Mr. Thompson to Mr. Hay.
Petropolis, May 6, 1904.
Sir: I send inclosed herewith a copy of the second annual message of President Rodriguez Alves, read on May 3, at the opening of the second session of the fifth legislature. I also send full translation of certain sections of special interest to the United States.
On the whole the message is of an optimistic tone, especially with reference to the progress of the work of building a modern harbor and dock system at Rio; a part, with the construction of a wide central avenue in the city and the creation of a new National Department of Health, of the plan to make Rio a healthy city, and particularly, to free it from yellow fever, in which much progress is already evident.
The financial situation is dwelt on at length and reflects the generally improved conditions of recent years in the government’s finances which since the time of the funding loan agreement in 1898 has apparently nearly paid its way, at the expense, however, of largely increased taxes and customs duties. A gradual recovery from the crisis of 1900 is also apparent in the showings of exports and imports, which, according to the estimates, both record considerable increases over the previous years. The increase in exports is particularly noticeable—the regular annual depreciation in the value of the coffee crop at last has been overcome by the increase of the value of the rubber and cotton exports.
The Peruvian situation is dwelt on at length, this being the only serious foreign complication Brazil has on its hands. Nothing new is, however, said on this point.
I have, etc.,