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municipal government upon a sound and efficient basis. Mayors and councilmen have been made to understand that within the sphere of their public duties they were expected to act independently and efficiently without waiting for instructions from higher authority. They have been restricted by advice from all extravagant and unnecessary, expenditure; encouraged to gather up the orphans and indigent and place them in asylums and hospitals, and to see that suffering and want were relieved in their communities as far as possible. They have beeu urged to open the schools and gather in the children from the streets and byways. Through the allotments from the insular treasury the schoolmasters have been paid, and the schools have been put upon a better and more wholesome basis. While their expenses have been greatly increased by the organization of police, the care of the sick and orphans, and by the sanitary work which has been imposed upon them, and while their revenues have decreased by changes in the tax laws, the deficits where they have occurred in the municipal budgets have been made good by allotments from the ingular treasury:
Third. That the administration of law was found to be in a demoralized condition, due partly to the fact that the courts were broken up by the resignation or departure of Spanish officials, and partly to the system of arbitrary arrests and the great delay in bringing accused persons to trial. All political prisoners were released, and the cases of such as had not been brought to trial were, as far as possible, investigated, and the accused were discharged from confinement. But there are many prisoners charged with violating the criminal laws yet awaiting trial. Vacancies in the courts have been filled by the military governor of the island. By the same authority changes in the laws have been made and measures have been adopted which, it is believed, will result in a great improvement in the administration of justice. This branch of the public service is, however, the most complicated and the one most difficult for military men to deal with. It is therefore the last to receive full benefit from the changed condition of affairs.
Fourth. That a state of great suffering, poverty, and sickness existed, with widespread need of medicines and food, which has been entirely relieved by rations issued under the authority of the military governor, so that few issues will have to be made hereafter, and they mostly to the sick and infirm in the hospitals and to orphans in the asylums.
The necessity of the latter issues could be obviated by a direct allotment of funds to the municipalities or to the benevolent institutions sufficient to cover their expenses and the necessary cost of maintaining these institutions and of feeding the inmates.
Fifth. That the most of the “reconcentrados" and farmers driven from their homes have returned to the country, and are reconstructing their cottages and growing sufficient vegetable food to prevent suffering from hunger and to render unnecessary the further issue of rations except as above.
Sixth. That a police service in every municipality has been established, and is efficient for the maintenance of peace, good order, and quietude, which prevail throughout the department.
Seventh. That the cities and towns, from a condition of filth and unhealthiness, have been perfectly cleaned and put in a first-class sanitary condition. Cesspools have been emptied; yards and foul places have been cleansed; holes and badlydrained localities have been filled and ditches and drains opened, until the sanitary condition of the towns and cities is as good as it is in cities of like size and situation in the United States or elsewhere.
Eighth. That good relations have been established between the native and foreign residents of the provinces, and a good understanding, with mutual trust and confidence, has been brought about between the American military authorities and the native officials of both the provincial and municipal governments.
Ninth. That political parties have not been organized, but there has been much discussion in the newspapers, and much consideration on the part of the various political groups, in reference to future political and economic conditions, and especially in reference to the relations which are to be established between the Cuban people and the people of the United States. While there has been some discontent and some harsh and unfriendly criticism on the part of Cuban newspapers, on the whole the attitude of the people of this department has been one of friendship and hopeful expectancy.
Tenth. That it must not be overlooked that in the occupancy of the cities of Matanzas, Cardenas, and Cienfuegos, and of the other towns which have been garrisoned by American troops, a great improvement has been given to the economic and social conditions by the disbursement of the quartermaster, engineer, and sanitary departments for labor and material used in the construction and repair of barracks, and in carrying on the works of improvement which have been undertaken. This, together with the conviction that the American military administration has stood for peace, good order, and the honest conduct of public affairs, has been one of the most potential influences for good which has ever exerted itself on this island.
Finally, it is to be observed that all this has been done without arbitrary interference, the use of force, or by the establishment of military rules and regulations for civil affairs; and that the officers and men of the American army have generally shown great tact in dealing with the Cuban officials, and great kindness and consideration for the manners, customs, and peculiarities of the Cuban people.
The circumstances of the case to be dealt with have had no parallel in modern history. Distinguished writers on public questions have suggested the application of the methods used by the British in the government of India, ignoring the fact that India was a conquered country, and that the system of government now in force there grew step by step from the needs and regulations of an English trading company to such as were necessary for the control and government of an empire, and was characterized by every species of blunder and mismanagement, while this island was occupied by us, not as invaders or conquerors, but a friendly power or a benevolent intercessor, free from selfish commercial interests, as well as from religious and social intolerance, and from ignoble purposes of every sort.
SUMMARY OF CONCLUSIONS.
Having given my views and observations fully herein upon all subjects which have been brought to my attention or which seemed pertinent to this report, I now take the liberty of summarizing my conclusions for easier reference, on the course which I have recommended in regard to our future relations with Cuba, as set forth in my report of June 20 on the province of Santa Clara.
Feeling assured that the successful solution of the questions pertaining to the reestablishment of agriculture, especially to the production of cane sugar in this island and its competition with beet sugar in our own markets, would solve nearly all the difficult problems which confront the Cuban people, I have given the most unremitting study and attention to local conditions, and to the course we should pursue under the law as it now exists.
Through our powerful intervention Cuba has been released from Spanish domination. We have expelled the Spanish army from her borders, and the Spanish navy from her neighboring waters; but if we leave her now, or at an early day, to the government of her own people, without making specific arrangements for the protection of our permanent interests, and for the establishment of those friendly, close, and reciprocal relations which should manifestly exist between her and the United States, our work will be only half done, and the question might arise as to whether we had not better have left the unfortunate island in the unrelenting hands of Spain.
As before stated, I feel convinced by the facts and reasons given that action on the political problems can be taken with safety as soon as the results of the census about to be taken can be made known.
In accordance with all American precedents, a representative convention of the Cuban people should be assembled, to frame a constitution and form of government, and as soon as the same should have received the approval of the President and Congress, the government organized thereunder should be elected and inaugurated with as little delay as may be necessary for its orderly and decent establishment.
Obviously the next step would be to negotiate a treaty of alliance and commerce_a treaty of reciprocity, if you please, with the new government, which should provide:
(1) For the guaranty to the people of Cuba of a republican government, and that it should be both peaceable and stable.
(2) For the free entry into each country of the natural and manufactured products of the other, under the protection of a common and uniform tariff as against all other nations. (If for any reason it should be found impracticable to adopt this provision in full, then there should be the greatest allowable reduction of duty on sugar, which is the principal crop of the island, and the one which requires the greatest possible concession.)
(3) For the administration of the customs of the island under the supervision of the United States, in such a manner as would render it certain that the smuggling of articles in which there may be free trade between the two countries, should be reduced to a minimum, and that no advantage should be had by introducing them through one country rather than the other.
(4) For the cession of one or more naval stations, for the better protection of the American ports in the Gulf of Mexico and of such interoceanic canal as might hereafter be constructed under American auspices at Nicaragua or Panama.
(5) The establishment of a postal union, and of uniform quarantine and sanitary laws, which, for obvious reasons, should also be under the supervision of a United States commissioner.
6. For the regulation of such other important matters of mutual concern as might be agreed upon.
It is a noteworthy fact that if free trade in natural and manufactured products, subject only to internal-revenue laws, could be allowed to this island with the United States, every essential condition of the reestablishment of agriculture and commerce would be fulfilled. Anything less than this would give only partial relief.
If it should happen that other nations having West Indian possessions should also claim the benefits of free trade with the United States under “the most-favored nations" clause, or that the United States could not spare the revenue which it would lose on Cuban products, and especially on Cuban sugar, this would perhaps be an argument in favor of the early admission of both Cuba and the other West Indian islands into the Union, or at least for much closer relations with the United States than they have hitherto enjoyed.
The settlement of these questions must necessarily be left to Congress, and hence I do not discuss them more fully in this report.
I feel confident, however, that the more seriously they are considered, the more likely they are to be decided in a manner which would be favorable to the adoption of the full measure of economic relief which is necessary for the complete rehabilitation of the island of Cuba, and the maintenance therein of a stable government, supported by a prosperous and progressive people. Respectfully submitted.
JAMES H. WILSON, Commanding Military Department of Matanzas and Santa Clara.
SPECIAL REPORT OF BRIG. GEN. FITZHUGH LEE, U. S. V., COMMANDING DEPARTMENT OF PROVINCE OF HABANA AND PINAR DEL RIO.
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE PROVINCE OF HABANA
AND PINAR DEL Rio,
Quemaulos, Cuba, September 19, 1899. ADJUTANT-GENERAL,
Division of Cuba, Habana. Sir: I have the honor to transmit the following report in compliance with the instructions of the division commander, dated August 18, 1899, which directed me to make a “special report on civil matters on the following subjects, namely: (a) A review of the governmental, economic, and social conditions existing in your department upon the assumption of control by the United States. (b) A résumé of the present industrial, economic, and social conditions, showing the net results of American occupation.”
The delay in making this report is due to the time consumed in getting the necessary information from the civil governors and others.
I assumed command of the department of the province of Habana January 1, 1899, and of the province of Pinar del Rio April 19, 1899. The deplorable condition of the island after it was evacuated by the Spanish is well known. Business of all sorts was suspended. Agricultural operations had ceased; large sugar estates with their enormous and expensive machinery were destroyed; houses burned; stock driven off for consumption by the Spanish troops, or killed. There was scarcely an ox left to pull a plow, had there been a plow left. Not a pig had been left in the pen, or a hen to lay an egg for the poor, destitute people who still held on to life, most of them sick, weary, and weak. Miles and miles of country uninhabited by either the human race or domestic animals were visible to the eye on every side. The great, fertile island of Cuba in some places resembled an ash pile, in others the dreary desert. The “reconcentrado” order of the former Captain-General Weyler, it will be remembered, drove from their houses and lands all the old men, women, and children, who had remained at their homes because they were not physically able to bear the burdens of war. The wheels of the former government had ceased to revolve. Chaos, confusion, doubt, and uncertainty filled with apprehension the minds of the Cubans, who for the first time had been relieved of the cruel care of those who for centuries controlled their country and their destiny.
The rapid and brilliant victories of the American soldiers and sailors astonished the more intelligent class of people on the island, while the peaceful passage of large bodies of American soldiers under the guns of Morro into the harbor of Habana amazed the lower classes. The sight of the flag of the United States waving over the public buildings and being carried through the streets of Habana was a most instructive object lesson, and conveyed to the minds of all the majesty of the American Government and the great reserve power behind it. The railroads on the island were in bad order, having been used to the extent of their endurance conveying Spanish troops and Spanish supplies over them, while the great calzadas or turnpikes were filled with holes, for the war prevented repairs to either railroads or roads. The municipalities were all greatly in debt. None of the civil officials had been paid, and school-teachers had large amounts of back salaries due. Judicial officers were discharging their duties as far as they could-for there was really no law in the island except the mandate of the captain-general-without pay, and many months of back arrears were due to the professors in the colleges of the larger cities. The whole framework of the government had to be rebuilt, and its machinery carefully and gradually reconstructed. Important government problems had to be promptly solved which involved social, economic, commercial, agricultural, public instruction, support of eleemosynary institutions of all kinds, means of communication, reorganizations of municipalities with the necessary town and city police, including a mounted force to patrol the adjoining rural districts within the limits and subject io the authority of the mayors and councils of their respective municipalities; the appointment of new alcaldes and other officers to replace those left in authority by the Spanish Government, and who would be more in accord with the inhabitants whose local affairs they direct. Many trying and troublesome questions arose and many difficulties environed on either side the situation.
Of the Cuban rural population less than 20 per cent were able to read and write, resembling children awakening for the first time to the realities of life. They were in the main obedient, docile, quiet, and inoffensive, and anxious to adapt themselves as soon as possible to the new conditions which confronted them. The Cuban soldiers, black and white, who had been in the fields and woods for four years, defying the Spanish banner, still kept their guns, and were massing around the cities and towns, producing more or less unrest in the public mind, with the fear that many of them, unaccustomed to work for so long, would be transformed to brigands and not become peaceful, law-abiding citizens. In eight months wonderful progress has been made. The arms of the Cuban soldiers have been stacked, and they have quietly resumed peaceful vocations. Brigandage, which partially flourished for a time, has been stamped out; tillage everywhere has greatly increased; many houses rebuilt; many huts constructed; fences are being built, and more and more farming lands are gradually being taken up, and municipalities reorganized with new officers representing the wishes of the majority of the inhabitants. Municipal police have been appointed, who are uniformed and under the charge of-in most cases-efficient officers. The debts of the municipalities in some cases have increased, because to the old debt which accumulated under Spanish rule have been added new obligations. It is proposed, however, to pay all the indebtedness of said municipalities as rapidly as possible from the central insular treasury. The value of property within these respective municipalities, while there are no figures to show it, has largely increased in consequence of the universal confidence in the future prosperity of the island.
In the province of Habana, one of the two provinces in my department, from December 31, 1898, to July 31, 1899, a period of seven months, the number of public schools has increased by 14, a small increase, because the work of rebuilding schoolhouses where destroyed, repairing old ones, and appointing teachers has been more or less tedious and difficult. There are now in this province 4,771 children attending school, being an increase of 2,658 in the period mentioned. In the same period 434 new houses have been constructed in the rural districts. On the 1st of January there were 7,189 beggars in this province; on the 31st of July last there were only 519, being a decrease of 6,670. Seven months ago there were 16,292 head of live stock in this province; on July 31 there were 52,102, being an increase of 35,810. It must be borne in mind that these figures relate to the province of Habana, in which the city of Habana and the adjoining suburbs are not included, though properly belonging to the province of Habana. A new department, designated as the department of Habana, embracing the city and suburbs, was created, and is not under my command.
The province of Pinar del Rio, just west of the province of Habana, and the most western province in the island, belonging also to my department, is probably the richest and most progressive part of the whole island. A remarkable improvement has taken place in the pecuniary condition of the people already: The unrivaled quality of the tobacco raised there, and the high prices which have been obtained for the same, are the principal source of wealth in this province. Between the range of mountains running from the eastern section to the western, and the ocean on the north side, there are excellent sugar as well as tobacco lands. The municipalities in this province are also largely in debt, because of the universal poverty of the people at the time of the American occupation and the difficulty of collecting the necessary taxes to support them; but these municipalities will grow more and more sellsupporting, and their debts and back obligations will be paid, as in the case of the province of Habana, from the central treasury. Pinar del Rio, a prosperous, lawabiding community, is eminently a rural province, and, with one exception, has never asked for distribution of public rations, with which the other provinces in the island have been so largely supplied. The demand, however, for these rations in my department has greatly decreased. During the month of July, in both provinces, I issued 156,380 rations to the destitute; in the following month of August only 28,500, which shows there has been a remarkable improvement in the general condition of the people.
More mules are gradually being employed for agricultural purposes, and fewer oxen than formerly. The Cubans are naturally very slow in all their movements, hence the gait of oxen is more to their taste than the swifter walk of the mule. These people walk and dance in slow time, but the introduction after awhile of sulky plows, drawn by mules, with a seat upon which they can ride, will greatly increase agricultural productions; in fact, a pair of large mules to an American plow will easily do the work of three or four pair of oxen, and stand the climate better. Steam plows could be used upon the long expanse of flat lands in Cuba with great effect.
I have the honor to submit herewith full and comprehensive reports of the civil governors of the two provinces in my department, and in doing so I respectfully call attention to the fact that everywhere within the boundaries of the department law and order have been established, and peace, progress, and prosperity prevail. The wel
. fare of the people will be more rapidly promoted and permanently assured as soon as their future government is known and established. Capital, generally timid, does not seek the investment it would otherwise do on account of this uncertainty. The education of the grown Cubans has ceased, and those of the voting age are as capable of organizing a form of government to-day as they ever will be. If they construct a “stable government” strong enough to protect life and property and give confidence to capital, they should be entitled to control their own affairs. If not, the strong hand of the United States must be placed again on the helın and guide the future course of this beautiful and fertile island out from the shadows of a dark past into the broad sunlight of a bright future. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
FITZHUGA LEE Brigadier-General, Commanding.
Civil GOVERNMENT OF THE PROVINCE OF PINAR DEL Río,
September 14, 1899. Gen. FITZHUGH LEE,
Military Governor of the Provinces of Habana and Pinar del Rio. Sir: I have the honor to inclose report on the condition of this province that was asked by that department some time ago, and has been considerably delayed on account of the inability of the alcaldes to furnish some information required. Very respectfully,
GUILLERMO Dolz, Civil Governor.
REPORT OF THE PRESENT CONDITION AND FUTURE NEEDS OF THE PROVINCE OF
PINAR DEL Río.
DESTITUTION. The amount of destitution was very great at the beginning of the present year and as late as April, but since that time a remarkable improvement has taken place in the pecuniary condition of the people—the effect of their inclination to work, the fertility of the soil, the subdivision of the farms, and the high prices obtained for the tobacco crop, the chief source of wealth in this province. There is still some destitution, though it is now rapidly decreasing, in the provinces of Cabañas and Babia Honda, owing to the fact that they are mainly sugar-producing districts.