No. 215.
Mr. Wing to Mr. Fish.

No. 408.]

Sir: Hereto I append copy and translation (Nos. 1 and 2) of a recent correspondence between the fiscal agent of this government and certain prominent merchants, bankers, and commercial men of Guayaquil, in reference to the late financial crisis in Ecuador, which seriously imperiled the monetary and business interests of the country.

The effect of this correspondence, superadded to the proposed abolition of the executive decree prohibiting the exportation of silver in bars and certain silver coins, has been beneficial.

Exchange has fallen to a decent figure, trade is reviving, confidence being restored, and the Bank of Ecuador has issued a call for the payment in full of its capital stock, and offers to redeem its outstanding notes whenever presented.

The roads (rail and turnpike) are again in course of construction also.

The cost of the ecclesiastic establishments and their accompaniments in Ecuador constitutes a serious and needless drain upon the national revenue, and is out of all proportion to the wealth and resources of the republic.

I have, &c.,

[Page 399]
[Inclosure 2 in No. 408.—Translation.]

[From Los Andes, of Guayaquil, July 29, 1874.]

the question of the day.

We have been requested to publish the following documents, through which will be seen the result of the commission that has brought the under secretary of the treasury, Doctor Salazar, to this city.

Note of Doctor Salazar.

Messrs. Alcides Destruge, José Vivero, and José Rosales:

Gentlemen: Desirous of giving a quick and efficacious solution of the matter relative to the loan which was offered to be made to the government, and of the abrogation of the prohibition of the exportation of silver, I believe it expedient to propose to you, as representatives of the merchants of this place:

To deposit in the Bank of Ecuador the sum of $200,000, in discharge of the account known as “loans to the government.”
The deposit being made, bonds in favor of the subscribers will be issued at 1 per cent, monthly.
These bonds will be funded, receiving in payment the custom-house receipts, for which 25 per cent, will be set aside.
The loan of $500,000 being accomplished, counting the $300,000 that the bank will take, a free exportation of silver will be declared, preserving solely the right of exportation according to law.

Please, gentlemen, submit this fact to the exchange, and communicate to me the result thereof, so that I may consider my mission terminated.



Vicente Lucio Salazar, esq., Fiscal Agent

Your communication of the 20th was placed in our hands yesterday, and we informed the merchants who had met, with this object, last evening, in the saloon of the Exchange, of the contents thereof.

Taking into consideration the matter, and unanimously resolved, we are charged to inform you that the signers of the proposal, a copy of which is annexed, and which, on the 8th of this month, we had the honor to inform you of, that they were ready to keep their word under the conditions set forth in that proposal; but aside from that, it is enough, which you deemed it well to present, and the monetary crisis, without exaggeration having made money scarcer every day, the merchants deplore the bad state of the situation that deprives them of the pleasure of accepting in full your proposal, and to improve the occasion to prove to the supreme government their desire to enter into its views and assist it in the measure which it, as well as the merchants, judge really advantageous for all.

But if the efforts of the merchants of Guayaquil, of which you are aware, having been present, have not been sufficient to give to your commission the favorable result which the supreme government and the merchants nattered themselves, permit us to hope from your honor and worth, that when you give an account of your trust, you will manifest the good faith of the merchants in this matter, as also the necessity they have to improve the conditions of the market, which they are mindful of, and decide favorably their petition to the supreme government of the 18th ult.




Proposal of the merchants.

The undersigned agree to take the bonds of the government if they are issued at 90 per cent., with 12 per cent, annual interest, redeemable with one-half of the customs-dues; that is, the merchants will pay their customs-dues one-half in bonds, and the other half in current money; but provided, that the government will allow the free exportation of silver, and suspend every privilege in respect to the change of bank-bills, leaving gold and silver money at their legal value and keeping in all force the existing bank-laws.

[Here follow the names of thirty-one individuals and firms, subscribing in gross the sum of $125,000 (soft or Ecuadorian currency) to the proposed loan.]