Limited action due to lack of economic resources
Key measures by the Mancomunitat were restricted by the economic means it had. At first, it benefited from voluntary contributions by the four diputacions which composed the Mancomunitat. In the following years, revenue came from the existing budgets of the diputacions and from bonds issued by the Mancomunitat.
The first budget of the Mancomunitat, created to meet the first organizational expenses, was approved by the Assembly on April 7, 1914, and revenue came from voluntary contributions that the diputacions belonging to the Mancomunitat agreed to. The 1915, 1916, and 1917 budgets were drafted by taking into account those resources authorized by the December 18, 1913 royal decree.
In the income section of the budget, the revenue of the Mancomunitat is divided between regular deposits and extra income. The former were the ones authorized by the aforementioned royal decree, and the latter came from bonds issued by the Mancomunitat.
In the expenses section, the specific loans needed to meet regular and extra expenses were detailed and itemized.
Road, trail, and bridge construction; telephone network acquisition and new lines installation; water works; building and installation of schools and libraries; the creation of new organizations; and everything that represented collective wealth was considered as an extra expense.
On the other hand, expenses by the government and the administration; those used to maintain services transferred to the diputacions; those used to preserve and support the institutions created by the Mancomunitat; and interests on active bonds were all classified as regular expenses, as were ongoing expenses.
Loans of the Mancomunitat
The Assembly of the Mancomunitat agreed to two loans: one in November 26, 1914, and one in January 17, 1920.
- 1914 loan: 15,000,000 pesetas and 30,000 bond shares
The first issuing took place on May 15, 1915, and it corresponded to 6,614 bond shares. The second one took place in June 1917, and it issued 8,429 bond shares. The third one was in April 25, 1918, with 7,645 bond shares. The fourth one was in May 24, 1923, with 7,312 shares.
- 1920 loan: 60,000,000 pesetas with 120,000 bond shares
The first issuing was on May 17, 1920, for a total of 20,000 bond shares. During the periods of 1921-22 and 1922-23, issuing of bonds was done directly to the market, in the amount of 19,508 shares for the 1921-22 period, and 22,064 shares for the 1922-23 period.
During the September 2, 1921 meeting the Assembly of the Mancomunitat approved a series of basic agreements. One of them was the project for the creation of an agricultural loans service. It was intended for the purchasing and distribution of farmable land for farm laborers and to build inexpensive houses, which was the main goal of the basic agreement by the Assembly.
Community Lending Service
- Organization and operation
Based on the fact that towns need to borrow money in order to advance, and that town governments were excluded from taking advantage of them due to the small quantities usually needed by each community, the Mancomunitat created the Community Lending Service, and it approved the project in May 1914. Dependent on the Spanish government, the bylaws of the lending bank were approved by a royal decree on September 20, 1914. The Community Lending Service was an independent organization that depended on the Mancomunitat. Its functions were regulated by the directors and administrative boards, composed of provincial representatives, businessmen, entrepreneurs, and proven specialists. It was chaired by the president of the Mancomunitat. The goal of the Community Lending Service was to facilitate the economic resources to towns in Catalonia, but exception was made for agricultural organizations, which were fundamental to Catalonia’s agricultural prosperity, and who were left behind by current, clearly insufficient lending practices. The lending services did not represent any extra expenses for the Mancomunitat. It worked in such a way that the small profit they could make was used to cover expenses and to create a reserve for future emergencies. The Lending Service had offices of its own, and it acted under a director’s orders who was located in the Palace of the Generalitat.
- Loan requisites for towns in Catalonia
They needed to be financially sound and well managed. They could not have defaulted with the central government, their diputació, or with the Mancomunitat, as long as the loan was intended for town-only services.
- Loan requisites for agricultural cooperatives
The Lending Service committed with the agricultural organizations or cooperatives to loans in the amount of one million pesetas, considering that the maximum amount could not be more than 50% of the value of the property and machinery belonging to the organization that was putting them up as collateral for the loan.