Page:Statesman's Year-Book 1899 American Edition.djvu/1069

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PRODUCTION AND COMMERCE 713

Receipts from customs duties, 627,512 pesos; from excise duties on spirits, tobacco, stamped paper, &c., 7(52,859 pesos.

In July, 1898, the external debt of Honduras consisted of four loans, contracted from 1867 to 1870, amounting to 5,398,570Z., with arrears of interest amounting to 11,972,959/. ; total, 17,371,529/. No interest has been paid since 1872. The internal debt in 1896 amounted to about 6,000,000 pesos.

Production and Commerce.

Agriculture is gradually developing. The chief culture is that of bananas ; other products are tobacco, sugar, maize, and coffee ; while indigo, rice, and wheat are grown in small quantities. Cattle. breeding is carried on extensively, and dairy farming on a small scale. The Government grants facilities for the ac(|uisition of land by private persons and companies for agricultural and mining purposes, l»ut labour is scarce. The mineral resources of Honduras are great — gold, platinum, silver, copper, lead, zinc, iron, antimony, nickel being found in almost every department. Deposits of brown and other coal have also been found. There are about 17 important mining companies at work, but statistics of their operations are not procurable. The quantity of gold dust extracted by washings from the sands of rivers is estimated at the value of 750,000 to 1,250,000 francs a year.

For the year 1895-96, the total imports were put at 1,322,418 pesos ; and the exports at 3,125,000 jjcsos. For 1896-97, imports, 3,260,575 pesos; exports, 2,647,248 pesos. The chief exports were (1897) : precious metals, 1,075,000 pesos ; cattle, 705,000 pesos; bananas and other agricultural pro- duce, 839,000 pesos. The trade is mainly with the United States, but Great Britain, (xermany, and France also participate.

The imports into the United Kingdom from Honduras (according to the Board of Trade Returns) amounted in 1897 to 1,590/., of which 785/. was for mahogany. The domestic exports from the United Kingdom to Honduras amounted to 39,443/., the chief article exported being cottons, 26,884/.

In 1894, 117 vessels of 71,022 tons (33 of 23,600 tons British) entered the port of Puerto Cortez.

Communications.

In 1896 there were 237 post-offices ; letters, papers, &c. despatched, 370,456. There are (1897) 2,732 miles of telegraphs, with 155 offices. There is a railway from Puerto Cortez to San Pedro Sula, and thence to La Pimienta, 60 miles. A contract has been made for the construction of a railway from La Pimienta to the Pacific, and another for a line from Puerto Cortez to Trujillo.

Money, Weights, and Measures.

The Silver Dollar, of 100 cents, weighs 25 grammes, '900 fine. There are also 16, 8, 5, and 4 dollar gold pieces. The fractional silver money consists of 50, 25, 124, 10, 6}, 5, and 3g cent pieces.

In November, 1894, the adoption of a gold standard equal to the American gold dollar was announced.

The Arroha { ^^^ T' ' - l\ '"'^"'"^ ^^^°"'-

V J> on . . — ^4 ,, ,,

,, Square Vara . . = 1'90 vara = 1 yard.

,, Manzana . . . = 1^ acre.

,, Fancga . . = 1^ imperial bushel.