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Military Governor of Cuba.

HABANA, September 16, 1899.

SIR: You will please find attached hereto a number of appendices and schedules containing the report that you requested of this department on August last, drawn up in a succinct form and as minute and exact as it has been possible to do it.

In order that you may better understand these schedules, I deem proper to make a few explanatory remarks; but, before doing so, I beg to state that the work, as presented, does not meet with my wishes and ideas, owing to the fact that affairs in my department are in process of reorganization. Even at this late date, some of the important information and data asked for has not reached this office, and some of what has been sent us is not so complete and pertinent as would be desired, although the omissions incurred in are not to be charged to lack of diligence on the part of my subordinates.

By the order of February 24, 1899, the department of state and government was divided into three sections, viz, section of state, section of general government, and section of government. All matters that formerly belonged to the presidency of the council of secretaries, to the secretary of the general government, and to the government section of the department of grace and justice and of the interior, were, as far as compatible with the new order of things, merged into the three sections above named.

The section of state has to do with all that refers to consular and diplomatic relations and foreign affairs, when by their nature they do not require direct relations between the State Department at Washington and the foreign nations whose representatives have been duly accredited.

This section is under the management of a chief of a bureau of the first class, and attends to the following affairs or branches:

First. Matters of a general character. A. Private claims regarding citizenship, protection, etc. B. Legalization of documents. C. Issuance of passports.

Second. Foreign affairs. A. Letters rogatory. B. Extradition claims. C. All other business which should have to be referred to Washington.

Third. Consular affairs, embracing everything connected with the consular service. Fourth. Registration of Spaniards residing in Cuba, same being carried out in conformity with article 9 of the treaty of Paris.

Fifth. Registration of foreigners.

Sixth. Register for the recording and dispatching of documents of this section. The affairs referred to in divisions first, second, and third are intrusted to an officer of the second class and three amanuenses; those of the fourth division to four amanuenses; those of the fifth to one amanuensis, and those of the sixth to another amanuensis.

Schedule No. 5 is a summary, made by months, of the work accomplished by the section of state. A brief examination thereof shows plainly the progressive increase of said work.

Schedule No. 6 is an account of the foreign consuls recognized as such to date. Schedule No. 7 represents the number of certificates of registration of Spaniards issued by the section of state, and schedule No. 8 shows the number of such certificates sent from each province to this department.

Schedule No. 9 refers to the letters rogatory that have been sent through this office to be executed out of the island.

Independently of the general supervision of all the sections, the assistant secretary has under his immediate charge the section of general government.

This section comprises the following branches: First. General registry of recording and dispatching of all the docnments of this department. Second. General


affairs. Third. A press bureau, a copyright bureau, and a bureau of the personnel of this department and of the six governments of the island. Fourth. Archives and library of this department. Fifth. Translation of languages. Sixth. General archives of the island of Cuba.

Matters included in division first are in charge of an officer of the fifth class and two amanuenses; those of the second division are in charge of an officer of the second class and another of the fifth class; those of the third, in charge of an officer of the fifth class; those of the fourth, in charge of an amanuensis; those of the fifth, in charge of an officer of the second class, and those of the sixth division in charge of two officers of the fourth class and three amanuenses.

At the general registry bureau all documents received or sent by the department, whether definitely forwarded or simply indorsed pending final resolution, or for information of other offices of the state or of subordinate offices, are entered and classified in the order in which they are received.

Schedule No. 1 shows the number of matters which have been received during the month, also those which have given place to any proceedings, recording those that are still pending and those that have been dispatched by the office. Its bare inspection suffices to show how the work has been increasing in proportion as the services of the different offices under the direction of this department have reached a normal


The bureau of general affairs takes charge of all affairs not included in the special classifications of the business belonging to this department.

It is concerned with everything pertaining to licenses for carrying weapons, the delivery of the arms that belonged to the Cuban army of liberation, etc.; the property rights in horses; decrees relative to raffles, bazaars, bull and cock fights; transportation of convicts; concessions for the establishment of telephone and telegraph systems when within the province of this department; studies and projects on the reconstruction of the country; reorganization of the civil government; public buildings, if in any way connected with this department; matters referring to the postal service, and any other not expressly specified in the general organization of the department.

The bureau of the personnel of this department and of the civil governments has been merged into the press and copyright bureaus.

The press law now in force provides that all newspapers being published shall be recorded in the registry of this bureau, sending three copies of each issue to this department that it may be kept informed of the public opinion, of important news, of the omissions in the public service, complaints against minor officials, etc.

All theatrical works published in the island are subject to the examination and criticism of this bureau, wherein a register of books, as required by the copyright law, is kept, as a requisite for the enjoyment of the exclusive copyright of these works.

That portion of said bureau which refers to the personnel of the department and of the civil governments attends to the issuance of credentials of appointments and to the removal of employees, keeping a record of appointees and persons discharged, notifying the department of finance to the proper ends.

Schedule No. 3 gives an account of the total number of works that have been examined since January 1; schedule No. 4 shows the number of literary works that have been recorded in the proper registry, and schedule No. 2 contains a list of the personnel of this department and of the six civil governments of the island of Cuba.

The bureau of files of the department (archive) is charged with arranging in due order according to subjects and with reference to the bureaus or offices from which they originate-all matters that have been entirely finished and that are not to be sent to the general archives; it also collects and keeps all the papers in any proceedings which, though not terminated, it is not necessary to file in the respective bureaus. To this bureau the library of the old council of administration has been incorporated, also the legislative enactments, gazettes, etc.

In the secretary's office of the former general government of the island there was always a bureau for the translation of languages, where all documents that were to be used in the several offices of the island were translated with the official guaranty as to their accuracy. At present there is no necessity of the official translation in all cases, and in the public offices, as a rule, the restrictions formerly in force touching this matter are no longer applied. The officer actually in charge of the translations of this department exercises the functions of interpreter of languages for a moderate compensation paid by the parties soliciting his services. The care of the general archives of the island of Cuba constitutes one of the most important branches of the section of general government. Most valuable original documents of great historical importance dating as far back as the time of the discovery and colonization of America, which were saved almost miraculously from the cupidity which at various times had despoiled the archives for the benefit of the

Spanish museums and collections, are found within these archives. Valuable papers relating to the conquest and occupation of Hispaniola, Peru, Mexico, and the island of Cuba still remain there, but we are yet to learn of the importance of the documents that during the months of November and December, 1898, were abstracted in 330 cases, despite the efforts made by the American commission of evacuation for their recovery. The number of bundles of documents relating to many subjects which are on the shelves may be estimated at about 100,000, and the personnel employed by the department is at present engaged in their study, assortment, classification and methodical arrangement.

The section of government is under the immediate management of a chief of a bureau of the first class and comprises the following branches: First. The bureau of municipalities, which is in charge of an officer of the second class, one of the third, and one amanuensis. Second. The jails bureau, in charge of two officers of the fourth class. Third. The penitentiary bureau, in charge of an officer of the fifth class and one amanuensis. Fourth. The public order and police bureau, in charge of an officer of the third class. Fifth. The health bureau, in charge of an officer of the fourth class. Sixth. The bureau of charitable institutions, in charge of an officer of the second class, one of the third, and two amanuenses.

The bureau of municipalities is the one which, during the period embraced by this report, has accomplished the most important work. The disorganization in this branch of the public service reached such a point that, at the time this department was created in January last, there were no records of any kind regarding the municipalities; therefore, the task undertaken toward reorganizing that service, with the result of having brought municipal affairs almost to a normal condition, had to commence by an exhaustive investigation, to carry on which adequate means were lacking, such as records, data, antecedents, and the information absolutely necessary for the proper treatment of such a momentous undertaking. On May 17 I had the honor to present to you the result of the endeavors of this department in that direction, and upon such bases new efforts have been made that will shortly give us an exact knowledge of the condition of affairs in all matters pertaining to local affairs throughout the island of Cuba.

According to the general registry contained in schedule No. 1, the matters of which the bureau of municipalities has had cognizance, are divided as follows: Items of new business, 705; business disposed of, 613; proceedings instituted, 526; pending decision, 174.

The affairs belonging to this bureau are, according to the existing laws, the following: First. Electoral matter; organic laws; affairs incidental to both of the above. Second. Matters relating to the abolished provincial chamber of deputies; organization of municipalities; appointments, censure, fines, suspensions, and removals of mayors and councilmen; census of population, and questions relating to all of the above. Third. Decisions on all questions arising from the interpretation of the municipal laws, and all others of a general character affecting the locality; legal remedies against the resolutions of the municipalities, and against those of the civil governors when they refer to appeals from the resolutions of the municipal council and within the province of this department. Fourth. Decisions on the interpretation of the provincial law. Fifth. Territorial division into provinces and municipalities; incorporation, separation, and abolishment of municipal districts; change of capital cities of the provinces and municipalities; names of towns and streets; creation of local revenues; government contracts; municipal budgets and accounting; superintendency of the urban police, and a general supervision of all other matters. Sixth. It also has charge of formulating rules for the execution of the laws and decrees regarding municipal affairs and the mode of procedure in the


The following schedules give some idea of the work performed: (A) Statement of the expenditures of the abolished provincial chamber of deputies and of the debts left unpaid by them up to December 31, 1898. (B) Municipal debts of the whole island not paid on December 31, 1898. (C) Economic system of the municipalities; their compulsory expenses; statistics of the population of the island of Cuba. (D) Number of municipalities existing in the island; their wards and districts; towns and hamlets destroyed on account of the war; mayors and members of the municipal corporations; number of inhabitants, by provinces, etc. (E) Schedule showing estimated amounts for the municipalities of the island; expenses connected with the public health, charitable institutions, jails and public instruction. This has been done with the purpose of soliciting the aid of the State to attend to these matters until the municipal treasury shall have been reorganized.

The bureau of jails is charged with the designation of the jails in which all convicts are to serve the sentences imposed by the courts. A personal record of each convict is kept, wherein all incidents relative to his sentence are entered and to which is added a memorandum of his penal history.

This bureau also keeps a record of the employees of the jails, and of the appointments, transfers, and removals of said employees. The wardens are appointed by this

department, choosing him out of three candidates proposed by the civil governor of the cities where the prisons are located after ascertaining their fitness for the place. The overseeing and final approval of the jails estimates, as well as of the improvements, repairs and alterations made in the buildings, are also within the province of this bureau.

The system which is employed by this department to designate the places where the sentences imposed by the courts have to be served is very simple. The court sentencing sends, through the civil governor, a certified copy of the judgment. This copy is the basis for the proceedings which are drawn up in the bureau. The jail to which the convict is to be sent is then chosen, according to the provisions of the penal code and to the royal decree of April 15, 1886. The civil governor is duly notified of what has been done, that he, in turn, may advise the warden of the jail designated.

All this is done, bearing in mind that the jails of the island are divided into two classes-first, "cárceles de audiencia" (jails of a court of appeals district), and, second, "cárceles de partido judicial” (jails of a judicial district). The former are situated in the capital cities where the respective court of appeals is located. Their expenses were defrayed out of both the municipal and the provincial funds, share and share alike. The jails for judicial districts are supported exclusively by munici pal funds, or, rather, by funds of several municipalities conjointly, and are located in the capital of the judicial district. The place of residence, the nature of the funds applied to their sustenance, and the character and degree of the punishments form the basis for the aforementioned classification; it being worth mentioning that in cities where there is a "cárcel de audiencia" there is no jail of judicial district, the former taking the place of both.

The abolishment of the provincial chamber of deputies made it necessary for the state to provide in their stead for the needs of the "cárceles de audiencia.'

Schedules Nos. 17 to 21 give an idea of the labors performed by this bureau. The penitentiary bureau has exactly the same duties and powers regarding penitentiaries as the bureau of jails has in reference to these latter establishments. The penitentiary of Habana is governed by the laws and regulations dated March 31, 1854. These rules and regulations declare that the penitentiary depends directly on the captain-general, and direct that the management of same shall be in charge of an inspector.

By royal decree of July 20, 1878, it was ordered that the rights and duties of said inspector should devolve upon the governor-general of the island, who has since intervened in the management of the penitentiary, because of the general character of the institution.

The bureau of public order and police is charged with the daily recording of all important events that take place in the whole island and which are reported by the eivil governors. These reports are transmitted to you whenever they contain anything worthy of notice.

It keeps a detailed account of the rural municipal government and private police now existing in the island of Cuba, and will keep that of the new police which may be created, modified, or reorganized in the future. It is now working on the preparation of a complete plan for policing the whole island.

The superior inspection and direction of such an important service is exercised by means of this bureau, and all efforts are directed toward having a picked body of police, familiar with the locality and not in excess of actual requirements, to be managed with as much decentralization as possible, constituting a guaranty of public peace and good order and deserving the confidence of all the Cuban people. Schedules Nos. 24 to 27 show the actual conditions of the municipal police, which is in process of reorganization in all the island; of the special police of Habana; of the government police, and of the municipal secret service.

The bureau of public health is intrusted by the legislation in force with extensive and varied functions, it being the means through which the general government exercises its own functions in the matter of public health on land, as it ought to exercise jurisdiction over the marine hospital service.

This bureau is in charge of all that concerns the appointment and removal of surgeons for watering stations and cemeteries; of the appointment and removal of the Inspectors of medicine, pharmacy, and veterinary of the judicial districts of the whole island; of the health inspectors, and of the committees for special studies in hygiene and health matters in cases of epidemics. It has also among its duties to authorize the creation of cemeteries, to supervise them, to intervene in matters concerning their management, disinterments, and transfers of cadavers; besides, it has under its charge everything pertaining to the vaccination dispensaries, keeping a record of the persons that have been vaccinated and revaccinated, statistics of births, tables of vital statistics, etc.

The department of state is also in charge, through the bureau in question, and WAR 99-VOL 1, PT 6- -12

by virtue of laws still in force, of all matters relative to the marine-hospital service, which is at present out of its province.

Among the different ends accomplished by this bureau worthy of special mention is the work done in connection with the administration of cemeteries, the compiling of statistics of births and deaths registered in the island of Cuba from January 1, 1896, to January 1, 1899, and the project of a general center of vaccination. Statements Nos. 23-25 make reference to matters of greater importance.

The bureau of charities has charge of matters that can be divided into two parts; first, all that refers to the management of the charitable institutions, and, second, what pertains to the keeping of their accounts.

The first part embraces all the faculties attached to the supervision that the government has on all charitable institutions, according to the law on the subject; the second, the faculties inherent to the right of inspection vested in said govern


As to the first, it rests with this bureau to determine upon: First. The creation of provincial and municipal boards of charities. Second. The organization of the board of trustees of those institutions whose supervision belongs to the government, and the appointment of the trustees of those institutions which have a smaller number than prescribed by the founder. Third. The appointment and removal of councils for charitable institutions. Fourth. The examination and approval of the rules, statutes, and regulations of charitable institutions. Fifth. The appointment and removal of the head surgeons, superintendents, and high officials thereof. Sixth. The following duties which, in the private institutions, the government exercises by means of this bureau: (A) To see that the will of the founders is carried out; (B) to enforce the rendering of accounts and, in those cases where this duty is dispensed with by direction of the founder, obtain the sworn statement of the parties in charge as to their having complied with the founder's will; (C) to see that the moral laws are enforced and the health requirements complied with. Seventh. To make a search for and to claim the property belonging to charitable institutions which is unlawfully held by other parties. Eighth. To create charitable institutions; to modify and abolish those already existing when such arbitrary action is not limited by restrictions imposed by the founder. Ninth. To give the necessary power to perform the acts relating to the administration or to the property of charitable institutions.

In reference to the right of inspection, the following matters come within the province of this bureau: First. To examine, reform, and approve the budgets of the institutions that are under the protection of the government. Second. To examine, reform, and approve the accounts rendered by the managers of the institutions which are required to do so. Third. To supervise and, whenever it is found to be necessary, modify the method of accounts employed by the charitable institutions. This bureau is now preferably engaged in collecting the necessary data for establishing a special investigating office for the search of property belonging to charitable institutions, and also in preparing reliable and complete statistics embracing all the charitable institutions of the island.

To this end a laborious and exhaustive investigation has been made in connection with the legislative and economic history of charities in this country.

Schedule No. 28, which contains the first attempt ever made in this island on the subject, gives a clear idea of the work accomplished, and serves as an indication of the success with which the endeavors in this connection may be crowned.

The importance of the subjects corresponding to the department of charities, their scope and nature, the need of special knowledge to handle them properly, and the display of good will which they demand compelled the subscribing secretary to appoint a consulting board of charities that would help him in his labors, same being composed of highly honorable persons who, with no other remuneration than the satisfaction derived from fulfilling a duty, give daily proofs of their ability, solicitude, efficiency, and disinterestedness in the numerous acts which, as intelligent counsellors of the department, they are wont to perform.

The foregoing relation affords proof of how many important matters are dispatched by the military governor through this department. Some of them are under its immediate and direct control; others are considered and resolved upon on appeals filed against the resolutions of subordinate officials; and, in the rest, a general supervision is exercised. But in one form or another there is hardly an item concerning social, governmental, or political relations on the island of Cuba to which the action of the authority in whom the supreme power is vested does not reach within a certain compass.

This explains in itself the obstacles that had to be surmounted during the first period of the military occupation. The centralization, which was the characteristic of the system under which the island was ruled, was the cause that, on the evacua tion of the Spanish authorities, the bond of union which existed among the different administrative organizations was severed. As a consequence of this, public affairs

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