Minister Bowen to the Secretary of State.

No. 383, confidential.]

Sir: In answer to your instructions No. 232, of the 13th instant, received to-day, I have the honor to refer you to the following documents I have sent you during the last year: Memorandum, dated April 15, 1904, with dispatch No. 274;a dispatch No. 315, dated August 20, 1904. [Printed in Foreign Relations, 1904, p. 871.] * * *

They, together with more recent data I have obtained, justify me, I think, in stating—

That Venezuela is not paying 30 per cent of the total income of the customs revenues of La Guaira and Puerto Cabello. If she had [Page 1019]done so during the year ended February 29, 1904, she would have delivered to the allied powers about 10,000,000 bolivars, instead of only about 5,000,000 bolivars. She claims to believe that she is compelled to pay only 30 per cent of the duties that existed when the Washington protocols were signed, and not of the new duties also.
That by creating the custom-house at Tucacas she reduced the customs revenues of Puerto Cabello. The reduction now amounts to over 40 per cent according to the statistics prepared by my very clever and intelligent French colleague and also by my very conscientious German colleague.
That the amount paid this second year will be about 4,500,000 bolivars, or about a half a millon less than was paid last year.
That the allied powers will be paid in about two years and the peace powers in about seven years from date at the present rate.
That President Castro’s policy, if it is not interfered with, will continue to reduce the amounts paid yearly, and will therefore lengthen the aforesaid period of seven years to perhaps ten years or more.
That no arrangements have yet been made to pay; the British and German bondholders, in conformity with the requirements of the protocols.
That President Castro has notified Belgium he will not pay the award to Belgium. * * *

I am, etc.,

Herbert W. Bowen.

Debt of Venezuela.

To the British bondholders, principal and interest 78,771,705
To the German bondholders 61,553,452
French, Spanish, and Dutch (diplomatic debt) 11,320,264
Total exterior debt 151,645,421
Internal debt (60 per cent held by the French) 92,983,088
Total exterior and interior debt 244,628,509
Total amount awarded by mixed commissions, about 38,428,580
Grand total debt 283,057,089
Venezuela’s expenditures amount yearly to about 30,000,000
And her income to about 70,000,000

What becomes of the 40,000,000 surplus is not officially told.

H. W. B.
[Page 1020]

Monthly payments to the allied powers.

Amount. Amount.
1903. Bolivars. 1904. Bolivars.
March 403,227.75 February 439,405.10
April 312,973.90 March 461,456.20
May 312,535.00 April 472,835.20
June 290,195.45 May 411,484.00
July 436,339.00 June 457,736.45
August 400,007.30 July 297,280.90
September 444,004.60 August 363,233.20
October 527,109.95 September 337,497.50
November 534,664.55 October 340,132.50
December 522,747.35 November 390,204.17
1904. December 373,830.41
January 461,367.55 Total 8,990,268.03
H. W. B.
  1. Not printed.