File No. 5316/157.

Minister Sands to the Secretary of State.

No. 101.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose copy and translation of the message of the President of Guatemala to the National Assembly.

I have, etc.,

W. F. Sands.
[Inclosure—Translation.]

Message of the President of Guatemala.

More than half a million pesos were spent in bettering sanitary conditions by the board of health, the various departments of which gave complete satisfaction. There has not been a case of contagious disease on our coasts and no quarantine has been established against our ports. During this year more than a million persons have been vaccinated or re vaccinated in the country, and this sanitary measure is being followed with such activity that in a few months we may be able to say that Guatemala is at the head of the countries whose people are immune from smallpox, as it already occupies, a distinguished place in sanitary matters.

As per report of the minister of finance, the public revenue for the year 1909 gave a total of $49,239,722.93, giving a surplus of $18,739,722.93 over the sum estimated by the National Assembly, which was for $30,500,000.

The expenses of the administration amounted to $38,412,807.54, besides $32, 141,453.70 expended by the department of finance, which makes a total for the year 1909 of $70,554,261.24. This increase is due entirely to the fluctuations of exchange.

I hope that through the peace and tranquillity enjoyed by the country, and as a result of the laudable efforts to better as far as possible the financial condition of the country, I may very soon report to the honorable assembly some arrangement or loan that may fill the aspirations of the Guatemalan people and of their Government, a matter which is as delicate as it is important.

It has been my constant purpose and sincere endeavor to surround with every kind of guaranty and facility the investment of foreign capital in our country, whether it be in commerce, agriculture, or industry, thus favoring the immigration not only of persons but of capital, in order to bring about the economical evolution initiated and which will completely change conditions in our country. I have always desired that my administration be considered as one of hard work, and morally and practically I have lent my energy to progress in that respect, developing public education and giving it powerful stimulus, so that its influence be decisive. In the other branches of national progress I have endeavored that this progress should be as great as the circumstances and the elements in our power permitted.

Activity can find, in this country, an unlimited field. Thousands of miles of new highways and roads have been constructed connecting towns to agricultural centers. The interoceanic railway is open to the commerce of the world, and the plans are complete for the building of railways to the frontiers of Mexico and El Salvador, and also the fine which will reach Quezaltenango and from there be extended to the other northern Departments. These facilities have brought more traffic and titles have been issued for more than 30,000 “caballerias” of lands of the public domain all over the Republic, this with the object of making a large distribution of lands which will make farms, thus increasing the number of small property holders, which means an increase of wealth, both public and private, and will help to develop the important branch of agriculture.

[Page 643]

The Republic of Guatemala has commenced to be visited by numerous American and European travelers attracted by the facilities offered by our new interoceanic railway and by the different lines of steamers touching at our ports. Most of them are tourists who come to admire the natural beauty of our country, and the day is not very far away when this delightful climate will bring here many tourists escaping from the severe cold or heat of our neighboring northern countries. The number who came seeking business opportunities is also considerable, for in consequence of a fertile soil and the guaranties offered by civilized institutions they wish to develop new industries and invest capital profitably.

Our country offers an unlimited field to progress, and it is expected that following the path she has cut out for herself, dedicating all efforts to labor, which is the best guaranties for peace, she will advance with sure and firm steps to the conquest of a beautiful future, replete with ever-growing prosperity and aggrandizement as a reward to her efforts.

Manuel Estrada C.