Tariff protection of manufacturing industries from lower-cost imports constitutes one of the basic political and economic issues which many developing countries confront. In Argentina, the protective tariff became a highly controversial question during World War I and the decade immediately following, for the international economic crisis caused by the war gave birth to many new industries and stimulated older ones. This article will analyze the political struggle which Argentine interest groups waged over the issue of the tariff. The object is to determine why Argentina adopted only hesitant and limited protection of its manufacturing industries during a period when many other countries were actively building high tariff walls.

On the eve of World War I, the Argentine economy appeared extraordinarily successful. Having started as one of the less prosperous Spanish colonies, Argentina by the centennial of its independence (1910) had achieved a per capita Gross Domestic Product of about US $470 (at 1955 prices), which exceeded that not only of the republic’s neighbors but also of Italy (US $225) and France (US $400).1 This remarkable prosperity was based primarily on the export trade. During the period between 1875 and 1913, when exports of agricultural and cattle products experienced an average annual growth in value of over 4 per cent, foreign trade came to dominate the republic’s economic life.2 By the mid 1920s, nearly forty per cent of total goods produced were exported.3

Few large manufacturing industries had emerged during the period of rapid export expansion, though production of simple consumption articles dated from the colonial period and continued on a precarious basis during the nineteenth century. During the 1890s large-scale industry began to appear, primarily to process raw materials like meat, wheat, and dairy products for export. As late as 1913, processing of primary products engaged over 60 per cent of total industrial capital.4 Argentina relied on imports for nearly all its capital goods, metal products, and textiles. As late as 1925-1929, imported cotton textiles supplied 92 per cent of Argentine consumption.5

Tariff policy, formulated traditionally by exporting interests, aimed to finance the government rather than to protect industry. The government relied on indirect taxes paid mostly by the consuming masses; the most important of these, import duties, remained at moderate levels in order to furnish a large income, generally 40 to 45 per cent of total national government revenue, without discouraging imports.6 The republic’s basic tariff, which dated from 1906, taxed most imported articles by a percentage of their value, typically 25 per cent. This duty, however, was not levied on the actual invoiced value of imported goods but on fixed valuations of each of nearly 4,000 items which the 1906 legislation established. For example, the 1906 law fixed a value of 6 pesos per dozen on imported fine penknives and subjected them to a 25 per cent ad valorem duty, so that fine knives, whatever their actual price on the world market, paid a duty of 1.5 pesos per dozen.7 The price of the goods which Argentina imported tended to rise while Congress retained the fixed valuations of the 1906 law; thus the level of protection steadily declined. By 1919, the value assigned to imports averaged only 35 per cent of their invoiced value, and the tariff was affording much less protection than it had been designed to do.8

World War I shattered the international trading system and ended Argentina’s era of heady prosperity. Sharply reduced imports during the war stimulated Argentine manufacturers to produce consumer goods, but severe shortages of fuel, imported raw materials, and capital goods prevented industrialists from taking full advantage of demand; still, a few industries, especially woolen textiles, paper products, and shoes, expanded rapidly during wartime.9 The general industrial boom awaited the post-war exchange crisis which hit Argentina between 1920 and 1923. Foreign exchange became scarce when world overproduction of cattle and agricultural products made Argentine exports, especially meat, plummet. Total earnings of all exports declined nearly 25 per cent between 1920 and 1921 and did not recover 1920 levels until 1924.10 Since new foreign capital did not arrive in sufficient quantities to make up for the drop in export earnings, the peso fell in value relative to both the dollar and the British pound (Argentina abandoned the gold standard in 1914). Declining exchange rates gave the republic’s industry a strong boost, for imports became more expensive and consumers were induced to purchase national goods. Imports fell until 1923, while national industry made strong gains until 1925. By that year, the physical volume of industrial production, on an index of 1914 = 100, reached 184.11 New factories produced enamelware, chemical products, metal goods, cement, and a host of other things imported before the war. In the textile industry, total investment rose nearly fourfold between 1913 and 1923.12

Early in 1924, the international economic circumstances which had enabled this burst of industrialization to take place suddenly changed. A large export surplus reappeared which, together with major new inflows of foreign capital investment, caused the peso to begin to appreciate against the dollar and the pound. Imports became relatively cheaper, a trend which continued until the government stablized exchange rates at their prewar level by returning to the gold standard in 1927.13 Thus, after 1924, Argentine manufacturing could no longer rely on the protection which wartime conditions and post-war exchange rates had provided. In the meantime, however, tariff protection for the new industries which had emerged during the ten-year international economic crisis became a major political issue.

The political debate over the tariff took place under a form of parliamentary democracy new to Argentina. Following the 1912 electoral reform, in 1916 the republic held its first honest presidential elections with universal adult male suffrage. The victor was Hipólito Yrigoyen, candidate of the Radical Party and a populist of great appeal among the native-born masses. Led primarily by middle- and upper-class urbanites often tied to cattle interests, the Radical Party lacked a clearly-defined program of social and economic goals. Yrigoyen, who personally dominated party strategy both before his election and during his two presidential terms (1916-1922 and 1928-1930), attempted to form a mass political movement by expounding a vague and almost mystical rhetoric. He appealed to the masses to support the “cause” of which he was the “apostle” and which would defeat the allegedly wicked oligarchic “regime,” in power before 1916, and then lead the republic into an era of ethical righteousness. He successfully spread the myth that he was the incorruptible friend of the common man. Yet Yrigoyen was an able politician who built his movement through painstaking local organization. In office, Yrigoyen proposed a number of social and economic reforms, but he faced a suspicious and often hostile Congress. His party did not control the Chamber until 1920 and never controlled the Senate during the 1916-1930 period. Moreover, serious rifts developed in the Radical Party, some of them centered around Yrigoyen’s domineering leadership and some of them around his policies.

Prior to 1916, Yrigoyen had remained generally silent on the protective tariff question. He had tried to construct a movement that would unite the export-oriented coastal regions with the interior provinces, an area which contained considerable light industry and which historically opposed free trade. But once in office, Yrigoyen found that wartime economic crisis forced the tariff issue to the forefront. The immediate problem in October, 1916 was financial; declining imports cut the government’s customs revenues in half, from 87.6 million gold pesos in 1913 to 42.5 million in 1917; total government revenues fell by almost one-third, from 163 million gold pesos in 1913 to 112 million in 1916.14 Unable to reduce expenditures proportionately, the government operated with deficits amounting to nearly 35 per cent of total expenditures until 1918.15 Confronted with this bleak financial situation, Yrigoyen launched a tax program designed both to increase revenues and to spread the additional burden among various groups. He proposed increased customs duties, an export tax, and a small income tax, Argentina’s first. These levies would fall on consumers, rural producers, and the wealthy. Congress quickly raised tariffs; Law 10,220 of 1917 placed surtaxes ranging from two to seven per cent on all existing duties.16 The next year, Congress approved an export tax, but the legislators would have nothing to do with Yrigoyen’s proposed income tax.

Despite the President’s attempts to portray himself as friend of the common man, in 1918 Yrigoyen and his party strongly backed special legislation to double the shoe tariff. After modern shoe machinery was installed in 1903, manufacturing of footwear became one of the country’s most important “infant” industries. By 1914, over 2,400 small shops and factories produced 8.5 million pairs annually. During the war, the industry nearly doubled production and created new markets for Argentine hides, exports of which had dropped nearly twenty per cent since 1914.17

Impetus for increased tariffs to protect the shoe industry after the war came not only from the manufacturers but also from the republic’s most powerful interest group: the Sociedad Rural, composed of large landowners and dominated by cattle fatteners. Its worldly, wealthy, and aristocratic members were well accustomed to applying political pressure to gain their ends. Yrigoyen himself was a member, as were five of the eight ministers of his first cabinet, while members of the Sociedad occupied 13 of the Radical Party’s 44 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.18 During the war and the immediate post-war period, as export markets dried up, the Sociedad supported industries that would utilize cattle by-products. In a 1917 address Pedro Pagés, president of the Sociedad from 1922 to 1926, advocated protection of Argentina’s “natural industries,” among which he included shoes and cotton textiles. Between 1918 and 1926 the Sociedad Rural, as it informed the government in 1922, desired “to function under the influence of the demand of both the internal and external markets.”19

Legislation to double the fixed valuation of imported shoes, introduced by Yrigoyen’s close associate Deputy Horacio B. Oyhanarte, sparked intense congressional opposition, especially from the Socialist Party.20 The Socialists, who controlled nine seats in the 1918 Chamber, strongly defended urban consumer interests and vigorously opposed protective tariffs. Bitter enemies of Yrigoyen, the Socialists aspired to build a mass party based on the same electorate to which the president appealed. During the 1918 tariff debate, the widely circulated Socialist newspaper La Vanguardia attacked the shoe tariff as “absurd and scandalous” and scoffed at the president’s image as friend of the workingman. But the tariff increase won easy approval. Analysis of the Chamber of Deputies’ vote, one of seven roll-call tariff votes during the 1916-1930 period when individual deputies revealed their position, shows that Radicals overwhelmingly backed the increase (see Table I). Of the 21 members of the Sociedad Rural who held seats in the Chamber, ten voted for the tariff, two voted against it, and nine did not vote. Seven of the ten who voted in favor were Radicals. Conservatives, who were generally landowners and whose strength was greatest in Buenos Aires province, were divided over the shoe tariff.21

When the upper house considered the legislation, it also approved the higher shoe tariff. Throughout the 1916-1930 period, in fact, the Senate remained consistently protectionist, generally more so that the Chamber. The frequent disagreement of the two houses over the tariff reflected their divergent representation. By the 1853 Constitution, then in effect, each province’s representation in the Chamber was proportionate to its population, but in the Senate, the Federal District and each of the fourteen provinces, ten of which were in the sparsely-populated interior, received two seats apiece. Thus, the populous export-oriented littoral region held a majority of seats in the Chamber, but the interior provinces, traditionally more protectionist, were able to dominate the Senate.

While Congress acted to protect cattlemen and shoe manufacturers, resentment against the high wartime cost of living was growing among city dwellers, who constituted an increasingly large sector of Argentina’s population. The 1914 census reported that 2.2 million people or 28 per cent of the total inhabited cities over 100,000.22 For the urban masses, World War I brought hard times. The cost of living in Buenos Aires, on a scale of 1929 = 100, rose from 82 in 1914 to 130 in 1917. Certain basic essentials increased more rapidly; sugar and soap prices both doubled between February 1916 and February 1919. Wages did not rise proportionately; real income of unskilled urban laborers, again on a scale of 1929 = 100, declined from 61 in 1914 to 42 in 1917.23 The high cost of living became a major political issue by 1918. As the opposition press pointed out, Yrigoyen already had added to consumer prices by raising import duties. To save his populist image, he had to fight rising living costs, but such action risked alienating the interior, provider of foodstuffs for the cities.

The most bitter tariff dispute that arose between 1916 and 1920 centered not around infant industries, but around that producer of staples for the masses, the sugar industry. Since the 1880s, production of sugar had become a major economic activity employing nearly fifteen thousand persons full time and forty-two thousand at harvest time. The livelihood of well over fifty per cent of the 550,000 inhabitants of three northwestern provinces depended directly on the sugar industry.24 Unlike most other Argentine industries, owned predominantly by unnaturalized foreigners, the sugar industry was nationally owned, and the proprietors were well versed in applying political pressure. Support for protecting the industry came not only from the Northwest, but also from a number of Buenos Aires investors, the most influential of whom was the Banco Tornquist, financier of the republic’s largest sugar refinery.25 Although a well-established industry, Argentine sugar suffered from poor climatic and soil conditions. Yields were generally low, and the industry could not exist without substantial tariff protection. The sugar tariff then in effect, enacted in 1912, gave the president power to import sugar duty-free should domestic shortages force prices over 4.1 gold pesos per ten kilos of refined sugar, considered the fair domestic price.26 Economist Guillermo Pintos calculated that the cost of this and previous sugar tariffs to Argentine consumers between 1888 and 1917 totalled 720 million paper pesos.27

World War I coincided with disastrous frosts and miserable sugar harvests in Argentina. Production fell from 335,000 tons in 1914 to 84,000 in 1916 and rose only to 88,000 in 1917 and to 126,000 in 1918. Retail prices increased rapidly, presenting Yrigoyen with uncomfortable alternatives.28 If he delayed importing sugar, he risked alienating his urban supporters, but if he moved to cheapen sugar before the Tucumán elections scheduled for mid-January 1917, he risked losing the governorship of the Northwest’s most important province to the opposition. The President chose to wait, the Radicals won the governor's chair, and the new official hastened to Buenos Aires to plead against imports.29 Yrigoyen continued to hesitate until the winter of 1917 brought critical shortages of sugar and public outcries for action. Finally, in June, the President proposed and Congress approved a law enabling the executive to expropriate sugar held by speculators, to purchase an additional 40,000 tons abroad, and to sell these acquisitions to the public at .41 gold per kilo.30

The Socialists, who long had opposed protection of the sugar industry, tried to take credit for this law, but with characteristic political craft, Yrigoyen organized sale of the sugar at local police stations. In some localities, Radical Party functionaries supervised the distribution. As the winter grew colder and gloomier, the urban masses began to get cheap sugar, and the Radical Party attempted to convince them that they had Yrigoyen to thank.31 In July and August, the President decreed free import of an additional 106,000 tons of sugar, which the government duly doled out to consumers. These imports strongly displeased industrialists; Carlos A. Tomquist personally protested to Yrigoyen that duty-free imports might prevent the domestic industry’s recovery.32

Despite Tornquist’s fears, national production rebounded with a bumper harvest of 293,000 tous in 1919. When Yrigoyen ceased permitting imports, opposition newspapers charged that the President was again aiding the “Tucumán trust.”33 Debate over protection grew particularly vehement in February, 1920, when Congress took up general revision of the 1912 sugar tariff, set to expire in 1921. After heated discussion during which both Radicals and Socialists attempted to assume the mantle of the consumer’s friend, Congress extended the tariff but lowered it slightly. The legislation also permitted unrestricted export of sugar, a provision industrialists desired in order to rid themselves of 133,000 surplus tons from the 1919 harvest, which would have fetched high prices on the sugar-starved postwar world market. Yrigoyen shocked the industry by exercising an item veto against the export clause and by explaining that the executive had to control exports in order to protect consumers. Javier Padilla, wealthy Tucumán industrialist, later wrote that Yrigoyen’s veto “struck precisely at the portion [of the legislation] that would have benefited the industry most.”34

The President had chosen an opportune moment, the eve of national congressional elections scheduled for April, 1920, to announce his veto. As a result of these elections, the Radical Party’s representation in the Chamber rose from a minority of 53 deputies to a majority of 84. In spite of all their pro-consumer thunder, the Socialists gained only four seats. La Vanguardia charged that the President had cynically manipulated the sugar question to aid Radical candidates.35 This allegation may have been correct, for six weeks after the election, Yrigoyen attempted to placate industrialists by signing a decree which permitted export of unsold sugar surpluses up to 100,000 tons during the next ninety days.36 Speculators, moreover, had bought vast quantities in anticipation of domestic shortages, and prices rose to all-time highs. Again, the government imported sugar duty-free while the semi-official La Época assured consumers that the President was doing everything possible to fight the “voracity of the speculators.” Socialists answered that Yrigoyen’s export decree revealed that he really served industrialists and had been deceiving the masses all along.37 In the midst of growing concern, Yrigoyen moved to restore his image as friend of the poor. In August, he ended exports and asked Congress to permit the government to expropriate 200,000 tons of sugar within Argentina, to pay owners the legal fair price, and to sell all this to consumers at cost.38

Sugar interests responded angrily that the President had over-reacted, that his plan would unnecessarily damage capitalists, and that the legislation foreshadowed permanent government control over production and marketing. The Radical Party divided when congressmen from the Northwest, led by outspoken Deputy Benjamín Villafañe of Jujuy, bitterly denounced Yrigoyen’s policy as motivated by concern for votes and not by the national interest.39 The Chamber’s Radical majority approved tie request, but the Senate pigeonholed it. Nonetheless, Yrigoyen used the incident to vindicate his reputation as friend of the masses. For years, the President had tried to preserve a delicate balance between consumers and sugar producers, but when forced to take a stand, he chose the group with the most votes, an action for which many industrialists never would forgive him and which drove northerners like Villafañe out of the Radical Party.

Like the sugar industry, Argentina’s new consumer goods factories had powerful enemies. In 1918, the Chamber of Deputies Budget Committee had come under the chairmanship of a vigorous free-trader and eloquent speaker, Radical Víctor M. Molina of Entre Ríos. The official publication of the Unión Industrial Argentina (UIA), the principal association of industrialists, considered Molina a “dogmatist” blinded by “deeply rooted prejudice.”40 After the 1920 elections, Molina moved far beyond Yrigoyen’s cautious policy and opened a vigorous attack on the tariff. The Chamber approved his committee’s proposal to reduce all duties above 25 per cent ad valorem to that level.

Shocked by this action, manufacturing interests reacted with determination to try to convince the Senate to raise duties, not lower them. The UIA correctly pointed out that because world market prices of many Argentine imports had risen sharply since 1906, real levels of protection had declined sharply.41 Industrialists enjoyed the support of several interest groups during the 1920 tariff debate. One was the Confederación Argentina del Comercio, de la Industria y de la Producción, a sort of Chamber of Commerce primarily representing the interior provinces. Late in 1919, this group attracted wide publicity when it organized the “First National Economic Conference,” which recommended a “true protectionist policy” for new industries.42 Effective backing for protectionism also continued to come from the Sociedad Rural.43

The Senate not only rejected the Chamber’s proposed legislation, but passed its own bill to raise all ad valorem duties by twenty per cent and to grant special protection to a number of new industries born during the war, including refined lead and lead products, rubber articles, bottled mineral waters, and glucose.44 The Chamber’s sole remaining constitutional recourse was to attempt to override the Senate, an action which required the asset of two-thirds of the deputies voting. During debate, Yrigoyen, acting through Treasury Minister Domingo E. Salaberry, quietly lobbied against overriding on the grounds that the government could not absorb the loss of revenue which a lower tariff would occasion.45 The Chamber failed to override (see Table II), and the Senate’s version became Law 11,022. Deputies from the capital voted strongly against the increase, but representatives from the rest of the country voted in favor. Of the twelve voting deputies who belonged to the Sociedad Rural, eight cast their ballots against overriding. Conservative deputies strongly favored the increased tariff. Radical deputies were divided, but the majority agreed with Yrigoyen, as well as with cattlemen and industrialists, that a slightly higher tariff was essential.

During the early 1920s, the protectionist movement that had appeared in 1918 and 1919 gathered important intellectual support. Theoretical justification for protecting industries came from Alejandro E. Bunge, Argentina’s most influential economist during this period. Born in Buenos Aires and educated in Germany, Bunge did more than any other intellectual to found the study of economics as a profession in Argentina. This formidable scholar and teacher published a steady stream of books, monographs, articles, and statistical series. In 1918 he founded the Revista de Economía Argentina, which he edited until his death in 1943. Bunge’s scholarly interest in the interior provinces gave the Argentine economics profession a national focus. Appalled by the interior’s poverty and convinced that the republic contained a diversified resource base, he became a fervent advocate of a protective tariff and of economic diversification. World War I had demonstrated, he wrote in 1921, that the republic’s economic orientation, closely bound to British markets and capital, invited disaster. Should Europe undergo crisis or erect trade barriers, he predicted, the Argentine economy would be left defenseless, a pawn in the hands of European politicians.46

Bunge assumed that the Unión Industrial would act vigorously to promote the protective tariff; he apparently did not realize that organized manufacturers lacked significant political influence. Despite the growth of industry’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product from 13.8 per cent of the total in 1900-1904 to 17.7 per cent in 1925-1929, the UIA remained a relatively weak interest group.47 For one thing, the organization was divided internally; some influential members represented export-oriented processing industries and were uninterested in protection. Moreover, the bulk of manufacturers were unnaturalized citizens (see Table III), who often intended to return to Europe after making their fortune in Argentina. Of those who were citizens, few participated actively in politics. In 1924, only one member of the Chamber of Deputies was a factory owner.48 The UIA itself was aware of its political weakness, as testimony given by one of its members to the Chamber of Deputies indicates:

Industrialists ought to intervene, in some manner, in politics, because we are beginning to understand that we run the risk, when we need some legislative support, that the same thing will happen to us which occurred in the case or the pension law—that we do not have anyone in Congress to whom we can direct our petitions, as would be the case were there one, two, or three deputies representing industrialists.48

As in the previous decade, during the early 1920s the most powerful group backing the tariff was the Sociedad Rural. Faced by the export crisis of these years, the Sociedad intensified its search for new domestic markets for rural products. In 1922, Pedro Pagés published Crisis ganadera argentina, which argued that recent tariff barriers erected by Spain, France, and the United States made it imperative “to recover our liberty of action” by thoroughly revising tariffs.50 The Sociedad under Pagés’ leadership adopted the position that it “does not support systematic protectionism, but rather an opportune defense.” To qualify for such defense, an industry had to utilize raw materials which the rural sector produced. Thus, landowners opposed the development of metal and metal products industries, but during these years they did back cotton textiles. Other industries the Sociedad specifically supported included shoes and leather products, edible oils, wool textiles, and tobacco goods.51

Few interest groups actively opposed the widespread protectionist movement that was emerging by 1923. Farmers, most of whom were tenants, generally viewed tariffs with little enthusiasm, but their political influence was slight. The urban masses remained restless about the high cost of living, but consumers were poorly organized and found few effective political allies to defend their interests. The numerous anarcho-syndicalist labor unions sharply denounced protectionism, but these groups disdained politics and exercised little direct influence in the tariff debate.52 The Socialist Party continued its traditional defense of free trade, but the party counted only 10 deputies in the 1923 Chamber and 18 in 1924. One interest group which resolutely opposed protection was composed of importing firms, which denounced both tariffs and proposed anti-dumping legislation as contrary to freedom of commerce.68

Yrigoyen’s successor in the presidential chair, Radical Marcelo T. de Alvear, assumed office in October, 1922, as the protectionist campaign was gathering momentum. At first, Alvear aroused great expectations among pro-tariff forces; he lauded national industry in his inaugural address, and to head the Treasury Ministry he appointed Rafael Herrera Vegas, a former vice president of the Sociedad Rural who shared that group’s views on protectionism.54 When preliminary studies estimated the government’s 1923 budget deficit at 87 million gold pesos (of total expenses of 549 million), the administration asked Congress to raise all current tariff assessments by 80 per cent.55

But the Radical Party again divided over the tariff question. The Chamber’s Budget Committee recommended only a 25 per cent general increase, along with sharp reductions for mass consumption items including edible oils, shoes, and cotton cloth. The government decided to challenge the Budget Committee, introducing an amendment to raise assessments 60 per cent and all specific duties 25 per cent. After heated debate in the Chamber in June, 1923, the government won a partial victory when the deputies voted to support the revised increases but also to repeal Law 11,022 of 1920, which had increased ad valorem duties 20 per cent. In October, the Senate approved the bill in principle but made modifications which required the Deputies’ approval anew.56

Meanwhile, however, the Alvear government was undergoing a major change in political orientation. Elected with the blessings of Yrigoyen, Alvear initially had appeared to carry out the previous president’s economic policies. But after a few months in office, Alvear began to assert his independence from Yrigoyen. The new president ended the politically-inspired provincial interventions which had caused Yrigoyen so much criticism, rebuked “personalist” leadership, and began to search both for bases of support among the urban population and for an alliance with the Socialists. Accordingly, by October 1923, Alvear decided to scrap Herrera Vegas’ tariff revisions, a direct inheritance of Yrigoyen-Sociedad Rural policy, and to support massive tariff reductions.57 The extent of Alvear’s policy switch became clear when Herrera Vegas resigned and the president appointed Víctor M. Molina as the new Treasury Minister. In November 1923, when the Chamber met to consider the tariff legislation returned by the Senate, Molina moved to override the upper house and to reject the 60 per cent general increase as well as higher duties on shoes, wool and cotton textiles, and sugar.58

Despite the administration’s policy switch, the Radical Party remained deeply divided over the tariff issue, and protectionists won the day. On every vote except one to roll back the sugar duty, anti-tariff deputies failed to accumulate the two-thirds majority needed to override the Senate.59 The majority of Radical and Socialist deputies voted against tariff increases, but support from the Conservatives for the higher duties proved almost unanimous (see Table IV). The completed legislation, Law 11,281, represented a defeat for the Alvear government and the largest tariff increase between 1916 and 1930. It repealed Law 11,022, substituted a 60 per cent increase in all assessments, and raised all specific duties by 25 per cent. Bunge lauded these results as “brilliant.”60

Defeated on tariff legislation, Alvear’s government turned to utilizing executive decrees, when constitutionally possible, in order to combat the emergence of industries which the president considered excessively high cost. Alvear interpreted existing trade treaties to slash duties on imported Brazilian yerba mate, the tea which constituted a staple for millions of Argentine consumers, by 30 per cent. This action provoked outcries from northeastern Argentine producers and processors, who employed 17,000 people but who could not compete with lower-cost imports.61 Most important, executive decrees permitted unrestricted export of scrap iron and steel. The one major source of raw material easily available to the Argentine metal industry, scrap commanded high prices among European importers, particularly Italian steelmakers. Domestic metal fabricators fought for prohibition of scrap exports so they could buy the old metal cheaply and utilize it in their still small and relatively high-cost factories. Free traders, including Alvear, rejected the entreaties of the Argentine metal industry and claimed that consumers would pay lower prices for metal products if the scrap were exported, fabricated into metal products by lower-cost European producers, and then imported into Argentina. Alvear’s policy on scrap, dating from 1924, led to the export of 210,000 tons by the end of his term in 1928 and severely impeded growth of the Argentine metal industry.62

British trade policy proved to be a much more powerful weapon against Argentine protectionism than Alvear’s executive decrees. The British market, always important to Argentine exporting interests, became crucial during the mid-1920s when a number of Argentina’s traditional customers, including Spain, France, and Italy, raised tariffs. In 1927, the United States prohibited imports of fresh and refrigerated Argentine meat.63 At the same time, Great Britain’s export industries, faced by high production costs and antiquated methods, were undergoing crisis. Britain’s share of total world manufactured exports fell from 29 to 22 per cent between 1913 and 1929, but textiles, the most important export, declined much more rapidly. Unemployment, concentrated in the textile and metal industries, remained over 10 per cent between 1924 and 1929.64 The depressed British economy stimulated the powerful Imperial Protection Movement, which aimed to replace England’s traditional free trade policy with tariffs on goods imported from outside the empire. No country would have suffered more from Imperial Protection than Argentina, which generally destined the majority of its meat exports and 25 to 30 per cent of its total exports to Great Britain.65

The threat of Imperial Protection forced the Sociedad Rural and ultimately the Argentine government to reassess international trade policy. The Sociedad, which as late as 1923 had been the strongest member of the protectionist coalition, in 1927 suddenly turned sharply against the tariff. “Buy From Those Who Buy From Us!” became the group’s official slogan, while the Sociedad’s journal editorialized that “our country ought to offer reductions in tariff duties in exchange for similar reductions which other countries might offer our exports.” Argentina, in other words, ought to abandon its traditional most-favored-nation policy in favor of bilateral agreements which would protect the republic’s position in the British market in return for lower tariffs on imports from Britain. National production of textiles and shoes, warmly supported by the Sociedad in 1923, now incurred the landowners’ wrath. Luis Duhau, the group’s president after 1926, invoked the “classical economists” who “demonstrate such an admirable understanding of reality” to support his arguments that Argentina ought to purchase its cottons, woolens, and footwear abroad. According to Duhau, Argentine consumers would enjoy higher living standards consuming imported manufactures rather than the relatively expensive products of national industry.66

This warm embrace of British trade policy brought the Sociedad into sharp conflict with the UIA. The two interest groups long had agreed with regard to domestic labor and social welfare questions, but their views on international trade and the tariff diverged sharply during the late 1920s. Luis Colombo, indefatigable new president of the UIA, toured the republic, writing, lecturing, and speaking over the radio to defend the tariff. Colombo attacked free trade as the “Utopian” concept of “certain members of the cattle aristocracy,” and warned that the policies of the Sociedad Rural would ruin national industry and make Argentina a “permanent plaything of foreign economies.”67

Political leaders from the interior mounted their own campaign against subserviance to British trade policy. Beginning in 1926, several northern governors held annual official conferences to publicize the region’s economic plight and to work for protective tariffs. A leader in these conferences and perhaps the most outspoken voice of the interior was Benjamín Villafañe, Governor of Jujuy between 1924 and 1927. After abandoning the Radical Party in 1920, Villafañe published several books and articles advocating economic nationalism and denouncing the Yrigoyen Radicals as hopelessly ineffective in promoting economic development. He echoed an age-old sentiment of northerners when he pointed out that “the wealthy gentlemen of the Federal Capital who love Paris and France more than their own country and who barely know the provinces, even on the map” are “exercising a miserable tyranny over the interior.” Argentina ought to follow the example of the United States, “a country with sufficient good sense to defend its life and culture” by building roads and railways to develop the desolate interior, by enacting a protective tariff, and by stimulating mining and metal-working in the north.68

The arguments of Villafañe and other protectionists found a friendly audience among Argentine military officers, who took increasingly strong interest in industrialization as the 1920s went on. The economic effects of World War I stimulated nationalism among Argentine officers. They began to express their conviction that the army ought to promote diversified economic development in order to make Argentina industrially self-sufficient in case of war.69 Officers particularly emphasized that Argentina must develop its oil resources under state ownership. As evidence, they pointed to drastic wartime fuel shortages which had forced many factories to shut down or curtail production.70 Alvear responded to this concern by appointing army Colonel Enrique Mosconi to head the government’s oil firm (YPF). Under Mosconi’s vigorous leadership, YPF expanded operations rapidly.

Military officers focused attention not only on oil but also on broader questions of industrialization. Agustín P. Justo, Alvear’s Minister of War, set industrial growth as an official goal and whenever possible purchased supplies and equipment from Argentine industry. Justo enlarged and modernized existing army industrial installations and also founded new ones, including the republic’s first airplane factory. Responding to the concern among officers over the fact that Argentina contained no large factory capable of making gunpowder, Justo convinced Congress to make appropriations to build such a plant.71

But strong opinion within the army asserted that the government ought to promote industrialization with much greater vigor. Officers argued that Argentine security required a national iron and steel industry. “Our economic organization is absurd,” wrote Colonel Luis E. Vicat in a typical statement of this military ideology. Should an enemy blockade the republic’s ports, “they would defeat us without firing a shot.” Development of the interior must become a matter of highest national priority, concluded Vicat, himself a metallurgical engineer.72 Officers discontented with Argentina’s traditional economy frequently evoked the example of Italy to support their contention that the republic's lack of high-grade iron ore need not stop development of a steel industry. Alvear’s policy permitting unrestricted export of scrap metal received scathing criticism. The state, wrote First Lieutenant Salvador Guevara, by utilizing the army’s expertise, is capable of developing heavy industry, but the present politicians lack the necessary will.73

Nationalist intellectuals furnished inspiration and ideology to military officers who demanded industrialization and who believed that the parliamentary system was incapable of promoting it. Several writers in the nationalist journals La Fronda and Criterio castigated the Radical Party’s economic policies as no less dangerously out of date than political democracy itself. Yrigoyen Radicals, it was alleged, were concerned only with winning elections and were incapable of leading Argentina’s economic development. Argentina ought to follow the protectionist course set by Primo de Rivera’s Spain, editorialized La Fronda.74 Leopoldo Lugones, well-known nationalist writer, criticized Yrigoyen and the Radicals with the same intent. Argentina, Lugones declared in 1930, must not remain “an economic colony,” for “every day her fetters weigh down harder.” The republic, he declared, must aspire to a new future, one of national power, industrial strength, and economic independence. Only the army, Lugones was convinced, could lead this transformation. Politics, characterized by corruption, demagoguery, and bureaucracy, was “a completed experiment.”76

Despite the misgivings of protectionists both within the military and without, Yrigoyen won the 1928 presidential elections with ease. But as soon as he took office, the septuagenarian Radical leader confronted economic emergency. While imports remained high, the value of merchandise exports collapsed from 2.168 million paper pesos in 1929 to 1.396 million in 1930. To cover the resulting balance of payments deficits, gold rushed out of the country, forcing the government to abandon the gold standard in December 1929.76

Faced by the onset of the Great Depression and the threat of Imperial Protection, Yrigoyen abandoned the moderate protectionism which had characterized his first term and modeled his international trade policies on proposals the Sociedad Rural had been advocating since 1927. In August 1929, a high-ranking British economic mission led by Viscount D’Abemon arrived to “negotiate.” In fact, D’Abemon literally threatened to close British markets to Argentine goods unless Yrigoyen promised trading concessions. The resulting “D’Abemon Pact” obligated the Argentine government to purchase £9 million of equipment for the state railways in return for British assurances to purchase an equivalent amount of Argentine rural sector exports. Furthermore, on November 29, 1929, Yrigoyen issued a “Silk Rebate Decree,” ordering a 50 per cent tariff reduction on yarns and cloths containing artificial silk imported from the United Kingdom.77 These agreements represented complete British victories. As Ambassador Robertson expressed it in an address of January 1930:

In point of fact we obtained £9,000,000 of orders from the Argentine government which otherwise we had not the slightest chance of obtaining as our prices are too high . . .. In return we undertook to buy only a very small fraction of what we inevitably take. In fact, we obtained something for nothing. People in this country have not realized the extreme friendliness of the Argentine Government in this matter. Again and again did the President say to Lord D’Abemon and me in the course of the negotiations, “I do not care at all about the details. I want this to be a great moral gesture towards your country.”78

Argentine criticism of the D’Abemon Pact was sharp and wide-spread, and the UIA launched a vigorous campaign to fight the president’s policy. After France protested that the “Silk Rebate Decree violated existing treaties, Yrigoyen refused to promulgate it. The Radical-controlled Chamber approved the rest of the D’Abernon Pact, but the Senate never had a chance to discuss it prior to the coup of September 1930 which overthrew Yrigoyen.79 Although the pact never went into effect, it demonstrated Yrigoyen’s determination to base his economic policies squarely on traditional exporting interests.

Between 1916 and 1930, Radical Party governments did little to change traditional Argentine tariff policy, which cattle interests historically had molded to suit their needs. Yrigoyen used his conflict with the sugar industry to fortify the populist image he successfully cultivated among the masses, but on the whole, Radical Party tariff policy followed not the interests of consumers but those of the Sociedad Rural. Thus, in 1918 and 1920, when landowning interests favored protection, Yrigoyen’s government had fought for increased tariffs which forced sacrifices on the urban masses and raised the cost of living. During the Alvear interim, Radical leaders broke with the Sociedad on tariff policy, but when Yrigoyen came to power a second time, his government followed the strong anti-protection stance the Sociedad had adopted in 1927. At least as far as tariff policy was concerned, the Yrigoyen administrations first and foremost represented the interests of cattlemen.


Alfred Maizels, Industrial Growth and World Trade (Cambridge, England, 1963), p. 533.


Clarence F. Jones, “Argentine Trade Developments,” Economic Geography, 2 (July 1926), 358.


Roswell C. McCrea, Thurman W. Van Metre and George Jackson Eder, “International Competition in the Trade of Argentina,” International Conciliation, No. 271 (June 1931), pp. 61-62; Vernon Lovell Phelps, The International Economic Position of Argentina (Philadelphia, 1938), p. 12.


Roberto Cortés Conde, “Problemas del crecimiento industrial (1870-1914),” in Torcuato S. Di Tella et al., Argentina, sociedad de masas (Buenos Aires, 1965), p. 79.


Carlos F. Díaz Alejandro, Essays on the Economic History of the Argentine Republic (New Haven and London, 1970), p. 514; Emilio J. Schleh, La industria algodonera en la Argentina (Buenos Aires, 1923), p. 58.


H. C. Peters, The Foreign Debt of the Argentine Republic (Baltimore, 1934), p. 71; Carlos F. Soares, Economía y finanzas de la nación argentina (3 vols., Buenos Aires, 1916-1932), III, 181-190.


The 1906 legislation did not create Argentina’s first tariff; Congress enacted protective duties for a limited number of articles in 1876. See the important study on that period by José Carlos Chiaramonte, Nacionalismo y liberalismo económicos en Argentina, 1860-1880 (Buenos Aires, 1971), pp. 91-140, 219-225. Analysis of the 1906 tariff and the example of duties on penknives are drawn from the useful work by Frank P. Rutter, Tariff Systems of South American Countries (Washington, D.C., 1916), pp. 47-92.


For details, see Díaz Alejandro, Essays on the Economic History of the Argentine Republic, p. 282.


Guido Di Tella and Manuel Zymelman, Las etapas del desarrollo económico argentino (Buenos Aires, 1967), pp. 299-324.


Peters, The Foreign Debt of the Argentine Republic, pp. 93-95; John H. Williams, “Argentine Foreign Exchange and Trade Since the Armistice,” Review of Economics and Statistics, 3 (March 1921), pp. 47-57.


Virgil Salera, Exchange Control and the Argentine Market (New York, 1941), p. 35; Di Tella and Zymelman, Las etapas del desarrollo económico argentino, pp. 309, 366; Díaz Alejandro, Essays on the Economic History of the Argentine Republic, pp. 297, 462-463.


Paul B. Souweine, L’Argentine au seuil de l'industrie (Louvain, 1927), p. 155.


Salera, Exchange Control and the Argentine Market, pp. 33, 37-38.


When Argentina was on the gold standard one Argentine gold peso was worth US $.9648. Between 1914 and 1927, exchange rates fluctuated. By law, paper pesos circulated within Argentina were worth .44 of the gold peso. Data on government revenues are in Peters, The Foreign Debt of the Argentine Republic, p. 70.


The income and expenditures of the national government for each year between 1864 and 1922 may be found in Argentine Republic, Cámara de Diputados, Diario de sesiones de la Cámara de Diputados, sesiones ordinarias, I (May 17, 1923), 399. (Hereafter this source will be referred to as Diputados).


Peters, The Foreign Debt of the Argentine Republic, pp. 70-71; Soares, Economía y finanzas de la nación argentina, II, 128-132.


Florentino N. Torello, “La industria del calzado en la República Argentina,” Revista de Ciencias Económicas, 30 (May 1928), 1883-1886; and Herman G. Brock, Boots and Shoes, Leather, and Supplies in Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay (Washington, D.C., 1919). Also see Phelps, The International Economic Position of Argentina, pp. 135, 138-139.


Peter H. Smith, Politics and Beef in Argentina: Patterns of Conflict and Change (New York and London, 1969), pp. 47-51. The only membership list extant for the 1916-1930 period is “Nómina de socios,” Anales de la Sociedad Rural Argentina, 52 (February 1918), 116-134. Professor Richard Walter of the Department of History, Washington University, St. Louis, kindly furnished me unpublished information on party affiliation in the Chamber, 1916-1930. By utilizing the Walter research and the membership list of the Sociedad, one may determine the participation of this interest group’s members in the Chamber’s political parties. Members of the Sociedad occupied a total of 21 seats in 1918.


Pagés’ speech is in Diputados, sesiones ordinarias, III (August 1, 1917), 1493-1500. For the 1922 statement, see Argentine Republic, Ministerio de Hacienda, Comisión Asesora, Informe de la Comisión de Régimen Aduanero (Buenos Aires, 1924), p. 36.


The shoe industry later publicly thanked Yrigoyen for taking the initiative in supporting the tariff increase of 1918. Centro Fabricantes de Calzado, El Centro Fabricantes de Calzado ante el Honorable Congreso de la Nación (Buenos Aires, 1923), n.p.


Diputados, sesiones extraordinarias, VIII (January 26, 1918), 491-526; La Vanguardia, January 30, 1918, p. 1.


Ricardo M. Ortiz, Historia económica de la Argentina, 1850-1930 (2 vols., Buenos Aires, 1964), II, 155.


La Vanguardia, March 11, 1919, p. 2; Di Tella and Zymelman, Etapas del desarrollo económico argentino, p. 317.


Emilio Schleh, La industria azucarera en su primer centenario, 1821-1921 (Buenos Aires, 1921), esp. pp. 13, 16, 39, 94-105, 266; Argentine Republic, Ministerio de Agricultura, Dirección de Comercio e Industrias, Censo industrial y comercial de la República Argentina, 1908-1914 (Buenos Aires, 1908-1914), Section Nine.


Schleh, La industria azucarera en su primer centenario, p. 123; Carlos A. Tornquist, “Industria azucarera nacional,” Policía y Comuna (La Plata), July 1917, n.p.


Schleh, La industria azucarera en su primer centenario, pp. 356-357.


Guillermo Pintos, Treinta años de proteccionismo excesivo (Buenos Aires, 1917), p. 18.


Statistics in Schleh, La industria azucarera en su primer centenario, pp. 283, 297-298, 325.


La Vanguardia, January 23, 1917, p. 1; June 11, 1917, p. 1.


Succinct analysis of sugar legislation and decrees, 1917-1920, is found in Soares, Economía y finanzas de la nación argentina, II, pp. 106-112.


La Vanguardia, June 28, 1917, p. 1; June 29, 1917, p. 1; July 5, 1917, p. 1; Diputados, sesiones ordinarias, II (July 27, 1917), 806.


Carlos A. Tomquist, “Industria azucarera nacional,” Policía y comuna, December 1918, n.p.


La Prensa, April 5, 1919, p. 7.


Javier Padilla, “La industria azucarera argentina,” Anales de la Unión Industrial Argentina, 41 (March 1927), 176. Yrigoyen’s veto message is in Diputados, sesiones extraordinarias, VII (April 6, 1920), 849-850.


La Vanguardia, April 12, 1920, p. 1; Aprii 15, 1920, p. 1.


Yrigoyen's decree of May 22, 1920 is reprinted in “Permiso para exportar azúcar,” Revista de Economía Argentina, 4 (August 1920), 312-314.


La Época, July 28, 1920, p. 1; August 4, 1920, p. 1; September 30, 1920, p. 1. La Vanguardia, July 8, 1920, p. 1; July 25, 1920, p. 1.


La Época, August 10, 1920, p. 1; September 16, 1920, p. 1.


Schleh, La industria azucarera en su primer centenario, pp. 423-427; La Vanguardia, September 19, 1920, p. 1. Also see Benjamín Villafañe, Degenerados. Tiempos en que la mentira y el robo engendran apóstoles (Buenos Aires, 1928), p. 63.


“Industrialización artificial,” Boletín de la Unión Industrial Argentina, 38 (September 15, 1924), p. 42.


“Memoria del Consejo Directivo de la Unión Industrial Argentina a la XXXIX Asamblea Ordinaria,” Boletín de la Unión Industrial Argentina, 33 (July 15, 1920), pp. 1-20.


La Nación, September 23, 1919, p. 6; October 11, 1919, p. 5; and October 20, 1919, p. 5.


Alberto E. Castex, “La República Argentina es un país industrializable,” Anales de la Sociedad Rural Argentina, 54 (January 1-15, 1920), 3-7.


Argentine Republic, Cámara de Senadores, Diario de sesiones de la Cámara de Senadores, sesiones ordinarias, I (June 1, 1920), 249; I (June 2, 1920), 280; I (June 24, 1920), 401.


Diputados, sesiones ordinarias, II (June 22, 1920), 183; II (June 23, 1920), 235; La Vanguardia, June 24, 1920, p. 1. On Yrigoyen’s support of the tariff increase, see R. Domenech, “La defensa de nuestras industrias,” Boletín de la Unión Industrial Argentina, 36 (November 15, 1922), 3-7; and The Review of the River Plate, 53 (July 28, 1920), 1.


Bunge’s major publications of the 1920-1923 period are: Los problemas económicos del presente (Buenos Aires, 1920); Las industrias del norte (Buenos Aires, 1922); “Nueva orientación de la política económica argentina,” Revista de Economía Argentina, 6 (June 1921), 449-479; and La nueva política económica argentina (Buenos Aires, 1921).


Data in Di Tella and Zymelman, Etapas del desarrollo económico argentino, p. 28.


“Como está compuesta nuestra Cámara de Diputados,” Boletín de la Unión Industrial Argentina, 38 (February 15, 1924), 18.


Diputados, sesiones ordinarias, I (June 3, 1925), 638.


Pedro T. Pagés, Crisis ganadera argentina (Buenos Aires, 1922), pp. 100-101.


The quote is in La Época, August 1, 1923, p. 1. Also see Schleh, La industria algodonera en la Argentina, p. 108; and “La producción de algodón en el país,” Anales de la Sociedad Rural Argentina, 59 (August 15, 1925), 811-812.


Carl Solberg, “Rural Unrest and Agrarian Policy in Argentina 1912-1930," Journal of Inter-American Studies and World Affairs, 13 (January 1971), 28-29; Diego Abad de Santillán, La F.O.R.A. Ideología y trayectoria del movimiento obrero revolucionario en la Argentina (2nd ed., Buenos Aires, 1971), p. 233.


“La represión del ‘dumping’ opónese la Bolsa de Comercio,” Boletín Mensual de la Cámara Sindical de Comercio, Buenos Aires, 8 (January 1922), 24-25.


La Época, August 6, 1923, p. 2.


Soares, Economía y finanzas de la nación argentina, III, 181-190.


“Leyes impositivas para 1923,” Boletín de la Unión Industrial Argentina, 37 (August 15, 1923), 3-12; The Review of the River Plate, 40 (December 7, 1923), 1335.


Félix Luna, Alvear (Buenos Aires, 1958), pp. 57-58, 67, 70-72; Rául A. Molina, “Presidencia de Marcelo T. De Alvear,” in Argentine Republic, Academia Nacional de la Historia, Historia Argentina Contemporánea, 1862-1930 (4 vols., Buenos Aires, 1965-), I, Section 2, pp. 285-287.


Diputados, sesiones extraordinarias, VIII (November 14, 1923), 370-378.


Diputados, sesiones extraordinarias, VIII (November 8, 1923), 298, 301; VIII (November 15, 1923), 424, 428; VIII (November 21, 1923), 504-506.


Bunge, La economía argentina, III, 87. The Review of the River Plate made the best brief analysis of the new tariff’s impact. See 40 (November 16, 1923), 1153-1155; and 40 (December 7, 1923), 1335.


“Como se trata oficialmente a los yerbateros argentinos,” Boletín de la Unión Industrial Argentina, 38 (March 1925), 55-59.


Charles H. Ducoté, The Argentine Iron and Steel Industry and Trade (Washington, D.C., 1931), p. 13; “Sobre prohibición de exportar metales,” Boletín de la Unión Industrial Argentina, 37 (January 15, 1924), 19-20.


Juan E. Richelet, La ganadería argentina y su comercio de carnes (Buenos Aires, 1928), pp. 141-146; Frederic Benham, Great Britain Under Protection (New York, 1941), p. 203; Smith, Beef and Politics in Argentina, pp. 119, 121.


Benham, Great Britain Under Protection, pp. 14-15; Maizels, Industrial Growth and World Trade, pp. 2, 46, 189, 342, 482; Werner Schlote, British Overseas Trade from 1700 to the 1930’s, trans. W. O. Henderson and W. H. Chaloner (Oxford, 1952), p. 74.


Benham, Great Britain Under Protection, pp. 76-78; Richelet, La ganadería argentina y su comercio de carnes, pp. 146-150, 162-164.


Luis Duhau, “Los agrarios y el proteccionismo,” Anales de la Sociedad Rural Argentina, 61 (September 15, 1927), 916-917. Also see “Comprar a quien nos compra,” ibid., 60 (January 1, 1927), 7-8; and “La Sociedad Rural Argentina solicita tratados de reciprocidad,” ibid., 62 (April 15, 1928), 491-492.


Luis Colombo, Levántate y anda (Buenos Aires, 1929), p. 18; “Comprar a quien nos compra,” Anales de la Unión Industrial Argentina, 42 (March 1929), 43; La Nación, March 19, 1929, p. 11.


“La conferencia de gobernadores,” Revista de Economía Argentina, 17 (August 1926), 95-96. Ako see Benjamín Villafañe, La miseria de un país rico (3rd ed., Buenos Aires, 1927), p. 75; La región de las parias (Buenos Aires, 1934), p. 69; Política económica suicida. País conquistado. La conferencia de La Rioja (Jujuy, 1927), p. 21; El atraso del interior: documentos oficiales del gobierno de Jujuy pidiendo amparo para las industrias del norte (Jujuy, 1926), p. 13.


Lieutenant Colonel Carlos Smith, Al pueblo de mi patria! (Buenos Aires, 1918), pp. 20, 88; J. C. Garay, “Palabras argentinas,” Revista Militar, 20 (March 1920), 401.


Major Raúl Barrera, El petróleo de Comodoro Rivadavia: Contribución al estudio financiero de los yacimientos fiscales (Buenos Aires, 1919), pp. 17-19.


Argentine Republic, Ministerio de Guerra, Memoria del Departamento de Guerra presentada al Honorable Congreso Nacional correspondiente al año 1922-1923 (Buenos Aires, 1923), p. 41; Carlos Cattáneo, “Observaciones sobre la organización de una fábrica de pólvoras y explosivos,” Revista Militar, 26 (June 1925), 845.


Vicat’s statements are in “Ideas sueltas que creo útiles al progreso del norte argentino,” in Villafañe, El atraso del interior, p. 179; Luis E. Vicat, “División del país en zonas económicas de acuerdo con sus necesidades industriales,” Revista de Ciencias Económicas, 27 (October 1927), 999; and Luis E. Vicat, “Necesidad de una metalúrgica propia como elemento indispensable para asegurar la defensa nacional,” Revista Militar, 26 (August 1925), p. 130.


Salvador Guevara, “Industria siderúrgica,” Revista Militar, 26 (March 1926), 397-403; Captain Lauro Montenegro, “Algunas ideas sobre la preparación integral de la nación para la guerra,” ibid., 27 (April 1927), 454-464.


La Fronda, August 31, 1929, p. 1; May 1, 1928, p. 1; May 10, 1929, p. 1; and July 22, 1930, pp. 1-2; and Carlos García Mata, “Misión económica de Lord D’Abemon,” Criterio, 2 (September 5, 1929), 17-18.


Leopoldo Lugones, La grande Argentina (1930), (2nd ed., Buenos Aires, 1962), pp. 103, 110.


Díaz Alejandro, Essays on the Economic History of the Argentine Republic, p. 475; Phelps, The International Economic Position of Argentina, pp. 91-96.


Alberto Conil Paz and Gustavo Ferrari, Argentina’s Foreign Policy, 1930-1962, trans. John J. Kennedy (Notre Dame and London, 1966), pp. 19-20; The Review of the River Plate, 67, August 30, 1929, p. 9, and November 29, 1929, p. 7.


Italics are in the original. Malcolm Robertson, “The Economic Relations Between Great Britain and the Argentine Republic,” International Affairs, 9 (March, 1930), p. 228.


Conil Paz and Ferrari, Argentina’s Foreign Policy, 1930-1962, pp. 19-20; The Review of the River Plate, 68, January 10, 1930, p. 9, and February 14, 1930, p. 21.

Author notes


The author is Associate Professor of History at the University of Washington. Financial assistance from the University of Washington Graduate School Research Fund made possible the research for this article.