Page images

system. The honorable Chamber of Deputies must have realized this as regards custom dues when it named a special commission of its own house to study the system and outline necessary reforms. The Executive looks upon this move as matter for congratulation, and, while ready to assist it forward in every way, thinks it might be made extensive to the internal taxes.

The prosperous march noted in every branch of production and commerce, and which must find a reflection in the revenue, will allow us to suppress the 5 per cent additional on imports created to cover the exigencies of an abnormal situation. I think the framing of the budget for next year will be an opportune moment for relieving imports of this burden.

The law, No. 4064, of January 24, 1902, authorizes the Executive to construct public works to a sum of $15,000,000 gold, and at the same time to issue obligations on the railways owned by the nation.

In consideration that it might be prejudicial to the national credit to take advantage of the latter for the object in view, I thought it would be advisable to limit action to applying the securities given in guarantee of loans when released, deducting the sum to be handed to the Banco de la Nacion Argentina in accordance with the law, No. 4053, of January 13, 1902.

In these circumstances Messrs. Greenwood & Co. declared their option on the totality of the port obligations, which they held as guarantee, to a sum of £1,459,400, at the rate stipulated of 85 per cent. The sale of these bonds leaves the Government with a balance of $3,613,654 gold.

The reasons which forced the Government to contract this debt at short date are already known, the principal one being to avert the sale of the same bonds at a figure which it was calculated could not pass 70 per cent and which the construction company had the right to sell. In view of these antecedents, it must be admitted that the negotiation has been most satisfactory.


To all the branches dependent on the ministry of agriculture, which are closely united with the development of the public riches, a vigorous impulse has been given. The administration is being developed on secure bases, and attends to immigration, colonization, agricultural and pastoral education, exploration of territories, mines, and sources of water, questions of sanitary police of animals, and to the problems of national and international commerce.

Immigration has diminished owing to the crisis and to bad harvests in recent years, and last year the arrivals exceeded the departures by only 13,560 persons. However, those who leave are less adapted to the necessities of the country than those who are now arriving, who are mostly agricultural laborers and easily find wellremunerated employment, and I am convinced that, when our economic conditions improve, better guarantees of peace and justice are given, suitable regulations are made for labor, and our great natural industries are perfected, the immigratory current will again increase.

As regards the public lands, the law of last year will permit them to be devoted to different uses according to their quality and will facilitate the disposal of them to real settlers. Already several lots of a league each in Chubut have been sold for pastoral colonies to immigrants from South Africa and elsewhere upon condition of their becoming naturalized. This will be the most rapid and convenient form of colonization for Patagonia, which can support many millions of cattle and sheep. Meanwhile various commissions are exploring regions hitherto almost unknown.

The administration has recovered for the nation 325,264 hectares comprised in concessions of which the conditions were not fulfilled; 9,947,000 hectares have been measured by the commissions appointed in 1901 and 40,732,000 are being explored, so that by the end of this year we shall have all necessary information respecting 50,000,000 hectares, or 20,000 square leagues, being more than one-half of the area of the State lands.

The national colonies are making rapid progress, as also are the towns on the Atlantic coast, and 60 leagues have been reserved for colonists from South Africa. The ministry is also endeavoring to attract to these territories immigrants from the north of Europe.

Agriculture is constantly progressing, and 8,000,000 hectares are now devoted to the cultivation of wheat, linseed, maize, and other cereals, against the 3,000,000 of

ten years ago.

Preferential attention has been given to agricultural and pastoral education, and practical schools have been established at Villa Casilda and Cordoba, and others are being installed at Tucuman, San Juan, Las Delicias, Bella Vista, and Posadas. The

diffusion of technical knowledge and the complete teaching of agriculture and stock raising, from simple elementary notions to the superior agronomic and veterinary schools, are indispensable for making the best use of the favorable conditions of our climate and soil.


The alterations made at the end of last year, of the law of sanitary police for animals and the regulations made by the Executive, perfected the service which guarantees us against the introduction of exotic contagious diseases, insures the scrupulous inspection of animals intended for exportation, and establishes energetic measures against the diseases existing in the country. A convention was also entered into with the Government of the Republic of Uruguay for the adoption of identical sanitary precautions simultaneously by the two Republics, thus facilitating their exchange of live stock. The result of these operations was the reopening of the British ports, and in the first quarter of this year 25,000 head of cattle and 95,000 sheep have been exported. To insure and increase these benefits, it is only necessary to extend and perfect the technical personnel of our sanitary inspection in the proportion required for the security, importance, and reputation of our live-stock industry.

The exportation of frozen meat during 1902 represented a value of $13,572,000 gold, against $7,000,000 in 1900. The exportation of butter also increased from $264,000 gold in 1900 to $1,280,000 gold in 1902. This is a new source of wealth which is destined to attain an extraordinary development.


The importance which certain railway companies have acquired and the increased number of lines authorized by national and provincial laws at different epochs, have given rise to problems which have also been witnessed in other countries in similar conditions, and which will have to be resolved in the same way, harmonizing private and public interests.

This is what is happening with the fusion of some companies. Monopoly has in many instances been the last grade arrived at after a disastrous competition, and in the impossibility of averting these phenomena which are beyond the action of the authorities the intervention of the latter must be directed to supervision of those points in which the private interest of the companies can come into conflict with the general interest of the population. This difficulty overcome, the fusion of the companies may really become an advantage and benefit because it will allow them to reduce capital, economize in working expenses and thus lower tariff rate, which is the desideratum.

To this same end will tend the development of the lines owned by the nation, the tariffs of which, based on principles of equity and having for principal object the public interest, may mark a level which the private lines can approach. This is all the more practicable, taking into consideration the fact that it is to the interest of the companies themselves to reduce their rates to a minimum in order to expand their traffic.

In pursuit of these ideals, a commencement had to be made with the national lines, normalizing administration and exploitation in order to make receipts and expenses balance, which has been effected, and the plan will be further developed under the laws recently sanctioned for the railway to Bolivia, to Ledesma, Chaco, San Juan, Santa Fe, and Famatina (cable), laws which are in actual execution, while the valleys of Salta and Catamarca are being studied and surveyed with a view to extending the lines to centers of production and thus provide cheap transport.

The Central Argentine and Buenos Aires and Rosario railways have presented themselves to the Government, requesting permission to amalgamate. The Executive is studying the matter attentively, and will lay it before you for your consideration.


Gentlemen, we are on the threshold of a historical period when all the elements of life and prosperity of the country appear to combine to augur happy times for it; and it is beginning to excite the interest and curiosity of the world through its culture, its extraordinary powers of production, and its rapid development.

In our short and eventful existence as a nation we have traveled over a long road strewn with civil wars, crises, tyranny, and disorder, and we can now look to the future free from the uncertainty and anxiety of former times, which more than once made the most sincere and strong-minded patriots despair of our lot.

We have still much to achieve and many self-conquests to make which even countries of centuries' growth have not yet achieved in the science of government.

Republican government is based more on habits and customs than on written law, and requires a constant exercise by the citizens of their political liberty of action in the multiple economic and social interests of the community.

The electoral law you voted last year will not be sterile in promoting political progress. The defects of the old electoral system will disappear with it if the political parties honorably comply with the new law, and the judges apply it with the same impartiality as they now do the common law.

Senators and deputies, when next year for the last time I open Congress, the electors of the new President of the Republic will have been elected. My most sincere wish is to see the highest aspirations of Argentine patriotism fulfilled in this election, so that the laws and head of the nation may be worthy of respect at home and abroad and a guaranty of peace and progress.

In opening your session I implore the guidance of Divine Providence for your deliberations.

[Inclosure 2.-From the Buenos Aires Herald, May 5, 1903.]


The internal affairs of the country are prosperous, and there has been no conflict between provinces or between the nation and the provinces. The intervention in Buenos Aires in February and March, and the abstention from intervention in Rioja, where the legislature had deposed the governor, were in accordance with the constitutional powers of the Government. The national territories are developing at a great pace, on account of their great natural wealth and the greater increase of the ways of communication with them. The Executive thinks that the law of 1884 concerning the territories needs revision. This reform was proposed in the message of 1900, and in a bill presented in August, 1900, to which the Executive had made certain amendments.

During the last month of last session strikes which threatened the public wealth during the nation's greatest development broke out. A state of siege was ordered in Buenos Aires and Santa Fe, where the chief ports threatened by the strike are. This enabled the Executive to adopt extreme measures for the protection of commerce. Congress had at that moment thought it convenient to sanction the law of residence. This law had long been lacking in our statute book. It was capable of modification, and could now be discussed in a calm manner. The law of residence could not be considered a limitation of the right to inhabit our soil, but gave confidence to immigration. In last year's strike twenty-six trades took part, and the strikers soon adopted an aggressive attitude against those who would not stand by their fellows. The workingmen's societies were dominated by the anarchistic element. The result of the state of siege and law of residence had justified their


Crimes in the capital had increased greatly of late years, and perhaps the reform of the criminal code submitted to Congress would remedy this.

The postal and telegraphic service had been extended, and it was calculated that it would have a revenue of $6,000,000. The telegraphic system has already reached the most distant point in Patagonia, Cabo Virgenes. During the present year the line to the Cordilleras, already made as far as October 16, should be united to that of the Atlantic.

The sanitary condition of the country is satisfactory, and no exotic diseases have been reported. He recommends the sanitary bill subinitted last year.


The creation of Federal courts of appeal in the capital, La Plata, Cordoba, and Parana has completed the judicial system of the country. The supreme court has been relieved of some of its most arduous duties. It is also proposed to establish Federal courts at Bahia Blanca and Santa Fe.

It would be proposed to establish a correctional colony for minors, and to turn the present reformatory into an adult prison. The construction of Ushuaia prison is well advanced. In the territories only lesser criminals could be imprisoned. It was necessary to re-form the law for the construction of a Federal court-house.


Higher education would receive encouragement with the economic independence of the universities. The construction of a morgue and museum of natural history would complete the scheme of higher education.

Shortly a new scheme of secondary education will be presented to Congress.

[ocr errors]

The construction of normal and secondary schools will shortly be undertaken, relieving the country of the burden of rents for such schools. The recent reforms in the national colleges have increased the number of children attending them.

Primary education has greatly increased. Eleven thousand more children have entered the official schools. The financial aspect of education has also improved. At Concordia and Bahia Blanca commercial schools have been founded. The industrial school will shortly have its own building.

The frozen meat exports in 1902 amounted to $13,752,000 gold. The butter export trade increased from $264,000 gold in 1900 to $1,280,000 gold in 1902. Mining operations were beginning. Coal Measures in Misiones, Neuquen, and Santa Cruz were explored and borax deposits in the Andes.

Commerce is increasing rapidly, especially that with South Africa. During the first three months of the present year imports had amounted to $33,539,498, an increase of $5,955,223 over those of the same quarter of the last year, and it is calculated they may be $123,000,000 gold during the year, an increase of $20,000,000. Exports during the first three months have been $69,351,199, an increase of $12,639,251 gold over those of the first quarter of 1901-2. It was calculated that they will amount to $250,000,000 in the year, an increase of $76,000,000.

Maritime trade is increasing, and the tonnage entered and cleared this year is calculated at 11,000,000 gross register. The coasting trade by both the Government vessels and the Hamburg-Sud Americaner Line has been prosperous.


Financial difficulties in recent times have delayed the making of various public works. The rapid rise of several railways has given birth to new problems of harmonizing public with private interests. After great competition some companies have been fused. Intervention in this matter should be limited to regulating the points where public interest is at war with private. This done, the fusion of railways might even be of great benefit. The development of the national railways would tend to the cheapening of transportation. The national railways have been reformed so that their expenses are covered by their revenue without aid from the taxpayer. The line to Bolivia would make the working of the lines cheaper, as also those to Ledesma, the Chaco, San Juan, Santa Fe, and the Telfer Line to Famatina.

The Central Argentine and Rosario railways had asked the Government to recognize their fusion, and the petition would be sent to Congress for consideration. During the year 388 kilometers of new railways had been opened. The Republic had now 18,000 kilometers. Nearly 20,000,000 passengers had been carried and over 14,000,000 tons of merchandise. The gross earnings had been $42,489,000 and the net $20,000,000 gold.


Improvements had been made in the navigation of the rivers. In October last a contract was signed for the construction of a port at Rosario. It is hoped that at the end of next year the first section of that port would be opened to public use. tenders for the extension of the port of the capital have not been accepted, as they were not within the terms prescribed by the law. A new plan is being discussed. The military port has its essential works completed, and there is no hurry over the rest of them.

The San Juan dam had been completed, and a similar one was being made on the Rio V at Villa Mercedes. Works are being made to supply several provincial capitals with water. The sanitary works of the capital are being extended and will increase the revenue of the works, which amounted the last year to $5,460,000 gross and $3,450,000 net.

The Congress Hall works are being pushed forward, and next year Congress will be opened in a hall worthy of Argentina. The works of the open-door lunatics' colony are well under way.


The army has made great progress. The conscription law has been carried out scrupulously. A new enrollment has taken place, and 260,451 citizens have enrolled in the line and 210,643 in the national and territorial guards. It is necessary to modify the recruiting, retirement, and other military laws.

The pact with Chile concerning naval disarmament has been religiously carried out, and great economy has resulted. The staff whose services were thus no longer needed were employed in other duties, such as the survey of the river and its lighting. It is to be hoped that the change of electoral system may abolish many political vices of the past.

When Congress next opens the legislature will have been renewed and the electoral college appointed which will choose a new President.



Mr. Storer to Mr. Hay.

No. 7.]


Vienna, January 23, 1903.

SIR: The matter of the appointment of John Steel Twells, of Pennsylvania, as consular agent at Carlsbad, has experienced some delay, the reasons of which I beg to report.

Notwithstanding the instruction No. 60 of the Department, which transmitted Mr. Twells's commission, directed Mr. Hale, as chargé, to apply to the foreign office for his formal recognition as consular agent, it was presumed the commission, which was inclosed, naming him commercial agent, contained the correct designation of his office, and the application to the foreign office was made to recognize him in the latter capacity. The uncertainty as to which office Mr. Twells had been appointed would have demanded inquiry from the Department had not an inspection of the official list of United States consular officers, contained in the last Congressional Directory, described him as commercial agent. Before I took over the affairs of the embassy the foreign office had requested Mr. Hale's presence in order to point out to him that under the consular treaty of 1870, between the United States and Austria, no such officer was recognized as commercial agent. Mr. Hale was informed that the Imperial Government, while desirous in any way of showing amity toward the United States, could not issue an exequatur, according to a treaty, to an official who was not designated in that treaty, and he was asked to advise the Department of the condition of affairs and ask what were the intentions or wishes of the United States. On my arrival I suggested that the embassy would prefer to have a written note of the objection of the Austrian Government before reporting the matter to the Department, and such a note was promised on the part of the foreign office.

Yesterday the foreign office sent back the commission of Mr. Twells with a note, of which I inclose a copy as well as a translation.

It will be seen that, to all appearances, the foreign office has retired from its former attitude and has summarily taken the words “commercial" and "consular" to have the same meaning and force. Provisional recognition, therefore, with privilege of entering on his duties seems to be granted to Mr. Twells as commercial (consular) agent, and his exequatur under the same official designation is promised in due course of time.

This commission as commercial agent will remain in the embassy until notice of the issue of the exequatur is received, and then it will be transmitted to Mr. Twells.

« PreviousContinue »