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United States Department of State / Index to the executive documents of the House of Representatives for the second session of the forty-fifth Congress, 1877-'78

Circulars,   pp. [1]-3 ff. PDF (1.5 MB)

Page [1]

                                No, 1.
To the diplomatic and consular Qfficers of the United States in Spanish
                     American States and Brazil.
Separate.1                            DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
                                         "Washington, July--, 1877.
  Sin: Under the provisions of section 208, Revised Statutes, and of
paragraphs 380, 381, and 382 of the Consular Regulations, the repre-
sentatives of the United States' in foreign countries are instructed to
transmit to the Department such commercial information and statistics
as they respectively obtain, in order to enable the Secretary of State to
prepare the annual reports upon the "Commercial Relations of the
United States," which the laws authorize him to make.
  Besides the general information thus to be compiled there is another
and more specific line of inquiry to which the Department now desires
to invite your attention.
  It is believed that the period has now arrived when it would be wise
for all the nations of this continent to consider more'carefully than
heretofore how they may best enlarge their trade with each other'.
Their geographical position and the resemblance between their politi-
cal institutions facilitate the cultivation of such commerce. The United
States are in a condition to supply cheaply and easily many products
and manufactured articles, suitable to their Wants, to all or nearly all
the Spanish American republics, as well as the Empire of Brazil, receiv-.-
ing in return natural products, which can be utilized here. A favora-
ble opportunity for the development of such trade would seem to be '
now offered by the prevailing stagnation of business and depression of
prices. It is desirable, of course, for the United States that they should
find markets for the export of their products and manufactures, and, on
the other hand, it is advantageous to the people of those countries they
should be able to purchase at the present decreased valuation.
  Apart from questions of merely commercial or pecuniary advantage,
the development of such trade would have also a beneficial influence
upon the political condition of the republics of this continent. It is for
the interest both of North and South America that all those republican,
governments should have stability, peace, law, and order. It is not
unreasonable to believe that when the popular energy now wasted upon
schemes of revolution or military aggrandizement shall have been
turned toward more peaceful and profitable enterprises, the republican
form of government in each and all of those countries will thereby be
strengthened, and more harmonious relations will prevail between
  'In view of these considerations, it is desired by the Department that
its diplomatic and consular officers should devote attention to the ques-
tion of methods by which trade with the United States can be most
j~udiciously fostered. Without seeking to interfere with any commercial 
operations or enterprises that may now be in existence, it is neverthe- 
less deemed highly p~robable that you may be able, by examination and
inquiry, to point out branches of trade with  -   ,in which the

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