Basic data on the other American republics


Material Information

Basic data on the other American republics
Title on p. i:
20 other Amercian republics
Alternate title:
Twenty other American republics
Physical Description:
1 online resource (iii, 172 p.) : ill. ;
United States -- Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs
Place of Publication:
Washington, D.C
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Latin America   ( lcsh )
Amérique latine   ( ram )
federal government publication   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )


General Note:
Title from PDF cover (LLMC Digital, viewed on Dec. 3, 2010)
General Note:
"Published by the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs, Commerce Department Building, Washington, D.C."--P. ii.

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Source Institution:
University of Florida
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Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
oclc - 656934385
lcc - F1408 .U5 1945
ddc - 918 Un32b
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Full Text

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Columbia University Law Library

i i






MExiCOb -




This volume presents- data on the economic, social,
geographic, and political factors comprising the economy
of each of the 20 other American Republics. A stand-
ard pattern is followed for all of the countries. In the
political section the background of the current Admin-
istration is outlined with a general description of the
constitutional organization, including major historical
dates. The geographic section treats of area, topog-
raphy, and climate. The social section deals with
population, internal growth, immigration, racial com-
position, literacy, and levels of living. The economic
data consist of statistics on transportation, communica-
tion, agriculture, mining, manufacturing, finance, and
trade, and are presented with particular reference to
their inter-American character. The compilation was
completed on October 1, 1944, and, therefore, the
volume does not contain data on subsequent events or
The Office of the Coordinator wishes especially to
acknowledge the assistance given by the United States
Department of Commerce and the United States Tariff
Commission in the preparation of this volume.

Published by the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs
Commerce Department Building, Washington, D. C.



ARGENTINA ................... ............................. 1
B OLIVIA ................ ........... .......... ............ 12
BRAZIL.................................................... 22
C HILE ....................... ................ ....... 32
COLOMBIA .................................... ............. 42
COSTA R ICA ............... .. .............. ............ 51
CUBA...................................................... 59
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC ...................................... .68
ECUADOR ........................ ............ ....... .. 76
EL SALVADOR .................................. .............. 84
G UATEMALA .................. .................... ...... 91
HAITI .................... ............. .......... 98
SHONDURAS ... ........................................... 105
M EXICO .............. .................................. 111
N ICARAGUA ............ ............... ............. 122
PANAMA ................................... ............. 128
PARAGUAY.. ...................... .......... ............ 136
P ERU ............... ...... ................................ 143
S URUGUAY .................... .......................... 153
VENEZUELA ................ ................... ......... 161
APPENDIX.................. ..................................... 171



Background: Edelmiro J. Farrell assumed power on February 24, 1944.
He was formally installed in the Presidency on March 10, following the
resignation of President Pedro P. Ramirez. The Government of President
Ram6n S. Castillo had been overthrown by a military coup on June 4, 1943.
General Arturo Rawson, one of the leaders of the revolt, became President
for 28 hours but resigned on June 6 and was succeeded by General Ramirez,
who was the Chief Executive for 8 months before he was supplanted by
General Farrell.
These changes occurred against a background of prolonged political dis-
S pute in which foreign policy was a dominant issue. Vice President Castillo
had become Acting President on July 3, 1940, as a result of the illness of
President Roberto M. Ortiz. Decling health led Ortiz to resign on June
24, 1942, and he died on July 15. Congress on June 27 had installed Castillo
in the Presidency to complete Ortiz' unexpired term, which would have
terminated in 1944.
S Ortiz had shown sympathy for the cause of the United Nations in the
Second World War, but Castillo adopted a policy of strict neutrality, despite
protests of the two main opposition groups, the Radicals and the Socialists.
These parties together outnumbered the Administration Concordancia of
National Democrats and Anti-Personalist Radicals in the Chamber of Depu-
ties, but the Concordancia controlled the Senate. Congress was dissolved
' after the overthrow of Castillo, and foreign policy thereafter has been
dominated by Army officers and conservatives.
For several months the Ramirez Administration retained the policy of
neutrality in foreign affairs as initiated by Castillo. In practice, this policy
was believed to favor Axis espionage operations. Control over the press
was exercised after a "state of siege" was proclaimed in 1941. An active
campaign to establish closer economic and cultural ties with neighboring
States was begun, and trade agreements were negotiated with Chile, Bolivia,
and Paraguay. These three countries were the only American Republics
which had recognized the Farrell Administration by September 15, 1943.
The political ascendancy of Colonel Juan Domingo Per6n, which began
* late in the period of Ramirez' Presidency, was formalized on July 8, 1944,
with Per6n's inauguration as Vice President of the Republic. Army dom-
ination of the Government, established under Ramirez, continued during the

Farrell-Per6n Administration. In internal affairs, strict government con.
trol of the press, labor, and political organizations was enforced; on De-
cember 31, 1943, political parties were dissolved by decree. Several foreign-
owned industrial enterprises were nationalized. Federal Interventors were
appointed to take the place of elected authorities in the various Provinces,
in the universities, and in labor unions. Late in 1943, instruction in the
Catholic religion was made compulsory in primary and secondary schools.
On January 26, 1944, shortly before Ramirez resigned, Argentina severed
diplomatic relations with the Axis.
Organization: Under the Constitution of 1853, Argentina was a federal
union, like the United States, composed of 14 Provinces and 9 Territories.
The bicameral national Legislature had a Senate of 30 members, elected for
9 years by the provincial legislatures, one-third of the members of which
were elected every 3 years; and a Chamber of Deputies of 158 members, one-
half of whom were directly elected every 2 years for 4-year terms. The
President, chosen by electors, served 6 years and could not immediately
succeed himself. He was aided by a Cabinet of 8 members.

1806-7 ----------British invasion forces defeated by Argentine

1810 (May 25)_

1815 (July 9) --.


1853 -- -
1862 ----


1898-1902 ---..

1912 -----

1916 ______

troops under Santiago Liniers after two attempts
to conquer the region.
Spanish Viceroy deposed and a junta gubernativa
established, with first declaration of independ-
Complete Argentine independence declared at the
Congress of Tucumin.
Juan Manuel Rosas, Governor of Buenos Aires, be-
came dictator of Argentina.
Present Constitution of Argentina adopted.
Bartolom6 Mitre elected first constitutional Presi-
dent of the Republic.
War of Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay against
Boundary disputes with Chile settled through
arbitration by United Kingdom and United
Establishment, by the Roque Saenz Pefia electoral
law, of universal suffrage and a secret ballot.
Hip6lito Irigoyen elected first Radical President.
President Irigoyen overthrown by a conservative
military revolt led by General Jose F. Uriburu.


Jos~ de San Martin (1778-1850), hero of the wars of independence.
Bartolomi Mitre (1821-1906), greatest of a group of able Presidents
under whose leadership Argentina made rapid progress during the last
b half of the nineteenth century. Mitre's Administration lasted from 1862
to 1868.
Domingo Faustino Sarmiento (1811-1888), educator, author, and
President of the Republic from 1868 to 1874; his greatest achievement
was in the field of public education. The rich pampa south and west of
Buenos Aires was conquered from the Indians during his Adminis-


1928-30 -_ -_
1930-32 --
1932-38 -
1938-42 ---
1942-43 ---
1943 -------
1944 -__------.

Hip6lito Irigoyen.1
Jose F. Uriburu.2
Augustin P. Justo.
Roberto M. Ortiz.3
Ram6n S. Castillo.4
Arturo Rawson.6
Pedro Pablo Ramirez.
Edelmiro J. Farrell.6

ADMINISTRATION (September 15, 1944)
President ------------- Brig. Gen. Edelmiro Farrell_ Mar. 11, 1944
Vice President--------- Brig. Gen. Juan D. Per6n--- July 8, 1944
Minister of Foreign Af- Brig. Gen. Orlando Peluffo__ May 3, 1944
Minister of War-------- Brig. Gen. Juan D. Perdn---- May 4, 1944
Minister of Navy----- Rear Adm. Alberto Teisaire-. Mar. 1, 1944
Minister of Agriculture_ Dr. Gen. Diego I. Mason-.-- June 5, 1943
Minister of Finance----- Dr. Cisar Ameghino______- Oct. 15, 1943

SOverthrown by a military revolution on September 6, 1930.
'Provisional President.
'Resigned June 24, 1942, because of failing health.
'Acting President from July 3, 1940 to June 27, 1942; President thereafter; over-
thrown by military revolt June 4, 1943.
SHeld office for 28 hours; resigned June 6, 1943.
'Assumed office March 11, 1944.

Minister of Justice and R6mulo Etcheverry Boneo--. Sept. 11, 1944
Public Education.
Minister of Public Works- Brig. Gen. Juan D. Pistarini- Dec. 25, 1943
Minister of Interior------ Rear Adm. Alberto Teisaire- July 8, 1944


Area: Argentina, the second largest of the Latin American Republics,
has an area of 1,079,965 square miles, or one-third that of the United States.
Surface: The Andean highlands occupy approximately one-third of the
country; the remainder consists of plains. The highlands are most extensive
in the Northwest and are composed of longitudinal ranges and elevated
plateaus which culminate in the Puna de Atacama along the Chile-Bolivian
frontier. The plains are identified as the Gran Chaco in the North, the
pampa in the central area, and the Patagonian steppes south of the Rio
Climate: In the Chaco and lower plateaus of the Northwest, the climate
is subtropical and the winter months (May to August) are dry. In the
eastern pampa the climate is wet and temperate, whereas in the high Andean
plateaus and on the Patagonian steppes, cool-to-cold arid conditions prevail.


Population: The population was officially estimated at 13,906,694 in
December 1943. The number of persons per square mile ranges from 0.2
in the Territory of Santa Cruz to 66.3 in the small, piedmont Province of
Tucumin. The highest regional density of population (eastern pampa) is
about 26 per square mile; densities in all other regions are considerably less
than 8 per square mile. The largest cities are Buenos Aires (capital)
2,600,000, Rosario 517,000, and C6rdoba 274,000.
Internal growth: In 1941 the birth rate was 24.1 per 1,000 inhabitants
and the death rate 10.8.
Immigration: Argentina has the largest proportion of foreign-born and
first-generation descendants of immigrants of any Latin American country.
The total foreign population in 1940 was 2,355,900.
Racial composition: Ninety-seven percent of the people are estimated
to be of European (mostly Spanish and Italian) descent.
Axis aliens: There are approximately 59,400 Germans (in addition to
110,000 citizens of German descent); 780,000 Italians (plus 2,200,000 of
Italian descent), most of whom are located in the city of Buenos Aires; and
7,100 Japanese.

Language: Spanish is the official language. In some of the foreign
groups, however, the original tongues persist. Foreigners, particularly
Italians, are rapidly assimilated into the national life. German groups,
chiefly in Entre Rios, Misiones, Santa F6, and C6rdoba, preserve the ances-
tral language and culture and are important centers of Nazi activity.


Literacy: At least 85 percent of the persons more than 18 years of age
are believed to be literate.
Schools and enrollment: In 1942 there were 13,968 primary schools
with a total enrollment of 1,928,343. In 1941 the registration in 718 inter-
mediate schools was 135,456. In 1940 there were 37,586 students in the 6


Motor: In 1943 vehicle registrations included 321,374 passenger cars,
S 9,931 busses, and 113,563 trucks, an average of 1 motor vehicle per 31
inhabitants. Estimates indicate that only 75 percent of the passenger cars,
67 percent of the busses, and 80 percent of the trucks actually were in opera-
tion in that year. In December 1942 there were 38,317 miles of improved
Rail and air: Argentina has the best rail transportation in Latin Amer-
ica. In 1941 there were 28,775 miles of track, over which nearly 168 million
passengers traveled. In 1943 there were 7 air lines, 3 of which were national.
At that time the 7 air lines were flying 33,194 scheduled miles per week over
5,604 unduplicated route-miles, with 7 airports of Class III' or larger and
44 of Class II or smaller.
Water: In 1939 there were more than 290 vessels (313,000 tons) under
the Argentine flag, placing this country first in number of ships and third
in total tonnage of all Latin American Republics.

SAirports are classified according to the effective length of the runway based on the
elevation formula of the Civil Aeronautics Administration which represents the length
of runway at sea level corresponding to the actual length at the elevation of the
airport. A Class II airport has a runway at sea level between 2,500 and 3,500 feet;
a Class III airport has a runway at sea level between 3,500 and 4,500 feet. Most
present-day commercial air transport planes require an airport of Class III or larger.


Telephone: More than 1.8 million miles of line connected 460,857 tele-
phones in January 1941.
Telegraph: Nearly 5,000 public telegraph offices and 29,510 miles of
line were in operation in that year.
Radio: In 1943 there were 56 broadcasting stations and an estimated
1,336,000 privately owned receiving sets.
Post: More than 1 billion pieces of mail were handled by the 4,266 post
offices in 1942.


General conditions: Standards are high for the small group in the
middle and upper classes. Argentina has more doctors, dentists, and phar-
macists in relation to population than any of the other Latin American
Republics. Forty-nine percent of the population was gainfully employed in
1938, but 62 percent of the farm land was cultivated by landless peasants.
Cost of living: Although the cost of living rose appreciably during the
first 6 months of the war, government intervention has attempted to retard
the rise of prices. In Buenos Aires the index of general living costs (100 in
1939) rose from 111 in 1942 to 120 in December 1943. The general cost
of living has risen about 20 percent in the last 10 years; the cost of food
has advanced about 17 percent.


In 1941 of 546,703 organized workers, 419,160 belonged to four national
federations: The Confederaci6n General del Trabajo (CGT), 330,681; the
Federaci6n de Circulos Cat6licos de Obreros (FCCO), 40,000; the Uni6n
Sindical Argentina (USA), 26,980; and the Federaci6n de Asociaci6nes
Cat6licas de Empleadas (FACE), 21,500.
The CGT, formed in 1930, became the largest and most influential central
labor body in the country, finding its chief strength among the two railway
unions (105,000), the construction, commercial, urban transit, government,
food, metal, and textile unions. The CGT joined the International Federation
of Trade Unions in 1930 and the Confederaci6n de Trabajadores de America
Latina (CTAL) in 1938. The FACE draws its membership principally
from female white-collar workers. Two-thirds of the organized labor of
the country is concentrated in the Federal Capital.

Under present political conditions in Argentina the exact legal status of
trade unions cannot be defined. The Ramirez and Farrell administrations
have been characterized by the repression of labor organizations militantly
opposing government policies; an attempt to include all labor in a State-
controlled organization has been made by Colonel Juan D. Per6n, head of
* the newly organized Secretariat of Labor.
Argentina as yet has no inclusive minimum-wage or social-security legis-
lation, although certain classes of workers enjoy such benefits.


Argentina's economy rests essentially upon agriculture. The total value of
national production in 1942 was estimated at 7,659 million pesos (peso= 23.6
cents in the free market), distributed as follows:
Millions of pesos
Agriculture--------------------------- ------- 1,862
Cattle raising --------------------1,616
Mining ------------------ ---------------------------- 263
Forestry --------------- ------------------------ 292
Aviculture and fishing--- ---------- ---------------- -- 202
Value added by manufacturing --- ---------------- -- 3,424

Total_ -- --------------------- ------7, 659

Argentina's agriculture resembles that of the United States. It is con-
ducted largely in the Temperate Zone and is more diversified than that of
most Latin American countries. Approximately 65 million acres are under
cultivation, of which almost one-half are devoted to wheat and corn. Alfalfa,
linseed, other small grains, cotton, sugarcane, potatoes, and grapes are other
principal crops. The production of wheat in the 5-year period 1935-40
averaged 6 million metric tons per season, corn 7.5 million metric tons, and
linseed 1.5 million metric tons. Prior to the war about 60 percent of the
wheat, 80 percent of the corn, and 90 percent of the linseed were exported.
Argentina was the world's leading exporter of both corn and linseed, and
one of the chief exporters of wheat. During the war exports of all three
crops declined precipitously. The amounts exported in 1943 had declined
to about 30 percent of total output for wheat, 42 percent for linseed, and 10
percent for corn.
The livestock population included 32 million cattle, 51 million sheep, and
6 million hogs in 1942. The production of cattle and hogs has been in-
creasing, whereas the number of sheep has been declining. Argentine pack-
ing houses (frigorificos) in 1942 slaughtered about 4.5 million cattle, more

than 7 million sheep, and more than 2 million hogs. The country has
supplied three-fourths of the world's exports of chilled beef, was the second
largest exporter of mutton, and the third of wool. Frozen and canned meat,
hides, casein, and butter are other major products of the livestock industry.
Since the outbreak of the war, both volume and value of exports of animal
products have increased.

Argentina is the leading manufacturing country of Latin America. In-
dustry has expanded more rapidly than agriculture in recent years. Between
1935 and 1941 the number of manufacturing establishments increased from
40,000 to 58,000, the number of employees from 538,000 to 862,000, and
the gross value of production from 3.5 to 6.3 billion pesos. The value added
by manufacture in 1941 was estimated at 2.2 billion pesos. Exchange control,
the decline of exports during the depression, tariff protection, and restricted
sources of supply during the war have aided the growth of industry. Invest-
ment in manufacturing is estimated to be one-sixth of that in agriculture.
The leading industries are those devoted to the processing of agricultural
products. Food, beverage, and tobacco industries employ about 20 percent
of the total number of workers and produce one-third of the total value of
manufactures. The textile industry in 1940 supplied 40 percent of the
domestic requirements for cotton cloth, 60 percent for linen, 85 percent
for woolen goods, and almost 100 percent for silk and rayon goods. Leather
and chemical manufactures are increasing. Other important manufactures
include cement, paper, electrical equipment, tires, glass, pharmaceuticals,
and fabricated iron and steel products. The assembly of automobiles also
is important; four-fifths of the automobiles sold in Argentina are assembled
within the country.
The major elements of heavy industry are lacking. Coal and iron deposits
are limited in amount and low in quality. Pre-war imports of coal averaged
about 3 million tons per year. Waterpower sites are located for the most
part in undeveloped areas. The production of petroleum supplies only 65
percent of the domestic need.

Argentine foreign trade generally is larger than that of any other country
of Latin America. In 1938 exports were valued at 1,400 million paper pesos
(416 million dollars), which constituted 24 percent of the value of all Latin
American exports. Imports were valued at 1,461 million paper pesos (429
million dollars), and amounted to 30 percent of the value of all Latin

American imports. Exports ordinarily exceed imports; 1938 was a year of
crop failure and reduced exports.
Trade has declined during the war. In 1942 the value of imports (1,274
million pesos) was almost 13 percent below that of 1938; the quantity de-
clined 54 percent. Exports in that year (1,976 million pesos) increased in
' value from 1938 by 41 percent but declined in quantity by 42 percent. The
decline in volume of trade is due principally to the loss of continental Europe
as a source of imports and a market for exports, and to the inability of the
United States and the United Kingdom to supply Argentina's demand for
goods or to absorb agricultural surpluses.
Exports: The principal exports are agricultural and pastoral products.
In 1938 the value of agricultural exports was 47 percent of total exports;
wheat, corn, and linseed represented 13 percent each. The value of animal
products exported in that year was 45 percent of the total; meats repre-
sented 22.5 percent, wool 11 percent, and hides and skins 7 percent. Since
the beginning of the war both tonnage and value figures for animal products
have risen, whereas those for cereals and linseed have declined. In the
first 9 months of 1943, livestock products comprised 52 percent of the total
value of exports (meat represented 26 percent, wool 8 percent, and hides
8.5 percent), and agricultural products 23.5 percent (linseed represented
8 percent, wheat 6.7 percent, and corn 0.6 percent).
In 1938 the United Kingdom took 33 percent of the total value of Argen-
tine exports, continental Europe 40 percent, Latin America 11 percent, and
the United States 8 percent. In the first 10 months of 1943 the United King-
dom took 30 percent, the United States 23 percent, Brazil 6 percent, the
Union of South Africa 8 percent, and Sweden 3 percent.
Imports: The leading Argentine imports are textiles, fuel, iron and steel
and their manufactures, foodstuffs, and chemical products. These com-
S inodities ordinarily represented more than two-thirds of all imports in the
pre-war period. Although imports have declined sharply in quantity since
the war, their composition has not changed.
Prior to the war the United States supplied 16 percent by value of Argen-
tine imports, the United Kingdom 19 percent, continental Europe 40 percent,
and Latin America 11 percent. In the first 10 months of 1943 the United
Kingdom supplied 21 percent, Brazil 21 percent, the United States 20 percent,
Sweden 10 percent, and Chile and India 4 percent each. The increase in trade
with other American Republics is notable.

Argentina maintains a complex system of exchange control. Rates of
exchange applied to exports and imports vary by commodity and by country.

The exercise of exchange preferences, as well as of quotas, permits the Gov-
ernment to favor certain commodities and countries. These regulations
generally have been administered in favor of imports from countries with
which Argentina has an export balance, particularly those with which it has
official agreements including either clearing or payments provisions.
Except for the free market, the rates of exchange applicable to various
kinds of transactions have been constant in the last few years. The latest
available quotations (September 16, 1944) are as follows:

Paper pesos per dollar
Official A------------------------------------- --- 3. 73
Official B-------------------------------- 4. 23 1
Bid---------------------------- 4.94
Free Market------------- ----- ------------- 4. 04


At the end of 1943 British investments in Argentina totaled about 384
million pounds sterling (more than 1.5 billion dollars). More than one-half
is in railways. Other heavy investments are in the livestock industry (meat-
packing and estancias), manufacturing, banking, shipping, insurance, and
Argentine Government bonds. In the last 2 years substantial amounts of
British holdings have been repatriated through the utilization of a portion
of Argentina's blocked sterling balance in the United Kingdom.
French, German, Dutch, and Belgian capital has been invested in Govern-
ment bonds, railways, land, cattle companies, and commercial enterprises.
The total of such investments probably amounts to one-half billion dollars.
The investments of the United States in Argentina, which date largely
from 1920, were estimated at 570 million dollars in 1941, or approximately
one-fifth of the total foreign investment in that country. The United States
direct investment in public utilities and transportation is about 222 million
dollars, manufacturing plants and equipment 79 million, distribution facili-
ties 24 million, and other industries 63 million. In addition to these direct
investments aggregating 388 million dollars, United States holdings of
Argentine Government bonds total 180 million. The Export-Import Bank of
Washington has loaned about $100,000 to United States exporters of rail-
way equipment to Argentina, and an additional $270,000 for the export of
mining machinery and equipment used to increase the production of tungsten
for the United States. As of July 31, 1944, most of the amount had been
repaid, leaving about $2,000 outstanding.


Government revenues in 1942 amounted to 956.7 million pesos; among the
chief sources were 21 percent from income taxes, 20 percent from customs
duties, and 19 percent from excise taxes. Expenditures in that year were
1,178.7 million pesos; public debt service took 22 percent, the War Depart-
ment received 16 percent, the National Council of Education 12 percent, the
Interior Department 12 percent, and the Department of Justice and Public
Education 11 percent. The deficit of 222 million pesos was financed by
bond issues. Argentina's external debt amounted to 1,300 million pesos on
S June 30, 1943, and the internal debt to 6,969 million.
The volume of bank deposits has been increasing steadily, and was
estimated at 5.9 billion pesos in December 1943, of which 2.3 billion were
in savings deposits. Prices of both imported and domestic goods have
risen. The average wholesale price index (100 in 1926) for 1942 was 187.6
and reached 202.1 for 1943. The index of wages paid increased from 147.2
S in November 1942 to 154.7 in November 1943. Heavy investments in real
estate, inspired by fear of inflation, have caused an expansion in real estate
and building activity. Holdings of gold and foreign exchange by the Cen-
tral Bank amounted to 3,410 million pesos in February 1944.


A major problem is the possibility of a serious industrial recession re-
sulting from the shrinkage in imports of vital materials. Ordinarily, Argen-
tina imports almost 1.5 million tons of material essential for the maintenance
of industrial production, exclusive of fuel. In 1941 the total of such imports
declined to 1 million tons, and in 1942 to 700,000 tons. The tremendous
stocks on hand at the beginning of the war, imports from the United States,
and the utilization of "recovered" materials have permitted a generally high
level of industrial production in 1943. Shortages of specific materials, how-
ever, may cause difficulties in certain lines of activity.
The lack of markets for cereal crop surpluses has required continued
government subsidies for growers. The failure of the 1943 corn crop as a
consequence of drought has bolstered prices somewhat, although it resulted
in unemployment among farm tenants and laborers.
Rising -prices have had unfavorable effects on wage earners, whereas
livestock and business interests generally have enjoyed prosperity.


Argentina signed a reciprocal trade agreement with the United States
on October 14, 1941.


Argentina exports a number of strategic materials to the United States.
The Metals Reserve Co. has contracted for the exportable surplus of zinc,
as well as 91 short tons of beryllium oxide and 1,800 short tons of tungstic
oxide annually. The United States is the principal market for shipments
of lead and mica. An agreement has been concluded between the British
Ministry of Food, acting for the United Nations, and the Argentine meat
packers for the purchase of the exportable surplus of meat in the 2 years
beginning October 1, 1942; United States Government purchases account
for a small percentage of the total. A similar agreement has been nego-
tiated for the exportable surplus of eggs. Through the Commodity Credit
Corporation, the United States has imported wheat for feed grain and some
barley. Argentina also supplies peanuts, vegetable oils, and quebracho.


Background: President Gualberto Villarroel assumed power on Decem-
ber 20, 1943, as a result of a coup d'etat which overthrew the Government
of President Enrique Pefiaranda del Castillo.
Political life under President Pefiaranda had been characterized by do-
mestic opposition to many of his internal policies. His difficulties with labor
culminated in December 1942 in a strike at the Patino tin mines at Catavi.
Subsequently a joint United States-Bolivian mission headed by Judge Cal-
vert Magruder of Boston was appointed to investigate labor and social con-
ditions in Bolivia. The coup which installed the present Villarroel Admin-
istration occurred on the anniversary of the Catavi strike, and members of
the new governing Junta promised that working conditions would be im-
proved in pursuance of recommendations made by the Magruder Mission.
The new regime was recognized on January 3, 1944, by Argentina, the
only Government to do so at that time. The remaining 19 American Re-
publics, in accordance with a recommendation by the Committee for Polit-
ical Defense of the Hemisphere, announced between January 22 and 25,
1944, that they would not recognize the Bolivian Junta as then constituted.

Subsequent developments and changes in personnel brought about recogni-
tion by all American Republics between June 23 and 26, 1944. On July 2
an election was held for a Constituent Assembly, which convened on
August 1.
A decree promulgated by President Pefiaranda on April 7, 1943, declared
that the Executive recognized a state of war as existing between Bolivia and
the Axis Powers. During his visit to the United States a few weeks later,
President Pefiaranda signed the Declaration of the United Nations for
Bolivia. This action was ratified by the Bolivian Congress on November
29, and a formal declaration of war was signed by the President on Decem-
ber 4, 1943. The Villarroel Administration announced that it would
maintain Bolivia's position in the ranks of the United Nations.
Organization: Elections were held on July 2, 1944, for members of a
Constituent Assembly which convened on August 1 to elect a President and
to reform the Constitution. The Assembly confirmed President Villarroel as
the Chief Executive on August 6, 1944, on which date his constitutional term
of office formally began. The Assembly then embarked upon a 90-day ses-
sion to amend the Constitution. On August 26 this body proclaimed that the
Constitution of 1938 would remain in force as the supreme law of the land,
and that a number of constitutional reforms would later be made by the
Assembly. Upon the close of the 90-day period during which the Constitu-
tion is to be amended, the Assembly is scheduled to adjourn and to reconvene
on August 6, 1945, as the National Congress.
The Constitution of 1938 provided for a centralized Republic of 9 Depart-
ments, and a bicameral Congress, with a Senate of 27 members and a
Chamber of Deputies of 110. Regular sessions of Congress open August 6
of each year for 60 days, which may be extended to 90 days when necessary.
The President, according to this Constitution, is elected for a 4-year term
and is assisted by a Cabinet of 9 Ministers. The chief political parties during
the Pefiaranda regime were the Movimiento Nacionalista Revolucionario
(MNR), the Leftist Revolutionary Party (PIR), the Liberal Party, the
Genuine Republican Party, the Republican Socialist Party, and the Unified
Socialist Party. Since the revolution of December 20, 1943, the PIR, Genu-
ine Republicans, Republican Socialists, and Unified Socialists have formed
a loose coalition called the Uni6n Democrdtica Boliviana.

1825 (August 6) -- Independence from Spain established.
1836-39-------- United with Peru in Peru-Bolivian Confederation.
1841------- Battle of Ingavi; conquest of Bolivia by Peru


1932-35 -----
1938 ----
1942 -------
1943 -------

War of the Pacific; Chile against Bolivia and Peru.
Chaco War with Paraguay.
Adoption of present Constitution.
Severed diplomatic relations with Axis Powers.
Declared war against Axis Powers.
Revolt by Army and MNR.


Sim6n Bolivar (1783-1830), liberator of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador,
Peru, and Venezuela.
Jose Antonio Sucre (1795-1830), first President.
Andres Santa Cruz (1792-1865), military leader of the Peruvian con-
quest who established Peru-Bolivian Confederation.
General Jose Ballivian (1804-1852), military leader who preserved
Bolivian independence at Ingavi.


1931-34 -----
1934-36 -------
1936-37 --
1937-39 --
1939-40 -----
1943 ---------

Gen. Blanco Galindo.
Daniel Salamanca.
Luis Tejada Sorzano.
Col. Jose David Toro.
Lt. Gen. German Busch.
Gen. Carlos Quintanilla.
Gen. Enrique Peiiaranda.
Maj. Gualberto Villarroel.

ADMINISTRATION (September 15, 1944)

Minister of Finance ---
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Minister of Interior----
Minister of Defense----
Minister of Public Works-
Minister of Education .__
Minister of Economy -
Minister of Agriculture_-
Minister of Labor ____-

Col. Gualberto Villarroel __ Dec. 20, 1943
Jorge Zarco Kramer------- Apr. 5, 1944
Victor Andrade------- Aug. 6, 1944
Maj. Alfonso Quinteros---- Aug. 8, 1944
Maj. Josi Celestino Pinto-- Dec. 20, 1943
Maj. Antonio Ponce-------- Dec. 20, 1943
Maj. Jorge Calero ----- Dec. 20, 1943
Gustavo Chacn----------- Dec. 20, 1943
Maj. Edmundo Nogales ------ Apr. 5, 1944
Remberto Capriles Rico---- Aug. 8, 1944


Area: Bolivia, the seventh largest of the Latin American Republics, has
an area of 416,040 square miles.
Surface: Approximately three-fifths of the area is composed of tropical
lowlands, and the remainder of mountains and high plateaus. The northern
lowlands are a part of the Amazon Basin, whereas the southeastern lowlands
are a part of the Chaco and La Plata drainage basin. A vast plateau (the
altiplano), averaging 12,000 feet in elevation, lies between two lofty cor-
dilleras of the Andes. The deeply dissected east slopes of the eastern cor-
dillera form the region of the Yungas and valleys.
Climate: The more clearly defined climates of Bolivia include the wet,
tropical type of the northern lowlands; the "dry-winter" tropical type of
the eastern lowlands; the wet, subtropical, and temperate types of the
eastern valleys; the perpetually cool type of the altiplano; and the cool-to-
cold type at altitudes above 13,000 feet. Rainfall on the altiplano varies
from an average of 30 inches in the North to 5 inches or less in the South.


Population: The total population was 3,533,900 in 1942. Inhabitants
per square mile range from 0.6 in the tropical lowlands of the Department
of Pando to 28.5 in the agricultural Department of Cochabamba. The largest
cities are La Paz (capital) 301,000, Cochabamba 60,000, and Oruro 50,000.
Internal growth: The birth rate in La Paz in 1937 was 27.7 per 1,000,
and the general death rate was 22.4. Complete vital statistics are not avail-
Immigration: With the exception of an estimated 13,000 Jewish refugees
who have entered Bolivia in recent years, immigration has not been an
important factor in the growth of the population.
Racial composition: Of the total population, 54 percent are Indians
(probably a greater proportion than in any other Latin American country),
32 percent Mestizos (Cholos), and 13 percent of European descent (mostly
Axis aliens: It is estimated that Bolivia has approximately 1,400 non-
Jewish Germans (plus 3,500 citizens of German descent), 500 Italians (in
addition to 300 citizens of Italian descent), and 200 Japanese.
Language: Spanish is the official language, although Indian dialects
prevail in all Indian communities.

Literacy: About 20 percent of the population more than 7 years of age
was estimated to be literate in 1939.
Schools and enrollment: In 1942 there were 1,766 primary schools
with a total enrollment of 160,283. In 1941, 11,255 students were enrolled
in 77 intermediate schools. There are 6 universities in Bolivia, but no
registration data are available.

Motor: Bolivian vehicular registrations in January 1943 included 2,545
passenger cars, 148 busses, and 4,481 trucks, an average of 1 motor vehicle
per 493 inhabitants. In the same year there were 3,710 miles of road, mostly
Rail and air: The railways maintained more than 1,294 miles of track
and carried 1,231,400 passengers in 1939. In March 1943, 3 air lines served
Bolivia, 2 of which were national. At that time the 3 air lines were flying
10,759 scheduled miles per week over 4,117 unduplicated route-miles.

Telephone: Approximately 4,750 telephones were in service in 1941.
Telegraph: In that year there were 93 telegraph offices and about 8,000
miles of line throughout the country.
Radio: The number of radios in use was estimated officially at 40,000
in March 1944, and there were 28 broadcasting stations.
Post: Ordinary mail amounting to 5.8 million pieces was handled in
1940 by more than 500 post offices.

Cost of living: The general cost-of-living index in La Paz (1940=100)
rose from 151.5 in January 1943 to 162.3 in November.

The Confederaci6n Sindical de Trabajadores de Bolivia (CSTB) in 1939
reported 70,000 members grouped into 213 unions, which included prin-
cipally miners, transport workers, and white-collar employees. It is affil-
iated with the Confederacidn de Trabajadores de America Latina (CTAL).
The main centers of organization are the mining and industrial areas of
La Paz, Potosi, and Oruro.

The general labor law now in effect is the Busch Code of 1939. Action on
another labor code has been pending in the national Legislature for some
time. Bolivia has as yet no national law on social security. Early in 1944
a minimum wage decree was promulgated, creating a Minimum Wage Cen-
tral Committee to establish minimum rates for various regions.

Although ample potentialities exist in Bolivia, agriculture has not been
well developed. About 5 million acres are estimated to be under cultivation.
SThe land is tilled with primitive tools and productivity is low. Agricultural
commodities are raised chiefly for the domestic market, since Bolivia as a
whole is a net importer of food products. Small quantities of dried fruits,
coffee, rubber, cinchona, cacao, Brazil and palm nuts, live cattle and cattle
hides, and wool are exported. In an effort to foster the growth of agri-
cultural industries, the Government in 1942 decreed the establishment of an
agricultural bank with a capital of 50 million bolivianos (boliviano equals
2.4 cents), and reestablished the Ministry of Agriculture and Colonization.

Mining is the most important industry, and the one on which foreign
S trade largely depends. Tin is by far the leading mineral, but Bolivia also
produces gold, silver, copper, tungsten, bismuth, lead, antimony, zinc, and
petroleum. There are small deposits of nonmetallic minerals, such as asbes-
tos, gypsum, and sulfur. In the period 1938-41, minerals constituted more
than 90 percent of the total value of Bolivian exports, with tin alone account-
ing for about 70 percent. The development of the tin industry is of fairly
recent origin, dating from about 1895. Much foreign capital is invested in
tin mining. The ore is complex in character so that the cost of producing
tin therefrom is high.

Manufacturing industries in Bolivia are of small importance. They are
limited for the most part to the processing of foodstuffs and beverages, and
the production of textiles, furniture, tobacco, glassware, and chemical prod-
ucts. In 1941 the value of manufacturing, including light and power indus-
tries, totaled about 720 million bolivianos. In that year the food and bev-
erage industry accounted for about 26 percent of the wage earners employed
in manufacturing, for 30 percent of the wages and salaries paid, and approxi-
mately 41 percent of the total value of production. The textile industry

employed 24 percent of the workers, and accounted for 24 percent of wages
and salaries, and for 18 percent of total value.
Most manufacturing is centered in the Department of La Paz; in 1941
about 48 percent of the total number of establishments were located there.
These industrial establishments represented 88 percent of the total capital
invested in industry, employed 68 percent of all industrial workers, and
accounted for 74 percent of the total value of industrial production. The
capital employed in industry amounted to 853 million bolivianos, the value
of raw materials to 271 million, and pay rolls to about 80 million. All rep-
resented substantial increases over 1939. There were notable advances in
1941 in the production of textiles, clothing, leather manufactures, cement,
soaps, crown caps, and glassware.
Lack of cheap power and coal has limited the development of new indus-
tries in Bolivia. There are large potential supplies of hydroelectric power
and, partially under the stimulus of loans by the Export-Import Bank of
Washington, the development of petroleum resources is under way.


In 1940 Bolivia ranked tenth in value of foreign trade of the Latin Ameri-
can Republics. Exports and imports represented about 2 percent by value
of all foreign trade of Latin America. Bolivian exports usually exceed
imports. Since the country is entirely landlocked, all foreign trade is con-
ducted through Argentina, Chile, or Peru, which grant special privileges to
the entry and departure of commodities credited to Bolivia.
Exports: In 1942 total exports amounted to 60.8 million dollars, of which
tin and other metals accounted for 96 percent. The remainder was composed
of small quantities of forest products, such as rubber, cinchona, and quinine;
foodstuffs, such as Brazil and palm nuts; live animals, almost entirely cattle;
and some manufactured products, notably woolen gootls. Rubber was the
ranking nonmineral export in 1942.
Before the present war, the United Kingdom was the largest market,
chiefly because of its tin-smelting facilities. In 1939 that country took
approximately 63 percent, Belgium 22 percent, the Netherlands and the
United States 5 percent each, and Germany 1 percent of the total value of
Bolivian exports. In 1942, however, the United States purchased 66 per-
cent of total exports, and the United Kingdom secured a large part of the
Imports: Bolivian imports, both before and since the outbreak of the
war, consisted chiefly of manufactured products, and were valued at more
than 33.7 million dollars in 1942. The United States has been the chief
supplier, furnishing 26 percent of the total value of imports in 1938. Ger-

many followed with 18 percent, Argentina and Peru with 13 percent each,
and the United Kingdom and Japan with 7 percent each. Since the war
began, the United States has supplied an increasing proportion of Bolivia's
imports. In 1942 that country furnished 42 percent by value, Argentina 20
percent, and Peru about 15 percent.


Annual average Latest available
rate 1 quotation
Unit Type of exchange

1942 1943 Rate Date

oliviano... Controlled ..... 46.46 42.91 42.42 Aug. 22, 1944
olviano Curb.......... 49.66 45.42 50.00 Do.

I Average rates are actual selling rates for sight drafts on New York, in terms of
bolivianos per dollar.

Bolivia abandoned the gold standard in September 1931. Exchange con-
S trol was established in May 1932. From then until August 1937, control
was administered by the Exchange Control Board. The Board was abolished
in August 1937; thereafter Bolivia's exchange control system was admin-
istered by the Central Bank, subject to the final authority of the Minister of
Finance. By a decree of February 12, 1943, the Banco Central revised the
value of the boliviano upward from about 46 per United States dollar to
about 42. By a decree of January 3, 1944, the Banco Central was granted
the exclusive right to sell foreign exchange for private purposes. The adverse
effects on the returns to Bolivian producers of minerals, because of the re-
valuation, have been offset to some extent by a reduction in export tax sur-
Gold and foreign exchange holdings of the Banco Central on December 31,
1943, amounted to 22.5 million dollars.


The funded foreign currency debt of the Bolivian Government consists of
five issues of dollar bonds which in 1943 were outstanding in the principal
amount of approximately 60 million dollars. Interest payments have been

partially maintained on one issue; interest on the remainder has been in
default since 1931 and the accrued but unpaid interest now totals about 52
million dollars. At the end of 1940 almost 54 million dollars (par value)
of Bolivian dollar bonds, all of which were in default, were estimated
to have been held in the United States.
United States direct investments in Bolivia at the end of 1940 were esti-
mated at 26.8 million dollars, mostly in petroleum, followed by mining and
smelting, distribution, manufacturing, public utilities, and transportation.
In 1942 a settlement was reached on the Standard Oil Co. expropriation
claims whereby, in return for payment to the company of 1.7 million dollars,
the Bolivian Government received the property rights of the company in
that country.
The direct investments in Bolivia of countries other than the United States
are principally British (about 19 million dollars), Canadian (10 million),
and German (8 million). The British investments are chiefly in transpor-
tation, communication, and shipping; the Canadian, entirely in transporta-
tion and communication; and the German, mainly in commercial enterprises
and real estate.
In 1942 Argentina advanced about 2.5 million pesos for the construction
of a railway from Yocuiba to Santa Cruz and 10 million pesos for the con-
struction of a highway in southern Bolivia.
Loans totaling about 2 million dollars have been made by the Export-
Import Bank of Washington to cover the purchase of mining equipment to
be used in Bolivia to increase the production of tungsten for the United
States. An additional credit of 15.5 million dollars extended to the Bolivian
Development Corporation for the purchase of materials and equipment from
United States exporters has not yet been utilized.


During the Chaco War which ended in 1935, expenditures exceeded re-
ceipts by large amounts, and an additional substantial deficit accrued in the
following year. Since 1937, however, Bolivia has enjoyed sizable budget
surpluses. The budget for 1944 authorizes the expenditure of 1,225 million
bolivianos. About 25 percent is set aside for the servicing of government
debts, 20 percent for national defense, and 14 percent for education.
Among the revenues for 1944, direct and indirect taxes are budgeted to
yield 94 percent, national property and national services 2 percent, and
miscellaneous 4 percent. Taxes on the mining industry account for more
than 50 percent of the total revenue.

Although 1943 was a year of stimulated production and foreign trade,
in which lucrative prices for Bolivian strategic minerals, rubber, and
cinchona contributed to a condition of seeming prosperity, uneasiness exists
because of the fear of a collapse in the demand for high-cost minerals in
the post-war period.
Bolivia is beset by a serious problem of inflation. The cost-of-living index
of prime necessities (1939 equals 100) rose from 127.4 in January 1943 to
130.5 in November, whereas the general cost-of-living index increased in that
period from 151.5 to 162.3. In an effort to cope with its inflation problem,
the Bolivian Government, assisted by an expert of the Office of Price Admin-
istration, Mr. James Davis, developed a program of price control in 1942
and established, at his advice, a National Economic Council to execute the
Transportation facilities are inadequate in Bolivia. Additional railway
lines and highways are needed to connect the country with its neighbors, as
well as to link areas within the country that have resources which logically
may be developed and expanded on the basis of mutually beneficial trade.
Recent agreements, notably with Argentina, Chile, Brazil, and the United
States, provide for the construction of highways and railroads designed
ultimately to integrate the transportation system of the region.
Despite the increased production of petroleum, Bolivia has suffered severe
shortages of this commodity, particularly because of inadequate storage and
transportation facilities. Rationing was inaugurated in 1942, and toward
the end of the year the situation eased.
Bolivia adopted the Busch Labor Code as a provisional law in 1942. This
code confers extensive benefits on wage earners and, if enforced, will
materially improve the level of living of the majority, although at the risk
of still further impairing capital investment, which already has been deterred
by growing taxation.

Following the completion by the United States (Bohan) Economic Mission
of a survey of the Bolivian economy and its prospects for development,
agreements to promote this development in Bolivia were signed by the United
States in 1942. The agreements were the basis for the formation of the
Bolivian Development Corporation to further the expansion of agricultural
and other industries, and of transportation facilities.
In that year an agreement was reached whereby the Bolivian Government
is to sell to the Rubber Reserve Company Bolivia's entire production of

rubber for the next 5 years, except for the quantities needed by domestic
industry and for 250 metric tons annually which the Government may export
to neighboring countries.
In addition to the rubber pact, agreements and contracts were signed under
which the United States purchases tin, tungsten, antimony, lead, and quinine.
Bolivia signed a lend-lease agreement with the United States on December
6, 1941, and a reciprocal trade agreement is being negotiated.

Bolivia's chief contribution to the United Nations war effort has consisted
of an expansion in the production of such strategic materials as tin, tungsten,
rubber, and cinchona. Exports of these commodities are being limited almost
wholly to the United States.

Background: President Getulio Dornelles Vargas has been Chief Ex-
ecutive of Brazil since 1930. Having served as Governor of the State of Rio
Grande do Sul, he entered the Presidential campaign in 1930 against Julio
Prestes de Albuquerque, the Governor of the State of Sao Paulo. Alleged
interference in the elections by President Washington Luiz Pereira de Souza
in favor of Julio Prestes de Albuquerque led to a revolt of the Rio Grande
do Sul faction, and Vargas became President in October 1930.
In 1934 a Constituent Assembly was convoked in Rio de Janeiro, a new
Constitution was drafted, and Vargas was chosen President by the Assembly.
For the next 3 years he governed through a Congress with the aid of a Cab-
inet of 11 ministers. In 1937 President Vargas dissolved the Congress and
assumed direct control of the Government. Since then he has governed
without a legislative body. A new constitution was promulgated in 1937,
but the plebiscite necessary to make it effective has not yet been held. How-
ever, President Vargas has promised on several occasions that the plebiscite
would be held after the war.
World events since 1937, culminating in Brazil's declaration of war
against Germany and Italy in August 1942, have overshadowed domestic
politics. Political parties are illegal under the present regime. Brazil has
given close military and economic cooperation to the United Nations during
the war; a Brazilian Expeditionary Force and an air force are active in the
European theater of war.

Organization: Brazil is a federal union of 20 States. By a decree of
1939 the National Government acquired virtually complete control over the
governments and administration of the States. Interventors responsible only
to the National Government govern 19 of the 20, and the Governor of the
remaining State by a decree of 1939 was made responsible to the central gov-
S ernment rather than to the people of the State. In 1943 an executive order
created 5 Territories along the border.

1808 (January 25) __ Arrival of Portuguese royal family in Brazil.
1822 (September 7) Independence Day.
1825 _-- _________ Independence of Brazil recognized by Portugal.
1864-70 -------__- Participation of Brazil in war of the Triple
Alliance against Paraguay.
1888 --------------End of slavery in Brazil.
1889 -----_-___- Monarchy ended and the Republic established.
1892-95 --_----_- Civil war.
1917 -------------- Brazil entered World War I.
1930 ------------ President Vargas established as Administrator.
1942 ------------- Brazil declared war against the Axis Powers.

Joaquim Jose da Silva Xavier (1748-1792), hero of first independence
movement; usually spoken of by the nickname "Tiradentes."
Jose Bonifacio de Andrada e Silva (1765-1828), statesman, naturalist,
and the "Patriarch of Independence."
) Marshal Manoel Deodoro da Fonseca (1827-1892), leader in the estab-
lishment of the Brazilian Republic.

1926-30------- Dr. Washington Luis Pereira de Souza.
1930--------- Dr. Getulio Dornelles Vargas.

ADMINISTRATION (September 15, 1944)
President (Chief of State) Getulio Dornelles Vargas ... July 17, 1934
Minister of Foreign Affairs- Pedro Ledo Velloso ------ Aug. 23,1944
Minister of Justice and In- Alexandre Marcondes Filho_- July 17, 1942

Minister of Marine -----

Minister of War-------
Minister of Aviation---
Minister of Finance----
Minister of Communica-
tions and Public Works.
Minister of Agriculture.--
Minister of Labor, Indus-
try, and Commerce.
Minister of Education and
Public Health.
Coordinator of Economic

Adm. Henrique Aristides Nov. 16, 1935
Gen. Eurico Gaspar Dutra--. Dec. 5, 1936
Joaquim Pedro Salgado Filho- Jan. 20, 1941
Arthur de Souza Costa ----- July 24, 1934
Col. Jodo de Mendonca Lima- Dec. 5, 1937

Apolonio Sales ----------- Feb. 27, 1942
Alexandre Marcondes Filho- Dec. 28, 1941

Gustavo Capanema ------- July 24, 1934

Anapio Gomez ----------- Aug. 23, 1944


Area: Brazil, the largest country in Latin America and the fourth largest
in the world, has an area of 3,286,170 square miles. The country borders
on every political division of South America, except Chile and Ecuador.
Surface: More than one-half of the total surface is a vast plateau (1,000
to 3,000 feet in elevation) which is deeply dissected by river valleys. The
Amazon lowlands and a small part of the Plata lowlands occupy more than
two-fifths of the surface. Less than 2 percent of the entire area is under
Climate: Wet, tropical climates prevail throughout a major part of the
Amazon lowlands and along the narrow coastal plain from Natal to Rio de
Janeiro. Tropical and subtropical climates marked by dry winters extend
over most of the plateau region, and severe periodic droughts occur in
several of the States of the Northeast, particularly in Ceari. In the South-
east, temperate, dry-weather climates prevail, whereas in the South the rains
are not marked by seasonal periodicity.


Population: The total population in 1942 was 43,550,000, the largest
in Latin America and nearly one-half the total of South America. The
number of persons per square mile ranges from 0.7 in the State of Amazonas
to 114.0 in the State of Rio de Janeiro. The States having a density greater
than 65 per square mile are Rio de Janeiro, Alagoas, Sgo Paulo, Pernam-

buco, Paraiba, and Sergipe. The largest cities are Rio de Janeiro (capital)
1,780,000, Sao Paulo 1,315,000, and Recife 350,000.
Internal growth: The birth rate in 1940 was 40.2 per 1,000 and the
death rate, 25.8.
Immigration: More than 4 million persons (mostly Europeans) have
settled in Brazil since 1885.
Racial composition: It is officially estimated that almost 60 percent of
the population is of European origin (chiefly Portuguese, Italian, and Ger-
man). The mixed groups (combinations of White, Negro, and Indian)
comprise 30 percent, Negroes 8 percent, Indians 2 percent, and Japanese
Sand others less than 1 percent.
Axis aliens: There are approximately 150,000 Germans (plus 1,055,000
citizens of German descent), most of whom live in the South and Southeast;
1 million Italians (plus 3,400,000 citizens of Italian descent), most of
whom live also in the Southeast, especially in the State of Sao Paulo; and
at least 250,000 Japanese, the majority of whom live in the State of Sao
I Paulo.
Language: Portuguese is the official language.

Literacy: According to recent estimates (1942), about 50 percent of the
adult population is literate.
Schools and enrollment: The 42,794 primary schools had a total en-
rollment of 3,350,737 students in 1941, and the 4,572 intermediate schools
reported 419,674. In that year there were 4 universities, in addition to 57
separate faculties and institutes with a total registration of 21,098 students.


Motor: Vehicular registrations included 120,710 passenger cars, of which
only 32 percent were in operation, 6,705 busses, and 91,149 trucks in 1943,
an average of 1 motor vehicle per 200 inhabitants. In 1938 there were
about 130,000 miles of roads in the Republic.
Rail and air: The railroads of Brazil carried 194.7 million passengers
in 1939 over 21,250 miles of track. In March 1943 there were 7 air lines,
6 of which were national. At that time the 7 air lines were flying 175,013
scheduled miles per week over 37,728 unduplicated route-miles.
Water: In 1939 more than 290 vessels with a tonnage of 488,000 flew
the Brazilian flag. More than 7,000 transocean ships (approximately 29
million registered tons) entered Brazilian ports in 1938, and coastwise
traffic accounted for 43,395 ships, registering in excess of 21 million tons.


) :


Telephone: The telephone system in 1941 included approximately 290,-
900 instruments and 570,000 miles of line.
Telegraph: More than 5,000 telegraph offices maintained nearly 78,000
miles of line in 1936.
Radio: Private radio receiving sets were estimated at 898,000 in 1943,
and there were 97 broadcasting stations.
Post: A total of 4,870 post offices handled nearly 2 billion pieces of mail
in 1939.

In Rio de Janeiro the cost-of-living index (100 in 1929) rose from 87
in 1933 to 163 in March 1943.

Associations of employees and workers, or of employers, may function
as syndicates if they secure the approval of the Ministry of Labor.
Only duly recognized syndicates may represent the interests of their mem-
bers before administrative and judicial authorities, enter into collective
labor contracts, and nominate representatives to the Labor Courts and the
Minimum Wage Commissions. Not less than five syndicates may form
federations, and not less than three federations may organize confederations.
The law authorizes the establishment of 15 national confederations: 7 each
for employees and employers, and one for members of the liberal profes-
sions. These are for industry, commerce, land transport, maritime and
air transport, communications, credit institutions, education and cultural
institutions, and the liberal professions. In 1940 there were 2,554 syndi-
cates of employers, employees, and professional groups with a total mem-
bership of 367,360.
National labor legislation is embodied in the Consolidated Labor Laws
of Brazil of 1943, a revision of earlier legislation. It provides for an 8-
hour day; equal pay for equal work, regardless of sex; the establishment of
minimum-wage schedules; the granting of maternity leave with full pay
from 6 weeks before to 6 weeks after parturition; protection of the national
labor market; and the organization of labor syndicates. Strikes are banned
by the Constitution. Social insurance is administered by 6 national in-
stitutes covering workers in transportation, industry, finance, and com-
merce, and 32 pension funds for other groups. The organization of rural
syndicates was projected by a law of 1944.

The Ministry of Labor, Industry, and Commerce, as reorganized in 1944,
includes the National Labor Bureau with administrative functions, a system
of labor courts organized throughout the country culminating in the
National Labor Council, and various other agencies related to labor of a
technical and policy-making character.

Brazil is predominantly an agricultural country. In 1942 almost 9 million
of its 13 million gainfully employed persons were engaged in agriculture.
The cultivated area is estimated at 30 to 35 million acres. In terms of
value, coffee, cotton, and corn are the main crops. Rice, sugar, manioc,
beans, citrus fruits, bananas and other fruits, tobacco, wheat, oil-bearing
seeds and nuts, and cacao are also produced. Coffee, despite the recently
increased output of other crops, is the principal agricultural commodity.
Brazil's current annual production of approximately 13 million bags (60
kilos each) is about one-half of total world output.
The production of cotton has increased greatly since the early 1930's and
now is about 2 million bales per year. The annual production of corn is
approximately 5 million metric tons; the country ranks third among world
producers of this commodity. The production of rice amounts to approxi-
mately 136,000 metric tons per year and is larger than that of any other
j country of the Western Hemisphere. Corn and rice are produced primarily
for domestic consumption. In 1938 cattle numbered 42 million, sheep 14
million, goats 6 million, and hogs 24 million. Hides, skins, and meats are
the major animal products; meat is more important for domestic consump-
tion than for export.
The war has focused attention on Brazil as a source of rubber. Inten-
I sive efforts are being made to increase the output from the recent maximum
annual production of 20,000 tons to 75,000 tons in 1944. Scarcity of labor
in the Amazon region (the area of wild-rubber production), inadequate
transportation, health hazards, and other difficulties must be overcome to
attain these goals.


Brazil is one of the richest countries of the world in mineral resources.
It possesses large deposits of iron, copper, manganese, mica, lead, zinc,
nickel, chromium, mercury, platinum, gold, carbonados, and precious stones.
The iron reserves are among the largest in the world. There are substantial
deposits of bituminous coal, and the domestic production of this fuel has
increased greatly in recent years.

Industry has developed rapidly since 1900, and particularly after 1929.
In 1942 there were 78,012 industrial establishments with about 950,000 em-
ployees. Value of industrial production in 1941 was estimated at 765
million dollars. Manufactured foodstuffs and cotton textiles constituted
one-half of the total value. Exports of manufactures and semimanufactures
in 1941 were valued at 90 million dollars. In the production of a number
of consumer goods, Brazil has attained virtual self-sufficiency.
The rate of industrial development has been accelerated in recent years,
especially since the beginning of the war. The greatest expansion has taken
place in the output of producers' goods. In 1940 steel production was
141,000 tons, pig iron 185,000 tons, and rolled products 135,000 tons.
The National Steel Mill, which is under construction with the financial and
technical assistance of the United States, will produce annually 375,000 tons
of bar steel and 265,000 tons of rolling material. Other developments in-
clude a pulp and paper mill to produce wood pulp and newsprint, a factory
for the production of flat glass, a plant to manufacture airplane motors, and
an establishment for refining aluminum. The production of rayon, chemical
products, and metals of all types, as well as cotton textiles, has been
A United States Technical Mission visited Brazil in 1942 to assist in
the expansion of Brazilian production. The Mission predicted great in-
dustrial development on the basis of hydroelectric power, light metals, and
extension of transportation facilities. Industry still is dependent upon the
importation of many vital raw materials, manufactured producer.; goods,
and fuels.

Brazil is one of the most important trading nations of Latin America. In
1938 exports were valued at 295.6 million dollars, or 16 percent of the value
of all exports of the Latin American Republics. Imports amounted to 295.6
million dollars, or 20 percent of the total imports of the Latin American
countries. In 1943 the value of exports amounted to 436.4 million dollars
and of imports, 303.6 million.
Exports: In 1938 coffee and cotton accounted for 63 percent of all
exports. Cacao beans, meat, carnauba wax, hides and skins, and fodder
were other important exports. In that year 34 percent of the exports went
to the United States, and 19 percent to Germany. In 1943 the United States
purchased 51 percent, the United Kingdom 14 percent, Argentina 9 percent,
and the Union of South Africa 8 percent.

Imports: Imports comprise a wide variety of manufactured goods,
machinery and equipment, and raw materials for domestic processing. In
1938 manufactured products, principally machinery, constituted 55 percent
of total imports, raw materials accounted for 29 percent, and foodstuffs,
chiefly wheat from Argentina, for about 16 percent. The United States
supplied 24 percent, Germany 25 percent, the United Kingdom 10 percent,
and France 3 percent. In 1943 manufactures amounted to 52 percent of
total imports, raw materials 31 percent, and foodstuffs 17 percent. More
than 54 percent of these imports were obtained from the United States;
Argentina supplied 19 percent and the United Kingdom 7 percent.
Under the United States-Brazilian trade agreement, Brazil granted re-
ductions in duty on 67 United States industrial and agricultural products.
These reductions ranged between 20 and 67 percent of the previous duties.
Brazil was assured of continued duty-free entry into the United States of
coffee and 11 other products; these 12 together constitute 90 percent of
United States imports from Brazil. Reductions in duties also were provided
for seven other Brazilian commodities.


Annual aver- Latest available
S) age rate I quotation
Unit Type of exchange

1942 1943 Rate Date

1 Official .......... 16.50 16.50 16.50 Sept. 11, 1944
Cruzeiro. Free market ...... 19.64 19.63 19.65 Do.
Special free market. 20.52 20.43 20.00 Do.

1 Average selling rates are actual rates for sight drafts on New York, in units of
foreign currency per dollar.

Under a law of October 6, 1942, the cruzeiro became the unit of Brazilian
currency, replacing the milreis.
The gold and foreign exchange position of the Bank of Brazil, which
functions as fiscal agent of the Brazilian Government, became increasingly
favorable in 1942. The ratio of total gold and foreign exchange holdings
of the Bank to the Brazilian note issue, and to the deposit and demand
Liabilities of the Bank, was more than 30 percent at the end of 1942. The
Bank of Brazil has complete control over all foreign-exchange transactions.

United States holdings of Brazilian dollar bonds total about 125 million
dollars (par value) of national government issues and a like amount of
local government issues; the two groups comprise approximately 25 percent
of the total Brazilian external long-term debt. The Brazilian settlement of
1943 scaled down the total debt burden (through reductions in principal
or interest, or both) by about two-thirds. The plan is not unilateral but
rather the result of long negotiation between Brazilian representatives and
British and United States interests. In 1943 a substantial repatriation of
Brazilian dollar bonds was effected, many of them being repurchased from
European investors.
United States direct investments in Brazil are estimated at 200 million
dollars. Commitments of the Export-Import Bank of Washington in the
case of Brazil are substantial, with authorized credits of more than 90 mil-
lion dollars. In addition to the credits aggregating about 60 million dol-
lars for the steel mill at Volta Redonda, Itabira, and other projects of the
Brazilian Government, these include credits extended to United States ex-
porters of railway equipment, electrical equipment, and other capital goods.
In 1943 British investments totaled more than 1 billion dollars, including
both direct investments and portfolio holdings.

The expenditures of the Brazilian Federal Government have exceeded
revenues for many years. In 1942 expenditures were 5 billion cruzeiros
(about 250 million dollars), and receipts, 4.4 billion. The budget for 1944
provides for expenditures of 5.3 billion cruzeiros and for revenues of 5.6
Customs duties ordinarily account for 35 percent of the revenues and
consumption taxes for 25 percent. The principal expenditures are for
national defense and public works, each of which represents 25 percent of
the total.
In the budget for 1944 income taxes are expected to provide 34 percent
of total revenues, import taxes 12 percent, and income from industries
subject to consumption tax 12 percent.

Although shortages of petroleum, coal, and coke were alleviated some-
what during 1943, the situation continues to be unsatisfactory. Imports
from the United States and other sources have been insufficient to cover
requirements, despite increased domestic production.

Rising prices of foodstuffs and difficulties of distribution have adversely
affected levels of living. A deterioration in general health conditions and
a critical situation for the families of unskilled workers have been reported.
Various measures were taken to solve the problem of foodstuffs. An agree-
ment was reached between the Coordinator of Economic Mobilization and the
syndicates of Wholesalers of Foodstuffs and Foodstuffs Brokers to regulate
the production, distribution, and price of foodstuffs.
The current development of new industry is contingent on imports of
essential materials from the United States. Inadequate transportation
facilities and shortage of some iron and steel items have impeded con-
tinued industrial expansion, especially in the field of construction.

In 1942, 30 agreements were signed between the United States and Brazil.
These cover the development of the production of basic and strategic
materials in Brazil, loans by the Export-Import Bank, the purchase of vari-
ous commodities, the production of food, and a health and sanitation pro-
gram. One Export-Import Bank credit (45 million dollars) is for equip-
ment for the National Steel Mill. Other agreements provide for the pur-
chase of Brazil's entire surplus of various critical and strategic materials,
including agricultural and forest products, and metals.
SThe United States agreed in October 1942 to purchase large quantities
of Brazilian coffee. Under the agreement, the United States undertook to
purchase the unshipped balance of the United States quotas for the 1941-42
and 1942-43 quota years. This agreement resulted in a rise in the price
of coffee.
In its health and sanitation, and its food production agreements with
Brazil, the United States began a relatively new type of international
cooperation. Under these agreements United States technical assistance,
and to some extent financial assistance, are being extended to aid Brazil in
the solution of some of its most difficult and pressing social and economic
problems. These agreements represent significant innovations in United
States-Latin American relations.
Brazil signed reciprocal trade and lend-lease agreements with the United
States on February 2, 1935, and March 3, 1942, respectively.

Brazil's great natural resources are being developed on a large scale to
supply vital materials for the war effort. An agreement for the development
and purchase of the annual output of high-grade iron ore has been made

between Brazil and the Governments of the United Kingdom and the United
States. Shipments of industrial diamonds and quartz crystals also are
divided between the United States and the United Kingdom. During 1943
production of the rare metal tantalum, essential for alloys and filaments, in-
creased 140 percent.
The United States has contracted to buy the entire exportable surplus
of mica until September 1944, and all grades of manganese up to a total
of 500,000 tons annually. Brazil also sends the United States bauxite,
beryllium, bismuth, chrome, cobalt, lithium, nickel, rutile, tungsten, and
zirconium. It is an important supplier of rubber, as a result of the extensive
development program in the Amazon forests. The country also has en-
couraged the cultivation of oleaginous seeds and fibers for industrial use.
The Commodity Credit Corporation has contracted for the entire exportable
surplus of babassu kernels and oil until 1946. Other agreements have been
concluded for the export of castor seeds and oiticica oil, substitutes for oils
formerly obtained from the Far East.
A new agreement is in negotiation for the purchase of ipecac, a critical
commodity. Until 1946 the United States will receive the entire output of
rotenone and pyrethrum, used in the manufacture of insecticides. The
United Kingdom and the United States plan to buy the exportable surplus
of rice produced in Brazil from the 1943-44 and 1944-45 crops, except for
10,000 metric tons reserved for the rest of the Hemisphere. Wartime uses
have increased the need for Brazil's urucuri and carnauba waxes, especially
in the fabrication of waterproofed materials. The Commodity Credit Cor-
portation also is purchasing large quantities of coffee and cacao.

Background: President Juan Antonio Rios Morales won the special
election held on February 2, 1942, to choose a successor to President Pedro
Aguirre Cerda, whose request for leave of absence on November 15, 1941,
shortly before his death, terminated the only Popular Front Government
which has held office in the Americas. President Rios, a leader of the
Radical Party, was inaugurated on April 1, 1942, for the regular 6-year
term. His opponent was ex-President General Carlos Ibdiiez.
Nominally the Popular Front has ceased to exist, but several of the
groups of which it was constituted, the Radical, Socialist, Communist,
Workers' Socialist, and Democratic Parties, have formed another pro-
administration body called the Democratic Alliance. During Aguirre
Cerda's administration the opposition parties were not represented in the

Cabinet, but after President Rios assumed office he brought several mem-
bers of the Liberal Party into his Government. Meanwhile, the Socialist,
Communist, and Workers' Socialist Parties continued their efforts to form a
unified party to represent labor.
The chief domestic political issue in 1943 was that of granting additional
economic powers to the President, a question which was settled by the pro-
mulgation of a constitutional amendment called the "Economic Bill" on
November 29, 1943. According to its provisions all functions relating to
the compilation of the annual budget are placed under the President's
supervision, and the President is given the exclusive authority to introduce
the budget in Congress.
The Chilean Foreign Minister, Joaquin Ferndndez y Fernindez, was a
guest of the United States in Washington in September 1943, during his
tour of the Americas. Recently Chilean relations with the United States
have been focused on economic agreements for supplying strategic materials
to the latter country.
SChile severed diplomatic relations with the Axis Powers on January
20, 1943.
Organization: The Constitution of 1925 provides for a centralized Re-
public composed of 25 Provinces. The Congress is bicameral, with a
Senate of 45 members and a Chamber of Deputies of 147. Congress is
elected according to a system of proportional representation. Its regular
c sessions begin on May 21 of each year and continue until September 18.
The President, elected for a term of 6 years, is assisted by a Cabinet of 14
members, one of whom is without portfolio. The chief pro-administration
parties are the Radical, Socialist, Communist, Workers' Socialist, and Dem-
ocratic, and the principal opposition parties are the Conservative, Liberal,
Falange (not connected with the Spanish Falange), Popular Socialist Van-
) P guard, and Agrarian. Chile is one of the most industrialized nations of
South America and labor plays a leading role in its politics.

1810 (September 18)__. Independence of Chile first proclaimed.
) 1818-- ------- Spaniards defeated at Maipfi.
1833--------------___ Adoption of a new Constitution, which with
revision endured until 1925.
1836-38------------ War with the Peru-Bolivian Confederation.
1865 -------- Chile entered War of the Quadruple Alliance
against Spain.
1879-83 War of the Pacific against Bolivia and Peru.
1891-- ---------- Civil War.

1898-1902---------- Arbitration of boundary disputes with Ar-
1925-------------- Adoption of the present Constitution.
1929-------------- Tacna-Arica dispute with Peru settled by
Treaty of Lima.

Bernardo O'Higgins (1776-1842), soldier and patriot, the first Presi-
dent of Chile.
Jose de San Martin (1778-1850), aided O'Higgins in liberation of
Arturo Prat (1848-1879), hero of the War of the Pacific.
Manuel Montt (1809-1880), statesman and President.
Josg Manuel Balmaceda (1840-1891), statesman and President.

1932-38-------------------- Arturo Alessandri.
1938-41 ------------------- Pedro Aguirre Cerda..
1941-42 -------------------------Geronimo Mendez.
1942---------------- -----Juan Antonio Rios.

ADMINISTRATION (September 15, 1944)

President ------ ----
Minister of Interior------
Minister of Foreign Af-
Minister of Public Works
and Communications.
Minister of Labor -----
Minister of National De-
Minister of Justice-----
Minister of Public Lands
and Colonization.
Minister of Education --
Minister of Agriculture__
Minister of Public Health
and Social Assistance.

Juan Antonio Rios Morales-- Apr. 2, 1942
Osvaldo Hiriart Corvalan--. Sept. 1, 1943
Joaquin Ferndndez y Ferndn- Oct. 22, 1942
Abraham Alcaino Ferndndez- Sept. 1, 1943

Mariano Bustos Lagos --- Oct. 22, 1942
Gen. Oscar Escudero Otarola- June 7, 1943

Oscar Gajardo Villarroel--- Oct. 22, 1942
Osvaldo Vial Vial--------- Sept. 1, 1943

Benjamin Claro Velasco --- Sept. 1, 1943
Alfonso Quintana Burgos-- Sept. 1, 1943
Sotero Del Rio Gundian --.. June 7, 1943

Minister of Economy and Fernando Moller Borden--- Sept. 1, 1943
Minister of Finance------ Arturo Matte Larrain ----- Sept. 1, 1943
Secretary of Government Osvaldo Fuenzalida Correa-- Dec. 28, 1942
) i, and Minister without

Area: Chile, which has an area of 286,396 square miles, ranges from 45
to 250 miles in width and is 2,660 miles in length.
Surface: The country is divided into three longitudinal zones, the
Andes, the central valleys, and the coast ranges. In the South the coast
ranges form a series of islands, and the valleys are submerged in the sea.
Chile also is divided latitudinally into three major natural regions, the
northern mineralized region, the central agricultural region, and the south-
S ern forest and grazing region.
Climate: N6rthern Chile has one of the most arid climates of the world;
the central part becomes increasingly moist from north to south but, in
general, has a temperate, dry-summer climate; the South is very wet and
cool or cold.

Population: The total population in December 1943 was 5,237,432.
Densities per square mile vary from 0.5 in the Province of Aysen to 256.3
in the Province of Valparaiso. The highest regional density is in the Central
Valley, where more than 80 percent of the people live. The lowest densities
), are in the northern desert region and in the far South. The largest cities
are Santiago (capital) 984,500, Valparaiso 263,200, and Concepci6n 86,000.
Internal growth: In 1941 the birth rate was 32.4 per 1,000 and the
death rate, 20.1.
Immigration: Immigration has never been on a large scale, although
considerable numbers of Germans entered the country between 1850 and
1864, and British, Irish, and Italians after 1880. In recent years small
groups of Swiss, Germans, Italians, Yugoslavs, and Spaniards have settled
in Chile. The largest foreign group is Spanish.
Racial composition: Racially, the Chileans are predominantly Euro-
pean, with some mingling of Indian strains that are gradually becoming
obliterated. The Mestizo element does not at present constitute more than
15 percent of the population; Indians comprise about 5 percent. The
oriental element is negligible, and there are virtually no Negroes in Chile.

Axis aliens: It is estimated that the country has 20,000 Germans (in
addition to 75,000 citizens of German descent), 12,000 Italians (plus 30,000
of Italian descent), and 900 Japanese. The Germans are concentrated
principally in four centers in the lake country of south-central Chile and
the Italians in Santiago, Valparaiso, and a few northern cities. The Japa-
nese are widely scattered.
Language: The official language is Spanish, but German is taught and
spoken in the German communities of south-central Chile.

Literacy: It is officially estimated that 76 percent of the adult population
is literate.
Schools and enrollment: Nearly 576,900 students were enrolled in
5,364 primary schools in 1942. In 1940 there were 87,265 students in
418 intermediate schools, and 6,402 in 5 universities.

Motor: In 1943, 35,000 passenger cars, 2,595 busses, and 17,921 trucks
were registered, an average of 1 motor vehicle per 96 inhabitants. About
46 percent of the passenger cars, and 93 percent of the trucks and busses
were believed to be in operation. There are more than 25,300 miles of
roads in Chile, but less than one-half are improved.
Rail and air: The country had 5,120 miles of railways in 1941, of which
3,637 miles were owned by the State. In March 1943 Chile was served
by both a national and an international air line. At that time the two air
lines were flying 26,472 scheduled miles per week over 2,643 unduplicated
Water: In 1939 more than 90 vessels of 176,000 tons were flying the
Chilean flag. Between January and November 1942, 8,847 ships (9,689,356
registered tons) carried 2,657 incoming and 3,025 outgoing passengers.

Telephone: Approximately 91,000 telephones and 6,200 miles of line
were in use in 1941.
Telegraph: In that year there were 651 telegraph offices with 13,490
miles of line.
Radio: Privately owned radio receiving sets numbered 250,000 in 1943,
and 58 broadcasting stations were in operation.
Post: Post offices numbering 1,021 handled approximately 110 million
pieces of mail in 1939.

General conditions: The level of living has declined as a direct con-
sequence of the war. Wages have not increased commensurately with the
rise in cost of living, and diminishing imports have caused serious shortages.
Chile has been a pioneer in social legislation. The Chilean social-insur-
ance law had its inception in 1924, and provides pensions for sickness,
maternity, old age, invalids, and survivors. The cost is borne jointly by
employers, employees, and the State, and the funds obtained are handled
by a State corporation known as Caja de Seguro Obligatorio (CSO). The
CSO invests in social welfare projects such as workers' houses, land for
4 "' model farm colonies, and apartment houses.
Cost of living: In Santiago the cost-of-living index (100 in 1939) rose
to 187.8 in April 1943.

Since legal recognition of labor unions in 1928, the Chilean labor move-
ment has played an increasingly important role in the national life of Chile.
The largest federation of unions is the Confederaci6n de Trabajadores de
Chile (CTCh) formed in 1936 by the merger of the Communist and Social-
ist labor federations, and affiliated with the Confederaci6n de Trabajadores
S de America Latina (CTAL). The CTCh is composed of a large number
of local and national unions; some of the most important are the national
federations of mine, metal, maritime and port, railway, textile, building
trades, and lumber workers, and teachers and bakers. The strongest unions
are in the nitrate and copper industries where approximately 80 percent of
the workers are union members.
) b The CTCh has grown rapidly and is now the most important labor organi-
zation in South America. In 1940 it reported 1,888 affiliated unions with
a total membership of 180,497. In 1943 it had more than 400,000 mem-
bers, a very large proportion of the total number of persons gainfully em-
ployed in industries other than agriculture in Chile.
Several other labor organizations exist but are comparatively unimpor-
S tant. Included among these is the anarcho-syndicalist Confederaci6n Gen-
eral de Trabajo which had less than 6,000 members in 1941.
National labor legislation includes a Labor Code which guarantees the
basic rights of both industrial and agricultural workers; a Social Security
Act which provides for compulsory insurance protecting workers against
undue financial loss as a consequence of sickness, disability, and old age;
and a Preventive Medicine Act which establishes preventive medical services.
In 1941 more than 1,500,000 persons, including practically all wage earners

and salaried employees, were covered by the operations of the various social
security funds.

The major agricultural products are wheat, rice, barley, oats, corn, beans,
peas, lentils, fruit, meat, wool, and wines. In 1942 more than 362,000
acres were planted to cereals and 98,000 acres to vegetables.

The Chilean economy is closely associated with mining, especially.cop-
per and nitrates. These two products usually account for 70 percent of
the total value of exports. Chile is the chief coal-producing country south
of the United States, but lacks coking coal which is important for the
establishment of an iron and steel industry. There are substantial deposits
of iron ore.
The production of gold and silver in 1942 totaled 5,827 and 28,152 kilo-
grams, respectively, which represented a decrease of more than one-third
since 1938. The output of copper, however, has increased materially; in
1941 it amounted to 465,467 tons, as compared with 351,482 tons in 1935.

Chilean industry produces principally consumers' goods for the domestic
market. In 1940 there were 4,300 manufacturing establishments. The gross
value of industrial production totaled 5,334 million pesos (peso equals 3
cents). Value added by manufacture amounted to 2,222 million pesos.
Chile has achieved a high degree of self-sufficiency in certain consumer
items, notably those for household use. The Government has prepared an
extensive program for national industrial development. The small domestic
market, the high cost of credit, and the lack of coking coal have hampered
industrialization; the favorable factors, however, are reserves of iron, coal,
and waterpower, and an enterprising population.

In 1938 Chile ranked sixth among the nations of Latin America in value
of foreign trade. In that year its exports amounted to 8 percent of all
Latin American exports, and imports to 7 percent. The value of exports
from Chile usually exceeds that of imports. The country has established
recently an import and export firm, the Sociedad General de Comercio,

the principal purpose of which is to stimulate commerce with foreign coun-
tries. The Government, through the Corporacion de Fomento, has con-
tributed 60 percent of the capital; the remainder is held by national banks,
the Chilean Line, and general stockholders.
Exports: Both before and since the outbreak of the war, Chile's exports
have consisted chiefly of mineral products, principally copper and nitrates.
In 1938 copper bars represented 48 percent of total exports, and nitrates
about 20 percent. In 1943 exports were valued at 877.3 million gold pesos.
In 1938 the United Kingdom took 22 percent of the total value of exports,
the United States 15 percent, Germany 10 percent, and Belgium 8 percent.
By 1943, however, the United States had risen to an overwhehningly
dominant position; in that year it took 68 percent, Argentina 4 percent,
Brazil 4 percent, and the United Kingdom 2 percent.
Imports: Transport materials and accessories represented 17 percent of
the total value of Chilean imports in 1938, textiles and manufactures 15
percent, machinery accessories and tools 13 percent, chemical products 12
,9 percent, and metal manufactures 11 percent. In 1942 textiles and manu-
factures represented 15 percent of the total value of imports, chemical
products 15 percent, agricultural products 12 percent, mineral products 11
percent, and transport equipment 10 percent. In 1938 Chile obtained 28
percent of the total value of its imports from the United States, 26 percent
from Germany, and 10 percent from the United Kingdom. By 1943 Chile
was taking 37 percent of its imports from the United States, 22 percent
from Peru, 17 percent from Argentina, 10 percent from Brazil, and 7 per-
cent from the United Kingdom. The total value of imports in that year
amounted to 637.3 million gold pesos.


Annual aver- Latest available
age rate 1 quotation
Unit Type of exchange ____ ____

S1942 1943 Rate Date

(Official ........... 19.37 19.37 19.37 Aug. 12, 1944
Peso. Export draft...... 25.00 25.00 25.00 Do.
Curb market ..... 31.75 32.38 32.00 Do.
IFree............. 31.75 32.37 31.50 Do.

SAverage rates are actual selling rates for sight drafts on New York in pesos per
United States dollar.

Chile has a complicated system of exchange control exercised through
executive authority. Control originally was in the hands of an Exchange
Control Commission. Recently, however, this Commission was merged with
a number of other agencies into one central controlling organization, the
Consejo Nacional de Comercio (National Foreign Trade Council). Chile
has seven major types of exchange rates. By manipulating these rates and
controlling the maximum amount of exchange that may be bought at one
time, exchange control authorities can discriminate between commodities
to be imported and between the countries from which imports are to be
derived. In recent years Chile also has had a number of clearing and
payment arrangements with other countries, notably Germany. In 1941
Chile used its system of export control as a measure preliminary to the
conclusion of a purchase agreement with the United States.

United States nationals are the chief foreign investors in Chile. In 1940
United States direct investments amounted to about 414 million dollars, of
which 67 percent was in mining and smelting (almost entirely in copper
and nitrates), and 30 percent in public utilities and transportation. The
direct investments of the United States in Chile at the end of the year were
larger than in any Latin American country except Cuba. The United
Kingdom, with holdings amounting to about 51 million pounds sterling,
is the only other foreign country having substantial direct investments in
Chile. Investment by the Axis nations is small and is confined largely to
German banking and business houses.
In 1941 United States holdings of Chilean dollar bonds totaled a par
value of 179 million dollars, which at present are in partial default. In
1931 all of the publicly owned foreign Chilean bonds went into default.
From 1931 to 1936, no payments were made on either the interest or the
principal of Chile's external debt. In 1935, however, a law was passed
providing for the resumption of payments on a partial basis. Under this
law, Chile has been servicing its obligations by means of certain taxes on
copper and nitrates which are allocated for this purpose. One-half of the
funds thus obtained were to be used for interest and the remainder for
amortization, but in recent years the share for amortization has been
To facilitate the sale by United States exporters of industrial products,
machinery, locomotives, and equipment to be purchased by the Corporaci6n
de Fomento de la Producci6n and the Chilean State Railways, the Export-
Import Bank of Washington has disbursed about 17 million dollars. Of
this amount 4.6 million have been repaid, leaving less than 13 million out-

standing. A number of smaller credits have been extended to United States
exporters and private importers in Chile.

In 1943 expenditures amounted to 3,487 million pesos, and revenues
to 2,785 million, leaving a deficit of 702 million. A part of the deficit was
covered by a bond issue totaling 479 million pesos. National defense
usually accounts for about 29 percent of expenditures. Customs duties
yield about 30 percent of total revenues.
At the end of 1942 Chile's external public debt amounted to 2,198 million
V~-" pesos, and its internal public debt to 770 million. At that time the Gov-
ernment's direct and guaranteed debt amounted to 1,278 million pesos, of
which 818 million represented external debt and 460 million internal debt.
As of December 31, 1942, total public indebtedness amounted to 4,246
million pesos.

Although the war has stimulated the export of minerals, it has created
difficulties for exports of agricultural products, a large part of which cus-
tomarily had gone to Europe. Because of the loss of European and Asiatic
markets, for example, Chile's exports of wool declined considerably. As a
consequence of the war, the country has felt the impact of shortages in
shipping and in basic materials such as petroleum.
Living costs have risen steadily and there are indications that real wages
are declining as a result of the failure of money wages to keep pace with
prices. To control supplies and prices, the Chilean Government has two
principal organizations, the Commissariat General of Subsistence and Prices,
S and the Institute of Agricultural Economy.

The United States has agreed to purchase the ores and concentrates of
antimony, cobalt, copper, lead, manganese, mercury, molybdenum, tungsten,
S zinc, and gold. It also is purchasing sodium nitrate.
Chile signed a lend-lease agreement with the United States on March 2,
1943, but is one of the five Latin American Republics with which the
United States has no reciprocal trade agreement.

Chile furnishes the United States with a number of strategic minerals,
the most important of which are nitrates and copper. A new smelter has

been opened in Chile to meet the needs of United States war production.
Refined copper is purchased by the Metals Reserve Company under con-
tracts with the producers, renewable every 2 months. The United States
has made a general agreement to purchase the ores and concentrates of
other minerals. Chile supplies that country with a quantity of sodium
nitrate and its byproduct, iodine. The Defense Supplies Corporation is
purchasing sheep and lamb skins. Chile also is encouraging the cultivation
of pyrethrum.

Background: Alfonso L6pez began his second 4-year Presidential term
on August 7, 1942. He had previously been President from 1934 to 1938.
Opposing L6pez in the 1942 election was the candidate of a group within
the dominant Liberal Party, Carlos Arango Velez, who also enjoyed the
partial support of the Conservatives under Laureano Gdmez.
The most conspicuous political phenomenon during the present L6pez
Administration was the division within the Liberal Party. There had been
three main wings. One, which appeared to constitute a majority, supported
L6pez and his general policy of reform. A second, led by Arango V6lez,
had opposed both L6pez and his program. A third, under L6pez' predeces-
sor in the Presidency, Eduardo Santos, was considered in Colombia to
stand midway between the other two. This division had existed from the
time of the previous L6pez Administration. Colombia's first Liberal Ad-
ministration since 1885 came to power in 1930.
In October 1943 a general Cabinet reorganization brought all three groups
into the Cabinet. A Congressional election on March 21, 1943, returned
more pro-L6pez Deputies than had previously met in the Chamber. On
November 16, 1943, the Senate granted President L6pez a leave of absence
and the First Presidential Designate, Dario Echandia, became Acting
President. Early in May the President announced his intention to resign,
and a special session of Congress was called to meet on May 15. The
Senate rejected the resignation, and President L6pez resumed office on
May 16, after which date his opposition within the pro-Administration
Liberal Party decreased. An abortive rebellion, begun at Pasto on July 10,
united most political groups in support of the Government, and Laureano
G6mez and other extremist opposition leaders left the country upon the
failure of the uprising.

Colombian foreign policy under L6pez has been characterized by cordial
relations with the United States, by frequent discussion of joint action, and
by the possibility of a joint policy for Venezuela, Ecuador, and Colombia.
When independence was first won from Spain, these three countries con-
stituted a single nation known as Gran Colombia, and this historical prece-
dent for a common policy is often the subject of consideration.
Relations with Japan were severed on December 8, 1941, and with Ger-
many and Italy on December 19, 1941; a state of belligerency was declared
with Germany on November 27, 1943. President L6pez signed the Declara-
tion of the United Nations on January 17, 1944. Having recognized the
Soviet Union under the previous L6pez Administration, Colombia dis-
patched its first Minister to Moscow in April 1943; the Soviet Minister
arrived in Bogota in February 1944.
Organization: The Constitution of 1886 provides for a centralized Re-
public of 14 Departments, 4 Intendencias, and 6 Comisarias. The Congress
is bicameral, with a Senate of 63 members and a Chamber of Deputies of
131. Two regular Congressional sessions are held each year; the first opens
on February 1 for 90 days, and the second opens on July 20 for 120 days.
The President is elected for a 4-year term, and is assisted by a Cabinet of
10 ministers. The chief political parties are the Liberals and the Con-


1810 (July 20)__ Independence Day.

1828-29---- _
1830 _------



1886 ------_-

1936 _------
1941--_ ---_

Viceroyalty of New Granada separated from Spain.
War with Peru.
Separation of Ecuador and Venezuela from the Re-
public of New Granada.
Separation of Church and State; adoption of demo-
cratic Constitution.
Emergence of Federal Union; establishment of
Granadine Confederation.
Establishment of the United States of Colombia.
Abolition of Federalism; adoption of present Con-
Adoption of constitutional reforms.
Adoption of thoroughgoing constitutional reforms.
Severance of diplomatic relations with Axis Powers.
Declaration of state of belligerency against Ger-


Sim6n Bolivar (1783-1830), Liberator and first President.
Francisco de Paula Santander (1792-1840), one of the framers of New
Granada's first Constitution, and the Republic's second President.
Tomds Cipriano de Mosquera (1787-1878), an outstanding early leader
of the Liberal Party.
Rafael Nuiez (1825-1894), an outstanding early leader of the Con-
servative Party.


1930-34--------- Enrique Olaya Herrera.
1934-38--- Alfonso L6pez.
1938-42 --.-- Eduardo Santos.
1942---------- Alfonso L6pez.

ADMINISTRATION (September 15, 1944)

President--- ---_------ Alfonso L6pez Pumarejo-----
Minister of Foreign Rela- Dario Echandia.-- -------.
Minister of Finance and Dr. Gonzalo Restrepo ..---.

Public Credit.
Minister of Interior------
Minister of War------
Minister of Public Works
Minister of Labor, Hygiene,
and Social Welfare.
Minister of National Edu-
Minister of Posts and Tele-
graphs-- -------
Minister of National Econ-
Minister of Mines and

Aug. 6, 1942
June 30, 1944

Mar. 6, 1943

Oct. 9, 1943
Mar. 6, 1944
June 30, 1944

Alberto Lleras Camargo ----.
Gen. Domingo Espinel ----
Alvaro Diaz------------

Addn Arriaga Andrade------ June 30, 1944

Antonio Rocha----------- Nov. 19, 1943

Luis Guillermo Echeverri -- June 30, 1944

Carlos Sanz De Santamaria-- Mar. 6, 1944

Nestor Pineda---------- Nov. 30, 1943

Area: Colombia, the fifth largest country in Latin America, has an area
of 439,825 square miles.
Surface: The western third of the country lies within the region of
Andean mountains and valleys. North of the Ecuadoran boundary the
Andes divide into three principal cordilleras (Occidental, Central, and
Oriental), between which lie high plateaus and deep river valleys, the most
important of which is the valley of the Magdalena. Extensive coastal plains
are interrupted by the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in the North and the
Cordillera de Choco in the West. The eastern two-thirds of the country is
4"" k composed of portions of the plains of the Orinoco and Amazon Rivers.
Climate: The traditional vertical zoning of climates throughout the
tropical highlands of Spanish America (i. e., tierras calientes, templadas,
and frias) has considerable significance in the highlands of Colombia be-
cause of the fairly extensive intermont basins, level-floored upland valleys,
Gentle slopes, and other surfaces suited to human occupance. In both the
highlands and lowlands there is small annual variation in temperature.
Regional variations in rainfall are considerable, but everywhere, even in the
tropical lowlands, there is a discernible interruption of the rains during
the "winter" months.

Population: The total population in 1943 was 9,620,800, the third
largest in South America. The concentration of population is in the moun-
tainous belt, especially the Magdalena River Valley. The density is low in
the coastal regions and extremely low in the lowlands of the Orinoco and
Amazon. The largest cities are Bogoti (capital) 395,000, Medellin 198,000,
and Barranquilla 183,000.
Internal growth: The birth rate was 31.8 per 1,000 and the death rate
14.9 in 1940.
Immigration: Immigration has been negligible. The total number of
foreigners in 1939 was 37,511, mostly Venezuelans.
Racial composition: The majority of the population is Mestizo, the
remainder comprising persons of European descent (15 percent), Indians
(10 percent), and Negroes (5 percent). The group of Negroes and Negro
mixtures has been estimated to be as high as 30 percent.
Axis aliens: There are 3,000 Germans (in addition to 4,100 citizens of
German descent), 1,440 Italians (plus 1,600 citizens of Italian descent),
and 250 Japanese. The Germans and Italians are concentrated in the
Magdalena River Valley, especially in the port cities.
Language: The official language is Spanish.


Literacy: According to the census of 1938, 43.3 percent of the popula-
tion more than 10 years of age is literate.
Schools and enrollment: In 1941 there were 19,901 primary schools
with a total enrollment of 685,317; 776 intermediate schools with 58,980
students; and 8 universities in which 3,713 students were registered.

Motor: Vehicular registrations totaled 16,891 passenger automobiles,
4,096 busses, and 11,055 trucks in 1943, an average of 1 motor vehicle per
300 inhabitants. There were 7,000 miles of motor roads and about 7,200
miles of other roads in that year.
Rail and air: The railways carried 13 million passengers over 2,046
miles of track in 1941. In March 1943 there were 6 air lines, only 1 of
which was national. At that time the 6 air lines were flying 52,047 sched-
uled miles per week over 7,349 unduplicated route-miles.
Water: In 1940, 2,144 ships (5,049,201 registered tons) entered Colom-
bian ports and more than 2,130 (registered tonnage, 5,041,021) cleared.
Passengers numbered 173,828.

Telephone: More than 42,200 telephones and 135,500 miles of line were
in use in 1941.
Telegraph: In that year there were 930 telegraph offices connected by
21,594 miles of wire.
Radio: Privately owned radio receiving sets were estimated to number
175,000 in 1943, and there were 81 broadcasting stations.
Post: In 1940, 823 post offices dispatched more than 30 million pieces
of mail.

General conditions: A great majority of the laboring families in all
parts of the country suffer from diseases resulting from the lack of modern
sanitation facilities. Malaria is widespread, except in the mountain and
plateau regions. It is estimated that slightly more than 50 percent of the
population is gainfully employed, but a large proportion receives barely
enough income for subsistence.
Cost of living: In Bogota the cost-of-living index (100 in 1939) rose
to 142 in July 1943.

To have legal status, trade unions must register and file periodic ac-
counts with the Ministry of Labor, Health, and Social Welfare. In 1942
there were 809 unions, with a total membership of 102,023 concentrated
largely in a few Departments; most of the members were employed in
transportation and communication (30 percent), and agriculture (27
The Confederaci6n de Trabajadores de Colombia (CTC) is the chief
national labor body, with a membership of 95,000. Its principal affiliates
are the Federaci6n Nacional del Transporte Maritimo, Fluvial, y Portuario
(Federal), Federaci6n de Ferroviarios, Federaci6n Nacional de Choferes,
and the Asociaci6n de Empleados de Comercio. It is affiliated with the
Confederaci6n de Trabajadores de America Latina (CTAL).
National labor legislation provides for an 8-hour day, special maximum
hours for women and minors, paid vacations, minimum wages for certain
groups of workers, labor contracts, collective bargaining, and industrial
hygiene and safety standards. Colombia has no national social security
system, although limited protection has been established for some categories
of workers.

1 Agriculture is Colombia's principal industry. More than 3 million in-
habitants are engaged in agriculture and stock raising. It is estimated that
the value of agricultural output represents about 40 percent of the total
value of national production. The principal crops are coffee, corn, sugar-
cane, bananas, wheat, rice, and potatoes. The pastoral industry is of con-
siderable importance. The livestock population is estimated at 10 million
cattle, 1.6 million hogs, 1 million sheep, and 0.6 million goats.

There are extensive mineral resources, the most important of which are
petroleum, gold, and platinum. Venezuela, Mexico, and Colombia, in the
order named, are the three leading producers of petroleum among the
Latin American nations. Other mineral products of importance are copper,
iron, and emeralds. Coal reserves are extensive but largely inaccessible
at present.

Colombia manufactures a wide range of products, most of which are con-
sumer goods. There is little heavy industry. The principal commodities
include textiles, cigars, cigarettes, beer, wines and spirits, and flour and


*> ` ,.

flour paste. Recently established industries produce rayon fabrics, lard,
canned fruits, canned fish, paper, and cardboard. Many of the raw ma-
terials employed in industry are imported.

The value of Colombia's exports and imports represented 5 percent and
6 percent, respectively, of total Latin American exports and imports in
1938, placing this country seventh in foreign trade among the Latin Ameri-
can Republics. In the last 10 years exports have exceeded imports. In
1942 exports were valued at 97 million dollars, and imports at 60 million.
Exports: Coffee has been and continues to be Colombia's principal ex-
port. In 1938 this commodity represented 62 percent of the total value
of exports, petroleum 26 percent, and bananas 6 percent. In 1942 coffee
accounted for 75 percent, gold 11 percent, and petroleum 7 percent. In
1938 the United States took 53 percent of the total value of exports, Ger-
many 15 percent, the Netherlands West Indies 12 percent, and Canada 10
percent. In 1942 the United States, exclusive of the Canal Zone, took 90
percent, and Curacao 4 percent.
Imports: In 1938 the manufactured products imported represented 93
percent of the total value, textiles 16 percent, metal manufactures 14 percent,
and semifinished products 13 percent. The United States is the principal
source of imports. In 1938 it supplied 51 percent of the total value, Ger-
many 17 percent, and the United Kingdom 12 percent. In 1942 the United
States supplied 60 percent, Canada 13 percent, Curaqao, Argentina, and
Brazil about 12 percent each, and the United Kingdom 7 percent.


Annual aver- Latest available
age rate 1 quotation
Unit Type of exchange

1942 1943 Rate Date

(Controlled ....... 1.75 1.75 1.746 Sept. 15, 1944
Peso...... .Bank of Republic.. 1.76 1.76 1.755 Do.
Curb............ 1.77 1.76 1.750 Do.

I Averages are actual selling rates for sight drafts on New York in pesos per United
States dollar.
Exchange control has been in effect in Colombia since September 24,
1931, the day before the gold standard was suspended. The system of

exchange control has undergone a number of modifications, but in general
it has involved the delivery to the Central Bank, at the official rate, of a
specified percentage of the exchange arising out of the exports of certain
commodities; the remainder is available for disposal in the free market to
holders of exchange permits for purposes of importation. Colombia's ex-
change-control system requires permits for all imports, preference being
given to "essential" commodities as distinct from "nonessential." In the
period 1929-38, a number of compensation or clearing agreements, notably
with Italy and Germany, were concluded.
On June 30, 1943, gold and demand deposits of the Banco de la Republica
Sy in foreign banks amounted to 87 million dollars.

United States direct investments in Colombia at the end of 1940 totaled
111.6 million dollars, of which 75 million were in petroleum, 25.8 million
S in public utilities and transportation, 3.3 million in distribution, 1.3 million
in manufacturing, and 6.2 million in miscellaneous enterprises.
European investments totaled 70 million dollars. Of this total the
United Kingdom had 60 percent, the Netherlands 14 percent, Belgium 10
percent, and Germany 9 percent. Of the 70-million-dollar total, 37 percent
is in the form of portfolio investments valued at par.
4 At the end of 1943, United States holdings of Colombian direct and
nationally guaranteed dollar bonds totaled about 48.5 million dollars (par
value). Interest is being paid regularly and in full at the rate of 3 percent
under the debt readjustment plan of 1941. Most of the provincial and
municipal dollar bonds, however, remain in complete default.
The Export-Import Bank of Washington has loaned about 19 million
S dollars to the Republic of Colombia for such projects as highway con-
struction, irrigation, and agricultural and industrial development. More
than one-half has been repaid, leaving approximately 8 million outstanding
at the end of 1943.

Colombian revenues amounted to 76.8 million pesos and expenditures to
86.6 million in 1942. Approximately 82 percent of the revenue was de-
rived from internal taxes and customs duties, and about 9 percent from
national properties and services. Among the leading expenditures were
Treasury and public debt, 25 percent; war, and Government, 16 percent
each; public works, 12 percent; education and social welfare, 7 percent;
and labor, 7 percent.

On July 31, 1943, Colombia's national debt, including accrued interest,
amounted to about 159 million dollars, of which 39 percent represented
foreign debts (32 percent of the total being held in the United States),
and 61 percent, internal debt.

A deficiency in transportation is one of Colombia's greatest problems.
The convergence of shipping at Buenaventura has greatly congested this
port, and the lack of shipping space during 1942 and 1943 contributed to
shortages in commodities ordinarily imported. A shortage of tires has
reduced trucking facilities, and railways have suffered from the lack of
parts and equipment. The operation of railways and roads also has been
hampered by landslides.
Speculation and rising prices have presented a serious problem. The
general index of the cost of living in Bogoti rose from 113.1 in December
1941 to 142 in July 1943. To cope with inflation, a new and comprehen.
sive price-control law was enacted in March 1943. Two OPA officials have
been loaned to Colombia to advise on price-control problems.

The United States in July 1943 concluded a rubber agreement with
Colombia, which provides for the purchase of Colombia's entire production
in excess of the amount required for domestic consumption. The agree-
ment will expire on December 31, 1946. In March 1942 the United States
concluded an agreement with Colombia for 1 year for the acquisition of
platinum. This agreement was extended to March 1944.
Colombia signed reciprocal trade and lend-lease agreements with the
United States on September 13, 1935, and March 17, 1942, respectively.
Colombia has adopted various economic and financial controls against
Axis interests, and has signed the convention for the establishment of an
Inter-American Bank.
Toward the end of 1942, a government agency, the Instituto de Fomento
Industrial, concluded an agreement with the B. F. Goodrich Co. of Akron,
Ohio, for the establishment of a factory to produce tires in Colombia.
A general agreement for the purchase of strategic and basic materials
has been signed by the Governments of Colombia and the United States.
Colombia has greatly increased the production of platinum, the entire output
of which is bought by the Metals Reserve Co. A recent agreement between
the Rubber Development Co. and Colombia provides for the establishment
of airports in Colombian territories to expedite the production of rubber.


In 1943 a number of mica mines were opened from which a substantial
quantity of this strategic mineral was obtained. Since the United States
entered the war, Colombia has been encouraging the development of
cinchona, balsa, manganese, zinc, and other vital materials. Colombia also
supplies potatoes for the armed forces stationed in Panama.

Background: The Presidential election of February 13, 1944, was won
by the Administration candidate, Teodoro Picado Michalski, by a majority
of 44,000 of a total vote of 136,806. Picado assumed office on May 8,
1944. He had served previously as First Vice President of the Republic
and President of the Congress. He was also Minister of Public Education.
In 1943 Costa Rica enacted far-reaching social legislation.
The outgoing President, Rafael Angel Calder6n Guardia, had been elected
February 11, 1940, and assumed office on May 8. His term had been
marked by unusual political activity, which apparently was stimulated pri-
marily by economic problems resulting from the war, such as diminishing
Revenues and rising prices.
A state of belligerency was declared with Japan on December 8, 1941,
and with Germany and Italy on December 11, 1941.
Organization: The Constitution of 1871 provides for a centralized Re-
public of 7 Provinces, with a unicameral Legislature of 45 members, elected
for 4-year overlapping terms. The President, who may be elected for a
second term after a lapse of 4 years, is assisted by a Cabinet of 9 ministers.
In the election of February 13, 1944, 22 members of the Congress were
elected; the Administration won 11 seats.

(The political history of Costa Rica has been marked by few disturb-
ances; regular elections have been the rule. Education has been stressed,
and there is a thriving middle class of small farmers.)
1821 (September 15) -- Independence gained from Spain.
1838--------------- Declared independence from the Federation of
Central American States.
1842--------------- Francisco Morazan briefly governed Costa Rica.
1859------------- Conservative revolt.

1932----------------- Revolt broke out over a disputed election; Ricardo
Jim6nez Oreamuno assumed the Presidency for
the third time.
1941--------------- Costa Rica became the first Latin American nation
to declare war on the Axis Powers.
1943 ------------- New labor code with far-reaching social provi-
sions went into effect.


Juan Rafael Mora (1814-1860), President and leader chiefly responsi-
ble for the defeat of William Walker and for the preservation of Central
American independence.
Jesis Jiminez-Zamora (1823-1896), President and recognized founder
of public education in Costa Rica.


1928-32----- Cleto Gonzdlez Viquez.
1932-36------- Ricardo Jimenez Oreamuno.
1936-40 ------ Leon Cortes Castro.
1940-44- ------ Rafael Angel Calder6n Guardia.
1944 -------- Teodoro Picado Michalski.

ADMINISTRATION (September 15, 1944)

President_--------- -- Teodoro Picado Michalski-_- May 8, 1944
1st Vice President _--_ Francisco Calder6n Guardia. May 8,1944
2d Vice President and Rene Picado Santos------- May 8,1944
Minister of Public
3d Vice President.----. Le6n Herrera--------- May 8, 1944
Secretary of Foreign Rela- Julio Acosta Garcia-------. May 8,1944
tions, Justice, and Wor-



Secretary of Labor------
Secretary of Finance and
Secretary of Public Health-
Secretary of Agriculture--
Secretary of Interior, Po-
lice, and Development.
Secretary of Public Edu-
Secretary of Public Works-

Miguel Brenes Gutierrez -- May 8,1944
Alvaro Bonilla Lara-------_ June 14,1944

Dr. Sol6n Nufiez Frutos ---
Jose Joaqutn Peralta ------
Fernando Soto Harrison ---

May 8,1944
May 8, 1944
May 8, 1944

Herndn Zamora Elizondo-- May 8,1944

Francisco Ezquivel Ugalde--- May 8, 1944


Area: According to official estimates published by the Direcci6n General
de Estadistica, Costa Rica has an area of 19,238 square miles.
Surface: The mountainous interior of Costa Rica is composed of a
series of massive ranges and elevated basins. The coastal plains along the
Pacific margin of the country are not continuous or as extensive as the
Caribbean Lowlands. The most important topographic feature of Costa
Rica is the populous and productive Meseta Central, a small highland pla-
teau 3,000 to 4,000 feet in elevation, hemmed in by towering volcanic cones
and rugged ranges of the cordillera.
Climate: Sharp differences in temperature are correlated with changes
in altitude, as in other parts of tropical America. Along the Caribbean
coast there are no months without rain; elsewhere in Costa Rica the rainy
season is from April to December. The cool and refreshing climate of the
Meseta Central has a mean annual temperature of 680 as compared with a
mean of 820 on both coasts.


Population: The estimated population in December 1943 was 706,596.
Densities range from 11.5 per square mile in the Province of Lim6n to
132.7 in the Province of San Jos6. The highest regional density is in the
Meseta Central, where approximately 75 percent of the population lives;
the lowest is in the northeastern lowlands. The largest cities are San Jose
(capital) 75,000, Heredia 10,000, Alejuela 10,000, Lim6n 9,800, and
Cartago 9,700.
Internal growth: In 1940 the birth rate was 42.7 per 1,000 and the
death rate 17.1.

Immigration: Aside from the considerable number of Negroes brought
in from Jamaica in the latter part of the nineteenth century, there has been
little immigration since the close of the colonial period.
Racial composition: According to the most recent census (1927),
about 80 percent of the population is of almost pure Spanish descent, 14
percent Mestizo, 4 percent Negro, and 2 percent Indian.
Axis aliens: There are approximately 1,000 Germans (in addition to
3,500 citizens of German descent), 700 Italians, and 40 Japanese in Costa
Language: Spanish is the official language, but English is spoken widely
in the eastern lowlands, and is taught in the schools throughout the


Literacy: It is estimated that 82 percent of the total population is
Schools and enrollment: Primary schools in 1941 numbered 761 with
a total enrollment of 73,217; 7,251 students were enrolled in 49 inter-
mediate schools, and 820 students were in the National University of Costa

Motor: Registrations in 1943 included 2,372 passenger cars, 350 busses,
and 1,265 trucks, an average of 1 vehicle to 178 inhabitants. In 1942
there were 771 miles of improved road, and about 1,000 miles of plantation
Rail: About 800,000 passengers were carried by 408 miles of railroads
in 1941.
Water: In 1940, 700 ships totaling 1 million tons entered the ports of
the Republic.

Telephone: Approximately 2,560 telephones were in service in 1940.
Telegraph: In that year 1,916 miles of telegraph line served 295 offices.
Radio: Privately owned radio receiving sets totaled about 25,000 in 1943,
and 24 broadcasting stations were in operation.
Post: More than 6.4 million pieces of ordinary mail were handled in 435
post offices in 1940.

Cost of living: In San Jos6 the cost-of-living index rose from 100 in
1939 to 166.7 in June 1943.

The Confederaci6n de Trabajadores de Costa Rica (CTCR), with a mem-
bership of 30,000, was formed late in 1943. It is composed of about 60
unions which include workers in the railway, electrical, maritime, banana,
transportation, metal, and textile industries. The CTCR is affiliated with
the Confederaci6n de Trabajadores de la Am&rica Latina (CTAL). An-
other national labor body, the Central de Sindicatos Costarricenses "Rerum
Novarum," was also created recently under the sponsorship of the Catholic
The National Labor Code of 1943 is based on an amendment to the Con-
stitution of the same year entitled "Social Guaranties." The Code provides
for minimum wages, a 48-hour week, paid vacations, collective bargaining,
equal pay for equal work, and social insurance. A National Arbitration
Board was recently created in the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare to
handle labor disputes.

Agriculture and agricultural processing are the main industries in Costa
Rica. Coffee, bananas, and cacao are the chief crops. There also are small
lumber and pastoral industries.

About 3,000 industrial establishments in Costa Rica include plants for
coffee-cleaning and for grinding coffee and cacao; in addition, there are
rice mills, sawmills, sugar mills, shoe factories, plants for the extraction of
edible oil, cotton-textile plants, and many handicraft and cottage units.

In 1938 Costa Rica ranked second in foreign trade among the six re-
publics of Central America, being surpassed only by Guatemala. In that
year, with exports of 10.1 million dollars, Costa Rica furnished 20 percent
of the value of all commodities exported from the six Central American
countries. Imports amounted to 12.6 million dollars, or 17 percent of the

value of all Central American imports. In proportion to its population,
Costa Rica has a larger foreign trade than any other Central American
country except Panama.
Exports: In 1938 about 85 percent of the value of Costa Rica's exports
was composed of three commodities: Coffee represented 49 percent, bananas
28 percent, and cacao beans 8 percent. In 1941 these commodities con-
stituted 90 percent of the total value of Costa Rica's exports, coffee account-
ing for 49 percent, bananas for 34 percent, and cacao for 7 percent. In
1938 the United States took 46 percent of the total value of Costa Rica's
exports, followed by the United Kingdom with 24 percent and Germany
with 19 percent. In 1941 the United States took 81 percent, Canada 7
percent, and Argentina 3 percent.
Imports: Costa Rica's imports usually consist of manufactured products
and foodstuffs. In 1938 metal products, machinery, and vehicles repre-
sented 22 percent of total imports (in terms of value) ; textiles, 13 percent;
foodstuffs, beverages, and tobacco, 9 percent; petroleum and its products,
6 percent; and miscellaneous manufactures, 12 percent.
In 1938 Costa Rica obtained 49 percent of its total imports from the
United States, 20 percent from Germany, 7 percent from the United King-
dom, and 6 percent from Japan. The United States supplied 81 percent
of the total value of Costa Rica's imports in 1941, the United Kingdom 4
percent, Japan 2 percent, and Canada 1 percent.


Annual aver- Latest available
age rate quotation
Unit Type of exchange age re I

1942 1943 Rate Date

Colon..... Uncontrolled..... 5.71 5.65 5.67 Aug. 30, 1944
"'Controlled ....... 5.62 5.62 5.62 Do.

1 Averages are actual selling rates for sight drafts on New York in colones per
United States dollar.

Exchange control was introduced in Costa Rica in January 1932. Under
the system in force after February 1935, holders of foreign exchange were
required to deliver their exchange to the Board of Control of the Exporta-
tion of Products which made allocations to cover imports and other neces-


sary requirements. Under new regulations adopted in January 1937, for-
eign exchange could be bought and sold only through local registered banks.
Beginning at this time the Banco Nacional de Costa Rica fixed the buying
and selling rates of the colon. In September 1939 the Government estab-
lished two classes of exchange allotments, (1) for necessary consumer goods,
and (2) for other merchandise regularly imported. Import permits are not
required by Costa Rica.
There now are two types of exchange in Costa Rica. Controlled ex-
change arises out of exports of Costa Rican products and is sold to importers
at the official rate. Uncontrolled exchange results from transactions other
S than exports, and may be purchased without restriction. In practice, there
has been little difference between controlled and uncontrolled rates of
On April 30, 1944, the foreign exchange holdings of the National Bank
amounted to 5.9 million dollars, and gold holdings to 9.3 million.

At the end of 1940 it was estimated that 28 percent of the Costa Rican
bonds originally sold in the United States and still outstanding were held
outside the United States, leaving 8 million dollars (par value) of these
dollar bonds in the hands of United States investors. The external debt
S of Costa Rica has been in default since 1932. On December 31, 1940,
United States direct investments in Costa Rica totaled 24.7 million dollars,
of which about 11 million were in public utilities and transportation, and
the remainder in distribution, agriculture, petroleum, and other miscellane-
ous enterprises. British investments in Costa Rica are estimated at 3 to 4
million pounds sterling.
As of January 31, 1944, the Export-Import Bank of Washington had
extended credits of 6.7 million dollars to Costa Rica, of which $274,607
had been repaid, leaving 6.4 million outstanding. Undisbursed commit-
ments amounted to approximately $555,000.

Costa Rica's budget position at the outbreak of the war in 1939 was
quite strong but has since declined. From 1937 through 1939 Costa Rica's
revenues exceeded expenditures by a small margin, but in 1940 a deficit
of 497,000 colones appeared. This deficit grew to 10.4 million colones in
1941 and to 25 million in 1942. The 1943 deficit of 31 million colones
brings the cumulative budget deficit for the last 4 years to about 67 million

Two-thirds of the revenue customarily comes from three sources: Cus-
toms duties (42 percent), liquor taxes (14 percent), and revenue from the
Pacific Railway (11 percent). In 1939 customs duties plus fixed export
taxes accounted for 52 percent of Costa Rica's total revenue. More than
50 percent of the budget for 1943 was allotted to three functions: Develop-
ment (20 percent), education (18 percent), and debt service (16 percent).


A depression in business activity in 1942 resulted from decreases in ship-
ping facilities and uncertainty regarding future developments. Acute short-
ages appeared in building and construction equipment, electrical materials,
tires and tubes, gasoline, automotive replacement parts, medical supplies, and
flour. Throughout the year there was a constant and sharp rise in prices
in all categories, with a resultant increase in the cost of living. The general
wholesale index (which includes domestic and imported goods) advanced
from 100 in 1939 to 176 in June 1943, the.greatest change being among
imported products. The cost of living in San Jos6 rose from a general aver-
age of 100 in 1939 to 166.7 in June 1943, an increase of more than 50
percent. Measures for the control of inflation include the establishment of
a price-control body, Junta de Abastos, with Oficina de Investigaci6n y
Control de Precios serving as its enforcement agency. The most serious
aspects of Costa Rica's economic position in 1943 were the Government's
financial situation and the country's foreign trade position, which war and
the consequent reduction of shipping facilities had impaired.


In 1942 the United States concluded an agreement for the purchase,
through December 31, 1946, of all Costa Rica's rubber, except for the
amounts required for domestic purposes.
The United States is giving financial and technical assistance for the "
completion of the Pioneer Road through Costa Rica, which will connect
sections of the Pan American Highway. A health program accompanies
the road project.
Costa Rica, in cooperation with the United States, has instituted measures
for the control of United States currency that might otherwise aid the Axis.
Costa Rica signed reciprocal trade and lend-lease agreements with the
United States on November 28, 1936, and January 16, 1942, respectively.



Costa Rica's principal economic role in the war effort is that of a supplier
of foodstuffs and specialized war materials. Abaca (manila hemp), ex-
tensively used in marine cordage, is produced on a project of the United
S Fruit Company. Wild rubber is gathered in Costa Rica, and plantations
have been established to raise cultivated rubber. Balsa wood, which has a
number of military uses, also is obtained there; new plantings of balsa
trees have been made. Agencies of the United States Government have
encouraged the establishment of cinchona plantations to augment the supply
of quinine. Costa Rica also is aiding the United Nations by supplying fresh
fruit and vegetables for the Panama Canal Zone. The country's three staple
exports, coffee, cacao, and bananas, as well as ipecac and mahogany, are
being sent almost exclusively to the United States.


Background: President Fulgencio Batista Zaldivar, who assumed office
October 10, 1940, following his election on July 14 by a "Socialist-Demo-
cratic Coalition" of seven parties, was succeeded by Dr. Ram6n Grau San
Martin, who was elected June 1, 1944. The latter defeated Dr. Carlos
Saladrigas Zayas, candidate of the Socialist-Democratic Coalition.
President Grau San Martin is no newcomer to Cuban political life. His
election came as a result of his second bid for the Presidency since 1933,
when he served as Provisional President from September 10, 1933 to Jan-
uary 15, 1934, after the overthrow of the Machado dictatorship. In 1940
he was defeated for the office by President Batista, who was elected by a
coalition of the Liberal, Union Nacionalista, Conjunto Nacional Demo-
crdtico, Dem6crata Republicano, Nacional Revolucionario, and Partido
Union Revolucionaria Comunista parties. Dr. Grau San Martin was the
candidate of a bloc composed of his own party (Partido Revolucionario
Cubano), the A. B. C., and the Acci6n Republicana.
In the election of June 1, 1944, the Socialist-Democratic Coalition back-
ing Dr. Saladrigas was composed of four parties: Liberal, Democratic,
A. B. C., and Popular Socialist (formerly Union Revolucionario Comunista).
Dr. Grau San Martin was the candidate of the Authentic-Republican Alli-
ance, composed of the Partido Revolucionario Cubano (whose members call
themselves the "autenticos") and a newly formed Republican Party, an

organization of the right, composed of leaders of the former Conservative
Party of the late General Mario G. Menocal, President of Cuba 1912-20.
Problems of an economic character associated with the war dominated
the political scene during President Batista's Administration, and the activ-
ity of trade unions was notable. President Batista's Administration coop-
erated closely with the United States.
The Cuban Congress declared war against Japan on December 9, 1941,
and against Germany and Italy on December 11, 1941. The Cuban Am-
bassador to the United States signed the Declaration of the United Nations
on January 1, 1942. In October 1942 diplomatic relations were estab-
lished with the Soviet Union.
Organization: The Constitution of 1940 provides for a centralized Re-
public of 6 Provinces. The Congress is bicameral, with 54 members in the
Senate and 138 in the House of Representatives. This number gradually
is being reduced, however, under provisions which authorize one member
of the House for every 35,000 inhabitants or fraction thereof until a total
of 114 seats in the House of Representatives is achieved. Both Houses
hold regular sessions twice a year, beginning the third Monday in March
and the third Monday in September. Each session of Congress lasts not
less than 60 days. The President is elected for a 4-year term, and is
assisted by a Cabinet of 17 ministers, including 4 without portfolio. In
the elections of June 1, 1944, a President, the entire Senate, and 57 mem-
bers of the House were selected.


1868-78------------- Ten Years' War for independence.
1895-------------- Renewal of war for independence.
1898 -------------- Independence gained from Spain.
1901--------------- Constitution enacted.
1902 (May 20) ------- Independence Day.
1902-------------- First Cuban Government inaugurated.
1917--------------- Declaration of war on Germany.
1934 --- -------- Abrogation of Platt Amendment.
1940---------------. Adoption of present Constitution.
1941----- -- -- Declaration of war on Axis Powers.


Antonio Maceo (1845-1896), leader in Independence Movement.
Jose Marti (1853-1895), leader in Independence Movement.

Mdximo G6mez Baez (1836-1905), military leader in wars for Inde-
Carlos Manuel de Cispedes y del Castillo (1819-1874), "Father of the
Country," and President during Ten Years' War.


1902-6 --------
1908-12 -------
1912-20 -------
1920-24 -----
1925-33 -----
1933 (August-September) -.--. __
1933-34 (September-January) __-
1934 (January 15-18) ----
1934-35 -------- ---
1935-36 (December-May) ---
1936 (May-September)------
1936-40 -------
1940 --- -----------

Tomds Estrada Palma.
Jose Miguel G6mez.
Mario Garcia Menocal.
Alfredo Zayas.
Gerardo Machado.
Carlos Manuel de CUspedes.
Ram6n Grau San Martin.
Carlos Hevia.
Carlos Mendieta.
Josi Barnet.
Miguel Mariano G6mez.
Federico Laredo Bru.
Fugencio Batista Zaldivar.

ADMINISTRATION (September 15, 1944)

President --------------

Vice President -----
Prime Minister -------
Minister of State ---
Minister of Treasury ---
Minister of Interior----

Minister of National De-
Minister of Justice------
Minister of Public Works-
Minister of Commerce ---

Minister of Agriculture---
Minister of Labor .----_
Minister of Public Educa-

Maj. Gen. Fulgencio Batista Oct. 10, 1940
y Zaldivar.
Gustavo Cuervo Rubio------ Oct. 10, 1940
Anselmo Alliegro y Mila--- Mar. 17, 1944
Dr. Jorge Manach y Robato- Mar. 2, 1944
Eduardo I. Montoulieu------ May 6, 1943
Pablo Mdximo Rodriguez Mar. 14, 1944
Col. Aristides Sosa de Que- Feb. 26, 1942
Jose Agustin Martinez----- Nov. 23, 1943
Alfredo Nogueira Herrera-- Mar. 25, 1944
Miguel Angel Cesneros y Go- Mar. 17,1944
Carlos Felipe Armenteros -- Mar. 17, 1944
Albert Garcia Valdez ----- Mar. 5, 1944
Anselmo Alliegro y Mila--. Apr. 2, 1943

Minister of Public Health
and Social Welfare.
Minister of Communica-
Minister without Portfolio.
Minister without Portfolio.
Minister without Portfolio.
Minister without Portfolio.
Secretary of the Presidency
and of the Council of

Alberto Recio y Forns----- Mar. 6, 1944

Abelardo Valdes AstolfiL-- Apr. 19, 1944

Carlos Rafael Rodriguez.--. Mar. 6, 1944
Juan A. Vinent ---------- Mar. 6, 1944
Orosman Viamontes Romero- Mar. 18, 1944
Mario Diaz Cruz---------- Nov. 23, 1943
Cristobal Muioz y Valdes Mar. 20,1944


Area: Cuba contains 44,217 square miles. The island is about 750 miles
in length and varies in width from 25 to 160 miles.
Surface: About one-fourth of the surface is mountainous; the remainder
is composed of lowlands, terraces, and gentle slopes. The most extensive
mountainous lands are in the extreme Southeast where the Sierra Maestra
rises abruptly from the sea to elevations exceeding 7,000 feet. The Trinidad
Mountains of central Cuba and the Sierra de los Organos west of Habana,
together with the rugged hill country at the western extremity of the island,
complete the list of upland regions.
Climate: The marked contrasts in rainfall between windward (north-
eastern) and leeward (southwestern) sides of islands, which are com-
mon to the West Indies, do not exist in Cuba. Because the western part
of the island lies closest to the Caribbean hurricane track, maximum rain-
fall is recorded there. The rainy season is from May to November, and
no part of the island is deficient in moisture. Nowhere are extremes of
temperature characteristic; the greatest variation between summer and
winter temperatures is found in the West, but even there frosts never occur.

Population: According to the census of 1943, the total population was
4,778,583. Densities range from 48 persons per square mile in the Province
of Camagiiey to 389 in the Province of La Habana. The highest regional
density is in the West, in the vicinity of the city of Habana and the lowest
is in the eastern mountains. The largest cities are Habana (capital) 676,-
376, Marianap (its chief suburb) 114,743, Santiago de Cuba 120,577,
and Camagiiey 78,458.

Internal growth: The birth rate was 23.5 per 1,000 in 1938 and the
death rate 10.6 in 1939.
Immigration: Spaniards have formed the largest group of immigrants
since 1900. Haitians and Jamaican Negroes also have entered in con-
siderable numbers. After the Spanish Civil War many Spanish refugees
reached Cuba. At present the total number of foreigners is about 336,500.
Racial composition: The white race constitutes 65 percent of the popu-
lation, and Negro, Mestizo, and other races 35 percent.
Axis aliens: It is estimated that about 3,000 Germans (in addition to
5,000 citizens of German descent), 1,300 Italians (plus 1,400 citizens of
Italian descent), and 770 Japanese live in Cuba. The principal German
colony is in Habana; most of the Japanese are in the Isle of Pines and in
the vicinity of Habana.
Language: The official language is Spanish.


Literacy: It is unofficially estimated that from 60 to 70 percent of the
population more than 10 years of age is literate.
Schools and enrollment: In 1941, 537,756 children received primary
instruction in 5,982 schools. In the school year 1938-39 a student body
of 27,423 attended 168 intermediate schools. The University of Habana
had an enrollment of 13,949 in 1941.


Motor: Registrations in 1941 included 29,762 passenger cars and about
I 18,000 trucks and busses, or approximately 1 motor vehicle per 100
inhabitants. In that year there were 2,324 miles of roads.
Rail and air: A total of 3,310 miles of railway were in operation in
1941. In March 1943 Cuba had 3 air lines, 1 of which was national, which
were flying 18,548 scheduled miles per week over 1,129 unduplicated route-
miles. There were 6 airports of Class III or larger and 15 of Class II or
In 1939 about 30,000 tons of shipping flew the Cuban flag.


Telephone: The telephone system had 68,483 instruments in 1942.
Telegraph: Telegraph offices numbering 374 were connected by 3,545
miles of line in 1941.

Radio: Receiving sets were estimated at 250,000 in 1943 and there were
89 broadcasting stations.
Post: Post offices numbered 634 in 1938.

General conditions: Levels of living among the workers are very low.
War conditions, including rising prices and the shortage of staple foodstuffs,
have accentuated this condition. The Government, however, is attempting
to impose effective measures of price control and to establish fair and
equitable wages.
Cost of living: In Habana the cost-of-living index (100 in 1939). rose
to 147.7 in March 1943.

Of 1,292,786 persons economically active, 440,791 (32.8 percent) are
organized. A majority of them belong to the Confederaci6n de Trabaja-
dores de Cuba (CTC), which in 1942 reported 345,187 members in 926
unions. Of the total CTC membership, 83 percent was employed in the
sugar, tobacco, transport, maritime, and manufacturing industries. The
strength of the CTC lies in large industrial unions. It is affiliated with
the Confederaci6n de Trabajadores de America Latina (CTAL).
Cuban labor legislation derives from the Constitution of 1940 which con-
tains an extensive section on labor providing for minimum wages, social
security, an 8-hour day, paid vacations, and collective bargaining. The
labor legislation of Cuba favors the employment of Cuban nationals.
The Ministry of Labor includes a Superior Labor Council and a National
Arbitration Commission. There is also a Social Security Commission com-
posed of representatives of various departments.

The outstanding characteristic of the Cuban economy is its dependence
on sugar and tobacco. More than one-half of the persons gainfully em-
ployed are engaged in agriculture, and 70 percent of them work in the
sugar industry. Of the 4 million acres under cultivation in 1940, 57 per-
cent was devoted to sugar, 10 percent to bananas, and 7.5 percent to corn.
The production of sugar averaged more than 3 million short tons annually
in pre-war years. It is estimated that the 1945 crop may total almost 5
million short tons, most of which will be exported to the United States.

Although only 2.7 percent of the land under cultivation is devoted to the
raising of tobacco, this crop is the second most important export item.
Approximately 60 percent of it is sold abroad. Fruits and vegetables are
grown for domestic and United States markets. In recent years, agricul-
ture has become more diversified. Cuba now supplies 15 percent of its
annual consumption of rice, instead of the 5 percent which prevailed in the
pre-war period.

Attention has been given to the development of mineral resources in
recent years; these include manganese, copper, iron, chromium, nickel, and

Cuba produces a wide range of manufactured products for local con-
sumption, including textiles, rope and cordage, paints, shoes, cement, and
agricultural tools and implements. The production of sugar from cane is
Cuba's most important manufacturing industry; it.employed about 60,000
of the estimated 585,000 workers in the entire sugar industry in 1939. The
tobacco industry, including growing, preparing, and manufacturing, em-
S ploys about 150,000 workers. The war has greatly stimulated the processing
of sugar and alcohol, and the successful dehydration of Cuban vegetables
may initiate a new industry.

Cuba ranked fifth in foreign trade among the countries of Latin America
in 1938. In that year exports (142.6 million dollars) and imports (106
million) represented 8 percent and 7 percent, respectively, of the value of
total Latin American exports and imports. Exports usually exceed imports.
In proportion to its population Cuba has a larger foreign trade than any
other country of the Western Hemisphere, except Canada and Argentina.
Exports: Cuban exports consist chiefly of sugar and its derivatives. In
1938 sugar accounted for 79 percent of the total, and tobacco ranked second
with 10 percent. In 1943 exports were valued at 350 million dollars;
sugar accounted for 66 percent, and tobacco for 8 percent. The United
States and the United Kingdom are the principal markets. In 1938 the
S United States took 76 percent of Cuban exports, and the United Kingdom
14 percent. In 1943 the United States took 84 percent, the United King-
dom 10 percent, and Canada 1.5 percent.

Imports: Cuba's imports consist chiefly of foodstuffs, textiles and manu-
factured products, and machinery and other equipment. In 1938 imports
were valued at 106 million dollars; foodstuffs represented 28 percent, tex-
tiles and manufactured products 18 percent, and machinery and instruments
12 percent. In 1943 imports amounted to 177 million dollars. The United
States by far the principal supplier. In 1938 that country furnished 71
percent of the total value, and the United Kingdom and Germany 4 percent
each. In 1943 the United States supplied 78 percent, Latin America 16
percent, and the United Kingdom and India 2.4 percent each.


Annual average Latest available
rate quotation
Unit Type of exchange

1942 1943 Rate Date

Peso........ Free........... $1.00 $1.00 $1.00 Sept. 23, 1944

Exchange control has been in effect in Cuba since July 15, 1939. Ex-
porters of certain products are required to deliver to the Government speci-
fied proportions of the exchange proceeds from their sales. Out of these
deliveries the Government services its foreign debts, pays the salaries of its
representatives abroad, purchases supplies, and allocates the remainder at
par to Cuban importers of merchandise of prime necessity.

At the end of 1940 United States direct investments in Cuba totaled 559.8
million dollars, of which 240.9 million were in agriculture, 233.4 million in
public utilities and transportation, 26.8 million in manufacturing, 11.9
million in distribution, 10.2 million in petroleum, 6.6 million in mining and
smelting, and the remainder in miscellaneous enterprises.
British investments, as quoted on the London Stock Exchange on Decem-
ber 31, 1943, amounted to 27 million pounds sterling and consisted almost
wholly of capital invested in railways. The remaining foreign investments
in Cuba are largely Spanish holdings, notably in retail trade and urban

On June 30, 1944, Cuban dollar bonds outstanding had a total par value
of 110 million dollars. Interest payments are being made without delay,
and in full.
The Export-Import Bank of Washington had disbursed almost 40 million
dollars to Cuba by June 30, 1943, of which 38.5 million had been repaid.
Undisbursed commitments amounted to approximately 38.5 million.

The revenues of the Republic in 1943 were the highest in its history.
Collections for regular budget purposes, including revenue from taxes
established for the service of Export-Import Bank loans, aggregated 119
million dollars, and exceeded 1942 collections by 12 million. In 1942, 31
percent of the budgetary revenues were derived from internal taxes, 28 per-
cent from customs receipts, and 15 percent from the special public works
fund. Of total expenditures of 111 million dollars, national defense took
21 percent, education 18 percent, and the public debt 12 percent.
The funded debt of the Republic has been reduced from 123.6 million
dollars on December 31, 1941, to 110.1 million on June 30, 1944. These
figures do not include Cuba's floating debt which is estimated at 70 million
pesos, virtually unchanged since 1932.
On December 31, 1943, bank deposits amounted to 261 million dollars,
of which 46 million were in savings accounts.

The shortage of shipping, which handicapped business activity in 1942,
was not a factor of importance in 1943. In general, commercial and in-
dustrial movements in Cuba in the latter period were the most active in
many years. Economic activity was impeded, however, by the difficulty
of obtaining certain raw materials for industry and some kinds of manu-
factured and semimanufactured goods, the continued absence of tourist
travel, and the low receipts of petroleum products.
A project to establish a central bank, based on a report of a United
States Technical Mission, gave rise to considerable discussion and study in
1942. Extended hearings on the project were held, but no definite action
was taken.

Under an agreement recently concluded with Cuba, the United States pur-
chased a minimum of 4 million short tons of the 1944 sugar crop at 2.65

cents per pound; negotiations covering the 1945 crop are under way. A
previous agreement provided for the purchase of 2.7 million short tons at
a minimum price of 2.65 cents per pound. Negotiations have been com-
pleted for the purchase by the United States of the 1944 molasses output.
In July 1942 the United States and Cuba signed an agreement under
which the former undertook to sell gold to the Cuban Government from
time to time, with payment to be made within 100 days after delivery.
During 1942 the Cuban Government purchased from the United States
Treasury a total of 15 million dollars in gold at the rate of $35 per troy
The production of minerals was encouraged in 1942 by United States
purchases, the establishment of a 20-million-dollar credit for the construc-
tion of the Nicaro nickel plant, and other measures of assistance to mining
enterprises. United States expenditures for other Cuban war projects also
stimulated employment during 1942.
Cuba signed reciprocal trade and lend-lease agreements with the United
States on August 24, 1934, and November 7, 1941, respectively.


Cuba's sugar crop plays an important part in the war effort. The island
has agreed to send to the United States 800,000 short tons of molasses
needed for the production of alcohol, especially in the synthetic rubber
industry. The increased manufacture of alcohol from molasses will make
grain available as food for the use of the United Nations. As a result of
the minerals-development program, Cuba supplies the United States with
such strategic materials as copper, manganese, tungsten, nickel, and chrome.
The loofa sponge, formerly imported from the Far East, is now secured from
Cuba; these sponges are used by the Navy in the preparation of marine-en-
gine filters. The island also sends to the United States its entire surplus of
peanuts, an important source of oil. Cuba, which before the war did not
rank as an important exporter of foodstuffs other than sugar, is at present
sending meat, corn, and beans, as well as a number of fresh fruits, vegeta-
bles, and dehydrated foods, to the United States.


Background: Generalissimo Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina was elected
on May 16, 1942, for his third term as President. The Partido Dominicano,

led by the President, is the only legal political party in the country. Do-
minican political affairs are centered in its relations with the United States
and with those of its nearest neighbor, Haiti.
Congress declared war against Japan on December 8, 1941, and against
Germany and Italy on December 11, 1941. The Dominican envoy to the
United States signed the Declaration of the United Nations on January
1, 1942.
Organization: The Constitution of 1942 provides for a centralized Re-
public of 15 Provinces. Congress is bicameral, with a Senate of 16 mem-
bers and a Chamber of Deputies of 38, serving 5-year terms. Regular
sessions open August 16 of each year. The President is elected for a 5-year
term, and is assisted by 13 advisers, 8 of whom head ministries. The next
elections for President, the entire Senate, and the Chamber of Deputies are
scheduled for May 16, 1947.


1795--- -
1822-44 --------
1844 (February 27) -




1930 ----
1941--- --


Cession from Spain to France.
Ruled by France.
Spanish rule reestablished.
Haitian rule.
Independence from Haitian rule won by re-
Adoption of first Constitution.
Reannexation to Spain to prevent threatened
Haitian reconquest.
Spanish rule ended, and independence of
Dominican Republic established.
Customs receivership established by United
Inauguration of President Trujillo.
Termination of customs receivership; declara-
tion of war on Axis Powers.
Adoption of present Constitution.


Christopher Columbus (1446-1506), discoverer of Santo Domingo on
October 12, 1492.
Bartolomi Columbus (1437-1514), founder of Santo Domingo City
(Trujillo City) August 4, 1496.

Juan Pablo Duarte (1813-1876), leader responsible for the successful
revolt against Haitian domination.
Ramon Matias Mella (1816-1863), led the revolt against the Haitians
in 1844.
General Gregorio Luper6n (1839-1897), leader responsible for the
successful war of restoration against Spanish domination in 1863.


1930-38---------- Generalissimo Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina.
1938-40------- Jacinto Peynado.
1940-42----- --- Dr. Manuel de Jesds Troncoso de la Concha.
1942 --------- Generalissimo Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina.

ADMINISTRATION (September 15, 1944)

President-------------- Gen. Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Aug. 16, 1942
Secretary of State for Jeszs M. Troncoso Sdnchez-- June 13, 1944
Secretary of State for War Maj. Gen. Hector B. Trujillo Jan. 2, 1942
and Navy. Molina.
Secretary of State for In- Rafael Bonnelly -------_ July 12, 1944
terior and Police.
Secretary of State for For- Manuel Arturo Pefia Battlle_ Sept. 28, 1943
eign Affairs.
Secretary of State for Lic. Huberto Bogaert Romdn-_ Apr. 16, 1942
Agriculture, Industry,
and Labor.
Secretary of State for Pub- Emilio Garcia Godoy------ Feb. 25, 1944
lic Health.
Secretary of State for Pub- Teldsforo R. Calder6n ----.-- Feb. 1, 1944
lic Education and Fine
Secretary of State of the Rafael Paino Pichardo_.---- May 17, 1942
President of Directive Dr. Virgilio Alvarez Pina-.. Jan. 3, 1944
Board of Partido Do-

(The following officials in Government have Cabinet rank.)
President of the Adminis- Alejandro Cohen---------_ May 12, 1944
trative Council of the
District of Santo Do-
Rector of the University of Lic. Julio Ortega Frier------ an. 3, 1944
Santo Domingo.
Governor of the Province Arsenio Veldzquez ---------Feb. 5, 1944
of Trujillo.
Governor of the Province Dr. Salvador A. Cocco-----
of Santiago.

Area: The Dominican Republic contains 19,332 square miles.
Surface: More than two-thirds of the surface is occupied by highlands,
the most impressive of which is the Cordillera Central whose summits rise
to nearly 10,000 feet. The highlands throughout the island (including
those in Haiti) are composed essentially of many steep-sided, narrow-crested
ranges which are separated by deep valleys and pocketlike lowlands. The
Cibao, one of the two principal lowland plains of the country, lies between
the Cordillera Central and a lower range (3,000 to 4,000 feet) that parallels
the northern coast. The other lowland area borders the south coast and
is most extensive east of Ciudad Trujillo.
Climate: Because of its position in the belt of Trade Winds, north- and
east-facing slopes and the Cibao receive the heaviest rainfall. The southern
coastal plain is quite arid, and most of the agriculture there is carried on
under irrigation. Excessive evaporation seriously reduces the effectiveness
of the heavy rains. Temperatures in the lowlands and in some of the
protected pockets of the highlands are high throughout the year.


Population: The total population in January 1944 was 1,969,773. The
chief concentration is in the vicinity of Santiago and on the southern coastal
plain. The largest cities are Ciudad Trujillo (capital) 80,000, Santiago de
los Caballeros 34,000, and San Pedro de Macoris 19,000.
Internal growth: The birth rate was 31.4 per 1,000 in 1941 and the
death rate 9.3 in 1940. These rates are based on incomplete data.
Immigration: A small number of Spanish refugees have entered since
the Spanish Civil War, and the Sosua Settlement (near Puerto Plata) now
affords protection for about 500 European political refugees.

Racial composition: According to the census of 1935, the population
was composed of Mestizos (71 percent), Negroes (16 percent), and whites
(13 percent).
Axis aliens: There are in the Dominican Republic about 140 Germans
(in addition to 100 citizens of German descent), and 350 Italians (plus 400
citizens of Italian descent).
Language: The official language is Spanish.


Literacy: It was estimated in 1942 that 33 percent of the population was
Schools and enrollment: In 1943 the 1,896 primary schools had a
total enrollment of 203,990 pupils, and the 79 intermediate schools a student
body of 7,545. The University of Santo Domingo had a registration of
868 students in 1940.


Motor: Registrations in 1943 included 1,428 passenger cars, 136 busses,
and 899 trucks, or about 1 motor vehicle per 800 inhabitants. In that year
there were 3,180 miles of highway; several construction projects are cur-
rently under way.
Rail: About 10,000 passengers were carried by the 135 miles of steam
railway in 1941.
Water: In 1939, 824 ships (1,173,429 registered tons) entered, and 904
(1,341,206 registered tons) cleared, the ports.


Telephone: More than 3,100 telephones and 2,770 miles of line were
in service in 1940.
Telegraph: In that year there were 109 telephone and telegraph offices,
and 1,034 miles of telegraph line.
Radio: Receiving sets numbered 13,000 in 1943, and there were 25
broadcasting stations.
Post: In 1940, 288 post offices handled more than 10 million pieces of


In Ciudad Trujillo the cost of living rose from 100 in 1939 to 190 in
December 1943.


There is no national labor organization in the Dominican Republic.
Workers' organizations exist in certain trades.


The economy of the country is almost entirely agricultural; 2.5 million
acres were under cultivation in 1940. Sugar was the major crop, occupying
243,000 acres. The output of raw sugar in 1943 was 430,000 metric tons
and the 1944 crop exceeded 550,000 metric tons. In recent years the
Dominican Republic has ranked fourth among the Latin American countries
as a producer of that commodity.
Cacao and coffee occupied about 188,000 and 164,000 acres, respectively,
in 1940. Corn, mandioca, rice, sweet potatoes, and beans are staple crops
for domestic consumption. Some corn is exported to other West Indian
islands. In 1940 these crops, except mandioca, occupied about 442,000
acres. The growth in the production of rice has been especially significant.
In 1940 livestock included 804,000 cattle, 702,000 hogs, and 460,000 goats;
in the last few years surpluses of live cattle and meat have been exported.


The principal manufacturing establishments are engaged in the processing
of agricultural products. In 1938 there were 1,705 manufacturing enter-
prises of all sizes, representing an investment of 73 million dollars, and
employing 34,000 persons. The value of their output was 23 million
dollars. Expansion has occurred since that time. New plants include a
factory for the production of sisal bags, and a modern abattoir and packing
plant financed by a loan of $250,000 from the Export-Import Bank of
Washington. Sugar mills in 1939 accounted for 83 percent of the capital
invested in manufacturing, 72 percent of the employees, and 50 percent of
the value of products. About 7,500 persons were employed in manufactur-
S ing other than food processing, mostly in small household enterprises; these
establishments produced such goods as shoes, leather, tobacco, soap, and
matches for domestic consumption.


The value of exports customarily exceeds that of imports. In the period
1936-39, exports exceeded imports by 3 to 7 million dollars. In 1939 ex-
ports were 18.6 million dollars, and imports 11.6 million.
Exports: Sugar and molasses in pre-war years usually represented 65
percent of all exports, cacao 13 percent, and coffee 7 to 10 percent. Ordi-
narily, the United Kingdom took more than 40 percent of the total and the
United States more than 30 percent. The value of exports in 1943 was
36 million dollars. Raw sugar accounted for 62 percent of total exports,
cacao 11 percent, and coffee 7 percent. The United Kingdom took 57
percent, the United States 29 percent, and Puerto Rico 5 percent. The large
volume of purchases by the United Kingdom is due to the fact that it pur-
chased under contract the entire 1942-43 sugar crop.
During 1943 the Government extended control over the country's export
trade. By a decree of July 29, 1943, export surpluses of rice, corn, and
"torta de mani" could be sold only to the Commodity Credit Corporation
or to agencies designated by it. The decree of August 2 required permits
for the exportation of corn flour.
Imports: The principal imports are manufactured products, semimanu-
factures, and raw materials. Prior to the war there was a notable down-
ward trend in imports of food but an increase in imports of iron and steel
manufactures, machinery, and chemical products. In 1937 the United
States supplied 52 percent of total imports, Europe 24 percent, and Japan
13 percent. In the first 9 months of 1943 imports were valued at 11 million
dollars, of which the United States supplied about 75 percent.


Until April 1938 the monetary unit of the Dominican Republic was the
United States dollar. Since then it has been the Dominican peso, which is
equivalent to the dollar.


United States direct investments at the end of 1940 amounted to about
42 million dollars, 80 percent of which was in agriculture, largely in the
cultivation of sugar.
Outstanding dollar bonds of the Dominican Republic in 1943 had a par
value of about 14 million dollars. Interest on this debt has always been
paid in full; however, two large issues fell due in 1940 and 1942 and bond-
holders were offered extended maturities without alternative. Approxi-

mately one-half of the old bonds have been extended, and interest is being
fully paid on both extended and unextended bonds. Part of the 1943
budget surplus is to be used to redeem a substantial portion of this debt.
As of June 30, 1943, the Export-Import Bank had disbursed 1.9 million
dollars to the Dominican Republic, of which $285,182 had been repaid.
Undisbursed commitments amounted to approximately 1.4 million dollars.


The budgetary revenues in 1943 amounted to 17.5 million dollars and
expenditures to 13.8 million. Revenues are derived principally from import
and export taxes, and miscellaneous internal sales taxes and fees. Chief
among the expenditures are national defense (15 to 20 percent), debt service
(15 percent), education (10 to 15 percent), and health (6 percent).


In some cases prices of basic commodities are said to have risen 100
percent since 1939. The index for food shows a 60-percent increase, but
it is calculated on the basis of official ceiling prices which are not com-
pletely enforced in all instances. Price control has been particularly
effective on rice.
There is a marked deficiency of certain consumer goods, especially those
imported, as a result of war conditions. A shortage of tires, tubes, truck
parts, and gasoline has hampered the movement of food to market and ports.
The economy of the country has suffered somewhat from a lack of labor,
especially the sugar industry. However, total sugar output has increased
in recent years.


The Dominican Republic signed a lend-lease agreement with the United
States on August 2, 1941.
The full quota of coffee from the Dominican Republic was taken by the
United States in 1942.


Apart from its cooperation in supporting and promoting inter-American
relations and its complete adherence to the Good Neighbor Policy, the
Dominican Republic is contributing to the war effort largely by increasing
its production of foodstuffs. In 1944 the Commodity Credit Corporation

contracted for about 500,000 tons of sugar. In February of that year this
contract was transferred to the British Government. The Republic also
supplies the United States with molasses for use in the production of com-
mercial alcohol. President Trujillo has authorized the sale of all surpluses
of rice and corn to the Commodity Credit Corporation for distribution to
the Caribbean countries suffering from food shortages.



Background: Dr. Jos6 Maria Velasco Ibarra has held the office of
President of the Republic since May 28, 1944, when the Government of
President Carlos Arroyo Del Rio was overthrown. The revolution of May
28 was organized by followers of Velasco Ibarra, who charged that the
Arroyo del Rio Administration had planned to control fraudulently the
Presidential election scheduled for June 2 and 3. A Constituent Assembly,
which was elected on July 23, confirmed Velasco Ibarra in the Presidency
on August 10, on which date his constitutional term of office formally began.
Ecuador severed diplomatic relations with the Axis Powers on Jan-
uary 29, 1942.
Organization: Under the Constitution of 1906, Ecuador is a centralized
Republic of 16 Provinces and 1 Territory. On July 23, 1944, a Constituent
Assembly was elected to frame a new Constitution. This body, convening
on August 10, proclaimed on the following day that the 1906 document
would remain in force until a new Constitution could be completed and
adopted. In the Constituent Assembly, some of the members of which were
chosen on a functional basis, leftist elements were in a majority.


1809 (August 10) -_ First movement for independence.
1822-----_--- End of Spanish rule in Ecuador.
1830---------_- Dissolution of union with Colombia and Ven-
1941----------_ War with Peru over boundary dispute.
1942--- ----- Severance of relations with Axis Powers.
1944 --- __---. Revolution of May 28.


Francisco Javier de Santa Cruz y Espejo (1747-1795), leader in inde-
pendence movement, scientist, physician, and writer who advanced
a "germ theory" of transmission of disease.
Vicente Rocafuerte (1783-1847), second President of Ecuador.
Juan Montalvo (1833-1889), noted author.
Gabriel Garcia Moreno (1821-1875), President and church leader, who
encouraged railroad and highway construction.


1926-31_ ------
1931 (August-October) _______
1931-32 --------

1932 (September-November) __
1933-34 -----_________--
1935 (August-September) __-
1935-37 ---------
1937-38 -------
1938 (August-December) ----
1939-44 -----
1944 --------

Isidro Ayora.
Luis A. Larren Alba.
Period of revolutions and instability;
series of Interim Juntas.
Alberto Guerrero Martinez.
Juan de Dios Martinez Mora.
Abelardo Montalvo.
Jose Maria Velasco Ibarra.
Antonio Pons.
Frederico Paez.
G. Alberto Enriquez.
Manuel M. Borrero.
Aurelio Mosquera Narvaes.
Carlos Arroyo Del Rio.
Jose Maria Velasco Ibarra.

ADMINISTRATION (September 15, 1944)

President-- ------_ Dr. Josi Maria Velasco Ibarra- Aug. 10, 1944
Minister of Foreign Rela- Camilo Ponce Enriquez ---- Aug. 11, 1944
Minister of Treasury -- Mariano Suarez Veintimilla_- Aug. 11, 1944
Minister of Interior and Carlos Guevara Moreno---- Aug. 11, 1944
Minister of National De- Lt. Col. Carlos Mancheno..- Aug. 11, 1944
Minister of Public Instruc- Alfredo Vera y Veda------- Aug. 11, 1944
Minister of Communica- Jorge Montero Vela-------- Aug. 11, 1944
tions and Public Works.

Minister of Social Secu- Alfonso Calder6n Moreno--- Aug. 11, 1944
rity Welfare.
Minister of National Econ- Luis Eduardo Laso----____- Aug. 11, 1944


Area: The area of Ecuador has not been determined as yet because final
settlement of certain details in the boundary dispute with Peru has not been
completed. It is estimated that the national territory, including the Gala-
pagos Islands, is about 104,500 square miles.
Surface: The country is divided into three major natural regions: The
coastal region, the sierra or Andean highlands, and the Oriente or Amazon
region. The coastal region is mostly lowland, low hills (1,000 to 2,000
feet), and tableland. The highlands are composed of two closely spaced
parallel ranges of the Andes, volcanic in part, between which lies a narrow -
longitudinal depression or plateau. The Oriente embraces the lower east-
ern slopes of the Andes and a small part of the Amazon lowlands.
Climate: The climate varies from tropical in the eastern and western
lowlands, through temperate on the intermediate slopes and plateau, to the
"Arctic" climate of the higher peaks. The Oriente is the zone of greatest


Population: The total population in 1943 was 3,105,541. Densities
range from 9.4 per square mile in the Province of Esmeraldas to 167.5 per
square mile in the Province of Tungurahua. The highest regional density
is in the central highlands and the coastal lowlands; the lowest is in the
Oriente. The largest cities are Quito (capital) 158,000, Guayaquil 166,000,
and Cuenca 50,000.
Internal growth: The birth rate in 1941 was 41.7 per 1,000 and the
death rate, 22.5.
Immigration: There has been little immigration; in 1941 the total num-
ber of foreigners was 14,894, a large percentage of which were Colombians.
Racial composition: The population is almost evenly divided between
Indians who live in the highlands, the Oriente, and the people of Spanish
and Indian origin who occupy the coastal zone. Negroes are concentrated
largely in the wet, tropical, coastal lowlands, and constitute about 4 percent C
of the total population.

Axis aliens: There are about 2,190 Germans (plus 3,000 citizens of Ger-
man descent), and 600 Italians (in addition to 4,000 citizens of Italian
descent). The German element is concentrated largely in the port city of
Language: The language of Ecuador is Spanish, but the Indians cling
to their original languages, principally Quechua and Jibaro.


Literacy: It is estimated that 38 percent of the population is literate.
In 1943 the National Union of Newspapermen and all of the cultural institu-
tions of the country launched an educational campaign, giving daily instruc-
tion to several thousand adults. The results have been extremely favorable,
and it is hoped that within a short time the percentage of literates will be
greatly increased.
Schools and enrollment: In 1942 the 3,181 primary schools enrolled
275,046 students, the 70 intermediate schools 11,193, and the 4 universities
a total of 1,885.


Motor: Registrations included 2,426 passenger cars, 944 busses, and
2,528 trucks in 1943, an average of 1 vehicle per 527 inhabitants. In Jan-
uary 1944 there were 4,240 miles of roads of which 2,690 miles were usable
at all times.
Rail and air: More than 578,200 passengers were carried on the 772
miles of railroad in 1938. In March 1943 the 2 air lines, of which 1 was
national, were flying 9,070 scheduled miles per week over 1,235 undupli-
cated route-miles.
Water: In 1939, 489 ships (1,039,763 registered tons) entered Ecua-
doran ports carrying 3,962 passengers.


Telephone: Telephones in service numbered 7,100 in 1941.
Telegraph: In that year nearly 200 offices were connected by 4,000
miles of telegraph line.
Radio: About 29,000 privately owned radio receiving sets were in oper-
ation in 1943 and there were 29 broadcasting stations. In May of that
S year, radio-telegraphic service between Ecuador and the United States was
officially inaugurated.
Post: In 1940 there were 446 post offices.


General conditions: According to the Ministry of Social Welfare, in-
adequate and improperly balanced diets present a serious problem in Ecua-
dor. Workers live in quarters lacking ventilation and hygienic facilities.
Cost of living: The cost-of-living index (100 in 1927) advanced from
101 in 1932 to 428 in July 1943.


The principal national labor federation is the Confederaci6n de Trabaja-
dores del Ecuador (CTE), formed in July 1944 by about 600 representa-
tives of textile, transport, maritime, and other unions. The other national
labor body is the Confederaci6n Ecuatoriano de Obreros Cat6licos
(CEDOC) sponsored by the Catholic Church. Both have been organized
largely on a craft basis. The CTE is affiliated with the Confederaci6n de
Trabajadores de America Latina (CTAL).
The Labor Code of 1938 recognized the right of workers to organize
and bargain collectively. It grants the right to strike only after mediation
and action by an arbitration tribunal have failed to settle a dispute. The
Code also provides for maximum hours, minimum wages, accident com-
pensation, and other conditions and rights of labor. An extensive system
of social security was established by legislation enacted in July 1942, and
executive decrees of November 1943 and March 1944. Social insurance
is compulsory for all employed persons; it covers sickness, maternity, old
age, industrial accidents, occupational diseases, unemployment, and death.


Eighty percent of Ecuador's population is engaged in agriculture. In the
past, cacao and coffee have been the principal products. In the last 2
years, however, rice has become the leading export crop and at present is
sent to other Latin American countries whose markets formerly were sup-
plied by Far Eastern sources. The acreage devoted to rice was extended
in 1943. Wheat, corn, potatoes, and sugar are other important food crops,
but they are not exported. The raising of cattle and sheep is the chief
pastoral industry, but only cattle hides are exported. Forest products, in-
cluding rubber, kapok, balsa wood, and tagua nuts usually are exported
in small quantities; however, in 1.942 and 1943 the output of these com-
modities was stimulated by high prices and the demands of the United


The lack of raw materials, a limited domestic market, and inadequate
transportation have hampered industrial development. Ecuadoran textiles,
toquilla hats, shoes, cement, sugar, flour, soap, candles, and other consumer
goods supply much of the demand of the domestic market. Toquilla
(Panama) hats are exported.
Manufacturing has expanded since the outbreak of the war in an effort to
supply domestic demand. The output of textiles and pharmaceutical prod-
ucts, especially quinine, has increased. Further industrial development has
been impeded by difficulty in obtaining machinery and construction


The principal mineral products are gold, silver, copper, and petroleum.
T he value of gold production was estimated at 2.6 million dollars in 1939,
but was lower in 1943. The production of crude petroleum amounted to
more than 3 million barrels in 1942. Exploratory deep drilling for petro-
leum is being carried on.


The value of merchandise exports generally exceeds that of imports.
Since the outbreak of the war, this margin has increased. In 1938 exports
amounted to 12.6 million dollars, and imports to 11.0 million. In 1943
exports reached 27.9 million dollars, and imports rose to 15.5 million. The
increase in value has been much greater than that in volume of both exports
and imports.
Exports: In the pre-war period more than 90 percent of exports con-
sisted of vegetable and mineral products. In 1937 cacao and coffee to-
gether accounted for 45 percent of the total, petroleum for 14 percent, and
gold and copper combined for 12 percent. In 1943 rice accounted for 24
percent of the total value of exports, and coffee and cacao together for 22
percent. Other major exports were balsa wood (11 percent), copper (10
percent), gold (7 percent), straw hats, petroleum, and rubber (6 percent
In the pre-war years Europe and the United States shared equally in the
export trade of Ecuador. In 1938 the United States took 37 percent,
Europe 40 percent, and Latin America 20 percent. In 1943 the United
States absorbed 61 percent, Latin America 37 percent, and Europe less than

2 percent. Exports of rice to Cuba, Peru, and Venezuela accounted for a
large part of the increased shipments to Latin American countries.
Imports: Before the war, machinery, iron and steel products, and food-
stuffs each accounted for about 15 percent of total imports, and cotton
manufactures for about 10 percent. In 1938 the United States furnished
35 percent of total imports, Europe 45 percent, and Latin America 7 percent.
Germany, with 24 percent, was the principal European supplier. In 1943
the United States provided 48 percent, Latin America 43 percent, and
Europe 7 percent.


In April 1942 the official exchange rates were established at 14.10 sucres
to the dollar for the selling rate, and 13.70 to the dollar for the buying
rate. The latter was lowered to 13.50 in July 1943. Actual selling rates
for sight drafts on New York averaged 14.39 in 1942 and 14.10 in 1943.
Foreign exchange holdings of the Central Bank of Ecuador on December
31, 1943, amounted to 32 million dollars, most of which was dollar exchange.


Ecuador has not attracted large foreign investments. Direct United
States investments in 1940 amounted to about 5 million dollars; British
investments may be slightly larger.
Ecuador's outstanding external direct and government-guaranteed debt
was officially estimated at 29 million dollars at the end of 1942, and the
internal debt amounted to about 2.7 million dollars. The direct dollar debt
is small ($459,900), has been in partial default since 1910, and in total de-
fault since 1915. This obligation is largely British-owned.
As of June 30, 1943, the Export-Import Bank of Washington had dis-
bursed 1.6 million dollars to Ecuador, of which $174,162 had been repaid.
Undisbursed commitments amounted to approximately 13.9 million dollars.


Estimated budgetary expenditures in 1944 amount to about 13.4 million
dollars. The major sources of revenue are direct and indirect taxes on
mines and trade. The chief expenditures are for national defense, education,
and public works including highways and railways.
Bank deposits increased sharply in 1942 as a result of inflation, United
States credits, and small opportunities for investment.


The cost of living in Ecuador is increasing rapidly. A price index of
20 articles of consumption, principally foodstuffs, rose to 230 in November
S 1942 from an annual average of 160 in 1939 (1927=100). The prices of
some imported commodities more than doubled during 1942. Ceiling prices
have been placed on many products, but they have not been fully enforced,
and prices continued to rise in 1944. Increases in wages have not kept pace
with the advance in prices.
Expansion in employment has resulted in an increased demand for food
S which domestic production, always inadequate, has not been able to meet.
Imports of foodstuffs have been maintained, but these commodities are too
high in price for a large part of the population.
A legislative decree of October 1943 provided for the creation of a council
to study the economic problems of the country and make recommendations
for appropriate legislation and controls. In December 1943 a Presidential
decree established a national commission for the consideration of post-war


An Ecuadoran Development Corporation was established in 1942. The
initial capital of 5 million dollars was supplied by a credit from the Export-
Import Bank.
United States technical and financial assistance is being extended for a
health and sanitation program.
Ecuador signed reciprocal trade and lend-lease agreements on August 6,
1938, and April 6, 1942, respectively.


Ecuador's greatest single contribution to the war effort lies in its export
of balsa wood used especially in the production of airplanes, life buoys, and
rafts. The United Nations depend on Ecuador for 95 percent of the supply
of this strategic material. In 1942 the United States signed an agreement
with Ecuador to buy all exports of rubber for the next 41/2 years.
Since the stoppage of shipments from the Far East, Ecuador also has
become one of the most important sources of cinchona bark, from which
quinine and other antimalarial drugs are obtained. An agreement con-
cluded in March 1943 provided that Ecuador would sell to the United

States all of its production of cinchona bark not required for domestic use.
The Ecuadoran Ministry of National Defense has encouraged the building
of roads across the Andes to the forests where these strategic products are
found. In lesser quantities, Ecuador exports vegetable oils, kapok, tagua
nuts, and copper to the United States. This country also purchases most
of Ecuador's coffee and cacao.
At the outset of the war, air and naval bases were established by the
United States Government in Salinas and the Galapagos Islands. Although
Ecuador has maintained its sovereignty over these territories, the United
States Government has freely operated these bases in accordance with an
understanding with the Ecuadoran Government.



Background: General Andr6s Ignacio Menendez, Minister of National
Defense and a Presidential Alternate, assumed the Presidency May 9, 1944,
when Maximiliano Hernindez Martinez resigned following an uprising.
The new Government planned to maintain freedom of the press, to call a
Presidential election, and to adopt a new Constitution.
Former President Martinez first assumed office as Acting President in
December 1931 to complete the unexpired term of President Arturo Araujo,
who also had left the country after an uprising. Martinez was elected for
a 4-year term in 1935. After a change in the Constitution, he was again
elected for a 6-year term in January 1930, and in February 1944 a Con-
stituent Assembly had voted him a further 5-year term starting in March
of that year.
El Salvador declared war against Japan on December 8, 1941, and
against Germany and Italy on December 12.
Organization: The Constitution of 1939 provided for a centralized Re-
public composed of 14 Departments. The unicameral National Legislative
Assembly has 42 members. Regular sessions are held twice a year, from
February 15 to May 15, and from October 15 to January 2. The President
is aided by a Cabinet of 5 members; he is directly elected and may be
reelected after a lapse of 6 years. The dates of Presidential elections are
determined by Congress.


(El Salvador was part of the United Provinces of Central America until
the latter was dissolved. The country since has been united briefly with
one or more neighboring States.)
1821-Declaration of Central American independence from Spain.
1841-El Salvador declared an independent republic.
1906-War with Guatemala ended by a Central American Congress in
San Jos6, Costa Rica.
1931-General Martinez became President.
1941-Declaration of war against Axis Powers.
1944-General Men6ndez assumed the Presidency..


Jose Matias Delgado (1767-1832), patriot priest, precursor of Central
American independence, and honored as "The Father of his Country."
Antonio losd Canas (1786-1844), patriot and statesman, first Central
American diplomat accredited to Washington, D. C.


1931 (January-December)-_ Arturo Araujo
1931-44 ---------------- Gen. Maximiliano Herndndez Martinez
1944 ------------------- Gen. Andris Ignacio Menindez

ADMINISTRATION (September 15, 1944)

President -------_----- Gen. Andres Ignacio------- May 9, 1944
Minister of Foreign Rela- Julio Enrique Avila -------- May 10, 1944
tions and Justice.
Minister of Agriculture, Joaquin Parada Aparicio --- May 10, 1944
L a b o r, Development,
and Interior.
Minister of Treasury, Hector Escobar Serrano.--- Mar. 3, 1944
Public Credit, Industry,
and Commerce.

Minister of National De- Gen. Fidel Cristino Garay--- May 10, 1944
Minister of Public Edu- Dr. Herm6genes Alvarado--- May 10, 1944


Area: El Salvador contains 13,176 square miles.
Surface: Although much of the country is a volcanic highland, the
Pacific coast is a fairly broad lowland. The valley of the Rio Lempa, which
cuts across the highlands, constitutes a second lowland area of considerable
extent. Intermont basins, having an average elevation of over 2,000 feet,
lie between parallel ranges of volcanic cones which rise to about 7,000 feet.
Climate: The low elevation of the interment basins barely raises them
above the limits of the tierra caliente. The mean annual temperature at
San Salvador is about 730 and the mean annual range of temperature
throughout the country does not exceed 500. Although there are no
months without rain, the heaviest rainfall occurs between May and


Population: The total population in 1943 was 1,880,000. El Salvador
is the most densely populated country in Central America. Inhabitants
per square mile range from 87.4 in the Department of Chalatenango to 292.2
in the Department of San Salvador. The largest cities are San Salvador
(capital) 105,000, Santa Ana 46,000, and Nueva San Salvador (Santa
Tecla) 24,000.
Internal growth: The birth rate was 39.9 per 1,000, and the death rate
16.9, in 1941.
Immigration: The total foreign population in 1941 was estimated to
be 3,974.
Racial composition: Mestizos constitute 80 percent and Indians 19
percent of the total population.
Axis aliens: There are approximately 1,175 Germans (in addition to
2,200 citizens of German descent), 625 Italians (plus 4,400 of Italian
descent), and 25 Japanese in El Salvador.
Language: Spanish is the official language.


Literacy: According to the census of 1930, 21.2 percent of the total
population was literate. Of 12,674 persons married in 1937, 45 percent
of the men and 36 percent of the women were literate.
Schools and enrollment: Students enrolled in 1941 included 89,792
in 1,330 primary schools, 3,309 in 58 intermediate schools, and 506 in the
National University.


Motor: Vehicle registrations in 1943 included 2,700 passenger cars, 676
busses, and 698 trucks, an average of 1 vehicle per 461 inhabitants. More
than 2,000 of the 3,691 miles of highway were improved.
Rail: Railways carried 886,077 passengers in 1941 on 285 miles of
Water: In 1940, 438 ships (836,350 registered tons) entered the ports.
Passenger arrivals numbered 281; departures, 257.


STelephone: More than 3,500 miles of line connected the 4,411 telephones
in service in 1940.
Telegraph: In the same year 203 telegraph offices were served by 2,412
miles of wire.
Radio: The estimated number of receiving sets was 11,000 in 1943, and
4 broadcasting stations were in operation.
Post: Approximately 223 post offices handled 2.8 million pieces of mail
in 1940.


SThe index of prices of domestic foods and miscellaneous products rose
from 103.5 in June 1942 (100 in 1938), to 127 in June 1943.


There was no organized labor movement in El Salvador under the
Martinez regime. A vigorous organizational effort is now under way and a
number of unions have organized. A labor code is also under discussion.


El Salvador is predominantly an agricultural country. The principal
export crop is coffee. Substantial quantities of corn, sugar, beans, rice,
cotton, and henequen are grown for local consumption. About four-fifths
of the total area of El Salvador is under cultivation. The 1943-44 coffee
crop, estimated at 1 million bags, is between 10 and 15 percent greater than
the crop for 1942-43. El Salvador ranks third among the coffee-exporting
countries of Latin America, being exceeded only by Brazil and Colombia.


Although a number of minerals are known to exist in El Salvador, there
has been little development of the country's mineral resources, except for
gold and silver. In general, Salvadoran minerals exist in small quantities
and in areas that are difficult of access. Gold production was valued at
about 1.2 million dollars in 1941, and at about 1 million in 1943.


Until recently, manufacturing in El Salvador was associated largely with
the processing of agricultural products, particularly the preparation of
coffee beans for export, sugar refining, alcohol distillation, and leather
tanning. Since 1929 a number of small industries have been established
to produce for the domestic market.


In the past El Salvador customarily accounted for about one-fifth of
the value of all exports from Central America, and for almost one-eighth
of all imports. Exports from El Salvador usually exceed imports.
Exports: The chief export is coffee which represented 87 percent of the
total value of exports in 1938, and 79 percent in 1943. Gold and silver
rank second in importance, accounting for 6 percent of the total export
value in 1938, and 4.9 percent in 1943. The United States is the principal
market for exports. In 1938 it took 62 percent, Germany 10 percent, and
the United Kingdom 1 percent. Since the outbreak of the war, the per-
centage of total exports sent to the United States has substantially increased.
Exports to that country constituted 80 percent of the total in 1943.
Imports: In 1938 manufactured products constituted 78 percent of the
total value of imports, raw materials 10 percent, and foodstuffs and bev-

erages 10 percent. The United States is the leading supplier of imports.
In 1938 it furnished 47 percent, Germany 21 percent, and the United King-
dom 9 percent. In 1943 the United States supplied 69 percent of total


The exchange rate has been fixed at 40 cents per colon since 1934.
El Salvador does not have a system of exchange control. According to
the latest available information (September 1944), foreign exchange re-
serves were adequate to meet commercial needs. On December 31, 1943,
the Central Reserve Bank of El Salvador held foreign exchange valued at
more than 12 million dollars and commercial banks held foreign exchange
valued at 5 million. Almost all of this exchange is in dollars; sterling
accounts for the remainder. In addition to the above amounts, a large
quantity of exchange, estimated at more than 4 million dollars, is held in
United States banks by individuals and business firms of El Salvador.
On October 31, 1943, the Central Reserve Bank held gold reserves valued
at 9.7 million dollars.


Foreign direct investments in El Salvador in 1942 totaled 35.3 million
dollars. The United States is the principal direct investor with aggregate
holdings in 1942 of 18 million dollars, chiefly in railways and air trans-
portation. The United Kingdom ranks second, with a direct investment
in 1942 of 9 million dollars, about one-half of which was in banking insti-
tutions. The investments of resident Spaniards are third in importance,
amounting to 3.4 million dollars.
At the end of 1940 United States holdings of Salvadoran dollar bonds
were estimated at a par value of 4.1 million dollars, all of which are in
default. A bilateral agreement providing for a 50-percent reduction in
interest and resumption of payments now is under consideration.
The Export-Import Bank of Washington had disbursed $600,000 to El
Salvador as of January 31, 1944. Undisbursed commitments amounted to
about the same amount.


Although customs receipts have been falling steadily since the fiscal year
1936-37, they still represent the largest single source of revenue. In 1943,
of total revenues of 9.7 million dollars, 32 percent was derived from cus-

toms receipts, 12 percent from liquor taxes, 9 percent from direct taxes,
and 5 percent from returns of government enterprises.
National defense is the major type of government expenditure. Of a
total budgetary expenditure of 8.6 million dollars in 1942, 15 percent went
to the Department of War, 15 percent for public works, 14 percent to
the Department of Interior, 11 percent for public education, 11 percent to the
Treasury, 7 percent for public credit, and 7 percent for subsidies.
The Government had a deficit of $674,000 in 1942, exclusive of internal
borrowings and debt repayments. In 1943 it had a surplus of 1.1 million
El Salvador's public debt in May 1943 totaled 51.3 million colones, of
which 45.6 million represented external debt and the remainder internal
debt. The internal debt in that month was about twice that of 1939, and
the external debt represented an increase of about 35 percent compared
with that of 1939.


Rising prices of both imported and domestic goods present a serious
problem. During the 12 months ending in June 1943, prices of imported
goods rose from 138 to 160 (100 in 1938), and those of domestic foods and
miscellaneous products increased from 103.5 to 127. Price control was
established late in 1943, but the Price Control Committee has not yet fixed
maximum prices over the whole range of domestic and imported goods.
Of considerable concern to the Salvadoran economy is the lack of cheap
credit. In 1942 a Federated System of Small Rural Cooperative Banks
was established. It is reported, however, that the credit facilities extended
by this system are not yet adequate to meet the needs of the farmers.


The United States concluded a rubber purchase agreement with El Sal-
vador in August 1942, effective until December 31, 1946. With United
States cooperation, Salvadoran production of rubber is expected to increase
from 30 tons in 1932 to an estimated 100 tons in 1943.
The export trade balance of nearly 10 million dollars in 1942, the largest
in El Salvador's history, resulted mainly from its trade with the United
States. A program to supply fruits, vegetables, and other foods to the
Panama Canal Zone was agreed upon in 1942, and shipments began in 1943.
Surveys of El Salvador's mineral resources have been undertaken by United
States officials.

El Salvador signed reciprocal trade and lend-lease agreements with the
United States on February 19, 1937, and February 2, 1942, respectively.


"Balsam of Peru" is one of the resources which has become important
in the war effort. Found almost exclusively in El Salvador, it is used to
prepare antiseptics and medicinal gum. Increased acreage has been planted
in derris root, the source of rotenone, formerly imported from the Far
East. The Republic also has encouraged the cultivation of roselle seed to
increase the supply of this jute fiber. Like several other Central American
countries, El Salvador is cooperating with the United States war effort to
expand the production of foodstuffs for the Canal Zone and the Caribbean
area. El Salvador exports small quantities of such strategic materials as
rubber, loofa sponges, and vegetable oils.


Background: A civilian resistance movement against the Government
of President Jorge Ubico reached a climax on July 1, 1944, when General
Ubico presented his resignation and a Military Junta assumed control. On
July 4 the National Assembly elected General Federico Ponce as Provisional
President to serve for 6 months, during which period a Presidential election
is to be called.
General Ubico assumed the Presidency on February 14, 1931, following
a period of political unrest during the illness and after the death of Presi-
dent Lizaro Chac6n. President Ubico's first term was extended by a
plebiscite to 1943, and on September 11, 1941, it was further prolonged to
March 15, 1949. The political organization headed by General Ubico,
known as the Progressive Liberal Party (Partido Liberal Progresista), was
the country's sole legal political party at the time of his resignation.
Guatemala declared war on Japan on December 8, 1941, and on Germany
and Italy, December 11, 1941.
Organization: The Constitution of 1879 provides for a centralized Re-
public of 22 Departments. The unicameral National Legislative Assembly
has 79 seats, all now held by the Administration Party. Regular sessions
of the Assembly open on March 1 of each year and continue for 2 or 3
months, as circumstances warrant. The President's Cabinet has 7 members.

The Constitution limits the Presidential term to 6 years, and prohibits
reelection before 12 years have elapsed. Members of the Assembly serve
4-year terms, one-half their number being elected every 2 years.

(Under the Spanish imperial regime the Captaincy General of Guatemala
included not only five Central American nations, but also British Honduras
and the Mexican State of Chiapas. After declaration of Central American
independence, a number of unions between Central American countries
existed until 1844. Guatemala, however, declared its independence in
1821 (September 15)__ Independence of the United Provinces of
Central America declared; Constitution
adopted in 1824.
1839--------------- Independence of Guatemala declared, follow-
ing separation of Costa Rica, Honduras,
and Nicaragua from the other provinces in
the preceding year.
1906-7------------- Intervention of Mexico and the United
States in a general Central American re-
volt, and calling of a Central American
Peace Conference in Washington in 1907.

Dr. Mariano Gdlvez (1794-1862), one of the liberators who proclaimed
independence in 1821, and the founder of the first normal school in
Justo Rufino Barrios (1835-1885), known as "the Reformer" because
he introduced modern evidences of progress such as railways, the tele-
graph, schools, hospitals, and advanced legislation; he also emanci-
pated Guatemala from clerical domination.

1926-30-----___- Gen. Ldzaro Chac6n.
1930 ----______- Baudilio Palma (provisional President).
1931-----_______ Jose M. Reyna Andrade (provisional President).
1931-44 ------- Gen. Jorge Ubico.
1944 ----------- Gen. Federico Ponce (provisional President).

ADMINISTRATION (September 15, 1944)

President (provisional)__
Secretary of Foreign Re-

Secretary of Interior and
Secretary of Finance and
Public Credit.
Secretary of War-------
Secretary of Public Works
and Development.
Secretary of Agriculture_
Secretary of Public Edu-

Gen. Federico Ponce -------- July 5, 1944
Alfonso Carrillo---------- July 6, 1944

Carlos Zachrisson---------- July 5, 1944

Conrado Manuel Melgar-____ July 5, 1944

Gen. Daniel Corado ------- July 5, 1944
Mario Ochoa Mindez------ July 5, 1944

Mariano Pacheco Herrarte--- July 5, 1944
Dr. Luis Gait6n _----------- July 5, 1944


Area: Guatemala contains 42,042 square miles.
Surface: The surface is similar to that of southern Mexico. The inner
margin of the fairly broad Pacific coastal plain is marked by the abrupt
face of the western (volcanic) highlands which rise to about 9,000 feet.
Intermont basins from 5,000 to 8,000 feet in elevation are widely scattered
among the volcanic cones. To the north of the volcanic highlands are the
low-lying, extremely rugged, nonvolcanic central highlands. Three deep
river valleys face the Gulf of Honduras: northern Guatemala is a vast, low
S tableland.
Climate: In the lowlands bordering the Gulf of Honduras the climate
is hot and no month is rainless; elsewhere there is less rain and a "dry-winter"
season is characteristic. In the northern tablelands the porous limestone
soils create an impression of aridity in spite of the fairly abundant summer
rains. Temperate, dry-winter climates are most extensive in the densely
populated interment basins of the volcanic highlands.


Population: The total population in 1943 was officially estimated at
3,450,732. The most densely populated areas are in the South and West.
The largest cities are Guatemala (capital) 163,826, Quezaltenango 33,500,
and Puerto Barrios 15,800.

Internal growth: The birth rate was 32.1 per 1,000 and the death rate
17.9 in 1942.
Immigration: There has been very little immigration in recent years.
The total number of foreigners in 1940 was 18,409.
Racial composition: Indians constitute 55 percent of the population,
and Mestizos and persons of European descent 44 percent.
Axis aliens: It is estimated that there are approximately 1,500 Germans
(plus 2,200 citizens of German descent) and 420 Italians in Guatemala.
The Germans have large holdings in the vicinity of Cobin and in the
Departments of Alta Verapaz, San Marcos, and Suchitepequez.
Language: The official language is Spanish, but many of the Indians
continue to speak the languages of their ancestors.


Literacy: According to the census of 1940, 32.6 percent of the popula-
lation more than 7 years of age was literate.
Schools and enrollment: Enrollments included 140,736 students in
2,520 primary schools, 6,552 in 69 intermediate schools, and 594 in the
National University in the school year 1942-43.


Motor: Vehicular registrations in 1943 included 2,570 passenger cars,
624 busses, and 1,144 trucks, or 1 motor vehicle to every 788 inhabitants.
In that year there were 3,882 miles of highway, of which 2,199 miles had
an improved surface.
Rail: The 637 miles of railroad carried about 3 million passengers during


Telephone: Telephone service in 1939 included 2,327 instruments and
2,064 miles of line.
Telegraph: The 235 telegraph offices were connected by 4,000 miles of
wire in that year.
Radio: Receiving sets numbered 40,000 in 1943, and there were 5 broad-
casting stations.
Post: More than 11 million pieces of ordinary mail were handled in
385 post offices in 1938.



General conditions: The Guatemalan Indians live very much as did
their ancestors in pre-Conquest times. The staple diet of the country con-
sists of maize and beans which, although not sufficient for balanced nutri-
tion, have been available despite the curtailment of imports.
Cost of living: The wholesale and retail prices of foodstuffs increased
by approximately 60 percent from the end of the third quarter of 1942 to
the end of the third quarter of 1943.


There is no organized labor movement in Guatemala.


More than 90 percent of the Guatemalan population is engaged in agri-
culture, and practically all of its exports are agricultural products. In the
crop year 1940-41, 2 million acres were cultivated, of which more than 60
percent was devoted to corn, the staple food of the country. In years of
crop failure some corn is imported. Beans, another staple, occupy almost
10 percent of the cultivated acreage.
Coffee plantations in 1941 occupied more than 15 percent of the agricul-
tural acreage, and a major part of the crop was exported. Bananas are
produced largely on plantations under United States ownership and are
almost wholly exported. More than 80,000 acres were in production in
1940, but the acreage in 1942 had declined 50 percent. For several years
S production has been shifting to the west coast as plant diseases invaded
the east-coast plantations.
Chicle ordinarily is the major forest product. Exports reached a peak of
2.8 million pounds in 1941, after which date some facilities were diverted
to the collection of wild rubber.
Meat requirements are satisfied largely by domestic production. In 1941
livestock estimates included 612,000 cattle, 383,000 sheep, and 276,000 hogs.
The output of dairy products is insufficient to meet local demand.


Exports: Total exports in 1938 were valued at 16.2 million dollars, of
which coffee represented about 65 percent, bananas about 25 percent, and
chicle less than 5 percent. The value of total exports in 1942 increased to 20.4