Mr. Hanna to
Buenos Ayres , March 22, 1888. (Received April 28.)
Sir: Referring to my No. 106, of December 24, 1887, in which I ventured the opinion this country would some day become a formidable rival of the United States in the production of the cereals, so important in the volume of our exports, I now send you some valuable figures published this morning in one of the Buenos Ayres dailies as correctly taken from official reports.
This people will produce wool almost exclusively if they are encouraged to do so, because most profitable to them. But the great United States market, the most desirable in the world, now shuts its doors against this production and drives its producers to the alternative of supplying the vast and profitable demands of Europe with that which once was almost the only hope of Indiana, Ohio, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Minnesota.
It is idle to hope that Argentine industry, now attracting such wide attention as a commercial factor, will have anything to do with us on any other than a reciprocity basis. If they can not trade with us in the usual way, by exchange, they will look elsewhere and act independently, and what is still more serious, in direct conflict with us. This they have begun to do already by a perceptible diminution of their favorite pastoral industry for the cultivation of wheat, corn, barley, and linseed.
We not only have had no ships of our own to build up a carrying trade with them, but when other enterprise has in part supplied this need and their wool product has been sent to us they have found our ports shut and sealed against them.
And what is true about the Argentine nation is just as true with reference to Uruguay and Paraguay, rapidly developing into mighty empires of thrift and trade.
I have, etc.,