[To THE EDITOR OF THE "SPECTATOR."] SIR,—Will you permit me to correct a sentence in my letter pub- lished in your last number, which as printed is unintelligible. "The Paraguay nation excels at present only for her ambition," should have been "The Paraguay nation exists at present only for his (the President's) ambition."
The following, which appeared in the Brazil and River Plate Mail of December, 1863, is a just statement as to the Paraguay Government. I know not by whom it was written. 'The editor introduced it as an extract from a letter of one "in whom the most implicit reliance can be placed, and whose name is well known in this country." He tells the truth.
"The natural riches of the soil [of Paraguay] in products of all kinds is almost inconceivable ; the climate upon the whole very healthy, although rather warm ; the people as a race not very strong, but mild and good-natured ; the population, comparatively, large (it exceeds that of the whole Argentine Provinces). Yet, with all these elements of prosperity, the country is miserably poor in its internal and external trade, the whole scarcely amounting to one-tenth of the Argentine Republic—all solely on account of the abominable retro- grade system of the Government which rules it politically and economically.
"There has been a show made of late years of treaties with foreign nations, but to no practical purposes ; they are almost a dead letter, as the internal obstacles and restrictions put on trade and on labour render anything like free.trade and commerce quite impossible. No encouragement whatever (no matter what professed publicly by Government) is given to foreign trade, and much less to the settlement of foreigners in the country. Government are afraid of natives be- coming too wise by contact and free commerce with foreigners, and hence their policy. Amongst other fine and valuable productions this country could grow cotton to any extent of the finest quality and at a very low cost; but nothing of importance can be undertaken in this or any other branch of industry, so long as the present system of Government subsists."
My only object in thus writing to you about Paraguay is to prevent prejudice to the truth you are telling about Brazil from mistakes as to the Paraguay Government and the extraordinary delusions, fast disappearing, which were generated in this country about Brazil will make you believe that error about another South American State, little visited by Englishmen, is possible.—Your faithful servant, W. D. CHRISTIE.