Imágenes de páginas

that direction. I simply wanted to vindicate the United States.

If the statistics are incorrect, of course they ought to be corrected. The gentleman is mistaken if he thinks I read from a newspaper. I read from a book published by the English Government, giving the statistics of the Argentine. It is true that for the report of 1888 I did give the newspaper report. I merely submitted it, and stated that it corresponded very nearly with the report as given by the English Government for the preceding year, and I supposed, and suppose yet, that it is correct. Not that I wish to put before the Conference any newspaper reports, but they are very frequently the only reports we can get of a late date ; in fact, these statistics appear first in the newspapers and afterwards in books of statistics. I was taking the latest possible reports that I could get.

Of course, Mr. President, it is needless for me to say that if time is desired the United States delegation will give any time the gentleman requires. We were not pressing a vote at all to-day. I did not desire the vote to be taken until my friend, the other gentleman from the Argentine (Mr. Saenz Peña), should be present. He seems to be absent to-day. I do not know the cause. I regretted, and expressed that regret, that it was necessary for me to say a word upon this subject in his absence; but, inasmuch as a vote was pressed, I availed myself of the opportunity simply of vindicating the policy of the United States upon this vexed question of the tariff.

Mr. QUINTANA. When the honorable President stated that the majority report would be put to the vote because no one asked the floor, the honorable delegate from the United States preserved silence, and I understood, as I naturally would understand, that he would not have any reply to make, thinking it inopportune, to the speech of my honorable colleague, Dr. Saenz Peña; but to withhold the making of that speech until the Conference had decided to terminate the discussion to-day—my colleague being absent, and I myself being unable to understand his speech, because unfortunately, not knowing English, I can not correct those statistics—is something, Mr. President, which, in all frankness, I had not anticipated when I stated that the vote might be taken on the subject.

I have not objected to the data taken from official statistics by the honorable Mr. Henderson; what I have objected to is, that at the same time he should have quoted in the Conference an entirely unauthorized article from a publication, whose contents show at first sight what a little friendly spirit towards the Argentine Republic guided the pen that wrote it—an article which betrays on its face the nationality of the author. Never, Mr. President, would the Argentine delegation have brought into the debate, to judge the economic policy of the United States, articles from publications unfavorable to them and inspired by such sentiments, because it believes that such an action would be contrary to the duties of the reciprocal courtesy, politeness, and deference we all owe each other.

Furthermore, Mr. President, I have stated that I have no objection to the vote on the question being taken, acknowledging, as I should, very sincerely, the courtesy which has urged the honorable delegate from the United States to ask that the vote be not taken, because really the discussion on a subject terminated by a vote can not continue; but the Argentine delegation will know how and when to reply.

Very well, respecting the trade of the Argentine and its duties, brought into the debate by Mr. Henderson, and which I have not been able to memorize, he will permit me to say to him that I understand he has the statistics of that country for the year 1887, placed at his disposal by my colleague himself; and if this recollection of mine be not incorrect, Mr. Henderson will have seen by those statistics that the Argentine Republic has no duties as high as those on the tariff list of the United States.

In the Argentine Republic there are a great many articles admitted free of all duty, others are taxed at 5 per cent., the greater part at 25, and only in very rare cases certain manufactured articles

per cent. But if Mr. Henderson has read the article in the River Plate Times with care (seeing he has cited it in the debate), he must know that the excise duties in the Argentine are now paid in paper money; that the Argentine Government only charges an exchange of 50 per cent., from which it appears that all these statistics still fail to give the exact state of the case to the honorable delegate. The exact state of the case is, considering the present depreciation of paper currency in my country, those 50 per cent. duties are really 20, those of 20 are not more than 10, and those of 5 barely amount to 2 per cent. Which of the products of the Argentine Republic, capable of compet

pay 50

ing with like products of the United States, do not pay higher duties than these? I do not wish, Mr. President, to carry this

comparison further, which is unsatisfactory, which is unpleasant, which is even odious; but I have been forced, although totally unprepared, in the absence of my colleague, who should have replied, as he belongs to the committee,I have been forced, I repeat, not to judge the economic policy of the United States, but to correct the erroneous statements just made by the honorable delegate concerning the duties which commodities from the United States pay in the Argentine Republic, and in making these corrections I do not appeal to unauthorized publications nor to newspaper articles, but to the official statistics of my country.

Mr. PRICE. At the start of this last discussion the honorable delegate from the Argentine said that there is pending before the Conference a speech in English which has not been translated, and as long as this is not done that speech is not in order, and the discussion can not be considered as closed. This I believe to be right and in accord with our rules, and besides all that it may be regretted to see our discussion drifting into a sort of international exchange of recriminations. It is true that common courtesy makes it a duty to listen to any member of the Conference who cares to make a reply to something that has been said. For these reasons I believe that we should come back to the proposals made by the honorable delegate from Chili at the commencement of our session, and postpone the vote and further discussion of the matter to the session of to-morrow.

The FIRST VICE-PRESIDENT. The honorable delegate from Brazil has presented the following motion, which the secretary will read.

The SECRETARY read as follows:

I move that the discussion of the report be continued until there is no other member desiring the floor.

SALVADOR DE MENDONÇA. Mr. Price. To my mind the motion of the honorable delegate from Brazil is in substance the same as that decided upon at the session of Wednesday, when Mr. Henderson moved that the matter be discussed from session to session until disposed of.

Mr. MENDONÇA. Mr. President, I withdraw my motion, as my honorable colleague from the Argentine has expressed a desire to have the vote taken.

Mr. QUINTANA. I am extremely grateful to the honorable delegates from Brazil and Hayti for the attitude they have assumed, but it is not the desire of the Argentine delegation to prolong this debate. The vote can be taken, and the delegation will see in what manner the erroneous data of General Henderson can be corrected.

Mr. EstEE. Mr. President, I suppose the idea of my distinguished friend from the Argentine in having the vote taken to-day arose from the fact that I have urged the vote to-day. Now, if the distinguished gentleman from the Argentine, or anybody else, wishes to address the Conference, of course I do not wish to press the vote. But if no one wishes to speak or discuss the question, why not settle it? That was the only point I made, and I make that statement because the distinguished gentlenian from the Argentine seemed to think, after my colleague had spoken,

« AnteriorContinuar »