Fruits.—About the only fruits grown in Porto Rico of which account was made prior to the American occupancy were oranges, bananas and coconuts. The total value of fruit exports in creased to $6,451,947 in 1927. The principal fruits now exported are oranges, grapefruit and pineapples. Grapefruit and pineapples are also canned extensively. Bananas and plantains are the largest fruit crop, although but little ex ported. These are principal artj cies of food and are grown every where. Breadfruit is also exten sively grown.
Minor Products.—Cotton seed oil was exported in 1927 to the value of $19,922. Upland rice is also produced. Beans are a profitable crop. Corn is grown quite extensively in the higher altitudes. As rice, corn and beans are the habitual foods of the people and are now principally imported, every effort is made to encourage their production. Exports of manufactured wearing apparel were valued at over $8,000,00o in 1927 and the amount is annually increasing. Molasses as a by-product of sugar was pro duced to the value in 1927 of about $1,000,000; much of this is also used in the manufacture of commercial alcohol. Other smaller items made up a total of exports which in 1927 exceeded $100,000,000.
Up to the time of the Spanish-American War and the American occupancy the Crown appropriated an annual sum for Porto Rico ; this was the chief source of revenue. In the first year of the military Government of the United States, the officers managed to collect $3,316,000. Increases in the amounts of revenue collected continued under the civil Government until during the last three years it had reached the following amounts: (1925-26) $12,131,000; (1926-27) $12,010,000; (1927-28) $11,500,000. The total expenditures during these years was : (1925-26) $10,841,000; (1926-27) $11,422,000; (1927-28) $10,880,000. The fiscal years begin on July I. The principal items of revenue collected each year during the years above stated were: excise taxes $5,000,000; income taxes $2,000,000; customs $1,800,000; insular property tax $5oo,000 ; U.S. revenue $500,000. The principal items of expendi ture were about as follows : education $4,000,000 ; health $1,200,000; interior $1,200,000; police $850,000; treasury $65o, 000; justice $425,000; agriculture and labour $400,000; auditor $135,000; and executive $135,000.
The bonded indebtedness in 1927 was $22,965,000. Of this about $8,000,000 was for public improvements, such as the capitol building, an insane asylum, a penitentiary, hospitals and school buildings. About $7,000,000 was expended for permanent public roads and bridges and about $8,000,000 for irrigation and harbours. These last items are not a burden on the island as a whole, for the irrigation debt is paid by the tax levied on the lands receiving the benefits, and payment of the harbour improvement bonds are entirely met by harbour dues which more than pay in full the principal and interest of the debt. No default has ever been made
in the payment of the principal or interest of the insular debt. Its bonds sell at a high premium. Interest rates are not more than 41%. A sinking fund is provided for the payment of all outstand ing bonds, principal and interest at maturity. The limit of insular indebtedness is placed by the Organic Act at not more than io% of the aggregate tax valuation of its property. The present assessed valuation of real and personal property is $338,089,889.
A comprehensive banking law was passed in 1923, under which proper Government supervision, investigation and reports have since been made. The management of the banks is conservative and increasingly beneficial. The aggregate capital, surplus and undivided profits since the enactment of the law was, in 1924, $8,064,000; in 1925, $7,996,000; in 1926,
; and in 1927, $10,313,000. The amount of loans was $48,020,000. The bank clearings of San Juan were $260,089,000.
Trade with the United States and foreign countries was valued in 1900, at $16,602,000; in 1925, at $185,323,000; in 1926, at $193,983,000; and in 1927, at $206,878,000. Over 90% of the island's commerce is with the United States, with which it has free trade. Shipments to the United States rose from $3,000,000 in 1900, to $100,000,000 in 1927. Porto Rican purchases from the United States increased from $6,000,000 in 1900, to $87,000,000 in 1927. The balance of trade in favour of Porto Rico was over $13,000,000. Total exports were in 1923, $82,293,000; in 1924, $88,280,000; in 1925,
000; in 1926, $98,724,000; and in 1927, $108,067,000. The total number of vessels which entered and cleared in 1927 was 2,922. As San Juan is about 1,400 m. south-west of New York, which is the principal market for Porto Rican products, ocean transporta tion is important. There are three principal steamship lines carrying both passengers and freight. Porto Rico is becoming a distributing centre for the Caribbean. The inter-island communi cation is being extended by aeroplane service, both mail and passenger, which now reaches Porto Rico, the Virgin islands, Santo Domingo, Haiti and Cuba. Three commercial cables extend from Porto Rico, and there is Government and commercial wire less service. A railroad following the coastal plains extends almost around the island. There are over 1,200 m. of public roads which reach all the cities and towns of the island and all parts of the interior. Hundreds of thousands of tons of freight are carried inland from the ports by motor truck, and everywhere there are motor vehicle and passenger service. Automobiles are in general use, the number of motors licensed exceeding 15.00o. Many visitors from the States tour the island by automobile in the winter.