Charge Winthrop to the Secretary of State.
Madrid, October 7, 1905.
Sir: I have the honor to inclose a copy and translation of a royal decree which appeared in the Gaceta of to-day and which the Department may consider of sufficient interest and far-reaching in its practical scope as to secure some publicity therefor in order that the ever-increasing number of American citizens who travel may be less deterred from visiting Spain, a country which has so much in the way of interest to offer to the tourist. The decree is also interesting as furnishing evidence of the national awakening to the need of a wider intercourse with the outside world, both from the educational as well as from the pecuniary point of view. As regards the latter, it appears to be realized by all thinking Spaniards how directly the pecuniary resources of the country may be benefited by an influx of travelers, and how much this has contributed to the prosperity of such countries as Switzerland, as well as to the rehabilitation of Italy.
In some recent newspaper discussions of the recent very startling fall in the rate of exchange on Paris, this having now fallen to 26.75 (this being the premium in pesetas paid for a 100-franc note, whereas most of the summer it has hovered about 31 and last year it fluctuated between 32 and 34), a realization of the desirability of fostering the aim of this decree is voiced in no uncertain terms. The approaching visit of the President of France will unquestionably do much good in developing this idea and in making Spaniards see the practical good which will come to them in furthering the provisions of the said decree.
I have, etc.,