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that from now on we will occupy a position in the world's councils.
The native Indian population, so long neglected, is now a matter of deep concern to many of our countries, and in Peru, where we have a very large percentage of pure Indian and of mestizos, we are doing everything that is possible in order to undo the evil and the many injustices that have been done unto them since their country was rested from them at the Conquest.
This is a problem of the greatest importance and one that is receiving the greatest attention in my country from the men who have at heart the welfare, prosperity and the future of the nation.
In the foregoing, I have attempted to present the many drawbacks that the Latin-American nations have had in the development of nationality.
I would beg you to consider this question when you are judging the Latin-American. Bear in mind what I have tried to make clear to you, and if you do this, you will better be able to understand his idiosyncrasy and, in time, you will perhaps look upon him as a companion and a fellowworker in the great cause of human uplift. We are all striving for a common goal, our methods may differ, but our aspirations are the same, and the earnest endeavor of each is worthy of the respect of the other.
By John Barrett, Director-General of the Pan-American Union, formerly United States Minister to Siam,
Argentina, Panama and Colombia
We are at the beginning of a great Pan-American era. The next ten years are going to be Pan-American years. As during the past fifteen years Asia has been very much to the front, causing our eyes to be constantly on Japan, China, and the Philippines, so now during the next decade we shall be looking largely at the countries of Central and South America.
You will pardon me for speaking with both earnestness and enthusiasm. For fourteen years I have been studying Latin-American potentialities and progress. During the first seven of these years it was my privilege, as United States minister in Argentina, Panama and Colombia, to study that part of the world intimately from the standpoint of a United States minister. During the last seven years, as the executive officer of the Pan-American Union, it has been my duty to study every republic of the western hemisphere from its own standpoint as well as from the standpoint of other countries and peoples. At first I found it extremely difficult to awaken the interest and draw the attention of universities like this one, of public schools, of newspapers, of magazines, of lecturers, of writers, of travelers, and of business men. They did not seem to care for Latin America. They did not appreciate what these twenty countries south of us meant to the United States.
But a great change has now come. The Pan-American Union is almost reaping the whirlwind of its pioneer efforts and all the world seems anxious to know more of the LatinAmerican countries and peoples. The demand for information about all of them, their commerce and trade, their institutions, their agricultural, mineral and timber resources, their material and economic possibilities, their industrial development, and their educational advancement is almost beyond the capacity of the Pan-American Union to meet. Where there was one article in a newspaper a few years ago about Latin-American countries, their politics and possibilities, there are now a score of articles. Where then one magazine had a stray paper on Latin America, nearly every magazine is now describing that field. In contrast to only a few universities, colleges, academies and high schools taking up the study of Spanish six or seven years ago, there is a multitude of them all over the country teaching this language. Where one traveler seeking entertainment and amusement went to Central and South America ten years ago, a dozen are now going. Where one exporter or importer went personally to investigate the Latin-American field a decade ago, a score are now going. It is remarkable, moreover, that during the last ten or twelve years the value of the exchange of products between the United States and Latin America has increased nearly 100 per cent, until it has reached a surprising total of approximately $850,000,000.
Remembering that commerce is often called the life blood of nations, it is well to note that the twenty countries of Latin America last year bought and sold in the markets of the world products valued in excess of $2,500,000,000. This in turn represents an increase of nearly $1,000,000,000 in the last decade. These figures are all the more remarkable when we remember that all of these countries lie south of the great eastern and western routes of trade and travelthat it is only within the last five years that there has really been a world appreciation of Latin America-and that the Panama Canal with its great future effect on trade is not yet opened. Surely the most skeptical person must give Latin America credit for these facts and figures.
While considering some data concerning commerce, let us remember that these twenty countries which reach from northern Mexico and Cuba south to Argentina and Chile cover a combined area of nearly 9,000,000 of square miles which is equal to an area nearly three times that of the United States proper. They support a population of 70,000,000 which is growing faster by reproduction than is the 100,000,000 population of the United States.
If, on the other hand, we are influenced by sentimentand we should be—it is well to bear in mind that the majority of these countries secured their independence under the leadership of generals and patriots who, in their own biographies, state that they were inspired to make their fight by the example of the immortal George Washington of the United States. It should also be borne in mind that the majority of these countries have written their constitutions upon the constitution of the United States. While these sentimental facts may make the people of the United States proud, they should also cause them to look appreciatingly and without a patronizing attitude towards the LatinAmerican countries, their peoples and their institutions. The latter should be given credit for the astonishing progress they have made despite many adverse conditions of location, climate and population. They must be given credit for the high class civilization that is developed in many of them. It must not be forgotten that Lima, Peru, had a university, that of San Carlos, which was nearly a hundred years old before John Harvard or Eli Yale founded the universities which carry their illustrious names.
While our average professors and students may not be familiar with the literature of Latin America, that part of the world has in reality a list of historians, essayists, poets, novelists, writers on international law and scientific subjects which would surprise the average North American if he were to investigate the roll of honor and achievement of Latin America.
There are some bogies about the countries, the peoples and the commerce of Central and South America which should be destroyed. One is that there is an overwhelming sentiment in Latin America against the United States. While it is true that certain newspaper writers and public speakers never lose an opportunity to arouse sentiment against the United States, they correspond exactly to a certain class of newspaper writers and public speakers in the United States who are always attacking foreign countries and pursuing jingo tactics but who do not necessarily represent the sober public sentiment of the land. The big, strong, able and influential statesmen in the Latin-American republics have no bitter feeling against similar men in the United States, and are only too glad to coöperate with the corresponding men in the United States for the good of the western hemisphere. There is, it is true, a great deal of misinformation and prejudice throughout Latin America as far as the United States is concerned, but it can be removed by the pursuance of the right policy on the part of the government and people of the United States towards the peoples and governments of Latin America.
Another bogie is that the countries of Latin America are lands of revolution. There is a tendency to hold the six-pence of prejudice too near the eye in looking at the troubles in a few countries and thus not to see the prevailing peace in other lands. Two-thirds of the territory and area of Latin America have known no serious revolution in the last twenty-five years. Revolutions, moreover, are often grossly exaggerated in the reports which reach the United States.
Still another bogie is that there are no good mail and passenger steamship connections between the United States and the Latin-American countries. The answer to this is that the mail, passenger and freight facilities between the principal ports of the United States and all of the ten or eleven countries bordering on the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea are excellent and far better than the average person even dreams that they can be. While the service down the west coast of South America can be considerably improved, it is far better now than it was formerly and will probably be excellent soon after the canal is opened. As for the vessels plying, for example, between New York and the east coast ports of Rio de Janeiro, Montevideo and Buenos Aires, it can be said that there has been a hundred per cent improvement in the last few years, until almost every week vessels of first-class passenger accommodations are sailing with ample accommodations for passengers as well as freight. The steamships are not as large or as numerous as those which ply between Europe and the east coast of