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Agriculture, industry, and commerce:
Mines ... Agricultural station.
7,808. 50 11,064, 00 10, 650.00
6, 873.00 75,000.00
Mr. Squiers to Mr. Hay. No. 282.]
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Habana, November 8, 1902. SIR: I have the honor to inclose herewith a translation of Mr. Palma’s message to Congress, which met on Monday, the 3d instant.
The message is of interest mainly wherein it points out the economies practiced by the Government, probably due to Mr. Palma's personal supervision and his avowed purpose of making expenditures less than receipts, no matter what the latter amount might be. His principal strength lies there, and you may feel assured that so long as he is at the head of affairs financially this Government will be economically and honestly administered.
There is some disappointment expressed by those who are interested in that the President makes no reference to either the payment of the army, including the loan, or revision of the tariff.
He refers particularly to Cuba's relations with the United States; the pending commercial treaty; number of states which have recog. nized Cuba; to the subject of sanitation, and to the work contracted by the government of intervention which is now being completed under those contracts. I am, etc.,
H. G. SQUIERS.
President's message. To the Congress of the Republic:
It is with pleasure that I comply with the precept contained in article 68 of the fundamental law on the occasion of the opening of the second Legislature of the nation,
Some of the matters which I took the liberty to recommend to the consideration of Congress in my former message are now promulgated laws. Others, such as those referring to the organization of the provinces and the municipalities, are under discussion, either in the House or in the Senate, and it is to be hoped that on account of their importance both the provincial law and municipal law may be terminated during the present Legislature.
The enactment of a law on the organization of the courts is likewise of urgent necessity, to the end that their authority and the method of exercising it may be properly regulated. More especially is this the case with regard to the supreme court, encharged with the high mission of passing upon the constitutionality of the laws, decrees, and regulations.
During the time the Republic has been in existence the most complete order has reigned in all its territory. There has been no alteration of public order whatsoever, and neither has there been a case of organized brigandage in any part of the island.
This speaks very highly in honor of the Cuban people, and particularly of the rural towns. In spite of the scarcity or lack of work in consequence of the economic crisis we have been undergoing, they have maintained themselves with resignation to the bitterness of circumstances, giving plain evidence of their pacific nature, morality, love of order, and true patriotism.
The sanitary condition continues improving in such manner that it can advantageously stand comparison with many European and American cities.
The annual rate of mortality in June last was 23.56 per 1,000; in July, 24.98; in August, 22.81; in September, 17.86; and from the data obtained in the sanitary department, and which have not yet been made public, it can be assured that the rate for October last was 17.96, the lowest occurring in this capital in that month for thirtytwo years—that is to say, since 1870.
With regard to yellow fever, thirteen months have now passed since the last case occurred in Habana. Happily the entire territory of the island has been free of not only that cruel disease, but others of quarantinable nature, including smallpox. Therefore it can be asserted that the sanitary condition of the Republic is even better than during the military government.
The same system as was followed by the intervening government has been followed in sanitation. The number of employees has been slightly increased in the last few months, however, without increasing the cost of the service. The greatest vigilance is carefully exercised by the sanitary officers to avoid the reappearance of yellow fever or any other epidemic disease, and endeavors are being made, all possible means being employed, to prevent the reappearance of cases of glanders and infantile tetanus, as well as to diminish the mortality rate from tuberculosis and enteritis.
The sanitary law must be considered as of immediate importance. We yet lack a fixed guide for Habana itself as well as for the remainder of the island. Military orders are all we now have, contrary, in not a few cases, to constitutional precepts.
The postal and telegraph service of the Republic has continued operating without any deterioration whatsoever, despite the fact that on the transfer of the Government nearly all the personnel was changed, many old employees, Americans, being replaced by Cubans without experience in the service, particularly in that of posts.
The Government promptly made the efforts necessary for Cuba's entrance into the Universal Postal Union. It has already obtained favorable answer, and very shortly, as soon as certain detail requirements are fulfilled, the country will be able to enjoy all the benefits of the said international convention. The Government has petitioned Cuba's admission into the postal convention held at Washington on June 15, 1897, and that it be included in the arrangements concerning exchange of postal orders and parcels, so useful for small commercial negotiations.
In the department of public charity the same expenditures as were made to care for this obligation in the bimonthly period.of May and June continue to be made; in general terms, however, notable economies are proposed in the general estimate, although the services are amply provided for in the way of funds.
Experience acquired during the last five months and the practical difficulties arising in the management and good administration of the charitable institutions make it necessary to recommend the study and amendment of the present legislation in this matter and that the powers and attributes of the central authority in charity matters be definitely fixed.
The State prison, where 598 convicts from all parts of the island are working out sentences, is at this moment a matter of preferred attention, as the requirements of this service demand that it be installed in a more commodious building and a spot better adapted to its purposes.
The relations we sustain with other nations are very satisfactory. The Republic has been recognized successively by the United States of America, the Mexican United States, England, France, Spain, Belgium, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Haiti, Switzerland, Santo Domingo, Venezuela, Italy, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Salvador, Denmark, Portugal, Russia, Germany, the Netherlends, Bolivia, Brazil, AustriaHungary, Greece, the Argentine Republic, Chile, Peru, Honduras, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Sweden and Norway.
Especially cordial and friendly are our relations with the United States. The negotiations already commenced for a commercial treaty on the basis of mutual tariff concessions are evidence of the good will that unites the Government of the great Republic with our own. The primordial object of this treaty is to obtain real advantages in the United States market for our products, particularly for sugar and tobacco, above all the first, which constitutes our main industry and in great proportion here the foundation of the public wealth.
The never disproven sympathies of the American people toward us; that we have for it admiration and gratitude; the manifest interest it feels in the prosperity of Cuba; the generous wishes in this same sense and spirit of justice of the illustrious magistrate presiding over the destinies of the great Republic, permit it to be confidently expected that a reasonable agreement will be arrived at with regard to the terms of the contemplated convention. There is nothing that will make so solid and lasting the ties of affection and gratitude now binding the people of Cuba to the people of the United States as the welfare to be derived from the development of our industries through the development of mutual commerce between the countries.
Extremely flattering is the present condition of our treasury. The collection of public revenues is accomplished with regularity, and the ordinary and extraordinary obligations of the State have been met with punctuality. After paying off all of our obligations up to the end of the past month, the cash on hand in the general treasury was $1,561,942.06.
The ordinary demands from May 20 to June 30 were paid with funds allotted for the purpose by the military government of the island.
Those for July, August, September, and October have been paid in conformity with the authorizations granted me by the laws of July 12 and September 5.
The extraordinary demands have been paid and charged to the allotment of $300,000 referred to by the law of June 3, and of the same there remains a balance of $157,067.44.
The monthly average of all the expenses for the last four months is $1,295,428.18, or $147,063.62 less than that of the corresponding months of last year, as is shown in the following comparative statement. It should be said that in the first of the amounts mentioned are comprised the extraordinary expenditures and the services newly created:
$1, 148, 821.25 August
1, 766, 279. 49 September
1, 320, 374, 07 October
1,534, 493. 60
147, 063. 62 We received the treasury of the Republic with $539,984.99 cash on hand. The difference between this sum and that of $689,191.02 appearing in General Wood's letter on turning over the Government was explained in the message I had the honor of addressing to the House of Representatives on June 27 last. To-day, five months and ten days after the inauguration of the Republic, we have in the treasury the mentioned sum of $1,561,942.06.
The receipts have been as follows:
$416, 953. 39 1,373, 641. 84 1,552, 638. 13 1, 239, 048. 34 1, 596, 401. 89 1,610, 196. 48
7, 788, 880.07 A financial statement of the general treasury from May 20 to October 31, 1902, is attached.
Public instruction has followed its regular and ordered course, without any lessening whatsoever of the branches therein comprised.
The university and the high-grade institutes inaugurated on October 1 their new academic course.
Judging by what has been observed up to the present time, there are reasons to believe that the studies in both institutions will each day acquire greater development. For the purpose of bringing about this result reports and data are now being gathered together, the object being to introduce in the plan of studies now in force some modifications that may contribute toward improving the system and making it more practical.
The painting and sculpture academy is proceeding with like regularity. I take pleasure in stating that commencing to-day (November 3) the national library, recently installed in one of the divisions of the department of public instruction, is open to the public.
In June and August last examinations for selection of first and second grade schoolteachers were had. To-day we have a personnel of both sexes, equipped for the profession, in sufficient number to attend to the needs of teaching.
From July to August, for a period of four weeks, the summer normal schools were open in the capitals and other important cities of the provinces,
The success attained toward their better organization and discipline and most practical method of the lectures has been much greater this year than last, and it is to be noted that these schools to-day have a surplus of funds, derived from their own resources, which is to be devoted to acquiring teaching material necessary to the end pursued.
I will not omit saying that on September 8 the kindergarten normal school was inaugurated. In addition to the scholars formally entered in this school various others attend as auditors. In this way they prepare themselves to later on render their services in the Republic's primary instruction.
In the department of public works all the work under way when the American Government of intervention ceased is being continued.
In the province of Pinar del Rio the construction of three sections of highway, a bridge, and a wharf has been completed, as well as the reconstruction of various works.
In the province of Habana two sections of highway and a bridge have been completed.
In the province of Matanzas the construction of two sections of highway has been finished, and the work of building a wharf in the capital of the province and dredging the bay of Cardenas is continuing:
In the province of Santa Clara four sections of highway have been finished.
In the province of Santiago de Cuba the construction of three sections of highway has been completed, as well as that of four bridges and the Gibara wharf.
In the light-house service also has work of some importance been done. Seven light-houses have been finished, as well as others repaired.
Four state buildings which were under way have been finished; also the repairing of thirty-two more. The greater number of these buildings were schoolhouses.
Important repairs are being carried out in various of the Republic's institutions, among them the university and the insane hospital.
All cleaning, sanitary repairing and maintenance of streets, parks, and avenue work, including those along the sea front, vulgarly known as the " Malecón (sea wall), is done by the department of engineers of the city of Habana, under the orders of the department of public works since May 20.
When this branch was transferred to the department of public works, the average monthly expenditures amounted to $133,000, or $1,596,000 per annum. The municipal architect was transferred to the city council from the department of engineers of the city, as likewise were the branches in charge of construction and reconstruction of state buildings and port works, now operating like the said department of engineers of the city within the organization of the department of public works. This done, the expenditure of the department of engineers amount to $89,000 per month, or $1,068,000 per annum. Of this sum the huge amount of $300,312 corresponded to the roster of employees. As soon as the department of public works took charge of the department in question it proceeded to carry out all the economies reasonably compatible with the duties the department discharges, especially in the heading covering employees, the former list of which, amounting to $300,312, has been reduced to $122,444.
The total per annum allotted to cover the expense of the said department of engineers of the city does not now exceed $862,000. However, all the services corresponding thereto have been carried on up to date with all regularity.
There are various works now under way in each of the six provinces.
The economies effected in salaries in the various branches of public works is represented by the sum of $248,000 per annum.
It has not been possible to accomplish anything practical in the agricultural department, due to the lack of funds allotted for the purpose. To attend to the development and improvement of the industries therein comprised this department requires annually a large sum. One of the most efficacious means to attain this end is the establishment of agricultural stations, wherein the cultivation of the plants which are the basis of our industrial wealth can be perfected and where that of others that may become very productive in our soil, as they are now in other countries, may be introduced.
The flattering condition of our treasury after five and a half months of selfgovernment makes us expect with absolute faith that by honestly managing the public revenues and using them with prudence and discretion we will succeed in having in the future funds sufficient not only for bringing great impulse to bear upon our agriculture, the proper thing for an essentially agricultural country, but for undertaking in all the provinces works of genuine advantage, as demanded by the high level of civilization we have reached.
I feel certain that Congress is inspired with the same purposes, and trust that the Executive will always find in both legislative bodies sure support for the material and moral development of our beloved land.
T. ESTRADA PALMA. HABANA, November 3, 1902.
CEREMONIES ATTENDING HAULING DOWN OF UNITED STATES
FLAG AT MATANZAS.
Mr. Squiers to Mr. Ilay.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Habana, June 3, 1902. SIR: I have the honor to inclose to you a copy of a translation of a resolution passed by certain citizens of high standing of the province of Matanzas on the occasion of the transfer of the Government by the United States to Cuba. I have, etc.,
H. G. SQUIERS.
In the city of Matanzas, island of Cuba, at 12 o'clock on the 20th day of May, 1902, assembled in the consistory house, Mr. Juan Carbo, collector of the customs in Matanzas and captain of the port, the mayor of the city, Mr. Domingo Lecuona y Madan, the town council, the secretary of the civil governor, chief clerk for the civil governor, Mr. Bonifacio Byrne, the consular body, the president and magistrates of the audience court, the provincial council, the municipal judges, the judges of instruction, the presidents of and committees from all societies, associations, trades unions, and