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whole length of the line being 575 kilometers.* This road has a branch, 32 kilometers long, to the city of San José.
The Northeastern Railway runs from Montevideo to the city of Minas. Its length is 122 kilometers.
The Eastern Railroad starts from the Toledo station of the Northeastern Railway and reaches Nico Pereż. Its length is 206 kilometers.
The Northern Railway connects Montevideo with Barra de Santa Lucía, where the principal stock yards are situated. Its length is 23 kilometers.
The Northwestern Railway starts at the city of Salto, and, after crossing the Department of the same name and that of Artigas, stops at the river Cuareim, where it makes connection with the Brazilian Railroad called “ Uruguayana.” Its length is 178 kilo
The Midland Railway connects the Central with the Northeastern Railways. The junction with the former is made at El Paso de los Toros, and with the latter at the city of Salto. Its length is 317 kilometers.
When the extensions and branches contemplated for the present leading systems shall have been completed, Uruguay will be possessed of adequate facilities for the development of many of her agricultural and industrial resources which as yet lie unemployed; and it can not be doubted that, with all her other advantages of climate, soil, and geographical situation, she will at least keep pace with her sister Republics of the southern continent.
The capital had, in 1891, 9 lines of tramways in operation, with a total length of 173 kilometers, and the number of passengers carried in that year 'was 18,000,000. The various companies employ in the service 3,622 horses and 507 cars, have 14 stations, and give employment to 1,019 men.
Uruguay is connected with the great network of submarine cables that puts her in telegraphic communication with the great
* A kilometer is equal to 0.62137 of a mile
cities of the world. Cable messages may be sent by the Eastern Company, via Lisbon, to Europe and North America. The two cables between Lisbon and Pernambuco, Brazil, touch at Montevideo, between which city and Buenos Aires there are two telegraph routes. Messages may be sent (and at present this is the cheaper route) by the land line across the continent to Valparaiso, thence
the west coast and across the Isthmus to Galveston. The system of land lines of the Republic has a total length of 4,406 kilometers. It connects at Jaguarão with the Brazilian telegraph lines, so that messages may be transmitted by land to all points on the Brazilian coast or to the United States through the French cable which at Ceará connects with the Brazilian land lines, and with the Western Union in Cuba.
The subjoined table represents the condition and business of the telegraph lines for 1891:
Montevideo has two telephone companies, the “Uruguaya” and the “Coöperative.” The former has 1,796 subscribers, and the latter, a newly organized rival, has 430 wires. The number of subscribers is said to be greater, in proportion to the population of the city, than in any other American city, except Detroit, in North America, and Rosario and Providencia, in South America.
The capital invested in these two companies is $320,000. They have 9 stations and employ 163 persons in their service.
Being a member of the Universal Postal Union, Uruguay enjoys all the advantages afforded by that institution for international postal communications. The national postal service is well conducted, and in 1889, there were in the country 488 post-offices with 709 employés; 141 of these being in the general office and the remainder in its local branches. The post routes cover 701 kilometers of railway lines, 150 of sea, and 1,125 of river service. The remaining service is performed by coaches and carriers. The mail movement in 1891 comprised 20,105,295 pieces. Of these, 6,152,654 were private letters, 423,178 official correspondence, 543,127 samples, 55,955 postal cards, and 12,930,381 pieces of printed matter. The postal revenues for 1891 were $203,585.73.
One of the leading journals of Montevideo, in its annual retrospect for 1891, says:
In spite of the losses suffered by the nation's revenues in the sharp financial crisis through which the country is passing, the finances of the nation might be placed on a tolerable footing, thanks to the arrangement made in London, with the exercise of a little economy and order in the management of the Treasury.
Reference is made here to the financial disasters of 1890, which continued in 1891, and to the efforts made by the Government to improve the financial condition by a reorganization of the National Bank, whose failure had precipitated the crisis in 1890, and by a consolidation and conversion of the national debt at a reduced rate of interest. This debt was composed of obligations held abroad, indebtedness to railways arising from guaranties, and guaranteed liabilities of the National Bank—in all, about $113,225,000.
The capital necessary for the reorganization of the bank could not be raised in London, but the Banco Popular, of Rio de Janeiro, loaned $3,000,000, with the option of $5,000,000, for the period of two years from Mach 5, 1891. This was really a loan to the Government, since as security for the payment of the interest at 9 per cent, an additional duty of 5 per cent, pledged to such payments, was levied on imports. This loan in some measure relieved the financial stress and aided in carrying out the plan of consolidation of the national indebtedness. This plan contemplated the issuance of bonds to the amount of $96,350,000 at 372 per cent to replace the existing obligations, and Consul Hill, in his report dated March 8, 1892, states that the majority of the bondholders had deposited their holdings in accordance with the conditions of the act authorizing the consolidation; so that the success of the measure seemed assured. According to a report made to the British Foreign Office, the financial position of Uruguay June 30, 1892, was as follows: Internal debt, $11,840,000; external (consolidated) debt, $90,710,000; international debt, $1,881,725; total, $104,431,725.
The falling off in the revenues owing to the diminished imports has embarrassed the Government considerably in its efforts to restore the financial equilibrium.
The expenditures for 1891--92 were estimated as follows:
Service of debt....
$7, 286, 941 2, 100, 724 1, 765, 311 I, 433, 941
2, 659, 880
15, 246, 797
The revenues for 1891-'92 were estimated as follows:
Customs... Land tax Other taxes
$10, 622, 000
1, 800, 000 2, 987, 000
15, 409, 000
The revenues, however, fell far short of the estimates owing to decreased imports, and the President places the deficit at $3,000,000; but the fear that the 45 per cent of the customs re
ceipts set aside for the service of the new consolidated debt may prove inadequate appears to be unfounded, as the imports in 1892 show an increase over 1891.
The condition of the banks of Montevideo reflects the effects of the financial depression in 1890 and 1891. At the end of 1889, the reserve held by the various banks amounted to $14,094, 100, and the emission to $15,989, 180; in November, 1890, the reserve had fallen to $8,131,453, and at the end of 1891, to $4,926,880; while the emission declined respectively to $9,337,881 and $2,392,712. Of this latter amount, the part credited to the National Bank and to the English Bank of the River Plate (also suspended), being a total of $760,452, was withdrawn from circulation; so that the entire business of the country was transacted on a paper currency of less than $2,000,000, the same amount in silver coin of the country, and the small quantity of foreign gold that remained in circulation.
The following table shows the reserve and emission of the several banks for 1891:
The deposits in bank for 1890 amounted to $23,489,969, but in 1891, fell off to $15,171,184. The failure of the English Bank which took place in July, 1891, gave a blow to confidence in the banking institutions of the country from which recovery must be slow. Fortunately, the other banks were strong enough to meet the demand upon them that followed.