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OPENING STATEMENT FOR CLAIMANTS:
BY HON. JOHN APPLETON.
The United States and Paraguay Navigation Company, in presenting their claim against Paraguay before this commission, will first call the attention of your Honors to the inducements to their enterprise; then to the amount of their investments, and to the value of the rights acquired thereby. For, the liability being determined, the amount and value of the property and claim is the subject of inquiry before this tribunal.
They were induced to commence their efforts by their knowledge of the vast and undeveloped resources of Paraguay and of the neighboring provinces of Brazil and Bolivia, watered by the confluents of the La Platte, and with which, in addition to the published sources of information, they had become acquainted through the travels in Central and South America, of their President, Governor Arnold, of Rhode Island, and the residence in Paraguay for nine years of their agent, Mr. Hopkins, who had, during that period, sustained the most friendly relations with President Lopez, and had become well acquainted with the country.
But the special inducements were the public decrees and laws of Paraguay, which invited foreigners to develop her resources, by the offer, among others, of grants or privileges, in the nature of patent rights for a term of years to all who should first introduce into that country any implements or processes of manufacture not before in use therein ; which laws had been applied by the letter of Mr. Gelly, Secretary
of State of Paraguay, while on a special mission to Brazil, to Mr. Hopkins, our agent, to an enterprise like ours. A copy of the laws of Paraguay granting these privileges, and proffering these inducements, with a translation of the same, and the original letter of the said Secretary of State, with a translation, is herewith presented.
With these inducements, the company commenced its enterprise, and expected to establish in Paraguay, and between that country and the United States, a great and permanent business. In order to do so with greater facility, they obtained a special charter from the Legislature of the State of Rhode Island, where most of the stockholders resided. The charter authorizes the creation of a capital of $1,000,000, and the issue of bonds for the same amount. A copy of the charter is hereto annexed.
Though the enterprise had but commenced, yet the actual expenditures and losses, with interest calculated at less than the rates paid by the company, amounts at this time, after deducting all returns, to $102,520.37.
The nature of this expenditure, was chiefly in the cost and equipment of steamers and other vessels sent to Paraguay, machinery and implements sent to that country, land and buildings purchased there, and the salaries and wages paid to their employés.
A portion of this loss arises from the sale of bonds at less than par, and much of this sacrifice arose from the necessity of meeting the obligations of the company, after their hopes and credit had been depressed, by the action of Paraguay. And at all events, the company
the entire amount of these bonds, and by the payment to them from Paraguay of this entire amount of more than four hundred thousand dollars, they would only be reimbursed that which they have expended, and for which they are liable. Such is the rule adopted in the payment of obligations incurred by one State or company, for which another is liable, as in the case of the bonds of the State of Maine issued in the Aroostook war. The United States paid the amount of the bonds, and also the discount or loss which Maine suffered when she sold the bonds. For thus, and thus only, could she be made whole.
The items of such expenditure and loss are shown in the accompanying account marked A, with its supplements.
The correctness of this account, and of the statements therein, will be shown by the books of the company, the oaths of its officers and agents, and the testimony of other