Page:Statesman's Year-Book 1899 American Edition.djvu/706

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350 ARGENTINE REPUBLIC

cruiser built by Messrs. Armstrong, is one of the fastest sea-going vessels afloat, with the exception of torpedo-boats and destroyers. The mean speed during a six hours' trial at natural draught was 23 '202 knots. Her water- line length is 396 feet, and her extreme breadth 47 feet 2 inches. The displacement is 4,500 tons, and the indicated horse-power 14,000. She is armed with 2 8-in., 4 6-in. and 6 47-in. Q.F. guns, and 16 3-pr. and 8 1-pr. guns. The protective deck is 1^ in. on the flat, 3 in. on the slope, and 5 in. over the machinery space.

Messrs. Yarrow have built four protected destroyers, the Santa Fe, Corientes, Missonies, and Entre Rios, with a contract speed of 26 knots, greatly exceeded at the trials ; but the Santa Fe has since been lost. Five steamships have been bought from Italian and Spanish companies (3,403 to 4,218 tons), for conversion into cruisers.

The personnel of the navy includes 309 executive and 181 engineers and officers, and 34 torpedo, electrical, and other officers ; with 4,128 sea- men, and a battalion of marine infantry, and a battery which is being in- creased to a battalion with 4 batteries.

Production and Industry.

The area of land under cultivation in 1895, in the 14 provinces and 9 national teri'itories, was 15,000,000 acres, or about 6 "2 per cent, of the total area available for cultivation, which is put at 240,000,000 acres.

In 1895 the area under vines was 71,135 acres. The production of wine in 1895 was 42,267,200 gallons ; of raisins, 10,582 tons ; of alcohol, 478,800 gallons. About 82,000 acres are under sugar cane, and there are 48 sugar works in operation ; the Tucuman sugar crop was estimated in 1896 at 119,000 tons ; in 1897, 93,000 tons ; 1898, 60,000 tons.

The chief agricultural products are: wheat, 5,500,000 acres yielding 1,500,000 tons (1897); maize, flax, 400,000 tons (1897). In 1895 there were in the Republic 21,702,000 cattle, 74,380,000 sheep, 4,447,000 horses, and 3,885,000 goats and other animals. In 1897 there were slaughtered 340,100 head of cattle. In the saladeros of Argentina, Uruguay and Rio Grande do Sul, there were 1,353,100 cattle slaughtered in 1897 ; in 1896, 1,204,288. According to the census report for 1895, the number of industrial establishments in the Republic is : flour mills, 532 ; wine factories, 852 ; distilleries, 108 ; breweries, 44 ; sugar plantations, 2,749 ; sugar mills, 48 ; vineyards, 6,514. In the provinces of Buenos Ayres, Santa Fe, and Entre Rios agricultural lands to the extent of 318,000 acres have been acquired by the Jewish Colonisation Association. On this land 14 Jewish colonies, with in January, 1898, a population of 7,015, have been settled ; 11 of the colonies are in Entre Rios. In the Chubut valley in eastern Patagonia there is an agricultural colony with a population of 3,800, of whom 1,142 are Welsh-speaking British subjects, with 2 Church of England clergymen, 1 Roman Catholic priest, and 7 Welsh ministers.

Coal (lignite) is found in several provincosj but not worked satisfactorily. Petroleum is worked in Mendoza.

Commerce.

The following table shows the oflficial values in thousands of pesos gold of the imports and exports (exclusive of coin and bullion) for five years, including re-exports : —