Page:Statesman's Year-Book 1899 American Edition.djvu/1145

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PRODUCTION AND INDUSTRY

■SIJ

loading gun, and 4 small breech-loaders. A steel training cruiser, the Zaragoxa (1,200 tons), was built at Havre in 1891 ; 4 gunboats and 5 first-class torpedo-boats are building or projected. The fleet is manned by about 90 officers and 500 men.

Production and Industry.

Mexico has been estimated to contain 479 s([uarc leagues of forest, 18,134 square leagues of mountain-land, and 4,822 s<{uare leagues of uncultivated land. The climate and soil are fitted for very varied produce, but, as regards crops usually grown in cold countries, agriculture is in ilexico in a very primitive condition. Provision is made for the sale and occupation of public lands by a law of Jul)^ 22, 1863. The demarcation of such lands is carried out by public companies, the third part of the area demarcated being ceded to them for expenses incurred. There are 34 colonies, or agricultural settle- ments, of which 13 with 6,926 colonists have been established by the Govern- ment, and 21 with 4,091 colonists by companies or persons authorised by the Government. Government has assisted in introducing plants of vines, olives, and other fruit trees, while seeds of vegetables and of silkworms have been dis- tributed gratuitously. The cultivation of the orange is rapidly extending, and already there are large overland exports to the United States. The chief agricultural products in 1896 were : —

Rice, tons .

44,275

Henequen, tons .

. 531,319

Maize, hectol.

. 25,833,503

Cotton, tons

. 29,185

Wheat, tons

601,782

Logwood ,, .

. 67,853

Sugar

71,429

Cacao ,, .

. 1,313

Panocha ,, .

62,688

Coffee ,, .

. 13,254

Molasses ,, ,

52,749

Tobacco ,, .

. 15,875

Brandies, hectol.

. 5,663,757

Rum, hectol .

. 328,986

Large numbers of cattle are reared in Mexico for the United States. In 1883, in Northern Mexico alone, on an area of 300,000 square miles, there were 1,500,000 cattle, 2,500,000 goats, 1,000,000 horses, and 1,000,000 sheep. In the whole of Mexico in 1883 there were 20,574 cattle ranches, valued at 103,000,000Z.

Mexico is rich in minerals, gold, silver, lead, iron, copper, quicksilver, tin, cobalt, antimony, sulphur, coal, petroleum, being either worked or known to exist. There are in the country (April 1, 1894) 3,167 mining enterprises, of which two-thirds belong to Mexican companies or individuals, and the rest to foreigners.

The gold and silver presented at the Mexican mints and assay offices in ten years have been in weight and value as follows : —

Years

Gold

Silver

Total value

Kilogi-.

Dollars

Kilog.

Dollars

Dollars

1SS6-87

832

548,415

601,83'.t

25,897,9S2

20,446,306

1887-88

1.112

738,599

652,828

25,570,903

20,309,561

18S8-89

1,313

874,224

669,797

26,246,729

27.120,953

1889-00

1,405

979,060

632,o:;(j

24,814,005

25.704,025

1890-01

1,610

1,089,702

632,0:i2

24,M4,782

25,004,485

1891-02

2,471

1,657,717

712,572

28,096,085

29,758.802

lsO'2-O:}

2,840

1,902,296

772,637

30,383,429

32,285,725

1S93-94

3,382

2,260,865

886,178

34,845.543

37.106,408

1894-95

3,991

2,674,278

981,222

38,934,102

41,008.470

1895-96

6,289

4,247,760

1,314,840

53,797,061

58,044,820

Up' to 1895 the official values of gold and silver were respectively !?643'529 and .§39-109 l>er kilogramme ; in the year 1895-96 they were raised to 8675 417 and ^0-915 per kilogramme.