The trading in, and consignments of silver to, the Filipinas by the inhabitants of Mexico causes great detriment to the inhabitants of the islands; for, because of the Mexicans sending so much silver, the price of Chinese silks and merchandise has risen, so that, while for twenty years, when only the inhabitants of the islands were permitted to trade, they were wont to gain one thousand per cent, now they do not gain one hundred, whence results much resentment in the Filipinas. Therefore it is most certain that, if the trade be conceded to them alone, with a just limitation, they will desire to be the only gainers; and hence will endeavor to see that no Mexicans send any silver, and will execute whatever penalty his Majesty imposes on the Mexicans. This they will do, because clearly much advantage will accrue to the islanders thereby, by the lowering of the price of the merchandise in Manila and a rise in Mexico. If this reason be examined closely, my assertion will be quite clear.
I maintain the same in regard to the port of Buenos Ayres; and what has been ordained but lately I think was by divine ordination; for hitherto, notwithstanding the prohibition that there should be no trade, ships entered and cleared, and traded between Brasil and Potosi, and between Potosi and Brasil and Espana. And, although six judges were sent to enforce this prohibition, they were unable to effect a remedy, until the governor, Don Diego de Baldes, gave permission, as he considered it an extreme necessity, and the ultimate remedy, for the citizens of Buenos Ayres to reap some slight portion of the profits—although he erred in this, as it was done without his Majesty’s permission. However, now that this license is confirmed, the matter, in so far as it touches this port, is remedied; for the amount of flour which they take cannot be of sufficient consideration to damage the commerce of Tierra Firme; and the citizens, as they profit thereby, will prevent anyone from trading outside of the port, and will execute the penalties imposed by his Majesty on those who try to trade. I relate all the above because I think great things will result therefrom to the service of our Lord and of his Majesty.
Fray Martin Ynacio de Loyola, bishop of Rio de la Plata.
[Endorsed: “+ Memorial from the bishop of Rio de la Plata, in which he declares what reform should be effected in the commerce of the Filipinas and Mexico; and asserts that the action of the council in Buenos Ayres has had very good effect.”]
Extracts of Two Letters from the Conde de Monterrey
The merchants of the corporation of the city of Los Reyes, Peru, declare that, in the commerce between that kingdom and this one of [Nueva?] Espana, they regard it as so necessary, that should it cease, it would mean complete destruction. On this account it must be preserved, and to this end all the means possible must be sought out.