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The following are the port entries in the Argentine Republic
Some of the steamship companies carrying passengers from Europe to Buenos Aires, and vice versa, are the following:
Royal Mail Steam Packet Company, from Southampton to Buenos Aires, stopping at Carril, Vigo, and Lisbon; the steamers leave Southampton twice a month.
Pacific Steam Navigation Company, from Liverpool to Buenos Aires, calling at Bordeaux, Lisbon, and Spanish ports; steamers leave Liverpool twice a month.
Compagnie des Messageries Maritimes, from Bordeaux to Buenos Aires, calling at Lisbon and Dakar; steamers leave Bordeaux twice a month.
Compagnie des Chargeurs Réunis, from Havre to Buenos Aires, calling at Lisbon and Teneriffe; steamers leave Havre three times a month.
La Société Générale de Transports Maritimes à Vapeur, from Marseilles to Buenos Aires, touching at Naples, Genoa, Barcelona, Gibraltar, and Teneriffe.
Lamport and Holt, from Antwerp to Buenos Aires, touching occasionally at Lisbon and Madeiras; steamers leave Antwerp seven times a month.
North German Lloyd, from Bremen to Buenos Aires; steamers leave Bremen three times a month.
Navigazione Generale Italiana, from Genoa to Buenos Aires; steamers leave Genoa twice a month.
La Veloca, from Genoa to Buenos Aires; steamers leave Genoa three times a month.
Compañia Transatlántica Española, between Spanish ports and Buenos Aires; one steamer a month.
The Argentine Government, understanding the importance of having a line of steamers between that country and the United States, and wishing to contribute to its establishment, issued a decree as far back as 1865 granting a subsidy of $20,000 a year to the first line that should solve the problem. This sum, not being found adequate to meet the expenses of a regular line of steamers, even temporarily, until the traffic between the two countries should have increased, the law remained a dead letter. During the administration of Gen. Sarmiento, the matter was again considered, without, however, leading to any result, and it was only during the last year of the administration of Dr. Avellaneda, that an American company volunteered to make a contract to establish monthly steamers, with a subsidy from the Argentine Republic of $100,000 a year. The executive sent a message to Congress to this effect, but it was never discussed. President Roca renewed the recommendation, which is still in abeyance.
In 1888, the Argentine Government entered into a contract with Mr. Robert P. Houston, of England, by which the latter agreed to construct 10 steamers, to ply between the north of Europe and the ports of the Argentine Republic, of 4,000 tons each and making 16 knots per hour. For immigrant service in Buenos Aires, 4 steam launches were to be constructed, and also 4 steamers to ply between the United States and the Argentine ports. The principal conditions of the agreement were: the Argentine Republic guarantied an interest of 5 per cent per annumon $5,750,000 for the European service and 5 per cent per annum on $1,200,000 for the United States line. The contractor agreed that the steamers should always fly the Argentine flag, and in case of war, that the Government should have the option of buying them at a sum not exceeding their original cost. Exceptionally good accommodations were to be provided for immigrants who would leave England, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Denmark, The Netherlands, Belgium, France, or any other country indicated by the Argentine Government. In case the revenues of the contracting company exceeded 5 per cent, it was to refund the Government from this excess the sums it had previously received as guaranties; and in the event of the revenues reaching 10 per cent, the surplus was to be divided between the Government and the company. The guaranty was to terminate at the end of eighteen years. For some reason, which has not been explained, Mr. Houston failed to carry out his arrangement. It is said, however, that he expected to secure an additional subsidy from the United States when he undertook the contract.
During the sittings of the International American Conference, its committee on communication on the Atlantic moved the adoption of the following resolution, which was agreed to by the conference:
The International American Conference, etc., would see with satisfaction the governments interested in communication on the Atlantic give their assent to the plan subscribed by their representatives.
First. The committee on communication on the Atlantic resolves to recommend to the respective governments the aiding of one or more lines of steam navigation between the ports of the United States and those of Brazil and Rio de la Plata.
Second. The companies receiving government aid shall establish a fast trimonthly service of steam navigation between the ports of the United States, Rio Janeiro, Montevideo, and Buenos Aires. The vessels shall have accommodations and capacity necessary for the transportation of passengers and freight, and shall also carry the mails.
Third. These steamships shall touch at only one port of the intermediate countries on the trips to and from Buenos Aires. During the quarantine season, they will discharge only passengers and mails and shall not take on board anything subject to infection. In the countries of clearance and of ultimate destination they may stop at two ports.
Fourth. The speed of the fast 'steamships shall be at least 16 knots per hour, and they shall be of not less than 5,000 tons burden. A time schedule of arrivals at and departures from the ports, shall be established in conformity with the speed required.
Fifth. The committee recommends also an auxiliary line of freight steamships which shall sail twice a month, making not less than 12 knots an hour, and touching at ports in the United States and Brazil. The United States of America and the Republic of Brazil shall each pay one-half of the subsidy due these vessels, taking into consideration, however, the contracts of existing lines with the latter government.
Sixth. The awarding of the contract with the steamship companies shall take place in the city of New York, bids being solicited from the companies by means of advertisements in at least five daily newspapers having the largest circulation in each of the contracting countries. The advertisements shall designate a time within which proposals may be presented; this time shall not be less than ninety days. The bids are to be opened in the presence of representatives appointed for this purpose by the governments interested.
Seventh. Bidders must state the tonnage of the vessels, in accordance with article 4, and also the amount of government aid required, calculating the latter at the rate per ton for every 1,000 miles; they must also state the amount of payment necessary for the round trip.
Eighth. The governments reserve the right to reject all bids, if according to their judgment they should be excessive.
Ninth. Governments shall have the right to impose their flag and register upon the vessels in number proportionate to the percentage of the aid they pay. It is understood that the quota of each nation shall be paid directly to the vessel or vessels carrying its flag. In case of war, each government may buy and use as transports and arm as cruisers the vessels carrying its flag.
Tenth. Vessels receiving government aid, whatever flag they may carry, shall enjoy in the ports of the contracting governments all the rights and privileges accorded to national vessels for the sole purpose of international commerce. These rights, however, do not include coastwise trade.
Eleventh. The contracting governments shall contribute aid to the fast lines in the following proportion:
17172 Republic of Uruguay.
Twelfth. The contracting governments shall accept only vessels constructed in the United States, in consideration of the higher aid paid by that Government.
Thirteenth. The term of the contract shall be ten years.
Fourteenth. The committee recommends to the governments interested the encouragement of direct cable communication between the countries represented by said committee, with a regular service, and equitable rates.
Fifteenth. The Republics of Bolivia and Paraguay hereby agree to the plan of the committee, and will contribute to the payment, on condition that the companies agree to establish subsidiary lines of river navigation, that shall reach
The president of the committee on communication on the Atlantic, Dr. Roque Saenz Peña, delegate from the Argentine Republic, in his report to the conference, said, in part:
At the very beginning of the debates of the committee, I took occasion to declare that the Argentine Government, while it agreed to the subsidizing of these lines, was not moved to such an agreement by commercial interests, for reasons which are not unknown to my honorable colleagues. Our commerce with the United States is most limited; the Argentine ports send to New York only $5,000,000 worth of exports; while New York exports to Buenos Aires $10,000,000 worth.
This is not commerce for either nation, but the figures serve to indicate the relative interest which animates the two countries on the subject of subsidy. The cause of this situation I have thoroughly explained in my remarks on the customs union, and I deem it unneces
cessary to repeat them.
The Argentine Republic can only send to the markets of the United States wool and hides; but fine wools such as ours must pay a duty of 60 per cent; consequently, only our mixed wool, which has neither weight nor value, can enter. This wool is also about to disappear, because of improvements in the breeds. The wool we introduce into the United States represents $908,000 on a production of $46,000,000, and the hides introduced represent $3,700,000 on an annual exportation of $23,000,000.
These figures reveal the depression which marks our commercial relations with the United States. I do not believe that vessels are the agents to be employed to remove the obstruction; nor, does the Argentine Government believe that maritime communication will reëstablish custom-house relations; but the country seeks for intimacy and hopes for firmer bonds with all the nations of America, and to attain such a generous end, will not spare sacrifices. By uniting its ports to those of Brazil and the United States, an act of friendly signifi