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Report of investigation of trade openings in South America for British Columbia White, H. G. 1916

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 B IS
REPORT OF INVESTIGATION
OF
TRADE OPENINGS IN SOUTH AMERICA
FOR BRITISH COLUMBIA
WRITTEN AND COMPILED BY SPECIAL COMMISSIONER
H. G. WHITE
ISSUED UNDER THE AUSPICES OP THE GOVERNMENT OE BRITISH COLUMBIA IN
CO-OPERATION WITH THE VICTORIA AND VANCOUVER
BOARDS OP TRADE
JANUARY, 1916
THEGOVERNMENTOF
THEPBMINCEOFBOTISHHIUWBIA.
PRINTED BY
AUTHORITY OF THE  LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY.
VICTORIA, B.C.:
Printed by William H. Cullin, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.
1016. Vawn  by Geographic Branch,   5urveyorGoneraiS Offic FOREWORD.
Vancouver, B.C., January, 191G.
]n submitting the following reports, which, are an epitome of the detailed
information I sent to the Boards of Trade from each of the Republics as I visited
them, I have endeavoured to collate the facts exactly as I found them to be, and
have avoided all tendency to paint in too roseate a hue the possibilities for British
Columbia trade in those Southern markets.
A five-month tour, during which I visited all but three of the South American
countries, two of the Central American Republics, Jamaica and Cuba, is scarcely
adequate a period in which to make a detailed study of the opportunity for reciprocal commerce in all its aspects, but I trust the information obtained and published
herewith will be of real utility, and will at least serve to awaken the public and
more particularly the business interests of this Province to the immense scope that
Latin-America offers for the development of a progressive Canadian export trade.
H. G. WHITE,
Special Commissioner. SUGGESTIONS FOR CANADIAN EXPORTERS WHO MAY BE ENGAGED IN OR SEEKING
SOUTH AMERICAN TRADE.
1. All quotations should be f.o.b. steamer or c.I.f. port of entry, and any other information
likely to be serviceable might be added. Give the same information as would be expected from
an .exporter in a foreign country who might be soliciting an order.
2. The postage on letters directed to South American countries is 5 cents. This should be
impressed on correspondence clerks.
3. All letters for foreign countries should be signed.    Avoid rubber-stamp signatures.
4. Do not write brusque letters to Latin - American business - men. Courtesy is highly
important in all dealings, and smooths away many difficulties.
5. It is impossible to take too much care with regard to packing and marking. New cases
should be used, for which, if. necessary, a charge can be made. Experiments might be conducted
in various methods of packing, and the results subjected to severe tests.
6. B/L. Invoice and Consular Certificate in connection with a shipment should accompany
goods, and duplicates should he mailed to proceed by another steamer. Documents for South
American countries must be prepared with the most rigid care, as regulations governing imports
are extremely exacting.
7. -Questions ought not to be looked at entirely from the view point of Canadians; an
endeavour should be made to see the Latin American's side also.
S. When filling an order, never substitute for an article specified another that may he
considered just as good, unless duly authorized.
9. Read the " Weekly Report" systematically, and file copies for future reference.
10. Lastly, do not neglect the smallest detail that will make for success, from the receipt of
an order until it is finally in the hands of a customer.
Issued by the-Department of Trade and Cosimehce,
Ottawa.
Note.—Please ask your Export Department to note these suggestions. TRADE OPENINGS IN SOUTH AMERICA.
■■■    .i.i,. SUMMARY. OF SOUTH AMERICAN INVESTIGATION.
Having completed my journey as far as South and Central America is concerned, I propose
to lay before your Boards an epitome of the whole trip, the situation as I conceive it to be, the
conclusions I have formed, and the recommendations I have to suggest.
The ground already covered is an immense territory for which a year or more is required
to adequately investigate fully, and it has been extremely difficult to obtain all the desired
information in such a short space of time as I have been compelled to allow myself. Every
day has been occupied in interviewing firms, Chambers of Commerce, Ministers, etc., and the
evenings have been chiefly devoted to the making-up of notes and the tabulation of data, etc.,
for the reports. The periods of time on boats 'have been the opportunities for reading up informative literature anent the various Republics About to be visited, and in this manner I have arrived
in each country with a basic knowledge of true conditions that has enabled me to get to work
with greater celerity than otherwise might have been the case.
.Speaking generally, the British Consulates have shown your representative every courtesy
. and furnished him with every facility feasible. Some of them went so far as to show me a
number of confidential documents and imparted a good deal ot authoritative information, as
. from one British ofilcial to another, which seemed to convey the idea of Canada's oneness with
the Empire, and their desire that her representative should be given every benefit that the
Consular service could afford; at the same time, it is very apparent that the Consulates are
overworked and understaffed, and, as a consequence, British trade is suffering severely in these
parts, and Canada can scarcely look to the Consulates for commercial help. In contrast to this,'
the American Consuls (unburdened with extra war work and free of the heavy duties imposed
on our own offices by the big shipping trade Britain does) are able to spend a good deal of
time developing America's trade, and I have seen many instances of their work which our
Consuls will find difficult either to eradicate or to emulate.
Governments.—Apart, perhaps, from Argentine, the South American Governments do not
measure up to Anglo-Saxon standards. The Latin-American, on the whole, seems to lack backbone and moral tone.
Taxes of a variety of kinds are levied on every conceivable thing, and yet the money is
seldom used for the purposes it is ostensibly collected for, and large sums of public moneys
are never accounted for.
In every country most of the industries of any importance are in the hands of foreigners;
the money has been supplied and the natural resources developed by them. Their advent has
been a godsend for the country, and where countries are most backward, as in Paraguay, Bolivia,
Ecuador, and Colombia, it is because so far the foreigner has not yet turned his attention to.
them.
Consuls and merchants have informed me of all sorts of absurd treaties and impractical
laws and decrees, and this sort of thing is a great hindrance to development; yet, on the whole,
the Governments are stable, revolutions less and less frequent, and the people are beginning to
realize that good government is essential to the country's prosperity, and that it is no longer
■infra dig. to engage in commerce. Taking it generally, and with few exceptions, the ruling
Presidents are men of education, of European experience, and capable, but they seem, to be
handicapped by tbe grafting proclivities of many of their colleagues and .inferior officials,
instances of which have been given me confidentially from many sources.
As a representative from British North America, I have received very courteous attention
from Ministers and public officials, who assured me of the desire to see Canada enter their
markets and furnished me with every facility for studying my subject. I should especially
mention Sr. Prado, the President of Peru; Sir Reginald Tower, British Minister at Buenos
Aires; Mr. Cox, British Consul at San Jose, Costa Rica; and Sir Claude Mallet, British Minister
at Panama, with all of whom I had interesting and profitable interviews. I should also mention
the Acting Trade Commissioner for Canada, Mr. B. S. Webb, who is a very competent and live
official. Trade Openings in South America
South America is one vast storehouse of natural wealth and is the fitting counterpart to
North America, the great manufacturing field'. Each one is in a position to supply the other's
needs, and the increasing quantities of raw material purchased by North America. from South
is one feature responsible for the increase of their trade down here.
The majority of the world's supplies of coffee, cocoa, nitrate, tin, and large quantities of
wheat, hides, cotton, sugar, coffee, gold, and silver emanate from the South American Republics,
and still vast territories are as yet unexplored and undeveloped. On the other hand, they will
never become great manufacturing centres, and North America is the natural provider of such
articles.
At present, knotty problems of inland transportation and of immigration remain to be solved
in each of the Latin-American Republics, and when the situation is relieved, still greater will
be the output in natural resources, still greater will be the demand for manufactured articles of
every kind. Canada seems to be buying at least very little of South America's products, and she
is correspondingly selling very little to them; but, nevertheless, the reciprocal market is there
and only needs development.
Since my last visit to these countries the decline of British trade and the increase of-
American commerce is to a Britisher appalling, and this is due to the immense organization
now being prosecuted by the United States of America.
The Pan-American Union has a powerful hand in this; the Chambers of Commerce of many
of the big cities have representatives, resident and travelling, in South America; such magazines
as The American Exporter and World's Work are being printed in Spanish and distributed gratis
over all the Republics; catalogues and literature of all sorts are overwhelming the South American buyers; agencies are being formed, banks being opened and steamship connection established.
The U.S.A. Consulates are now being given Commercial Attaches and every imaginable form of
propaganda is being used. Against such a tide only similar- efforts on an equal scale can stem
the competition, and so far, with the exception of British Columbia, Eastern Canada does not
seem to have wakened up in any noticeable degree to the potentialities of the market awaiting it.
The financial situation in all the South American countries is improving and will, I think,
continue to do so, while the difficulty in obtaining European supplies is increasingly evident, so
that North America niust inevitably become the market in which South Americans will spend
their money, and Canada .should make every possible effort to secure a portion of Latin-America's
business.
Steamship connections are at present none too good, but the east coast of South America is
served by several lines from New York; the Caribbean Coast by a New York line, the Royal
Mail; and the west coast also by lines from New York and one from San Francisco.
The Brazilian, Chilian, and Peruvian Governments all have a native line of steamers, to all
or any of which the hint of a small subsidy might be inducement for them to call at Canadian
ports, and this I conceive to be the only solution to our transportation problem. Reference to
my report on Peru will show the negotiations I had with the Peruvian Government as regards
.their boats making a run between Callao and Vancouver-Victoria, and I am of the opinion that
the matter could be brought to a successful conclusion, and the foundations of a British Columbia
export trade to South America commenced.
Banking facilities are poor, but I understand that the Royal Bank of Canada has ambitions
and would readily listen to an exposition of the facts as to possibilities in their markets. I am
told that they are already favourably disposed to a bank in Buenos Aires, and that it will only
be a matter of time before they are established there.
I think'this covers the actual situation as I have found it, and I pass to the second phase
of the summary, viz.: Conclusions as to Canada's and especially British Columbia's possibilities
in these markets.
Without desire to make the prospects appear any too lurid, I am confident that given the
requisite transportation facilities and .provided our exporters can equal U.S.A. prices, British
Columbia has a distinct market in salmon; lumber, apples, potatoes, coal, flour, and condensed
milk. The first four have openings in Brazii, Uruguay, Argentina, and Panama of the first
magnitude, while the latter could only find a sale on the Pacific Coast.
Argentine and Brazil, the two leading largest Republics in South America, are worth
cultivating, more especially for their apple and potato trade, which is very extensive.    Chile For British Columbia.
is a very large importer of salmon, milk, and coal, and Ecuador and Colombia buy heavily of
wheat-flour from the U.S.A.. Douglas fir is imported largely into Chile and Peru, and there is
a fairly heavy consumption of coal to the same two countries.
The apple and potato trade has none of the obstacles the other articles are faced with, and
always providing the growers can compete in price, there is a big business to be done. Buenos
Aires itself, with a big and prosperous population, is buying these commodities in increasingly
large quantities. The business is a consignment one, and there is a certain amount of risk with
regard to the shipment of such perishable merchandise; but I regard this trade as the most
hopeful of all British Columbia's exports, and consider, with an association deliberately organized to develop an export trade all over South America, there is unlimited scope for our growers.
The second 'business of importance is canned salmon, of which the total import into South
America amounts to half a million cases. As far as I could ascertain, British Columbia brands
are unknown and none of our salmon has ever been sold there. The San Francisco commission
houses are active in this, and indeed control the whole trade, with the exception of a little
through similar New York concerns. Argentine and Chile are the two big markets for this>
and while there is no reason whatever why our canners should not obtain a share of the trade,
some methods will have to be devised to combat Frisco's activity and some sort of publicity
undertaken. Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia, Venezuela, and all Central America
import salmon, and British Columbia can and should break into these markets.
As in all other lines, our exporters are handicapped by suitable freight facilities, and
business on the west coast is menaced by the powerful firm of W. R. Grace & Co., in bad
odour generally, who do a very immense trade there. They have 'been reported to the British
Foreign Office several times since the war, but their New York house seems to ignore the
London firm, and steadily Britishers are being eliminated and cheap German clerks substituted.
British Columbia cannot hope to get freight facilities through these people; indeed, they are to
be avoided altogether, and it is only as we can throw off the yoke of the U.S.A. commission
house that we can hope to get South American trade. Especially does this apply in the paper
trade, and I have had it impressed on me by British Consuls and merchants that South America
offers a magnificent field in this direction, for in every Republic newspapers are prolific, and the
Germans, who hold many of the contracts, have had great difficulty in making delivery, though
it is said they are now keeping themselves supplied by buying Canada's paper through New
•York houses.
The German element all over South and Central America is very strongly entrenched and
has been able to do British trade a great deal of harm. They appear to have penetrated into
every little township, to have intermarried, formed powerful colonies, and now they are controlling certain daily papers in every Republic in a desperate attempt to influence Latin-American
opinion. In Costa Rica the President actually has a German adviser, and they seem to have
wormed their way by intermarriage, etc., into many Government circles, and British Consuls
have given me manifold instances of German conspiracy since the war. They are a factor to
be reckoned with in South American trade.
I come now to the final phase of this report, viz.: Recommendation and suggestions for the
furtherance of our trade.
In the first place, I would suggest:—
(1.) That if it he at all feasible, Canada enter the Pan-American Union and thus derive
the very many advantages and benefits which accrue therefrom.
(2.) That some sort of special Bureau, be formed—if Federally, under the direction of the
Trade and Commerce Department; or. if Provincially, under a. Committee of Joint Boards of
Trade—to deal exclusively with South American markets, providing a service, though, of course,
in a minor degree, to Canadian manufacturers and exports similar to that of the Pan-American
Union at Washington to U.S.A. merchants.
(3.) That a Federal Trade Commissioner be appointed to the Pacific Coast of South America,
or, failing that, honorary trade'correspondents in Chile, Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador, as the Trade
Commissioner at Buenos Aires cannot possibly do justice to the markets of the whole of South
America.
(4.) That some public movement throughout the Dominion, inaugurated possibly by the
Boards of Trade and fostered by the press, be organized, calling attention to the splendid
markets in South America, assisting Canadian enterprise, and bringing to a definite head the 10 Trade Openings in South America
organization of some permanent medium of reciprocal trade. In this respect, it seems to me,
the press could render valuable assistance by publishing frequent and regular articles on the
various South American Republics, and thus educating our people to a better understanding of
the Latin-American countries, their needs and their resources.
(5.) That the Spanish language form part of the Canadian educational curriculum, and
special instruction in South American geography be emphasized. This is being commenced in
the U.S.A., and many cities there have now also established Spanish clubs and business-men's
classes for commercial Spanish, speech, and correspondence. The South American market is'
close at hand, the Pan-American spirit is growing materially, and the opportunities for reciprocal
trade were never so good as now, with European supplies limited. The U.S.A. is organizing
already along every possible line to capture the trade, and Canada must follow suit now or
never.
(6.) That means for permanent and regular transportation facilities be devised, either by'
the inauguration of new subsidized services or by special arrangements with present existing
steamship companies to call at Canadian ports. This condition is practically the sine qua non
of a successful commercial intercourse, and the solution of this problem is the first work to
our hands.
(7.) That a determined effort be made to wrest our trade from New York and San Francisco
commission houses, and to establish at Montreal and Victoria or Vancouver (or both) Canadian
commercial houses of A-l standing who will be in a position to take South American produce
and sell Canadian products. This dual capacity would help to solve the credit and banking
problem, and the business thus concentrated would be a great attraction to South American
merchants, who could ship their produce to Canadian markets and receive manufactured articles
in payment. Such houses, controlling as they would considerable tonnage in goods coming and
going, should he in a position to obtain more favourable freights and shipping conditions than
one firm shipping as a unit; they would have a banking department, where, they would deposit
the proceeds of sales of South American produce and do business in exchange; and they would
afford a medium through which all varieties of Canadian products could be offered on the South
American market.
(S.) As far as British Columbia' is concerned, and where the probable export is limited to
a few articles of natural produce, it would be highly advantageous for several branches of trade,
such as lumbermen, salmon-canners, fruit-growers, etc., one representative firm of each, to act-
jointly, either in sending a regular traveller to those countries, or, better still, maintaining a
permanent resident man or men on the ground. The expenses could be pooled at first, and when
definite trade was established a pro rata charge could be made according to wrbich goods were
selling most.
A paid resident representative could act as receiving agent for goods, attend to consignments, collections, etc., and in this way many overhead charges would be avoided, such as
commissions, etc., and financially it would be considerably safer also, as some one on the spot
to look after accounts is worth a great deal. The very high cost of living in South America
would require that such a representative receive $4,500 to $5,000 annually, covering salary, office'
expenses, and travelling; that is, to obtain a first-class man, which I consider to be essential.
A representative stationed at Buenos Aires could handle Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, and Chile
(only distant forty hours by rail from Buenos Aires), and it would be quite feasible for him to
also handle Barbadoes, Trinidad, and British Guiana, as there are good steamship connections.
I would recommend this appointment first, and a second, if deemed desirable, could make headquarters at Panama, handling Cuba, Jamaica, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.
(9.) I would recommend very strongly that the subject of our possible imports from South
America be carefully investigated, with a view to proving the advisability and advantage of
buying collectively, failing the medium of commission houses. By purchasing our comparatively
small requirements separately we are liable to lose advantages in price; we cannot offer enough
inducement for freight to come direct to our ports, and we play right into the hands of U.S.A.
houses. 'iiiMiKi
Volume is what is needed, and by purchasing collectively, in addition to the advantage
quoted, we accentuate the importance of our own market in Latin-American eyes and make the
way easier for the sale of our products.    Union is strength, and with the serious, magnificently For British Columbia. . 11
organized, efficient, and determined competition of the U.S.A., Canada, and especially British
Columbia, can only obtain our rightful share of these ever-increasing markets by a whole-hearted,
comprehensive organization, and a vigorous, united endeavour to create for themselves a.permanent and lucrative place in the sun.
Yours faithfully,
H. G. WHITE,
Special Trade Envoy.
UNITED STATES OF BRAZIL.
Area:  3.202,000 square miles.    Language:   Portuguese.    Population:   24,000,000
(approximately)." Form  of Government:  Republican:
The immensity and vastness of Brazil, the largest of all the South American countries,
renders investigation on a time-limit intensely difficult, for, apart from the enormous unexplored
regions of the interior, even the populated centres are difficult of access in many cases.
To the far North, in the regions of the Amazon, there is the great rubber-producing territory
served by.the ports of Manaos and Para. These arc many days' journey from the famous capital,
Rio de Janeiro, which is in turn a considerable distance by water, from the southernmost ports
of the Republic. The North is altogether different from the South, in climate, people, and
requirements, and the Central zone is different again. Each is a country unto itself, and every
State has different laws and imposes its own tariffs, a state of affairs very detrimental to the
development and the best interests of the whole nation.
With one exception, the leading business centres are along tbe coast, and the foremost of
them all is Rio de Janeiro, a magnificent metropolis boasting a population of well over a million,
and possessing the largest and finest natural harbour in the world. It is the seat of Government, and is a modern, salubrious port, well equipped with every facility for docking and
handling cargo, particularly noticeable being the -huge giant cranes, all of German manufacture.
It is here that the major portion of my stay in Brazil was spent.
The chief cities and ports, going from north to south, may be tabulated thus:—
North Brazil—•
Para :    Main outlet for rubber export.
Pernambuco:    Main outlet for cotton and sugar.
Bahia:    Main outlet for tobacco, bananas, and oranges.
Central Brazil—
Rio de Janeiro:    Capital and chief port.
Santos :    Main outlet for coffee export.
Sao Paulo:    Great inland commercial city, largely devoted to textile industry.
Southern Brazil—■
Rio Grande and Porto Alegre:    Outlets for agricultural produce, cattle, and meat.
Finance and Credits.—The outbreak of the big European war in August, 1914, precipitated
a monetary crisis in all the South American countries, and Brazil suffered severely, though the
whole blame for this condition cannot be laid on that one cause. Exchange fell to a low basis
and the nation's purchasing power was consequently curtailed. Efforts are being made to adjust
matters, but at the present time the crisis is still evident, and the Government has been considering a further emission of paper currency which its critics aver will still further lower
exchange.
The money of Brazil has the "milreis" as a unit.    There is the gold milreis, value about
54%.cents American, which is used as a unit for foreign exchange and other financial affairs, .
but it is seldom, if ever, seen in circulation, the ordinary currency being the paper milreis, whose
value fluctuates round about 30 cents.    There are also minor coins' of nickel and bronze.
Credits are generally from 90 to 120 days, with accruing interest at 6 per cent., but for the
particular lines British Columbia could export to Brazil, thirty to sixty days after arrival would
suffice.
Banking Facilities.—There are no Canadian banks in this country, but several branches of
big.London institutions, such as the London & River Plate Bank, London & Brazilian Bank, etc., 12 •   Trade Openings in South'America
and also a branch of the National City Bank of New York, not to speak of the other large banks
of German, French, and Brazilian ownership.
Shipping Facilities.—For British. Columbia trade the only route at present is from New
York, where vessels of the Lamport & Holt, Barber, and Lloyd Brasiliero Lines make regular
sailings. The latter concern is controlled by the Brazilian Government, and I had a conversation
with the general manager as to the feasibility of his vessels calling at Pacific ports. He stated
that the question had been carefully considered and rejected as impracticable.
Duties.—Very high, and on certain articles a preference of 30 per cent, is given to the
U.S.A., eliminating thereby British Columbia's chances for the sale of canned milk and flour.
Method of Selling.—Preferably through a local broker, and I have left on record at the
Victoria and Vancouver Boards of Trade the name of the most reliable connection in Rio,
together with a report on his standing, reliability, .etc. Dealing through a British businessman there eliminates the necessity for Portuguese, correspondence at .this end, and ensures an
honest, straightforward, and capable handling. All South Americans have great confidence in
British integrity and stability.
Imports.—Brazil is a large importer of manufactured articles and certain foodstuffs, the
latest figures showing a total of $326,42S,509' annual expenditure on imported goods. As I am
only concerned with the opportunities for British Columbia, however, I shall only enumerate
the articles which might be lucratively sold by us, with comments on same, and would refer all
interested parties seeking definite information as to names of firms, etc., to the aforementioned
Boards of Trade, who hold my confidential reports giving such particulars.
Apptes.—Rio de Janeiro presents a very good market for this fruit, which it is at present
buying from Europe and U.S.A. To the Southern palate only accustomed to the softer flavours
of the tropical fruits the agreeable contrast in the taste of our Northern fruit is becoming
increasingly popular not only in Brazil, but all over South America, and I am of opinion that
the future of the apple trade in those climes is very bright for our Northern growers.
On the breakfast-table at my hotel in Rio there were always apples in evidence, frequently
of the Oregon variety, and the favourites seem to be the large red varieties, no soft or small
fruit being accepted. The largest firm in Rio imported last year 35,000 boxes and 10,000 barrels,
among them being a shipment from our neighbouring rivals, the Wenatchee growers of Washington. Good prices are obtainable for large hard varieties, but it is difficult to make definite
statements as to price where so much depends on variety, size, etc. If shipments can be successfully effected from Washington, it would seem that British Columbia stands an equal opportunity,
and I cabled to Vernon recommending that they send a small sample shipment to Rio in order
to test the opinion of our British Columbia fruit and to get at the precise laid-down price.
Apples are required for delivery during October, November, and December, and must, of course,'
be shipped by boats having refrigerator space. The above remarks similarly apply to pears,
though in a minor degree.
Potatoes.—This is a commodity in which British Columbia excels and for which there is a
big market in Brazil. The chief source of supply has been Spain and Portugal in the early year
and France in the fall. It is with these latter that we shall have to compete, as British Columbia
potatoes could be delivered just about the same.time as the French variety is due. Since.the
present war broke out the supplies from France have fallen off and the shortage has caused a
big rise in price. This has been taken advantage of by U.S.A. shippers, and with the present
enormous crop in British Columbia and the exceptionally low price several whole boat-loads
could have been shipped to Brazil had transportation been forthcoming. The cargoes froni the
Eastern States do not appear to have given satisfaction, for I was shown by a Rio dealer several
samples which were soft inside and had worm, and some time afterwards I received a letter
stating that the latest American shipment had arrived rotten and had been rejected by the port
authorities. • i
Large potatoes are required, and I am of opinion that the British Columbia varieties, such
as those from Ashcroft, would create something of a sensation in these markets, for I have seen
nothing down here to approach them in size or quality. It is quite possible that they would
command a higher price, but the whole question is one of transportation. Buyers in Rio pay
round about $1.40 per case of 66 lb. net, and the goods must be packed in that weight.' This
gives a figure of some $42.50 per ton, and with the local British Columbia price of $10 there
would seem to be sufficient margin for good business, always provided reasonably low rates of For British Columbia. ' ■ 13
freight are obtainable, and this could only be ensured by having control of a number of vessels.
The potato trade is such a large one on the East Coast of South America and in the AVest Indies,
and British Columbia is so suited for the production of this tuber on a large scale and in such
magnificent quality, that with the control of a number of small vessels equipped for this class
of trade there is unlimited scope for British Columbia exporters.
Lumber.—Brazil has an innumerable variety of hardwoods of superior quality, many of
them beautifully marked and insect-resisting, while there are also many square miles of rapid-
growing softwoods in every way suitable for the pulp and paper industry. To a large extent,
however, these are at present unmerchantable, the forests being difficult of access, transportation
to the coast primitive and costly, and labour scarce. There is therefore a considerable import
of lumber, particularly pine and spruce, coming in from the U.S.A. and Scandinavia. Great
.emphasis is placed on the necessity for seasoned lumber only, and during my round of the chief
lumber-yards of Rio I found many complaints of severe losses occasioned by unseasoned wood.
Douglas fir is entirely unknown, and the samples of this British Columbia product provided for
me by the Forestry Branch of the British Columbia Government caused much favourable comment, and I was able to distribute a number of these samples among interested parties.
The owner of the largest mills in Rio, an important Brazilian capitalist, exhibited to me
samples handed him by the representative of a New York commission house of Oregon pine,
western cedar, and sugar-pine, and he informed me that he-had ordered 10.000 feet of each of
these, so as to judge of the quality and ascertain the actual e.i.f. price. He promised that as
soon as he received these he would give British Columbia mills a chance to quote on Oregon
pine, the equivalent of our Douglas fir, and asked that I immediately communicate with my
Board, requesting that they connect him with a mill who could quote him on a shipment of
1,000,000 feet, two-thirds to be Douglas fir and the remainder in equal proportions of western
hemlock, Sitka spruce, and western red cedar. Two-thirds of the total shipment to be in deals
3x9 feet from 14 to 2S feet, and one-third 3x9 feet from 30 feet up, except in hemlock, where
25 feet must not be exceeded. Quality, select. Price to he. per sailer, c.i.f. Rio, freight payable
in Rio on discharge; ship to discharge not less than 2,500 feet per day. This order is being
competed for by a New York commission house and by a well-known firm of Seattle shippers.
Name of inquirer, etc., can be obtained from the joint Boards of Trade of Victoria and Vancouver.
Fish.—Immense quantities of salt cod are imported from Newfoundland and Scandinavia,
but buyers are interested in British Columbia black cod, salt salmon (pink or bump), and
herring. The two latter should be packed in small tubs of 30 and 50 kilos and the cod in tubs
of 5S kilos net. Duties on these are not so high as on canned fish, and the average native is a
large consumer of fish, especially on the occasions of the great Catholic festivals. To test our
opportunities in this commodity sample tubs should be sent, and in order that our efforts might
be centralized I made it a point in each Republic to seek out a reliable business-man, British
where possible, who would he willing to act informally and honorarily as a sort of British
Columbia representative, and who would be in a position to receive samples, make sales, and
act as a commercial medium between the two countries. In each country I visited this has been
done, except in Argentina and Cuba, where there are permanent Canadian Trade Commissioners,
and names and addresses of the gentlemen I appointed may he obtained from the Boards of
Trade. •
Salmon is regarded as a luxury and the-duty is heavy, but at the price I was quoted by a
•Vancouver exporter it could he sold in Brazil to compete with the common varieties, and the
outlook for this trade is very promising if suitahle freight can be obtained. Herring also are in
demand and difficult to obtain, according to my informant. All these Catholic countries are
heavy consumers of fish, but as a rule it is the more common and cheaper kinds, as the average
purchasing power of the native will not run to the expensive canned varieties, the latter being
purchased only by the foreigners. Comparatively little demand is experienced in Brazil for the
canned salmon, as the high tariff makes the price prohibitive, but the U.S.A. Government is
endeavouring to persuade the Latin-American Government to lower the duty on canned goods,
and if it succeeds the consumption of these comestibles will greatly increase. What little canned
salmon is sold is invariably under the label of the two famous English houses, Mortons and
Crosse &Blackwell.
Canned milk.—The Anglo-Swiss combination is all-powerful, and even the U.S.A. brands
with a large preference in their favour are unable to .make headway.    This year a Brazilian
3 - 14 .. Trade Openings in South America
factory has started up, and I am- informed that their product is very good and in steady
demand.
It will thus he seen that British Columbia's opportunities are confined to a very few articles
in the Brazilian market, but any one of these if successfully developed would be a new and
steady source of income to the Province.
The other side of the question—namely, what British Columbia can buy from these Southern
countries—is also of great importance, for reciprocal trade will always lead to greater results
than a one-sided traffic. I have therefore considered it worth while to reserve a short space
for information as to Brazil's exports, leaving it to British Columbia importers to select therefrom any particular article they might deem it remunerative to handle.
Brazil's exports in 1913 were $315,164,6S7, and consisted of coffee, rubber, herva matte,
cotton, leather, tobacco, sugar, meat, nuts, and tropical fruits, of importance in the order named.
In the production of coffee Brazil leads the world, for out of a total world's crop of 16,927,000
bags it produced 12,S12,000, and on the successful raising and sale of each crop depends the
country's prosperity to a large extent, although latterly, as other products are being increasingly
developed, this dependence will be minimized. The bulk of this commodity is shipped through
the busy port of Santos, where up-to-date docks and machinery equal, if not surpass, most of
the ports of this North Pacific Coast.
Rubber is playing an increasingly important role in the world's marts to-day, and in the
regions of the Amazon the potentiality of production of this article is sufficient to meet the
whole world's needs. In 1913 the total value of Brazil's export of rubber reached upwards of
$50,000,000, being exceeded only by its coffee, export of $200,000,000.
The red dyewood (bresil) from which the country derives its name is coming to the front
again as an important factor, and the timber- of Brazil, once means are found to haul it, etc.,
will be an asset to that country, rivalling probably even coffee in importance.    It will be, how- .
ever, many years before this takes place, and so far the only lumber industry there is in the
State of Parana, where there are several modern sawmills cutting pine and cedar.
Brazil is the original home of the navel orange, and these along with bananas are exported
to some extent. There are many other products too numerous to mention that will one day be
of merchantable value, and in passing it should be noted that large quantities of bass for brush-
manufacture are exported, and that there is a prolific growth of the castor-oil plant, which is
considered almost a plague. The beans are crushed for oil, which is used for lubricating purposes, hut there is no refinery for making medicinal oil, and I was asked whether there might
not be an opening in British Columbia for a small plant that would purchase these beans and
manufacture the medicinal oil, which is so much in demand. The supply of these beans in Brazil
is inexhaustible and prices are low.   I commend the suggestion to the Industrial Commissioner.
Manufactures.—There is no opening for British Columbia's manufactured products in Brazil,
but the number of local native factories is greatly on the increase, stimulated no doubt by the
difficulty of importing commodities from Europe since the present war commenced. The textile
industry of Brazil is a very important one, there being over fifty cotton-mills, where many
English (Lancashire) operatives are engaged. So, too, is the leather trade, and there are several
factories for furniture, clothing, collars, hats, boots and shoes, lace, silk, paper, matches, and
the like. There are also breweries,' flour and lumber mills, railroad and motor-car assembling
works, plants for welding and cutting iron, foundries, and oil plants. The mining industry is
important, especially in gold and diamonds, and the meat-packing plants of the South have a
promising future.
Indeed, Brazil is in reality one vast storehouse of natural wealth of every imaginable
variety, and has a future of dazzling brilliancy in the exploitation and marketing of these
superabundant resources. A country with such assets cannot fail to come to the fore, and
while the present may he glooiny, the end of the war and rectification of financial conditions
will bring about a change, and once capital becomes conversant with the enormous potentialities
of this vast country we shall see in Brazil a great and rich nation, to whose needs British
Columbia will do well to cater, and the time to begin is now.
In concluding this report, I desire to acknowledge the kind assistance rendered me by the
British Consular officials at Rio and the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, and particularly am
I indebted to Mr. J. Bloomfield, a British merchant of thirty years' standing in Rio, who devoted
whole days of his time to accompanying and introducing me to valuable sources of information, For British Columbia. 15
to which access might otherwise have been difficult. To be British is a sort of Freemasonry all
over the world, and everywhere my work was greatly facilitated by British merchants, who seem
ever keen to help their fellow-subjects from the Dominions and other parts of the Empire.
ARGENTINA.
Area:    1,530,418 square miles.    Population:    About 0.000,000.     Language:    .
Spanish.     Currency:    Paper peso=44 cents    (approximately).     Chief   Port   and
Capital:    Buenos Aires  (population,  1,700,000).
Preliminary Remarks.—This Republic is totally different- from Brazil, and it is in many
ways the exact antithesis of it, just as the other Republics are different again. Every Latin-
American country must be taken as a separate entity and considered hy itself when contemplating
commercial intercourse. People in Canada are wont to talk of South America as if it were one
territory, and this is a fallacious view-point that must he disposed of if there is to be successful
trade. .'
Argentina is at present the foremost power in South America, partly, perhaps, due to. its more
temperate climate, which permits of more energy and industry, and partly because more foreign
capital has been expended there. Unlike its sister Republics, which are naturally rich in
minerals and other products, Argentina has had more or less to create its wealth by cultivation
of the land, and to-day it figures as one of the foremost .producers of cereals, cattle, wool, and
similar commodities. Its wines rank among the best also, but very little fruit is grown, despite
valiant efforts on the Government's part to encourage that industry.
The South American Government is a very enlightened and progressive one, and its handling
of the land problem and inland transportation question, not to speak of many excellent modern
laws, could well be studied to advantage by Northeners. The people are exceedingly proud of
their nationality, and their amour propre demands that they be treated as the equals of North
Americans. This is a psychological phase that must he taken into account by those intending
to do business there. They are equally as capable and equally as astute as ourselves, but their
temperament demands a tactful treatment of politeness, courtesy, and quiet dignity in contrast
to the more bluff, whirlwind methods that pertain in the North.
Trade in General.—Owing to the excellent service of steamers plying between Spain and
Italy and Argentine ports* a very large influx of emigrants from those centres has, especially
in the case of the Italians, given them a predominance here in many directions. For the same
reason a great deal of trade goes to these countries with whom it would be difficult to compete,
and it becomes more and more apparent to me that transportation facilities are a sine qua tion
of successful commercial intercourse.
The office of the Canadian Trade Commission in Buenos Aires is splendidly equipped and
is a credit to the Dominion. The Commissioner himself was absent on active service when I
visited the office, but I found in Mr. Webb, the Acting-Commissioner, a very efficient official who
rendered me the utmost attention and very valuable assistance.
Finance and Credits.—This Republic is the first to emerge successfully from the crisis, and
to-day it may .be said to be recovering rapidly. The enormous supplies of. cereal and meat
purchased by the Allies have brought millions of pounds sterling into the country, and there
is now nothing to prevent the further progress and prosperity of the country, for revolutions
are unknown and have been for many years. Britain alone has £194,500,000 invested in its
railways, to say nothing of several hundred million pounds more which she has put.into dock-
works, tramways, telephones, waterworks, meat-freezing, sugar, and shipping industries.
Provided reasonable care is taken, this country is a comparatively safe country to trade with,
and exporters must rid themselves of the idea that every sale there is a risk. There are a large
number of first-rate business houses in Argentine, and information on that score can generally
be obtained from the British Chamber of Commerce which is established in Buenos Aires.
A certain amount of credit must be given if British Columbia wishes to compete with other
countries. This is obvious and must be faced, but, at the same time, the majority of good houses
there do not ask for long terms in the particular lines British Columbia has to sell and often 16 Trade Openings in South America
desire the option of a cash discount. Prices f.o.b. British Columbia ports are absolutely useless;
we must dp the same as our competitors, give the c.i.f. New York or Buenos Aires quotation, or
be eliminated. *. . ,
Shipping Facilities.—Pending a direct line from Canada, which I understand has been
promised consideration by Ottawa after the war, the only routes are from New York by Lamport
& Holt. Lloyd Brasiliero, or Barber Lines, or by the Munson Line from Mobile, Alabama, and
this latter is one that merits investigation, as if rates from British Columbia to. that point were
no higher than to New York, we could obtain a good, regular, and efficient service to Argentine.
I have seen the officials in Buenos Aires of this line,.and they would be happy to have British
Columbia's trade and give competitive rates. Mobile is the port from which southern.; pine,
canned goods, etc., are exported to this country, rivalling New Orleans. ... , r))| .,.^
Customs Requirements.—These must always be ascertained before making, shipments, and
definite detailed information is obtainable from the Department of Trade and Commerce at
Ottawa.
Commercial Centres and Interior Transportation,—Unlike Brazil, which has many business
centres and very little inland transportation, Argentina possesses a magnificent system of railroads running north and south, east and west of the country, a splendid waterway to Uruguay
and Paraguay, and the major portion of trade is transacted through one big centre, the. City of
Buenos Aires, one of the largest cities of America and the metropolis of Latin-America. A sole
agency for Argentina could therefore be given to.a Buenos Aires firm with a prospect that the
goods would be offered all over the country, and the Canadian Trade Commissioner's office there
is always at the service of Canadian exporters desiring information re suitable agents, etc.   •
Banking Facilities.—Conjointly with transportation, this question is an ever-recurrent one
when considering prospects for trade, and the opinion has been expressed by the Acting Trade
Commissioner and other, competent,authorities that the opening for a Canadian bank's branch in
Buenos Aires is a pressing and profitable one. The new branch of the National City Bank of
New York has been successful from the start, and the papers this week (August, 1915) report
the.projected advent of three other American banks from Chicago, Boston, and New York. It
.would seem a pity to let the U.S.A. make away with the excellent opportunity now offering; and
before they grow too strong, or even commence operations, a Canadian bank should step in and
take its rightful share of the business. To neglect the present/opportunity is .to seriously
handicap the possibilities for Canadian trade in the future.
Trade Possibilities for British Columbia.—Pulp, paper, apples, potatoes, lumber, and salmon.
■ Pulp.—l understand that shipments have already been sent from British Columbia to. this
country with good results, and a growing trade is promised.
Paper.-.—Purchased from Scandinavia largely, although the trade is now being competed for
by U.S.A. and Eastern Canadian mills. I doubt whether British Columbia mills could compete
in' this market.
Fruit.—British Columbia has a great opportunity in the Argentine, but the market is a
highly competitive one, and only the very best quality at rock-bottom prices can win recognition.
I have had a great many interviews and made a close investigation into this market,.and find
that with but one exception the fruit trade is more or less in the hands of a ring, and sellers
must- be wary or they will lose money every' time. The North-western apple-growers of Washington' have a resident representative in Buenos Aires who carries on a publicity campaign for
the " Skookum" brand, and the California and Oregon growers are also strongly entrenched,
the former sending a representative to Buenos Aires frequently. They advertise their fruit both
by attractive labels on the boxes, by highly coloured show-cards, and 'by advertisements in the
telephone books and other public places. I particularly noticed the bright and showy labels of
the " Rose " brand from Portland, depicting a large red rose, just the kind of advertising that
appeals to South Americans.
In addition to those, the growers of Nova Scotia sent a man down, and a shipment of apples
followed which gave great satisfaction. , The next year, however, the quality fell considerably
and brought- their varieties somewhat into disrepute, but this they are determined to remedy
and are giving special attention to spraying the fruit and submitting it to a rigid inspection
before shipping. They are promising Argentine buyers to only send in future'the very "best
fruit they produce. ...-..:.... For British Columbia. 17
I should say here that"the only apparent way of disposing of the fruit In this market is to,
consign it to a broker, who charges a certain commission and renders account sales; at least,
this is how many of the Northern growers are at present doing the business. Provided the
consignee be reliable, this seems to he a good way, as he introduces it to all the buyers, and
any new varieties like British Columbia fruit would thus get more widely distributed than if
a shipment were sent to one wholesaler. The Canadian Trade Commissioner on a former
occasion recommended an attractive label, some special showy cards for window display,
emphasizing the origin, " Colombia Britannica." The value of our Imperial connection is
undoubted in these markets.
The Australian and New Zealand shippers are now sending large quantities of apples, and
Chile promises to be a severe competitor, not to speak of the native production, which is receiving
every encouragement from the Argentine Government. So far, however, the demand exceeds
the supply, but prices vary according to the quantity unloaded on the market at one time, and
some varieties command a higher figure than others. The "Delicious" variety, I am told, is
in high favour, as are also " D'Anjou " pears, though in the latter fruit the turnover is very
much smaller than in apples.
Apples fetch a good price, as much as $2.50 per dozen retail sometimes, and there is no duty
on them at present, but the freights from British Columbia across by rail and thence by the
expensive refrigerator service of the Lamport & Holt Line eat into the margin of profits. Some
cheaper way of transportation is needed, if possible.
I was informed that, in order to get their goods in before competitors, the Washington
growers are paying special attention to the cultivation of an early variety, and one dealer
informed me that he had received advice of the dispatch of a shipment from the North-west
on August 14th. This is something which our growers must meet, and another important point
is the packing. Each apple must he carefully wrapped in paper, the latter preferably having
the name of the particular brand painted or printed on. In chief demand are the large, hard
red varieties packed in boxes, 70, SO, 100, and 120 to the box. The grading should be perfection,
one broker having referred- to an American shipment in which every apple in a case could have
been passed through calipers without any appreciable difference in size being revealed. The
apples that the most popular types resemble are our Winter Banana, Jonathans, Ben Davis,
Kings, and Delicious, and the price usually paid by the wholesale merchants ranges from $3
to $5 per box. In 1914 the total import of apples into the Argentine was 1S0,000 boxes, and it
would certainly seem as if British Columbia ought to secure part of that trade.
Potatoes.—Since the war there has been a particularly big demand for these, and on going
the round of the markets, I observed hundreds of cases marked as " Origin, New York " ; in fact,
the vessel I travelled on fro in New York to South America, had a full cargo of potatoes for
Argentina.
There is a small local crop grown in the country, but heavy shipments have always been
imported from France, Spain, and Portugal. The latter arrive in the earlier part of the year,
and from September to December the French variety conies in. These are practically eliminated
since the war, and U.S.A. growers, ever quick to seize such opportunities, have been very active
in securing this business, large quantities now being sent from the States of New York, Maine,
and Virginia, with excellent results; but none of these, in my judgment, are equal to the fine
varieties.in which British Columbia excels, and there is not the slightest doubt of the magnitude
of the opportunity in this article if favourable freights can be secured.
In August, 1915, on the occasion of my visit, there was a big shortage of potatoes, and prices
frequently touched $100 per ton, the average quotation being about $S0. I immediately cabled
to British Columbia asking for a quotation of 500 tons f.o.b. New York, and received a reply
asking1 if I could arrange for 1,S00 tons, as there was a possibility of securing a vessel of that
tonnage. After consulting with one of the leading brokers I cabled acceptance of this, and
stated that the lowest price that might rule two months hence, when the goods would arrive,
would-, be about $60 per ton. Taking into account the record crop that British Columbia experienced in 1915 and the very low prices, averaging $10 a ton, there would have been a very big
margin,of profit had the deal been effected, but owing to impossibility of securing a vessel after
all, it had to fall through, and some $50,000 that might have come to the Province in that one.
case alone was lost. I should say here that at present there is no duty on potatoes into the
Argentine, and that the situation is still very good from a British Columbia standpoint. 18 Trade Openings in South America
A quotation of $32.50 per ton-from Vancouver to Mobile by rail and thence by the MunsOn
Line to Buenos Aires has been given me recently, and if $60 a ton can still be obtained down
there the opportunity should not he lost. In any case, however, from-September to December
there is always a good demand for the tuber, and while in normal times the price may be lower,
freights are also lower, and more or less the same opportunity exists. I believe that if the best
varieties for which British Columbia is famous could be placed on the Argentine market, a
higher price could he obtained for them and a permanent sale would be assured. In connection
with the export of these, it must be borne in mind that the Argentine Government requires' a
certificate of inspection from its own Consul in Canada, and all particulars as to formalities
should be obtained from that official before dispatching goods, as the authorities in Buenos'Aires
are very,strict on that .point. ,..r-' • .
Canned Salmon,—Having made a careful and close investigation into the possibilities of
this trade, I find that under normal conditions the demand is fairly large throughout the
Republic, but that since the war it has fallen off appreciably.
The wholesale- houses who handle the trade of the capital and the larger cities state that
"reds" are almost exclusively called for, and that Mortons and Crosse & Blackwell, two'English
brands, enjoy a popularity that it would be difficult to break into. They consider that in' order'
to capture a part of that better-class trade it would be necessary to fix on some special label,
register the mark, and conduct an active propaganda, either by advertisement or through .some
reliable firm who would act as agent. This has recently been done very successfully here' with
"Skipper " sardines, and the same firm who handled that approached me with regard to a similar
proposition in canned salmon.   Name of firm, etc.; can be secured from the Board of Trade.
The South American temperament is such that, if a brand can be advertised and popularized,
the people will not have any other, especially as they are very chary of all canned goods. This,
of course, is true of other countries, but in a much more emphatic degree does it apply down in
the South, for, on the average, the native is less educated, especially in the country towns, and
is quite capable of insisting that the can offered by his grocer is not salmon at all if it does not
happen to have the particular label he is accustomed to; and here it should be mentioned that
in every case where I suggested it might be advisable to have labels printed in Spanish the
dealers replied in the negative, saying that the natives have more faith in British goods and
are more satisfied if they see the label is in English.
While on the subject of native prejudices, I should say that I took up the question of selling
the cheap white salmon that British Columbia produces in such quantities, and pointed out that
the fish was good and as nutritious a food as the " red " or " pink," but without exception
buyers stated that their customers were used to the red or pink varieties, and if they were
offered "white" would not believe it was really salmon. Price would be no attraction,- as
salmon is looked upon much as a luxury, and the native does not purchase it unless he has a
little surplus cash. The conservatism of the up-country natives all over South America is a
potent factor to be considered when contemplating trade with those countries. In some countries
there they are a hundred years behind the times, and no amount of clever selling argument- will
shake them from their beliefs. It is cheaper, easier, and better to cater to their wants' as'they
exhibit them rather than attempt any modernization of their fixed ideas.
i Behind Buenos Aires and the coast towns there is a vast hinterland of prairie or " camp,"
as they call it, most of which is given over to the cultivation of cereals, cattle, etc., and here
there are a number of good towns that act as supply-stations for the large ranches around. In
this territory the demand for canned salmon is confined practically to " pinks " in the " tall "
size, though a small quantity of " chums " are taken. At Christmas and Easter the demand is
accentuated by the fact that the people are Catholic and big consumers of fish. They are too
far from the coast to get the fresh varieties and turn to the canned goods, hut here, too, the
principal sale is for the two English brands aforementioned.
A certain amount of business is being done through New York commission- houses, who in
their turn deal through their own branch offices in Buenos Aires, selling almost exclusively the
Puget Sound brands and those of the Alaska packers. There is no reason at all why British
Columbia packers should not obtain a foothold in this market if they will deal through reliable,
progressive brokers in Buenos Aires, but they will have - to give the same terms as theii-
compet-itors and not insist on payment in advance at British Columbia ports. For British Columbia. 10
The wholesale houses of Buenos Aires are very large and of A-l standing, and they are
willing to pay " cash on delivery " if necessary, but they insist on being quoted " laid-down "
prices and will not consider any such terms as cash with order. The large department stores
are also direct importers, and the biggest, being British, would be willing to give a British
Dominion's goods the preference where the price did not exceed that of U.S.A. offers.
Argentine has been importing for nearly a hundred years, her commercial houses have been
dealing satisfactorily and successfully with all the countries of Europe, and they feel that they
understand the business of importing from A to Z. They therefore cannot be expected to want,
to bicker over every petty condition that many shortsighted firms in North America desire to
impose. They take, and can afford to take, a very independent position, their trade being sought
for keenly by all the European countries as well as American, and if Canadians are anxious to
secure a share of their business they must go there and get it, give them the terms they are
accustomed to, and treat them with the courtesy and understanding that their temperament
demands.
I had the privilege of meeting Don Ricardo Pillado, Chief of the Argentine's Commercial
and Statistical Bureau, and explained to him the incongruity of the present method of their
Customs valuation of canned salmon.. On "pinks" it works out at 133 per cent., whereas on
"reds" it comes only to 57 per cent.; this is because a fixed value on salmon.is given in the
tariff irrespective of varieties, and I have laid the matter before him in an official letter from
which I hope some good will result. The tariffs on canned salmon all over South America are
very high, it being taken as an article of luxury, which is, of course, a mistaken view, and lately
the U.S.A. Government, on the petition of its canning interests, has instructed its Ministers in
South America to suggest to the various Governments the advisability of reducing the duty on
all canned goods. This may imply that the U.S.A. is seeking preferential treatment, and, if so,
our authorities should lose no time in protesting through the British Minister against any
discrimination which might affect adversely Canadian opportunities down there.
Of the U.S.A. brands of salmon sold in the Argentine, I noticed with the greatest frequency
a Seattle brand.
As regards pickled fish, there is a large Russian element there which consumes great
quantities of cod, herring, and such-like, but it is doubtful whether fish from British Columbia
would stand the long voyage. Pickled salmon does not seem to have ever been offered, and I
think there would be a market for it were British Columbia exporters satisfied that it could
stand the test of a long voyage through varying temperatures.
Lumber.—I am indebted to Mr. Murray Brown, lumber expert, of Buenos Aires, for a great
part of the following information, and as this gentleman recently visited Puget Sound ports he
is conversant with the possibilities to a greater extent than an inexperienced investigator might
be. The lumbers which can be brought advantageously from the Pacific Coast are Douglas fir,
red cedar, and spruce.
The Douglas fir (or, as it is called in Argentina, "Oregon pine") has been sent there in
large quantities in years past, and was used almost entirely for installations on board steamers
carrying cattle or horses to Europe. At the present moment (August. 1915) it would be very
desirable to have this lumber here if it could be brought economically, as on account of the
European war there is a very large export of horses to Europe, and owing to the impossibility
of obtaining this lumber the cattle and horse fittings are being made of wood from Brazil,
known as " Brazilian pine," being a dark, reddish lumber, resembling somewhat the American
Cottonwood.
The largest amount of business done in this country is in yellow pine, known here merely
as "pitch-pine" and coming entirely from the Gulf of Mexico. This comes in assorted sizes,
usually ranging from 1 x 3 to 6 x 6, but larger sizes come for bridge-work, etc. The importation of yellow pine from the Gulf to this country is the largest trade in lumber done from the
U.S.A., this market figuring as one of the largest, if not the largest, importer of same from that
country.
The trade seems to be largely handled through New York houses, and the principal importers
in Buenos Aires are: J. & J. Drysdale & Co.; Geo. Bell & Sons; J. F. Macadam & Co.; Hess,
Menzies & Co. These constitute the " first line " of the larger firms who only receive full cargoes
and resell in large lots, but there are a number of smaller firms who do some importation, but
buy smaller parcels. 20 Trade Openings in South America-
The cost of landing, port charges, discharge, and duties totals approximately $S.50 per 1,000
feet on fir, spruce,, or cedar, and I was informed that the landed cost of pitch-pine in Buenos
Aires last season '(spring, 1915) was approximately $51 per 1,000 feet.
In normal times the export to the River Plate (comprising Buenos Aires, Montevideo,
Rosario, etc.) has exceeded 300,000,000 feet per annum, but in 1914, the lowest year on record
for twenty years, the export was only 84,000,000.
In comparison of freight by sailer with those by steamer, it should be borne- in mind, and
is often omitted or not known by inexperienced people, that in the case of sailers the consignee
has to pay port charges, whereas in the case of steamers these charges are borne by the steamer.
These charges figure, out at about $1 per 1,000 feet. I do not consider there is very much chance
for spruce or white pine against the same wood that comes from Eastern Canada and U.S.A.,
although several parcels of very good white pine from Idaho and Oregon were exported in 1911
to 1913, but there is an undoubted opening for Douglas fir as soon as freight return to normal.
The large consumption for the "merchantable" or lower grade fir would be par excellence for
steamer fittings, but at present there will be no chance of ousting Brazilian pine on landed cost
while freights are at their present level. Mr. Murray Brown concludes by saying: " There are
a number of other fine lumbers from the Pacific Coast which might be sold here (Argentine),
cost permitting, but the only way to introduce them and get a share of the purchases on this
very important market is to come down here prepared to ' rough it' commercially for some time,
with a certain amount of capital and some consignments of the various lumbers to introduce
them-all round and get them properly known. Previous efforts have been doomed to failure on
account of improper management at this end. The visit of a traveller with a few sample's leads
to nothing at all."
In a personal interview with one lumber merchant the opinion was expressed that it would
be necessary to make some, sort of propaganda to. introduce Douglas fir. He said that the
lumbermen of Oregon had been trying to introduce their product into that market, but without
success so far.   He further-stated that Douglas fir would have to be cut for local'specifications.
One other importer mentioned that he had lost a large sum of money through bringing in
some Oregon pine, and thought that there was something in the climate in Argentina that caused
it to rot, and said that neither in quality nor price can it compare with the southern yellow-
pine, but other opinions disagreed on this point. AVestern hemlock, of which I exhibited samples
to the dealers, seemed to elicit very favourable comment, and one buyer said he would like to
purchase a few thousand feet in " merchantable " quality, in sizes 1x0 and 1 x 12, in order
to test the quality, 1 aid-down price, and local reception, and I would have arranged for this-had
the vessel for the potato order been chartered, but as that fell through I could do nothing
further.
The difficulties of this business are great, but not, I think, insurmountable, and the fine
exhibit which the Forestry Branch of the Lands Department of the Provincial Government at
Victoria are sending to the Canadian Trade Commissioner's office in Buenos Aires should be of
great assistance in attracting trade in Douglas fir.
One trouble seems to be the lamentable lack of freight facilities, for even when there is
tonnage on the Pacific the steamers are so large and there is not enough freight of variety to
make a whole cargo lot at one time. I am told, also, that sailers from the Pacific are larger
than those from the Atlantic, but it is to be hoped that the movement now on foot in British
Columbia to build suitable lumber-carriers will do away with that difficulty and make it at last
possible for us to secure our portion of the large lumber trade of the River Plate ports.
Box-shooks.—If British Columbia can compete in this article, there is a very considerable
trade in butter, fish, and fruit boxes, which hitherto has been catered for by the U.S.A. and
Sweden. The business is done, I. understand, by yearly contracts, and provides for regular shipments every two or three months, which, of course, would be a difficulty if we have no regular
sailings.
One of the largest importers of 'butter-boxes in Buenos Aires sent a representative to see
me,- inquiring if British Columbia could take care of such a business. He said that at a
conservative estimate half a million butter-boxes are imported annually, and provided me with'
a " knocked-down" sample showing exact specifications which I immediately mailed to the
Arancouver Board of Trade, -with the request that c.i.f. quotations he supplied the Canadian Trade
Commissioner as soon as possible. For British Columbia. 21
Surveyed as a whole, the Argentine market offers to certain British- Columbia commodities
.great opportunities for expansion, more especially in fruit and in canned salmon, and- it seems
to me that greater advantage should be taken by British Columbia interests of the well-equipped
office of the Canadian Trade Commissioner in Buenos Aires, who is there to further Canadian
trade from the Atlantic to the Pacific,- and who will do so if provided with the proper details
and adequate information. His business is trade-getting, and the present Acting-Commissioner
is an active, energetic official in whom intending exporters can place full confidence, and from
whom the fullest information can always be obtained.
The Trade Commissioner service costs Canada a .considerable sum, but it is well repaid if.
it is the means of procuring new markets, and I was told that scarcely, if ever, is an inquiry
received from British Columbian correspondents, which would seem to reflect poorly' on our
ambitions as exporters.
URUGUAY.
Area :   72.210  square  miles.    Population :   l.l-PT.oG.').     Coinage :   Gold   standard ;
- Sl=$1.03 U.S. gold.
Uruguay, the only other East Coast Republic, sandwiched in between Brazil and Argentina,
is one of the lesser known, yet one of the most stable of all the. South American countries. It
is also one of the easiest to deal with, in that practically all the foreign trade is conducted
through the one port of. Montevideo, and all steamers bound for Buenos Aires.make it a.port
of call.
Montevideo, the capital, situated at the mouth of the River Plate, about 136 miles south-
south-east of Buenos Aires, is a very fine city with a.population of some 370,000, and with
splendid docks and every modern facility for handling shipping. Extensive new warehouses
have been erected and a number of electrically operated cranes have been placed on the quays.
The most up-to-date methods for the quick handling of vessels are in vogue and the people are
businesslike and prosperous. The latest import figures show an annual total of .$49,440,000',
and the export trade of the country totals $63,544,000, so that the balance is on the right side,
and with a fixed monetary standard conditions are superior to those, where the value of the
dollar fluctuates.
Banking and, J?trto«ce.—Though overtaken by the same crisis that menaced all .the Southern
countries after August, 1914, conditions have been steadily getting back to. normal, and exporters
have nothing to fear so long as they deal with the first-class houses only. The National City
Bank recently opened a branch in Montevideo, but there are also a number of British banking
institutions through whom financial operations can be conducted if Canadian shippers prefer,
as they should do, to keep as much 'business as possible in the Empire. These banks are the
same as those named in the Brazil report and most of them have New York agents.
Shipping Facilities.—All lines from New York to Buenos Aires touch at Montevideo, as also
the Munson Line from Mobile.
Industries.—Mainly cattle-raising and meat exportation, although a certain amount of
cereals is grown. The large U.S.A. packers have plants there, and the towns of Paysandu and
Fray Bentos are world-famous for ox-tongue and similar products, such as Bovril, Oxo, etc. A
large exportation of wool is made from Uruguay also.
Imports.—My reports on Argentine possibilities apply similarly to Uruguay, though in a
lesser degree, as, of course, the country is much smaller. There is a good market for salmon,
lumber, paper, potatoes, and apples, which presents excellent openings for British Columbia
exporters. The smaller population, of course, would mean a much smaller import quantity
than the Argentine could take, but the market is well worth cultivating, and although it is a
separate and distinct Republic, Montevideo, the commercial centre, is only a night's journey by
river-boat from Buenos Aires, and the business can safely be left to a Buenos Aires agent.
I was able to spend but a very short space of time in Uruguay, and did not feel justified
in remaining longer, because the country is more or less a miniature Argentina, as far as British
Columbia's possibilities are concerned, and my detailed reports on that market apply equally to
this one. There are exceptionally good chances for potatoes, for the value of the annual import
of these amounts to $S50,000. 22 Trade Openings- in South America
Uruguay is a little larger than Holland, Denmark, Switzerland, and Greece, is excellently
governed, and very modern, progressive, and stable. Revolutions are things of the dim past,
unknown for many years, and altogether I can confidently recommend- its markets to British
Columbia exporters as worthy of their attention, as there should be no difficulty whatever in
establishing trade connections if prices and goods are right.
A British Chamber of Commerce has recently been organized in Montevideo, and any kind
of commercial information can be obtained from it by Canadian merchants, as also from the
Canadian Trade Commissioner in Buenos Aires.
PARAGUAY.
Area:   65,000 square miles.    Population:    1,000,000   (approximately).   "Currency : Paper peso=3 cents U.S.A. '
Paraguay is one of the only two inland Republics of South America, and is perhaps the
.most backward of them all, due mainly to the three following causes: .(1) Lack of seaport;
(2) scarcity of population; and (3) climatic conditions, heat; yet at the same time many of
the best authorities consider it one of the most promising of countries as far as future development goes. Years ago it was the main-Spanish settlement, and the Governor of Paraguay had
jurisdiction over all that territory now known as the Republics of Uruguay and Argentina.
Asuncion, the chief town and capital of the Republic, is situated some 1,000 miles' inland
from Buenos Aires, and is reached by through train, running over the system of the C.P.R.
(Central of Paraguay Railroad, a British-owned concern), and taking some fifty hours, or by
steamer up the River Parana, taking about four days. The city itself is situated right on the
River Paraguay (a continuation of the Parana), so that it is possible to import goods direct
'to the Republic, with transhipment at Montevideo or Buenos Aires. The river steamship service
of the Mihanovitch Line is an excellent one, and the writer made the return trip on one of them,
going in to Paraguay by rail, so as to see the interior of the.country and experience both modes
of transportation.
By train one passes through magnificently fertile country; indeed, Paraguay is often referred
to as the most fertile of all the River Plate territory, and it does not take a great deal of foresight to realize that with the influx of requisite capital and more adequate labour the country
could rival Argentina in productiveness. The question of labour is of paramount importance
to industrial and agricultural development. Born in tropical climes, the native is naturally
indolent, and.Nature seems to aid him in this, in that she provides him with all the food he
needs at a cost of little or no labour.
The average native builds himself a hut and cultivates around it a small patch of bananas
and manioc-root. These suffice him for nourishment and provide bis women-folk with something
to do, for when there is work to be done he sees to it that the female portion of his household
is kept busy., I was told that to see a Paraguayan male really working was a rare sight, and I
must confess that many such did not come under my notice. The great war with three of its
most powerful neighbours years ago left Paraguay almost devoid of male population, and the
effect of this is .still apparent. At the present time, however, marriage among the Paraguayan
' country-folk is seldom the fashion, but children are' superabundant, and this gives cause for hope
that the shortage of males will gradually be restored by Nature, and if they do not kill each other
off by revolution they may be persuaded to work and help huild up their country. It is a fact,
^however, that in every country in South America it is the foreign immigrant who has done most
in the development of the country.
The possibilities of Paraguay are very great. It possesses an abundance of quebracho,
for which there is an increasing demand in the markets of Europe and U.S.A., but the heavy
freight charged by the Mihanovitch Line militate against the export of anything to advantage.
Quebracho ' (hreak-axe), as the name implies, is an exceedingly hard wood which is used in
railway-construction in those parts, and is exported for the valuable extract that is obtained
from it and is used in the manufacture of leather. A lucrative market for this alone is enough
to bring prosperity to Paraguay. For British Columbia.. 23
Seventy per cent, of the world's output of petit-grain oil is also produced in Paraguay.
This is an essential oil which is extracted from the leaf of the sour orange.. In 1914 over
40,000 kilos of this were exported, and the supply would seem to be .almost inexhaustible, for
the sour orange is found growing wild in great abundance all over the country. There has also
been a steady trade in the export of tobacco and yerba matte, but in-cattle-raising lies the
greatest future of Paraguay, and one has only to see the example of Argentina and Uruguay
to realize what the prospects are in this direction. . .
A strong U.S.A. syndicate has obtained control of vast areas of land with this industry in
view, and another similar concern has been granted the concession to construct modern port
works at Asuncion, which will be of immense advantage to Paraguay when finished.
The chief export of Paraguay just now is oranges, which are very plentiful and remarkably
cheap. They are taken to Buenos Aires by boat and sold on that market by the cartload.
Nanduty is a very finely spun lace worked by the natives, which is greatly valued and finds its
chief market in Paris. There should be a good opening for this all over North America, as it
realizes big prices and can be bought very cheaply.
The .Teuton' element in Paraguay is very strong, and a large portion of the commercial
houses are of that nationality, but there are several strong English houses, in Asuncion and
their names can be obtained from the Vancouver Board of Trade. The only goods that British
Columbia could sell there would be salmon, canned milk, apples, and potatoes, and the turnover
would necessarily be small, so that it would scarcely be advisable to attempt, to deal direct, as
the large Buenos Aires firms send travellers to that territory and business could be done through
an Argentine agent.    Nevertheless, the market is worth while keeping in view. !
CHILE.
Area :   292,344 square miles.    Population :   3,500,000.    Coinage :   Paper currency.     Gold standard,  $1=0.365 American ; paper, $1=0.18.
Chile, the chief Republic of the West Coast and the third in importance in all South America,:
is one of the most progressive and virile countries in that hemisphere, and might be called the,
British Columbia of the South.
Its phenomenally long coast-line presents to the would-'be exporter the same difficulty as-
Brazil; there is no one business centre through which all business can he transacted, each part
has its own commercial axis, and in many instances one locality differs from those of another,
according to the climate, which varies from "the frozen temperature of the extreme South to the
torrid climes of the North.
In the extreme South the town of Punta Arenas, situated right in the Straits of Magellan,
is a very thriving one and a very wealthy centre. All round it are the great sheep-farms, which
are the main source of wealth there, and from its port some 10,000 tons of-wool are annually
exported. The weather is rigorous in these parts, but very healthy. Your Commissioner visited
Punta Arenas on his way round from the East Coast, and found the city very English in.
influence. It is not large, but it is the metropolis for the rich English and Scotch sheep-farmers,
who buy most of their supplies there, and its merchants are mostly responsible and stable. I
noticed a Seattle brand of salmon on sale in many of the stores and one or two San Francisco
marks, and there appears to be a good trade in that comestible, which is the only item that
British Columbia could supply to that part of the country, and it could best be done through a
.Valparaiso wholesaler.
Going farther up the coast, we come to the very fertile country where agriculture is the
chief occupation of the people. The influence there is very Teutonic; indeed, in the Province
of Valdivia German is spoken as the popular language, and it might be to all intents and
purposes a piece of the German Empire. In this territory large quantities of cereals, hay,
potatoes, and cattle are raised, and in ordinary times Chile is able to export wheat and flour
to neighbouring countries, as also fruit and vegetables. There are also large forests of timber
in these districts, the future development of which will mean much for the country.
A little farther north, but still in the Southern Provinces, there is a large and lucrative
production of fruit, which has given rise to several canneries and wine-bottling, in both of which
industries Chile excels and is able to export.    In the same district there is also a large production 24 Trade ■ Openings in South America
of honey, which is generally exported to Britain and Germany. At Coronel and Lota there are
deposits of coal, and the mining industry there enables the manufacture of pottery and glass and
is the rdison d'etre for the large smelting-works. Near by, at Penco, there is a big sugar-refinery
which does a considerable export trade, as'well as supplies the home market's requirements.
i Concepcion, the third largest city of Chile, is the Southern metropolis, and supplies are
stocked wholesale there for all the Southern Provinces. In this city there are a number of
first-class British houses, all of whom, though subordinate to their Valparaiso offices, do their
own buying and import direct, so that travellers should not omit that city from their itinerary.
; From Concepcion to Santiago, the capital of the Republic; is a comfortable train journey
of some twelve hours or more, and there again we find a separate and distinct business centre-
with a considerable French element. The city is magnificent and up-to-date in every way and
is.connected with Valpariso by railroad, the trip taking about four hours.
I 'Valparaiso, the most important city of Chile and the second in importance'oh the whole
Pacific Coast, ranking next to San Francisco, had a severe set-back from the earthquake of
1906, but on this occasion, my second visit to Chile, I found the city largely rebuilt and in a
very'flourishing condition. It-is here that the large foreign mercantile houses have their chief'
offices and where the bulk of Chile's trade is transacted. Many fine buildings have been erected
since 1906, and in order to provide adequate facilities for the enormous tonnage that annually
makes use of this port, the' Government has issued a contract to a large English engineering
firm to undertake extensive port works which will cost in the neighbourhood of £3,000,000
sterling, and when finished .will make the Port of Valparaiso one' of the 'best in the world.
These were well under way oh the occasion of my visit, and when completed will he another
triumph for British engineering.
As the terminus of the Trans-Andine Railroad from Argentina of the vessels from North
America and Europe, via Panama and via Magellan Straits, and of the Asiatic lines, A^alparaiso
is a very busy port, growing in size and importance every year. Noticeable to your Commissioner
was the very marked progress of U.S.A. trade in Chile; a few years ago it was infinitesimal,
to-day it is a big factor in that market, and the National City Bank are now considering the
'establishment of a' branch there to take care of North American business. In the few lines in
jwhich British Columbia can compete there is a good trade to be developed, and if transactions'
are 'confined to the well-established British firms there is little risk, and credit may safely be
'given if demanded.
To the north of Valparaiso there are a number of smaller ports, practically open roadsteads,
outlets for mining products such as copper, gold, silver, iron, borax, cobalt, and sulphur. The
Port of Cbquimbo has grown greatly in importance since my last visit, seven years ago, and is
now connected by rail with Aralparaiso. Through it, in addition to the metals indicated already,
large quantities of raisins and figs are annually exported to Europe and U.S.A. One night's
; travel from here by boat brings one to the very important town of Antofagasta. This port is'
in itself a large business centre, and the commercial houses there, though in many instances, but
branches of A'alparaiso concerns, do their own buying and import direct. As starting-point for
the railroad into Bolivia and the virtual port of that Republic, it does a vast trade in handling
: the exports and imports of that inland country, and as the port for the rich interior nitrate-fields'
it Is of immense importance.
Large shipments  of lumber are landed there for  use on the nitrate estates,  both  from
Southern Chile and from the U.S.A., and the import of all classes of foodstuffs, live cattle, and
fresh vegetables is very great, for north of Coquimbo the whole of Chile consists of arid-desert
wastes, containing vast nitrate-deposits, but agriculturally unproductive, where'never a blade of
grass or verdure is to be seen, except in the extreme north on the borders of Peru.    At Anto-
ifagasta port facilities have been very poor hitherto, but the Government has recently voted
)f 1,750,000 sterling for substantial port works to remedy this.    In the hinterland .of this .city
1 there are large deposits of minerals, and the railroad to Bolivia serves many rich mines, bringing ■
i'to Antofagasta. copper, silver, iodine, gold, bismuth, tin, lead, and marble.    During 1913 6S,000
I tons of minerals from the neighbouring Republic of Bolivia were shipped from this port, and it
! is little wonder that Bolivians still entertain the ambition of recapturing this valuable coast city,
which formerly belonged to them and was sequestered by Chile when that country victoriously
warred against them. ..'...- For British Columbia. 25-
To the north of Antofagasta, a day's journey by boat, flourishes the important city of
Iquique, the fourth city of Chile, owing its success mainly to the rich nitrate-deposits of its
hinterland, which are exported from Iquique, through which city also the supplies for the same
industry are imported. This valuable territory, along with the Provinces of Arica and Tacna.
was taken by Chile when she emerged victorious from her war with Peru, and Arica and Tacna
are to- the Peruvians what Alsace-Lorraine were to the French. Arica, the most northerly port
of Chile, lias a beautiful fertile country behind it, and has come into importance latterly by
reason of its being the coast terminus of the new British-built railroad to La Paz, Bolivia,,
which is now the shortest route into Bolivia.
After the outbreak of war in August, 1914, Chile suffered severe depression, its exchange
dropping to unprecedently low levels, but the increasing demand for nitrate and copper by the-
belligerent powers has caused something of a small boom and a return to former prosperity.
Revolutions have not taken place for over thirty years and the Government is stable. It is-
doing many tilings for the development of the country, such as the exploitation of the Southern
timber resources, formation of a pulp industry, creation of a special Fisheries Department and.
a Department of Viticulture. To quote from a local report, " The possible market for Chilian
wines is a very large one, as it comprises both coasts of North America, for no other part of
the world furnishes better wines. They have been appreciated and approved in Britain and.
Germany, and there should be great openings for export to Canada and Alaska."
The fishing industry is growing in importance under Government development, and rivers
have 'been stocked with salmon and trout with considerable success. . Lobsters are plentiful and.
are being canned for export.    Ostrich-farming in the South is also developing successfully.
Copper-mining is undergoing very rapid development, its two chief undertakings being the
Braden Copper Company and the Chile Copper Company, both controlled by New York interests..
The United States Steel Corporation has also a very large trade in Chile.
The latest statistics show an import total of £24,713,835 sterling with Great Britain, the-
largest customer, and an export figure of £29,723,2S3, a very satisfactory balance of trade.
Banking Facilities.—The large British institutions flourish here, and branches of the Anglo-
South American Bank, London & River Plate Bank, and Bank of British South America are-
the best mediums for trade transactions with British Dominions at present.
• Shipping Facilities.—From British Columbia the only present line of vessels operating to-
the AA'est Coast is the Grace Company, which before the present war had a keen competitor in
the Kosmos Line, a German concern. From Panama there are several steamship lines touching-
at AVest Coast points; and if a small fleet of steamers were operated between British Columbia,
ports and Panama, .goods could be transhipped at the latter place, and I am of opinion that
there is an excellent opening for such a service.
Nitrate Industry.—This is the most important factor in Chilian trade, and there is a world,
demand for this product. An extensive propaganda is maintained all over the globe' by the-
Chilian Government, and local delegations are formed in foreign countries to whom funds are
allotted to further the work. So far there are delegations in France, Germany, Holland, Spain,
Italy, U.S.A., Hawaii, Japan, Egypt, Cuba, Australasia, India, South Africa, and Great Britain,,
and it is regrettable that we have none in Canada, as a successful importation -of nitrate would,
be sufficient to encourage a regular line of steamers. Apparently Canada imports a considerable-
quantity of nitrate from Chile through U.S.A. dealers, just as she does with many other foreign
goods, and it is high time Canada made an effort to shake off the U.S.A. incubus and dealt
independently, for until this is done separate recognition by the South American countries cannot
be expected.    The co-operation of buyers and sellers would greatly assist this.
Possibilities of Export from British Columbia to Chile—Lumber.—Despite the large forests-
of oak, laurel, poplar, and ash in the south of Chile, there is a steady demand in Valparaiso,,
and more especially up North in the nitrate-fields, for Oregon pine (Douglas fir), all of which
is being brought from the AArestern'Pacific States by AA7. E. Grace & Co. and other large houses.
In. an interview with one of the best lumber-dealers in Ara!paraiso, I was told that they had
twice imported British Columbia lumber, but sizes were badly cut and dimensions not precise.
As Britishers they would prefer to purchase British Columbia wood, provided prices and terms-
were equal :to U.S.A. quotations, and they were impressed by the samples of western hemlock
I S'liowed.theni.. They stated that for smaller cuts, such as 1 x 6, 1 x 12, 2 x 6, 2 x 12, etc., it
would clQ-'admirably; and they expressed a desire to see-further samples in the "merchantable"' 26 Trade Openings in South America
■quality and to obtain c.i.f. quotations from British Columbia lumber exporters, but unfortunately,
before this can be done, the question of transportation will have to he solved. I am told that
one of British Columbia's biggest mills was recently offered a big contract for lumber to Chile,
but could not accept as no bottoms were available.
Salmon,—In this article I received great encouragement, and there is undoubtedly a big
market awaiting the British- Columbia canneries if they will compete in price and terms with
their progressive brethren of Puget Sound. The Alaska packers seem to enjoy the greatest
-demand, but there are Seattle, San Francisco, and Oakland brands noticeable in the stores
everywhere in Chile.
i ■ The pink salmon is in chief demand, and both in the south, centre, and north of Chile large
stocks are usually held. Up to the present all the trade seems to have been done through San
Francisco houses, excepting, of course, the ubiquitous Morton and Crosse & Black-well brands from
England, and on discussing the matter with the 'big local English and Italian importing houses
I found them very willing to give British Columbia an opportunity of quoting if delivery could
be assured. Most of the English firms have American agents in San Francisco who buy for
them, and who, they state, are able to buy in the cheapest market. Frisco people have the
advantage in freights, and I do not see how, unless British Columbia can have some direct
•steamship connection of its own and a reliable export house which will specialize in South
American trade and be equipped to quote c.i.f. and give credit, we can hope to secure our rightful
share of the trade. The usual terms of credit there are ninety days draft, and all the English
:and Italian houses are A-l. Chile can take from 40 to 50,000 cases of salmon per annum, and
is a market worth cultivating in this particular product, for it can safely be shipped along with
lumber and could thus enjoy the cheaper sailer freights. The demand has fallen off since the
war and importers are buying in smaller quantities. I reached Aralparaiso at the time they were
figuring on the purchase of their annual supply, and they were then in receipt of San Francisco
■quotations. I persuaded all of them to hold over until I obtained a c.i.f. figure from British
Columbia, but my cable to Vancouver only elicited the fact that our dealers were unable to do
anything at the present time.
Canned Milk.—There is a local factory for the sweetened condensed milk and small demand
for the evaporated unsweetened kind, although a certain quantity of the latter is consumed on
the nitrate-fields, where fresh milk is impossible to obtain. The English boat I travelled on
had a Seattle brand of evaporated milk on the table, and as the steamship line in question is
a very big one and operated many boats, they are no doubt good customers. Here is an opportunity for British Columbia milk. British steamship companies will favour British brands,
and it only needs a suitable local agent to introduce the goods to their notice to ensure a share
of their supplies, but for that purpose local stocks would have to be held.
'. I travelled up with -the salesman of the Chilian brand, and he informed me that so far it
had not been greatly successful, many hundreds of cases having had to be thrown away; but
he said that it was so difficult to get supplies from Europe just now that the home-made product
was being stocked very largely, even though it was not of the best quality. He opined that
there would be a splendid market for a good sweetened milk from British Columbia if a reliable,
energetic agent could be secured who would actively push the brand and had a local stock to
work from.    Northern Chile offers an exceptional opportunity for this article.
Coal.—Chile is a big coal-producing country with a large output, and yet there is an
extensive importation of this from U.S.A. and from Australia, as the native quality does not
appear to be a good gas-producing coal. Several interested parties approached me asking for
particulars of the British Columbia coal, and whether it is good gas-producing, as the gas
■companies are heavy consumers of that variety. The nitrate officinas, too, consume large
quantities of a smokeless coal, now imported from Pocahontas and New River (U.S.A.) fields,
which they claim is equal to Cardiff standards.
There is also a market for anthracite coal, and the leading broker, Mr. W. Ashcroft, casilla
137, Valparaiso, is very anxious to get in touch with British Columbia dealers, as if we can get
a foothold there the success of a small line of steamers carrying coal from British Columbia to
Chile and nitrate on the return journey would be assured.
Apples and Potatoes.—Southern Chile grows these two products prolifically and it is therefore difficult to compete. A small quantity of apples could be sold there in October and November,
but the demand is not big.    At the time of my visit there was an opportunity to dispose of a For British Columbia. 27
quantity of potatoes, but as a rule the native crop is sufficient, and there is a-duty of $11.50
(American) per ton against us.
While on the subject of fruit, I might say that from the Chilian ports of Huasco and Elgin
there is an extensive export of raisins, dried apricots, and figs, and I am investigating this to
see whether British Columbia could profitably import them, as also the white bean, which grows
so prolifically in Chile. The canned fruit there is also very excellent, and several shipments
were recently exported to the U.S'.A. with success.
Flour.—Occasionally small parcels are imported from California, but, generally speaking,
the native mills are able to supply the demand and even to export to neighbouring countries.
Paper.—I was asked 'by several of the large importers of newspaper in Aralparaiso if British
Columbia could offer a good material at competitive prices, and I informed them that the Province
had several paper-mills whose names I furnished them with, and provided they could compete
with the Scandinavian article there should be a considerable trade.
Summing up the situation in Chile, I see no reason why British Columbia's trade there
should not he quite extensive, though it would, of course, take time to develop. If we could be
assured of an outward cargo of coal or lumber and a return freight of nitrate, the development
in other products would he easy, once the tonnage were assured, and it seems very regrettable
that there is no Canadian Trade Commissioner on the AArest Coast, as it is impossible to expect
that the official in Buenos Aires can handle the whole continent. The AVest Coast offers a logical
export market for British Columbia, and if no Federal Commissioner is to be appointed, it would
he to the lasting benefit of British Columbia to send its own Permanent Resident Trade
Commissioner.
PERU.
Area :   450,000 square miles.    Population :   About 4,000,000.    Coinage :   Gold
standard ; £1 Peruvian=£l sterling.
This Republic, the second of importance on the AVest Coast, has a long coast-line of 1,400
miles and lies entirely within the tropics, but owing to certain topographical conditions its climate
Is not typically tropical; in fact, its littoral, instead of being covered with tropical vegetation,
is almost without plant-life. The high peaks of the Andes negative the effects of the warm
latitude, and so, in considering Peru's importing capacity, these climatic conditions must be borne
in mind.
A period of considerable political unrest has at last given occasion for the almost unanimous
call of Senor Jose Pardo to the Presidency. This gentleman, who served in a similar capacity
nine years ago, has had a great deal of European experience, and, besides being of a very wealthy
and aristocratic family, is the head of a large commercial enterprise, so that for once Peru has
a man of business at its helm, and one who is too rich to be suspected of pecuniary trickery, so
that the prospects for a regime of prosperity are really justified.
I was accorded the honour of an interview with His Excellency, and ascertained from him
bis keen desire to develop Peru's foreign commerce, which he hoped would find a market in
Canada and lead to an interchange of commodities. He gave an attentive hearing to my proposals for a British Columbia-Peruvian line of steamers, and the fact that he, the President, is
personally interesting himself in it has given a decided impetus to the proposition among officials
there.    He is a man of energy, business capacity, and efficiency, and absolutely incorruptible.
Export Opening from British Columbia to Peru.—Coal and coke, lumber, canned salmon,
newspaper, condensed milk, apples, potatoes, and box-shooks.
Import Openings from Peru to British Columbia,—Sugar, coffee, salt, cotton, wool, and beans.
Steamship Connections.—The Peruvian Steamship & Dock Company have a fleet of oil-
burning vessels of about 3,000 tons carrying capacity, in which the Government itself has a
predominant interest. For this reason I decided to make the idea of getting one or two of
their boats put on the British Columbia run, the main issue of my visit. At the present moment,
.of course, the boats are earning large sums carrying sugar, cotton, and metal, but after the war
they will all be available again for their usual run from Atilparaiso to Panama, and will have
to face severe competition from the Chilian, English, and German lines. This future situation
I have laid before their directors in an official letter, and informed them that if they would Trade Openings in South America
consider devoting some of their vessels to a regular service between AA'est Coast ports and.
British Columbia they would find less competition and a lucrative opportunity. They have been
sending two of their boats to Baltimore for coal and coke, and in a prompt reply they made to
me it would appear that they are seriously considering my proposals, the more so as I was able-
to take them a personal message from the President.
The large sugar-refinery in A'ancouver is a heavy purchaser of raw sugar from Peru, and.
their business alone would be sufficient to fill a vessel on the outward course if it could be-
secured by low freights. In order to market their products, the Peruvian Government (through,
their steamship company) could be induced to make specially low freights, so that the British.
Columbia refinery would find it profitable to bring their material on those boats and the success-
of the line would be assured. The regular advent of these boats to British Columbia ports,
'apart from the money which would be spent in the ports, would give our exporters a unique-
chance of securing the Southern markets, and would afford them a preference over Puget Sound
competitors who now obtain most of the trade. I am of opinion, therefore, that the responsible-
authorities in this Province should take up the matter further, because the South American
AVest Coast ports are a logical market for British Columbia, and a footing is only to be obtained,
when transportation is forthcoming.
In addition to sugar, the vessels could bring salt, for Peru has enormous deposits of this;
also coffee, a very fine variety of which is grown in Peru; Lima beans, honey, cotton, wool, and.
nitrate from Chile. Freight would not be lacking from Peru to British Columbia, and it would.
be up'to our merchants that the same might apply on the homeward run.
Lumber.—Peru has many varieties of timber and a great abundance of it, but all situated,
in the interior, where there is as yet no railroad communication. She therefore imports a considerable quantity, mainly of Oregon pine, which is used by the large mining and oil-developing-
companies there. The importation of this in 1914 amounted to nearly $2,000,000, all of which,
went to California or Puget Sound mills. It is true that the large dealers who control the charter
market or have their own vessels have advantages over British Columbia, but the fact remains
that in Peru there is a $2,000,000 market for Douglas fir, and the problem of how to obtain our
share of it rests with British Columbia enterprise.
The Slade Lumber Mills of California have a good reputation in Lima and own their own
vessels. While I was in that city they were then negotiating to send their boat, which had
brought down lumber, back with sugar to A'ancouver. Thus are we playing into their hands, and.
it is regrettable that some sort of co-operation between our mills and the refinery could not
secure that trade for us. In the refinery's importation of sugar we have an asset that should
be used in some way or other to enable us to do- a reciprocal trade with the countries from,
which the sugar comes. ■:■''■'
I had an interview with the Canadian manager of Backus & Johnson, a big firm of mine-
owners, and was informed that they import about-100.000-feet of Oregon pine every month. As
a Canadian, he expressed the desire to place that business in the way of British Columbia mills-
if they could offer competitive facilities, and I trust that with the formation of a British.
Columbia merchant marine our mills will be in a position to meet competition from the U.S.A.
The Cerro de Pasco Mining Company is a still larger concern, owning a concession situated
some 1.2,000 feet above sea-level and reached by the highest railway in the world. It has an
enormous output of copper and employs a number of Americans and Canadians, among the latter
of-whom is a brother of Admiral Kingsmill. This firm purchases very large quantities of lumber
and comestibles, and as the manager is a Britisher there is a distinct chance of British Columbia-
products getting an opening there if they be properly introduced.
There are, too, a number of large oil companies who are in the market for fir, among them
being the Lobitos Company, which is already sending crude oil to A'ancouver and taking back
small parcels of lumber. These companies also use box-shooks, and an order for $100,000 of
these was recently offered in British Columbia, but without success, for lack' of shipping. The
Lima Lumber Mills stated that they had bought parcels from British Columbia on former-
occasions and were satisfied, and there is indeed-a definite market for our timber once the
transportation problem is solved. I have left with, the Boards of Trade a list of the best firms-
in Peru to whom I would recommend as agents any exporter in British Columbia. They are-
all British houses of the highest repute and of the greatest influence in that country. I have:
also deposited with the said Boards lists of interested buyers of box-shooks. For British Columbia. 29
Coal.—The whole of South America is lamentably short of known coal-deposits, and hitherto
it has been a magnificent market for the English product. Since the war, however, these countries
have had to look elsewhere for their supplies, and, apart from some trade with Australia, the
U.S.A. coalfields are enjoying the benefit, the Pocahontas product being in evidence everywhere.
I was informed that some years ago the Dunsmuir Collieries sent a representative down to investigate the opportunities, but it does not appear that any definite business resulted. There is an
ever-increasing demand for coal for manufacturing industries, for gas companies, for domestic
use, and for the shipping trade. The imports of coal into Peru run into a very high figure, and
it seems to me that British Columbia has a decided advantage in being on the. same coast,
having no canal dues to pay and being the nearest depot. Coke is in big demand, too, and many
people have asked why British Columbia has not gone into that industry more extensively.
Canned, Salmon,—The market for this is limited, and the total annual consumption is about
6,000 cases, mostly of " pinks." All this is purchased through San Francisco, though several of
the big British houses evinced the desire to trade within the Empire where possible, and give
their business to British Columbia if the packers would make a bid for the trade. I was informed
that the price c.i.f. West Coast ports was quoted from Frisco at $3.75 per case, hills ninety days
on New York. I submitted labels from all the leading canners of British Columbia, but could
effect no business without prices, and although I cabled for quotations, none were forthcoming.
The American house of AV. R. Grace & Co. do the bulk of the trade in this article on the West
Coast, but I -have handed to the Boards of Trade a list of names of the best British firms who
would be willing to handle British Columbia brands.
Flour.—In Peru and in Chile there are mills controlled by a-large British firm, but
apparently their output is not sufficient for the demand, and a considerable quantity of both
Hour and wheat is imported; indeed, a cargo of the latter was recently shipped there by a
Vancouver house. I was informed that the Centennial Mills of Washington were doing a big
business in Peru, and that the Californian mills were also getting trade. Here is an opening
for British Columbia.
Lard.—The big Chicago packers' products are in evidence all over South America, and a
great trade in lard and in canned butter is being built up. I do not know whether P. Burns & Co.
could compete in this, but I am of opinion that the opportunity is worth their consideration.
Canned Milk,—The biggest demand is for the sweetened variety, and, in this, Nestles seem
to have the most business and carry a large stock in Lima itself, but in the evaporated article
Bordens predominate, and their " St. Charles " and " Peerless " brands are extensively advertised
there. Both are formidable opponents and both big advertisers, but I was approached by several
firms desirous of obtaining a good brand from British Columbia, and was informed that, provided
we can offer a good sweetened milk at'the right price, there is a big market, for the consumption
of this article is always increasing. In the evaporated milk the market is smaller, but the
Seattle " Carnation " brand has been able to gain a footing, and we could obtain our share of
the market if we went after it. British. Columbia has two good brands of this milk and the
AVest Coast offers them a fine new field for enterprise. The laid-down price of competing brands
seems to be $4 per case, 16-oz. size. Lately a trial shipment of natural milk in cans has been
made from British Columbia to Peru, and it is hoped that it will be the forerunner of a
considerable trade in this and will furnish an opening for other British Columbia marks.
One dealer informed me that the turnover in this article approximates 100,000 cases in Chile
and about half that amount in Peru. Cans should have a bright attractive label depicting
something that the natives can easily remember, as they are extremely conservative, and if
a particular mark took their fancy it would soon be in big demand. On showing samples of
the British Columbia milk several firms thought it not so thick and rich as the " St. Charles,"
but this may be only a matter of opinion; at any rate, the latter brand is the standard and
other milks are judged by that.
Apples and Potatoes.—There is a distinct though limited market for apples, but I believe
the demand would increase if supplies were regular. A few trial shipments that were made
from California were successful, but cold-storage facilities, or rather the lack of them, form
the obstacle, as local stock could not be held in storage for any time. I am told that all through
Central America, as well as on the AVest Coast, apples are becoming increasingly popular to
the natives, who enjoy the contrast from their own tropical fruits, but the cold-storage problem
is the first that must be solved, as also the question of refrigerator-space on the carrying vessels. Trade Openings in South America
Potatoes were first discovered in Peru and a quantity are still grown there. The sweet
potato is very fine, and the country produces a bright-yellow variety.which is excellent food and
in popular demand. At the same time, in Northern Chile and along the desert-like coast of Peru,
British Columbia should be able to develop a considerable market.
Banking, Finance, and Credits.—Owing to unsettled Government and the war in Europe,
Peru has been -in a very critical condition, and indeed the situation at present gives cause for
anxiety. It has been stated that a number of the banks themselves were decidedly shaky, but
theBanco del Peru y Londres, controlled by British interests in London, is absolutely sound and
business may. safely be conducted through it.
The enormous purchases of sugar and cotton by the Allied Governments and the high price
of Peru's copper are, however,, making a great difference to the country, and the new export tax
on metals will go further in assisting conditions to right themselves, for the export of copper,
etc., is very large indeed. Given a continuance of these conditions, I see'no reason for entertaining anything but unbounded optimism in Peru's future and her financial status. '
Business houses in Peru, as a general rule, expect a certain amount of credit, and where
dealings are confined to the large British concerns or to other large importers of good standing,
it would be perfectly safe to meet their terms. Many of them, having London offices, pay in
bills on London, and where credit is given by our competitors we will have to accord similar
privileges if we desire to get the trade.
■ Ports and Cities.—The ancient city of Lima is the-capital of Peru and the chief business
centre, and it is served by the famous port of Callao, some' seven miles distant and connected by
electric car. That port is the second of importance on the West Coast of South America, possessing good wharves and a European-built floating dock. Most of the other Peruvian ports are
open roadsteads and often difficult of access owing to surf.
In the South, Mollendo is the port through which merchandise is shipped to Bolivia, and it
is connected by tram with Arequipa, the second town of Peru, where a big trade is done in
vicuna, llama, and alpaca skins and wool. All these inland towns still show signs of the
wonderful Inca -civilization of past ages, and in Lima the famous Cathedral and President's
Palace are relics of the first invasion of the Spaniards. Both buildings were erected by Pizarro,
the famous Spanish conqueror, and both are in use to-day, thus blending in the busy city of
Lima the ancient and modern.
In the North, Paita is the best port, and through it large quantities of sugar, cotton, and •
the so-called Panama hats are exported.    These are all served by the Royal Mail, Chilian, and
Peruvian Steamship Lines running to Panama, so that unless the Grace .boats be utilized (space
permitting) merchandise from Peru to British Columbia, failing direct communication, must be
transhipped at Panama.
The people of Peru, while claiming to be of purer Spanish stock and of more aristocratic
breed, are less virile than the Argentinian or Chilian, though perhaps climate plays a part in
that. It is noteworthy, however, that the majority of the developments of the country have been
. carried out by foreigners, and U.S.A. representatives are making almost superhuman efforts to
capture Peru's trade; indeed, they claim that in 1914 they actually forged ahead of Great
Britain and assumed the leading position among the world's exports to Pern.
As Consul for Peru in Canada, I was accorded every possible assistance and had audience
with most of the Cabinet Ministers, and permanent officials, and was assured that the whole
country's sentiments favour the British. I showed them that Canada could really become a
better customer to them than the U.S.A. in all the products they desired to sell abroad, and the
President expressed regret that Canada had no permanent Commissioner on the AA7est Coast,
through whom a definite, regular commercial intercourse could be built up and maintained. Of
the $33,000,000 of foreign trade with .Chile and Peru, neither British Columbia nor the whole
of Canada are obtaining $1 worth.    Such facts speak for themselves. For British Columbia. 31
ECUADOR.
Area: 110,000 square miles. Population: 1,500,000 (approximately). Coinage: Sucre=$0.4S7 American; paper and ' silver currency. Capital: Quito
(population, S0,000).    Chief City and Port:   Guayaquil  (population, 60,000).
About the least known of all the South American Republics, yet one of the most fertile and
flourishing countries, Ecuador furnished your Commissioner considerable surprise on his recent
visit. Guayaquil, the chief port and main commercial centre, has been advertised as a good
place to keep away from, owing to plague and yellow fever, but I decided to take the risk and
found a comparatively healthy town and a very busy one. There have been no cases of fever
for many months, and now that an English firm has obtained the contract for sanitation and
port works, the city will be as salubrious as Panama.
I found a very favourable condition of commerce there, even better than in Peru. There
were better stores, more business, and more prosperity, but the U.S.A. have the bulk of Ecuador's
trade and British goods are not much in evidence; indeed, there seemed to be only one British
commercial house in Guayaquil, but plenty of German firms. (
The report for 1915 of the Ecuadorean Minister of Finance says: " Trade in general has
so far maintained a fairly normal course; at any rate, there has not been the commercial crisis
that was feared. On the other hand, the situation of the State banks has grown more serious
day by day with the diminution of receipts and the increased demand upon their resources, until
a crisis has been reached. At the beginning of August, 1914, when the European war broke
out, there was fortunately a large quantity of imported merchandise in the warehouses of the
principal firms. Consequently the impossibility of obtaining new supplies was compensated for
by the provisions previously made, and these stocks, together with the small amount which has
been imported since the war, have been sufficient for the wants of the country. Again, agricultural conditions were exceptionally favourable, and although in the first months of the war
there were difficulties in connection with the export of produce, these are gradually- disappearing
in consequence of the needs of tbe belligerent nations. The rich cocoa harvest of last year
therefore found a good and ready outlet; it was sold at high prices and in large quantities."
One-third of the world's present supply of cocoa is derived from the regions of Ecuador,
the exportation, according to official figures, totalling some $8,000,000 annually. At the present
moment the record supply marketed at record prices is bringing the much-needed era of prosperity, and accounts largely for the healthy state of trade in Guayaquil, for that is the only
commercial city of Ecuador worth taking into account, if one excepts the city of Quito, the
capital, situated on the Equator many miles inland, which can be scarcely considered as a
commercial centre, being only the seat of Government.
The country, however, would be in still better condition were it possible to put down the
interminable revolts that have been taking place for several years without cessation. They
have meant the ruin of several of the best industries of the North, especially, the tagua-nut
trade, which formerly was Ecuador's most lucrative asset. It appears, however, that each
military expedition that is sent is so much addicted to graft that they seem to come to some
understanding with the rebels, and the civil war is never terminated.
Ecuador, as the name implies, is on the Equator and is a tropical country. Every form
of tropical wealth abounds, and only foreign initiative and capital are needed to develop the
wonderful resources of the country. Already cocoa and coffee are largely exported, a small trial
shipment of the former having been sent to A'ancouver recently for the first time, and the
famous tagua or ivory nut is bought in large quantities by New York, Liverpool, and Hamburg
and used in the manufacture of buttons and imitation ivory articles. Whether an industry of
that typo could flourish in British Columbia is worth consideration, for here, close at hand,
comparatively, there is a superabundant supply of the nuts at low prices.
Considerable quantities of pineapples, oranges, bananas, and cocoanuts are exported to Peru
and Chile, and to all parts of the world are sent the so-called Panama hats which are made
par excellence .in Ecuador, the home of the industry. One other important item of export is
the cinchona product, known under the modern name of quinine. The exports from Ecuador- in
1913 amounted to $15,7S9,307 and the imports $S,S36,6S9.
Guayaquil,—The chief port and commercial outlet for the Republic is situated some distance
up the Guayas River and is accessible to ocean steamers. There is also considerable river
shipping, and five-sixths of Ecuador's total exports and imports pass through Guayaquil. Trade Openings in South' America
Up to 1913, by reason of her trade in dry-goods, Britain led the world in trade with Ecuador,
but gradually the U.S.A. has forged ahead, assisted by an energetic Consul-General and American
business houses, and it is only in the latter part of 19.15 that Great Britain has at last seen fit
to appoint a paid Consul in an endeavour to get back some of her lost trade. The sniallness of
the British colony and the lamentably decreasing trade with Britain, due partly to there being
no established British firms there, are matters of the deepest regret, and Canadian manufacturers, more especially those in Eastern Canada, have a splendid opportunity in this little-known
country. The new British Consul, Mr. H. D. AVilson, is most anxious to assist Canadian trade
with Ecuador, and any Inquiries directed to him at Guayaquil will receive immediate attention.
I left Ecuador greatly impressed with its prospects and the chances for Canadian goods.
Banking and Finance.—The banking system is far from satisfactory. Some of the banks
are reported to have issued notes far in excess of their gold reserves, and most of these notes
have only local value. The notes of Quito banks are not negotiable in Guayaquil, and' vice
versa; moreover, in Guayaquil itself the two native banks are at war with each other and
will not accept the other's notes or cheques. British Columbia exporters, however, can avoid
all these difficulties by dealing through the Commercial Bank of Spanish-America, a reliable
British institution with a London head office. This bank maintains good sample-rooms and
does business, through its manager, Mr. L. Dillon, as commission agents for British houses.
A great deal of the trade from the United Kingdom is transacted through this medium and I
can confidently recommend it to Canadian exporters.
Some American trading concerns in New York and San Francisco make purchases of
Ecuador's natural products, and in payment send down manufactured articles. There is room
for such a concern in British Columbia, and I have always strongly advocated the formation of
such, for the development of a reciprocal trade through one institution has distinct advantages
in the saving of banking charges and the procuring of lower freights. It would enable importers
to procure their requirements right in British Columbia without having to go to New York and
pay extra brokerages and freights, and would assist in the shipping of British Columbia goods
through British Columbia ports in British Columbia ships.
British Columbia's Opportunities.—In 1912 (latest figures obtainable) Ecuador imported:
Canned salmon (pink and chums), $11,000; flour, $350,000; candles, $150,000; lard, $25,000;
washing-soap, $150,000; coal, $10,000; so that there is a good market for salmon and a great
opportunity for flour. Practically no lumber is imported owing to the abundant variety of native
timber. No market for potatoes, but a limited demand for fresh apples and canned milk. I have
no hesitation in saying that there is a very lucrative and varied market for goods that Eastern
Canada could supply, but for British Columbia products it is limited.
The canned-salmon trade is controlled by San Francisco, but the flour business is a very
competitive one and is imported from New York and the Western States also. For some time.
the " Medallion " brand of the AVestern Canada Flour Mills was sold there, but their agents were
seduced by a Kansas milling company, and I noticed many advertisements of the "Crescent"
brand, as also of the marks of the Sperry Mills of California and Novelty Mills of Seattle. The
latter cabled a quotation for their " Seal of AVashington " brand of $6.05 per barrel c.i.f. Guayaquil, while I was there (October, 1915), and at the same time New York quoted $3.30 per bag
of 96 lb. net c.i.f. Guayaquil. This should give some indication to British Columbia mills as to.
how the market stands. There are several large' first-class trading firms in Guayaquil, whose
names I have given in my private report to the Boards of Trade, with all of whom it.would be
perfectly safe to conduct any transactions.
In view of the present shortage of dyes, mention should be made here of the " orchilla,"
commonly known as " dyers' moss," which grows prolifically on the Galapagos Islands, which
■belong to Ecuador. This moss is the base of certain dyes and supplies of it can easily be
obtained from Guayaquil merchants. The American Consul-General has made a special report
on this to his Government, and it is well to call the attention of our own authorities to its
existence also.
This market being only a small one for British Columbia, your Commissioner spent but a
very short time, there, proceeding to Panama after a few days. For British Columbia.
PANAMA CANAL ZONE.
Reaching the port of Balboa from Guayaquil, the traveller has to undergo seven days in
quarantine; that is to say, he must be seven days out_f roni any Ecuadorian port before he can
laud in Panama, and vessels making this route generally slow down and take five or six days
to do the journey, which is really only a two-day trip, so that one may not have to suffer by
remaining stationary in the torrid port of Balboa for more than twenty-four hours. The sanitary regulations are very strict and have been the cause for much bitter feeling by Ecuadoreans
against the U.S.A., and while most people consider the restrictions somewhat arbitrary, the
necessity for them is obvious.
From Balboa it is a few minutes' tram journey to Panama City, on the outskirts of which'
is the U.S.A. Government settlement of Ancona. Train connection with the Atlantic side, the
port of Colon, is frequent, and the railroad is controlled by the U.S.A. Government under the
name of the Panama Railroad Company. Through the New York offices of this company many
of the purchases of supplies for the Zone are made.
As is natural, the bulk of the trade is in American hands, and it would be difficult, if not
impossible, to attempt competition, except perhaps in apples and potatoes, in both of which
■products British Columbia has a distinct opportunity if good freight facilities between our
ports and Balboa were to be arranged. •
The writer had a conversation with Major-General Goethals with regard to the reopening
of the Canal, as this is a vital matter for British Columbia's trade, and very little encouragement was given that the Canal would be ready for several months. When it is cleared again
there is a likelihood of a further slide when the rainy season comes round, and opportunities
for British Columbia in the AVest Indies will be severely handicapped until this waterway is
made a reliable thoroughfare.
As regards the importation of apples and potatoes, the position resolves itself into a question
of freight. I spent considerable time with the various officials of the U.S.A. Administration in
Panama, and Major Groves, the Purchasing Agent, said that some 300 tons of potatoes or more
are purchased monthly through New York for the Zone employees alone, and, of course, the
native cities of Panama and Colon also consume a large quantity. They appear to be imported
in barrels of 160 lb. net, and officials state that the order is placed not necessarily in the U.S.A.,
but wherever they can be bought most cheaply. Several lines of steamers send their boats to
Europe from British Columbia ports via Panama Canal, and it should not be difficult to procure
from them such freight rates to Balboa as would enable our shippers to supply potatoes at a
price that would compete with New York and with equal celerity. Owing to the heat they do
not import large quantities at a time, preferring to bring in weekly or fortnightly shipments as
they need them. Formerly they imported a quantity from England, and I am of opinion that
if we can quote competitive prices and guarantee delivery, the business should fall to us, seeing
the superiority of the British Columbia tuber. I was informed that the quality they are now
buying is none too good, and if British Columbia exporters will get in touch with the purchasing
agents of the Panama Railroad in New York, and quote c.i.f. Balboa, they stand a good chance
of securing a share of the trade. I could have obtained a sample order when on the spot, but
declined it, as I knew that at that moment no transportation could be secured.
The supplies for the Panama Republic—I refer to potatoes and apples—are sold chiefly
through New York commission houses, who have resident agents in Panama City or Colon, and
such houses will buy in the open market wherever prices are lowest. British Columbia exporters
of this produce should connect up with some of these houses, and if they can quote c.i.f. Panama
they stand an equal chance of the trade with any U.S.A. competitor.
The demand for apples seems to be on the increase, although it is alleged that on arrival
in the tropics they lost a good deal of their flavour and taste spongy. Apparently they are
mostly Eastern varieties, and it will be difficult to compete without'low and regular freights.
Nevertheless, a market exists and it is for British Columbia growers to decide whether they
can obtain the trade-or not. Now that Mexico gives promise of settlement, it may be possible
to re-establish the steamship line from British Columbia, in which case an arrangement to have
the run extended to Panama .would be very advantageous to the AVestern Provinces. A line
serving 'Central  American ports and Panama from British Columbia would be the means of 34 Trade Openings in South America
bringing to this-Province quantities of natural products that it now purchases through U.S.A.,
and would give a new outlet for British Columbia products that should greatly stimulate our
industries.
COSTA RICA.
Area: 23,000 square miles. Population: 410,98.1. Coinage: Paper and
silver; 1 colon=approximateIv 35 cents U.S.A. Foreign Commerce in 1,913:
Exports,   $10,432,552.S7 ;   imports,   $S,77S,400.S0.
Costa Rica is the most southern of all the Central American Republics, bordering as it does
on the Republic of Panama, and it is, in the writer's opinion, the most civilized and progressive
of them all. Its exploitation by the United Fruit Company of New Orleans, who have constructed railway-lines, port works, and who own and develop vast areas under cultivation of
bananas and other tropical fruits, has been of inestimable value to the country and has been
the chief factor in its upbuilding. /
The main port is Liinon, on the Atlantic, the chief outlet for the fruit export trade and
served by lines of steamers from New Orleans, New York, Italy, Spain, France, and Great
Britain. Through that port, too, most of the imports are received and sent by rail to the
capital, San Jose, some 120 miles inland. Liinon has about 7,000 population and serves as a
distributing centre for some 30,000 people, mostly negroes from AVest Indies, who are engaged
in the banana industry. The other port, Punta Arenas, is on the Pacific Coast and serves
chiefly as an outlet for coffee to California.
San Jose, the capital, is a pleasant city on a plateau some 3,700 feet above sea-level and
with a population of 55,000. It is the seat of Government, the most important commercial
centre, and enjoys a climate very temperate, healthy, and cool, in great contrast to the terrible
heat of Linion and Punta Arenas, with which latter city it is connected by a Government rail-
. road. There are several factories in San. Jose occupied in the manufacture of soap, candles,
boots and shoes, mineral waters, and the inevitable brewery, but the leading business seems to
be the growth and marketing of coffee, of which Costa Rica is a large producer of a qualify
superior and more expensive than the Brazilian variety. I was informed that Britain was the
-largest consumer of Costa Rican coffee and that a record crop was expected.
Banking and Credits.—Costa Rica has been hard hit by war conditions, and one of its big
banks recently failed very badly. The Royal Bank of Canada has just opened in San Jose,
apparently to engage in the financing of the coffee trade, making advances on crops, etc., so
that direct financial transactions with Costa. Rica are now available to. Canadian exporters.
Credit conceded is generally six months, drafts .with documents, but, of course, this varies with
different branches of trade. It would be wise to go cautiously with incipient transactions, and
with a Canadian bank to advise our merchants there should be little cause for incurring bad
debts.
Business Conditions.—The Teutons are in Costa Rica in large numbers and practically all
the largest wholesale houses are owned by them. The President himself has a German adviser,
and it is much to be regretted that Great Britain has not seen fit to appoint a Resident Minister
there. Many acts inimical to Britain have been engineered by German manipulators in Costa
Rica, and there is not even a Foreign Office Consul to,represent us, all the work falling on an
honorary Consul who has done magnificent service for the Empire.
The largest percentage of trade is done with the U.S.A., and there, as everywhere else in
the South, New York and San Francisco commission houses dominate the market. 'Conditions
are not favourable at present and imports have fallen off largely, especially in British and, of
course, German goods. The big German houses seem to be purchasing their supplies in the
U.S.A., and wherever possible British manufacturers are ousted. I have seen many instances
of this myself, and it is a matter for deep regret that British salesmen are so rare in that
country and British houses equally scarce. Along certain lines there is trade to be had, but
the whole Central American trade seems to have been badly neglected by British interests.
Canada's Possibilities.—Except for "Canadian Club" whisky, which seems to have a. big
sale all over South America, nothing is being imported from Canada,- and while I can see but
little chance for British Columbia, there appear to be openings for Eastern Canada in many
lines.    Costa Rica produces, on its fertile plateau, potatoes in abundance and also apples.    No For British Columbia.
35
lumber is imported or needed. Coal is scarcely used at all, and what little canned-salmon
business there is, a certain San Francisco firm have tightly in their hands.
There is plenty of'fresh milk and butter, and the only opening British Columbia might
have would be in flour, though' I am afraid our transportation difficulties would prevent it at
present.
A very short stay in that country served to make clear to me that British Columbia has
little to hope for in reciprocal trade with Central America, for what is true of Costa Rica
is true in the main of the remaining countries of Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, and
Guatemala.
While a certain amount of coffee and fruit might be imported direct from Central American
ports to British Columbia, there would be little opportunity for return cargoes from our Province.
At present the service of boats touching at Central America, on the Pacific, is miserable in the
-extreme. They make the trip from San Francisco to Panama, but are never up to schedule and
utterly unreliable. For this reason I was forced to abandon further travel in those Republics,
and felt that it would be wisest to do. so, seeing the small opportunity there is for reciprocal
trade. One of these days the business of those countries will be of greater importance to British
Columbia, that is, when we become a greater manufacturing centre, but in the meantime, while
we are concerned mainly in the sale of our natural products, there are larger and more lucrative
markets awaiting us in South America.
JAMAICA.
The question of British Columbia's trade with the British AVest Indies hangs largely on
the reliability of the Panama Canal in affording vessels a direct route from our ports to those
isles. At the time of my visit the Canal was closed owing to a bad slide, and consequently all
hope of any immediate trade with the islands was lost. As far as the Eastern islands, such
as Trinidad, Barbadoes, and the smaller groups, are concerned, it would be difficult for British
Columbia to compete with Eastern Canada and U.S.A.; indeed, with no prospect of direct
communication, it becomes almost impossible, but there should be good opportunities for this
Province in Jamaica and Cuba, the two largest of the Western islands, both being in direct
and frequent steamship communication with Panama.
Isolated and a considerable distance from the rest of the British islands, Jamaica has no
means of communication with them and is mainly served by the U.S.A., to whom it sells a large
portion of its products and from whom it purchases also a large percentage.
For this reason Jamaica did not see its way clear to participate with the other islands in
the Canadian preferential agreement, and competition by Canada against U.S.A. in this market
is thus more difficult than in the other islands. The U.S.A., too, has the advantage in proximity,
there being frequent regular sailings to Jamaican ports from Texas and New Orleans.
I was not, therefore, greatly.encouraged with tbe prospects, the more so as the Canal was
closed, with no certainty- of a permanent passage for a long time to come. Then, again, the
population and consequent consumption is small, and at present business conditions are none
too bright in the island.
On my arrival at Kingston, the chief port' and seat of Government, I was met by the
President and A'ice-President of the Royal Jamaica Society of Agriculture and Commerce, and
Merchants' Exchange, the equivalent of Canadian Boards of Trade, and to this society I am
indebted for the following figures, which give an idea, at a glance, of British Columbia's opportunities in that market, apart from Douglas fir, which has so far never been imported:—■.
Article.
Value of Annual Import.
Where purchased now.
£3.711
1,300
720
3,232
2.3S5
2;.r>oo
U.S.A.
Pickled salmon	
Apples (fresh)	
Eastern Canada.
U.S.A.
U.S.A.
Eastern Canada. 36
Trade Openings in South America
It will thus be seen that our main opportunity there lies in potatoes, and on this subject
the president of the society aforementioned reported :—
" AVith regard to shipments of potatoes, this island, having mountains rising to nearly S.000
feet, gives us a variety of climate, and considerable quantities of potatoes are grown here. The
market is' rather overstocked at present, and they are being offered at 7s. 6d. to 7s. Od. per
100 lb., as they do not keep long in this climate.
" The ruling price, on an average, however, is 10s. per barrel of ISO lb. c.i.f. Jamaica ports,
and the recent importations have been 360 tons for the March and 210 tons for the June quarter.
The retail price is about 14s. per barrel, and there is an import duty of Is. 6d. per barrel of
ISO lb.
" The importations are made weekly from New York and fortnightly from Halifax. Our
markets are generally well supplied with all sorts of native provisions, yams, cassava, breadfruit, plantains, and sweet potatoes, all of which go into competition 'with potatoes.".
The apple market is very small, and I noticed numbers of little black girls patrolling the
streets bearing trays of red apples on their heads and offering them at Id. each. The specimens
were bruised and not of the best grades, but satisfactory enough to the native. Dried apples
are in better demand than the fresh fruit.
Canned salmon, too, only enjoys a small consumption, and already one British Columbian
cannery firm is represented at Kingston. In flour Canada cannot compete with Texas, according
to the'information several firms gave me, but in oats, when prices return to normal, there is a
possibility if British Columbia has transportation.
Douglas fir, however, is something that is attracting a good deal of attention, and I am
assured that Jamaica firms would be willing to trade with British Columbia if prices can at all-
compete with the pitch or yellow pine from Southern U.S.A. During my short stay at Kingston
I was approached by a number of firms anxious to open up business with British Columbia
lumber, and handed to each samples of fir, etc., supplied to me by the Forestry Department of
the Department of Lands at Arictoria.
It would be desirable for the Forestry Department to send to the Merchants' Exchange at
Kingston a few of the.larger samples of lumbers, similar to those on exhibit at the office of the
Canadian Trade Commissioner in Habana, Cuba. I am confident that in Douglas fir lies the
main opportunity for British Columbia commerce with Jamaica; there is a good market awaiting us in that island, but it, of course, depends upon regular and cheap transportation. A line
of steamers running from British Columbia ports to Panama, Kingston, and Havana would
undoubtedly be a lucrative venture, as the following figures show what opportunity there
would be for return cargoes :—
Article.
. Coffee • •
Cocoa . .
Oranges
Honey   ■ • ■
Grapefruit
Pineapples
Ruin	
Quantities  annually  exported.
23,690 owt.  .
20.215    ,.     .
6.442     „     .
2S.604    ..     .
20,493    „     .
3.752    „     .
5.154 cases
5.464     „
1.819     „
10.414  gals.
11.012     ..
10.262	
11.057	
42-S doz	
10.949 gals. .
To where exported.
Great Britain.
U.S.A.
Canada.
United Kingdom.
U.S.A.
Canada.
United Kingdom.
U.S.A.
Canada.
United Kingdom.
Canada.
Canada.
U.S.A.
Canada.
Canada.
At present the only means of communication is from Port Antonio by United Fruit Company
steamers to New Orleans, Boston, or New York, and thence by rail to British Columbia.
As regards banking and credits, the Royal Bank of Canada and the Bank of Nova Scotia
both operate there, and their advice as. to standing of firms, etc., should be elicited. At the
same time, the leading business houses of Kingston, doing both an import and export trade, are For British Columbia. 37
absolutely reliable and trustworthy. Trade with this island is not likely to reach great proportions, but undoubtedly Jamaica offers to British Columbia a fresh market for her products, and
every new market means added prosperity to this Province. Every opportunity for an overseas
trade from British Columbia should be canvassed, and be the opportunities large or small, none
should be missed.
CUBA.
Area:   44,104  square  miles.    Population:    2,382.900.    Currency:    Same  as
U.S.A.    Foreign commerce in 1913: Exports, $105,125,059; imports, $143,820,809.
This well-populated and very prosperous island, the last country on my itinerary, I found
to be an exceptionally good field for certain British Columbia products, and the merchants
seem more keen to trade with Canada than in any other market I have visited on the whole
tour.
It was explained to me that 70 per cent, of the trade is in the hands of Spaniards, who have
not forgotten the action of the United States in depriving them of the ownership of Cuba, and'
for that reason they prefer to avoid dealings with American merchants when it is possible to
obtain similar merchandise elsewhere.
The Acting Trade Commissioner for Canada resident in Havana is a very capable official
who has done much to increase trade, as each year's statistics go to prove, and it is unfortunate,
though by no means his fault, that none of that trade has been done with British Columbia.
The Province of New Brunswick also has a resident representative sent down from St. John,
whose work lies almost entirely in the potato trade, as a large volume of business in this article
is carried on between the Maritime Provinces and Cuba.
Conditions in Cuba at the present moment may be said to be very favourable, for with
the extra large crop of sugar and the abnormally high prices obtainable for it a year of great
prosperity is anticipated, even though the tobacco trade has suffered serious depression since
the war. The major part of the land under cultivation is bearing sugar-cane, and those intending to do business with Cuba have nothing to fear in financial directions if they deal with
reliable firms.
Business in Cuba would seem to be effected almost entirely through commission houses, and
the Acting Trade Commissioner arranged meetings for me with some of the best of these, as
also with the leading lumber importers, and many instances were furnished me of how time
and time again merchants in Havana went out of their way to give preference to Canada, only
to meet with failure on account of high prices and lack of freights. The latter disability is
being emphasized by the Resident Commissioner at every opportunity. It is claimed that Cuba,
lying equidistant between Panama and New York, is in an exceptionally favourable position as
a half-way port of call for all vessels sailing between North Pacific ports and Eastern U.S.A.
or Canada, and there is enough freight offering, at Havana always to make it worth while a
steamer calling there.. It might be mentioned here that, in point of volume of tonnage passing
through it, Havana ranks first after New York on the whole of this continent.
Banking and Credits.—Banking facilities are of the best, as the Bank of Nova Scotia and
the Royal Bank of Canada both have numerous branches all over the island; moreover, there
. is an additional advantage in the Cuban currency being the same as that of the U.S.A. in point
of value. Generally speaking, credit is good, and the two Canadian banks mentioned are always
in a position to give information as to standing of local firms wishing to purchase Canadian
goods. The average term is sixty days after arrival, and business with good houses there is
perfectly safe and desirable.
Business Prospeets for British Columbia.—Perhaps the best and most important opening for
British Columbia in Cuba is Douglas fir and spruce, and I devoted considerable time to the
investigation of this trade. The Acting Trade Commissioner, Mr. A. T. Quilez, has excellent
samples of our timbers in his office, and dealers are exceedingly keen to open up trade with
this Province.
In conversation with one of the foremost lumber importers, he informed me that he had
an order for 2,000,000 feet of lumber which he did his best, backed up energetically by Mr.
Quilez,   to  obtain   from  British   Columbia.    He  was   in   communication   with   certain   British 38 Trade .Openings in South America
Columbia exporters and found. the price satisfactory, but freights were either too high or
unobtainable :altogether, and he reluctantly had to place his order at Grays Harbour, AVash-
ington, paying a freight of $14. Since my return to British Columbia he mailed me an order
for 1,000,000 feet of No. .1 box spruce aiid a quantity of Douglas fir, but again lack of freight
prevented our lumbermen from filling the order.
There is no duty on lumber into Cuba, so that.British Columbia is not handicapped by the
preferential tariff given to U.S.A. on other articles. There is, however, a slight preference in
the sense that there are certain port charges which are less to U.S.A. cargoes than to others.
This is only a small difference and would not stand in the way of definite business.
Something like 100,000,000- feet of lumber is imported info Cuba annually, of which about
90 per cent, is southern pine and 10 per cent, spruce. It certainly seems that British Columbia
could and should secure a share of this large turnover, and the conditions are exceptionally
favourable if transportation, can be arranged. Douglas fir especially has a splendid market in
Cuba:
One of the lumber importers in Havana suggested to the writer that .one of the big mills
.in British Columbia should look oyer the field with a view to establishing a depot in Havana.
He says there is a magnificent opportunity in this direction, the consumption being so large,
and I am personally inclined to think that there is no market of all those I have visited that
presents better inducements than Cuba. I would recommend that the Forestry Branch of the
Lands.Department 'of the British Columbia Government have one of its fine exhibits of native
timbers installed in the office of the Canadian Trade Commissioner in Havana. Everywhere I
found great interest in Douglas fir evinced, and it looks as. if a thorough, energetic exploitation
of this native product in the countries visited would be the means of a vast increase of trade
from British Columbia to Latin-American ports. ...
Potatoes.—Next in importance comes the trade in potatoes, and this also is very big. The
annual importation approximates 65,000,000 kilos, with a value of nearly $2,000,000. of which
the Maritime Provinces of Canada get a substantial share, though this has fallen off seriously
siiice the cancellation of the sailings of the Elder-Dempster Line from Montreal and Halifax
to Havana. The Pickford .& Black Line from Halifax now goes direct to Santiago, Cuba, but
as this town is at the opposite end of the island to Havana, the latter port does not benefit.
Nevertheless, Santiago itself fakes a.considerable quantity of potatoes.
In the Havana,market, which is the most important in Cuba, Canadian potatoes have to
be brought, via Boston .and are thus under great handicaps. The New Brunswick Commissioner,
however, is very active, and a variety called Green Mountain commands a ready sale there,
though at the present moment none are coming owing to a shortage in Eastern Canada. These
potatoes are said to be very good, but rather high in price.. The freight from New Brunswick
ports to Boston is 40 cents per barrel, and from Boston to Havana 45 cents. The goods take
six days in transit to Boston, thus giving the latter shippers six days advantage and that much
time to better Canadian prices. From Boston to Havana is a five-day journey by vessels of the
United Fruit Company.
The American (U.S.A.) qualities best known in Cuba are Maine, Burbauk, Early Rose, and
Ciants, and specimens ,from the State of Maine that were shown to me were certainly very fine.
From September to June there are imported chiefly the qualities from Maine and Eastern
Canada, -while during the balance'of the year they come from A'irginia, Long Island, and New
Jersey, according to my informant, a well-known Havana broker.
Prospects for British Columbian varieties depend largely on freight, facilities, and when
such are forthcoming via Panama there is no obstacle whatever in the way of a big volume
of trade. In the meantime the only possible shipping route is by rail to New Orchitis, Mobile,
or Boston, and under ordinary conditions this would make our prices prohibitive. It so.happens,
however, that with the present low prices of British Columbia potatoes and high prices in Cuba,
it is possible to pay the heavy rail freight and still compete, for after the writer had returned
to British Columbia a cable request for a quotation was sent to him by.a Havana merchant, and
though a high c.i.f. price was cabled back, an order was immediately sent and should be the
forerunner of many bigger ones. Here was a direct instance of business produced by the visit
of'the Commissioner, and it was only through his stay at New Orleans and interviews with
freight agents of various lines that it became possible to obtain through freights from British For British Columbia. 39
Columbia to Gulf ports and thence to Cuba. Shippers to any of the Southern countries should
not omit to investigate the chances of using New Orleans in place of New York.   •
I regard Cuba as a very excellent field for the British Columbia potato, and the fact that
New Brunswick maintains a special Potato Commissioner there is proof of the importance
attached to that market.
Canned Butter.—I have had repeated inquiries for this line both in Cuba and South America.
The Dutch and Danish control the Cuban market so far.
Canned Salmon.—The import of this into Cuba is infinitesimal, and I could get nobody to
interest themselves in it.
Condensed Milk,—The annual importation of this runs into nearly $2,3SO,000, the bulk of
which is shared between Nestles and Bordens. A reliable firm in Havana approached me with
regard to the agency for a British Columbia brand of sweetened milk if he can get a competitive
price, and the Canadian Trade Commissioner in Havana suggests that samples and quotations
lie sent to him at Lonja del Comercio 203, when he promises to do his utmost to secure trade
for the Province.
Dried Codfish.—I understand that there will be a certain quantity of this available for
export from British Columbia this season, and the following information may be of use: The
annual import into Cuba is 26,000,000 lb. and the value .$1,703,134, of which 75 per cent, comes
from Norway and 25 per cent, from Eastern Canada, approximately. It is imported in boxes
of 100 lb. net and drums of 12S lb. net. Samples and prices should be sent to the Canadian
• Trade Commissioner in Havana.
Pears.—The majority of these come from the State of Oregon, the favourite quality being
the " Cornice" variety.
Apples.—In this article the opening is very good. For the best Wenatchee specimens
10 cents and up to 15 cents are paid retail, while varieties from Virginia and " Kings ". from
Eastern Canada are favourites.    I also noticed a quantity of " Ben Davis " specimens on sale.
A number of firms in Havana expressed themselves as eager to obtain shipments from
British Columbia in time for the Christmas season, when there is always an unusually big
demand; and bearing in mind the willingness of the Okaungan growers to send sample shipments, I cabled them (November, 1915), suggesting that several car-loads be send down in order
to introduce British Columbia varieties to that hew market and ascertain what lald-down prices
would come out at, Tt appears, however, that better prices were obtainable right in British
Columbia at the time, and no shipments were sent. Rome Beauty, York Imperials, Jonathans,
Delicious, Newtown, and AVinter Bananas are qualities most in demand, in addition to those
aforementioned, and our growers should make every effort to secure a share of the big trade that
is annually transacted in Cuba in this fruit.
Imports to British Columbia from Cuba, of course, depend on direct steamship service.
Already numerous shipments of raw sugar have gone from there to the Vancouver refinery, and
there are exporters in Havana of rum, tobacco, cigars, perfumes, fresh fruits, tropical preserves,
sponges, and tortoise-shell, all desirous of opening up relations with British Columbia.
The trade route by vessels of the United Fruit Company or of the Southern Railway
Company from Cuba and Jamaica to New Orleans, and thence by rail to this Province, is one
that our business interests should give some attention. I purposely visited New Orleans with
a view to discussing freight facilities with the several transportation companies, and am of
opinion that this route might be used successfully for a number of articles.
On landing at New Orleans my trip of the Southern countries was concluded, and I returned
to British Columbia by way of San Francisco in order to visit the shipping companies in that
city and evolve some means of transportation for British Columbia products to the AArest Coast
of South America.
VICTORIA,  B.C. :
Printed by  Wii.i.iam  II.   Gui.i.in,   Pi-inter  to  the King's Moat Excellent Majesty.
1010.

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