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Something About the Present Supply of Buildings. 10 tup nitv nwrodhh to io i nc 011 i uvcnouiLii Conclusion Said to Be Reached That It is Not. NEWS OF THE CURRENT WORK Additions Being Made to the Struc tures Both In Residence and Business Sections. There is said to be no phase of the realty markot that is of more interest Just now than that of the supply of houses and apartments, and the relation of that sup r?l v tn t ha rlomanH A ort.u t rr* rt r? v noitnla lire Interested In knowing the actual facts About such a condition, and as there Is no definite way In which such information can be secured, it is left to Inquirers to get it as best they can. If there was only some method of finding out with accuracy exact It how many vacant houses and suites in npartment houses there are In the city then It might be possible to proceed with some sort of deflniteness with plans for adding to their number. There is no such method. Some people rely on what they see as they pass along the streets of the city. They get some no tion, or think they do, of the condition of things by noticing the signs of "To let" displayed on the houses. At times It seems to th.-m that they see more of such signs tbau they do at other times. As to Vacant Houses. fuoh is the Impression at tlie present time of ? man who Is an investor esneclnHv in apartment house property. He has been about the city during the past few days, and he thinks that he does not remember to have seen as many signs "For rent" nt tarhed to bouses as he noticed during the trip. That is, of course, merely a oomparl lie ocra <111vi Willi Wlia.1 nft TPC olWts to have seen, perhaps last year or the .year before, and for that reason it lacks that quality of accuracy which ia de sirable in such a connection. StiH it is worth something even if it is no more than an Impression, and there Is no one who has the right to deny or set it aside except so far as it contra dicts a similar impression acquired in the same way. Against such a view or idea oi :nc mamet may t>e placed the testimony of the rent sheets in the offices of real es tate brokers, which show that there are no more houses or apartments for rent at this time than was the case at the saiqe pe riod last year. No More Than UsuaL In fact, the men who handle this class _. r.vtn..vj avis iuc uwu?ra say mat the rental season, which Is now coming to an end. has been a very good one. and that the demand, which has been large, has been supplied, and, while there are still houses and suites in apartment houses for rent, Mtill the number of such vacancies Is no larger than Is customary at this season of the year. Thai la 1~- -- ' ? " ? - .... B.^uaiiuu* as 1U1 lis Villi D6 summed up with the mrans of Information at hand. There are also other Indications of the condition, and one Is that the building of apartment houses has Dractically come to an end, for the reason that It is Impos sible to get loans on that class of prop erty. it seems that the trust companies and individuals who furnish capital for such purposes have come to the conclusion that there are enough of such buildings, and their action in refusing to make any more loans is sufficiently uniform to put a stop to building operations of that character. Market for Houses. It may be taken for granted from this < Ircumstance that there Is something more than a mere Impression on the part of the people who loan money that the city Is overbuilt, as far as anartmpnt " ? concerned. On the other hand, no such check has been given to the building of houses, and It is said that loans can be secured on that class of property so that those who need money for such a purpose are able to secure It. .? Of course. It may be said in regard to this that, as there Is no other method open to the companies and others having money to loan for building purposes of placing their funds except by loans on houses, but it Is not likelv that tVunr continue to place such loans if there was not a good prospect of the borrowers being able to find a market for their houses and thus be in a position to pay oft their loans. Inquiries From Home Buyers. It may be Inferred from this latter con lderalion that the market for houses la a g<><>d one. and there are people who want to buy them as well as to rent them, and the operations that are now being financed are to meet a legitimate demand. This fact may be laid against the Impression of th? present situation as stated, and In that way perhaps a broader view of the market can Le hud than in any other manner. Further information as to the state of the market can be secured from real estate brokers who hear what people have to say who come Into their offices asking about property. It la said that the Inquiry from home buyers continues to bo good and that the number of such inquiries reaches such proportions as to be fairly astonishing at times. Of course It is not meant to be in ferred either by the brokers who talk thla way or by others giving currency to such views that there Is a boom on, for such Is *-"i ??v ' xucio iO| uy nx;?ci, o gwuu, healthy demand for property. In trying to meet this demand houses are being built and It Is probable that they will continue to be built as long as such a state of things Is revealed by the current busi ness. Decrease in Official Figures. While the record of the bulMlng inspect or's office for the month Just closed shows tliat current building has fallen off in vol ume as compared with the previous month, till the fact remains that there is a good deal going on. It Is llksljr that such will 7th Street Northwest. Between Kilboi continue to be the case for a year or two yet, as it will take that time before all the large undertakings now under way are com pleted. The number of such enterprises la un usually large, so that with the falling off in the amount or general building the work on the large structures that are being erect ed here by the government Is going to keep current operations up to and perhaps above the normal point. An Unusual Activity. It is not surprising that a halt should come Jn building operations in this city, for during th? past year or so the volume of such work reached proportions never be fore attained here. In that oarticular this eity shared In the general conditions throughout the country, and now that the returhs show a falling off In other places In the amount of new building, It would- be unexpected if Washington should be an ex ception to the general rule. The cost of building has undoubtedly had some influence in bringing about this slack ening up in activity, but It may be said that the cause in general lies in the great amount that has been done in a compara tively short time, so that It may be con cluded that the present is a sort of breath ing spell to enable the market to fiU Its lungs for another spurt. Residence of Mr. Keep. During the week a permit was issued for Ill*3 ri Ct llUU Ul tx IlUUStJ WIIILU IS IU UC UUIU for Mr. F. A. Keep at 22S1 R street north west. The location, on tho north side of R street overlooking Sheridan Circle, Is an at tractive one, and the house, which is to be a large one, has been designed In the Georgian style by Wyeth & Cresson, archi tects. The material used in the exterior will be brick of a light shade and white limestone. The house will be three stories in height, and will contain about eighteen rooms. On the basement floor there will be a cmrtlflno- rr\r\m t H H f r? Vi on lann^rv other service rooms. The main floor will contain the drawing, dining and reception rooms, with a large stair hall and grand staircase. The second floor will have a morning room and two large bed rooms, and on the top floor will be four guest rooms and the servant rooms. The con tract for construction has been awarded to John McGregor. General Building Conditions. The upturn hns come, building operations in the principal cities for October showing a gain over the corresponding month a year ago. According to official reports to Con struction News, permits were taken out in thirty-eight of the lea-ding cities during Oc tober for 12,iV4(5 buildings. Involving a total cost of J42.074.817, against 11.380 buildings at an estimated cost of $40,082.970 for the same period a year ago, an increase of 1,106 buildings and $1,391,847, or 3 per cent. The most conspicuous features of the sit uation are the heavy decrease in New York nttv nn,l iV.f. In V.? Pacific coast cities. The prosperous cities of the middle states continue to make a very satisfactory showing. In New York city permits were taken out this October for 343 buildings, to cost $4,419,93ft, against 289 buildings, involving $9,030,190, an In crease of fifty-four buildings and a decrease of $5,210,235, or 52 per cent. The coast cities are making a remarkable showing and it is to be regretted that the figures for Spokane are missing. The con dition on the coast is abundantly illus trated by the figures for Seattle, where during the month just closed permits were taken out for 832 buildings, involving a to tal cost of $1,929,879, against 686 buildings involving an aggregate cost or <3.344 ror the corresponding month a year ago, an In crease of 419 per cent. Tacoma shows an Increase of 170 pep cent, Portland 124, and Los Angeles 38. Of the thirty-eight cities there were gains in twenty-three and losses in fifteen. Chicago, which for a month or two prior to October showed a falling off because of the tre mendous activity a year ago, is again on the right side, the increase being 6 per cent. A View of the Market. The Moore & Hill Company reports "the first ten days of November, In point of UU3Uit?B, as iuiiuiis uiv ucai m uo iuoiui/ of that corporation. Included tn the sales is that of the Wlnton and Stanley apart ment houses on Columbia Heights. The realty transactions have been confined to no particular class of property, the buying having been quite general, home* and in vestments having the'call in even propor tion. New houses or those erected during the past season, and especially those In the outlying sections, including Columbia Heights and Bioomlngdale, make up a con siderable part of the sales. "The demand for Investment property. & noticeable feature of the year, continues, ready sales being made of good renting houses and fiats and of property promising future speculation. The class buying these properties is made up of those in all walks of life, not a few of the buyers being gov ernment clerks who are placing their sav ings in productive realty. "The sale of houses on what Is often termed the 'easy-payment plan" is growing, the number of those who have been ten ants who are making application for prop erties and buying them being steadily on the Increase." & Street Ho lrne and Lamont Streets. INVESTMENTJUYING Inquiry Made for Property in Business Sections. VIEWS AS TO ITS MEANING Far-Siglited Men Who Anticipate Fu tare Developments. IMPROVEMENTS ABE PROBABLE Enlargement of the Commercial Area of the City is What is Expected. A feature of the market that is not without Interest is the Inquiry being made for property in the business sections of the uij. ah duiuo tdoca aucu lll(4Ull'ie9 lULVe HI** ready resulted In the Investment of money. The use of that word in this connection is fully warranted by what is understood to be the attitude of those who buy property of the sort in question and who are in search of similar holdings. It is Investment buying not perhaps in the full sense of that term. This remains true even whpn It is knnwn tWat thora ia ! an expectation on the part of those who are now in the market that there is to be an appreciation in values perhaps in the near future. It may also be noted that much of the demand is from people who are either not residents of the city or who have not been hero very long. A 4.4 iV. T?--i auti^i^auug iuc xuiuic. It appears that on men of this class the possibilities of the future of this city make such an impression that they want to get for themselves some of the advan tages which they foresee in the development which is to come. It ia probable that the Influence of the change In the steam rail road depot* of the city is one consideration which is uppermost in the minds of those who are looking at property In the city with the view of making a profitable in vestment or speculation. Much of the present interest which Is di i rected toward what may be looked upon as business property may be attributed to the supposed effect of the location of the union depot and the centering there of the great railway passenger traffic which comes into this city. This is shown by the good deal of current business of this class of prop erty as well as also the lnauiries that are being made. Some of the Current Gossip. It is supposed that new centers are going to be made and that property hitherto looked upon as unavailable for business purposes is to be brought Into use. Ex actly how this Is to be done and why re mains aa yet a good deal of a mystery even to those who are somewhat familiar with realty matters in this city. In order, perhaps, to anticipate what is going to happen and also to get in line with future changes, a good deal of prop erty In the section directly west of the union depot and continuing as far as 15th street, with a varying breadth, has already changed hands. Options have also been secured. It 1s In that section that much of the .property is located about which In quiries are coming from supposed investors and buyers. Talk of Improvements. Recent purchases, for example, along G street, with the added statement that oth ers are in contemplation, have given rise to talk about some extensive improvements on the part of purchasers If they succed In getting any considerable holdings. This is perhaps the latest development In this line. There Is, however, nothing very defi nite, and it may be that the undertakings thus generally referred to may never ma terialise. There are those who think that all this Is perfectly natural and Is only carry ing out what Is Inevitable?namely, the broadening and enlarging of the business territory of the city. It is believed by those who hold this view that the present retail district of the city is too limited and that its extension along side streets and also parallel streets is to be expected and rawest, Looking West From 13th and something that Is sure to occur in the near future. Prices of property, they argue, have some influence on such a movement, and, of course, the scale of rentals and tho com petition of new territory has also that ef fect. It is not meant, of course, that there is to be any shifting of centers of business activities, but only an enlarging and an extending: of the bounds of such sections. AS TO GROUND RENTS AN OLD-TIME CUSTOM THAT IS DISAPPEARING. An interesting feature of the real estata market in several of the large cities of the country is the desire to get rid of ground rents. In Pittsburg, says the Press of that city, this peculiar phase of land ownership has never cut much of a. figure, as there never have been many of these rents in force in this section. There are, however, still a few on some of the down-town ave nues and within the past fifteen years a good many have been extinguished. Real estate deaiers everywhere light shy of them as much as possible, and it Is al most impossible to find an eastern trust company that will accept a mortgage on a property on which there is a ground rent, since the existence of this rent puts ths trust company in second place in the mat ter of realizing on the property. In Philadelphia and Baltimore ground rents are still numerous, and It was this fact that seriously handicapped the prog ress of rebuilding Baltimore after the fire. In fact, they did very materially aid In preventing the widening of many of the streets in the burned district. In Philadel phia last week there was an unusually large sale of ground rents at auction, a dis tinct feature being the high prices secured for them, although they were already re deemable. One of them furnishing an an nual rental of $24 on a principal of $400 was sold for $650, at which price It yields 3 G9-100 per cent. Others sold at about par. That any sold at a premium is unusual. The principal can be paid off at any time. In which case the premium paid would be lost. Origin of Ground Bents. But it often happens that when property carrying a ground rent la wanted very badly a big premium is asked; and it is re called that when Diamond street. In this city, was being Improved the syndicate having the matter in hand paid stiff pre miums for certain ground rents, which they wanted to extinguish. These sales call attention once more to one of the ancient ways the venerated fathers of Pennsylvania had of investing their funds?the sale of real estate, reserv ing a ground rent or annual payment to the holder of the same, "his heirs or assigns fnrpvpr " Thpv wprp tt>nHf navahlo In v?H. ous ways?Spanish pistoles, Indian arrows, annually, or the greatest number in Span ish milled dollars?then in high repute as a medium of circulation. Many deeds also stipulated these Spanish dollars shall weigh "17 dwt. 6 gr. of line silver." The yearly charge was computed at the rate of 6 per cent. Law Against Them. In some of the old sections of Philadel phia it is the exception when a house has not a ground rent upon it. They have proved an otratacle to sales, and in making mortgages upon property, as is well known, and as early as 1850 there was legislation nn thA RiihWt Tn thp ant nf IftriA Anrll 99 P. h. 541), is found the provision: "From and after the passage of this act whenever a deed or other Instrument of writing conveying realty shall be made wherein shall be contained a reservation of ground rent to become perpetual upon fail ure of the purchaser to comply with the conditions therein contained, no such cove nant or condition shall be so construed as to make the said ground rent a perpetual incumbrance, but it shall be lawful for the purchaser thereof at any time after said ground rent shall have fallen due to pay the full amount of same, and such payment shall be a complete discharge from the in cumbrance aforesaid." Groun'd rents were also drawn in which a term of years was given, generally ten, during which the ground rent could be paid off and extinguished, but if option was not exercised it became irredeemable. Old Gold Dollars. For many years current funds were ac cepted for payment without regard to the specially named coin. During the civil war, however, holders looked into their securi ties, ana as silver was at a high premium, demanded payment in whatever was named in the ground rent deed. The Spanish milled dollars, of any weight, full or light, at that time were not to be obtained at any price. Suits were brought, and the courts decided that, where the special money named in the deeds could not be obtained, they should be paid in gold. After this was done gold was quoted as high as 200, and as late as 1877 it was still at a frac tional premium. After the resumption of specie payments current funds were again accepted until the depreciation of silver occurred, when Spanish milled dollars suddenly appeared In the hands of brokers and were offeredt as low as 00 per cent of their face value. Then the spirit of retaliation occurred to many owners oi properties Duraened Oy ir redeemable ground rents. They bought tha depreciated dollars and offered them at the Interest periods. They were refused, but the tender was sustained by courts and eminent lawyers. When such payment was made those who received them were com pelled to sell to brokers at from 45 per cent to 95 per cent discount. More Legislation. In 1885 further legislation was passed making It impossible to create an lrredeem able ground rent By act of 1883, June 5M, P. It. 161, It is provided: "From and after the passage of this act no Irredeemable or non-extlngulshable ground rent shall be charged upon or re served out of any land within this com monwealth, nor shall any omission to pro vide for the redemption of any ground rent or rent charge, etc., in any deed hereafter to be made charging or reserving ground rent be in any wise construed or interpreted to make auch ground rent irredeemable or prevent the extinguishment thereof." Such legal action, however, would not be retroactive, and old ground rents continued to advance in value until In some instances they changed hands (either aa an Invest ment or to extinguish them) at 100 per cent premium, mailing me principal return to the holder double the amount reserved when the ground rent was created and In terest only 9 per cent Interfered With Sales. Small around rents of this class often In 0 Streets. terfered with sales of large properties. One fell through for the reason that the holder of an irredeemable ground rent of $12 per annum, principal $200. refused to accept wren tt.OOfr to extinguish it. On being urgad to do so, and told he could invest the sum and rwcaive four times the income, his an swer was: "It has been held In my family for generations, and I do not wish to dis turb my investments." A number of well-known estates held In trust by Philadelphia companies consist rery largely of ground, rente- In one, as soon as any principal is ready for reinvest i% I Mil UUIJ w- IIIUUC UI-HTCUCCUMUWB ground rents. The Income, of course, is very small, but all risk is practically elim inated, as a ground rent of this kind covers the house upon the ground and all in it, and in event of a default in annual or semi annual payment can toe levied on in the same manner as for rent. They now sell upon about a 4 per cent basis when the property is well situated and no drawbacks exist. During all these years ground rents also existed which were redeemable; that Is. they could be extin guished at any time by paying principal which had been reserved, and accrued ground rent to date, a deed being drawn and recorded, as in real estate. These ground rents were 6 per cent, and for many years sold below par. In most cases they . were well sccured. but the length of thne they would remain was uncertain. COURSE OF LECTURES WINTER PROGRAM OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY. wun lectures by Commander Robert E. Peary, 0. S. N.. who recently established a new "farthest north" record, and by Dr. F. A. Cook of Brooklyn, who accomplished the ascent of Mt. McKinley, the highest mountain in North America, as promised features, the National Geographic Society ? "" jooucw iu> inugiaui ul us wiuici icciuro course of 1906-07. Dates for the Peary and Cook addresses will be announced as soon as arrangements can be made suitable to each of the two explorers. The society will continue Its plan of gving one series of popular lectures, the general subject this year being "Pan-America." and a scientific course, the former to be held in National Rifles' Armory, 920 G street northwest, and the latter in the home of the society, Hub bard Memorial Hall, 16th and M streets northwest. Opened Last Night. Besides the Peary and Cook addresses, the public course, beginning with a lecture last night by John Barrett, U. 8. minister to Colombia, includes the following: November 9? Colombia?? Land of Great Possibilities." By John Barrett, U. S. min ister to Colombia. Illustrated. November 16?"Digging the Ditch." By Dr. Willis Fletcher Johnson, associate ed itor of the New York Tribune and author of "Four Centuries of the Panama Canal." Illustrated. November 30?"Beautiful Ecuador." By Joseph W. Lee, U. S. minister to Ecuador. Illustrated. December 7?"The New China." By John W. Foster, formerly Secretary of State and chairman of the Chinese delegation to The Hague. December 14?"Russia and the Duma." By Mr. William E. Curtis. Illustrated. December 21?"Our Immigrants; Where They Come From, What They Are. and What They Do After They Get Here." By F. P. Sargent, commissioner general of Im migration. Illustrated. January 4?"Camping Expeditions In the lanauuui nucxies. o> nr. txowara uu Bois. January 18?"The Gulanas." By Prof. Angelo Heilprln of Tale University. Illus trated. January 23?"Bolivia?a Countrv Without a Debt." By the Bolivian minister, Senor F. Calderon. Illustrated. February 1?"The Pacific Coast." By George C. Perkins, United States senator from California. February 8?"An American In Cuba." By Mr. Walter D. Wilcox. Illustrated. ITohrntiru 1 "Tan Yoara n f Pnl a r or, What We Know and What We Want to Know." By Mr. Herbert L. Bridgman, sec retary of the Peary Arctic Club. Illus trated. March 1?"Santo Domingo and Haiti." By Rear Admiral Chester, United States navy. Illustrated. March 15?"The Regeneration of Korea." By George Ken-nan. Illustrated. March 23?"Queer Methods of Travel In Curious Corners of the World." By O. P. Austin, chief bureau of statistics. Illus trated. March 29?"Mexico?the Treasure House of thie World." Illustrated. April 5?"A Popular Explanation of Earth quakes and Volcanoes." By Dr. G. K. Gil bert of the United States geological survey. Illustrated. April 12?"Captain John Smith and Old Jamestown." By W. W. Ellsworth, sec retary of the Century Company. Scientific Course. November 10?"Prosperous Porto Rico." By William P. Willoughby, treasurer of Porto Rico. November 23?"The Great New Lake In Southern California Made by the Colorado Rhrer." By Dr. A. P. Davis, assistant chief engineer. United States reclamation ser vice. Illustrated. December 10?"Agricultural Progress In the United 8tates." By Willett M. Hays, assistant secretary of agriculture. Illus trated. December 17?"Enterprising Slam." By Henry S. Kerr of New York. Illustrated. December 28?"Acclimatizing- Fisheries: or. Transplanting Fishes from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and Vice Versa, etc." By Dr. Hugh M. Smith, deputy commissioner, bu reau of fisheries. Illustrated. January 11?Annual meeting. "Aboriginal Agriculture in Guatemala." By O. F. Cook of the United States Department of Agri culture. Illustrated. January 1ft?"The United States Forest Service." By GlfEord Pinchot, forester. Illustrated. January 22?"The Coal Lands of th? United States Public Domain." By M. R. Clmpbell of the United States geological survey. Illustrated. February 9?"A Visit to Sumatra." By George H. Peters of the United States naval observatory. Illustrated. February 18?"Reclaiming the Desert." By C. J. Blanchard of the United States reclamation service. Illustrated. February 22?"Reclaiming the Swamp Lands of the United States." By- H. M. Wilson of the United States geological survey. Illustrated. March 8?"Twenty Tears in Beirut and Damascus; or, The Syjria of Today." By Rev. F. E. Hoskina. Illustrated. March 22?"Utilizing the Surface Waters of the United States for Power." By H. A. Pressey, C. E. Illustrated. April 6?"The South Sea Islanders." By A. B. Alexander of the United States bu reau of fisheries. Illustrated. April 19?"The Bureau of American Re publics." By W. C. Fox, director of the bu reau of American republics. The annual banquet of the society will be held in December at the New Wlllnrrt NEW YORK PATRONAGE. Offices Estimated at $500,000 Pass to Democrats. A telegram from Albany says: Patronage, estimated at $300,000 a year, will pass from the control of the republican party in the election of the democratic candidates to the offices of lieutenant governor, secretary of state, controller, state treasurer, attorney general and state engineer and surveyor. With the exception of the democratic ad ministration of the office of the attorney general under John Cuneen in 1903 and 1904, the departments of the state presided over by those elective officers have been under republican domination for the last thirteen years. The subordinate state offices have been republican since 1883. Gov.-elect Charles E. Hushes will have a number of important appointments to make during his gubernatorial incumbency, but his power of appointment, with few ex ceptions, will be applied with gradual process, whereas the control of the offices to which democrats have been elected be comes effective at once. The appointments by the "governor will be made not at one time, but at various periods during his ad ministration. Owing to the statement that the govern ment is about to enter Into a contract with the Midvale Steel Company of Pennsylvania a?Kn1?T O 1AA O AAA iw oixppijr iuua ux aiuiui ytaic, ouw employes of the Ternl Steel Works, Italy, have gone on strike. The local authorities countenance the strike on the pretext of supporting national Industrie*. WILL GOTOTHE HAGUE John W. Foster Appointed a Deleaate From China. MR. LU PROBABLY WITH HIM Next International Cnnf#?re?<v? P,*nwt. ed to Meet in May. GAME OF FRENCH SWINDLERS Flay Upon the Vanity of American Inventors?Rich Harvest Said to Have Been Garnered. BT WILLIAM E. CUHTIS. Written for The St?r and the Chicago Record Herald. The Official Gazette at Peking, which, by the way, is the oldest newspaper In the world, having been printed for more than 8,000 consecutive years, with scarcely an Interruption, frequently contains news of iu<i likvvik 01 ine united states, although Its circulation on this side of the Pacific Is limited to the Chinese legation In Washington and the various Chinese consulates throughout the United States. It publishes all the edicts of the emperor and empress, the orders and regulations of the court, and reports the movements of promi nent officials of the government and the social festivities about the Forbidden city very much as The Star hand:<es social and official occurrences at the American court. A recent njimber of the Official Oaiette contains an edict of the empress dowager and the emperor appointing Mr. John W. Foster of Washington, formerly Secretary of State, ambassador to several foreign capitals, member of various International tribunals and a citizen of no mean city, delegate from the empire of China to the approaching International conference at The Hague. It appears that Mr. Foster was nominated for this distinguished honor in a memorial addressed to the throne by Mr. Wang Tah-slch. Chinese minister at London, according to the usual custom In such matters. The memoral was considered by the cabinet at Peking, the recommenda tion was adopted and submitted to their majesties, who were graciously pleased to make the appointment, and the following announcement was published in the Official Gazette: Official Announcement. "The board of foreign affairs, to which was referred on the eleventh day of the third month, in the thirty-second year of Kwang-hsu, by Imperial command, pre sented by Wang Tah-sich, envoy extraor amary ana minister plenipotentiary to Great Britain, proposing the name of John W. Foster, counsel of the legation at Wash ington. for appointment as a delegate to the approaching International conference at The Hague, respectfully submits the following report: "The convention for the pacific settle ment of International disputes signed at The Hague was on the twelfth day of the sixth month last presented by this board to the throne for ratification, wj that China might become a party to the convention, and a copy of the convention as ratified has been duly deposited with the govern ment of the Netherlands in accordance with the stipulations thereof. "A conference having been called for the coming summer or autumn, it is important that delegates to this conference should be persons of known competency in questions of international law, and the highest moral reputation. Now Minister Wang has pro posed the name of John W. Foster for ap pointment as a representative of China at the conference. Mr. Foster is an authority on international law, and as counsel of the legation at Washington has repeatedly ren dered signal services to the Imperial gov ernment. It Is. therefore, recommended that John W. Foster be appointed a dele gate for China to the conference at The Hague, so as to secure his valuable as sistance. Upon the approval of this rec ommendation the board will officially notify the ministers to the United States and to The Netherlands, and instruct either of them to inform Mr. Foster that he should act accordingly. "This report on the appointment of a rep resentative to the International conference at The Hague is respectfully submitted to the empress dowager and the emperor for their majesties" consideration on this twen ty-first day of the third month. In the second year of Kwang-hsu. thirty-second year of JCwang-hsu. month, In the thirty-second year of Kwang hBu. Imperial sanction was given to the above representation." Mr. Foster's associate will probably be Mr. LU, the present minister of China to The Netherlands, who served in the same capacity at tho late meeting of that tribu nal. Mr. L,u is regarded as a very able man, and la an especially fine scholar in French. Dr. Andrew D. White, late Ameri can ambassador to Berlin, in his book of reminiscences recently published refers to him in a very complimentary manner, and says that he made the beet speech of any foreigner who appeared before the tribunal of The Hague at its recent meeting. The Haene Conference. The next international conference ia ex pected to be held in May, 1907, although no official announcement has yet been made. It would have been held last summer, but was postponed at the request of Secretary Root for fear it might conflict with the meeting of the international conference at Rio de Janeiro. The Chinese government Is deeply Interested in the proceedings of the next conference because it will consider jnany important questions suggested by the war between Russia and Japan, which was fought on Chinese territory. It is expected Chat the tribunal, representing all the civil ized nations of the world, will adopt some kind of & code to govern similar situations In the future, to define the rights and limit the authority ot belligerents who occupy neutral ground. It will doubtless determine also to what extent euch belligerents can use neutrals within their lines, and to what extent neutrals may assist the belligerents. A new definition of neutrality Is very much needed and there Is an Imperative necessity for an international law Drotectinar the non-oontraband property of neutrals during war. The experience of the United States, Great Britain and other countries during the recent war in the east requires this. Gen. Poster has been counsel of the Chinese legation In Washington for twenty years, except during several Intervals when he was Secretary of State under the Harri son administration or has been engaged in diplomatic negotiations In behalf of his own government. He was the adviser of the Chi nese commissioners in their negotiations for peace after the war with Japan in 3895, and his services were ?o satisfactory to both -sides that he was afterward entertained and honored at Tokio by the Japanese quite as much as by the Chinese at Peking. Shortly after, and several times since, the Chinese government has Invited him to come to Peking as Its official adviser, and has offered htm a most tempting salary as U T? la ft# lira icuiuuciauuu. n la tuc vunvivuuu ui the diplomatic oolony In China that if Mr. Foster had accepted the invitation of the emperor In 1896 the Boxer troubles would have been prevented and the war between Russia and Japan would never have oc curred. That war was the direct result of the intervention of Russia in the affairs and relations of China and Japan. This would never have happened, nor would the Boxer outbreak have occurred if there had been a strong and wise man at the ilea.a ui uw lureiKii ucimniuciu ai jtcaius. French Swindling Scheme. There Is a concern In Paris that needs the attention of the French government, and it would do no harm If the Secretary of State at Washington were to jog our able and enterprising ambassador to Prance con cerning the matter, for, in all probability, he knows nothing about It. For many yearc a gang of swindlers at Madrid has been acquiring large sums of American mone> by appealing to the avarice of some of our citizens and telling them that It has been appointed guardian of a very wealth> heiress and executor of a very large ee tate In Spain. The heiress wants to go to the fnlted States and the est?*<? U all tl?4 up because there Is no one to pay the fees. If the person addressed will send over money to pay her steamship fare and buy her a few necessities for traveling the chiltl will sail immediately for the United States; and, as soon as the probate fees are paid, the American addressed will he allowed t*? take possession of the property. Nobody would believe the number of fools who have been caught in that trap, ami hav<? sent hundreds of thousands of dollars to Spuln, in order to secure control of an es tate they never heard of before and tho possession of a child that is of no relation to them and in whom they can have no other Interest except that Inspired by their cupidity. The French swindlers appeal to the van ity of their victims and flatter them until their folly pays the penalty. For many years similar gangs have operated in the I'nlted States and have plucked thousands of geese in Europe by offering them honor ary degrees, from Imaginary universities. They would take the register of the Church of Kngland, for example, and o?nd circu lars to all of the clergymen whose names appear in that directory, informing them that their fame has reached the ITnlted States and that some imaginary university with a high-sounding name has conferred upon them titles of doctor of divinity. Cer tificates thereof inscribed upon parchment are awaiting tlieir orders and will be for warded upon the receipt of the usual fee of a hundred or fifty debars, according to circumstances. Similar circulars were sent to men whose names appear In the lists of lawyers and doctors and the other lrarm-il professions, many of whom promptly swal low the halt, forward the money and re ceive diplomas which authorixe them to wear titles and add strings of letters after their names. This species of swindling ha? been pretty well crushed out by the strenu ous efforts of American educational asso ciations, although occasionally we hear of a new case In Boston or Phllnilelnhia. or Chicago, which have been the favorite fields of operation. Bait for Inventors. The Paris swindle la conducted in a slmU lar manner. Its headquarters are at No. 11 Boulevard St. Martin, where the manager! take the lists of patents granted by tha United States as publish?d In the Patent Office Gazette every week and address l circular to each inventor whose name U given, advising him that his fame ha* reached the ears of the governing board of "The Academy," who have e'ected him a member of that body, and bemuse ol the value and Importance of his invention have conferr?-d upon him "The Great GoU Medal" and "The Award of the Strut-*-1??? Diploma" and "Tim Title of Member of th? Academy." "This honorable tltlo will be of no ex pense to you," continue! the circular, "bul If you are desirous to receive the medal and diploma you would have to send us a post money order of |10, or two pounds sterling, to cover admission taxes, freight, etc., etc., and we Rhall send both well pack ed and free of charge to your address. Trusting that our invitation will be favor ably received, we are at your disposition for all further Information, and remain, sir, your obedient servant. "H. E. BOKTTCHER. Director." aii. owinner aiso oners to send (elided duplicates of tho medal for $3 each anil engraved printer's blocks for Its repro duction for $8 a pair. Large gilded wooden models to bo used on signboards are fur nished for $10 a pair and the cross or insignia for mcmlwrs, suspended upon ? tri-colored silk ribbon, to bo worn around the .neck, for $3. Many Americans Caught. No one knows how many innocent Amer icans have been caught In this trap, but the number is legion. The swindlers in close with their circulars copies of letters received from Englishmen and Americans in different parts of the United States who acknowledge the receipt of the medalu and diplomas and express their apprecia tion of tlje honor. It would not be fair to publish their names. Sometimes, how ever, they get a different kind of a letter. Occasionally some American, who Is too smart to be caught and sees the humor In the scheme, declines the honor like a gentleman up at Ottumwa, Iowa, Mr. Ira D. Smeller, who has Invented and pat ented an apparatus to spray cattle and hogs with chemicals to heal sores anil kill insects. Finding his name among the list of patentees, the "director" sent him tho usual notllieation of his election as a mem ber of "The Academy" and of the aw?r<l of a gold medal and diploma. Yuu can imagtfie the surprise of Monsieur ?oettcher when he received the following reply: "Dear Sir?Our language contains no words adequate to express my great ap preciation of the distinguished honor con ferred. upon mo by your world-renownei academy. But. being only a humble citi zen, without ambition, ancestry or wealth, I do not feel equal to living up to so great a title. I know of only two Inventors In our country who could support the dig nity. I withdraw In favor of either one of them, leaving It entirely to the eminent members of your academy to make the choice. The name of one of them is Theo dore Roosevelt, Inventor of "The Big Stick.' The other la William Jennings Bryan, In ventor of the free silver remedy for all Industrial and commercial complaints, and a new patent medicine known as Govern ment Ownership' which will cure all the troubles caused by the trusts. I suggest, however, that Instead of a gold medal you send him a silver medal, size, 10 to 1." There is no way to panlsh these swindlers because they do as they agree and send the medals and diplomas described in their wiicijifiiiiucin-c, ntucu tiro worm fxacny as much as they would be If they were con ferred by the humblest justice of the peace In the humblest village in America. COUPONS AND OTHER FOHMS. Postal Ruling Affecting Publishers of v. Periodicals. An order has been issued by Mr. Edwin C. Madden, third assistant postmaster general, directing postmasters to notify publishers of periodicals within their respective Juris dictions that he has ruled that blank cou pons and order forms in advertisements are not permissible parts of a periodical to be carried at newspaper rates. The order follows: "The practice has grown of placing in con nection with advertisements in periodicals (magazines) a coupon or order form to be filled out and used In sending a messago back to the advertiser; or a coupon wholly in prim, nuv rdjuiniig iu uc iuicu uui uui still for the purpose of return as a message or evidence of some kind to tho advertiser, or advertisements themselves to fc? detached In their entirety and used for that purpose. "The law provides for the Insertion of the advertisements only and requires that they be permanently attached. There is no au thority for the Inclusion of coupons or order forms or the like concerning the advertise ments or of advertisements to be detached, i The periodical Itself, entitled to the second class ratest Is by law made subject to the higher rate to which any matter not of that class inclosed with it Is subject. (See sec tion 465, P. Li. & R.) "Blank coupons and other forms to be filled out are not permissible parts of a pe riodical, for sheets or portions of sheets, whether large or small, designed to serve as the means of future correspondence be tween the reader and advertiser are not advertisements, but writing paper fur nished the reader for his convenience. As such they constitute merchandise and are subject to the rate of one cent an ounce or fraction thereof. Printed coupons pro viding no space for signature or insertion, and advertisements Intended to be detached, are third-class matter and are subject to the rate of one cent for each two ounces or " fraction thereof. It Is unlawful and detri mental to the postal revenue to place such higher class matter In periodicals and trans mit the same in the malls at the second class rate. The fact that such articles serve the conveniences of advertisers or others gives no warrant for waiving the lawful postage charge on them or on any ptrriuuifai wiui wuivu vuv w? u?v?vi ?/ inclosed. "However, In view of Its prevalence and the desire to avoid unnecessary hardship. Inconvenience and loss to publishers and ad vertisers, and that It has grown up through a misapprehension of the limits of the pub lisher's privilege, the practice will not be Interfered with before March 4. 1907, on which date the next session of Congress expires by limitation. It Is possible that by that time Congress will have so changed llie 91ULULCO iu (cmvivu w mic ecwiiu-uiaoa of mail matter as to make express pro vision for the treatment of detachable cou pons or the like. i "Postmaster* will Immediately notify pub lishers of periodicals within their respective urisdictiona of this ruling in order that they may have ample time to adjust their business to the conditions."