Page:Statesman's Year-Book 1899 American Edition.djvu/1227

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The Ibicign debt of Peru was made up of two loans, contracted in England in 1870 and 1872 :—


Railway 6 per cent, loan of 1870 .... 11,141,580 „ 5 percent, loan of 1872 .... 20,437,500

Total .... 31,579,080 These two loans were secured on the guano deposits (now in possession of Chile) and the general resources of Peru. No interest having been paid on the foreign debt since 1876, the arrears in 1889 amounted to 22,998,651Z. In January, 1890, by the final ratification of the Grace-Donoughmore contract, Pern was released of all responsibility for the two loans, and the bondholders had ceded to them all the railways, guano deposits, mines, and lands of the State for 66 years. In 1882, and subsequently, arrangements were made with Chile that a portion of the proceeds of the guano deposits should be paid as interest to the bondholders, but certain disputed claims have delayed the settlement. For the consolidation of the internal debt the issue of 40,000,000 soles in bonds, bearing interest at the rate of 1 per cent, per annum, was authorised in 1889, and 36,174,150 soles were issued. The total amount redeemed (1897) is 9,416,000 soles. During the late civil war the payment of interest and the amortisation were suspended. The interest payments have been resumed, but not the redemijtion. The total internal obligations are estim- ated (1898) at 47,591,760 soles, including the interest-bearing funded debt, and other claims on the Treasury whether recognised or still under examin- ation.


The army, in time of peace, is composed of six battalions of infantry, numbering 2,086 officers and men ; of two regiments of cavalry, numbering 622 officers and men ; of two brigades of artillery, numbering 449 officers and men, forming a total of 3,157 men. Four officers have been sent by the French Government for the purpose of re-organising the army. A military school has l)een opened at Chorillos, near Lima. There is also a police force numbering between 2,000 and 3,000 men.

The Peruvian navy now consists of one cruiser of 1,700 tons displace- ment, a screw steamer, and 10 various small vessels of no real value.


The chief productions of Peru are cotton, coffee, and sugar. The cotton exports reached 5,586 tons in 1897. The chief coffee -growing districts are those of Chanchamayo, Perene and Paucatambo in Central Peru, where the Peruvian Corporation has done much useful colonising work. The concession to the Corporation comprises about 5,000,000 acres, but the labour and trans- port difficulties in the tropical forest region are serious. The export of coffee in 1897 was 1,239 tons. The sugar industry is carried on chiefly in the coast region. The total area devoted to sugar cultivation is about 187,000 acres, of which 95,000 are planted with cane. The production in 1897 aniountcd to 105,000 tons. Cocoa, rice (4,222 tons in 1897), tobacco, wines and siurits, maize, are also produced. The most important coca growing district is in the province of Otuzco in the department of La Libertad, where there are 9 coca estates with, altogether, about 2,700,000 coca trees. Besides, there are in the country indiarubber, cinchona, dyes, medicinal plants, and the alpaca and vicuna. The guano deposits on Huanillos, Punta Lobos, Pabellon de Pica, and the island of Lobos de Afuera, have been delivered over to the Peruvian Corporation by the Chilian Government.