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Summary of expenses of the department of justice and public instruction of the island of
('ubá, from January 1 to June 30, 1899—Continued.
REPORT OF ADOLFO SÁENZ YAÑEZ, SECRETARY OF AGRICUL
TURE, INDUSTRIES, COMMERCE, AND PUBLIC WORKS.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, INDUSTRY, COMMERCE, AND PUBLIC WORKS,
Habana, September 14, 1899. Gen. John R. BROOKE, Military Governor, Ilabana, Cuba.
Sir: I have the honor to send you herewith the report of this department referring to the work effected in the first half of the present year. I am, sir, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
ADOLFO SÁENZ YÁÑEZ,
REPORT OF WORK PERFORMED DURING THE FIRST SIX MONTHS OF THE YEAR 1899.
On the 1st of January of 1899, the date on which Spain delivered to the United States the island of Cuba, the civil administration of same was under the control of a governor-general and of a responsible cabinet composed of one president and five secretaries.
The secretary offices were named: The first, of grace and justice and government; the second, of finance; the third, of public instruction; the fourth, of public works and communications; the fifth, of agriculture, industries, and commerce.
These five offices were reduced to four, named departments, by the intervening American Government, separating from them “customs” and “communications” (posts and telegraphs), placing the latter under the care of American officers appointed by the Government in Washington.
The newly established departments were: First, state and government; second, finance; third, justice and public instruction; fourth, agriculture, industries, commerce, and public works.
This last department was charged with all the services pertaining to secretary offices fourth and fifth, with no other exception than that referred to, of communications, and was committed to the care of the undersigned on the 12th of January, 1899.
He took possession of his office on the 17th of same month, the next day after having rendered oath of allegiance to the Government of the United States; it being understood that his exertions should be developed in accordance with the American
military régime and under the immediate authority of the governor of the island of Cuba.
The office of the secretary of agriculture, industries, and commerce, which at present is one of the branches of this department, had under its charge during the former régime, and still has under the actual one, the following matters: Agricultural colonies; schools of agriculture; provincial boards of agriculture, industries, and commerce, six in number, one in each province; experimental fields; agronomical stations; colonization and immigration ; law on hunting (ley de caza); statistics, exhibitions, and agricultural publications; superior council of agriculture, industries, and commerce; trade-marks; patents; weights and measures; brokers; official exchange (burse); joint stock companies (banks, commercial and industrial companies, etc.); boards of trade; economical societies (sociedades económicas); industrial exhibitions; forests owned by the state, haciendas comuneras, etc.; mines (concessions and inspection of exploitation or operating).
The office of the secretary of public works, now the second branch of this department, had and still has under its charge the following matters: Civil constructions .(buildings owned by the state); inspection of railroads for public or private use, including street railways; highroads, property of the state; canals, waterworks for city supply and for irrigation purposes; waterworks for agricultural, manufacturing, and industrial purposes; coast lighting (light-houses, port and harbor lights); harbor works (wharves owned by the state and of private property, whether for public or private use); buoys and beacons; inspection of provincial and municipal public works; general affairs of the branch.
The budget approved by the chamber of the island of Cuba during the autonomical government for the fiscal year of 1898–99 appropriated, as can be noticed in the accompanying Statement No. 1, $108,178.52 Spanish gold for the department of agriculture, industries, and commerce, and $426,491.50, also Spanish gold, for public works and communications, to be invested in public works.
The two departments, therefore, not including communications, had an appropriation in full of $534,670.02 Spanish gold, equivalent to $486,247.07 American gold, calculated as directed by the President of the United States, allowing $5.30 Spanish gold to be equal to $4.82 American money.
The attention of the undersigned was first directed to the formation of the new estimate of expenses of the department, bearing in mind the bad financial circumstances in which the island was left after the two disastrous wars waged for obtaining liberty.
It would have been desirable that the then available resources had not been so small as they unfortunately were, and that every enterprise and service considered by public opinion as conducive or tending to promote the rapid reconstruction of the country should have been liberally endowed.
In the impossibility to obtain such liberal appropriations, and in the necessity of reflectingly restraining the anxiety of reaching in short date the reconstruction of all that had been deliberately destroyed by the belligerent parties during many years of warfare, in the new budget every sensible and possible economy has been made with the view of not increasing the straitened circumstances of the financial affairs of the island, although the necessary appropriations have been made to attend, with cool judgment, to the exigencies of said reconstruction.
To this purpose has contributed also, in part, the uncertainty in which the country was at the commencement of the year as to the true extension of its resources, and at the same time the consideration that a short estimate is liable of enlargement whenever the resources appear, and that a large estimate can not be reduced without the necessary confusion in the sad moment of the nonarrival of the expected funds.
One of the principal causes, in the opinion of the undersigned, of the profound economical disaster of the former government was the lack of courage to balance the fiscal expenses with the public income.
Lightly retouching the former organization, existing on the 1st of January, with the view of averting violent transformations, and appropriating for unavoidable services what remained unprovided for in the former régime, the budget for the department was reduced to $359,863 American gold.
The economy obtained was of $126,387.07, approximately equivalent to 26 per cent. of the former budget.
To obtain this result, such expenses considered as wholly bureaucratical were greatly diminished, allowing to stand the remunerative ones of public works, mines, forests, etc.
In the accompanying Statements Nos. 1 and 2 the résumé of expenses of both budgets, the one pertaining to the autonomical government and the one submitted by this department, are arranged by chapters, with their comparison.
In the Statement No. 3 the total amount of the estimate of this department is expressed, distributed in two groups-personal and material; personal amounting to $154,600 and material to $205,263, American gold.
In the Statement No. 4 the number, class, and salaries of personal included in said estimate is expressed.
From the same it can be observed that the existing employees are as follows: Superior chief of administration
1 Chiefs of administration.. Bureau chiefs
55 Draftsmen Amanuenses
12 Office cleaners.
2 Light-house keepers
49 Wharves guards. Total......
184 These 184 functionaries are distributed among the offices of the department, as can be seen in the details of the accompanying copy of the budget, marked with No. 5, and in the synoptic table that with the idea of showing the organization of the service of said department is presented with No. 6.
Said budget, approved by the military governor of the island, Maj. Gen. John R. Brooke, on the 25th of February of 1899, was published in the Official Gazette, the 5th of March next. By direction of the same general its effects were retroacted to the 1st of February, in which date the newly appointed functionaries of the department took possession of their respective offices, with the exception of the assistant secretary, who commenced the performance of his official functions on the 25th of January, and of the inspector-general of forests and chief of the department of agriculture, employees of the former régime, who by the direction of the intervening power held their offices since the 1st of January, and were afterwards confirmed, on the proposal of the undersigned.
The department, therefore, entered upon its duties with regularity on the 1st of February, and consequently the works referred to in this report have been performed during the five months transcurred from the above date to the 30th of June last.
In the appointment of the functionaries of this department the undersigned has made the following changes:
First. To admit into the high offices of public works, mines, forests, and agriculture the Cubans who were graduated as civil and agronomical engineers in the United States and school of agriculture of the island of Cuba, situations never before reached by them, as the former legislation determined that such positions should be filled with graduates from the metropolis. Preference was systematically given in the new appointments, in equality in technical ability, to the men of the revolution and to those who had made sacrifices in its aid.
Second. To admit into the subaltern technical offices the constructors, surveyors, and experts with diplomas from the Professional School of Habana. These diplomas were not considered sufficient by the former administration to entitle the graduates to hold any technical official position.
Third. To give attractiveness to the profession of assistant of public works, which is very useful to the country, by suppressing in the estimate the fourth-class assistants, with the object of giving entrance in the third class with a salary of $1,000 a year, instead of $800, corresponding to the suppressed fourth class.
Fourth. To inaugurate the admission of the Cuban woman in the department, thus opening for ability a new field to which she was never entitled, owing to the general prejudice concerning her efficiency to hold public offices.
These modifications, which were in justice owed to the natives of the island and were accomplished to bestow on them due satisfaction, have been no obstacle to maintain in their charges several Spanish employees of worthy conditions who have accepted with courageous resignation the liberty of the colony.
AGRICULTURE, INDUSTRIES, AND COMMERCE.
The 1st day of January of the present year found the provincial boards of agriculture, industries, and commerce in a full and complete state of disorganization, with no elements for their proper development and lacking the technical personnel that they should have in accordance with regulations concerning the matter.
In the new estimate, therefore, appropriations were made to endow said boards with the necessary technical employees they lacked and with the indispensable material for their service.
Before the 30th of June last the boards of the provinces of Pinar del Rio, Habana, Matanzas, Santa Clara, and Puerto Principe were definitively reorganized and the necessary directions have been dictated for the reorganization of the board of the province of Santiago de Cuba.
The expenses of these boards were defrayed formerly with great difficulties by the provincial deputations (diputaciones provinciales), having passed now to the charge of the state, thus securing hereafter their efficiency and good exertions.
The salaried personnel of these boards are Cubans, holding the important offices of secretaries, the agricultural engineers from the school of the island.
To these boards are committed the study in their respective provinces of the actual state or conditions of agriculture, industries, and commerce, for aid and assistance to the government official centers, and especially to private parties, to spread the means of illustration and progress, with the object of ameliorating the existing affairs and to import from other countries such improvements as may be applicable to our climate, soil, and uses.
Once reorganized, said board's endeavors have been directed to the acquirement of statistic data regarding the agricultural and forestal richness of each province as a necessary base to study the proper direction to be taken for the development of same.
The gathering of data was commenced and is still in progress, although slowly and with great difficulty, owing to the state of complete disorganization in which the island was left by the war.
The agriculture office has submitted a project for the establishment of schools of agriculture, which is subjected to the study and consideration of the undersigned, and another one for the use of the water of the Ariguanabo River for irrigating the lands pertaining to the municipal districts of San Antonio de los Baños, Alquizar, and Guira de Melena.
In the last days of June the regulations for importing fertilizers used in tobacco culture were in procedure, and also the establishment of agricultural stations, experimental fields, and prizes to agricultors as stimulus or encouragement for the improvement of agriculture.
Study was commenced to introduce the necessary modifications in the official course in regard to petitions and concessions of agricultural colonies with the idea of averting difficulties to solicitors, thus facilitating the spreading of the benefits granted by the actual legislation.
The register of industrial and commercial properties existing on 1st of January of the present year, in the corresponding office, were found in so bad shape and in a form so improper for the object that it became necessary, by every means, to open a new set of books and transfer to them all relative to said properties during the Spanish rule. In this manner citations and consultations regarding rights secured by nationals and foreigners in Cuba before the American intervention, and which should be enforced in accordance with the treaty of peace between Spain and the United States can be accurately rendered.
This work originated extra expenses and labor of great importance inasmuch as no less than 6,779 applications were studied and examined to put in order the old archive.
To distinguish or to separate the two epochs, namely, the Spanish domination and the one inaugurated on the 1st of January, a new set of books were opened, in which the operations relative to said industrial and commercial properties have been recorded since that date, and subject to the legislature in force in the country.
The War Department of the United States, Division of Customs and Insular Affairs, having issued Circular No. 12, dated on the 11th of April of the present year, in which it is directed that American patents and trade-marks be filed for due protection in the island, and it having been necessary, to dictate regulations for the fulfillment of said command, this department passed a decree, which in its disposing part reads as follows:
First. That in the corresponding office of this department a special register be opened to transcribe in it the trade-marks and patents granted in Washington, and whose proprietors desire to make them extensive to this island in accordance with said circular, Second. That the filing be done without further expenses to the solicitors.
Third. That for the inscription it be sufficient the petition of the party concerned, the certificate from the Patent Office in Washington, and that said patent or trademark has not been registered before in the island, in compliance with article 13 of the peace treaty with Spain, and in accordance with the expressed telegram; and
Fourth. That when the filing be done the petitioner shall be informed, and the registration published in the Official Gazette for general knowledge.
The special books referred to in the above decree once opened, the work in the office of industries and commerce was greatly increased. The number of applications for the registration of American patents and trade-marks up to the 30th of June, and the information obtained of the number which would apply for the same object in the future, news confirmed, judging from the number received after that date, led to foresee the necessity, already felt, of increasing the employees and material for said office, with the view of properly fulfilling this important service. It can be assured that the number of American patents and trade-marks presented for filing up to date is six times greater than the national and foreign combined ever presented in the same period of any epoch.
The undersigned secretary holds subject to consideration and study a full reorganization of this service, keeping in mind, the differences of localities surely to be counted on, the organization of the Patent Office of Washington, which doubtless is one of the best in the world.
Notwithstanding the design of carrying on said reorganization as soon as circumstances allow it, the task of extirpating several corruptions or abuses introduced in the matter of trade-marks, and which have long been in practice, has been comenced.
One of these petty corruptions was the practice of denying to the cigarette factories the use of same name and mark as those granted to cigar factories, if a special permit from the owner was not obtained, although such factories had no interest in The cigarette industry. With this bad habit the cigarette industry, which employs thousands of workers, mainly women and children, was restrained, without favoring in any way the cigar industry. As there was nothing legal concerning the matter, and as there was no reason whatever to justify this practice, it was parted with at the presentation of the first application; and it was declared that in the future it would not be considered unlawful to use the same name as marks for two so widely differing industries, whether they be owned or not by the same party.
Another corruption immediately suppressed was the reception of designs of branding iron for cigar factories, drawn by incompetent persons, lacking art and precision. Unscrupulous agents, upon a café table, would roughly draw the design of what-in the name of their patrons they were to petition, and these designs were accepted without protest by the administration, giving place to the fact that the final design, drawn with care, skill, and knowledge, annexed to the title of property, greatly differed with the one accompanying the application.
The most important vitiated practice in the matter, found established in the department as inheritance of former times, was to cover with only one title of property, costing $12.50 the mark for cigar factory, or properly the branding iron, and, in some instances, as many as six industrial designs solicited jointly with the mark, considering them as natural complements of samne under the name of habilitación de la marca (fittings of the mark).
Such procedure, admitted by the cigar manufacturers and at the same time allowed by the administration, was, by every means, contrary to the strict interpretation of the law regarding the matter; and, furthermore, it resulted in detriment of the public treasury so far as, in the case of six designs, the income should amount to $87.50, ingressing only $12.50.
The empire of the law was reestablished as soon as the undersigned secretary could direct his attention to the careful study of this particular, and to overcome the natural resistance found to part with an old practice courageously maintained by the petitioners, to whom the increase of cost of their titles could not be pleasant, although adjusted to the legislation in force.
After the natural struggle with every opposer of the new measure, the end was reached without violence as to the acceptance of it, owing to the conviction operated in the minds of the manufacturers after the exact and careful study, on invitation from this department, of the legal text.
It is just to here declare, in honor of said manufacturers, that their resistance due to a long-established wrong practice, more than to avoid greater expenses, lasted only the indispensable time to convey to their minds the equitableness of the decision. Since that moment the legitimate income of the treasury regarding cigar factories was secured, and income is now collected with regularity.
Up to the 30th of June last were issued:
During the months of July and August 83 were issued.