Page:Statesman's Year-Book 1899 American Edition.djvu/1065

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RELiraON AND IXSTRIJCTIOX

709

Repuljlic of Sanlo Domingo — is estimated at 10,204 English s<.[uare miles. A census of the population does not exist ; the inhabitants, nine-tenths of whom are negroes and the rest mulattoes, with very few of European descent, aie calculated by the best authorities to number about 572,000, while a more probable estimate by a native writer gives the total at 960,000 in 1887. Capital : Port-au-Prince, with 40,000 to 60,000 inhabi- tants, situated on a large bay, and possessed of an excellent harbour. Cape Haiti has a population of about 29,000, and Les Cayes about 25,000. The language of the country is French, though most of the people speak a debased dialect known as Creole French.

Religion and Instruction.

The religion is nominally Roman Catholicism. Public elementary edu- cation is free, the country being divided into 14 inspectors' districts. The sum allotted for public instruction amounts to nearly 1,000,000 dollars annually, but the educational system is still very imperfect, especially in rural districts. There are 400 national schools, besides private schools, and 5 public lycees.

Finance.

The revenue of Haiti is derived almost exclusively from customs, paid in American gold on exports and in currency gourdes on imports. For years ended September 30, the revenue is given as follows : —

■ 1892 1893 1895

Total Revenue

Export Duties

Import Duties

Gold dollars 7,322,076 7,691,580 7,406,321

Gold dollars 3,102,456 3,164,960 3,442,114

Currency dollars 5,063,544 4,526,620 4,107,989

The expenditure for 1894-95 was 8,042,705 dollars; for 1896-97 (estimated), 8,984,539 dollars.

On April 30, 1897, the public debt was as follows : — External debt at 5 percent, 4,176,113 dollars; at 6 per cent, 9,300,000 dollars; total external, 13,476,113 dollars gold. The internal debt amounted to 4,437,105 dollars gold, and 10,812,574 dollars paper.

Defence.

The army, under a ' law of reorganisation ' passed by the National Assembly in 1878, consists, nominally, of 6,828 men, chiefly infantry. There is a special 'Guard of the Government,' numbering 650 men, com- manded by 10 generals, who also act as aides-de-camp to the President of the Repultlic. The Republic possesses a flotilla of six small vessels, which may be ranked as third-class cruisers. The Crele-d-Pierrot was built in England in 1895 ; she is 210 feet long and 30 feet broad, and has a displace- ment of 940 tons and 15 5 knots speed. Her armament consists of 1 6 3-in. De Bange gun, 1 4-7-in. ditto, 4 4-in ditto, and 6 light guns. A despatch gun-boat, the Capois-la-Mort, with her sister the Alexandre Pition (since lost) was launched at Havre in 1893. The Toussaint UOuvertxtre dates from 1886, and the Dessalincs (1,200 tons) from 1883. Other vessels are the sloops 1804 and St. Michael^ and the gun-vessel 22nd of December (900 tons).