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Title: The Argentine as a Market
Author: Watson, N. L.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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       *     *     *     *     *




_The Argentine as a Market_

Publishers to the Victoria University of Manchester
Manchester: 34 Cross Street
London: 60 Chandos Street, W.C.

[Illustration: (graph of imports, exports, and population)]

The Argentine as a Market


_To the Electors to the Gartside Scholarships on the Results of
a Tour in the Argentine in 1906-7_



_Gartside Scholar_




The Gartside Reports are the reports made by the Gartside Scholars at
the University of Manchester. The Gartside Scholarships were established
in 1902 for a limited period, by John Henry Gartside, Esq., of
Manchester. They are tenable for two years and about three are awarded
each year. They are open to males of British nationality who at the date
of the election shall be over the age of eighteen years and under the
age of twenty-three years.

Every scholar must enter the University of Manchester for one Session
for a course of study approved by the electors. The remainder of the
time covered by the Scholarship must be devoted to the examination of
subjects bearing upon Commerce or Industry in Germany or Switzerland, or
in the United States of America, or partly in one of the above-mentioned
countries and partly in others, but the electors may on special grounds
allow part of this period of the tenure of the Scholarship to be spent
in study and travel in some other country or countries. It is intended
that each scholar shall select some industry, or part of an industry, or
some business, for examination, and investigate this comparatively in
the United Kingdom and abroad. The first year's work at the University
of Manchester is designed to prepare the student for this investigation,
and it partly takes the form of directed study, from publications and by
direct investigation, of English conditions with regard to the
industrial or commercial subjects upon which research will be made
abroad in the second year of the scholarship. Finally, each scholar must
present a report, which will as a rule be published.

The value of a Scholarship is about £80 a year for the time spent in
England, £150 a year for time spent on the Continent of Europe, and
about £250 a year for time spent in America.


MR. N. L. WATSON's sudden departure to fill a commercial position in the
East has prevented him from seeing this Report through the press



  Chapter I. The Economic Basis of the Argentine        1

    "    II. The Railways                               6

    "   III. Industries and the Labour Question        12

    "    IV. Foreign Capital and Public Debt           16

    "     V. Argentina from the Immigrant's
               Standpoint                              20

    "    VI. English Trade.  Its Position and
               Prospects                               25

    "   VII. The Tariff                                41

  Statistical Appendix                                 53



The first thing that strikes the new arrival in the Argentine, and the
last thing that he is likely to forget when he leaves the country, is
the extraordinary inflation of prices. With the exception of meat, and
perhaps bread, there is no article of common consumption which does not
cost considerably more than in England, every allowance being made for
freight and tariff charges. The reason for this excess is doubtless to
be found in the concentration of trade in the capital. All imports, for
reasons that will be dealt with later, pass through the hands of the
large houses in Buenos Aires, who act as sole agents for the whole of
the Republic north of the Rio Negro. [While, owing to the precarious
nature of all business, dependent entirely on the grain and cattle
yield, much higher prices are charged in fat years than would be
justified if these times of prosperity were regarded as permanent.]
Because of this concentration of business in the capital, and in the
centre of the town in particular, rents have risen to an immense extent,
greatly increasing all establishment charges, and in turn the price of
commodities sold--a cause which acts again of course in retail trade and
neutralises the freight charges to outlying districts. But the essential
fact in Argentine Economics, and one which seems more than obvious, but
apparently escapes the comprehension of Argentine legislators, is that
the country is naturally, and must remain for some considerable time, a
producer of raw material exclusively. The country is still considerably
under-populated for the development of its natural resources, while
only a small portion of the settled area is yet producing even half
the yield of which it is immediately capable. Immigration of a certain
class--capable agriculturalists with some capital--is still required.
But with a strange perversity politicians have persistently advocated
a high protective tariff for the purpose of fostering industrial
development. The result has been that certain industries have cropped up
under this system, which are quite incapable of independent existence,
and, while satisfying neither the employers nor their men, constitute a
very heavy drain on the national purse. The chief objection, however,
to the policy is that it invites a class of immigrant who is really not
required in the country and who has taken to settling in the capital
instead of scattering into the camp.

The immigrant required is the "colonist," to whom the country is already
beginning to owe much of its prosperity. There are two distinct types of
colonist--the one who buys his land on a permanent colony, and builds a
decent house, and the temporary tenant whose economic principle is to
break the soil of new land, and moves to a new district at the end of
his term. The latter owes his origin to the cultivation of "alfalfa,"
the wonderful clove-like plant that will grow on sand, and requires no
rain, but thrives on the surface water which abounds in the country's
flat, low-lying plains. Alfalfa will not grow in hard unbroken ground,
and where the land is such, cereal cultivation is necessary for three
years to reduce it to a fit condition. This work requires labour which
is not available among the gauchos, the horsemen who act as hands on
the estancias, and the estanciero himself probably does not possess
the knowledge requisite for the cultivation of grain. A contract is
therefore made with colonists, usually Piedmontese or Basques, to break
the soil and grow cereals for three, or more usually five, years, either
at a fixed rent or for a percentage of the crop, the stipulation being
that with the last year's seed alfalfa is sown as well. When the last
crop has been cut, the latter grows through the stubble. The growth of
this plant is such that as alfalfa is more cultivated, the stock-bearing
capacities of the country will easily be trebled.

The main supports of the country are, therefore, cereals and cattle, the
latter being undoubtedly the more profitable investment, but requiring a
much larger capital. By Argentine, as by French, law property at death
is compulsorily divided, and this tends to split up the now immense
tracts of land occupied by individuals. Whatever the social advantages
of such a system may be, it is not conducive to the most economic
working, nor yet to the breeding of the finest strains of stock, for
which a large capital is required. A form of evasion, however, has been
found in the formation of limited liability companies, often private,
to run big estancias. These have everything to recommend them from the
economic point of view. A capable manager is put in charge of the work
on the spot, and, as capital is usually forthcoming, the estancias are
run in such a way as to yield the greatest possible return. They are
usually well-maintained, up-to-date in management and fittings, and
supplied with good home-bred strains.

There are, however, other natural sources of wealth in the Argentine;
notably, the forests of hard-woods (of the acacia order) which abound
in the Chaco, in Corrientes and Entre Rios, and are also found in the
province of Córdoba and elsewhere; the sugar industry in the north-west
(of which more will be said under "The Tariffs"); the hitherto
undeveloped fruit cultivation in all parts of the country (this in
the sub-tropical and central provinces would be especially liable to
suffer from the depredations of locusts); perhaps, too, cotton growing
in the Chaco, where, however, the supply of labour is much questioned,
and some pests peculiar to the cotton-bole are reported as existing;
and, lastly, the minerals, as yet wholly undeveloped. Although these
are undoubtedly much more scarce than in Bolivia and Chile, the absence
of an impartial geological survey has rendered the flotation of bogus
companies easy, and practically prevented any genuine development, in
spite of their greater accessibility than in the former country. The
recent boom and collapse in gold ventures was the result of stock
exchange transactions, probably fraudulent, as, with the exception
of the sea-bed to the very south of the country (where it cannot be
recovered), gold is probably one of the few minerals which does not
exist to a workable extent.

A curious feature in the Argentine is the absence of navigable rivers.
With the exception of the treacherous Paraná and the Uruguay, enclosing
the provinces of Entre Rios and Corrientes, there is not a single
waterway, natural or artificial. The result of this has been an enormous
network of railways spreading over the central provinces with isolated
offshoots north and west. The consequent great influx of capital would
naturally have encouraged a large import trade; but the prohibitive
tariff has succeeded in retaining the money in the country, while the
revenue derived has, almost without exception, been uneconomically
employed. The result is that, apart from an occasional monopoly that has
succeeded, the only large gainers from this policy have been the town
property holders.

A large part, however, of the province of Buenos Aires is liable to
periodic inundation, and, to obviate this, an extensive system of
drainage has been planned, a work of great difficulty owing to the
small difference of altitude between the land and the sea. Some canals,
however, are in course of construction of which advantage might possibly
be taken, if they were made of sufficient depth, for local transport.
If this were done, a large and important part of the country would
be provided with a cheaper alternative to the railway. In a volume
descriptive of the Republic (published, in English, by the Department
of Agriculture) this possibility is foreshadowed, stress being laid on
the slight fall from the Andes to the coast, and a scheme, chimerical
on the face of it, of a system of trans-continental canals is vaguely
outlined. But, being so wildly improbable, it seems to have no existence,
even problematical, outside the pages of that advertisement.



The prosperity of the Argentine Republic would undoubtedly have been
impossible without the enormous investments made by British financial
houses in its railway development. For many years--in fact, until quite
recently--the influx of capital was welcomed and encouraged. Concessions
were lavished on anyone ready to take them up, and, far from irksome
conditions being imposed, valuable privileges were granted to the
_concessionnaires_. Moreover, the national and provincial governments
were only too eager to get rid of such lines as they themselves owned,
and invariably worked at a loss, and to transfer them to European
concerns. That the railways were financed from motives of promiscuous
philanthropy is improbable, but that the English financiers were almost
alone in their confidence in the future of the country is not only true,
but it is a truth which the most respected and able Argentines fully
realise. There exists, however, at the present moment a very powerful
feeling of opposition to the "Empresas," as they are called--the
"concerns" that practically control the country--and (so say their
opponents) exploit it entirely for their own ends. Apart from the fact
that a railway, in order to pay, must humour its traffic, and would be
attempting suicide were it really guilty of the exorbitant overcharging
and mismanagement of which some lines are accused, there is little or no
cause for these complaints. In a country where a mortgage on land pays
8 per cent. interest, and where other investments are expected to give
a proportionate return, the 7 per cent. of a railway dividend is far
from being excessive, especially when it is remembered that locusts and
drought may at any time absorb practically the whole year's profits of
a whole system.

The motive of this hostile spirit, or what may be behind it, is difficult
to discover. That jealousy of foreign--especially English--influence
exists in a certain section of the people is undoubted. But, considering
that the true Argentine population--supposing that such a thing exists
or could be defined--is very small compared with the foreign element,
and that of itself it is absolutely incapable of developing the country,
some other reason must exist to justify the position. But, discreditable
as such jealousy is to the people concerned, it is without doubt a very
powerful factor.

Fortunately, these opinions are not shared by the Government, nor,
probably by the people generally, who, although always complaining
of high freights, delay in transport, and all the other grievances
for which every railway under the sun is blamed, seem to dread the
alternative of Government control. The official members of the
Government are on the whole considered to be sincere, industrious men,
with a genuine desire to do their best. But Government management
invariably means peculation, among subordinates especially, and the
introduction of petty politics into business. It is from this element
that the opposition springs. Concessions requested by capitalists,
permission for extensions required by existing concerns, although of
undoubted advantage to the country and approved by Government, are
blocked in Congress. The tone and quality of Congress may be judged
from the fact that the only measure of any importance passed during a
whole session was that authorising an increase in the salaries of the
deputies. For weeks on end no meeting can be held, be the measures to be
discussed ever so important, because, from carelessness or deliberate
intention, sufficient members do not appear to form a quorum. Several
deputies, indeed, never sit from the beginning of the session to the
end. Thus, even if there is no opposition to a railway bill, it often
happens that it is as effectually blocked by the sheer slackness of
individual congressmen.

That the railways themselves are not blameless in every respect stands
to reason. And, although this is almost certainly not the origin of the
present obstruction to their demands, they would command a much greater
share of sympathy--after all, a considerable asset--if they would
realise their own faults.

Having had, and still having, a practical monopoly in their own
districts, the various companies have adopted a somewhat despotic
attitude towards new and outside enterprise, and, sometimes a disregard
for the requirements of their customers, as well as for the true needs
of the country. Railway affairs centre in River Plate House, and
any attempt on the part of outsiders to establish themselves in the
Argentine is viewed with great suspicion by the financial ring that
rules there. Concessions put forward have been blocked times out of
number by the influence which the ring could exert in Congress. If by
any chance--and this has been more frequent of late--the concessions
have been secured in spite of its opposition, every obstacle is placed
in the way of raising the requisite capital in London--opposition which
the ring is in a peculiar position to make effective. Only recently a
very sound project was floated with the greatest difficulty, even the
debentures failing to realise more than 90 per cent., because one of
the existing lines considered the proposal a trespass on its especial
preserves. Moreover, there seems to be every reason to anticipate the
rapid failure of the new line owing to the rate war which the existing
one will undoubtedly declare.

This apparent disregard of the needs or desires of their customers is,
perhaps, attributable partly to the unreasonable nature of the demand,
partly to an occasional pursuit of some pet theory of management,
but, in all probability, more largely to the division and conflict of
authority. The management is separated from its central board, not only
by the Atlantic, but by the local board sitting in Buenos Aires. And,
although on the home board there are men whose knowledge of the country
was intimate some years previously, their aspect of the working of
a railway naturally undergoes considerable modification upon their
transference from the executive to the directorate; while the local
board, who are often appointed merely to secure local support and
influence, are rather apt to exercise their power in a vexatious and
capricious manner--more to show their authority than to further the
interests of the railway. As regards the actual working of the lines, in
some cases complaints are made that too much confidence is placed in
the long-haul, long-train theory. There are only a few lines on which
there is any opportunity for or advantage in the very long train, the
agricultural districts centring round the various ports. Owing to the
lack of warehouse accommodation along the line, grain has often to be
loaded into the trains straight from the growers' carts, thus causing
endless delay when trains of immense length stand to be filled. It
often happens, too, if the harvest proves at all good, that, in spite
of Government orders, the rolling stock is quite inadequate for the
traffic, the result being that with the accumulation of work in the
docks, a crop is sometimes kept locally for a whole year before it
can be removed to a port.

Considerable inconvenience is caused, and will continue to be caused
for some time, by the congestion at the port of Buenos Aires. Control
there has been exercised by half a dozen different boards with no
central authority. The wharfage and warehouse accommodation are quite
inadequate, even if the great savings possible in time and space were
realised. And, lastly, although there is already sufficient confusion
with a one gauge system, there is an immediate prospect of the
introduction of two other gauges. The existing lines there are 5 ft.
6 in. But preparations are already being made for the continuation of
the Central Córdoba (metre gauge) into the port, and possibly of the
Entre Rios (4 ft. 8½ in.) extension as well.

The solution to the difficulty is at present very doubtful. Increased
accommodation to a limited extent is quite possible in Buenos Aires
itself, and with an immense outlay of capital an entirely new set of
docks might be constructed there--though this is highly improbable. The
more reasonable course would undoubtedly be to construct new ports or
develop existing ones elsewhere, a course that is already being adopted
by the Southern at Bahia Blanca, and the Entre Rios line at Ibicuy.
There is also a new project floated for the construction of a large
port in the Bay of Samborombon (also on the Southern system), but this
scheme does not meet with much approval in the country, while, for some
reason, the port of La Plata has never succeeded, in spite of every
encouragement. At some time a port will have to be constructed at Mar
del Plata, where the only rock foundation on the whole coast is to be
found. Mar del Plata is the Argentine Brighton, and any commercial
development there is certain of an unfavourable reception. But as sand
and mud are the only base from Santa Fé to Bahia Blanca--in some cases
there being not even firm sand--and as dredging is exceptionally
expensive, no other solution seems reasonable. On the Uruguay River,
and on the Eastern Bank of the Paraná, in the South of Entre Rios there
is deep water. But as this only affects the lines of that province and
of Corrientes it has no bearing on the general question of Argentine

As a last word, it must be remembered that the present boom in
the country is extremely recent. Argentine has developed in an
extraordinarily rapid manner, and some confusion is excusable. That the
railway and the country will realise and overcome their difficulties
there can be little doubt. And in any case the natural wealth of the
country is so great that in the end it will force a way out, in spite
of obstacles.

Statistics relating to railways will be found in Chapter VI.



The labour question in the Argentine Republic is one of great
difficulty. There is really no native labour, certainly none for
industrial purposes. The Gaucho,[1] now degenerated into the peon,[2]
is only available for stock-raising. Agriculture is carried on almost
entirely by colonists of various nationalities, and industries by
Italian immigrants only. There is one exception, the sugar industry
of the north. There conditions are so very different from those in the
centre and the south, that it must be treated as almost a separate
country. While the north-east--the Chaco district--is still in so
uncivilised a state that its possibilities are very hazy. The Quebracho
trade yields very large returns with Indian labour, but Indian labour
is an unknown quantity. Uncivilized Indians still cause considerable
trouble there, and opinions differ considerably as to the possibility
of employing them successfully for cotton growing and other new

    [1] The descendents of the original Spanish settlers, often showing
        marked traces of Indian blood.

    [2] Peon is the name applied to all labourers.

The more important question is that relating to labour for factories,
workshops, and railways in the central part of the Republic, and in the
towns themselves. That a country situated so far from the great centres
of production should continue to import nearly all its necessities as
well as luxuries seems incredible. Yet the tendency is certainly more in
the direction of increased importation than of home manufacture. There
is a tariff of exceptional severity on every conceivable article, but
even this fails to develop industries in the country. Breweries, flour
mills and repairing shops seem to be the only successful growths, with a
few isolated instances, such as canvas shoe factories and similar works.
Even the production of such essentially native goods as "ponchos"[3] has
lapsed in favour of German and Italian wares. While the manufacture of
matches--in the hands of a powerful monopoly, bolstered up by privileges
and an exorbitant duty--was so seriously jeopardised by a strike last
year, that the threat was made--whether seriously or not, cannot be
said--of closing down the works and importing immediately from England
and Sweden. (It is satisfactory to note in this connection that
an English firm promptly stepped forward and made an offer to the
Government that if a reduction was made in the duty, it would undertake
to place on the market, within little more than a month, some millions
of boxes of matches).

    [3] "Ponchos" are the peculiar rugs with a central slit to admit
        the head when the "poncho" is used as a cloak. They are used
        universally in the country.

Even those industries, however, that flourish, do so in spite of their
labour. They are all, it will be observed, concerned with the production
of goods that are either expensive or difficult to transport, and only
the direst necessity could prevent their home manufacture. In the
course of last year there were two general strikes (in Buenos Aires
and Rosario) besides numerous small ones. Dock labourers seem to be
continually in partial ferment, and even the most generous treatment
does not prevent railway employees from stopping work occasionally. The
causes of this instability are fairly apparent, though the same cannot
be said of the remedy.

For various reasons industrial labour is entirely supplied by Italian
immigrants, mostly Neapolitans. The other nationalities who come into
the country engage for the most part in agricultural work, either as
colonists, buying their land, or as tenant farmers on short leases.
Skilled English and other European labour is also employed in factories,
but only for the higher grades of work, and in positions of some
responsibility. Thus the available labour is recruited from the lower
class of immigrants, and from a race not remarkable for stability.

In the second place, living in the capital is extremely dear, not least
being the price of house accommodation. Although an Italian can satisfy
his requirements at a much lower rate than an Englishman could his,
yet even he can scarcely make both ends meet, while the excess of
expenditure over receipts is particularly galling in the land of
promise. Recently, too, additional grievances have been introduced by
the wholesale eviction of tenants owing to the purchase by syndicates
of whole blocks of buildings, and the subsequent re-letting of them at
immensely increased prices. In the first six months of last year there
were more than eleven thousand petitions for evictions before the
justices. With a discontented and excitable working population,
therefore, as a field for their activities it is not surprising that
the agitators, of whom there is no lack, should be so successful.
Attempts are being made by various large concerns to supply reasonable
accommodation for their employees, and more than one railway has been
particularly liberal in this respect. But it was only a short time ago
that a strike of very serious dimensions was declared in the workshops
of one of the most generous, on the most ridiculous pretext.

The great danger in all labour troubles in the Argentine lies in the
fact that they are apt to become general and paralyse trade. It is
usually impossible to secure "blacklegs," a circumstance which the
workmen fully realise. Moreover, owing to the peculiar economic
conditions of the country, a strike on the part of the workmen in one
industry means that all the workmen in that industry stop work; and, as
trade is usually in a state of congestion, the difficulties created are
enormous. A dock strike in Buenos Aires is doubly serious, because the
port is already overcrowded, and there is no alternative port suitable.
A match strike, with the present tariff, causes a match famine. A
railway strike is sure to break out only when the year's harvest must
be negotiated. And should any single strike show signs of missing fire,
in all probability the result is a sympathetic strike on the part of
all workmen, including cab-drivers and bakers.

The problem before the Government is very serious, if, indeed, it is not
a question which it would be wise for the parties concerned to work out
for themselves. Considerable success is reported to have attended the
efforts of the Western Railway, who have instituted a conciliation board
for the mutual consideration of difficulties with their employees. But
unless by some means the cost of living is reduced, it is difficult to
see how satisfactory conclusions can be attained. If prices continue
to rise as, in all probability they will, a rise in wages will be
imperative. This, in the case of railways would mean an increase in
rates, as there are few who are earning more than a reasonable dividend,
while an increase in rates would cause great dissatisfaction to the
whole agrarian population; after all by far the most important in the
country. It is even doubtful whether cereals could stand any heavier
rates than they bear at present.

The root of the labourer's dissatisfaction lies, as has been said, in
the high cost of living. Unless this can be lowered, there can be no
hope of a final settlement. And the only means of lowering it is a
reduction in the tariff and a greater mobility of trade in the



It is not the intention to deal in this work with the market
fluctuations, the arrangements made between provincial banks and
their creditors, nor with any of the financial aspects which these
questions have recently assumed. Such a course would not only be out of
place, but would be of little interest or value, owing to the unstable
state in which the negotiations are at present. The object will be rather
to indicate the part that foreign capital has played in the development
of the country and that played by politics in finance.

An important fact to realise is that the liberation of the country from
the Spanish colonial system is comparatively recent, and that a people
unfitted in every way for political independence was suddenly put in
possession of a country of quite exceptional richness but absolutely
undeveloped and almost unpopulated. Men with no political experience
nor education found the road open to responsible positions requiring
statesmanlike qualities in an unusually high degree--not only financial,
but diplomatic and administrative ability combined with absolute
integrity. It is sufficiently well known how far they came up to
the requirements. For it is only at the present day that political
morality has found a place in the national executive. In provincial
administration and in the ranks of the deputies it is doubtful whether
it will ever predominate.

It is a favourite complaint of Argentines that their country is
regarded in Europe as a hot-bed of revolution. They are never weary of
complaining that their claim to be a civilized power is disregarded. In
the absence of a definition of civilization the question must be left
open. But as regards revolutions the European idea is substantially
correct. Argentines have undoubtedly not yet realised a sane conception
of government.

If those in power fail to convince the country of any sincerity or
appreciation of their responsibilities, the people themselves do not
treat the authority of government with the respect that alone permits
the growth of those qualities of statesmanship whose absence is so very

One improvement, however, must be noted, an improvement of the very
greatest importance. Whereas in former years little respect was paid
to non-partisans, the people have now learnt that it is to everyone's
interest to confine political differences to the actual disputants--to
fight their battles in their own garden, and to leave neighbours at
peace. Capital, therefore, is tolerably safe, especially as the federal
executive is a body which, if not possessed in every branch of the
greatest intelligence or even honesty, is at least controlled by men
who realise their position and have sympathies and knowledge beyond the
limits of their country.

The considerations just mentioned bear more especially on capital sunk
in land and its immediate connexions, or in industrial concerns. As
regards public debt, the question is more involved. The laxity of public
morality has here the disastrous tendency of making a party temporarily
in power regard the actions of its predecessors as invalid. The
temptation is certainly great. When a foreign loan has been contracted
in the name of a municipality or provincial government, at the expense
of the people at large, but is used purely for party or even private
ends, it is at least comprehensible that an opposing party should regard
the loan as an unwarrantable exploitation of the public, and should
think it justifiable to allow the creditors to suffer instead of their
own countrymen, who were no party to the transaction. The policy and
ethics of such a view are another matter. And it is, as usual, the
honest who suffer. For, if the succeeding party are possessed of higher
views in the sphere of political morality, owing to the necessity of
regarding their predecessors' really fraudulent contracts as binding on
themselves for fulfilment, the profit goes to the malefactors, while the
odium incurred in realising the money to cancel the obligation falls on
the unoffending upholders of honesty.

The extraordinary feature that impresses itself on the mind when looking
through the history of Argentine loans is the readiness with which
London financiers responded to the invitations. No more remarkable case,
probably, could be found in the whole history of finance than that of
the Buenos Aires Provincial Bank, its absolutely reckless mismanagement
and of the inevitable collapse which followed--resulting, as everyone
knows, in the failure of Messrs. Baring. This catastrophe set back
Argentine progress several years, and it is only now that the recovery
is at all complete.

But it can scarcely be emphasised too strongly that the recovery is
complete. Argentine national credit is as sound as that of any civilised
power. Indeed, the fact that the national Government undertook the
responsibility of so great a part of the debts of the provinces is in
itself sufficient indication of the Government's policy. With regard to
municipal loans, it must be admitted that as these are regarded nowhere
as other than a highly speculative investment, future irregularities
would fall on the heads of people who had full knowledge of their risks.
But the risks are extremely small compared with those which existed
formerly; and the national executive seems inclined to exert pressure on
recalcitrant bodies, compelling them to adhere to their agreements. In
a recent case, indeed, intervention was necessary, not in the interests
of the financiers, but in that of the municipality, the extraordinary
exactions of the French port-concessionnaires at Rosario, having had
very disastrous effects on that town's development. For once the
municipal authorities were not the only gainers and the people
themselves were the sufferers.

Before presenting figures of Argentine loans in detail it may be of
interest to show the proportion which was taken up in London. Of the
total raised by the Republic from its emancipation in 1822 until 1904,
amounting to £152,326,460, Great Britain supplied nearly four-fifths,
namely, £125,082,710. This total is made up of the National, Provincial
and Municipal external debts, which amount severally to $540,770,156,
$202,067,716, $24,868,480 gold, or roughly £108,000,000, £40,000,000
and £4,500,000 sterling, of which England provided approximately
six-sevenths, two-thirds and of the last, all. When it is remembered
that of the capital invested in the country commercially three-quarters
(or 250 out of 326 million pounds sterling) are also British, the
influence which this country has had on Argentine progress cannot be

It is a point, by the way, that a preference on colonial produce would
be a preference against these interests of ours in the Argentine as well
as against the 30,000 people of British extraction resident there, of
whom at least one-half must be engaged or interested in the rearing or
exporting of cattle. In grain they would be affected but little.

In estimating the meaning of this tremendous debt it must be remembered
that much of it is repetition. Not only were many of the loans issued
for conversion of floating and other existent debt, but it will be
noticed that a considerable part of the national debt was contracted
to liquidate the various indebtedness of different provinces.



It seems to be the ambition of every new country to secure immigration
at all costs, regardless of the prospects that really exist there, and
also of the true interests of the country. The result of this policy
at its best leads only to a boom, with its inevitable reaction. The
wiser plan of letting the country gradually develop itself, admitting
cheerfully the adventurous spirits who are ready to come without
invitation or advertisement rarely seems to commend itself to colonial
politicians. Argentina at one time seemed more than likely to compete
with Australia and Canada in this respect, trying to allure colonists
with impossible promises of free land and gigantic crops, and only
the untiring efforts of the Englishmen already established there have
prevented that country realising the inevitable consequence. The present
Argentine Government admit the unsuitable nature of the country for
impecunious Englishmen, and confine their attentions to attracting
Italians and other foreigners, for whom the climate and conditions of
labour are certainly more adapted. But even these are beginning to
discover that expectations and fulfilments do not always coincide.
The truth is that, as is heard from all parts of the world, special
knowledge or capital is indispensable in every new country, but that
with these the chances of success in life are considerably greater than
at home. To the Englishman, however, in the Argentine, there is the
additional difficulty of the language--a difficulty which were he
not an Englishman would be almost negligible, for Spanish is an easy
language of which to acquire a working command.

It is the firm belief of every Englishman, apparently, that certain
skill in athletics of necessity qualifies him for cattle farming.
Although he is physically well enough suited to camp life, the whole
truth is apt to be a disillusionment. The market for athletic young men
is already glutted, and though many estancieros take on an additional
overseer or apprentice to please a friend, in many cases they do not in
the least appreciate bestowing the favour. It must not be supposed that
Englishmen are not wanted on estancias. On the contrary, even Argentines
usually prefer an English manager. The only difficulty is that the
supply of raw material exceeds the demand. The young man who goes out to
seek his fortune is usually one with no qualification but an agreeable
manner and a good physique, desirable enough assets, but not such as to
entitle the holder to an extravagant salary. The wisest plan, therefore,
that an immigrant of this sort can pursue is to go to an estancia as an
apprentice for a nominal salary of twenty or thirty pounds a year, on
a three or four year's contract. Work is very hard, though often the
actual conditions of life are extremely comfortable, but the education
required is thorough and qualifies for a position of majordomo at the
end of the contract. Many men who possess some capital, or expect to
possess it, also go through this training as it enables them to invest
their money wisely, and later to work it economically.

There are many, however, who find the work and conditions of life
trying, especially on an inferior estancia, and take the first
opportunity offered to change their occupation. The usual change is
to a bank or a railway. Both are regarded as a last resource, because,
although the pay (anything from £100 a year) is considerably higher than
in camp life, expenses are considerably more so; while there is less
chance of promotion because the better positions naturally fall to men
with a special railway training who enter the service from home under
contract. For a really able man there are undoubtedly good prospects
on Argentine railways, and the difference in salary between that of an
employee there and that of one in a similar position at home more than
compensates for the increased cost of living. In Banks the salaries are
much the same as on railways to begin with, but chances of promotion are
said to be less, while the work does not give so many opportunities of
seeing the country, and to many is intrinsically less interesting.

In business houses there is never a chance of employment, except, of
course, through personal influence. English clerks are employed
very little, and there are no positions corresponding to the large
book-keeping staffs of banks and railways, nor to the assistants, and
secretaries to chiefs of departments, the inspectors and superintendents
of the latter.

For the Englishman it is very fortunate that the lethargic, and often
untrustworthy character of Latin races requires constant surveillance.
But for the same reason it is obviously impossible for employers to
choose their overseers at random, and a personal introduction is almost
indispensable. In giving this short sketch of the prospects open to the
English immigrant no mention has been made of the immigrant labourer or
artisan. The reason of this is that in this respect Argentine must be
regarded almost as a tropical country, where English labour is out of
the question. Italian and English labour cannot work together, not only
from incompatibility of temperament but because the Italian can work
for considerably less than the Englishman. In addition, the climate in
summer is far too hot for the latter. There are exceptions to be found,
notably in the case of butchers at the freezing works, and that of some
engine drivers, and engine-shop artificers. But, as the drivers are
compelled by law to speak and understand Spanish, they are not numerous.
In any case, there is absolutely no opening for a labourer or artisan,
unless he comes to the country to take up a definite vacancy that has
been offered him.

Regarded, however, as a country for the Italian immigrant the prospects
are certainly better, although not so dazzling as he is led to believe
in his own country. Such popular phrases as "immense zones which merely
await the strong arm of the colonist for their development" fall,
unfortunately, rather short of the truth. The tendency is to lay all
land possible under alfalfa, only such as is incapable of growing it
being sold for agriculture. Large tracts, nevertheless, are being formed
into colonies by land development companies, and in the past have been
so divided by government, a system which gives good returns to the
farmer. The latter, however, is rather inclined to work his land to
death, often without rotation, and, though actual exhaustion is very
remote, the rest afforded by a year's fallow and leguminous crops is
rendered impossible for a variety of reasons.

A mischievous result of the financial standing of many of the colonists
is their frequent lapse into the power of the local store-keeper. There
are no branch banks in the camp towns and often no grain dealer apart
from this accommodating tradesman. In return for very elastic credit,
based on crop expectations, he buys the whole yield at his own price,
and, as he has a monopoly of the retail trade as well, he secures a
large profit on both transactions. In his defence it must be admitted
that he runs a very great risk indeed in the credit which he is
compelled to give, and is justified to a great extent in recouping
himself when the opportunity occurs. But the undeveloped economic
system, and the encouragement of settlers without a sufficient backing
of capital, are much to be deplored. In recent years the agriculture of
a whole province threatened to come to an abrupt termination owing
to the complete inability of the colonists to buy or borrow from the
merchants seed for their year's sowing. It was only rescued by the
prompt and wise action of the local railway company who supplied the
grain, on the easiest of terms and without security. The result was,
although, of course, an immediate loss to the company, the salvation
of the province, and the railway's ultimate gain.

Owing to the enterprise of various people there seems to be a
possibility that the colonist's conservative partiality to cereals
may be overcome. Not only have the possibilities of chicken-farming
been demonstrated, but the co-operative working of a large dairy and
ice-producing plant has already proved a success. The co-operative
movement may indeed open a field, especially in the South, for other
labour besides that of Latin origin. It is true that the Boer Colony has
not been an unqualified success. But the Welsh have thrived in Chubut,
and of the newly opened regions about Nahuel-Huapi residents speak
enthusiastically. Unfortunately there does not seem to be much land
available, and, hitherto, there have been no railway facilities. There
is a paper dealing with the Welsh Colony, published by the Foreign
Office in London. But, apart from the accounts of sporting and
scientific expeditions, there is little available literature. It is much
to be deplored, and in default of an independent work in English the
translation of existing works in other languages would be very welcome.



It is always difficult to entice commercial men into giving information
of any value regarding their affairs. The seeker after more material
and solid things than figures--after instances and facts rather than
theories--is very apt to be disappointed. The value of the opinions
gleaned was rather impaired when experience showed that success and
complacency, despondency and comparative failure, usually went together.
It is pleasant to be told not to bother about British Trade, that
"British trade is all right." But it is not entirely reassuring when
such lessons as can be derived from statistics and the opinions of less
successful men are largely opposed to this view.

Some more definite information was, however, available, and from
conversation with people directly concerned with general trade, both
English and Argentines, it was possible to supplement to some extent
the statements, extremely valuable as they are, of our consuls in the
country, as well as the deductions from official statistics. With regard
to consular reports a word must be said. These are often abused by men
of position in trade, and, though their brevity is to be deplored, a
word of protest must be uttered against the inconsiderate and disdainful
criticism to which they are subjected. Moreover, one of the greatest
authorities on Argentine affairs, Dr. Francisco Moreno, an Argentine
delegate on Col. Holditch's arbitration expedition on the Chilian
Frontier, was emphatic in his approval of these reports, even going so
far as to say that he trusted their statements and figures in preference
to those of his own government.

On every hand there were indications leading to two conclusions, namely
that British trade is losing, or has lost considerable ground, and that
the greater part of the blame is due to the producer or merchant at
home. A superficial glance at import statistics would seem to give the
lie direct to any such assertion. Such strong influences, however, are
at work, that it is only after a careful study of all the circumstances
that anything like a true estimate can be formed.

Before, therefore, pronouncing judgment upon its present position and
its future, a short examination of the development of our trade viewed
in conjunction with the economic conditions of the country and with the
various interests in competition with ours, is necessary both to explain
how our conclusions were reached, and to assist in the formation of
a juster appreciation of our commercial relations with the country.

The following statistics give in brief the course of trade in the
Argentine according to official returns for the years 1890, 1895, and
1900 to 1905 inclusive:--


              1890    1895    1900    1901    1902    1903    1904    1905
             $1000   $1000   $1000   $1000   $1000   $1000   $1000   $1000
              Gold    Gold    Gold    Gold    Gold    Gold    Gold    Gold
   Imports     ...      86      19      43     106     373     571     505
   Exports     975   1,616     438     366     470     164     282     420
   Imports  10,986   7,441   8,430   8,688   5,484   5,448   9,069   8,727
   Exports  12,003  15,417  17,980  13,457  13,760  20,143  17,566  20,780
   Imports      85      72     122     138     122     125     108     126
   Exports     296     591     578     541     600     450     392     539
   Imports   3,354   4,095   3,741   4,386   4,583   5,350   6,032   5,328
   Exports   8,442   8,096   6,185   9,702   8,368   8,545  10,727  13,039
   Imports      51      41     124     111     213     200     469     669
   Exports   2,188   3,067     870     568     684   1,170   1,440   1,510
   Imports  19,875   9,116  10,897   9,959   9,243  12,708  17,109  21,248
   Exports  26,683  20,337  19,007  28,637  29,587  34,294  30,596  37,594
   Imports  12,301  11,162  16,635  16,724  13,229  17,009  24,926  29,083
   Exports  11,566  13,323  20,070  21,479  22,939  26,812  29,522  37,058
   Imports     850     103     173     573     622     790   1,007   1,288
   Exports     160      92   3,906   1,753   2,834   4,546   3,500   3,761
   Imports   8,663  10,363  14,924  14,736  12,265  14,702  19,127  20,284
   Exports   3,194   3,518   4,304   4,318   4,215   4,338   4,344   6,468
   Imports   1,724   1,824   1,860   1,767   1,469   1,059   1,569   1,616
   Exports     336     100     161     216     213     173     216     330
   Imports     110      58      78      68      89     213     271     300
   Exports     456     138     369       7     113     101      88      23
  South Africa:
   Imports     ...     ...     ...     ...       4      62     126      34
   Exports     ...       8   3,240   2,891   8,285   9,170   4,941   5,524
   Imports   4,302   2,575   3,691   3,912   3,166   3,574   4,797   5,726
   Exports   2,083   1,311   2,699   2,131   2,025   2,035   1,923   2,334
  United Kingdom:
   Imports  57,816  39,524  38,682  36,460  36,995  44,826  64,517  68,391
   Exports  19,299  14,694  23,890  29,920  35,084  35,600  36,445  44,826
  United States:
   Imports   9,301   6,686  13,438  15,533  13,303  16,684  24,473  28,920
   Exports   6,066   8,947   6,882   9,296  10,037   8,126  10,214  15,717
   Imports   5,885     736     520     679     744     760     862   1,023
   Exports   5,506   3,290   2,302   3,710   3,673   4,188   5,020   6,705
  Other Countries:
   Imports   6,932   1,207     141     175   1,393   7,314  12,265  11,870
   Exports   1,557  25,516  41,711  38,715  36,593  61,119 107,233 126,208
  TOTAL    ---------------------------------------------------------------
   IMPORTS 142,240  95,096 113,485 113,959 103,039 131,206 187,305 205,154
   EXPORTS 100,818 120,067 154,600 167,716 179,486 220,984 264,157 322,843

While a similar table (calculated in Spanish dollars) gives the following
figures for the principal exporting countries in the year 1822:--

  United Kingdom                           $5,730,952
  France                                      820,109
  Germany, Holland, Sweden and Denmark        552,187
  Gibraltar, Spain, and Sicily                848,363
  United States                             1,368,277
  Brazil                                    1,418,768
  China                                       165,267
  Havana                                      248,625
  Chile and Peru                              115,674
                  TOTAL                   $11,267,622

The contrast between the two tables is sufficiently remarkable; but
before dealing with either, it is necessary to have clearly in mind the
growth and nature of demand. For this reason the immigration returns and
tables showing the development of the railway system are given at this


   Years.             Number.
  1857-60              20,000
  1861-70             159,570
  1871-80             260,613
  1881-90             846,568
  1891-1900           648,326
  1901-1905           536,030

  Italians          1,488,084
  Spaniards           507,853
  French              176,670
  British              37,537
  Austrians            42,983
  Germans              33,686
  Swiss                26,690
  Belgians             19,990
  Others              127,614

       Arrivals in 1905.
  Italians             88,950
  Spaniards            53,029
  French                3,475
  British               1,368
  Austrians             2,793
  Germans               1,836
  Swiss                   576
  Belgians                263
  Other nationalities  24,827

The development of Argentine Railways is shown in following table[4]:--

         Extent of    Capital   Passengers  Freight  Receipts  Expenditure
          Lines in  $1,000,000    No. in     1,000     $1,000     $1,000
  Years  kilometres    Gold     thousands    tons       Gold       Gold

  1857         10        ·3          56          2        19         12
  1865        240       5·3         747         71       563        438
  1870        732      18·8       1,948        274     2,502      1,356
  1875      1,956      40·9       2,597        660     5,178      3,009
  1880      2,516      62·9       2,751        772     6,560      3,072
  1885      4,502     121·7       5,587      3,050    14,298      8,616
  1890      9,432     321·1      10,069      5,420    26,049     17,585
  1895     14,116     485·3      14,573      9,650    26,394     13,846
  1900     16,563     531·3      18,296     12,659    41,401     23,732
  1901     16,907     538·3      19,689     13,988    43,866     24,128
  1902     17,677     560·9      19,815     14,030    43,272     22,975
  1903     18,404     573·0      21,025     17,024    53,569     27,766
  1904     19,428     588·5      23,312     20,123    62,558     33,216
  1905[5]  19,793  [6]626·3      26,634     22,283    71,341     39,155

    [4] Direccion General de Vias de Communicacion.

    [5] Approximate figures.

    [6] £125,274,000 approximately.

The relative importance of the various lines with their nationalities is
as follows:--

                       Length of line                              Special
  1904.                  (Kilometres) Engines Coaches Vans Waggons Waggons
  _State-owned Railways:_--
  Andine (5ft. 6in.)              339    18     16     16     504      5
  Central Northern (Metre)      1,122    85     51     43   1,418     74
  North Argentine (Metre)         563    15     26     13     250     27
          TOTAL                 2,024   118     93     72   2,172    106

  Southern (5ft. 6ins.)         3,980   290    344    261   9,533    426
  Buenos Aires Western          1,197   129    136    148   3,711     --
  B. A. Rosario                 1,997   146    188    154   4,982    111
  Central Argentine             1,785   162    208    109   5,199     76
  B. A. Pacific                 1,261   100     80     60   2,523     15
  Great Western (5ft. 6ins.)      714    90     54     37   1,258     56
  Bahia Blanca and N.W.
    (5ft. 6ins.)                  385    20      8      8     286      3
  East Argent. (4ft. 8½ins.)      161    14     21      8     279      5
  N.E. Argent.                    662    36     42     16     340      7
  Entre Rios                      758    30     38     19     492     --
  Prov. Santa Fé (French)
    (Metre)                     1,392    81    112     47   1,852     48
  Centr. Córdoba (N.)             885    80     76     56   1,606     74
    "       "    (E.)             210    13     20     12     654     --
  Córdoba and Rosario             289    29     55     32     654     21
  N.W. Argentine                  196    20     14      8     520      2
  Córdoba and N.W.                153     9     12      4      86     --
  Transandine                     175    14     10     10     130      8
  Central Chubut                   70     2      6      3      57     --
          TOTAL                16,270 1,265  1,424    998  34,162    852

In "The Review of the River Plate" the growth of British-owned Railways
is given as follows:--

  1864         25
  1874        860
  1884      1,748
  1894     10,785
  1904     15,315

For the total kilometrage of the year 1904 the same authority gives
18,412 kilometres, a considerable discrepancy from the official figures.
Of the two authorities the government statistics are generally regarded
as the less trustworthy. But whatever the true figures may be, the
proportion owned by British interests will not be lessened by the total
of the more optimistic estimate, which is based largely on unrealised
concessions. And in any case, the economic point to be emphasised is not
weakened, namely the overwhelming preponderance of British influence in
this direction. Moreover, not only has this influence been increasing
relatively to that of competitors, but, absolutely, the increase is
exceedingly great.

We have, then, in this department of industry a market for goods of
proportions that quite exceed those of any other in the country, the
greatest impetus to its development being given by the admission
into the country of all railway material duty-free. In any estimate
therefore, of the true position of any country's trade, this privileged
demand must be considered. And in estimating future conditions, the
tendency noted in the chapter on railways must be borne in mind, viz.,
the tendency to discourage the continuance of the quasi-monopoly of
one country.

Turning next to the immigration returns, the predominating position
held by the Latin races, and, especially, of the Italian, is at once
apparent. Although in many cases the special requirements of these
people can only be satisfied by the goods produced in their own several
countries, the greater part of the demand for imported goods is for
clothing, and, in the case of the country portion, for agricultural
materials. In both these departments the market is open. On the other
hand, while the greatest attention seems to have been paid to this
market by foreign merchants, the wants of the inhabitants of British
and other Northern extraction living in the far South have not been
studied at all. In this context the following extract from a recent
consular report is of interest. Writing from Puerto Gallegos in
Patagonia the Acting Consular Agent declares:--

"German and French exporters are gradually securing the best part of the
trade in consequence of the greater attention shewn by them to the large
importing houses in Gallegos. It is said that the merchant prefers to
order British goods to suit the taste of their farmer clients but so
little attention is shewn to them by the British exporters that they
are obliged to place their orders on the Continent. Many British
firms refuse to attend to orders in Spanish, and their catalogues and
price-lists are almost invariably printed in English."

From the same report comes a remark of the Vice-Consul at Bahia Blanca
emphasising the energy with which the Hamburg South American Company
fosters the coasting trade. The Pacific Steam Navigating boats pass to
and from the West Coast, but the local trade is scarcely touched by
them. Although a German line does not imply nothing but German trade,
the tendency must, of necessity, be in its favour.

The question of the nature of demand cannot be over-emphasised. It is
owing to neglect of this that the greatest mistakes are made both in
practice and in argument. Up to 1880 the nation's demands were those of
any immature nation. Subsequently to that date the country began to boom
and the whole economic condition was altered. Whereas previous to that
date the market was for articles for private use, whether domestic,
agricultural, or personal, subsequent to the national awakening private
needs became insignificant compared with those of public bodies. Not
only was the construction of railways commenced in earnest but national
and municipal contracts were issued broadcast. Harbours, sewage and
water-works, lighting, tramways, and every other form of public
enterprise, were initiated from that time onward. But, whereas the
earlier works were largely executed by English firms, of recent
years foreign (in particular Belgian) contractors have secured the
concessions. The methods employed by the latter, however, have been such
as rather to disgust the country with its experiment. The case which
has been causing intense excitement is that of the Rosario Port-works.
The French _concessionnaires_ made a bad job there of a difficult
undertaking. That, however, was little compared with the terms which by
some means they managed to insert into their concession, terms by virtue
of which they were enabled to make the most extraordinary exactions from
everyone who entered the port, regardless of the fact that many of the
wharves were the property of other concerns. On the other hand, the
English firm that constructed the Rosario sewage system, and constructed
it with the greatest thoroughness, were treated to a series of vexatious
interferences culminating in a refusal on the part of the municipality
to pay for the work.

Besides the above mentioned work, ports have been constructed at Bahia
Blanca, La Plata, Buenos Aires, San Nicolas, Santa Fé, Paraná (not yet
completed) and other places, so that some two hundred million sterling
have been invested in works of public utility in a country with a
population at the present time of about five million inhabitants. Apart
from the importance of this development of public enterprises as regards
the nature of imports, its importance is obviously no less in the matter
of their extent. Adding to the capital of public undertakings the
capital employed in trade, the total of commercially invested money was
estimated at the end of 1904 at 326 million sterling; but, if national
provincial and municipal loans are taken into account, the grand total
of foreign capital in the country probably exceeds £450,000,000. This
immense influx of capital naturally caused imports greatly to exceed
exports, but the excess is not perhaps so large as might have been
expected, owing to the high tariff which probably increased the import
of bullion.

Recently, since the investments have begun to give returns, the balance
of trade has turned, and, whereas in 1890 the sale of exports (in
dollars gold) was to that of imports as 100·82 millions to 142·24, in
1905 the former had risen to 322·84 millions, and the latter only to
205·15. Even then it is hardly credible that exported interest should
have equalled, much less exceeded, the new capital invested, and the
alternative of gold shipments must be admitted.

We have then a rising tendency in the price of commodities, or a
depreciation of money (quite irrespective, of course, of the depreciation
of paper). The theory of rising prices is, as is well known a favourite
in the States. But in this, as in almost every other case, the
application of an economic theory is rendered very nearly impossible
owing to conflicting influences.

To return once more to the details of Argentine trade, we found that
the predominating demand had been that of the railways, and that of the
railways by far the greater part is British.

Apart from inclinations of sentiment or personal partiality, it is only
natural that engines and other material should be imported from England,
as being of a type to which English engineers are accustomed. A very
large proportion of our trade comes under this heading, and, it must be
admitted, the market here is not free. Even so, however, the superiority
or greater suitability--whether in material, construction, or price--of
foreign work in some directions has ousted the British product. For
example, in steel rails England's quota went down one thousand tons in
1905, while that of the States went up fifty-three thousand. So, too,
in such goods as axes and small tools the latter hold the market. On the
other hand, American locomotives have not proved a success--the English
system of running not being that for which they are designed.

English engineers seem to prefer a solid, well-finished engine, which
can stand accidents, and innumerable repairs. The Baldwin engine is
cheap, but apparently of indifferent finish, and is built on a rigid
frame. The slightest accident to this incapacitates the whole machine,
and, in any case, the locomotive is built for hard use over a short
period, with subsequent scrapping. Neither the traffic nor the capital
of Argentine railways justify such a course. The actual figures of
imports of locomotives for 1905 are--United Kingdom 91, U.S.A. 16,
Belgium 9, Germany 46--increases of 27, 8, 7, and 22 respectively.
English engines are the most expensive. The German engines are largely
those employed in construction. In railway material (not specified)
although England exported to the value of $384,342 gold the increase
over 1904 was $703,548 gold, yet America with an export of only
$470,527, shows an increase of $411,876. Thus even in the privileged
domain of the railway market, there are signs of very keen competition
appearing. This may not prove effective for some time, the connection
between the home contractors and the London board being intimate, and
there is a danger of its possibility being overlooked.

Another important demand is that for tramway material. In this it is
satisfactory to see that there is a favourable tendency in favour
of English goods. Previously, no doubt, the greater knowledge and
experience in the States enabled them to supply cars and material more
readily than in England, and the possession by Germany of the Buenos
Aires electric works favoured its exportation of the latter. But
recently some Preston cars have been put on the road which give the
greatest satisfaction. The increase in electric traction in England
ought to furnish the experience necessary for the successful development
of this branch of trade.

In Agricultural machinery the market is absolutely open, and where there
is any opportunity, English firms have undoubtedly succeeded. It is
unreasonable to expect that we should be able to compete with the States
in sowing, reaping, ploughing, and similar machinery, provided as
they are with an experimental field with conditions similar to those
prevalent in the Argentine. But in traction engines the Lincoln firms
outstrip all their competitors. Rushton, Proctor and Co., Clayton and
Shuttleworth, Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies, are names that may be seen
all over the country. The genuine solidity of construction in their
engines, combined with adaptability to the country's requirements, has
for once overcome the overwhelming attraction of cheapness. Considerable
success has also attended their threshing machines, in spite of their
comparatively greater expense and of various other factors in favour of
American machines.

The case of Agricultural implements is curious. While in axes the
United States have increased their already large export, though under
the heading of spades, picks, &c., their export of 680 tons in 1905 is
8 tons greater than in 1904, the value is £1900 less, while the English
590 tons is 167.5 tons more than in the previous year with an increase
in value of £8080.

In cotton goods there is again a natural monopoly--the preponderating
Italian influence among the working classes encouraging the trade with
that country in the special line of goods which appeals to them.

But perhaps the most important factor in international trade is the
nationality of the importers. In 1823 nearly all the merchants in Buenos
Aires were Scotch, and the preponderance of British houses continued
until recent years. Then, however, for various reasons--the development,
perhaps, of the wool trade on the Continent and the allurements of
finance, owing to which many British merchants invested in land and
other enterprises, in preference to the less congenial uncertainties of
trade--a large number of foreign, especially German, houses appeared,
turning the current of trade more in the direction of that country.
Whatever the reasons may have been, at the present moment Germany
is firmly established in the country, and its trade is continually
increasing. It must be added, that although German firms have a natural
preference for dealing with their own country, they are always ready
to do business with English houses provided that the latter make it
profitable for them to do so.

It will be convenient to deal here with the complaints made by importers
in the Argentine, of English exporters, and the faults that the latter
have to find with the conditions of trade in that country.

Briefly, the chief complaint made of the English manufacturer and
merchant is lack of adaptability--the well-worn objection that appears
in every Consular report, and is repeated even by tradesmen in this
country. The ways in which he shows his stubbornness may seem trifling,
but their importance is sufficiently great in practice. Price-lists
published solely in English, with those measures and prices which are a
continual nightmare to the foreigner, get-up packing that do not quite
meet local taste, all these are apparently trivial, but they affect the
balance of trade nevertheless.

In cutlery, English goods have been entirely ousted from the popular
market. The large British population in the country, however, as well as
the wealthier Argentines themselves, who as a rule are extremely partial
to English goods, from socks to agricultural machinery, still insist
on Sheffield blades, which in the best shops are often the only ones
procurable. But the popular demand is for a cheaper article, often
manufactured in the country. This the English manufacturer has
consistently refused to supply, his reasons being, firstly, that he does
not make it, and secondly, that if he did, it would ruin his reputation
for good work. The plan adopted abroad of not fixing the maker's name to
an inferior article would safeguard the reputation which the English
producer undoubtedly does possess. In this connection it is a strange
anomaly that the impression still holds good in England, and seems to
prevail even in other countries, that German goods are of inferior
quality. This erroneous idea does not, of course, apply to such things
as armour plates and machinery. But in the popular mind the impression
created by toys "made in Germany" has spread to all small articles
emanating from that country. If the work of any country deserves this
stigma it is that of America. The undeniable ingenuity and neatness
of American products is, unfortunately, very often combined with bad
workmanship. In Argentine, according to some authorities, disappointed
buyers of American goods are returning to more solid work. Undoubtedly
the field for cheap goods is favourable in that country, the moneyless
colonists being compelled to buy them irrespective of quality. Besides,
there is a delight, to which the Italian is peculiarly susceptible, in
always having something new. A bright and new thing pleases most people
more than a solid article many years old. And in many directions the
yearly improvements and inventions soon reduce the latter to a position
of economic inferiority.

Turning to the exporters' complaints, there are two which must be
admitted reasonable. In the first place, the economic conditions of the
country as well as the inclinations of the people require exaggerated

Nothing, apparently, will alter this, and the merchant who refuses to
take business on these terms must expect to lose it altogether. The
other is one that is capable of removal. The English merchant frequently
complains that he cannot come into touch with his ultimate customers.
The taxes levied on commercial travellers are exorbitant, each province
vying with the other in preventing their entrance. From this it follows
that few firms can afford to send representatives further afield than
Buenos Aires or Rosario, and practically all business is conducted
through the larger importing houses of the capital. This is an
absolutely prohibitive system that is bound to have the most disastrous
effects on the expansion of trade. The intention is no doubt protective.
But in a country that is naturally incapable of any industrial
development, the policy cannot be considered as anything but unwise.

As regards the travellers sent out by English firms, they are often
inadequately equipped for the work they have to perform. Knowledge of
the language, coupled with knowledge of the article whose sale they have
come to promote, and an ability to quote credit terms offhand in terms
of dollars and kilos, are important. Too much reliance is often
placed on written matter which a busy merchant has no time to read.
A descriptive pamphlet or book is an extremely valuable adjunct to an
obvious price list and an intelligent traveller. But by itself it is of
little value.

A further point, and one of some importance, is that Argentines expect
immediate delivery of orders. Recently a large English motor car firm
opened an agency in Buenos Aires. The cars were much admired, and as
they were well boomed at an opportune moment, a great many orders were
secured. Owing, however, to considerable delay in delivery, these were
withdrawn, and the orders were transferred to French firms.

Finally, a word must be said of proprietary articles. In these no fault
can be found with British manufacturers. Soap, lime juice, whisky,
mustard, jam, and even soda water and ginger beer, are among the special
products that may be seen almost anywhere throughout the country,
and this branch of trade is capable of even greater development with
judicious advertising. In particular, jam is invariably liked by
Argentines of all classes, and were it pushed a very large consumption
might follow. At present there is only one firm of any note whose
products are seen in the shops. The same may be said of biscuits,
although both in this and in the former case, the high tariff (about
50% to 60% of the value) would be a great restriction.



Argentina is professedly a protectionist country. It is also professedly
Republican, with a philosophic ideal of the greatest good of the
greatest number. The two ideas, however, have not achieved a complete
harmony. This was perhaps inevitable. Curiously enough, the vital
industries of the country have not been favoured in any way by the
fiscal system, which has been used to foster exotics and economic
growths hardly suited to the conditions of the country.

In the Argentine there can be no question of "Back to the Land"; there
has never been any departure. But until the present chief of the
Department of Commerce began his campaign for a rational tariff, there
seems to have been a tacit assumption that factories constituted wealth.
That the country should remain permanently agricultural was never
advised. It was assumed that it must manufacture, and on this assumption
the national policy was directed. As a matter of fact, there was
probably no reasoned determination at all. Some industries existed
originally before communication was established on the present great
scale with the rest of the world. As time went on these suffered from
outside competition, and protection was invoked and secured. Other
industries were then started speculatively and for them similar
protection was granted. If prevailing opinion is of any value, it was
even impossible for an industry to succeed except by political jobbery.
Even now the evil appears to be very far from removed, and the
difficulties experienced by the English Railway companies are partly
attributable to this cause. These have consistently refused to bribe,
and it may be said that almost without exception they have adhered
to this rule. The nearest approach to this form of persuasion is the
nomination of influential Argentines to the local board of the company,
and the retention of prominent lawyers for nominal services at a fixed
yearly fee. Except for this no attempt is made to secure support in
congress, and in all probability no payment has ever been made or
promised by an English company in return for particular support for
a definite proposal. The great privileges which the railways enjoy,
especially in the matter of tariff, were granted in pursuit of a
declared policy of encouragement to railway enterprise--a policy which
no one there has reason to regret, as without it the country would
never have emerged from its former lethargy.

With the exception of railway material, which for the most part, comes
in duty free, all manufactured articles pay a very heavy duty indeed.
But, whereas in almost every other country of note, some portion at
least of the raw material is procurable locally, or at least from no
great distance, in the Argentine the most elementary of basic materials
have to be imported. With the exception of wool, grain, cattle, a
special quality of timber, and sugar, there are no raw materials at all
available for industrial purposes. There are no minerals; cotton is a
negligible quantity at present; and fuel is as expensive as labour. Coal
does not exist (at least to a workable extent, if at all); petroleum,
though reported in parts of the Cordillera, is non-existent for all
practical purposes; while wood is found in any quantity only in the
forests in the North, North East, in Entre Rios, and in parts of Córdoba
and San Luis. The expense of carrying this to the capital would be
prohibitive except by boat from the riverine forests. And, in any case,
the wood being slow-growing and intensely hard, it would be manifestly
uneconomical to use anything but the trimmings as firewood.

We have, then, a country with a highly protective tariff compelled to
import by far the greater part of its fuel, which, though admitted
free, is necessarily burdened with freights prohibitive to economic
industrial development. The Argentine, indeed, may be said to be placed,
geographically, in the worst position possible for such a purpose.
Keeping, then, the question of fuel in mind, the possible advantage
(from the purely economic point of view) must be examined of reducing at
home to the state of finished commodities the raw materials mentioned

In every case of manufacture, the two obvious economic reasons are
either the ability to produce better or the ability to produce cheaper.
The former is out of the question in the Argentine, because there is no
hereditary or traditional skill, nor special climatic conditions as in
Manchester; the latter, for the same reason, can only be a question of
freight. Any article to be consumed at home, and produced mainly from
native raw material should, _prima facie_, be capable of production at
home for that consumption, granted an adequate supply of labour. But,
for export, general conditions being at best only equal to those in
the importing countries, the only circumstances which could render
home-manufacture profitable would be greater liability to deterioration
in transit in the raw material than in the finished article, or a great
saving in bulk or weight in the latter.

Taking the raw materials, therefore, in the order given above, the wool
produced or procurable in Argentina is greatly in excess of the present
local requirements. What skill there is in the country for spinning
and weaving is insignificant for practical purposes, the articles
produced being either extremely crude, or quite exceptionally
fine, and consequently expensive. Both are the work of Indians, or
half-castes--who are rapidly becoming a smaller and smaller proportion
of the total population. Passing by as inconsiderable, therefore, the
advantage of home production on the score of special skill, there
remains the question of cheapness. For some goods, special lines of
purely local popularity, which European houses would not make for other
customers, there are points in favour of local production. But in
such things as socks and articles of general clothing, that command a
universal market (with differences only in design), it is found cheaper
to import. It must be added that there is comparatively little demand
for woollen goods at all in the Argentine itself. Though the tariff,
therefore, does not impose a great burden on the people, from its
protective aspect it is encouraging an unprofitable industry.

The duties are as follows: On spun wool about 1½d. per lb., valued at
about 7d. per lb., on washed wool 1s. 7d. per lb., the customs valuation
being 7d.; on stockings and socks (all classes) about 50%, on woollen
cloth (pure) about 40%, and on wool and cotton mixed, over 30%.

Passing over grain, the main manufactured product of which, flour, is
not imported at all, and cattle, which in the frozen meat trade and its
attendant industries form one of the main items of export, there are
left wood and sugar. Of the former, the country produces little for
constructional and industrial purposes, all the natural timber being
employed either for railway sleepers, fencing posts, or for tanning
extract. It is an extremely important business, but there could be no
question of importation, except for intermediate fencing bars (those not
planted in the ground) and for sleepers. Even so the only circumstances
which could render it possible are the inability of the home supply to
cope with the demand, and the consequent rise in price. Recently poplar
has been planted on the islands of the Tigre near the mouth of the
Paraná with great success. But the available space is limited there,
though it is quite possible that planting might be continued on
the Paraná and Uruguay rivers. The duty on imported soft woods is
comparatively small.

The one article of home-production left, which was open to foreign
competition, is sugar. The erratic development of this industry in
conjunction with the tariff has been so eventful, and so instructive
from the economic point of view, that a rather lengthy review may be
pardoned. This is practically a paraphrase and condensation of the
extremely interesting, though, at times, somewhat exclamatory article
written by M. Ricardo Pillado, the head of the Division of Commerce
in the Argentine Ministry of Agriculture, 1906. Unfortunately, in
attempting to follow some of the author's calculations it has been found
quite impossible to verify his results or to see how he arrived at them.
In some cases the figures are so obviously impossible in the light of
the data that the only explanation seems to be a misprint. In order not
to sacrifice the continuity of his account, these figures have been
given as they stand. The fact that the article in question appears in a
collection, derived from various sources, and republished officially at
the Ministry of Agriculture, seemed to give additional justification for
its presentation here without emendation.

Writing at end of 1903, when the Brussels Convention had just condemned
Bounties, and when the original heavy import duties and export drawbacks
were still in force, he makes this preface to a general discussion of
the whole working of the exaggerated protection of the Sugar Industry.

"The fiscal protection of the Sugar industry, instituted in the year
1883, and maintained up to the present moment in all its intensity,
has been the source of the gravest evils to the Republic, not merely
through its immediate effect and its having admitted and secured the
maintenance of an economic system so detrimental to the country, but
also, in the sphere of credit, through the complications of which it
has been the indirect cause. Every effort, therefore, tending to destroy
to their very foundations the fallacies which have been the mainspring
and origin of its birth and continuance up to the present day ought to
be considered, in my opinion, as an act of patriotism and duty."

M. Pillado is far from being a free-trader in the accepted English
sense. "The protection which reasonably may be and, I will even say,
ought to be afforded to national industries cannot," he goes on to
say, "be identified with the favours which were lavished on the
sugar industry." Although he is in favour of a moderate and strictly
protective Tariff, he cannot reconcile the prevailing system with any
economic theory whatever.

The Sugar plantations and refineries are situated in the remote North
West of the country, and the latter were practically in the hands of
two powerful concerns. Owing to the expense of rail transport, under no
circumstances could the sugar be transported to the coast to compete on
equal terms with the imported ocean-borne article, and certainly not,
with the additional freight, in European markets.

The initial error lay in the assumption that these Northern Districts
round Tucuman were especially adapted by climate and other conditions to
the cultivation of cane. No such natural privilege exists. The origin of
the industry, on the contrary, is to be found in that very distance from
a port which renders its present condition anomalous. Sugar-cultivation
was instituted solely with a view to the satisfaction of local
requirements, and the idea of competition with foreign produce in the
capital was probably never dreamed of. This view is the more probable
when it is remembered that Tucuman lies nearly a thousand miles
from Buenos Aires, while railway communication was not established
until 1888 or even later.

At that time, however, protection was already in full force. Although
full communication was not established until 1892, and till then goods
had to be transported by cartage, or whatever means the state of the
roads (such as they were) permitted, so early as 1883 the duty was
raised from the existing rate of 25% _ad volorem_, to a specific tax of
5 cents per kilo, at a time when there was only one currency. The impost
being irrespective of quality, the actual burdens resulted as follows:
On refined Sugar valued by the customs at 19 c. the kilo, 26½%; on white
or granulated with a valuation of 14 c., 35¾%, on raw of 11½ c. per
kilo, 43½%. It is obvious says the writer, that the greatest burden fell
on the lower grades, the only ones which the local refineries were in a
position to produce and to offer in competition with imported sugars.

The year 1885 marked the next stage in the development. Owing to
facilities of transport being absent, Tucuman was in no better position
than before, while the issue in the same year of the decree authorising
a paper currency with the consequent premium upon gold, resulted in a
natural increase in the restrictions on importation. The increase in the
duty was nominally from 5 to 7 c. per kilo irrespective of quality. But
the actual increase resulted in a total of 90% on refined sugar and 108%
on the lower grades.

The third increase took place three years later, in 1888, when the
import charge was raised to 9 c. gold per kilo on refined sugar, other
qualities being taxed at the old figure. On M. Pillado's estimate this
meant a difference of 268% between the cost of that sugar in bond and
its price to the importer.[7]

    [7] The percentage seems to work out at 219, while the premium
        on gold in that year (1888), as given in another official
        publication of 1906, was in reality 150 roughly, which would
        mean 184%. But the absence of reliable data makes an amateur
        result untrustworthy.

The foregoing is a brief account of the course of taxation introduced
for purposes of protection as described by M. Pillado. At this point he
takes occasion to moralise on the iniquity of the system, and exclaims
that it is a matter of congratulation that the promoters of the industry
did not think fit to produce even further from the great centres,
somewhere on the borders of Bolivia. In emphasising these existing
burdens, however, the writer is merely making a dramatic pause
preparatory to enlarging on the further excess in the institution of
bounties on export.

The immediate result of this tariff was naturally an immense rise in
the price of all sugar, and subsequently the practical exclusion of the
imported article. The figures cited in the work speak for themselves. In
1884 the total imports of sugar of all classes were 35,000 tons. In 1902
they had fallen to 155 tons. While the next year saw an importation of
some hundred tons of refined sugar, the other grades were represented by
a total of about 300 lbs.

We now come to the real interest of the question--the effect namely
which this policy had upon the industry itself and the devices which
the latter adopted to regulate prices.

In the first instance an unparalleled boom took place. In 1884 the
production was 75,000 tons. In 1895 it was 109,000. In the following
year the sum of 134,417 tons was reached--a production quite in excess
of the country's requirements. The result was that in the words of
M. Pillado, "the refiners began to cry to heaven and to earth for any
solution whatever to rescue them from the asphyxiation which threatened
to overwhelm at one and the same time themselves and their system."

For the planters, however, Tucuman had become a veritable Eldorado. Two
years sufficed to give a net return four times as great as the capital
invested. As a natural consequence it followed that labour and capital
flowed into the Sugar districts, creating an unprecedented boom and
denuding the other agricultural industries not only of the province
but of the rest of the republic as well of their very necessities of
existence. The effect was felt, apparently even in the capital, so
that "lawyers deserted their profession, workmen their tools, to throw
themselves with a regular fever into an occupation so full of promise."
Works sprang up as if by magic. Palaces were constructed to house the
staffs. Capital was lavished on the industry by individuals and banking
houses alike. No one, in short, took the slightest pains to investigate
the stability of the trade, and investments were made with complete

While fortunes were being created in the cultivation of sugar cane,
orchards, orange-groves, pasturage, arable land--everything else, in
short--were being either transformed or neglected, and the public
generally was compelled to pay an exorbitant price for its sugar. The
moment had, therefore, arrived for a reduction in the import duties,
and in the price of the article. That, however, was not the view of the
interested parties. "If," they said, "by any misfortune this year's
harvest should prove so good as the last" a worse evil would befall.
Considering that private mortgages amounted to some five million
dollars and that the total indebtedness of the industry, in spite of
its abnormal prosperity, was no less than twenty million, the gravity of
the situation was not exaggerated. A bad harvest would be insufficient
to satisfy the claims of creditors. A good harvest would cause a
tremendous fall in prices and consequent disaster.

It is not surprising that there was formed in 1895 the "Union
Azucavera," or Sugar Trust, with the avowed object of taking over
the entire production of all the refineries and determining prices
for home consumption and export.

Unfortunately, however, for the success of the venture, some concerns
were not in the precarious state to which the majority had been reduced.
By dint of better management and through other causes they still
succeeded in maintaining substantial returns. These refused to enter
the Trust--or Kartel more strictly--and the result was a more or less
complete failure.

Two combines were instituted, nevertheless, the above mentioned
"Union" (in a modified form, no doubt) and a body known as the "Centro
Azucarevo." These concerns devoted themselves with energy to the
solution of the problem of the surplus, and, as was to be expected, the
easiest seemed to be that supplied by political means, the president
of the "Union" being also president of the Chamber of Deputies. So
successful were their efforts that in 1897 a bounty of 12 c. per kilo
was sanctioned, raised for the next year to 16 c. To pay for this bounty
an Inland Revenue tax of six cents paper per kilo was declared on all
sugar home or imported. As in countries nearer home, the bounty system
was an attempt, a costly attempt, to market a commodity which in normal
circumstances was absolutely incapable of meeting its competitors.
Argentine sugar under the most favourable conditions could not, and
never was expected to, compete in the open market with that of other
countries. In the circumstances it must be admitted that the whole
scheme was merely an organised exploitation of the public in the
interests of a weak industry and certain speculative financiers. "What
public interests," exclaims Mr. Pillado, "what benefit for the community
could be cited to warrant a contribution from the country at large of
$40,000,000 in five years as a gift to the exporters of sugar?"

Of the $39,850,000 levied, $25,250,000 were given as a free gift to the
exporters, only $14,600,000 finding their way into the exchequer.

Statistical Appendix.


                                            1890.    1895.   1900.    1905.
  Live-stock                                  400      611     364    1,307
  Food stuffs
    Animal foods                         }             984   1,755    2,242
    Vegetable foods and fruits           }             539     633      960
    Spices and condiments                }           1,053     590      866
    Legumes and cereals                  }           1,607   1,701    2,556
    Substances for infusions and         } 16,411
      hot beverages                      }           5,801   5,335    6,093
    Flour, macaroni, fancy breads,       }
      fecula                             }             428     436      820
  Tobacco and applications                  2,554   2,293    3,147    4,455
  Drinks--Wines                          }          7,304    5,637    6,596
          Spirits and liquors            } 12,990   1,301    1,284    2,159
          Sundries                       }            211      356      411
  Textiles, raw and manufactured
            Silk                         }          1,254    2,485    2,602
            Wool                         }          7,650    7,141   10,967
            Cotton                       } 30,024  20,309   19,536   27,066
            Sundries                     }          8,238    8,433    5,582
  Oils--Vegetable, mineral, etc.              --    3,193    4,194    5,556
  Chemical, medicinal, and pharmaceutical
    substances and products              }  3,875   2,429    3,760    6,275
  Paints and dyes                             --      789      865    1,441
  Timber: In bulk                        }          3,295    5,500   11,799
          Wrought                        }  7,399     739    1,540    2,368
  Paper and applications
    Paper and pasteboard                 }          1,335    1,924    2,272
    Applications                         }  3,628     678    1,001    1,861
  Leather and applications                  1,704     641    1,244    1,796
  Iron and applications
    Raw material                         }          5,696    9,088   14,814
    Machinery and agricultural           } 48,109
      implements                         }          1,202    1,861      --
    Iron and steel manufactures          }          4,701    8,104   11,357
  Agriculture                                 --      --       --    16,532
  Locomotion and Conveyances                  --      --       --    23,362
  Other metals
    Unwrought                                 --      594    1,262    1,896
    Manufactured                              --      846    2,080    3,998
  Stone, clay, glass
    Raw material                         }          6,375    7,120   14,355
    Manufactured                         } 10,385   1,102    1,772    3,111
  Electrical supplies                         --      --       --     2,034
  Sundry articles and manufactures          4,955   1,881    3,321    5,428
                                          -------  ------  -------   ------
                Totals                    142,402  95,096  113,485  205,154


                                     1890.    1895.    1900.    1905.
  Live-stock products            }           74,620   71,253  141,042
    Live-stock                   }            9,052    5,942    7,189
    Meat, hides, wool, etc.      }  61,306   60,352   61,084  122,026
    Manufactured animal products }            4,367    3,568   10,148
    By-products                  }              857      659    1,642

  Agricultural products          }           41,448   77,426  170,235
    Raw material                 }           39,085   73,045  161,188
    Manufactured products        }  34,590    1,960    2,952    5,584
    By-products                  }              402    1,428    3,462

  Woodland products                  1,413    2,161    3,508    7,125
  Products of the chase                346      272      990      790
  Mineral products                     673      338      262      261
  Other products and sundries        2,488    1,316    1,158    3,388
                                   -------  -------  -------  -------
  Totals                           100,818  120,067  154,600  322,843


                                                           Other frozen and
                                                             Preserved Meat
           JERKED BEEF.      FROZEN BEEF.    FROZEN MUTTON.    and Tongues.
                  Value             Value             Value           Value
  Years.  Tons.   $1000     Tons.   $1000     Tons.   $1000    Tons.  $1000
                  gold.             gold.             gold.           gold.
  1896   45,907   3,217     2,997     119    45,105   1,804    3,288    356
  1897   36,238   2,466     4,241     169    50,894   2,035    2,414    255
  1898   22,242   2,116     5,867     234    50,833   2,393    3,154    313
  1899   19,164   2,038     9,079     950    56,627   2,265    3,322    334
  1900   16,449   1,979    24,590   2,458    56,412   4,512    3,175    415
  1901   24,296   2,879    44,904   4,490    63,013   5,041    3,047    391
  1902   22,304   2,647    70,018   7,001    80,073   6,405    4,729    496
  1903   12,991   1,542    85,520   8,151    78,149   6,251    7,354    720
  1904   11,726   1,391    97,744   9,774    88,816   7,089    7,249    704
  1905   25,288   3,738   152,857  15,285    78,351   6,268    8,488    760


               CATTLE.              SHEEPSKINS.
                      Value      1000      Value
  Years.  1000's.  $1000 gold.   Tons.  $1000 gold.
   1896    382        6,543       36       4,061
   1897    238        5,018       37       4,094
   1898    359        7,690       42       6,194
   1899    312        6,824       41       9,308
   1900    150        3,678       37       7,472
   1901    119        1,980       41       7,339
   1902    118        2,848       41       8,487
   1903    181        4,437       41      10,132
   1904    129        2,852       37       8,676
   1905    262        5,160       30       9,483

                                SALTED CATTLE         DRY CATTLE
               WOOL.                HIDES.               HIDES.
          1000      Value      1000      Value      1000      Value
  Years.  tons.  $1000 gold.   tons.  $1000 gold.   tons.  $1000 gold.
   1896    187     33,516       29       4,598       21       6,600
   1897    205     37,450       27       4,605       29       8,596
   1898    221     45,534       29       5,171       23       6,887
   1899    237     71,283       28       5,334       23       8,001
   1900    101     27,991       26       5,285       24       8,159
   1901    228     44,666       28       5,281       26       8,848
   1902    197     45,810       35       6,384       26       8,822
   1903    192     50,424       28       5,360       23       7,787
   1904    168     48,355       29       5,267       22       8,256
   1905    191     64,312       49       9,147       24       9,929


              WHEAT.               MAIZE.               LINSEED.
          1000      Value      1000      Value      1000      Value
  Years.  tons.  $1000 gold.   tons.  $1000 gold.   tons.  $1000 gold.
   1896    523     12,830     1,570     15,594       229      6,856
   1897    101      3,470       374      5,478       162      4,996
   1898    645     22,368       717      9,274       158      5,420
   1899  1,713     38,078     1,116     13,042       217      7,402
   1900  1,929     48,627       713     11,933       223     10,674
   1901    904     26,240     1,112     18,887       338     16,513
   1902    644     18,584     1,192     22,994       340     17,840
   1903  1,681     41,323     2,104     33,147       593     21,239
   1904  2,303     66,947     2,469     44,391       880     28,359
   1905  2,868     85,883     2,222     46,537       654     26,233



  Years.   Wheat.   Linseed.   Maize.    Hay.   cultivations.   Total.
   1895    2,049       387     1,244      713       497         4,892
   1896    2,500       360     1,400      800       510         5,570
   1897    2,600       350     1,000      900       522         5,372
   1898    3,200       332       850    1,067       533         5,983
   1899    3,250       355     1,009    1,268       545         6,427
   1900    3,379       607     1,255    1,511       557         7,311
   1901    3,296       782     1,405    1,631       567         7,683
   1902    3,695     1,307     1,801    1,730       580         9,114
   1903    4,320     1,487     2,100    2,172       606        10,685
   1904    4,903     1,082     2,287    2,503       648        11,424
   1905    5,675     1,022     2,717    2,983       682        13,081

    [8] One hectare = 2·47114 acres.


                  Census,        Agricultural
                   1895.        Statistic, 1905.   Increase.
   Products.  1000 hectares.    1000 hectares.         %
  Wheat           2,049             5,675            176·9
  Linseed           387             1,022            164·0
  Maize           1,244             2,717            118·4
  Barley             54                58              7·7
  Hay               713             2,983            318·4
  Tobacco            15                19             22·7
  Sugar cane         61                65              7·3
  Vineyards          33                53             59·0
  Cotton              1                 4            397·4
  Pea nut            13                29            119·0
  Potatoes           21                40             91·0
  Beans              20                24             18·3
  Vegetables }                         39 }
  Tapioca    }       48                 5 }            1·8
  Spurge     }                          3 }
         ----                         ----
  Rice       }                          3 }
  Oats       }                         51 }
  Common rye }                          2 }
  Canary-seed}      156                21 }           57·4
  Coffee     }                          0 }
  Forests    }                        166 }
  Fruits             71                87             21·9
  Sundries           --                 3               --
                  -----            ------            -----
  Total           4,892            13,081            167·4



  Agricultural implements:
    Importation of English, 36
    United States, 36

  Agricultural machinery:
    English importation of, 36
    United States importation of, 36

  Agriculture, Effects of undeveloped economic system on, 23, 24

  'Alfalfa,' Cultivation of, 2

  Antilles, Trade with, 27

  Axes and small tools, U.S. importation of, 34


  Bahia Blanca, 33

  Bahia Blanca, Docks at, 10

  Banks, Employment in, 22

  Belgium, Trade with, 27

  Boer colony, 24

  Bogus companies, 4

  Bolivia, Trade with, 27

  British houses, Decrease in the number of, 37

  Breweries, 13

  Buenos Aires, 1, 10, 33
    Congestion of port of, 9
    Province of, 4

  Business Houses, Employment in, 22

  Brazil, Trade with, 27, 28

  British and Northern immigrants: their wants not studied, 31

  British exporters, Slackness of, 32


  Canals, 4

  Capital, Influx of foreign, 33

  Cereals, growth of, 2

  Chaco district, 12

  Chaco, The, 3

  Chicken farming, 24

  Chili, Trade with, 27

  China, Trade with, 28

  Chubut, Welsh colony in, 24

  'Colonists,' 2

  Concentration of Trade in Buenos Aires, 1

  Congress, Tone of, 7

  Consular reports, Moreno, Dr. Francisco on, 25, 26

  Córdoba, Province of, 3

  Corrientes, 3

  Cotton goods, Italian importation of, 36

  Cotton growing, 3

  Credit, exaggerated, 38

  Credit, Soundness of National, 18

  Cultivated area in Argentina, Amount of, 56

  Cutlery, English loss of market for, 37


  Drainage system, 4


  'Empresas,' The, 6

  Englishmen, Prospects for, 20, 21, 22

  Entre Rios, 3

  Estancias, 2, 3

  Estancias, employment on, 21

  Estancieros, 2

  Exports, Value of, 54, 55


  Flour mills, 12

  Foreign capital, Important part played by, 16

  Foreign influences, Jealousy of, 7

  France, Trade with, 27, 28

  Fruit cultivation, 3

  Fuel, Scarcity of, 42, 43


  Gaucho, The, 12

  Gauchos, 2

  Gauges, Diversity of, on Argentine railways, 10

  German houses, Increase in the number of, 37

  Germany, Trade with, 27

  Gold in the Argentine, Scarcity of, 4

  Government management, character of, 7

  Government, want of stability of, 17


  Hard-woods, growth of, 3, 42, 44

  Havana, Trade with, 28

  Holland, Trade with, 27

  Housing-accommodation, 14


  Immediate delivery, Expectation of, 39

  Immigrants, Attempts to attract, 20

  Immigrants, Nationalities of, 28

  Immigration of agriculturalists with capital needed, 2

  Immigration, Preponderance of Latin races, 31

  Importation, Tendency in the direction of increased, 12

  Imports, Value of, 53

  Inadequacy of rolling stock, 9

  Interests, Rates of, 6

  Inundations of the Argentine, 4

  Italian immigrants, attempts to attract, 20
    Prospects for, 23
    Their employment in industries, 12, 13

  Italy, Trade with, 27


  Jobbery, Political, its necessity for success of any enterprise, 41, 42


  Literature, Scarcity of, on the Argentine, 24

  La Plata, 33

  Loans, Argentine, easily raised, 18
    Their distribution, 19
    Their size, 19

  Locusts, 3


  Mar del Plata, 10

  Matches, Manufacture of, a monopoly, 13, 15

  Monopolies, Railway, Effect of, 8, 9

  Morality, Public, low standard of, 16

  Municipal loans, a speculative investment, 18


  Non-partisans unmolested, 17


  Paraná, 33

  Paraguay, Trade with, 27

  Paraná, River, 4

  Peon, The, 12

  Piedmontese and Basque 'colonists,' 2

  Pillado, M., his disagreement with present economic policy, 46
    his estimate of amount of tax on sugar, 47
    of its effects on the sugar industry, 48, 49, 50

  'Ponchos,' Importation of, 13

  Ports, Construction of, 33

  Portugal, Trade with, 27

  Precarious nature of business in the Argentine, Effect of, 1

  Preference on colonial produce as affecting the Argentine, 19

  Prices, Inflation of, in the Argentine, 1

  Property, Division of, 3

  Proprietary articles, British trade in, 39

  Protective tariff, Origin of, 41

  Public debt, Laxity of morality as regards, 17
    Its causes, 18

  Public works, Demands of, 32
    Mistakes in connexion with, 33


  Quebracho trade, employment of Indian labour in the, 12


  Railways, Dividends of, 6

  Railways, Employment on, --

  Railways, Growth of, 29
    Relative importance of, 30

  Railways, Growth of British owned, 30, 31

  Railway material, Importation of English, 34, 35
    United States, 34, 35

  Railway system, 4

  Raw material, Argentine naturally exclusively a producer of, 7

  Raw materials, Scarcity of manufactures, 42

  Rents, Rise of, in Buenos Aires, 1

  Rivers, Absence of navigable, 4


  Samborombon, Bay of, project of new port in, 10

  San Nicolas, 33

  Santa Fé, 33

  Shoe-factories, canvas, 13

  South Africa, Trade with, 27

  Spain, Trade with, 27

  Store-keepers, Power of the, 23

  Strikes, 13, 14, 15
    Cause of frequency of, 15

  Sugar industry, The, 3

  Sugar, manufacture of, 45, 46, 47

  Sugar Trust, The, 49, 50


  Tariff, Effect of high protective, 3, 12

  Timber, Production of, 44

  Traction engines, Supremacy of Lincoln firms in, 36

  Trade, British, losing of ground, 26

  Trade, Difficulty of obtaining information about British, 25

  Tramway material, Importation of English, 35
    United States, 35

  Travellers, Exclusion of, 38, 39

  Travellers, Inadequate equipment of English, 39

  Tucuman, Centre of sugar manufacture, 46


  Under-population of the Argentine, 2

  United Kingdom, Trade with, 27, 28

  United States, Trade with, 27, 28

  Uruguay, River, 4, 10

  Uruguay, Trade with, 27


  Wealth, Natural, of the country, 11

  Welsh Colony, 24

  Wool manufacture, 43, 44

       *     *     *     *     *

  Transcriber's Note: The following amendments were made to the text:

  Page   Original Word(s)   Amendment
  ----   ----------------   ---------
  2      the the            the
  4      Parana             Paraná
  10     Parana             Paraná
  23     accomodating       accommodating
  23     monoply            monopoly
  26     1896               1895
  29     Commuuicacion      Communicacion
  31     emphasiased        emphasised
  33     Santo              Santa
  34     that the           that of the
  36     monoply            monopoly
  41     industuries        industries
  42     Cordoba            Córdoba
  49     mortages           mortgages
  49     sitnation          situation
  60     Cordoba            Córdoba
  62     Parana             Paraná
  63     Santo              Santa

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