No. 2.
Mr. T. O. Osborn to Mr. Frelinghuysen.

No. 376.]

Sir: The annual session of the Argentine Congress was opened today, the 4th instant, with the accustomed formalities, President Roca reading his message. * * *

The President opens his message by saying that no other President has had the satisfaction of opening Congress in an epoch of greater national happiness and prosperity.

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The message is lengthy, but contains a plain statement of facts and official figures, and sets forth the real and true vitality of the nation, and the remarkable progress resulting from one year of peace and quiet, and the temperate administration of public affairs.

Under the head of “revenue,” the President states that their trade and credit are in the ascendant with the general progress of the country. The sum collected in 1882 was $26,763,985, or an increase of 7.58 per cent, over 1881. The revenue of the first quarter of the present year shows a proportionate increase over 1882, and is equal to 16.34 per cent, over 1881. The Government has expended for the ordinary concerns of the administration only $25,354,996.76, leaving a surplus of $1,408,988. The total value of imports is $56,581,290, and of exports $60,389,052, showing an increase of $2,450,865 over 1881. Up to the 31st of March of the present year the mint has placed in circulation 5,755,237 gold, silver, and copper coins, representing in all $4,154,519.16.

In the chapter of “railways” the President informs Congress that there are at work on the ten railways now building and extending throughout the Republic, 14,500 men; that the Andine line has been extended beyond the province of San Luis, having surmounted the greatest difficulties it had to encounter, and at the end of this year the locomotive will have reached the foot of the Andes.

In speaking of the service in the postal and telegraphic communications, the President states that last year 17,757,610 letters and papers were dispatched, one-fifth of which were foreign, showing an increase of 20 per cent, over the year previous, and that the minister of foreign affairs had signed a convention with the Uruguayan Republic, as well as with Bolivia, to join telegraph lines, and that the Argentine and Brazil had been joined at Uruguayana, thus opening another line of communication with Rio and Europe.

The President recommends a bill for abolishing postal and telegraph franking.

Under the head of “foreign relations” it is stated that relations with nations of Europe are maintained without any alterations, and the Argentine Government is on friendly terms with all the American nations.

The President says he has devoted special attention to the subject of public instruction, which continues to awaken a lively interest throughout the Republic, and that all the provinces have cheerfully conformed to the subventions. There are 1,505 schools supported by the nation, without counting the normal and application schools and those annexed to the national colleges, and 112,400 pupils attend.

The President concludes his message by expressing his intention, in view of the general prosperity of the country and its perfect order and tranquillity, of submitting to Congress a project for the reinstatement in their former places in the army of all the officers who are living separated from the army on account of political dissensions, and says that we must forget that those officers neglected their duty to their country, in order that we may remember that they have grown old in its service, and contributed not a little to its glory and prosperity.

I have, &c.,