Page:Statesman's Year-Book 1899 American Edition.djvu/1209

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RELIGION, INSTRUCTION, AND JUSTICE

853

years 1881-1893 there were 7,152 immigrants mostly Italians, Germans, French, and S})aniards. The total number in 1894 was 270 ; in 1895, 243 (73 German, 34 Swiss, 29 French, 26 Italian, and 81 others). Nearly three- fourths of the territory was national property; but in recent years most of it has been sold, much of it in very large estates.

Religion, Instruction, and Justice.

The Roman Catholic Church is the established religion of the State, but the free exercise of other religions is permitted. Ediication is free and com- pulsory. In 1887 only 20 per cent, of the adult Paraguayans and 60 per cent, of adult foreigners could read and write. There were in 1896 358 public and private elementary schools, with 23,000 pupils and 680 teachers. Private schools are subsidised by the Council of Education. At Asuncion there is a National College, with 15 professors and 205 students. Besides contributions from general taxes, there is a special Government fund for education consist- ing of a proportion of the proceeds of land sales, customs dues, &c.

Asuncion has also a public library and five newspapers.

A High Court of Justice, and various inferior tribunals, with local magis- trates, exercise judicial functions.

Finance.

The revenue is derived from customs, stamps and other dues, and from the sale of land and yerbales. The revenue and expenditure for four years are officially given as follows : —

1892-93

1893-94

1894-95

1895-96

Revenue . Expenditure

Dollars

5,775,899 5,852,720

Dollars 4,910,472 5,357,498

Dollars 5,120,248 4,992,007

Dollars 5,832,867 7,109,581

The deficit in 1895-96 was made up by a 1)alance remaining from the previous year, by the appropriation of 500,000 dollars from a new issue of 8,000,000 dollars paper currency, and from other sources. Of the receipts the customs dues amounted to 5,080,622 dollars in 1895-96.

The revenue for 1896-97 was estimated at 5,462,475 dollars, of which 3,562,560 was available for the public service ; and expenditure at 5,462,475 dollars, including that on institutions with assigned revenues.

In 1874, the principal of the foreign debt of Paraguay stood at 1,505,400?., the outstanding amount of loans contracted in 1871 and 1872. In 1885 it was agi-eed that 850,0007. of new bonds should be issued in exchange for this amount, an arrangement was made for the future payment of interest, and an assignment of land was executed in payment of arrears of interest up to July, 1886. Land warrants were issued to holders of unpaid coupons, and the Paraguay Land Company (now called the Anglo- Paraguayan Land Company) was formed to deal with these warrants. Interest under the new arrangement was paid till January 1, 1892. In 1895, an arrangement was made with the bondholders for the reduction of interest, the funding of arrear coupons, the creation of a sinking fund, and the assigniuent of .securities. In 1898, the outstanding debt amounted to 994,600/. The guarantee debt due by the Government to the Paraguayan Central Railway, April 30, 1897, amounted to 429 471/. The debt due to Brazil is put at 9,876,500 pesos, and that to the Argentine Re})ublic at 12,393,600 pesos.