Minister Bowen to the Secretary of State.
Caracas, Venezuela, March 30, 1904.
Sir: I have the honor to inclose herewith a statement showing the amounts that were paid monthly to the representative of the Bank of England here during the year ended February 29, 1904, and also a statement showing what the total income of Venezuela was during the year 1903.
Comparing the statements, we find that Venezuela is paying about one-eighth of her entire income to the said representative. That in itself is not a heavy burden, but by the terms of the protocols she is bound “to make a new satisfactory arrangement to settle simultaneously the 5 per cent Venezuelan loan of 1896 and the entire exterior debt,” which together amount to very much more than the claims do which have been presented to the commissions. It is likely, therefore, that when the promised arrangement is made Venezuela will have all the financial burdens she can carry.
Although the 30 per cent of the amount collected in the customhouses at La Guaira and Puerto Cabello falls short by about 315,000 bolivars of the 5,400,000 which it was estimated the 30 per cent would yield, it seems to me, in view of all the circumstances, that if the allied powers can afford to accept the situation we can, also.
Some time ago I informed you that I thought the allied powers would be paid off by the end of this year, but I believe now that I should have added nearly another year to that calculation. * * *
I am, etc.,