Knit Goods, Cotton Textiles, Drugs and Medicines, Electrical Apparatus and
accessories, Engines and parts, Tubing, Glassware, Hardware, Lard, Machinery in
feneral, Kerosene, Perfumery, Railway Material, Rice, Sardines, Tanned Skins,
tearin, Thread, Wines, Fence Wire and Woolen Textiles.
In closing these remarks, permit me to add, from personal experience, that
it is very encouraging to note the interest taken lately by the Southern States of
the Union in Latin-American Commerce. This interest and activity have been
yielding very successful results. Venezuela has steamship connections with the
growing and progressive port of New Orleans, and our trade by that route has
undoubtedly a very promising future. The Venezuelan Government was alert in
recognizing the importance of New Orleans as a great stronghold in Pan-Ameri-
can Trade, and taking into consideration its latent possibilities, recently raised our
Consulate there to the category of Consulate General, at par with the one estab-
lished in New York for so many years.
This instance is demonstrative of the keen interest displayed by the Venezue-
lan Government in Pan American matters, for it speaks very highly of its deep
sense of appreciation in analyzing the present outlook, and is also a strong evi-
dence of its effective cooperation and good will towards the United States.
At the present time Venezuela is entering an era of active development in
various fields of endeavor. Mention may be made here of the progress attained
there in the manufacture of Cotton Goods of fairly good quality, Wrapping paper,
Glass, Portland Cement, Cordage, Laundry Soap, Candles, Cigarettes, Shoes, San-
dals, Sole Leather and also Furniture. We are also developing our oil fields
We are prosperous today, although we suffered like most Neutral Nations
because of the effects of the War.
The condition of the country is excellent in many respects, and there is no
reason why Venezuela should not be an ideal country for the investment of foreign
capital. No better proof can be adduced of the soundness of her financial system,
based on the gold standard of the fulfillment of her foreign obligations, and of
the guarantee given to foreign capital than the establishment, during the war,
of four Foreign Banking Institutions which have ^opened branches all over the
country and now are engaged in a healthy competition to get and help our trade.
These facts speak for themselves and defy contradiction.
It is my earnest desire, Gentlemen, that the observations I have taken the
liberty to make to this Conference, which are inspired solely in a true spirit of
Pan Americanism, may be scrutinized with the same friendly feeling: of one. who
as myself, has lived among you for 19 consecutive years and admires your great
Institutions, and who has simply endeavored to bring his mite, however small as
it is, to the Common cause of Pan America.
SHIPPING AND OTHER TRANSPORTATION 223
SHIPPING AND OTHER TRANSPORTATION
SHIPPING NEEDS FOR PAN AMERICAN TRADE
BY EDWARD N. HURLEY, CHAIRMAN OF THE UNITED STATES SHIPPING BOARD.
(Delivered at the Morning Session of Wednesday, June 4)
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Conference It is under favorable auspices
that we meet for the promotion of trade in the western world. Those familiar with
the splendid work of the Pan American Union have come to look upon it as a
symbol of that amity and good will which so happily prevails between American
nations, and as the efficient instrument by which international cooperation for
mutual benefit along economic and social lines has been made really effective. To
know that this union of American republics stands as sponsor for a movement
is to be assured of its progressive character, and to have a guarantee of its ultimate
This is a day of new beginnings in all fields of effort. The war has worked
its profound changes in every country, and as peace opportunities beckon we have
hardly time to pause and take our bearings before launching upon courses of action
which will give a new bent to our customs and relationships, and will produce
effects reaching far into the future. It is a time for caution, and also for the
boldest initiative. On behalf of the United States Shipping Board, I invite your
counsel and assistance in one of the greatest problems which confronts us at this
time that of restoring the broken lines of ocean transportation and of creating
shipping facilities that shall be direct and adequate to the expanding needs of
Combining imports and exports, one finds that the total value of the trade
between the United States and Latin America grew from $800,000,000 in 1914 to
$1,750,000,000 in 1918. This vast growth of nearly one billion in only four years
put the United States not merely at the head, but made its Latin-American trade
greater than the Latin-American trade of all the rest of the world put together.
These figures probably would have been larger if adequate shipping facilities had
You all know what this implies in terms of finance and shipping. To supply
this rapidly growing trade, the need of ships is immediate and imperative not
tramps, with their uncertain sailings, indifferent accommodations and frequent
delays, but liners, with definite sailings, offering direct and quick connection
between the chief ports. Instead of depending upon foreign ships to serve the
United States-Latin American trades, the future will see the rapid growth of
strong North and South American lines, carrying American goods, and promoting
better acquaintance between American countries.
Now that the war, with its interruptions of accustomed trade relations, is
happily over, the keen desire of Latin American merchants for the renewal of
these broken shipping connections will be met by the United States Shipping
Board, and there will be an improvement over the pre-war standard. Owing to
this very interruption, exceptional opportunities will offer when ships of the right
speed, size and type are established, as they soon will be, in direct liner service.
Trade expansion is here to stay. All forces seem to be pulling for the establish-
ment of these American shipping connections.
The sudden development of the merchant marine of the United States is but
the beginning of larger efforts in the future. At this favorable moment the United
States acquires some of the best ocean liners forfeited by Germany as a result of
her wanton and ruinous war. All these factors are playing together for the
building up of these lines which the new trade needs of today and tomorrow
demand. As ships are released from transport and relief services, and as the new
passenger and cargo tonnage becomes available, its most logical use is to be found
along the lines which geography and sound economics have charted.
The United States Snipping Board is laying its plans to respond appro-
priately to this call. Already 226 ships of 863,334 deadweight tons have been allo-
cated to Latin American trade. What is more important, the Board is now sur-
veying the situation in order to promote the establishment of regular American
lines between the United States and South America. These will compare favor-
ably with the former services of the European lines, and will even surpass them.
224 SECOND PAN AMERICAN COMMERCIAL CONFERENCE
Contemplated plans call for at least two lines from New York to serve the West
Indian trades, one of them covering the eastern Caribbean and the other the
western Caribbean with canal connections at Colon. To serve the swelling com-
merce of the west coast, a line will be maintained connecting Valparaiso and the
other western ports with Mobile or New Orleans. We have, today, a passenger
service from New York to Valparaiso which is 9 days shorter than existed one
year ago. As soon as the army returns our American transports, we will have
weekly service from New York to Valparaiso on fine passenger lines through the
Good liner service between Valparaiso and Seattle, with calls at all the
important Pacific ports and also between San Francisco and New York will be
assured, and American lines already established in this field will be supplemented
where required. Finally and most important, there will be a line from New York
to the ports of Brazil and the River Plate. Modern ships of the passenger cargo
type operated over these lines will connect the great centers of trade, and to them
will flow commerce from many intermediate points.
It is realized that nothing less than the best will serve to satisfy the demands
of Latin American travelers and exporters.
Therefore, no effort will be spared to make these lines conform to the
highest standards of modern steamship service. It is hoped to have them specially
designed for the South American trade annd equipped with the convenience and
luxuries which the long trips in tropical seas require. The passenger ships will
have ample deck space, commodious lounging quarters, complete refrigerator sys-
tems to supply cool air in staterooms, and adequate bathing facilities. The 14
ships under consideration for these trades are of about 18,000 gross tons with a
deadweight of about 12,000 and with accommodations for about 300 first-class
passengers. Being combined freight and passenger ships they can carry mis-
cellaneous cargoes and will afford just the accommodations needed for the coffee
merchant of Brazil who wants to take his own cargo to New York or New
Orleans and who wishes to travel on the same ship with it.
There is already a considerable tourist business between the United States
and South American countries and all signs point to a rapid growth of this busi-
ness in the near future.
Before the war the best ships in direct service from the United States to
the eastern ports of South America made only 15 knots, offered only fortnightly
sailings and took 24 days for the trip from New York to Buenos Aires. Compare
this with the service to be expected in the immediate future. Three magnificent
ex-German liners, the Mount Vernon, the Von Stueben, and the Agamemnon are to
be remodeled for South American trade. These ships make 23^ knots, so that
the trip from New York to Rio de Janeiro can be made in 10 days and that to
Argentine capitol can be made in 14 days. There will thus be a saving of at least
a months time on the round trip, as compared with the present or prewar-service.
A very important benefit that will flow from the improvement of shipping
connections with South America will be in .the mail service. Poor mail facilities
have, in the past, proved a serious handicap in the way of increased trade relations
between the United States and Latin America. It is hoped that our Congress
will change the laws governing carriage of mails so that practically every ship
capable of making more than 12 knots an hour and clearing for South American
ports will carry mail. By using both passenger and cargo lines, it will thus be
possible to have mail service three or four times a week.
As things now stand, the mail between the United States and South America
is carried in foreign ships with slow schedules, and this involves serious delays.
After a letter is mailed it may wait two weeks before being put on a ship and this
ship will take 20 to 24 days to reach its destination. Thus, it might take 5 weeks
or at the best a month for a letter to go from New York to Buenos Aires. Under
the new service with fast ships sailing once a week and with intermediate sailings
on slower vessels, a letter may be delivered on a fast ship in Buenos Aires 15 days
after it leaves the writer's hands in New York. Within a month the New York
correspondent may have a reply from Buenos Aires, while at present it takes about
5 weeks one way.
Heretofore it has been practically impossible for many American firms to
conduct business efficiently on a mail basis, and uncertainty about arrival of com-
mercial papers has caused great annoyance. These delays will now be eliminated,
and the gap which has long separated buyer and seller to the disadvantage of both
will be closed.
SHIPPING AND OTHER TRANSPORTATION 225
The parcel post will show an improvement commensurate with that of the
mail service. Goods suitable for light packing can be ordered by catalog and
delivered in a South American country just as packages are now delivered in this
country by mail order houses.
When this new liner service is inaugurated about November 1st, I should
like to arrange an introductory cruise on the Mout Vernon, the palatial liner which
formerly flew the German flag under the name, Kronprinzessin Cecilie, which put
into Boston early in the war was later seized and has recently become a permanent
part of the American merchant marine. On this first trip, I hope to see a dis-
tinguished group of Americans at least 700 strong including government officials,
business men and bankers, of this country and particularly the officers of the Pan
American Union make a record-breaking trip to at least three of the South
Starting on Saturday, November 1st, and sailing direct from New York
to Buenos Aires, the Mount Vernon should arrive at Buenos Aires on Novem-
ber 14th. This would be 10 days shorter running time than Jias ever been
made by a passenger ship going from the U. S. to an Argentine port. This would
enable a stay in Argentine, of a week. From there the party could make the
thirty-six hour rail trip from Buenos Aires to Valparaiso; and after a visit to
Chili, the party could return to Buenos Aires and leave for Rio de Janeiro, spend
a week in Brazil, and be home before Christmas.
In the coming years, American shipyards must produce vessels swifter and
finer than those to which the South American trades have been accustomed. South
American steamship companies, as yet unborn, may build in North American
yards the nucleus of South American fleets which in days to come will carry
South American products to all quarters of the globe.
During the last few months, the Shipping Board's program of construction
has been subjected to thorough revision so that the American fleet may be ^ well
balanced and may adequately serve the needs of peace times. In this revision,
particular attention is being given to the peculiar needs of liner service with the
countries to the south.
Pan Americanism is a vital factor in world peace. It is a movement solely
for international cooperation and for mutual helpfulness. Unity of ideals has
established bonds of friendship and confidence between the American peoples.
These bonds of friendship and confidence have in turn laid the soundest possible
foundation for trade. The exchange and other intercourse which rests upon such
foundations cannot be destroyed, or even seriously interrupted, by misunderstand-
ings. Therefore we may go ahead with confidence in promoting our individual
national interests, which also are our common national interests, by studying how
best to serve one another's needs.
NEW ORLEANS AND LATIN AMERICAN SHIPPING
BY HON. MARTIN BEHRMAN, MAYOR OF NEW ORLEANS.
(Delivered at the Morning Session of Wednesday, June 4)
Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen: You noticed that no New Orleans
delegate asked Mr. Hurley any question. You cannot discuss Pan America or
Latin America without New Orleans being considered and hence it was not nec-
essary for New Orleans to ask any question as to what was going to be done as
far as the port of New Orleans is concerned, because it is natural that it should
be considered might I say next to New York? Or might I say in advance of
New York? You know these New Yorkers talk in great figures, but this war
has taught us in the South that big figures do not stagger us any more, and New
Orleans is talking big figures and doing big things, perhaps a little bit better than
those who formerly talked in these great figures.
A port city naturally must not only be a port city in name but it must so
extend its facilities that they may be used in the best advantage of all those who
need them. You know we folks down South are looked upon as being a sort of
slow, easy-going people, just sort of marking time and going nowhere. But that
is no longer so!
That reminds me of a story that I think is very apropos at this time, of
going nowhere. Up at Camp Pike where our boys were going for training, there
226 SECOND PAN AMERICAN COMMERCIAL CONFERENCE
was a negro sergeant having a great deal of trouble with his soldiers, teaching
them how to mark time. One day in exasperation he said, "You niggers! I'm
a-goin* to beat this here mark time into your haids today. If you don't git it,
somebody's a-goin' to quit the army and it ain't a-goin to be me. Mark time
ain't nothin' but walkin' and goin' nowhere. Git me? Walkin' and goin' no-
But that is not the fact. That is illustrated by another story they tell
of another negro down in Georgia, and that is the spirit I want to impress you
as prevalent in New Orleans today.
There was this darkey on the scaffold about to be hung, goin' right square
to heaven where they all think they're goin', begging forgiveness of the crowd,
praying for forgiveness, when he spied the wife of the negro he had killed, and
reaching over to her he said, "Sister, you're a-goin' to forgive me for havin' killed
your husband, ain't you?" And she said, "Git hung, nigger! Git hung!"
That is the way we are moving fast. We are moving along in fast lines.
Now, my, friends, we appreciate in New Orleans that we had to expand our
business and naturally we looked to the countries south of us and we felt we
must develop this port to its fullest extent that the cargoes handled there should
be handled in the best way at a minimum cost. We are fortunate in owning our
own port, the title is in the people and all the facilities that go to make up a suc-
cessful port has the title vested in the people. The docks that we have there are
built and operated by the people, not for the purpose of making money to declare
dividends for stockholders but for the benefit to the commerce itself.
There is an ideal condition there and those of you interested in trade be-
tween the United States and South and Central America will naturally look
forward to the port nearest to your business and where your business can be
handled at the cheapest cost. Now, we have built this magnificent dock and
steel sheds where mammoth cargoes can be accumulated for incoming and out-
going vessels; and then we were met with the condition that no matter how fine
and how grand and how safe these warehouses would be, of what avail would
they be if you could not economically reach them? Then the city built a pub-
licly owned belt railroad and we handle all the cars of all the roads entering New
Orleans at a minimum of cost. We connect every steamship line, every industry
and every dock in the city of New Orleans and there you have the efficiency of
quick handling of business.
I can pass hurriedly and tell you that we own our own grain elevator, we
own our own copper warehouses, and what I want to call your especial attention
to at this time, my friends, is the great industrial canal or inner harbor that is
now being constructed by the people of the city of New Orleans to connect the
Mississippi River with Lake Pontchartrain, and to have there on the banks of
that canal land available for all sorts of industries, having the advantage of the
water and rail route.
A very important thing will come up in connection with this canal that is
of interest to you who do business and who are interested in Pan American trade.
That is a free port. We are anxious to have located at New Orleans a free
port. You will be very much interested in what a free port is, and it should be
the aim of this Conference to pass resolutions urging upon the Congress to pass
the bill providing for free ports not in one city, not at two cities, not at three
cities, but such cities that will put themselves in the position to make their port
available for that.
I want to read to you just a few lines of what a free port will mean. This
is from an address I delivered at the Foreign Trade convention:
"It has been the experience in every instance where a free port has been
established that following the abrogation of regulations resulting in customs in-
terference and customs impediments, cars, ships, warehouses and other expedients
for collecting, transporting, sorting, cleansing, packing, etc., are brought into the
most intimate relationship, and that additionally, there has been a corresponding
saving in time as well as absence of the annoyances so persistent and so irritating
in existing arrangements.
"As I understand it, the collection of duties on imports entering the coun-
try for domestic use will in no wise be affected through the operation of the free
port system; for as a matter of fact, it is only where such imports are brought
in simply to be manufactured or regraded that they will escape duty. The bonded
SHIPPING AND OTHER TRANSPORTATION 227
warehouse system is practically a synonym for free port. Under the former, im-
ported goods may be taken from the wharf to the warehouse without any pay-
ment of duty and exported at any time within three years. The free port is an
interchangeable term for additional and better facilities, giving an equal chance
to all, and enabling big business to expand without injury to smaller industries.
The free port would manifestly not only encourage manufactories, but introduce
into our establishments a most versatile and efficient class of foreign labor, thereby
enabling competition in many directions, and among peoples with whom we main-
tain at- present but little or no business relations. New Orleans is especially con-
cerned in the trade of Latin America, which just now is dealing almost exclu-
sively with this country, and very largely with our city, which is closer^and in
many respects more inviting to the merchants of those countries than any other
of our sister cities.
"In August last, New Orleans was visited by Mr. D. M. Greer, represent-
ing the Tariff Commission, who was anxious that the Crescent City present its
claims to be designated as one of the new ports of entry provided for in the
Sanders Bill. This first Bill I referred to was a Bill designating three ports
San Francisco, New Orleans and New York as a place where a free port may
be located. I understand the impending Bill will give the states and municipali-
ties, wherever located, authority to create free ports.
"Mr. Greer reminded our people that we would have to show superior qual-
ifications in both present and prospective tonnage for export trade; would have
to be in a position to offer the largest measure of cooperation with the Federal
Government, and the least operating costs. Among other requisites mentioned
were the physical characteristics of the port, depth of water, space for anchor-
age, wharfage facilities, belt lines and other railway service, general commercial
possibilities, materials to be handled, both foreign and domestic, possibility of
combining foreign and domestic materials through manufacture; and special ad-
vantages for export trade.
"Inquiry will be made also as to whether wharves and warehouses are pub-
licly or privately owned, guaranteed against monopoly of wharfage; whether con-
trol is now exercised by the state and municpial governments over the manage-
ment and costs of all functions that go to provide for port facilities. This mat-
ter is receiving the attention of our various commercial exchanges, who are de-
termined that the government shall have in its possession at the proper time all
the data and facts necessary to arrive at an intelligent decision.
"We believe we can come as near compliance with these requirements as
any city on this continent. Believing so, we shall submit pur claims with faith in
their justice and impartiality and with confidence that in the end we shall be
awarded the distinguished honor we so earnestly covet not for ourselves alone,
but that we may through this means be the better able to render an unselfish and
patriotic service to our common country."
This, gentlemen, to my mind is one of the important things that this Con-
ference ought to lend itself to. I have read to you what I believe to be the im-
portance of a free port and those of you who are engaged in foreign trade, which
most of you naturally are, it is of the greatest importance that you give this your
most earnest attention.
I thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen, for permission to be here