who presided over the session.
DIRECTOR GENERAL BARRETT: We now pass to the consideration of
Paraguay. It is with real pleasure that I shall present to you one of the great
constructive statesmen of that country, which occupies such an interesting place
in the heart of South America, bounded as it is by, and connecting up, Brazil and
Argentina and Bolivia, a country of great potentiality with a wonderful history.
The man who will speak to you has done more than almost any other man to
make Paraguay what she is at present. I have great satisfaction in introducing to
you the Minister of Paraguay to the United States Senor Gondra.
THE MINISTER OF PARAGUAY: Mr. Chairman Gentlemen : The pres-
ent being a commercial conference, the Chairman has, with happy thought, applied
to oratory the principle of allocation.
I shall have then to avail myself of the regulation ten minutes by telling you
in substance what might be of interest with respect to the commerce of my country.
I shall begin by saying for you that the figures extracted from our commercial statis-
tics are made up in accordance with the old Tariff of Valuation of 1909 for the
collection of customs dues valuations that are now much too low. Accordingly, as
may be seen from the recent report of the American Consul at Asuncion, the total,
actual value, of the commerce of Paraguay for 1917 amounts to more than 100,000,-
000 francs, or nearly $21,000,000. The figures for 1916 incomplete are possibly
slightly below this amount, due to the rigid embargo beginning 1912. It will be
interesting to note that during the first nine months of 1918, in imports and exports
the United States stood third and second respectively, as against fourth and eleventh
in 1914. In addition let me say that the statistics that we are accustomed to quote,
are not exact, because all the foreign trade of Paraguay, an inland country, is effected
through the ports of neighboring countries, and oftentimes they are credited to the
countries of these ports this being particularly the case with one important
product, quebracho extract. Furthermore, many are the American articles that
we purchase in the markets of neighboring countries, through lack of direct ship-
ping communication with the United States.
Of recent years direct relations have been more earnestly sought, and today
the number of consignments made by means of the parcel post is considerable. The
war, producing an almost complete stoppage of commerce, imposed so as to speak
a dietary regime, which is always an advantage when commercial credit is in the
question. Favored by this forced restriction and by the enormous advance in the
prices of merchandize previously introduced, our commerce has paid almost all
the balances of its foreign accounts, and according to the last message of the Presi-
dent of the Republic, is well on the road to recovery.
Simultaneously with the commercial improvement, a financial reaction has
taken place. Strict and administrative retrenchment has resulted, during the last
fiscal year, in producing a surplus of 4,500,000 pesos paper, a circumstance which
united with the lowering of the exchange rate, indicated the time as opportune to
attempt the problem of stabilizing the value of our currency.
Important to the same end are the favorable balances of our trade, through
the development of certain industries whose growth may be taken as assured, such as
the meat industry three important American plants having been installed within
the past two years the tanning business, sugar refining and other agricultural enter-
38 SECOND PAN AMERICAN COMMERCIAL CONFERENCE
In this regard the economic policy of my country is that of limiting to its
capacity for consumption those domestic products that are not of export demand,
or that are of a disadvantage in competition with like foreign articles. Instead it
vigorously encourages the production of those that are adapted to meet competition
in the world trade.
In this sense the Banco Agricola encourages the cultivation of tobacco,
regarding which staple I may say that in the opinion of foreign experts who have
made a close study of the Paraguayan leaf it promises to be among the best to be
found in the market.
The growth of cotton once cultivated on a large scale, and of a superior
quality, is being stimulated. As indicating the importance of this product I may
state that Mr. Atkinson, an American expert, has declared that the cotton of Para-
guay is one of the very few that might with success compete with that of the
United States. Likewise, yerba mate, cultivated, a product formerly found only
in its wild state; generally known as Paraguay Tea, it is commencing to make
steady inroads into the markets of the United States and Europe.
With these few remarks I have consumed the time that has been assigned by
the Chairman. A paper to be included in the proceedings of the conference, will
contain in detail data with respect to our general commerce, and in particular with
regard to Paraguay's relation with the United States.
In the meantime, Mr. Walter B. Graham, who is connected with the Legation
under my charge, and a participant in this conference, will give whatever informa-
tion may be desired, regarding matters related to our economic, industrial and
In conclusion permit me to congratulate the illustrious colleagues of the
Governing Board and the Director General of the Pan American Union who have
so successfully organized this conference. (The paper on Paraguay is on page 184.}
DIRECTOR GENERAL BARRETT: Is there anyone here, aside from the
Minister, who is prepared to answer questions in regard to Paraguay?
Mr. Chandler, formerly of the State Department, now of the Corn Exchange
National Bank, Philadelphia, has the floor.
MR. CHARLES LYON CHANDLER: Paraguay has a population of six
hundred thousand people. It is a great cattle raising country. Tex Riccard, you
know, the man who got up the prize rights, went up there -and is organizing his
big cattle ranches in Paraguay and raising the finest kind of cattle, meat and beef
and has had experts come there to look things over, and Paraguay is going to be
the land of the cheap meats very soon. Asuncion is a beautiful city of eighty
thousand people, where Remington Typewriters have been sold since 1896.
MR. W. B. GRAHAM (Washington) : There are one or two things I would
like to mention. The Honorable Vice-President yesterday was good enough to
mention the Yerba~ Mate as one of the special products of the country. Now, a
great many of you don't know what it is. If you will take care before you leave
the Conference here and step into the office of the Secretary, you, can get a sample
of this product of the country. It is drunk by perhaps twenty-five or thirty million
people, generally throughout the southern part of South America and a great part
of Europe and it is being introduced now into the United States. There are
several dealers in Baltimore, Washington, Philadelphia, San Antonio and San
Francisco who handle it.
It is, in the first place, pleasant to the taste; in the second place, it is very
reasonable and sells in the ground for five to ten cents a pound and one pound
of it will last as long as four pounds of the ordinary kind of tea. It contains no
tannin, which is the one agent of China tea which is deleterious to the stomach.
When you drink a cup of China tea and go to bed you cannot sleep. You can
drink a dozen cups of Yerba Mate and fall into the pleasantest slumber and
sweetest dreams you ever had, and, as the Vice-President stated, you wake up the
next morning with a clear head.
There is one point about Paraguay and that is it is going to be the great
meat producer of South America. Our experience in the United States has shown
that their land is good for agriculture only and where the grazing land of the
west, where years ago we found agriculture driving the cattle away, where there
is less than one-sixth per cent, of one animal per capita in the country, we find in
Paraguay the per capita animal population is about 6%. During the last two years
there have been three great branches of the United States packers established
there the International Products Company, of New York; Swift & Co., of
TUESDAY EVENING SESSION 39
Chicago, and Morris & Co., of Chicago, and at present there are other people on
the ground planning further extensions.
The only thing that Paraguay needs immediately is better transportation
facilities. At the present time all goods sent from Paraguay must be shipped at
Montevideo or Buenos Aires. This entails additional expense and a loss of time.
If some enterprising shipping concern could arrange bi-monthly or monthly ship-
ments direct, they would be assured of a full cargo for return and also be assured
of customers down there to take the capacity of the ship.
DIRECTOR GENERAL BARRETT: Tell us something about the banking
and financing and shipping connections there.
MR. GRAHAM: The shipping connections with Paraguay are by way of
Buenos Aires and Montevideo. When you make a shipment there it is necessary
to have your papers stamped also by the Consul of Argentina or Uruguay. This
is an expense in the case of Uruguay but Argentina has arranged so that there is no
additional expense. But after the shipping has reached the port, it is necessary to
then move it by lighter to a smaller boat for shipment up the river. It takes
about twenty-five or thirty days for a shipment to go from New York to Asuncion
as a rule, and about the same time for a shipment back. The rate before the war
was about $20 a ton, sometimes more, depending upon the quality and the classes
It is necessary down there to cater to the domestic wants, to their tastes.
For instance, in men's clothing and shoes, they used English leather and followed
English styles; for women's clothing they used French styles. They use the
metric system, and if I must use a homely expression that George Ade once used,
I can give you the principle of their buying in a few words they, give the people
what they think they want, not what they want. If the American dealers will
do that, they will find the Paraguayans are ready buyers and good payers.
DIRECTOR GENERAL BARREJTT: The Ambassador of Peru spoke this
morning, and there will be nothing further on Peru, but Mr. Alvarez of Peru is
here to answer any question, as also Mr. Hurtler and Mr. John Vavasour Noel.
We are now ready for any question in regard to Peru. Then, as there are no
questions I will give Mr. Alvarez three minutes in which he can say something
practical about Peru.
SR. CARLOS ALVAREZ CALDERON, of Peru: The general conditions are
extremely good because the war, of course, has formed a market for pur products.
Our currency, our rate of exchange has gone up very much indeed until the
Peruvian pound is now worth over five dollars.
There is much new railway construction contemplated in Peru. We have
several projects under study and some of them have been begun. There is the
very important one of the Pan American Railway in which several people have
been very much interested which will go from the Pacific Coast right into the
interior and tap the tropical zone where all the different ports on the Amazon River
are touched, and bring the products of that zone to the Pacific side. That, of
course, has been studied and there have been several projects.
DIRECTOR GENERAL BARRETT: Mr. Noel, we will allot you two and
a half minutes.
MR. NOEL: The question is that the time allotted to me does not permit me
to do justice to the subject. I spent five years of my life in Peru, I know the
country and I am ready to answer questions and help anybody who wants to go
there. I have done that for years. Some months ago a young man came to me
who wanted to know what the opportunities were in Peru and I encouraged him
to go there. I am going to refer to him and he can tell you briefly what his
experience was as a young American in Peru and what his impressions were.
I refer to Mr. Hurtler.
DIRECTOR GENERAL BARRETT: Mr. Hurtler, we will be glad to have
you occupy the rest of that time.
MR. HENRY HURTLER (New York): About a year and a half ago I left
for Peru where I was seven months. I traveled from the northern most port of
Payta down the coast to Mollendo. I visited all the interior towns and also Lima.
I found the people very friendly and opened a business especially with Americans,
FOREIGN* COMMERCE 1917
* 64-, 989, 000.
TUESDAY EVENING SESSION 41
and I can only say that my experience in Peru has been very pleasant in every
respect. I believe that it is a field which the American manufacturer can enter
with success and benefit, and I hope that in the very near future the American
manufacturer will show more interest in the Peruvian market.
The financial conditions are very good, the houses are of the highest order
and would like very much to trade with the American manufacturers, who should
send their representatives into that market. They will find that the business
results will be very encouraging.
I hope some day to go back to Peru and know more about the country,
which I believe has very great possibilities.
DIRECTOR GENERAL BARRETT: We will now proceed to Salvador. We
have here the distinguished Secretary of the Legation, Senor Atilio Peccorini.
THE SECRETARY OF THE LEGATION OF EL SALVADOR read the paper
on page 204.
DIRECTOR GENERAL BARRETT: Has anyone here a question about El
Salvador before we pass from the consideration of that country.
MR. V. L. HAVENS (New York) : I would like to know what the condi-
tions regarding railway connections between Salvador and Guatemala are.
SR. PECCORINI: There -is only one railroad line in project and that has
been for some time, but they have not been able to carry it through to execution.
MR. HAVENS: What is that on account of?
SR. PECCORINI: It was on account of the war that the execution of
the project has been delayed so long. Communication at present by railroad
reaches very nearly to the frontier of Guatemala, and there is only a short piece
of railroad to be built so as to reach as far as Zacapa and from there to the
DIRECTOR GENERAL BARRETT: If there are no other questions about
El Salvador we shall take up the discussion on Uruguay. I have the pleasure of
introducing to you Senor Jose Richling, Consul General of Uruguay at large. I
have known him a great many years. He is one of the most efficient representa-
tives of any Latin American country in New York and he represents a country
today which, though small in area, plays a mighty part in the commercial and
political development of Latin America. There is no President of all Latin
America that I think we can respect more than President Brum. You remember
the remarkable visit he made to this country recently and the great sentiments of
Pan Americanism that he expressed.
Uruguay is in every way endeavoring to build up Pan American commerce,
offering opportunities to the capital and to the business of this country, and I
am sure that a few words from Mr. Richling will be most appropriate, instruc-
tive and interesting.
THE CONSUL GENERAL OF URUGUAY AT LARGE read the paper given
on page 206.
MRS. JOAN CALLEY (Washington) : Would you tell us something about
the moving picture theatres of Montevideo and Uruguay?
SR. RICHLING: Practically everything important from the United States
is sold by contract to the concerns there, but I think there is something which
could be done still.
DIRECTOR GENERAL BARRETT: Can you tell us just a word about the
present terminal and dock facilities of Montevideo? We have a great many ques-
tions about that.
SR. RICHLING: The port of Montevideo is our pride. We have spent
there about twenty million dollars and we think it is second to none in the world.
Ships go to the docks and unload there very quickly. The charges of the port
are supposed to be the lowest in the world, they are practically nominal as we are
encouraging tonnage and merchandise to come to Montevideo even if it is not
intended for the country. It goes from there to Paraguay, Bolivia, and even to
42 SECOND PAN AMERICAN COMMERCIAL CONFERENCE
DIRECTOR GENERAL BARRETT: Is there much demand or opportunity
there now for United States capital ?
SR. RICHLING: The country, if you will allow me to express it this
way, has lots of money now and we are taking care of ourselves, but you know
that money is merchandise the same as anything else and whoever offers it more
cheaply will have a very good investment, so it is up to the American investors
to see that they make the most attractive offer.
SENHOR SAMPAIO: You ask about the navigation and transportation of
Paraguay. There are two lines of navigation now. One line comes from Buenos
Aires to New York which was started last month. Another line is an old line,
started many years ago, from Rio de Janiero into Paraguay serving Montevideo,
Asuncion and Buenos Aires.
LIEUT. J. P. MOFFITT (Washington) : What is it that we produce in the
United States that the people of Uruguay need mostly; on the other hand, what
has Uruguay for us? I would like to get your ideas as to just those two points.
SR. RICHLING: That is a rather difficult or comprehensive question. For
instance, last year what you exported most to Uruguay was sugar what you
bought from Cuba. In former years what we bought from you was machinery;
during the war it was iron, steel and coal, and we have tried to trade our wool
to you here, hides and everything that we do not sell elsewhere.
DIRECTOR GENERAL BARRETT: We will bring this session to a close
by considering a country which, though last in the alphabet, is not least by any
means. I am glad to say that we have on the platform here the eminent Minister
of Venezuela, Dr. Santos A. Dominici, one of the most popular and best loved
of the American diplomats in this city, and Venezuela has named as its special
representative at this Conference its special agent in the United States, Dr. Jose
Santiago Rodriguez, who stands in the foremost ranks of those men who are
informed on all South America and especially his country, Venezuela, the nearest
point of which is less in distance from Key West, our southernmost point, than
Washington from Kansas City.
I have great pleasure in introducing Dr. Jose Santiago Rodriguez.
DR. JOSE SANTIAGO RODRIGUEZ read the paper on page 209.
DIRECTOR GENERAL BARRETT: Is there any question in regard to
Before we proceed, I want to call to the attention of this audience a most
remarkable fact. Here more than twenty papers have been presented by distin-
guished. Latin Americans, and with only one or two exceptions they have been
read in the English language. I wonder how many Americans, under similar
circumstances, could do one tenth as well in Spanish.
. There has never- been in Washington or in this country or in the western
hemisphere a more Pan American Conference than this. Up to the present time
three-fourths of the discussion has been carried on by Latin Americans ; the United
States representatives generally have the habit of holding all those things to
themselves, but I am glad to say that this Conference has been characterized by
exceptional participation and attendance by distinguished Latin Americans. We
will have in our printed proceedings one of the most remarkable records that has
ever been printed in any book.
(Motion pictures are shown.)
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 4, 1919
The Conference was called to order at 9.30 o'clock by Director General
Barrett, who presided.
DIRECTOR GENERAL BARRETT: In welcoming you here this morning,
there are two or three general observations that I desire to make for the benefit
of thos.e who are here for the first time this morning.
I cannot tell you what pleasure I have in introducing the first speaker of
this morning. I go back to the time when he was the distinguished President of
the Illinois Manufacturers' Association, and I said, "There's a man whom I want
to get interested in Pan American affairs." Through his own natural tendency
to take an interest in things that were coming on and through my own little
efforts, we finally aroused his interest to a splendid point where he led a great
delegation of the Illinois Manufacturers' Association for a trip around Latin
America. On that occasion his eyes were opened as never before to the future of
the United States in Pan American commerce and trade. He came back and made
a report that attracted the attention of the entire land. From that moment the
sun of illumination of this distinguished man began to rise rapidly in the heavens
until now we might say, in the opinion of the American people, it is very near the
I have great pleasure in introducing to you, as the first speaker of the morn-
ing, Hon. Edward N. Hurley, the Chairman of the United States Shipping Board.
THE CHAIRMAN OF THE U. S. SHIPPING BOARD delivered the address
given on page 223.
DIRECTOR GENERAL BARRETT: I am sure you all agree with me that
it was worth holding the Conference just to hear from Mr. Hurley those words
as coming from one who has been intimately associated with this Pan American
movement for nearly eighteen years, as meaning more for the practical develop-
ment of Pan American commerce and, therefore, Pan American friendship, than
anything that has been said from this platform. Are there any questions you
desire to ask Mr. Hurley?
DR. ROJO: I was very much pleased to hear the speech of Chairman
Hurley, and I wish only to call attention to the fact that the commerce between
Mexico and the United States will be tremendously increased with better means
of ship communication. During the last year Mexico sold to the United State's
three hundred and fifty million dollars. Think of that, three hundred and fifty
millions ! That is 95 per cent, of our exports. We have depended only on railway
communication, but I am sure that when we have larger shipping transportation
we will sell and buy from the United States at least double that amount. It will
be a great assistance for our mutual commerce, if sometime the Shipping Board
would consider plans for a larger traffic with Mexico. I would desire to know if
Mexico is considered in the projects of the Board.
MR. HURLEY: I will be very glad to answer your question by saying that
in balancing our fleet and planning for the ships we now have to the respective
ports throughout the world, we have Mexico in mind and our plans are very
complete. We will be glad to show them to you if you come down to the Shipping
MR. W. N. DICKINSON (New York) : I would like to ask Mr. Hurley
whether or not they confine the points of call of the fast steamers to Rio, Monte-
video and Buenos Aires, or whether they will call at one or two of the ports on
the coast further north.
MR. HURLEY: We are planning to have a real fast ship and then a slower
ship following, and divide the ports of call between the two, giving service to
both, not interfering with the fast service between New York and the main ports.
44 SECOND PAN AMERICAN COMMERCIAL CONFERENCE
MR. DICKINSON: The fast ships would call at the three capitals, the
others pick up the individual points?
MR. HURLEY: The other ports will be divided between a real fast ship
and a slower ship.
MR. H. RICHARDS, Jr. (New York) : As the weights and measures of
South America are metric, I would like to ask if it would be possible to have the
shipping on these lines arranged to be in. metric weights and measures.
MR. HURLEY: I have not taken that up yet. I am troubled enough
with trying to get the ships themselves.
MR. S. L. WEAVER (Los Angeles) : I am interested in this trip on the
Mount Vernon to South America. May I ask if only delegates are entitled to go
on. that trip and how soon we will have to make reservations ?
MR. HURLEY: Between August 1st and November 1st. And first come,
first served. We cannot draw the line and say who is going to go, but it has to
be representative business men and bankers and men who are seriously thinking
regarding the future of Pan American trade. No tourist will go.
MISS C. E. MASON (Pan American Round Table) : I would like to ask if
this is to be confined entirely to gentlemen interested in commercial, financial
lines or whether it would be in order for a special delegation of women to go
preparatory to their later larger meetings in South America to be sent there