Posts filed under ‘BPP’

Living in Valparaiso (is not easy)

Mr Vice-Consul Arthur L.S. Rowley writes from Valparaiso in Chile in 1901 (BPP, link, p. 4):

“On account of the high exchange Valparaiso has become a most expensive city to live in, especially for people dependent on a sterling salary.

House rent is exceedingly high; a small house which in the United Kingdom would cost from 40l. to 50l. per year cannot be had here for less than from 130l. to 160l. All the necessities of life, with few exceptions, are at least 80 per cent, dearer than in the United Kingdom.

It, therefore, cannot be too clearly pointed out that what appears in the United Kingdom to be a fair, if not a good salary for a clerk, is in Valparaiso nothing more than a miserable pittance, and persons intending to settle here on sterling contracts should carefully study before proceeding the amount of their salaries which represent approximately only two-thirds of their value in the United Kingdom.”

“l.” refers to British Pound Sterling.

January 19, 2016 at 10:17

Import substitution

Mr Consul-General Chapman writes from Rio de Janeiro in 1902 (BPP, link, p. 19):

“With the exception of Guinness’s stout, British beers were supplanted some time since in Rio by German light lager and pilsener; but German beers have now in their turn given way to beers made in the country. Even Guinness’s stout, though highly appreciated, is now excluded in consequence of the high duties, and shipments here had to be returned to the United Kingdom.”

Elsewhere, this is clarified by Vice-Consul Rhind (BPP, link, p. 6):

“Ale has long since ceased to be imported here but some quantity of Guinness’s stout was still consumed oweing to its reputed dietetic properties. The duty, however, being now increased from 500 to 1$500 reis (1s. 6d.) per kilo., weight of bottles being included, importation was found to be impracticable, and some shipments, received in ignorance of the new conditions, had to be re-exported to the United Kingdom.”

November 3, 2015 at 15:10

Denmark at the Southern Cone

M. Hankin, Vice-Consul, Report for the year 1899 on the Trade and Commerce of the Consular District of Buenos Aires. (BPP, Link), p. 10:

“Not many years ago, very little butter was used in the Argentine Republic, and none exported. To-day the possibilities of dairy farming open a large ‘vista’ to the general farmer. Argentine butter is now exported to some extent, and there is no reason why the industry should not become important some day, considering the large extent of arable lands and the wonderful fertility of its soil. (…) the following is extracted from a letter written to one of the local papers by a well-known firm in this city: ‘More than this, we have profound confidence in the future of dairying in this country …. it will also provide the farmer with a magnificient profit of 20 dol. per cow per annum after paying all expenses: …. we may mention that Denmarki in 1894 exported to England butter to the value of 5,500,000l. If such a small country can do this what is Argentina capable of?” (…) The quality of the butter offered in the local market leaves nothing to be desired, and if a similar standard were maintained when exported, a steady and prosperous trade would I feel sure spring up.”

September 28, 2015 at 14:51