"If the United States cannot keep the hold on the South American trade which she gained during the war, it will not be the fault of the South American peoples," said Senor Doctor Don Victor Andres Belaunde, now visiting the University for a few weeks, when interviewed by a CRIMSON representative yesterday. Dr. Belaunde holds the Professorship of International Law at San Marcos University, the oldest university in the Western Hemisphere (founded in 1551).
Latin America, particularly my country, Peru, has the greatest friendship for the United States--greater than for any European nation except France. The only reason that the balance of her trade before the war was with Europe was that continental houses gave her more advantageous terms than the United States.
Peru Sorely Needs Credit
"Particularly was this so in regard to credit. Not being a nation of great capital wealth it is essential that Peru (I speak of Peru as a representative South American nation) be allowed liberal credit in buying commodities from other countries. Since England and Germany before the war were liberal in regard to credit and the United States wished to conduct business on a strictly cash basis, it is only natural that the Peruvian trade should have gone to the former countries.
"During the war, of course, the Peruvian trade went to the United States; and, at least until England and Germany have recuperated sufficiently to compete on equal terms with her, the United States will continue to monopolize her trade.
"After that, the apportionment of Peru's commerce will depend on the United States. If she can offer liberal credit terms to Peru she will continue in her present position. If not, England and Germany will regain their former dominance in Peru.
Peru Worthy of Development
"That it is worth while for the United States to trade extensively with Peru is obvious. Peru has the greatest mineral resources of any South American country. All that is needed is foreign capital to develop her mines. And it would be greatly to the advantage of the United States and of Peru if that capital could be American capital. For Peru is only a 10 days voyage from the States and all feelings of sympathy with the United States put aside, Peru would rather trade with a country that is nearer her than Europe.
"At present many American firms are establishing banking houses in Peru. If this policy is continued there is no reason why the United States cannot compete with England and Germany on equal terms and offer as great credit facilities."
Dr. Belaunde has come to the United States in order to prepare material for a series of lectures on the United States which he is planning to deliver at the University of San Marcos this winter. Upon his arrival he presented an official salutation to President Lowell on behalf of his university. In speaking of President Lowell, Dr. Belaunde said that he was well known in Peru for his works on Government.