Page:Statesman's Year-Book 1899 American Edition.djvu/1200

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844

NICARAGUA

Pinance.

For the bieuuium ending June 30, 1897, the revenue and expenditure are stated to have been : —

Revenue.

Expenditure.

1896 1897

Total

dollars. 3,572,497 4,688,061

dollars. 4,059,674 3,852,750

8,260,558

7,912,424

In 1897 tlie tax on commerce yielded 2,645,249 dollars; the liquor revenue amounted to 620,090 dollars ; coffee export duty, 187,529 dollars ; slaughter tax, 132,742 dollars ; direct tax, 134,248 dollars ; national railway and steam-boats, 693,391 dollars ; telegraph and telephones, 47,559 dollars; post office, 33,726 dollars. Of the expenditure in 1897, the various govern- ment departments absorbed 2,667,012 dollars (including 850,013 for inter- national development ; 429,303 dollars for war ; 446,719 dollars for finance ; 132,804 for public instruction) ; while supplementary credits accounted for 899,441 dollars, and war expenses, 176,124 dollars. The authorised expen- diture for 1898 amounted to 5,097,588 dollars, including war, 663,008 dollars ; finance, 1,735,816 dollars ; internal development, 1,099,888 dollars.

The foreign debt consists of a railway loan raised in London in 1886 for 285,000/. in 6 per cent, bonds. Default was made in payment of interest on July 1, 1894, and in 1895 an arrangement was made for the settlement of the debt, reducing the interest to 4 per cent, and the arrear coupons to half their nominal value. The amount outstanding in July, 1898, consisted of bonds 278,200Z. and arrear coupons, 10,723/. ; total, 288,923/.

The internal debt amounted to 7,000,000 dollars in 1894. In November, 1896, a new national loan for 500,000 Nicaraguan currency dollars was issued, for payment of which the Government were to issue orders to bearer to be used in paying custom house duties.

The value of the urban property of Nicaragua is put at 8,590,429 dollars ; and of the rural at 33,972,690 dollars.

Industry and Commerce.

There are about 400, 000 head of cattle in the Republic, and there is a con- siderable export of hides. Comparatively little of the land is cultivated, but coffee cultivation and banana culture are extending. The sugar industr}^ has recently shrunk, partly owing to political causes. The production of cocoa is insufficient for local supply. The exportation of rubber gathered in the public forests has been suspended since January 1, 1898, bui, bj special decree, the state of Zelaya (or Mosquito Territory) is exempt from the prohibition. There are several rubber plantations from which good returns are expected, and tobacco is cultivated in Masaya.

There are (1891) in the Republic 109 mines, worked by American com- panies. In nearly all of these gold is found mixed with silver ; in a few, silver mixed with copper. In 1895 the shipments of gold bar and dust reached 8,000 ounces.

Full commercial statistics regarding Nicaragua are not available. The following figures are taken from the consular report on the trade of the