Mr. Wilson to Mr. Flay.

No. 364.]

Sir: I have the honor to report that upon June 1 the President of the Republic formally opened the regular session of Congress, and read upon the occasion the message which is inclosed herewith, in the original text, a summary in English text accompanying.

The message is noteworthy only in that it depicts very clearly the improved financial condition of the country.

I have, etc.,

Henry Lane Wilson.
[Inclosure.]

President’s speech at the opening of Congress.

summary.

The foreign relations of the Republic are declared to be on an excellent footing. Negotiations for a treaty with Bolivia are reported to be progressing satisfactorily; while the difficulties in the way of a final arrangement with Peru have not yet disappeared.

The Republic of Panama has been recognized.

telegraph service.

A convention is being negotiated with Bolivia, and one has been celebrated with Argentina. The new lines over the Cordillera are nearly completed.

commerce.

In 1903 the commerce amounted to $348,429,793. Imports amounted to $146,276,667 and exports to $202, 153, 126; that is to say, $27,000,000 more than in 1902, of which $17,000,000 correspond to nitrate. The exportation of copper increased $2,300,000; the agriculture, $8,000,000.

railways.

The following have been opened to the public: From Pueblo Hundido to Inca, from Serena to Rivadavia, from San Diego to Providencia (Santiago), and from Talca to San Clemente, 161 kilometers.

There are 237 kilometers in construction. The railway from Pitrufquen to Loncoche and Loncoche to Antilhue (114 kilometers) will be opened to the public. The other 117 kilometers will be finished in 1905.

The following lines are under consideration: Aguas Blancas to Vallenar, Vallenar to La Serena, San Marcos to Illapel, Los Vilos to Rayado, Curico to Hualañé, Cauquenes to Quirihue and Coelemu, San Felipe to Putaendo, Chilian to Tomé, [Page 116]and Rio Negro to Puerto Montt; and at the beginning of 1905 estimates will be asked for 500 kilometers of railways.

There are also under consideration some local railways of a 60-centimeter gauge, such as that from Artificio to Maquinas de Catemu, from the station of Yungay to the village of Lampa, from Chilian to Las Termas, and from a point on the Central Railway to Villa Rica.

Permission has been granted to construct 150 kilometers of private railways, and several other permits are under consideration.

The Government is studying the proposition for the termination of the Transandine Railway, via Uspallata.