in a way that will not discourage equine draught. Tbere is also to be considered the large, the very large number of people who for reasons of preference, economy or necessity cross bridges afoot, who do not seem to be taken into the calculations of tbe advocates of tunnels. It is glibly eoutended, the contention being based upon esti¬ mates whose accurracy has yet to be proved, that several tun¬ nels under the East River could be built for the cost of one bridge over it. This overlooks the factor of relative capacity which ought to play an important part in coming to a wise decision. We doubt whether, if the money expended upon Brook¬ lyn uridge for iustance had beeu diverted to tunnels instead, it would have provided the facilities of travel that that magni¬ ficent and much abused structure does; or that time has ma¬ terially changed matters in this respect. This allows nothing lor compensation lor having to go underground, although we hold that we ought never to go below ground for anything with¬ out some considerable money or efficiency advantage being gained thereby. There are other points tliat as yet have not been considered, and which would come up even if it were de¬ cided that tunnels were more economical and efficient than bridges. One of these would be the rights of private owners, tor we suppose, it would not be possible to restrict the routes of tunnels built in place of bridges, to lines of public property only, and a very interesting question of compensation would then arise, and one involving a large sum of money. It is not necessary to say anything more to show that this matter of Tunnels vs. Bridges, which has hitherto been so lightly treated, is not one to be decided off-hand, but on the contrary one to be weighed very seriously as it, we believe, will now be done. Meantime, we are glad to note that the ex-officio members of tbe Rapid Transit Commission, the Mayor and Comptroller, with the good sense and independence characteristic of them, have decided not to be diverted from the policy of improvements already laid out. They certainly have nothing to justify them in stopping work on the new bridges, but rather reasons for seeing that in the rapid completion of these lies the solution of the trouble that has given rise to all this discussion, and the suggestion of alternative expedients.