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people, a free, prosperous, and happy patria. Excepting the disagreeable incidents referred to, there have been no disturbances of public order worthy of mention. Most thorough tranquillity reigns throughout the island, and the effects of the labor and activity of our people, unmistakable signs of the confidence animating all, are to be noted everywhere.
THE UNIVERSAL POSTAL UNION.
The Republic of Cuba has entered the Universal Postal Union through the adhesion of the Government, ratified by the Senate, to the convention signed in Washington on July 15, 1897, by the nations belonging to the Postal Union. Adhesion to the additional arrangements of the same convention relative to exchange of packages and postal orders and collection service has remained in suspense at the request of the department of posts until certain indispensable changes are made.
POSTAL TREATY WITH THE UNITED STATES.
The postal treaty for the exchange of mail has also been concluded between this Republic and that of the United States. It took effect on October 9 of the present year, and the making of another with that country is contemplated. It substitutes the present modus vivendi with respect to the exchange of postal orders.
POSTAL TREATY WITH MEXICO.
The convention for the exchange of mail and parcels made with the United States of Mexico, in the text of which the Senate of Cuba introduced some changes, can be considerell to have failed, for the Mexican Senate being in recess when those amendments were made known to that country they could not be submitted in time for the approval of that body, consequently, the ratifications could not be exchanged in the stipulated time.
PROPOSED POSTAL TREATIES.
Up to the present date the German Empire and the Republic of France have signified their desire to make special conventions with Cuba for the exchange of packages and postal orders.
In the department of telegraphs, as was said in my former message, the principal struggle has been with the poor construction of the lines, which were installed in all haste at the termination of the war, wooden posts of easy deterioration being used therein. The lines, therefore, have required frequent repairs, in some places complete reconstruction, and even different routes from those selected by the Signal Corps of the United States. This has occurred with the line to Baracoa, which previously went to Sagua de Tanamo to reach Guantanamo, and now goes direct to this point as in Spanish times.
The Government proposes to take important steps toward improving the lines, and to this end has set aside since the month of August last the sum of $10,000 monthly.
Since the establishment of the Republic to the present date the following lines have been reconstructed: From Baracoa to Guantanamo, from Guane to Mantua, from Vinales to Consolacion del Norte, and from Guane to Las Martinas. All were of some length, and with these lines these towns have been put in communication with the rest of the island. In addition to this work a cable between Mariel and the quarantine station of the same name has been established.
When the intervention ended there were eighty-four telegraph stations. Now ninety are working, and the opening of others in towns of relative importance is under study.
NEED FOR LEGISLATION ON SANITARY ORGANIZATION.
In previous messages I explained in detail the singular situation of the executive power due to Military Order No. 159, of 1902, which regulates the “sanitary service of the Republic," and as the difficulties pointed out in said messages still exist I again call the attention of the Congress to the necessity of definitely fixing the organization to be given this important branch of the administration.
The state of public health is excellent throughout the island. Mortality statistics of Habana, prior to the present scarlatina epidemic, presented proportionally figures as low as those obtained in the best-cared-for cities. Particularly to be noticed is the extraordinary decrease in deaths from diseases known as “avoidable," and the entire absence of those which, such as smallpox and yellow fever, seem to have been torn by the roots out of this soil, where they always had their naturalization certificates. Under this aspect our credit abroad has been clearly demonstrated in the total suppression of quarantine in all United States ports with respect to vessels coming from Cuba; also is it proved by the congratulations and requests for data on sanitary methods received from different countries.
International relations of the Republic are becoming closer each day with those nations to which we are united politically and commercially, and it can be affirmed that none of the matters pending settlement will affect the good friendship we maintain with them. Since the message I had the honor to send the Congress on April 6 last, credentials have been presented by the minister resident of His Majesty the Emperor of Germany and the envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of the Republic of Chile. Nearly all the Governments, even of those countries with whom we have limited relations, have established consular agencies in Cuba, there being accredited in this Republic now ninety-two agencies of the said kind, and eleven diplomatic representatives.
Due as much to the duty of courtesy as the advantage to our country of diplomatic and consular representation, the executive has corresponded to the high honor and friendship nations have dispensed to the Republic by accrediting to the Governments of those nations diplomatic ministers or establishing consulates. The Government believes that in view of the sympathies that South American nations have always shown for us, and the importance of establishing in all of them permanent missions, it would be proper to send a special mission to greet said sister nations in the name of the Republic and to present to them the testimony of our most sincere friendship. I propose to address you ere long a private message on this important matter.
Our representation abroad consists of five legations, twenty-six consulates, and twenty-three honorary consuls. The results obtained up to the present time correspond to the effort made to establish this representation, for the reports our ministers and consuls have been able to furnish and the opportune rectification of reports of certain happenings, exaggerated abroad, they have had opportunity to make have served in an efficacious manner to destroy the bad impression that in the first days was produced by the news of those occurrences. Confidence in the ordered progress of the Republic was thus established. The Government proposes to create in the consular offices best equipped for the purpose commercial museums where exhibition can be had of samples of the natural, agricultural, and industrial products of the country which, by reason of their demand in foreign markets, their quality, and price, will be able to compete with similar products of other countries, and where also can be registered the addresses of the agriculturists, farmers, or merchants sending such samples and note made of such other suggestions as they may make toward making said products known. Through these museums we can avoid defraudation of the producer and consumer with deceptive imitations. The plan has been submitted to the general association of merchants and manufacturers and the union of cigar and cigarette manufacturers of Habana, and with their favorable reports the best method of putting the plan into practice, without great cost to the state, is under study.
The exhibition of our products can be made on a broader scale in the coming universal exposition at St. Louis, in which the Congress resolved to participate, and in the universal exposition to be inaugurated in Liege in April, 1905, if the necessary appropriation for exhibiting them is granted. This I take the liberty to again recommend in consideration of the formal and repeated invitation of His Majesty the King of Belgium.
POLITICAL RELATIONS WITHI THE UNITED STATES.
Our political relations with the United States have been definitely settled with the making of the treaties derived from the constitutional appendix, which appendix can be eliminated from our fundamental code when ratifications thereof, to which Article VIII refers, are exchanged. The Congress, by the simple reading of those treaties, can appreciate that considering the precise and peremptory terms of the Platt law the Republic has attained not a few advantages in the negotiations had to make them. Our title to and sovereignty over the Island of Pines has been recognized; of two formulas of grant-'sale or lease'-of portions of territory to which the United States had the right for the establishment of naval and coaling stations, the one that would least wound Cuban sentiment was accepted; of said stations we granted the least number possible and the conditions inserted in the convention regulating the lease of the same are so many more limitations of that grant, all favorable to the Republic of Cuba. I should inform the Congress that the proper steps are being taken to acquire from the owners of private properties comprised within the limits given the naval and coaling stations, and to make formal transfer to the Government of the United States of the areas demarcated by the joint commission.
Honorable President Roosevelt, for whom the people of Cuba have such a deep appreciation, faithful to his promise and his own wishes, has convened the Congress in an extraordinary session to take up the commercial reciprocity treaty made with Cuba, from which we promise ourselves so many benefits. Information that the executive has from sources worthy of belief inspire the belief that the American Congress will ratify it, adopting the resolution necessary to put it in force.
ADHESION TO THE LITERARY AND ART UNION.
The invitation of the president of the Swiss Federation for Cuba to adhere to the Literary and Art l'nion and the Union for the Protection of Industrial Property having been accepted in principle the department of state has the matter under study, considering the advantageous results adhesion will give to the development of our exports; the industries of the country being protected against falsification of some of their products, such as tobacco, they will have greater demand in foreign markets. On this matter the Government of Germany has proposed to us the making of a convention. The department of state has under study also adhesion to the Brussels sugar convention of May 5, 1902.
Regarding the treaties of friendship, commerce, and navigation mentioned in my foriner message, negotiations have been initiated with the Governments of France, England, the United States of America, and Italy, and the drafts of treaties on these matters that have been presented by those Governments for our approval are now under discussion. Through them our present friendly relations with those countries will be strengthened and the operation of our diplomatic and consular representation in the said countries regulated, to the unquestionable advantage of commerce and navigation. I should also state that the treaties of extradition under negotiation with Belgium and the United States are about to be signed.
INTERNATIONAL UNION OF AMERICAN REPUBLICS.
The International Union of American Republies, of which Cuba has formed a part since the early days of 1903, has been developing the programme resolved upon by the second conference held in Mexico in January of that year, and up to the present time a congress on coffee, a conference on international sanitary police, and a customs congress have been held. We were represented in the last two, as stated in my previous message. Important resolutions were adopted therein, such as recommending to the Governments of the American Republics the adoption of measures directed to favoring commerce and navigation and preserving them from the contagion of infectious diseases.
The congress of hygiene and demography, which was to meet in Brussels in the first week of September of this year, was held, and Cuba was duly represented therein.
Our Government is now invited by Argentina to attend the Latin Medical Congress to be held in Buenos Ayres in April of 1904; by the Government of Belgium to take part in a railway congress to be held in Washington in May, 1905, and by the Government of Italy to be represented in the sixth congress of the Postal Union to be inaugurated in Rome on April 21, 1904. Nothing has been done so far as to attending those congresses, although the Government is inclined to believe it should do so.
Acceptance having been decided by our Government of the invitation extended Cuba to participate with her agricultural, industrial, and commercial products, etc., in
the International Exposition at St. Louis, United States of America, to be inaugurated in that city on April 30, 1904, and the law of July 20 last appropriating $80,000 to cover the expenses thereof having been enacted, the department has been since then looking after with the greatest interest the preparation of all the work necessary to that end, having appointed a board composed of the most prominent men of the organizations of commerce, science, arts, etc., to cooperate in carrying out our purposes. Cuba's commission has also been appointed, and is now at St. Louis, doing all that is possible to succeed in our exhibitions being made in the best possible manner.
The moneys received and disbursed by the general treasury of the Republic since my former message, the 6th of April, to October 31 have been as follows: Funds on hand April 1, 1903.
... $2,638, 536. 33 Receipts: April.
$1,372, 005. 94 May.
1, 349, 954. 21 June
1,884, 658, 12 July.
1,844, 688. 23 August
1,555, 994. 24 September.
1, 733, 129. 15 October
1,644, 130. 20
11, 384, 560.09 Total....
14, 023, 096. 42 Disbursements: April.
$1,311, 470.72 May.
1, 359, 612. 16 June
1, 401, 608. 71 July
1, 602, 867.52 August
1, 428, 747. 79 September..
1,629, 023. 90 October
1, 446, 326. 23
10, 179, 657. 03 On hand November 1..
3, 813, 439.39 Beginning with the month of April expenses have been increasing in consequence of the appropriations made by the Congress for public works, sanitation, and other things of general character, and by reason of the reorganization of the rural guard, as per the law of October 18, 1902, with the modifications later adopted. Despite the receipts of the treasury and the funds allotted in the time mentioned there is a surplus of $1,204,903.06, and if to this is added the funds on hand April 1 the balance on the first of the present month is $3,843,439.39.
From this balance we must deduct the sum of $671,166.82, pledged for the publie works ordered by the following laws: By that of February 19, 1903, balance of the appropriation of $600,000.. $450, 166. 82 Building for the House of Representatives, law of July 23.
150,000.00 For the transfer of the State prison, law of July 20
71,000.00 Total ....
671, 166.82 To this sum must also be added $212,031.56, unspent up to October 31 last of the sum alloted also for public works.
Said sum of $212,031.56 is made up in the following manner: Balances of allotments made by the military government: Province of Matanzas..
$67, 147. 15 Province of Santa Clara.
9,074.91 Province of Santiago de Cuba
47, 431. 66
$123, 653. 72
Balance of allotments made by the Executive for works the continuation of which was ordered by article 3 of the law of February 19, 1903: Province of Pinar del Rio..
$6,218.52 Province of Habana
9, 596. 43 Province of Matanzas.
32, 657. 68 Province of Santa Clara.
13, 703. 78 Province of Puerto Principe.
16,411. 11 Province of Santiago de Cuba
4, 856. 50 General works ....
$88, 377.84 Making a total of $883,198.38.
In addition there is a monthly allotment of $6,000 for the following works: Road from Manzanillo to Calicito.
$1,500 Road from Bayamo to Baire
3, 000 Road from Manzanillo to Bayamo
1,500 Total .....
6,000 Special and ordinary obligations have been paid with all punctuality with the authority granted me by the laws of July 12 and September 5, 1902. The examination of accounts of the last fiscal year, definitely closed by the limitation of the law of September 30 last, will be finished shortly. Subject to presenting them a general report on the use of public funds during the said period, I to-day comply with my duty of anticipating some data regarding the use of the authorizations mentioned.
By the first of said laws I was anthorized to pay all expenses corresponding to the months of July and August of that year, including not only those appearing in the budget for the month of June, but the expenses of the allotments for the President's office, the houses of Congress, and the diplomatic corps, etc. By that of September 5 I was authorized, under the same conditions, to pay the expenses of the Government until the budget should be promulgated. The budget left approved by the military governor of the island of Cuba for the month of June, 1902, amounted to $1,175,801.58, and the total amount of orders to advance funds in the past fiscal year was $15,510,534.80, of which, deducting $1,713,886.41, the amount of warrants chargeable to allotments made by special laws, givea net total for the year of $13,796,648.39, regular obligations, or a monthly average of $1,149,720.70, there being a difference in each month in favor of the ordinary allotment $26,080.56, or $312,966.64 for the year, of which no use has been made.
Funds placed to the credit of disbursing officers have been as follows for said fiscal year: Legislative power
$438, 757. 15 President and vice-president
63, 563. 41 Total...
502, 320. 56 Department of state and justice, including the judicial power. 1, 212, 723. 64 Department of government...
4,619, 636. 64 Department of public instruction
3, 783, 161. 53 Department of the treasury
2, 181, 887.86 Department of agriculture, industries, and commerce.
103, 892. 45 Department of public works
3, 106, 912. 12 Total .....
15, 510, 534. 80 The sum of $1,713,886.41, representing the amount of allotments deducted in consequence of special laws from the $15,510,534.80 paid in requisitions for funds during the fiscal year of 1902–3, is made up as follows: Legislative power
$451, 055.58 Executive power ..
53, 621. 98 Department of government.
779, 395. 30 Department of state and justice.
161, 424. 70 Department of public instruction.
6,567. 72 Department of the treasury
10, 998. 78 Department of agriculture, industries, and commerce.
3, 875. 28 Department of public works..
246, 947.07 Total....
1, 713, 886, 41