United States. Dept. of Commerce and Labor United States. Bureau of Foreign Commerce.

Consular reports, Issues 224-227 online

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could not be overestimated. In the Poyser loom, they acted in unison, and were
positive, and not negative, in action; the take-up mechanism automatically brought
the let-off mechanism into play. They were also warp and weft stop motions, and
if the warp broke or the weft yarn ran off, the loom was automatically thrown out
of action. The new loom was easier to manipulate than the old, and it was so
small that the operator might readily adjust any particular part of it. The speed*
of the old loom averaged 140 picks per minute, but the new loom might be run at
500 per minute, without additional wear and tear on the working parts or undue
tension and friction upon the warp and weft yarns. In conclusion. Professor
Beaumont said it was gratifying to know that a loom which might be an epoch-
making one in the textile world was the invention of a fellow-countryman.

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Consul Grinnell sends from Manchester, under date of February
7, T899, circulars descriptive of the system and work of the ** corps
of commissionnaires, ** widely known in Great Britain. A summary of
the information contained in the circulars is given below:

Every soldier or sailor discharged with a good character, provided he is in good
health, can become a member of this organization. The entries are regulated by
the merits and acquirements of candidates, the number of admissions being restricted
only by the demands of employers. Married men are not eligible unless they prove
their ability to keep a wife. The corps was founded in 1859. The number of men
on the rolls on the last day of December, 1897, was 2,351, and the monthly average
for the year was 2,300. This organization presents the following advantages: The
reliable character of its members; the guaranty of faithful service, ranging from
£2$ to j£'ioo($i22 to $487); the furnishing of efficient substitutes, without further ex-
pense to employers; a sick fund and medical attendance in case of sickness for
members; a savings bank and an insurance fund for men when unable to work.

The safety of property entrusted to a com mission naire is guaranteed by the fol-
lowing scale: Sergeant major, £100 ($487); sergeant, £7$ ($365); corporal, ;/;"5o
(J243); private commissionnaire, £2$ ($122). Where men are wanted for highly re-
sponsible positions, additional security will be given.

The scale of wages in London and large manufacturing cities is as follows:



employment per





Temporary employment per day.

When sent out of their district for more than twelve hours, besides the actual
traveling expenses, sergeants are allowed is. (24 cents) and corporals and privates
9d. (iS cents) per diem. The object of the corps being to provide suitable work for
its members, whatever their qualifications, age, or bodily health, the scale of wages
is subject to modifications. Members are employed as clerks, watchmen, time and
gate keepers, messengers, gymnastic and drill instructors, porters, boatmen, but-
lers, house servants, icvalid attendants, grooms and helpers — either in or out of
uniform. Their honesty and sobriety is guaranteed whenever the printed engage-
ment form has been duly signed. The employer must make an annual payment
of IDS. ($2.42) for a permanent engagement, and a special tax of 2)4 per cent upon
the amount of wages for temporary engagements. Special men are appointed as
guides for London; also to meet children passing through London on their way to

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and from school to attend to their luggage, etc. Staff sergeants of the corps are
sent to any part of the Continent or as travelers for business firms in the Kingdom.
London alone is capable of employing 50,000 commissionnaires. The corps has a
military organization, and members can live at the mess for 17s. ($4.13) per week
and pay all the ordinary corps charges, viz: Mess, los. 6d. ($2.55); lodging, 3s. 6d. (85
cents); savings bank, is. (24 cents); clothing, sick and all other funds, 2s. (49 cents).


The Belgian Senate has recently resumed discussion of the sup-
pression of cattle marts and fairs. During the debate, a senator
stated that official inquiries had failed to establish the presence of a
diseased animal on the market, but that disease existed and had even
increased since the interdiction. This statement was contested, and
it was shown that aphthous stomatitis (inflammation of the mouth)
had been carried into a commune by six pigs which had been exhib-
ited at a mart, and that the commune at the present moment was in-
fected throughout. The Minister of Agriculture expressed regret that
he had not closed the market at Courtrai, which would have prevented
the invasion of the disease in the stables of the distilleries of that
arrondissement. Although the number of diseased cattle is reported
as diminishing, the following statement shows the present state of
the epidemic:





Brabant ,

East Flanders

West Flanders.





Province of Namur.




Brussels, December jo^ iSgS.

Geo. W. Roosevelt,


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Probably, most of the varnish used here comes from the United
States, but it does not come directly, appearing to go first either to
England or Continental Europe, there to be reshipped to South
America. The wholesale and retail price is $1.35 gold per gallon.
There is but little furniture in Paraguay that is not varnished.

It is to be hoped that United States varnish dealers will endeavor
to establish direct communication with business houses in Asuncion,
thus preserving the character of our goods as well as enhancing
their reputation. I give below a few names of firms to whom dealers
could write.

Manila rope also has a large sale here, coming indirectly from
the United States. The class principally used (about the size of the
middle finger) is sold for 12 or 15 cents gold per pound.

Twine is another United States article whose identity is lost,
owing to its passing through foreign hands. Fishing is carried on
very extensively. Twine is sold for 35 or 40 cents gold per pound ;
the cotton twine brings from 30 to 35 cents gold per pound; fishing
lines, 30 cents gold per pound.

I would also call the attention of the American manufacturers to
the favor in which their canvas is held. It is us^d for sails on the
many small boats, canoes, etc., plying on the rivers and lakes;
also for the large sailing vessels, and for domestic purposes, as
cots for sleeping, etc. The poor people use the cot instead of the
bed almost exclusively, the cost being about $1.50 gold. Many of
the rich in this warm country also use cots, as they are cooler.

The country from which this canvas chiefly comes is the United
States, and the principal mark is ** Extra Duck,'* sold here for $1.60
paper (about 25 cents gold) per yard. This does not come directly
from the United States, being handled, like the others, by foreign

I again appeal to our manufacturers to establish a showroom for
American goods, and also to deal direct with the Asuncion firms.
The following persons would handle our goods: Enrique Plate, com-
mercial agent and commission merchant; Christian Heiseke, Ruis y
Jorba, Francisco Angalo y Cia, Gaona y Urrutia, Gomez y Cia,
Trabucatti y Cia, Crobats y Rodi, Miguel Bajae. With the excep-
tion of Enrique Plate, who can be communicated with in English, I
would recommend that all correspondence with the above firms be
in Spanish, thus securing ready attention and replies.
No. 224 9.

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Imports in tSgj.



Manila rope.


Per cent,










From Argentina.






From Uruguay.






The above is the amount imported from Argentina and Uruguay.
The official values are stated in gold.


Asuncion, December j^ 18^8, Consul,


I have the honor to inclose an important communication from one
of the leading citizens of this Republic, relative to the condition of
United States trade with South America in general and Paraguay
in particular, and to the establishment of a Paraguayan-United
States bank. In addition to the establishment of the bank, but sub-
sidiary thereto, Paraguay offers both opportunities and inducements
to American capitalists for the development and installation of the
following industries: (i) The building and operation of a railway
from Igatimi to Rosario, 300 kilometers (186 miles), with guaranty
of 6 per cent; (2) electric-light plant, waterworks, and sewerage for
Asuncion ; (3) factory for the production of oil (cocoa, castor, and
mani); (4) factories for cotton goods and other textiles (carujuata
and ramie) ; (5) china and earthen ware factory, the raw materials
being at hand; (6) production of iron and manganese; (7) cultiva-
tion of indigo; (8) output of timber, especially ebony; (9) fish

In regard to the proposed bank, I may say th^t the Paraguayan
Government will give it full encouragement and support; and I feel
almost certain that in the building of the railroad mentioned, all the
land which may be required will Ue freely given.

The proposed bank could take up the yerba mate trade by buying
out the Paraguayan Industrial Company, which would enable it to
constantly renew its metallic currency and make a handsome profit
besides; it could build a railway, following a well-defined plan,
which would connect Paraguay with Bolivia, and another which
would bring Brazilian products into Paraguay. The establishment

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of colonies along these lines of railway would result in increased in-
come ; the lands are rich and capable of producing the many and
varied products of the country.

Cattle raising opens a vast field for the employment of capital,
the profits of which may be calculated at from 20 to 25 per cent
per annum. The number of cattle at present in Paraguay is esti-
mated at 4,000,000, while its camps are capable of sustaining
50,000,000. The value of the cattle could be increased threefold by
crossing with imported stock. .From the superior quality of Para-
guayan grass, it has been well established that its beef is superior
even to that of Argentina.

A branch railway, starting from Rosario and running in the
direction of Brazilian territory, by way of Igatimi, could count upon
the very important traffic of the Paraguayan tea forests, and the trans-
portation of the yerba of both countries, besides many other prod-
ucts not yet touched, such as timber, cacao, oranges (sweet and
bitter), India rubber, etc.

Capital can find profitable investment in public works — port im-
provements, construction of docks, custom-house warehouses, build-
ings in Asuncion, electric lighting of cities and towns, etc.

Paraguay, in fine, offers every inducement to American capitalists
for industrial and financial investments, and these should be investi-
gated at once, and, if proven to be satisfactory, accepted before Eu-
ropean capitalists monopolize the same.

John N. Ruffin,

Asuncion, December 16^ i8g8. Consul,


It is Strange that the great Republic of the United States of North America,
which you represent in this country, notwithstanding the prodigious development
of its industries and its proverbial mercantile activity, does not enjoy the supremacy
that it should in the commercial affairs of South America. I believe that this is
owing to the diflSculties that exist at the present time in transacting business
between South American countries and the United Sutes. There is no direct
steam communication with the River Plata, nor is there a single bank in South
America owned by North American capitalists, whereas there are many worked
with European capital.

North American manufactures are introduced into these River Plata countries
on a large scale through the medium of European markets, and the bank operations
resulting therefrom are transacted by the same means, paying to Europe an enor-
mous tribute that, if it does not render impossible the interchange, at least makes
it very difficult.

A friend of mine, largely interested in this commerce, has tried to initiate direct
business with the United States, but had to abandon the idea on account of the
difficulty of remitting funds.

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Paraguay, owing to its geograpical situation, the fertility of its soil, and fine
climate, is certain of a great future. Notwithstanding the deplorable fact that
Paraguay — for causes not necessary to recite — was shut out from the rest of the
world for almost a century, it accumulated sufficient means to sustain a gigan-
tic war of five years against three allied powers, among them the first of South

Owing to causes to which it would be inopportune to refer, Paraguay has pro-
gressed very slowly in commerce and industries. We are now about to witness the
transmission of the Presidency of this Republic to a citizen well prepared, of pro-
gressive ideas, full of the best intentions and of tried honor, and the time for action
on the part of the commercial and financial agents of the great Republic of the
north has arrived.

There are many ways in which to enter into commercial relations with this
country, but I think that the way I propose is the most practicable and promises
the surest result.

Paraguay is one of the boundaries of the richest part of the Argentine Repub-
lic — the River Plata countries have to pass it to arrive at the rich Brazilian State of
Matto Grosso — and possesses, in the great Chaco, the key of the principal and
easiest entry to the rich Republic of Bolivia.

A bank started in the manner I propose would begin with a small capital, but
would almost immediately increase it, because it would have to be the commercial
agent of a vast territory. I believe that it will be easy to arrange with the public
authorities for the bank charter in the form I propose, or perhaps with slight mod-
ifications; for it is easy to conceive the immense future of an establishment that
would produce activity in all commercial operations and industries in Paraguay and
that would Insure important benefits to its initiators.

The man who will shortly direct the destinies of this country inspires general
confidence, and evidence is not wanting to show that Europeans are willing to enter
into business relations with Paraguay in the new era about to commence; and if
the capitalists of the United States desire to control the future of this portion of the
continent, they should act at once.

Should my suggestions, Mr. Consul, be received favorably by American finan-
ciers, it will give me the greatest pleasure to enter at once into negotiations with

the Government 'on this important business.

» * *

Asuncion, November, i8g8.


(i) The representative of a syndicate of capitalists is to make a loan to the
Government of the Republic of Paraguay of, say, $1,000,000 gold, with an amorti-
zation of 2 per cent and 4 per cent interest per annum.

(2) The Paraguayan Government to guarantee the payment of the amortization
and interest with all its revenues and the goods belonging to the nation, and more
especially with the net product of the house and land tax (contribucion directa*),
the land-tax law guaranteed not to be annulled or altered until such time as the
debt be extinguished; the expenses of the collection of the tax not to exceed $70,000
paper currency per year.

(3) The syndicate to be authorized to form an anonymous company to establish

* A copy of the house and land tax law accompanied Consul Ruffin's report and is filed in the
Bureau of Foreign Commerce.

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a bank to be called the "Banco del Paraguay y Norte America," to be domiciled
in the city of Asuncion del Paraguay; the bank to be authorized to establisih branch
banks and agencies wherever it may consider necessary, both in Paraguay and

(4) The capital of the bank to be $2,000,000 gold, divided into 20,000 shares of
$100 each, of which the Government of the Republic of Paraguay should take
10,000, to be paid for by the revenues referred to in article i, the remaining 10,000
shares to be takeii up by the company to be organized.

(5) The gains proceeding to the Government from banking operations to remain
as a subsidy to the service of the loan.

(6) The shares being subscribed for and paid up, the Government of the Repub-
lic of Paraguay to deliver to the syndicate the corresponding titles of the public
debt, having previously deposited in the treasury the total amount of the 20,000
shares. On this occasion, the Government will receive the 10,000 shares.

(7) The gains of the bank will be divided as follows: To the Government for
the concession of the bank charter, 5 per cent; to the directors, according to their
assistance at sessions, 5 per cent; to the shareholders, 90 per cent.

(8) The directory of the bank to consist of five directors and three vice-directors,
of which three directors and two vice-directors would be elected by the shareholders
and two directors and one vice-director by the Government, with the authoriza-
tion of Congress. The president and manager of the bank will be elected by the

(9) To be elected director by the assembly, it is necessary to hold at least 200
shares, which must be deposited in the bank and can not be disposed of while
the office of director is held.

(10) The directors elected by the Government need not be shareholders.

(11) The provisional directory will be formed by the syndicate, and their duties
will be limited to the formation of the statutes of the bank, subject to the approba-
tion of the Executive, to open the share list to subscribers of the 10,000 shares, and
receive the funds, which will be deposited provisionally in some establishment of
credit, with the concurrence of the Government, until such time as the ** Banco del
Paraguay y Norte America " shall be opened.

(12) The Government of Paraguay to have a vote at the meeting of shareholders,
as the statutes may determine.

(13) The bank to be authorized to emit, as much as three times its paid-up capital,
notes payable to bearer at sight, in gold, under the obligation of holding gold equal
to the third part of its notes in circulation, and the remaining two-thirds in docu-
ments guaranteed payable within six months.

(14) The bank to be authorized to make the following operations: To discount
bills of exchange and promissory notes; to open current accounts; to receive and
accept bills of exchange and buy and sell drafts; to make advances on bills of sale
and enter into all classes of banking operations.

(15) The bank shares not to be transferable. The bank not to acquire houses or
lands outside of what is necessary for bank offices.

(16) The Government to name an inspector empowered to examine the opera-
tions of the bank, sign all notes put into circulation, and examine the balances of
the operations of the bank. The salary of the inspector to be paid by the bank.

(17) The bank to open a department for mortgage operations, in which not
more than 25 per cent of its capital can be invested.

(18) The loans on mortgage not to exceed 50 per cent of the value of the object
mortgaged, calculated on the valuation placed upon it by the house and land tax
office, and the estimate of the directory.

(19) In order to formalize the contract of the mortgage, the party interested will

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present his title to the property to the directory, the certificate of the accountant-
general of the (Government) mortgage office, by which the property should be cer-
tified to be free of any claims or other mortgage, and the receipt of payment of the
tax for the last six months issued by the house and land tax office. The mortgage
contract to be private and according to the form resolved upon by the directory.
On the contract being concluded, it will be presented in the (Government) mort-
gage office, to be noted without further formality. For the cancellation of the
mortgage, a notice addressed to the-accountant-general of the mortgage office, re-
questing him to make the eiltry according to law, will be sufficient.'

(20) If sixty days after becoming due the mortgage is not paid, the bank, with-
out form of law, shall be free to sell the property by auction to the highest bidder, it
having previously been advertised in the papers for thirty days. The president of
the bank or his rej^resentative will sign the documents of sale, and after the liqui-
dation of the capital, interest, and expenses, the balance will be handed over to the

(21) The bank, its branches and agencies, to be relieved from payment of all
Government or municipal taxes, direct or indirect; also of stamped paper, or duties
of any other nature whatsoever, there being included in this concession the charter,
bank shares, income derived from them, bank notes, bills of exchange, policies,
and all other documents. Iron safes, articles of office use necessary to the estab-
lishment, paper, printed forms, books, and furniture for its use and that of its
branches and agencies to be admitted free of duty.

(22) The bank to publish every three months or more frequently, a pr6cis of its

(23) The bank to have the exclusive right to emit all gold notes of less than $1,
its notes to be received by all the public offices of the administration and to serve to
cancel all gold obligations, or obligations in paper currency at the rate of exchange
of the day when due.

(24) The Government of the Republic to have the right to draw upon the bank
for 10 per cent of the paid-up capital, at dates to be agreed upon, depositing as
guaranty the shares held by it and which should amount to at least twice the
value of the sum drawn.

(25) The bank to accord to the Agricultural Bank, for the purpose of its creation
(loans to agriculturists), loans on the mortgages effected by said bank and the Gov-
ernment of the Republic to lend its subsidiary guaranty.

(26) The "Banco del Paraguay y Norte America" to enjoy for its credits the
same privileges accorded to the Government.

(27) The funds received by the house and land tax office destined to the service
of the loan, to be deposited monthly in the " Banco del Paraguay y Norte America."
At the end of each year, this account will be liquidated to pay the interest and
amortization of the loan. If by any circumstance the sums received should not be
sufficient for the service of the loan, the amount to be completed from the profits of
the bank under the control of the Government, and even from the general revenues
of the nation if necessary.

(28) If a balance in favor of the Government should result from the receipt of
the tax, the amount to be placed at the orders of the Government in account current.

(29) If in the course of the bank-s operations, 75 per cent of the actual emission
of notes should be recovered, the bank will collect directly from the respective offices
the funds destined to the amortization of the same, and the *'caja de conversion"
will cease and be substituted by the bank, until the entire extinction of the paper

(30) The Government to be prohibited from emitting notes of paper currency
after the establishment of the ** Banco del Paraguay y Norte America," and from

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diminishing the revenue destined to the amortization of the notes actually in circu-

(31) The bank charter to remain in force until the payment of the loan treated of
in article i.

Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of Commerce and Labor United States. Bureau of Foreign CommerceConsular reports, Issues 224-227 → online text (page 17 of 92)