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consent of Senate. Has general appointing power; general supervision and control of all the departments and bureaus of the Government, and commander of the local armed forces
and militia; pardoning power; submits annual budget. Judicial.—Existing courts continued. Appeals from Supreme
Court of the Islands to United States Supreme Court.
See under Porto Rico, page 75.
1898, July.-Military occupation of the island by United
States. 1898, October 18.–Full possession formally assumed. The
military government, organized and controlled by the War Department, lasted until May 1, 1900. Little effort
made to reorganize machinery of civil government. 2. Civil government (Foraker Act of Apr. 12, 1900; amended in minor matters May 1, 1900; Mar. 2, 1901). See Appendix 9. In force May 1, 1900. Provides a civil government for the island, in outline as follows: a. Executive.-Governor and six heads of administra
tive departments (secretary, attorney general, treasurer, auditor, commissioner of interior, commissioner of education) appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, for terms of four years. The treasurer given authority not only of custody and disbursements of public funds, but direction of assessment and collection of taxes, of banks and corporations, and (by a municipal law) supervision and control of finances of local bodies (municipalities) of the island, including power to prescribe and enforce uniform accounts, reports, etc. Law did not direct that these administrative heads should be Americans, but in practice only Americans were appointed. When possible, however, inferior offices
were filled by Porto Ricans. b. Legislative.-Two Houses: Executive Council and House of Delegates. Governor has veto power. Executive Council: Consisted of six heads of ex
ecutive departments, already mentioned, and five other persons appointed by President. Of these
eleven members, not less than five to be native Porto Ricans. In addition to acting as upper chamber, the council to sit throughout the year as a general ordinance-making and supervisory administrative body; grants franchises and con
cessions, subject to approval of the governor. House of Delegates: Thirty-five members elected
biennially by an electorate to be determined by
the insular legislature itself. c. Judicial.—Old Spanish codes replaced by new politi
cal, civil, and criminal codes. Act makes provision for United States District Court, with jurisdiction possessed in United States by both district and circuit courts. Other courts to remain same as already in existence, but power given to the legislature to establish such system as it might see fit, except that justices and marshal of the supreme court to be appointed by President of United States and judges of lower district courts to be appointed by Governor, by and with the advice of the Executive Council.
Porto Rico to send a “ Resident Commissioner" to United States, whom Congress has since give the
rights of a territorial “Delegate” to Congress.
treated as a foreign Government so far as customs
and after its passage the general customs laws
merchandise imported into the United States from Porto Rico or imported into Porto Rico from the United States, duties of only 15 per cent of those paid on similar articles imported from foreign countries should be paid; and that as soon as the Insular Government had notified the President that the island had created a revenue system sufficient to satisfy its needs, complete free trade should be declared between the two countries; and that in any event this should not be deferred beyond March 1, 1902. Furthermore, the act provided that the gross collections made in the United States and the net collections made in Porto Rico on account of such trade should be for the benefit of the island until the civil government provided for by the act were
organized. July 25, 1901, the President was notified that the
island had established an adequate revenue system. Since then the United States continues to collect the regular customs on goods entering Porto Rico from foreign countries, and pays over the net receipts (i. e., less expenses of collection) to Porto Rico.
In addition to assigning to the island all customs receipts, the United States also, by the act of April 12, 1900, provided that the island should not be subject to the internal-revenue system of the United States but could organize its own excise system and receive the proceeds thereof. Also insular government given general authority to impose such other taxes as it might see fit.
United States monetary system extended to the island.
Island authorized to borrow money for public purposes not to exceed 7 per cent of assessed
value of property for taxation. e. Appropriations.-Until 1909 it was possible for the
Porto Ricans by their control of the elected house of delegates to bring the government of the island to a standstill by refusing to approve the necessary appropriation acts. A use of the power led, July 15, 1909, to the act of Congress which declared: “That if at the termination of any fiscal year the appropriations necessary for the support of government for
the ensuing fiscal year shall not have been made an amount equal to the sums appropriated in the last appropriation bills for such purpose shall be deemed to be appropriated, and until the legislature shall act in such behalf the treasurer may, with the advice of the governor, make the payments necessary for the
purposes aforesaid.” (36 Stat. L., 11.) f. Local government.-With regard, generally, to the
government of dependencies it may be said that where the desire is to fit the inhabitants for selfgovernment as rapidly as possible, the matter of local government is of great importance, for here it is usually possible, almost from the beginning, to place control in the hands of the people subject only to a central control sufficient to prevent the misuse of the autonomous powers thus granted. With the experience in self-government thus obtained, it becomes feasible to permit a gradual increase not only of the autonomous powers of the central government of the dependency, but to place that government to an increasing extent in the hands of the natives. These principles have guided the United States in Porto Rico, that is to say, the Central Insular Government whose statutes determine the forms and powers of local governments in the island. It is impracticable here even to outline these governments and their powers, but the following as to their general character may be quoted from W. F. Willoughby's “ Territories and Dependencies of the United States” (p. 165). After describing the local governments in detail the author says: “ The central Government [of the island] reserves to itself merely the right to act as a tribunal of appeal or superior authority to correct abuses. * * * The municipalities have a definite field of activity, and within that field can take such action as they deem proper, so long as express provisions of law are not violated, or 'manifest injustice or inequitable treatment of taxpayers or others is not committed. The authority of the Insular Gorernment is thus one of control and supervision in the proper sense of the word, instead [as under the Span
ish régime] of intervention and interference.” 3. ('ivil government under act of 1917 (March 2).
Act of Congress reorganizing the government of the island.
See Appendix 10. Ľp to this time Porto Ricans, although
under the sovereignty of the United States, were not
April 12, 1900, were the following:
tion 9 provides that “hereafter all taxes collected under
education, agriculture, labor, and health. The heads
and consent of the Senate of Porto Rico. b. Executive Council.Composed of heads of depart
ments to assist the Governor. c. Legislature.—Bicameral: Senate and House of Rep
resentatives. Both houses elective. Governor has veto, which, if overridden by two-thirds vote in both houses, the measure is sent to President, who has an
absolute veto. d. Financial.-Governor may veto items of appropria
tion bills. If appropriation acts not passed, appropriations of preceding year continued. If revenues not sufficient to meet all appropriations, they are to
be paid in a specified order of precedence.
e. Judicial. Established courts continued. 4. Bureau of Insular Affairs.
The United States has no colonial office, its place being taken
in large measure by Bureau of Insular Affairs in the War Department. Made a permanent bureau by act of (ongress of July 1, 1902. (Philippine Government act. See Appendix 7.)
Section 87 of that act reads: "That the Division of Insular Affairs of the War Department, organized by the Secretary of War, is hereby continued until otherwise provided, and shall hereafter be known as the Bureau of Insular Affairs of the War Department. The business as