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The Customs tariff is largely on an ad valorem basis. There is a British preference, which, in the case of ad valorem duties, is in most instances 12 per cent ad valorem.
The easiest communication is by water along the coast. There is communication weekly with New Orleans, Puerto Barrios and Puerto Cortes, and monthly (approximately) with Liverpool. There is also a fortnightly mail and passenger service by the Canadian National Steamship Company with Jamaica, and thence to Canada via the Bahamas and Bermuda. The usual length of the journey between England and British Honduras is 16 days, via the United States and about 21 days via Jamaica. Telegraphic communication with Europe is maintained by a land line to Consejo on the Hondo River, which connects, by a cable across the Hondo, with the Mexican Telegraph System through Payo Obispo in Yucatan (1911); and by radio-telegraphic communication with New Orleans (1915) and Jamaica (1928).
A telegraph and telephone line exists between Belize and the southerly town of Stann Creek, and another from Belize to the Cayo. A Radio-telegraph Station is situated in Belize, and others (for inland services only), at Corozal, Monkey River and Punta Gorda.
There is a weekly service between Belize and San Pedro, Sula, Honduras (via Puerto Barrios, Guatemala) by planes of the Transportes Aereos CentroAmericanos Ltd. (“T.A.C.A."), and a service twice a week between Belize and the U.S.A.; via Mexico, by planes of the Chiapao Air Transport Co.
A short railway leads from the town of Stann Creek, 25 miles inland, the first section of which was opened towards the end of 1908, and the second section in March, 1909. The line was practically completed in 1910, but extraordinary floods in 1911 carried away a couple of bridges, and did other damage, which have been replaced.
Rates of Postage.
Within the Colony
To U.S.A. (via Brownsville and Miami), Mexico (via Merida), 15 cents for first oz. and 10 cents for each additional oz.; Guatemala and Honduras (via Barrios), and Nicaragua (via Managua) 25 cents and 30 cents respectively for first oz. and 17 cents and 20 cents each additional oz.; Costa Rica and Panama (including Canal Zone) 33 cents for first oz. and 22 cents for each additional oz. These rates are in addition to the ordinary postage.
Though situated within the tropics, the climate is sub-tropical in character. The maximum shade
temperature is 90°, the minimum 62°. The dew point in Belize, a seaport, is relatively high. Sea breezes prevail for the greater part of the year. The average rainfall during the past twenty years has been 81 48 inches per annum. From the middle of February to the middle of May is the dry season. For the rest of the year there is rain to some extent during every month, the heaviest rainfall being in the months of September, October and November, during which months about onethird of the total rain occurs.
Currency and Banking.
By Ordinance No. 31 of 1894, the currency was established on a gold basis, the United States gold dollar being adopted as the standard coin. Gold coins of the United States Mint are legal tender for the amounts of their respective denominations in standard dollars; also the British sovereign and half-sovereign for the amounts of $4.867 and $2-433 respectively. There is a local subsidiary currency of 50 cent, 25 cent, 10 cent, and 5 cent silver pieces, and a Government note issue of the following denominations: 1, 2, 5 and 10 dollars; a nickel bronze 5 cent piece and a bronze cent piece are also current. The silver coins are legal tender up to 10 dollars and the nickel and bronze up to 50 cents. The Government Savings Bank, established in 1846 at Belize (with branches at Corozal, Orange Walk, Stann Creek, Punta Gorda and the Cayo), had, on 31st December, 1937, $424,731.
On the 14th October, 1912, The Bank of British Honduras, Ltd., was bought over as a going concern by the Royal Bank of Canada. Banking business of every character is conducted.
The schools, both Secondary and Primary, are. with one or two exceptions, denominational. With few exceptions, all Primary schools are inspected and aided by the Colonial Government. Seventyeight received aid in 1937, to the extent of $71,006-87, with 9,059 scholars on the roll, and 7,016 average attendance, i.e., 77.4% of the enrolment. The total cost of Primary education for the year was $87,880-22. The total number of pupils on the roll in all the schools was about 10,487, with an average attendance of 8,211.
Mechanic and Storekeeper, H. W. Smith, $1,000 to $1,300.
Foreman, J. T. Walker, $950.
Inspectors, J. V. Gabourel, $702; W. Flowers and
Telephone Operators, 1st Grade: Mrs. D. Wolffsohn
1st Class Clerk, J. N. Meighan, $942 to $1,230.
Chief Justice, Sir Arthur K. Agar, $5,400 and quarters.
Northern District, E. A. Grant, $1,600 to $2,000,
2nd Class Clerk, E. N. Trapp, $906.
Clerk and Interpreter, V. F. Colon, $690 to $906.
Clerk, R. Patten, $501 to $666, and duty allowance
Auditor, D. P. Uttley, $3,000, and quarters.
Superintendent of Education, B. E. Carman, B.Sc.,
Assistant Superintendent, E. V. Brown, B.A., $1,500
1st Class Clerk, S. E. Hulse, $942-$1,230.
Conservator of Forests, N. S. Stevenson, B.Sc., $2,430
1st Class Clerk, R. Gallego, $942 to $1,290.
Industrial School, Pomona, Stann Creek.
Agricultural Assistant, R. E. Belisle, $900 and quarters.
United States, C. Giddens (Vice-Consul).
Republic of Honduras, J. Alvarado (Consul-General).
Belgium, F. R. Dragten (Consul-General).
Stann Creek Railway. Superintendent (vacant), $1,800 to $2,000.
El Salvador, J. T. Bouloy.
Clerks, A. E. Vellos, $1,230, and H. D. Frazer, $504 Finland, H. T. Grant (Vice-Consul).
† Allowed but not entitled to private practice.