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Title: Virgin Islands Status Commission : Executive Summary
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Language: English
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Table of Contents
    Executive summary
        Page A-1
        Page A-2
        Page A-3
        Page A-4
        Page A-5
    Position paper: Background information, analysis and recommendations
        Page B-i
    Virgin Islands status commission
        Page B-ii
    Table of Contents
        Page B-iii
        Page B-iv
    The development of the United States territorial system
        Page B-1
        Page B-2
        Page B-3
        Page B-4
        Page B-5
        Page B-6
        Page B-7
        Page B-8
    The Pacific offshore areas of the United States: Guam, American Samoa, Micronesia and the Northern Marianas - an historical overview
        Page B-9
        Page B-10
        Page B-11
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    The Caribbean Territories: Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands of the United States - an historical overview
        Page B-43
        Page B-44
        Page B-45
        Page B-46
        Page B-47
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        Page B-57
        Page B-58
        Page B-59
        Page B-60
        Page B-61
    Current political status issues in the United States offshore areas
        Page B-62
        Page B-63
        Page B-64
        Page B-65
        Page B-66
        Page B-67
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        Page B-105
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        Page B-107
        Page B-108
        Page B-109
    Political status options for the United States Virgin Islands
        Page B-110
        Page B-111
        Page B-112
        Page B-113
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    Analysis and recommendations
        Page B-135
        Page B-136
        Page B-137
        Page B-138
        Page B-139
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    Attachments: Maps of the Pacific, Micronesia, Guam and Samoa
        Page B-142
        Page B-143
        Page B-144
        Page B-145
        Page B-146
        Page B-147
Full Text




VIRGIN ISLANDS STATUS COMMISSION


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY



Position Paper: Background Information, Analysis and Recommendations


Prepared By: Paul M. Leary, Consultant



Section I The Development of the United States Territorial System

Until 1898 the American territorial system was comprised of
areas within the North American continent that were destined for
Statehood. Consequently, the fullest possible self-government
existed during the territorial stage, and the plenary authority
of Congress was generally exercised with the sensitivity required
by a potential full-fledged member of the Union. There was no
doubt that the U.S. Constitution fully applied, with all of its
rights, protections and responsibilities. With the acquisition
of the insular areas following the Spanish-American War, a new
category of "unincorporated" territory was created by judicial
inventiveness. Only "fundamental" provisions of the Constitution
applied. In the exercise of its authority, Congress did not
reflect the sensitivity to democratic government that had charac-
terized its past territorial practices.


Section II The Pacific Offshore Areas of the United States:
Guam, American Samoa, Micronesia and the Northern
Marianas. An Historical Overview.

Guam

Guam was a colony of Spain from 1565-1898. During that period
the native Chamorro people were largely exterminated and a culture
based on a fusion of the Chamorro and later populations emerged.
The United States acquired Guam as a result of the Spanish-American
War of 1898. From 1898-1950 government was administered by the
Navy Department in a largely autocratic fashion, with limited
opportunities for self-government. Despite this record, Guamanian
loyalty to the United States was demonstrated during the Japanese
occupation and American re-occupation during World War II. Follow-
ing this experience, a large measure of self-government was exten-
ded from 1949 onward, including civilian rule, an Organic Act
(with important amendments) and American citizenship. In recent
time important issues of political status and self-government have
emerged.








American Samoa

American formal involvement in Samoa dates from 1872, but
control was not obtained until agreement was reached with Great
Britain and Germany to partition the islands in 1899, with the
United States gaining Eastern ("American") Samoa and Germany
Western Samoa. This secured America's primary interest in a
coaling station at Pago Pago in Tutuila, part of Eastern Samoa.
American Samoa was placed under naval rule by presidential order
in 1900; formal cession by the chiefs of Samoa occurred in 1900
and 1904. The Congress of the United States did not officially
acknowledge the acts of cession until 1929.

Naval rule lasted until 1951 and was characterized by cen-
tralized authority, very limited self-government, and deference
to traditional authority and custom, including the power of chiefs
and Samoan control over land.

In 1951 administrative authority was transferred to the Inter-
ior Department. Other steps followed in expanding self-government,
including a locally drafted constitution (1960), an elected gov-
ernor (1976) and a congressional delegate (1978). However, Ameri-
can Samoa still lacks an organic act and Samoans have not been
granted U.S. citizenship. Samoans fear that a change in their
status would imperil their traditional political structures and
their land rights by bringing the full force of the Constitution
of the United States to bear.


Micronesia

Micronesia (the "Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands")
came under American control following World War II. In order to
preserve American security interests in the area, it was adminis-
tered as a strategic trust under the auspices of the United Nations
Security Council. In addition to obligations to promote the social
and political welfare of the inhabitants, the United States was
given special powers to safeguard its security concerns. In exer-
cising its trusteeship, the United States placed the greatest em-
phasis upon the security aspects. Political development was slow
and cautious. Until the establishment of the Congress of Micro-
nesia in 1964, all effective authority was concentrated in the
hands of Washington-appointed executive officials. Political de-
pendency was reinforced by economic dependence, so that Micrones-
ians acquired a living standard that could only be sustained by
financial support from the United States. The process of status
negotiations between the United States and Micronesia, which
began with the establishment of a Future Political Status Commis-
sion by the Congress of Micronesia in 1967, was greatly shaped by
both American security concerns and Micronesian economic needs.







The Northern Marianas


The Northern Marianas remains officially a district of the
Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands and will remain so until
the trusteeship is terminated. Because of its special links with
Guam and its experience under the trusteeship, the Northern Mari-
anas opted for a different form of relationship with the United
States than did the other districts of Micronesia. Beginning in
1972, separate negotiations ensued between the Northern Marianas
and the United States which resulted in a "Covenant". Under its
terms, the Northern Marianas will be permanently incorporated in-
to the American political system and designated as a "Commonwealth".
The terms of this covenant have significant implications for Guam
and the other U.S. territories.


Section' II The Caribbean Territories: Puerto Rico and the Virgin
Islands of the United States. An Historical Overview

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico was acquired by the United States in 1898. Ironi-
cally, under American rule Puerto Rican self-government was to be
more restricted than during the last period of Spanish rule. One
result would be a constant struggle for greater self-government
and an unceasing concern for political status. While initially
Puerto Rican political parties favored statehood, their disappoint-
ment with American policies led to a deepening interest in inde-
pendence. Because of the significance of the economic relation-
ship with the United States, however, Luis Munoz Marin devised
the Commonwealth status as an alternative to independence or state-
hood. This 'arrangement, however, has not succeeded in resolving
the status question, which continues to dominate Puerto Rican
politics.


The Virgin Islands of the United States

After almost two hundred and fifty years of Danish rule the
Virgin Islands were purchased by the United States to protect the
approaches to the Panama Canal. Hopes for expanded political lib-
erties were disappointed when the United States established auto-
cratic Naval rule from 1917-1931. Following local agitation for
greater self-government, U.S. citizenship was granted in 1927 and
civilian rule under the Interior Department in 1931. Another
major set forward in self-government occurred in 1936 with the
passage of an Organic Act by Congress. The authority granted to
the local legislature combined with universal suffrage created a
basis for local political activity. The revised Organic Act of
1954, by contrast, contained several retrogressive features limiting
local autonomy, while emphasizing fiscal and administrative reform.
Following the first Virgin Islands Constitutional Convention in







1964, a number of significant political advances have taken place,
including an elected governor, a Congressional delegate, and
authority to draft a Virgin Islands Constitution. In the late
70's the issue of political status emerged as a factor for the
first time in Virgin Islands politics as reflected in the proposed
Federal Relations Acts of the Third and Fourth Constitutional
Conventions and the establishment of a Virgin Islands Status
Commission.


Section IV Current Political Status Issues in the United States
Offshore Areas

A recent development of great significance in the U.S. Offshore
Areas is a concern with their political status. Previously, only
Puerto Rico had expressed an interest in the nature of their poli-
tical relationship with the United States. During the 1970's every
Offshore Area either established political status commissions or
entered into negotiations for a new political status. This trend
was caused by several inter-related factors. Internationally,
dependent status is increasingly unacceptable in an era of decolo-
nization. In addition, the United States has legal obligations
under the United Nations Charter which relate to its non-self-
governing territories. Regionally, the example of newly indepen-
dent states of similar size and resources has awakened interest
in a re-examination of the current limited political status among
the U.S. insular areas, as well as a desire for more representa-
tion on international and regional organizations that affect them.
Within the U.S. territorial system itself, negotiations with the
Northern Marianas and Micronesia have created the possibility of
new forms of status that did not previously exist. Finally, the
Federal government itself has exhibited greater flexibility and
sensitivity with respect to issues of self-determination.


Section V Political Status Options for the United States Virgin
Islands

There are a number of political status options theoretically
available to the U.S. Virgin Islands. They are independence, free
association, commonwealth, unincorporated territory, statehood,
or a novel constitutional arrangement within the American politi-
cal system. Each status has its advantages and disadvantages.
Analyzing them from the perspective of political, economic and
social/cultural factors of relevance to the U.S. Virgin Islands,
a Commonwealth is the most appropriate status. It meets both the
desire of the public for a close relationship with the United
States and meets the needs for specific reforms in federal rela-
tions sought by the Virgin Islands. It also reflects the close
economic ties with the United States. While it does, perhaps,
result in some adverse social and cultural effects, they must be
balanced against the political and economic advantages.








Section VI Analysis and Recommendations


The Virgin Islands Status Commission undertakes its responsi-
bilities at a time of great change within all the Offshore Areas
of the United States. Broad community support for the political
status option recommended is essential, so that any change that
is made does not cause divisiveness and misunderstanding. Hence,
a well planned and comprehensive program of public education is
of major importance. The following recommendations are made:

1. Public education should be given a high priority.

2. A broad statement of principles should be adopted to
guide status negotiations.

3. The Commission's work should not be defined exclusively
in terms of the immediate response of the federal
government.

4. Further studies should be made of political, economic
and social/cultural factors in relation to the status
option recommended.

5. Contacts should be established with the other Offshore
Areas, particularly the unincorporated territories.

6. At this time, a Commonwealth status is politically and
economically the most realistic choice for the U.S.
Virgin Islands



















POSITION PAPER: BACKGROUND INFORMATION,

ANALYSIS AND RECOMMENDATIONS







PREPARED FOR VIRGIN ISLANDS STATUS COMMISSION

BY

PAUL M. LEARY, PhD., CONSULTANT


July, 1981









VIRGIN ISLANDS STATUS COMMISSION


Senator John Bell

Attorney Edith Bornn

Mr. Luis Diaz

Senator William Harvey

Judge Verne A. Hodge (Chairman)

Dr. Randall James

Attorney Desmond Maynard

Lieutenant-Governor Henry Millin
Dr. Lucien Moolenaar
Senator Michael Paiewonsky

Honorable Ralph M. Paiewonsky

Senator Elmo D. Roebuck

Administrator Jean Romney

Mr. Rupert Ross

Senate President Ruby Rouss

Administrator Roy Sewer

Attorney James Wisby


Hon. Earle B. Ottley (Executive Director)









CONTENTS


I. The Development of the United States Territorial System .1

II. The Pacific Offshore Areas of the United States:
Guam, American Samoa, Micronesia and the Northern
Marianas. An Historical Overview . .. .9
A. Guam . . 9
B. American Samoa . ......... 17
C. Micronesia . . . 29
D. Northern Marianas . . .. 37

III. The Caribbean Territories: Puerto Rico and the Virgin
Islands of the United States. An Historical Overview. .43
A. Puerto Rico . . . 43
B. The Virgin Islands of the United States . 52


IV. Current Political Status Issues in the United States
Offshore Areas . . . . 62
A. Introduction . . . . 62
B. Status Concerns in the Pacific Areas:
Guam, American Samoa, Micronesia and the
Northern Marianas .. . . 75
1. Guam . . . . . 75
2. American Samoa 80
3. Micronesia . . 84
4. Northern Marianas ........ ... 90
C. Status Concerns in the Caribbean Area:
Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands . 97
1. Puerto Rico . . . . 97
2. U.S. Virgin Islands . . 103


,V. Political Status Options for the United States Virgin Islands 110
A. Independence . . .. .. 110
B. Free Association . . . . 114
C. Commonwealth . . . . 116









D. Unincorporated Territory & Incorporated Territory. 121
E. Full Political Integration . . 125
F. A Novel Constitutional Arrangement . .. 127
G. The Best Choice for the U.S. Virgin Islands . 129
1. Political Factors . . . 129
2. Economic Factors . . 131
3. Cultural and Social Factors . .. 132
4. Application of Factors .. . 133


VI. Analysis and Recommendations . . .. 135


VII. Attachments: Maps of the Pacific, Micronesia,
Guam and Samoa
A. The Pacific . .. .
B. Guam and Micronesia . . .
C. Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands
D. Samoan Islands .. . .
E. Guam . . ..


. . 143
. . 144
. . 145
.. 145
. 146
. .. 147







SECTION I


The Development of the United States Territorial System

The matter of United States territories first arose following

the American Revolution. Upon its conclusion thirteen independent

states were created, loosely bound together through the Articles of

Confederation. States which possessed land claims in the West (that

is, territorial areas not included in their boundaries) ceded them

to the new central government, with the understanding that they

would eventually become states, also. In order to organize these

territories, the Congress of the Confederation passed the Northwest

Ordinance of 1787, which established the framework which would

guide most future transformations from territorial to Statehood

status.

The Northwest Ordinance reaffirmed by the Congress established

by the Constitution of 1787 provided the following features of

territorial government:

1. a Congressionally appointed governor

2. a Congressionally appointed court

3. a representative legislature (when the population reached

5,000 free adult males).

4. a non-voting congressional delegate to Washington

5. subjection to the same federal laws and taxation as the

States.

Most importantly, the Northwest Ordinance assumed that the territories

were destined for statehood; that any limitations on democratic

government were temporary; that inhabitants of territories enjoyed

the full protection of their constitutional rights.








Of the thirty-seven states subsequently admitted to the Union,

twenty-one entered from territorial status. (Of the six that were

never territories, four were created from existing states and two -

Texas and California admitted immediately, bypassing the terri-

torial stage.) The procedures generally followedfor admission

were:

1. governmental organization by territorial or organic acts

of Congress

2. when statehood was desired, a request for an enabling

act from Congress authorizing the drafting of a State

constitution and the forming of a State government

3. following the ratification of the State constitution

by territorial residents and review by Congress, admis-

sion into the Union through an Admission Act.

While this was the general pattern, variations were not uncommon.

It is a matter for Congressional judgment as to what procedures

are acceptable, given Congress' broad constitutional authority

over the territories and admission to statehood with respect to the

territories. Article IV, Section 3, Clause 2 of the Constitution

reads: "The Congress shall have power to dispose of and make all

needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or other

property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this

Constitution shall be so construed as to prejudice any claims of

the United States, or of any particular State." Regarding admis-

sion to statehood, the same constitutional article indicates:

"New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but

no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction







of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of

two or more States, or Parts of States, without the consent of

the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress."

Thus Congress has very broad authority, both with respect to

territories and their governance as well as admission into the

Union. This accounts for the variety of practices adopted, depen-

ding on the prevailing circumstances. In general, however, three

criteria has been considered by Congress in evaluating requests

for Statehood:

1. that the territory's inhabitants support the American

form of government

2. that a majority of the electorate desire Statehood

3. that there is sufficient population and resources to

support a State government and its obligations.

A more detailed discussion of the Statehood process will be

provided in.the section dealing with Statehood as a status option.

For our purposes here, the major point is that the basic assump-

tion in the treatment of U.S. Territories was to consider them

as nascent States. In the course of their evolution toward State-

hood, they would be granted the fullest degree of self-government

and constitutional protections feasible. Over time, they could .

look forward with confidence to incorporation into the Union on

an equal footing with existing States. Any political disabili-

ties incurred in the territorial phase were limited and transient.

This general pattern was substantially altered as a result of

overseas expansion by the United States. This resulted in the

L acquisition of territories that were not connected to the North








American continent and were populated by peoples culturally dis-

tinct from most of those on the "mainland".

From its inception, the United States has been an expansionist

nation. Following the call of "Manifest Destiny", the original

thirteen states expanded westward to encompass a large part of the

North American continent. But this movement did not stop at the

water's edge. The major areas- for overseas expansionism were the

Pacific and the Caribbean. As early as 1853 Commodore Perry, in

connection with his famous expedition to Japan, recommended the

acquisition of the Ryukyu Islands south of Japan. Following the

Civil War, Secretary of State Seward attempted to purchase both

the Virgin Islands and Santo Domingo. For internal political

reasons such efforts failed until the War of 1898 with Spain,

undertaken in a tide of chauvinism and imperialistic ambitions,

swept away the obstacles preventing the fulfillment of expansion-

ist goals.

As a direct result of the peace settlement with Spain follow-

ing the War of 1898, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Philippines became

possessions of the United States. Thanks to political plotting

by American interests within Hawaii, the native monarch was over-

thrown in 1894 and an independent republic, dominated by those

interests, created. In the midst of the imperialist fervor resul-

ting from the war with Spain, Hawaii was annexed by a Congressional

joint resolution in 1898, thus yielding to the requests of the

Hawaiian "government." (The Hawaiian example will be dealt with

at greater length in the section of the paper dealing with the

statehood status.) American Samoa was acquired by the United







States consequent to an agreement between Great Britain, Germany

and the United States in 1899. Under its terms, this island group

was partitioned between Germany and America, with the latter gain-

ing Tutuila with its port of Pago Pago as well as smaller islands

to the east. By executive order of February 19, 1900, President

McKinley placed Samoa under the jurisdiction of the Navy Depart-

ment. The chiefs of Samoa, in separate agreements of 1900 and

1904, ceded the islands to the United States a cession not

formally accepted by Congress until 1929. The present American

territorial system (with the possible exception of the Northern

Marianas, which is a special case) was completed in 1917 with the

purchase of the Virgin Islands from Denmark.

As previously indicated, the new territories gained as a re-

( sult of these actions posed a dilemma for the United States govern-

ment. Previous territories had been contiguous, or at least loca-

ted on the North American continent. The new possessions were

offshore and, in some cases, very remote, and were inhabited by

people culturally distinct from the "Anglo-Saxon" model which

prevailed in the older territories. There was little expectation

of Statehood (with the exception of Hawaii, dominated by American

settlers). In addition, the products of these areas, if admitted

duty-free to the United States, might pose a threat to American

commercial interests.

The dilemma was resolved through a judicial formula which

distinguished the newly acquiredterritories from the older ones.

According to the Insular Cases, particularly Downes vs. Bidwell

(1901), two kinds of territories now existed. The "incorporated"
Territories were fully a part of the American political system and
all the provisions of the Constitution applied. They could be







identified as "incorporated" because Congress, either explicitly

or implicitly had signified that they were destined for Statehood.

No such Congressional intent existed with respect to "unincorpor-

ated" territories. Consequently, only the "fundamental" parts of

the Constitution applied, such as the protection of basic liber-

ties (speech, religion, assembly, etc.). The parts of the Consti-

tution that relate only to the "form and manner" of exercising

power (the "formal" parts) do not apply. This includes- the impo-

sition of tariffs. Hence, the products of the new territories

could have duties imposed on them, since they were not fully a

part of the United States they were "unincorporated". In

addition, of course, Congress' plenary authority over territories

was unimpafed. And Congress chose to exercise that authority in

the "unincorporated" territories in a manner that was substantially

different than the model of democratic government, based on the

Northwest Ordinance, that was applied to the past and present

"incorporated" territories.

Summary

Until 1898 the American territorial system was comprised of

areas within the North American continent that were destined for

Statehood. Consequently, the fullest possible self-government

existed during the territorial stage, and the plenary authority

of Congress was generally exercised with the sensitivity required

by a potential full-fledged member of the Union. There was no

doubt that the U.S. Constitution fully applied, with all of its

rights, protections responsibilities. With the acquisition of

the insular areas following the Spanish-American War, a new cate-

gory of "unincorporated" territory was created by judicial







inventiveness. Only "fundamental" provisions of the Constitution

applied. In the exercise of its authority, Congress did not re-

flect the sensitivity to democratic government-that had character-

ized its past territorial practices.








Major Source for this Section:


"Experiences of Past Territories Can Assist Puerto Rico
Status Deliberations." Report to the Congress by the
Comptroller General of the United States (Washington, D.C.:
General Accounting Office, 1980).







SECTION II


THE PACIFIC OFFSHORE AREAS OF THE UNITED STATES: GUAM, AMERICAN
SAMOA, MICRONESIA AND THE NORTHERN MARIANAS. AN HISTORICAL OVERVIEW


A. Guam

Guam is located in the western Pacific approximately 600 miles

southwest of San Francisco and 1500 miles east of Manila. The

island is 30 miles long and its width varies from 4 to 8 1/2 miles.

(See maps attached.) It has a population of approximately 100,000.

Guam was discovered by the Spanish explorer Magellan in 1521,

but was not formally claimed by Spain as part of its empire until

1565. Guam remained part of the Spanish Empire until its seizure

by the United States in the course of the Spanish-American War in

1898.

When first discovered by Europeans, Guam was inhabited by the

Chamorros. Following intensive Spanish attempts at colonization,

including conversion to Christianity, a period of warfare ensued

between 1670 and 1695 which resulted in the decimation of the

indigenous population. By 1742 it was estimated that only 4000

Chamorros remained. (The Chamorro population at the time of the

Spanish discovery was in the range of 50,000-100,000.) They inter-

married with the Spanish and other groups who subsequently resided

on the island, including Filipinos, Japanese and Mexicans, to

create the present Guamanian people. The Chamorro language (now

an amalgam of the original and later additions) is still the lang-

uage of the home; the present culture reflects a combination of

Chamorro-Catholic values, despite an increased trend toward

Americanization; Guamanians regard themselves as "Chamorros."








Following the destruction of Chamorro resistance, Spanish

rule was unchallenged. The population became predominantly

Catholic, with the Church exercising a major influence over per-

sonal and social life. While Guam had some initial importance as

a stop-over for the rich galleon trade between the Philippines and

Mexico, it increasingly declined in significance in the Nineteenth

Century. By the time of the American conquest, Guam was an im-

poverished backwater of the now-feeble Spanish Empire.

The United States seized Guam on June 20, 1898, when U.S. naval

ships on their way to the Philippines surprised a small Spanish

garrison which did not even realize that war had been declared.

They surrendered the next day without offering any resistance.

Under the terms of the Treaty of Paris (December 10, 1898), which

settled the war between Spain and America, the United States gained

possession of Guam in addition to the Philippines and Puerto Rico.

By Executive Order issued by President McKinley on December 23,

1898, Guam was placed under the rule of the Department of the Navy.

Guam stayed under naval rule until 1949, when President Truman

established civilian rule by transferring jurisdiction to the De-

partment of the Interior. An Organic act was passed in 1950,

which also conferred U.S. citizenship.

Throughout the period of American control military factors

have been of major significance for Guam. Naval rule was origi-

nally established because of Guam's possible use as a coaling sta-

tion at a time when warships required strategically placed refuel-

ing points. The entire island was designated as a naval station,

and naval officers functioned both as governors and commandants.








Their authority was practically unchecked, and local forms of

representative government non-existont or feeble. In the absence

of Congressional action providing a framework of territorial

government, all authority was effectively in the hands of the

naval governor, who exercised it by means of executive orders,

verbal orders, and proclamations. As one history of Guam notes:

"...naval government was highly centralized and based on personal

authority. It remained so throughout most of the period of naval

rule." (Paul Carano and Pedro Sanchez. A Complete History of Guam,

p. 185.)

The naval -governors concentrated their efforts in the areas of

public works, sanitation, health and education. Little effort was

made to foster self-government. The First Guam Congress was esta-

blished in 1917. It was strictly an advisory body appointed by

the governor and serving at his pleasure. The first elected Guam

Congress (the Second Guam Congress) took office on March 7, 1931.

It too was an advisory body which could only send resolutions to

the governor for his action. Local government officials were

elected for the first time also on March 7, 1931, but this auth-

ority was rescinded in 1933. It was also in the latter year that

a local bill of rights was first extended to Guam.

The reaction of Guamanians to this autocratic government was

not rebellion but an appeal for equal treatment based on American

citizenship. The Second Congress of Guam petitioned the United

States to grant citizenship on July 11, 1936. It also requested

the governor to set aside $5,000 to support the travel of a dele-

gation to Washington, D.C. to speak in support of the petition.







The governor refused the request and the money was raised by

popular subscription. A bill to grant citizenship was intro-

duced in Congress in 1937, but failed to pass.

Thus, during the period from 1898-1950 Guamanians were governed

by an autocratic naval administration. There was no local legis-

lative authority. There was no grant of citizenship. Self-

government would only come in 1950, following the ordeal of World

War II and the Japanese occupation. The loyalty to the United

States demonstrated by Guamanians during that difficult period

was a major factor in the passage of the Organic Act of 1950.

The Japanese invaded Guam-in December, 1941, shortly follow-

ing the Pearl Harbor attack. Guam was largely undefended, and

resistance light. The Japanese occupation lasted until July 21,

1944, when the island was invaded by American forces. While the

Japanese rule was initially moderate, as the pressures of war

increased it became progressively more brutal. One author des-

cribed this ordeal and its effects the following way:

The memory of the Japanese regime lingers as a fresh
one and will not be forgotten in Guam for many decades.
A number of Guamanians were beheaded for merely smiling at
an American plane as it passed overhead in reconnaissance
during the last days before the assaults of Asan and Agat.
Many more lived through the occupation only to die in the
final Japanese orgy of slaughter as American troops de-
barked along the western shores of the island and began
to fight their way inland. The joy and genuine feeling
of welcome expressed in the native reception of American
troops was overwhelming to the liberators. They had not
expected this, since they had been forced to annihilate
Guam's flimsy civilization and much of its natural beauty
in order to liberate it. But the Guamanian friendliness
was omnipresent as American troops advanced, and it could
not be denied, recognizing this loyalty, that the people
of Guam had unequivocally earned their right to be called
Americans. (Charles Beardsley. Guam: Past and Present,
p. 219)








U.S. casualties in the battle for Guam were approximately

7,500; Japanese casualties were 11,000.

One consequence of the U.S. re-occupation that would present

major problems in the future was the condemnation of a great

amount of private land for military use with questionable levels

of compensation. By 1948, 48% of the total land area of Guam

was controlled by the United States. The fact that much of this

land was not put to military use but simply remained idle caused

resentment. There also arose some controversy about the level of

payments made by the U.S. government in the form of war claims

for damage caused to native property. Both issues were to remain

sources of discontent.

As a result of Guamanian loyalty during World War II, a favor-

able atmosphere for greater Guamanian self-government and for the

grant of citizenship existed in Washington. This was reinforced

by the findings of both an inter-agency federal study (involving

the Departments of War, State, Navy and Interior) and a civilian

committee headed by Dr. E. M. Hopkins established by the Navy

Department. The Hopkins Report contained many recommendations

eventually incorporated into the 1950 Organic Act.

On September 7, 1949, President Truman issued Executive Order

No. 10077, transferring administration of Guam from the Secretary

of the Navy to the Secretary of the Interior. The order became

effective August 1, 1950 and the first civilian governor, Carlton

S. Skinner, took office on September 27, 1950.

In its consideration of the legislation that would provide an

Organic Act for Guam, a major concern of Congress was that it








not be considered as establishing a precedent for eventual state-

hood. In remarks on the floor of the House, the sponsor of the

bill, Representative J. Hardin Peterson of Florida, made it

clear that no such precedent was intended.

HR 7273 (The Organic Act of Guam) passed the House on May 23,

1950 and the Senate on July 26, 1950. It was signed into law by

President Truman on August 1, 1950. It remains, with major sub-

sequent amendments providing for an elected governor (1968), an

elected non-voting delegate (1972), and the right to formulate

an internal constitution (1976), the basic framework today for

Guam's government. Some of its-major provisions were:

1. U.S. citizenship

2. a Bill of Rights

3. a unicameral legislature with broad law-making authority

4. a U.S. District Court to try major cases

5. a governor appointed by the President (now elected as a
result of a 1968 amendment.)

Recent political developments in Guam relating to the status ques-

tion will be examined in a subsequent section of the paper.


Summary

Guam was a colony of Spain from 1565-1898. During that period

the native Chamorro people were largely exterminated and a culture

based on a fusion of the Chamorro and later populations emerged.

The United States acquired Guam as a result of the Spanish-Ameri-

can War of 1898. From 1898-1950 government was administered by

the Navy Department in a largely autocratic fashion, with limited

* opportunities for self-government. Despite this record, Guaman-

ian loyalty to the United States was demonstrated during the








Japanese occupation and American re-occupation during World War II.

Following this experience, a large measure of self-government was

extended from 1949 onward, including civilian rule, an Organic

Act (with important amendments) and American citizenship. In

recent times important issues of political status and self-govern-

ment have emerged.








Major Sources for this Section:


Beardsley, Charles. Guam: Past and Present
(Rutland, Vt. and Tokyo: Charles E. Tuttle Co., 1964)


Carano, Paul and Sanchez, Pedro. A Complete History of Guam
(Rutland, Vt. and Tokyo: Charles E. Tuttle Co., 1964)


Sheridan, Peter. Status of Guam: Some Political and Historical
Aspects (Washington, D.C.: The Library of Congress -
Congressional Research Service, 1979).








B. American Samoa


American Samoa is located in the South Pacific approximately

2,200 miles southwest of Hawaii, 1,600 miles northeast of New

Zealand, and 4,500 miles from San Francisco. The islands stretch

for 200 miles. (See maps attached.) There are nine inhabited

islands, the largest of which is Tutuila. The total land area

of all the islands combined is seventy-six square miles. They

are mainly mountainous, arable land is scarce, and most of the

population lives on the coastal fringe between the mountains and

the sea. Based on the 1978 census, the population is 30,600.

In addition to American Samoa, the island group includes

Western Samoa, composed of the major islands of Savaii and Upolu.

The two Samoas are closely related by language, culture and family

ties, but have been administered separately since partition in

1899. Since 1962 Western Samoa has been an independent state.

Samoa was first sighted by Europeans on June 13, 1722 by ships

from the Dutch West India Company. In 1768, the French navigator

De Bougainville visited the islands and named them the "Navigator

Islands", a designation by which they were long known. Visits

followed with increasing frequency, ending the islands' isolation.

With the 19th Century came the introduction of Christianity,

as well as frequent visits by whalers in the course of their long

voyages. At this time also the first major commercial enterprise

was established by the German firm of J. C. Godeffroy and Co.,

which dealt mainly in copra (dried coconut). The copra was shipped

to Europe and processed into oil.







American interests in Samoa originated with the whalers'

visits and centered on the strategic location of Samoa between

San Francisco, Hawaii, Australia and New Zealand. Of particular

attraction was the large, protected harbor of Pago Pago (pronoun-

ced Pango Pango) which offered an ideal location for a coaling

station for naval vessels and steamships.

In 1872 the U.S.S. Narrangansett under Commander Richard W.

Meade visited Pago Pago and negotiated an agreement with the lead-

ing chief of the area. Under it, the United States gained the

exclusive right to build and maintain a naval station in return

for American friendship and protection. While this agreement was

never approved by the U.S. Senate, it served as a basis for later

claims.

There ensued a period of Samoa history in which the United

States, Germany and Great Britain became embroiled in a contest

for influence. The situation was aggravated by the intermingling

of these claims with unstable Samoan internal politics, charac-

terized by a vying for power by local chiefs, as well as Euro-

pean political factors, in which Samoa became a pawn of shifting

policies and loyalties, particularly in the relations between

England and Germany. Indeed, the situation became so volatile

as-to verge on armed clashes among the contending powers, and to

produce a lingering bitterness in relations between the United

States and Germany. (Full details of this period can be found in

Paul M. Kennedy The Samoan Tangle, available in the Commission's

library).

American involvement in Samoa at this time was deepened by a







treaty ratified by the U.S. Senate on February 13, 1878. It

provided for mutual peace and friendship for a period of ten

years; confirmed the right of the United States to establish a

naval station at Pago Pago; and bound the United States to use

its good offices in the event-Samoa became engaged in a quarrel

with any third nation.

In order to resolve the Samoan "tangle" and prevent it from

causing open conflict among the three outside powers involved,

a fact-finding mission was dispatched in 1886, followed by a

conference in Washington in 1887. Neither the mission nor the

conference was-successful in finding a solution. With tensions

increasing in Samoa largely as a result of German efforts to gain

the upper hand, another conference was convened in 1889. A major

result of this meeting was the establishment of tri-partite con-

trol, with Britain, Germany and the United States sharing author-

ity under a complicated and cumbersome arrangement. In addition,

Samoan independence was recognized, although effective control

now rested in the hands of the three powers.

The final resolution of the Samoan problem was reached in

1899 when it was apparent that the tri-partite arrangement was

unworkable and Germany was willing to settle for partition. In

the manner of the time a deal was struck between Germany and

Britain by means of which German rights in other areas of the

Pacific and West Africa were traded for British rights in Samoa.

To placate the United States, the latter received Tutuila, with

its harbor, Pago Pago, as well as other smaller islands to the

east.







President McKinley, by executive order on February 19, 1900,

placed Samoa under the jurisdiction of the Navy Department, given

the latter's interest in a coaling station. The flag of the

United States was formally raised over Tutuila on April 17, 1900.

American control was legitimized by two treaties of cession, one

in 1900 with the chiefs of Tutuila, and the other in 1904 with

the chiefs of the Manua district, a group of islands to the east

of Tutuila.

The first naval governor, Commander B. F. Tilley, established

the pattern of naval rule which was to prevail for most of this

period. Tilley issued a "Declaration of the Form of Government"

on May 1, 1900. It proclaimed that the laws of the United States

were in force and that any Samoan law or custom not in conflict

with them would be preserved. In addition, traditional Samoan

political organizations would be maintained with recognition of

the role of the chiefs, although the naval governor retained ulti-

mate law-making authority as well as the right to appoint office

holders Tilley also appointed a secretary of native affairs.

This was to remain the form of Navy rule. While retaining

ultimate and autocratic powers, the naval governors sought to

exercise them so as to respect Samoan custom and tradition as

much as possible. In particular, the important role of the chiefs

was recognized.

Since Samoan tradition and its protection were to play such

an important part in shaping American rule, and since they con-

tinue to do so today, an understanding of its major elements is

important.







Culturally, Samoans belong to the Polynesian group in the

Pacific. They share the general way of life of their neighbors

in Western Samoa, native Hawaiians, Tongans, Tahitians and New

Zealand Maoris. The base unit in the social structure is the

aiga, roughly equivalent to a clan. It is a group of people

related by blood, marriage or adoption. It varies in size from

a few people to around two hundred. Within the aiga, all bear

allegiance to the matai, or chief. Loyalty is to the aiga and

its matai rather than the nuclear family of the Western type.

The economic base of the aiga is common land ownership.

Ownership does not vest in the -individual. Instead, one is

assigned temporary use of a portion of the property which belongs

to the aiga as a whole. In-traditional Samoan life, prestige

accrues through generous distribution of wealth, not its accumu-

lation. Occasions such as births, marriage and deaths provide

the occasions for the elaborate ceremonies at which such-distri-

bution takes place. In addition, members of an aiqa have claims

on the resources of other clan members.

The matai is chosen by election by the adult members of the

aiga. The title is not automatically inherited, although birth

order and parentage may give a candidate certain advantages. As

in much of Samoan life, the election has to be unanimous, that is,

by consensus rather than majority/minority decision. The matai

allots work tasks and distributes the products of labor among the

aiga's members. He is trustee for the communal land and repre-

sents the aiga in public affairs.

A village may consist of several "clans", each headed by a







matai. The matai from the traditionally senior family is the

village high chief. Within the village, legislative authority

is vested in a fono (or council) of all the matai. Here too,

the rule is unanimity, although the high chief tries to ensure

that his view prevails.

Villages in turn are grouped together in an itu (or county).

Its headquarters is the senior village of the area. The governing

body of the itu is a fono composed of the high chiefs of the vil-

lages and other matai who have a traditional right to participate.

The largest traditional governmental unit is the district,

which is comprised of the counties (itu) within a traditionally

defined area. The districts are headed by high chiefs of consi-

derable rank and prestige, in some case claiming divine descent.

Another important part of the customary power structure are

the tulafale ("talking chiefs"). They act as administrative and

executive officers for the high chiefs. In some cases, the

tulafale can gain considerable de facto authority, including an

important role in the selection of the leadership.

Of the chiefly titles which exist, by tradition some are more

prestigious than others. The most important titles are found on

the islands of Upolu and Savaii in Western Samoa. Historically,

the chiefs of Tutuila in American Samoa bore lesser titles and

were subordinate to a high chief in Upolu. If a high chief

succeeded in gaining election to the five highest traditional

titles, he received the ultimate title of Tupu o Samoa ("King of

Samoa"). The vying for the prestigious titles, particularly for

the highest one, was a prime source of instability and warfare







in Samoa before colonial rule imposed order from outside.

From 1900 to 1951 the naval governors administered authority

but with considerable deference to the traditional social struc-

ture. Little effort was made at social, economic or political

development, although public health programs and compulsory ele-

mentary education were introduced. One of the major enactments

of this style of rule was the Native Lands Ordinance of 1900,

which prohibited the alienation of Samoan land.

During the 1920's resistance to naval rule developed in the

form of the "Mau" ("Samoan Cause") movement which had as one of

its aims the installation of -a civilian government. The Mau

helped to focus Congressional attention on Samoa. In 1929, by

joint resolution, Congress finally formally accepted the cessions

of 1900 and 1904. This resolution also provided what remains

the only statutory authority for government in Samoa:

"Until Congress shall provide for the government of such

islands, all civil, judicial, and military powers shall be

vested in such person or persons and shall be exercised in such

manner as the President of the United States shall direct; and

the President shall have power to remove said officers and fill

the vacancies so occasioned." The joint resolution also indica-

ted that special protection of Samoan land rights would continue

and created a congressional commission to investigate conditions

there.

The Commission, chaired by Senator Hiram Bingham, held hear-

ings in Hawaii and Samoa in 1930. The major concerns expressed

were for U.S. citizenship and an Organic act. The Commission so








recommended in its report to the President, and in addition called

for restriction of land ownership to Samoans. Legislation incor-

porating the commission's recommendations failed to pass Congress,

however, with the principal objection being the costs entailed by

a civil administration at a time of economic depression in the

United States.

During World War II a large U.S. military presence brought

the modern world and its ways to Samoa in a dramatic fashion.

A money economy was developed, Samoans served in the armed forces,

and aspiration levels were raised. One result was the demand for

more self-government following the way. As a result, the first

legislature was established in 1948. It had advisory status only.

One major change in attitude at this time had to do with the

desirability of an organic act and citizenship. This was primarily

because efforts to include restrictions on outside land purchase

in the 1950 Guam Organic Act had been deleted as inconsistent

with the American form of government and constitutional rights

of citizens. Samoans did not want a similar fate to befall their

traditional way of life, particularly land ownership, if an

Organic act were provided for them.

On July 1, 1951, administration of American Samoa was trans-

ferred from the Navy Department to the Interior Department,

establishing civilian rule with a governor appointed by the

President. In 1960, a locally drafted constitution for Samoa

was approved by the Secretary of the Interior. It established a

bicameral legislature with more than advisory powers, but still

with significant restrictions, such as the right of the Secretary







of the Interior to approve a bill passed over the veto of the

appointed governor. In addition, the governor could designate

legislation as "urgent", and if the legislature failed to pass

it in acceptable form, the governor could promulgate it on his

own with the approval of the Secretary of the Interior. Tradi-

tional components of the social structure were recognized in

Article I, section 3 of the Bill of Rights which protected

Samoans against the alienation of their lands. In addition, the

upper house of the legislature (the Senate) was elected by the

county councils in accordance with Samoan custom, thus providing

a significant role for the chiefs.

Another constitutional convention was held in 1966 which

revised the 1960 charter. It was approved by the Secretary of

the Interior on June 2, 1967. The revised constitution restric-

ted the governor's veto powers, striking his right to promulgate

into law measures designated as "urgent".

Another major political event was the creation of an American

Samoan Delegate-at-Large in 1970 to serve as Samoa's representative

in Washington. The Delegate did not have any official standing

in Congress, however, This was changed in 1978 (effective 1980)

when Congress acted to accord the Samoan Delegate the non-voting

status previously accorded representatives from Guam and the

Virgin Islands.

The appointed governor was replaced by an elected one in

1977. Previously, on three occasions (1972, 1973, 1974) the

proposal for an elected governor had been rejected in referenda.

The negative votes were attributed to several factors, including







opposition from some of the traditional chiefs supported by the

appointed governor, John Haydon. Proponents of a locally elected

S governor finally succeeded in a 1976 vote, partly because of

dissatisfaction with the appointed governor serving at that time

and the major governmental economies he was responsible for carry-

ing out. In addition, a highly popular Samoan, Peter Coleman,

was likely to stand for election if the measure passed. Following

the positive vote of the referendum, an elected governor for

American Samoa was authorized by order of the Secretary of the

Interior.

With civilian rule, the passage of a locally constructed

constitution, the securing of an elected governor, and the admis-

sion of a Delegate to Congress, American Samoa achieved a level

of self-government comparable to the other unincorporated terri-

* stories. However, Samoans remain "nationals" rather than citizens

of the United States. In addition, American Samoa continues to

be an "unorganized" unincorporated territory, as Congress has not

yet passed an Organic Act. Both the questions of citizenship and

an Organic Act are closely connected to Samoan concerns about their

consequences for their traditional life style. Those issues will

be examined at greater length in a subsequent section on the

present political status of Samoa.


Summary

American formal involvement in Samoa dates from 1872, but

control was not obtained until agreement was reached with Great

Britain and Germany to partition the islands in 1899, with the

SUnited States gaining Eastern ("American") Samoa and Germany

Western Samoa. This secured America's primary interest in a







coaling station at Pago Pago in Tutuila, part of Eastern Samoa.

American Samoa was placed under naval rule by presidential order

in 1900; formal cession by the chiefs of Samoa occurred in 1900

and 1904. The Congress of the United States did not officially

acknowledge the acts of cession until 1929.

Naval rule lasted until 1951 and was characterized by cen-

tralized authority, very limited self-government, and deference

to traditional authority and custom, including the power of chiefs

and Samoan control over land.

In 1951 administrative authority was transferred to the Inter-

ior Department. Other steps-followed in expanding self-govern-

ment, including a locally drafted constitution (1960), an elected

governor (1976) and a congressional delegate (1978). However,

American Samoa still lacks an organic act and Samoans have not

been granted U.S. citizenship. Samoans fear that a change in their

status would imperil their traditional political structures and

their land rights by bringing the full force of the Constitution

of the United States to bear.









Major Sources for this Section:


Gray, John A.C. Amerika Samoa: A History of American Samoa
and Its United States Naval Administration
(Annapolis, Md: United States Naval Institute, 1960.)


Leibowitz, Arnold. "American Samoa: Decline of a Culture",
California Western International Law Journal, vol. 10,
number 2 Spring, 1980).


Sheridan, Peter. Status of American Samoa: Some Political
and Historical Aspects (Washington, D.C.: The Library
of Congress Congressional Research Service, 1979)


Tansill, William R. American Samoa: A Descriptive and
Historical Profile (Washington, D.C.: The Library of
Congress Government and General Research Division,
1974).







C. Micronesia

The Official designation for the area commonly known as

Micronesia is the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (TTPI).

It is comprised of three island groups the Marshalls, the

Carolines, and the Marianas. These islands are scattered across

the Pacific in a space as large as the continental United States,

but possess a total land area of only 700 square miles and a

population of approximately 115,000. (See maps attached.) For

administrative purposes the islandswere divided into six districts,

with the headquarters of the TTPI located in Saipan in the North-

ern Mariana islands. The six districtswere: The Marshalls, the

Marianas (generally referred to as the "Northern Marianas" to

distinguish them from Guam, which is part of the Marianas chain

but not part of the TTPI), Ponape, Truk, Yap, and Palau.

Since 1972, for reasons to be outlined subsequently, four separ-

ate entities have emerged from this original grouping. The

Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia (Ponape,

Truk, Yap, Kosrae) and Palau have all initialled an agreement

with the United States to become "associated states" upon the

official termination of the trusteeship. Previously (in 1975)

the Northern Marianas negotiated a "Commonwealth" status pro-

viding for permanent union with the United States. This agree-

ment, also, will come into full effect upon the dissolution of

the trusteeship.

American interest in Micronesia is rooted in World War II

and the struggle to wrest control of the islands from Japan. As

a result of the Versailles Treaty of 1919, which formally ended







World War I, Japan gained authority over Micronesia as a Mandate

of the League of Nations. Formerly, the islands had been under

German control. The Germans, in turn, had established their rule

both through colonization in the Nineteenth century (as in the

case of the Marshalls) and through purchase (from Spain at the

time of the Spanish-American War). Thus, the pre-American history

of Micronesia was one of colonial domination. Indeed, one of the

few common factors shared by this area of divergent cultures and

traditions was administration by a foreign power.

After the United States had taken control of Micronesia from

Japan through -armed struggle,- it was presented with a dilemma. On

the one hand, the United States had fought World War II in the

name of freedom and anti-colonialism. On the other hand, the sig-

nificance of Micronesia for American national security was now

obvious. The device employed to attempt to resolve this dilemma

was a "strategic" trusteeship under the auspices of the United

Nations.

The strategic trusteeship is an agreement between the United

States (the "administering power")and the United Nations. Under

its terms the United States undertakes to promote the welfare and

political advancement of the inhabitants of the area. At the

same time, in recognition of American security concerns, the

United States is given the right to establish military installa-

tions, to close areas for security reasons, and to exercise exten-

sive political authority. In recognition also of its "strategic"

nature, the trusteeship is supervised ultimately by the Security

Council, which is responsible for collective security measures,







rather than the General Assembly, which had general authority over

the other trusteeships established at that time. This is particu-

larly significant, given the possession of a veto power by the

United States as a permanent member of the Security Council.

In short, the strategic trusteeship provided a means for the

United States to insure its security interests in Micronesia, and

to reconcile those interests with its political ideals. In prac-

tice, security concerns were to play a much more important part

in American administration of Micronesia than would the promotion

of the inhabitants' welfare and political advancement. It is also

important to note that because of the trusteeship Micronesia was

never formally incorporated into the United States political sys-

tem, nor did its peoples become U.S. citizens. There was always,

then, a recognition of the "foreign" quality of U.S. control.

This would play an important part in the form of association

negotiated with the different political units of Micronesia, the

Northern Marianas excepted.

Under the U.S. administered trusteeship, political development

was gradual and cautious. The islands were placed under Navy rule

following their capture and remained there until 1951 when res-

ponsibility was transferred to the Interior Department. Until

the establishment of the Congress of Micronesia in 1965, all

executive and legislative authority was exercised by a High Commis-

sioner appointed by Washington and assisted by a bureaucracy domi-

nated by Americans. The Congress of Micronesia was preceded by

trusteeship-wide conferences which were purely advisory in nature

and established as a means of sharing ideas and concerns between







administrators and district representatives. In 1961 the conference

became the Council of Micronesia and began to present formal reso-

lutions and recommendations to the High Commissioner. In 1962 the

Council declared itself in favor of a trusteeship-wide legislature

and set up a drafting committee to recommend one. The Council

adopted, by resolution, thirty-five items which it submitted to

the High Commissioner. It left the final details of drafting up

to the latter and the Interior Department. The Interior Depart-

ment then drew up a draft of the Charter of the Congress of Micro-

nesia. While consultations were held with the Council of Micro-

nesia during the drafting process, the only major change suggested

by the Council was that the legislature be bicameral rather than

unicameral. The Charter was not submitted to popular vote for

approval, but simply established by Order of the Secretary of the

Interior on September 28, 1964.

The Congress of Micronesia consisted of a House of Delegates

with twelve members, two elected from each district, and a General

Assembly of twenty-one members, with representation from districts

based on population. Delegates were elected for four year terms,

Assembly members for two years. All residents of the Trusteeship

eighteen years and older were eligible to vote. The Congress

had broad law-making authority, but limits were placed on its

control over funds. Federal monies, the bulk of the revenues,

were not controlled by Congress. The High Commissioner's budget

for the Territory was simply submitted for review to the Congress

prior to its transmission to Washington, and recommendationsmade

by the Congress were forwarded to the Secretary of the Interior







for his information. Additional restrictions on the authority

of the Congress were that amendments to its Charter could only

be made be order of the Secretary of the Interior, and bills

passed over the veto of the High Commissioner also had to be

approved by the Secretary of the Interior.

Thus,only after almost twenty years of American rule in Micro-

nesia was the first cautious attempt made to apply democratic

principles on a trusteeship-wide basis. For the entire period,

executive power had remained firmly in American hands on both

the district and trusteeship levels. Authority granted to munici-

palities and district legislatures was also very circumscribed,

particularly with respect to control over fiscal resources. When

a trusteeship-wide legislature, the Congress of Micronesia, was

finally established in 1964, its powers were also limited.

Not only was American policy in the area of political develop-

ment very conservative, it was reinforced by an economic policy

which, until the early 1960's and the Kennedy administration, was

characterized by minimal investment, even neglect. However,

following a highly critical report by the U.N. Trusteeship Council

Visiting Mission in 1961, which was endorsed by the Trusteeship

Council as a whole, this policy was reversed and greater resources

committed. But the resources were employed in such a fashion as

to reinforce political dependence. An artificially high stan-

dard of living, requiring continued American economic assistance,

and with unfortunate consequences for the cultural and social

fabric, was the major result. Evidence of its impact was a large

government sector; increasing reliance on imported goods, including







food; the growth of urban concentrations in the district centers

characterized by troubling social problems. This economic situa-

tion would have an important impact on the political status options

that would be examined by Micronesians. As one Micronesian ex-

plained: "Micronesians have come to like and demand certain

commodities that only the Western life-style can provide. The

desire for imported goods has a determining effect on the kind

of life and society the people want and even on the choice of a

political future. Any political alternative which can best answer

these demands without compromising the Micronesian desire for

self-government and self-respect will have no difficulty in win-

ning the hearts of the people of Micronesia." (Carl Heine,

Micronesia at the Crossroads, University of Hawaii Press, 1974,

p. 28.)

With the establishment of the Congress of Micronesia in 1964,

a new political era began. The Congress became increasingly

assertive, and was quick to discern the discrepancy which existed

between American political ideals of democracy and self-determina-

tion and American practice in Micronesia. The major form taken by

the desire for greater autonomy was the establishment of the Future

Political Status Commission by the Congress of Micronesia in 1967.

This began a process of self-examination, political change and

negotiations with the United States which is still not completed,

and resulted in a major restructuring of the trusteeship.

The Micronesian status negotiations and their import for the

Virgin Islands and other U.S. territories will be examined in a

subsequent section of this paper.







Summary

Micronesia (the "Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands")

came under American control following World War II. In order to

preserve American security interests in the area, it was adminis-

tered as a strategic trust under the auspices of the United Nations

Security Council. In addition to obligations to promote the social

and political welfare of the inhabitants, the United States was

given special powers to safeguard its security concerns. In exer-

cising its trusteeship, the United States placed the greatest em-

phasis upon the security aspects. Political development was slow

and cautious.. Until the establishment of the Congress of Micro-

nesia in 1964, all effective authority was concentrated in the

hands of Washington-appointed executive officials. Political

dependency was reinforced by economic dependency, so that Micro-

nesians acquired a living standard that could only be sustained

by financial support from the United States. The process of

status negotiations between the United States and Micronesia,

which began with the establishment of a Future Political Status

Commission by the Congress of Micronesia in 1967, was greatly

shaped by both American security concerns and Micronesian

economic needs.








Sources for this Section:


Clark, Roger, "Self-Determination and Free Association -
Should the United Nations Terminate the Pacific Islands
Trust?," Harvard International Law Journal
(Vol 21, No. 1, Winter, 1980)


Leary, Paul, "American Policy in Micronesia: An Assessment,"
The Journal of the College of the Virgin Islands
(No. 5, May, 1979)







D. The Northern Marianas

The Northern Marianas district of the U.S. Trust Territory of

the Pacific Islands (of which it will officially remain a part un-

til the entire trusteeship is terminated) consists of sixteen

islands, of which six are inhabited. The three most populous

islands are Rota, Tinian and Saipan, with the last having the bulk

of the population (approximately 11,000 out of a total of 13,000).

The total land area of the group is 183.5 square miles. Saipan

is the capital.

The Northern Marianas are located in the Pacific Ocean, approxi-

mately 5,000 miles from San Francisco and 1,800 miles from mainland

China. To the immediate south is Guam, which is also part of the

Marianas island group, although administered separately as an unin-

corporated territory of the United States since 1898. Prior to

that time, the Northern Marianas had been administered by Spain as

part of Guam. In addition to these historical and geographic links,

the Northern Marianas share the Chamorro culture with Guam as well

as many family ties. Periodically, the issue of a political union

between the Northern Marianas and Guam is raised. This proposal

was defeated in 1969 in an informal referendum on Guam, while

being approved by the Northern Marianas' voters. The establish-

ment of the Northern Marianas Covenant in 1976 had significant

repercussions in Guam, given its liberal provisions which were in

advance of the status possessed by Guam, the older American terri-

tory. The long-term effect of the Covenant on reunification

attempts is unclear at this point.

Following the Spanish-American War of 1898, the Northern

Marianas were sold to Germany. They remained in German hands until







after World War I, when they were acquired as a mandate of the

League of Nations by Japan, which had allied itself with the

winning side in that struggle. Under Japanese rule the Northern

Marianas experienced widespread economic development as well as

intensive Japanese cultural influences. Large numbers of Japanese

migrated to the Northern Marianas to work in the industries and

commercial enterprises established there. Indeed, it appeared to

be long-range Japanese policy to assimilate the Northern Marianas,

along with the other parts of the Pacific Islands it administered,

into the homeland itself, as had occurred with Okinawa and Iwo

Jima.

During World War II Saipan and Tinian were invaded by American

forces on June 15, 1944, following an intensive bombardment. As

a result of a costly and desperate struggle, American control was

established on July 9. Almost 22,000 Japanese civilians perished,

some by mass suicide toward the end of the battle. Almost the

entire Japanese garrison of 30,000 was killed. American casual-

ties (killed, wounded, missing) were 14,111 double the losses

at Guadalcanal. Immediately following the battle airfields were

constructed on Saipan and Tinian to support B-29 raids on the

Japanese mainland. It was from Tinian that the atomic bombing of

Japan was carried out in August, 1945.

With the establishment of the Trusteeship Territory of the

Pacific Islands in 1947, the Marianas were incorporated as a

district. However, from 1953 to 1962 most of the Northern Mari-

anas were transferred back to Navy control, while the rest of the

Trust Territory was under the jurisdiction of the Interior Department.







This was primarily due to the establishment of an extensive C.I.A.

facility on Saipan to train Chinese Nationalist guerillas for

raids against mainland China.

Despite their incorporation into the Trust Territory, the

people of the Northern Marianas felt little affinity to the other

areas of the trusteeship. It must be remembered that the Trust

Territory encompasses a great diversity of peoples and cultures

spread over a vast geographical space. Some eleven mutually unin-

telligible languages are spoken, and significant cultural differ-

ences exist. For example, as a Chamorro people, the Northern

Marianas population possesses no cultural affinity with the resi-

dents of the Carolines; indeed the Carolinian minority that resides

in Saipan itself remains unassimilated and isolated. Given their

distinct culture, links with Guam, and long experience with Navy

rule which brought a living standard higher than the rest of

Micronesia, it is not surprising that the Northern Marianas des-

ired closer links with the United States than was true of the

other districts of the Trusteeship. This desire was expressed

repeatedly. One resolution passed by the Northern Marianas legis-

lature advised the United Nations Security Council in 1972 that

the area was prepared to secede by force of arms, if necessary.

Such sentiments, until 1972, were discouraged by the United States

and the United Nations Trusteeship Council which pursued a policy

of fostering unity within the Trusteeship.

What caused the United States to abandon this policy in 1972

and undertake separate negotiations with the Northern Marianas?

It is, of course, difficult to prove motivation in such a situa-

tion. But is is significant that the American decision came at a







time when its status discussion with the rest of Micronesia

were at an impasse because the Micronesians had firmly rejected

an offer of territorial or commonwealth status and were even

raising the issue of independence for the first time. By accept-

ing the Marianas request when it did, the United States would be

able to assure itself of a permanent connection with a part of

Micronesia in which it had a serious strategic interest, since

it was considering the construction of a major base on Tinian

and already had two strategic installations on nearby Guam. In

addition, separate talks with the Marianas district seriously

weakened the Micronesian bargaining position by removing the

Marianas base as a "counter" and encouraging separatist tenden-

cies in the other districts, particularly the Marshalls and

Palau.

The negotiations with the Northern Marianas and the Covenant

which resulted will be examined in a subsequent section.


Summary

The Northern Marianas remains officially a district of the

Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands and will remain so until

the trusteeship is terminated. Because of its special links with

Guam and its experience under the trusteeship, the Northern Mari-

anas opted for a different form of relationship with the United

States than did the other districts of Micronesia. Beginning in

1972, separate negotiations ensued between the Northern Marianas

and the United States which resulted in a "Covenant". Under its

terms, the Northern Marianas will be permanently incorporated

into the American political system and designated as a







"Commonwealth". The terms of this covenant have significant

implications for Guam and the other U.S. territories.








Source for this Section


Leary, Paul. The Northern Marianas Covenant and American
Territorial Relations (Berkeley, California: Institute
of Governmental Studies Research Report 80-1, 1980)







SECTION III

THE CARIBBEAN TERRITORIES: PUERTO RICO AND THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
OF THE UNITED STATES. AN HISTORICAL OVERVIEW


A. Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is located 885 miles southeast of Florida and

lies thirty-four miles west of the U.S. Virgin Islands. It is

approximately 109 miles long and 39 miles wide, with a total land

area of 3,497 square miles. Present population is 3.3 million.

Puerto Rico was discovered by Columbus in 1493 and remained

under Spanish control from the early 1500's until the Spanish-

American War of 1898. During most of the Spanish era, Puerto

Rico was regarded as an important part of the Empire's defense

system safeguarding the richer colonies in Central and South

America. Economic development was limited and political rights

few. In the 19th century, however, major changes occurred.

In 1815, Spain abandoned her policy of mercantilism and sought

to foster economic growth and colonization. Immigration and trade

were promoted. The population increased from 221,000 in 1815 to

953,000 in 1898. Political concerns increased as well, culmina-

ting in the historic uprising of 1868. On September 23, 1868, a

group of four hundred rebels, headed by Manuel Rojas, seized the

town of Lares and proclaimed the birth of a free republic in the

"Lares Proclamation" which has remained an inspiration to inde-

pendence advocates. The rebellion itself, however, was quickly

crushed by Spanish authorities.

Spain underwent a period of revolutionary republicanism be-

i tween 1868-1874. During that period political reforms were







extended to Puerto Rico, including the right to elect deputies

to the Spanish parliament and to elect municipal (local) officials.

While many of the rights which were extended at this time were

abrogated following the end of the revolution in 1874, these were

not.

During the period from 1874-1898 two major political parties

vied for power in Puerto Rico. The Conservative party favored

Spanish rule and dominated local elections thanks to its access

to patronage and royal favors. The Liberal Reformist Party was

split into two factions on the issue of political status. The

assimilationistss" wanted fuller and more equal integration into

the mother country. The autonomists favored greater home rule

within the Spanish Empire. As the latter group came to predomi-

nate, the Liberal Reformist Party was transformed into the Puerto

Rican Autonomist Party. This group in turn divided, with one

faction seeking home rule for Puerto Rico through alliance with

the Spanish Republican Party which was ideologically sympathetic

but politically ineffectual. The other group was pragmatic, seek-

ing the same goal through the peninsular Liberal Party in Spain

which was monarchical and hence less close ideologically but

more likely to gain political power. This "practical" faction

was headed by Luis Munoz Rivera, the father of Luis Munoz Marin,

who was to devise the present Puerto Rican Commonwealth arrange-

ment.

The point for Puerto Rican autonomy was reached in 1897 when,

possibly as a result of Munoz' political alliance with the pen-

insular Liberal Party, the Spanish Crown issued the "Autonomic








Charter of the Antilles." Puerto Rico was provided a two-house

legislature with substantial authority, with one house completely

elected and the other composed of both elected (eight) and appointed

(seven) members. Amendments to the charter were permitted only

upon petition by the Puerto Rican legislature. Full voting repre-

sentation was granted to both chambers of the Spanish parliament -

confirming a right which had been in effect for twenty years.

It is ironic that with the advent of American rule in 1898,

the political rights of Puerto Ricans would be substantially di-

minished. Indeed, some of the rightsgained from Spain in 1897,

such as voting representation in the national legislature, have

still not been gained. It is also noteworthy that during the

Spanish period political demands on the status issue were predomi-

nantly cast in the form of greater autonomy rather than independence.

Following the Spanish-American War, Puerto Rico was ceded to

the United States by Spain. A period of military occupation

(1898-1900) was terminated in 1900 when Congress passed an Organic

Act establishing a civil government the Foraker Act. It vested

executive authority in a presidentially appointed governor and

eleven person Executive Council. Council members were all presi-

dential appointees, but at least five were required to be Puerto

Rican. Legislative authority was shared between the Executive

Council and a locally elected House of Delegates of thirty-five

members. The legislature had full authority to pass laws of

local application, subject to Congress' ultimate authority to

annul any such law. (Congress never exercised that right.) The

judicial system consisted of a Supreme Court whose members were








appointed by the President and a district court selected by the

Governor. Both were courts whose jurisdiction was confined to

local matters. Cases involving federal law were heard in a U.S.

District Court.

Other features of the Foraker Act are notable. Federal internal

revenue laws were not extended, nor was U.S. citizenship. The post

of Resident Commissioner was established to represent Puerto Rico

in Washington. (The Resident Commissioner was given the status of

a non-voting member of the House of Representatives in 1904.) Also,

the Foraker Act imposed temporary duties and taxes on goods shipped

between Puerto Rico and the United States which would be discon-

tinued when a Puerto Rican tax system would be in place. These

temporary duties led to the famous insular cases. In up-holding

this duty, the Supreme Court fashioned the distinction between in-

corporated and unincorporated territories. Since Puerto Rico was

unincorporated, the full Constitution did notapply, and duties

could be imposed upon its exports.

The next major land mark in Puerto Rican political develop-

ment under American rule was the Jones Act of 1917. This new

Organic act was passed in response to continued criticism of the

limitations on self-government contained in the Foraker Act.

Among other reforms, the Jones Act extended U.S. citizenship,

eliminated the legislative role of the Executive Council and re-

placed it with a popularly elected Senate, and contained a Bill

of Rights. Limits on self-government remained, however, in the

form of presidentially appointed Supreme Court Justices and

Executive Council members, as well as the appointed Governor.







Congress retained the right to nullify any local law. If the

Governor's veto was overridden by the Legislature, he could refer

the bill to the President for final disposition.

In 1947 the appointed Governor was finally replaced with an

elected one with full authority to appoint Executive officials.

In 1950 continued concern in Puerto Rico over its political status

and limitations on self-government led Congress to authorize Puerto

Rico to write its own constitution. Public Law 600, which con-

tained the authority, would become the basis for the establishment

of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

The question of political status emerged as a major issue in

Puerto Rico from the earliest days of American rule. Both the two

major political parties at the time of the U.S. takeover the

Republican Party and the Federal Party endorsed American rule

and called for the granting of territorial status as a prelude

to eventual statehood. They also desired that prior to the enact-

ment of any organic legislation for the territory of Puerto Rico,

a plebiscite be held giving the voters the options of statehood,

independence, or home rule. In'this context, the regressive

nature of the Foraker Act was a bitter disappointment, especially

to the Federal Party. It renamed itself the Union de Puerto Rico

("Unionists") and, while still endorsing statehood, sought greater

self-government and included autonomy and independence as other

possible status options. By 1913 the party abandoned statehood

as a goal. The majority of the Party (led by Luis Munoz Rivera)

supported autonomy greater self-government under American rule.

A sizable minority of the Party however, became increasingly

attracted to independence.








The status issue re-emerged dramatically in the 30's, as

agitation for independence by a militant minority intensified.

The pro-independence Nationalist Party, organized in 1922, was

revitalized by Pedro Albizu Campos, who declared Puerto Rico was

in fact an independent republic and ceaselessly struggled for

recognition of that status. This agitation took a violent turn

in February, 1936, when two Nationalists assassinated the American

chief of police and were in turn killed under suspicious circum-

stances while in police custody. A year later a Nationalist par-

ade in Ponce, conducted with a revoked permit and during a time

of great tension, resulted in an exchange of gunfire in which

twenty people died and more than a hundred were wounded.

Senator Millard Tydings a personal friend of the slain pol-

ice chief in angry reaction to the violent atmosphere introduced

a bill on April 2, 1936 to provide for a referendum on Puerto Rico

independence. If independence were chosen, then Puerto Rico would

be economically penalized in the form of high U.S. tariffs on its

products. While the bill never reached the floor of the Senate,

it had a significant impact on Luis Munoz Marin, at that time

part of the more conservative faction of the Liberal Party. He

abandoned an earlier pro-independence position for greater auto-

nomy within the American political system on the ground that it

was required by economic necessity. Munoz' position caused him

to be expelled from the Liberal Party and to found the Popular

Democratic Party (PDP) in 1936.

Given the depressed economic situation in Puerto Rico, Munoz

concentrated on economic and social reforms which appealed to the








rural poor, Building on that power base, the PDP would come to

dominate Puerto Rican politics.

The issue of independence, however, continued to play an im-

portant part in Puerto Rican politics, and during the early 40's

many members of Munoz' PDP favored this status. Munoz himself

continued to search for a respectable status that was neither

independence nor statehood and which would provide an opportunity

for desperately needed economic development. Following the pas-

sage of the Elected Governor bill in 1947, Munoz Marin became

Puerto Rico's first popularly elected chief executive in 1948.

He would remain in office until 1965.

Following his election, Marin committed himself to the poli-

tical status known in English as "Commonwealth", but in Spanish

as Estado Libre Associado, or Associated Free State. He believed

it would provide for full internal autonomy while permitting the

continued association with the United States required by economic

realities. It would also satisfy the need for a dignified status

by being freely chosen and based on the popular will.

On March 13, 1950, the Puerto Rican Resident Commissioner in

the House of Representatives, a close political ally of Munoz,

introduced H.R. 7674 which, when enacted as Public Law 600, would

provide the basis for the Puerto Rican Commonwealth. As we shall

see in a later section, which examines the status question on

Puerto Rico in more detail, this compromise of Munoz failed to

resolve the question of Puerto Rico's political relationship with

the United States.







Summary

Puerto Rico was acquired by the United States in 1898.

Ironically, under American rule Puerto Rican self-government

was to be more restricted than during the last period of Spanish

rule. One result would be a constant struggle for greater self-

government and an unceasing concern for political status. While

initially Puerto Rican political parties favored statehood, their

disappointment with American policies led to a deepening interest

in independence. Because of the significance of the economic re-

lationship with the United States, however, Luis Munoz Marin de-

vised the Commonwealth status as an alternative to independence

or statehood. This arrangement has not succeeded in

resolving the status question, which continues to dominate Puerto

Rican politics.








Sources for this Section


Tansill, William R. Puerto Rico: Independence or Statehood?
A Survey of Historical, Political and Socioeconomic Factors,
with Pro and Con Arguments (Washington, D.C.: Library of
Congress, Congressional Research Service, 1977).


"Puerto Rico's Political Future: A Divisive Issue With
Many Dimensions" Report to the Congress by the Comptroller
General of the United States (Washington, D.C.: U.S.
General Accounting Office, 1981).








B. The Virgin Islands of the United States

(Note: While this information is well known to members of the
Commission, it is included for purposes of completeness
and in the event this document is used as part of the
Commission's education campaign.)

The Virgin Islands of the United States (USVI) are located in

the Caribbean thirty-four miles to the east of Puerto Rico. The

three major islands are St. Thomas (the capital), St. Croix, and

St. John. The British Virgin Islands (BVI) lie to the east and

share strong cultural and ethnic affinities, cemented by common

family ties. At present, the BVI is a colony of Great Britain,

but with substantial internal autonomy and the prospect of inde-

pendence. The total land area of the Virgin Islands of the United

States is approximately one hundred and thirty-three square miles.

Population estimates vary. The 1970 census produced an official

figure of 62,468, which was generally considered too low. A 1978

household survey conducted for the Economic Policy Council resulted

in an estimate of 118,960, which is probably more accurate. The

population of the Virgin Islands is culturally and ethnically di-

verse. The 1978 household survey referred to above indicated that

42% of the population were born in the Virgin Islands, 8% in Puerto

Rico, 16% in the United States, and 31% in the West Indies outside

the Virgin Islands (3% were classified-as "other").

The Virgin Islands were first discovered by Europeans in 1493

when Christopher Columbus sighted and named them in the course of

his second voyage. St. Thomas came under the rule of the King of

Denmark in 1671, St. John in 1717, and St. Croix in 1733 following

purchase from France. Danish rule lasted until 1917, when the







three islands were sold to the United States. Under Danish rule,

the group was known as the Danish West Indies.

The primary interest of the Danes was commercial, and the islands

were governed by the Danish West India Company until 1755, when

royal government was substituted. As elsewhere in the Caribbean at

this time, the main interest was in sugar cultivation based on

slave labor. St. Croix, being more suited to agricultural activi-

ty, became a typical plantation society, with a small group of

European owners, overseers and clerks controlling a much larger

slave population, aided to some extent by a small "free colored"

class. St. Thomas, with its strategic location and fine harbor

of Charlotte Amalie, became a commercial and trading center.

Emancipation came to the Virgin Islands in 1848 as a result

of a slave rebellion on St. Croix which provided an opportunity

for the liberal Danish Governor, Peter von Scholten, to declare

an end to slavery. The post-emancipation period was characterized

by economic decline as the sugar industry became increasingly mar-

ginal with the development of rival sources elsewhere. Restric-

tive labor laws and desperate economic conditions gave rise to

another rebellion in 1878 on St. Croixwhich brought some tempor-

ary improvement but did not result in the replacement of a gener-

ally repressive social and economic system. By the time of the

sale to the United States in 1917, the islands were impoverished

and political liberties very circumscribed. Many Virgin Islanders

welcomed the transition to American rule in the expectation that

both economic and political benefits would be forthcoming.

The United States purchased the Danish West Indies in 1917

for the sum of $25 million dollars. The major motivation was to







prevent the strategically located islands from possibly coming

under German rule and threatening the approaches to the Panama

Canal at a time when the United States was on the verge of enter-

ing World War I. It should be noted, however, that American

interest in the islands predated the 1917 purchase, as earlier

attempts to secure them were made in 1867, 1898 and 1902.

The first form of government for the U.S. Virgin Islands was

provided in the Act of March 3, 1917. The islands were placed

under the jurisdiction of the Navy Department. Self-rule was

extremely limited. Not only was the governor appointed by Wash-

ington, but the old Danish colonial government was retained.

Separate Colonial Councils for St. Thomas-St. John and St. Croix

were continued. Their legislative powers were limited and they

contained members appointed by the governor as well as elected

members. The suffrage remained very restricted, and in 1917 only

701 voters existed out of a total population of 26,000 due to

property and income qualifications.

A struggle ensued for greater political rights and against

the repressive aspects of Navy rule, including its racist elements.

Leading figures in this effort were Hamilton Jackson, Rothschild

Francis, and Ralph de Chabert. The American Civil Liberties Union

took an increasing interest in the Virgin Islands situation, as

did Virgin Islanders resident in New York City. As Gordon K.

Lewis notes with respect to this period, "...psychologically the

Navy was not equipped to understand the processes of civilian

democracy in general or the peculiarities of Caribbean race rela-

tions in particular. Its officers thought,characteristically,in







terms of authority." (The Virgin Islands: A Caribbean Lilliput,

Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press, 1972, p 55.)

On the positive side, the Navy did make considerable improvements

in the areas of public health, education and public works, such

as a water storage system based on catchments. One result of the

campaign for greater political equality was the granting of U.S.

citizenship by Congress on February 25, 1927. In addition, Navy

rule came to an end in 1931, as jurisdiction over the islands was

transferred to the Department of the Interior and the first civil-

ian governor, Paul M. Pearson, assumed office.

A major turning point in the political history of the U.S.

Virgin Islands was the Organic Act of 1936. It provided for elec-

tion of all Council members (eliminating the appointed ones),

contained a Bill of Rights and most importantly extended suff-

rage to all adults of twenty-one years and older who were literate

in English. While the Organic Act retained major limitations on

local autonomy, such as an ultimate Presidential veto over bills

passed over the objections of the governor, as well as the appointed

governorship itself, it nevertheless represented a genuine change.

The extended suffrage gave rise to political parties and brought

the first period of popular participation in government. It also

ushered in an era frequently characterized by clashes between the

elected legislature and appointed governors. Not all of the latter

had the personality or abilities needed to operate successfully

in the Virgin Islands context.

The next major constitutional development for the Virgin Islands

occurred in 1954 with the passage of a revised Organic Act. The







chief concerns of the legislation appeared to be the promotion

of governmental efficiency and the provision of a financial base

for local government rather than political advancement. The Act

formally declared the Virgin Islands to be an unincorporated

territory to satisfy Congressmen who did not wish the Organic

Act to be interpreted as a step toward statehood. In an apparent

attempt to provide representation for the white resident minority,

a provision was included that six members of the legislature would

be elected at large but each voter could vote for only two. (Local

resentment caused this provision to be removed by amendment in

1966.) Government executive departments were reorganized and

limited to nine; establishment of additional departments required

approval by the Secretary of the Interior. Separate legislatures

for St. Thomas-St. John and St. Croix were eliminated. The Presi-

dent retained the ultimate right to decide the fate of bills passed

by the local legislature over the governor's veto. The governor

remained a presidential appointee.

The most significant parts of the 1954 Organic Act provided

a financial base for local government, but with substantial res-

trictions on the latter's freedom of action. Federal income

taxes would be collected as a local tax by the Virgin Islands

government. (This system had previously been provided by author-

ity of the Naval Appropriations Act of 1921.) In addition, fed-

eral taxes collected on Virgin Islands products (mainly rum) would

be returned to the islands if matched on a 100% basis by local

funds. However, these monies could be spent "for emergency purposes

and essential public projects only", and their expenditure required








the prior approval of the President of the United States or his

designated representative (i.e., the Interior Department). To

further ensure that federally related funds were properly spent,

the office of Government Controller for the Virgin Islands was

established, with authority to audit all accounts of the Virgin

Islands Government. The Comptroller is appointed by the Secretary

of the Interior and is under his supervision. As part of his

responsibilities, the Comptroller is required to bring to the

attention of the Governor any mismanagement of funds which he

discovers.

In reaction to the continued limitations on self-government

which were not remedied by the 1954 Organic Act, a locally author-

ized constitutional convention met in 1964 and proposed several

reforms. They called for an elected governor; abolition of the

at-large voting limitation; an elected representative in the

Congress; the right to vote in Presidential elections; the aboli-

tion of the President's ultimate veto power over local legisla-

tion; the appointment of the Controller by the Governor of the

Virgin Islands; the right to propose amendments to the Organic

Act, subject to approval by the President and Congress; and a

change in the political status of the territory from "unincorpor-

ated" to "autonomous". With respect to political status, the

convention noted that it was opposed to annexation by another

U.S. State or territory; that it opposed independence; that it

wished to remain an unincorporated territory with full self-

government and the closest possible association with the United

States.








The reaction of Congress to this list of proposals has been

to act on them in a piecemeal rather than in a comprehensive

fashion. Thus, some have been attained, and others remain to

be achieved. The at-large provision was removed in 1966 as

previously noted. An elected governor was provided in 1968.

An elected delegate to Congress was authorized in 1972. The

President's ultimate veto power has been eliminated (but Congress

still retains the right never exercised to annul any act of

the Virgin Islands Legislature). Under the terms of P.L. 94-584

of 1976, the Virgin Islands now has the right to draft its own

constitution.

Proposals made in 1964 which have not been enacted are the

right to vote in Presidential elections, a locally appointed

Controller, and a revised political status.

In contrast to neighboring Puerto Rico, political status

issues have not been an important factor in Virgin Islands'

politics.. There has, until recently, been no indication of a

desire to re-examine the unincorporated territory status. Changes

have been sought in federal relations with respect to individual

irritants, but there has been no comprehensive analysis of the

entire framework of U.S.-Virgin Islands relations. However, with

the newly awakened interest in status questions in the other U.S.

territories, and with the example of the Northern Marianas Cove-

nant as a possible precedent, for the first time a Status Commis-

sion has been established in the Virgin Islands under Act 4462

(1980). In addition, constitutional conventions held in 1979

and 1980 have drafted proposed federal relations acts, even though








their primary task was confined to constructing a framework for

internal self-government. The federal relations acts reflect

an unhappiness with the terms of the present relationship with

the United States and are closely related to the issue of status.

They will be examined in a later section of this paper focusing

on status issues.


Summary

After almost two hundred and fifty years of Danish rule the

Virgin Islands were purchased by the United States to protect the

approaches to the Panama Canal. Hopes for expanded political

liberties were disappointed when the United States established

autocratic Naval rule from 1917-1931. Following local agitation

for greater self-government, U.S. citizenship was granted in 1927

and civilian rule under the Interior Department in 1931. Another

major step forward in self-government occurred in 1936 with the

passage of an Organic Act by Congress. The authority granted to

the local legislature combined with universal suffrage created a

basis for local political activity. The revised Organic Act of

1954, by contrast, contained several retrogressive features limit-

ing local autonomy, while emphasizing fiscal and administrative

reform. Following the first Virgin Islands Constitutional Con-

vention in 1964, a number of significantpolitical advances have

taken place, including an elected governor, a Congressional dele-

gate, and authority to draft a Virgin Islands Constitution. In

the late 70's the issue of political status emerged as a factor

for the first time in Virgin Islands politics as reflected in

the proposed Federal Relations Acts of the Third and Fourth








Constitutional Conventions and the establishment of a Virgin

Islands Status Commission.







Sources for this Section


Lewis, Gordon K. The Virgin Islands: A Caribbean Lilliput
(Evanston, Ill: Northwestern University Press, 1972)


Miller, Richard. "The Virgin Islands Economy" (Washington,
D.C.: Office of Territorial Affairs, Department of the
Interior, 1979)


Bough, J. andMacridis, R. The Virgin Islands: America's
Caribbean Outpost







SECTION IV

CURRENT POLITICAL STATUS ISSUES IN THE UNITED STATES OFFSHORE AREAS


A. Introduction

With the exception of Puerto Rico, political status issues

were not broadly and self-consciously debated in U.S. offshore

areas until recently. In general, reforms were sought within

the existing context of the status relationship, such as citizen-

ship, greater legislative authority over local matters, elected

governors and non-voting delegates to Congress. Beginning with

the late 1960's, however, this situation began to change. There

are a number of factors that were instrumental in producing that

change.

Internationally, any political status of a colonial type be-

came increasingly anachronistic as formerly dependent peoples

emerged into independent states. Their experiences under coloni-

alism often led to a deep hostility to any lingering elements of

the old order, and their favored forum for expressing such senti-

ments was (and is) the United Nations. As Rupert Emerson put it:

"The overwhelming majority of the United Nations has come to

accept the preposition, passionately held by many of them, that

colonialism is an abomination in the eyes of God and man, to be

promptly extripated. The anti-colonialists have ceased to be an

isolated minority of rebels under attack by the imperial Establish-

ment; it is now the defenders of the lingering colonial regimes

who have descended into the position of fighting what are often

no more than brief and half-hearted rearguard actions..." (Rupert

Emerson, Self Determination Revisited in the Era of Decolonization,







Cambridge, Mass.: Center for International Affairs, Harvard Uni-

versity, 1964, pp 17-18)

Given this international political climate, the United States

has assumed binding legal obligations under the United Nations

Charter which have become increasingly significant. The American

territories of Guam, Samoa and the Virgin Islands are officially

classified as "non-self-governing" by the United Nations that is,

as colonies, subject to the Charter provisions contained in Chapter

XI (Declaration Regarding Non-Self-Governing Territories). Under '

Article 73a of Chapter XI, administering powers (in this case, the

United States) are charged with promoting the political, education-

al, economic and social advancement of the inhabitants of their

non-self-governing areas, and with treating them justly, protect-

ing them againstabuses, and respecting their culture. Article 73b

obligates the administering states to develop self-government and

free political institutions, while taking into account that this

must be done in the context of the circumstances surrounding each

case and the degree of advancement of the inhabitants. Under

Article 73e, the administering authorities must transmit informa-

tion relating to the economic, social and educational conditions

in their territories to ensure that they are properly fulfilling

their Charter obligations.

The United Nations body to which this information is submitted

each year by the United States is the Subcommittee on Small Terri-

tories of the Special Committee of 24 on Decolonization. The

Committee of 24 reports to the General Assembly. During the '70s

the interest of this group in U.S. territories was manifested by







visiting missions sent to the Virgin Islands, Guam and Samoa

with the consent of the United States the first time this has

been done in the history of U.S. administration. The attitude

of the "Committee of 24" on questions of decolonization may be

gleaned from this excerpt from a United Nationsl publication des-

cribing its work: "In other decisions adopted at its 1980 session,

the Committee reaffirmed the inalienable right of the inhabitants

of smaller territories to self-determination and independence...

and reiterated the view that such factors as size, geographical

location, population and limited natural resources should in no

way delay the speedy implementation of the process of self-deter-

mination..." ("The United Nations and Decolonization," United

Nations, New York, 1980, p 44,).

In the case of another U.S. offshore area, Puerto Rico, the

situation vis-a-vis the United Nations is more complex. As a

result of the Commonwealth status gained by Puerto Rico in 1953

the United States requested that it be removed from the list of

non-self-governing territories, since the new status represented

an authentic exercise of self-determination. The American posit-

ion was approved by a narrow majority in the General Assembly

(26-16 in favor with 18 abstentions) at a time when its influence

in that body was much greater than it is today.. In the 1970's the

issue of Puerto Rico's status was raised repeatedly by the Cuban

delegation to an increasingly sympathetic Committee of 24. In

1978 this Committee declared that the Puerto Rican people had the

inalienable right to self-determination and independence, and has

subsequently reaffirmed that stand. To date, however, the General








Assembly has not acted and Puerto Rico has not been returned to

the list of non-self-governing entities.

With respect to the other Offshore Area under American control,

as previously noted (see pp 29 ff), Micronesia is a strategic trus-

teeship administered under the authority of the Security Council

through the Trusteeship Council. As we shall see, the question of

the Urited Nations' involvement will become a very significant

one when present arrangements to dissolve the trusteeship are pre-

sented to it.

In summary, then, there is an international political and legal

basis for heightened sensitivity to political status questions in

the U.S. Offshore areas. In an era of decolonization, both the

inhabitants of these territories as well as the United States must

be concerned about their existence as part of the last remnant of

colonies. It is an increasing source of embarrassment to both

parties, and it is of interest that the terms "colonial" and "colony"

are now frequently employed in the Offshore Areas to describe their

status. For example, the report on political status prepared for

the Guam Legislature in 1980 states: "It is indeed a paradox that

the United States, which actively promoted decolonization in the

world through the United Nations, still keeps Guam in a colonial

status." ("A Reassessment of Guam's Political Relationship With

the United States", prepared for the 15th Guam Legislature by

Venture Development Management Resources, Inc., Agana, Guam, 1980,

p. 8.)

In addition to broader international developments, regional

factors have been important in the new concern about political








status. In the Pacific region independence has come to almost

all the remaining colonies of the metropolitan power, even the

smallest and least politically sophisticated. For example,there

is Nauru, a small island of 3,300 people situated on a rich phos-

phate deposit which, as it is mined, will eventually make most of

the island uninhabitable. Papua New Guinea is still characterized

by "stone-age" cultures in its interior region and a very limited

experience with modern political life. A particularly glaring

contrast exists in the Samoan islands where Western Samoa, which

is economically much less advanced than American Samoa, has been

independent since 1962. A similar situation exists in the Carib-

bean region, where new nations are emerging from islands smaller

in population and much poorer than the U.S. Virgin Islands and

Puerto Rico. A situation somewhat analagous to that in Samoa

may emerge in the Virgin Islands in the 1980's if the British

Virgin Islands becomes an independent state, which appears likely.

A consequence of these regional trends is that the U.S. Pacific

and Caribbean territories are increasingly defensive about their

dependent status. For example, the Report of the Second Future

Political Status Study Commission of American Samoa, while reject-

ing independence as economically impractical at this time, does

note: "Independence is the ultimate goal of any freedom-loving

people, including the Samoans." With respect to possible politi-

cal union with Western Samoa also considered undesirable at

this time the Commission commented: "If all the Samoan people

were unified as residents of a single nation, Samoan national

* pride would be increased. Putting the 'two Samoas' together

would show the world that artificial lines drawn by foreign








powers need not permanently divide a people." ("Report from the

Second Future Political Status Study Commission to the Governor

of American Samoa and the Fifteenth Legislature of American Samoa",

Pago, Pago American Samoa, September 14, 1979, p 25, p 27.)

The form most often taken by the desire to relate more effec-

tively to regional developments is to seek authority from the

United States to participate in regional organizations. All of

the Pacific Offshore Areas, including Guam and Samoa, now do so.

In the Caribbean, Puerto Rico has sought a greater international

role, but has been discouragedby the United States. There are

indications that the U.S. Virgin Islands are also interested in

greater regional ties, and are concerned about their present

political isolation. (See, for example "Report of the Executive

Director", Virgin Islands Status Commission, St. Thomas, June 12,

1981). Given the precedents set in the Pacific, it is difficult

to understand how the Caribbean areas' aspirations can be denied.

While international and regional political developments have

contributed to the present status concerns of U.S. Offshore Areas,

changes within the U.S. entities themselves have also been

important.

Beginning in 1969, Micronesia began a process of negotiation

with the United States concerning its future relationship. In

the course of those negotiations, which are still not concluded,

the Northern Marianas district decided to pursue discussions with

the United States separate from the other districts of Micronesia.

The result was the Northern Marianas Covenant of 1975, which was

approved by Congress and the President in 1976. Under its terms,







the Northern Marianas gained advantages which the older unincor-

porated territories do not possess. This was particularly up-

setting to Guam, with its close geographical, cultural and historic

links to the Northern Marianas. This Covenant has important impli-

cations for the U.S. Virgin Islands as well, and they will be dis-

cussed more fully in the next section.

After the United States negotiated a permanent "Commonwealth"

relationship with the Northern Marianas, it found itself dealing

with the three separate entities that had emerged from the Trust

Territory as of 1977 the Federated States of Micronesia (Yap,

Truk, Ponape and Kosrae), the Marshall islands, and Palau. These

entities had rejected the permanent commonwealth relationship

attractive to the Northern Marianas, and were seeking a form of

"free association", under which they would have full control over

their domestic affairs and be able to conduct their own foreign

policy as well, while recognizing American control over defense

and security for a limited period of time. In return for conces-

sions on defense matters, the United States would make substantial

financial contributions to the Micronesian states. Finally, the

Micronesians gained the right to terminate the arrangement uni-

laterally if they so wished, and to move to independence.

For our present purposes, the importance of the Micronesian

negotiations is that they indicate a much greater flexibility on

the part of the United States in considering status options when

it is in its interests to do so. While certain legal distinctions

between the Micronesians and inhabitants of the other U.S. Offshore

Areas may be insisted upon to argue that the Micronesian precedent








is not relevant such as the special status of Micronesia as

a Trust Territory rather than a "permanent" part of the American

political system under full U.S. sovereignty, or the fact that

Micronesians are not U.S. citizens a close examination of the

negotiations indicates that the free association status arose

out of the insistence of the Micronesians rather than a legal

analysis. Would not a similar insistence on the part of the other

U.S. Offshore Areas result in a more flexible interpretation of

the prevailing legal factors? As the 1980 Guam Report on Status

argued: "In the contemporary political environment, with new and

highly relevant precedents being set all around the Pacific, Guam

need not be bound by turn-of-the-century domestic law cases on

United States territoriality. Because of widespread American pub-

lic sensitivity on the issue of self-determination, it is doubtful

the United States would adamantly or long oppose firm Guamanian

initiatives toward free association or independence, if these

options represent the majority view on Guam." ("A Reassessment

of Guam's Political Relationship With the United States," p. 51)

The last factor that should be noted in connection with the

Offshore Areas' concerns regarding political status are indica-

tions of a greater willingness on the part of the United States

government to accommodate political change. The 1970's have

witnessed a progressive improvement of self-government within the

unincorporated territories of Guam, Samoa and the U.S. Virgin

Islands. All three territories now have elected governors and

Congressional delegates. Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands have

authority to write their own constitutions, and Samoa in practice









can do so. It is likely that existing constraints on autonomy,

such as the comptrollers appointed by the Interior Department,

will disappear in the 1980's. With respect to Puerto Rico, even

President Ford's surprising declaration in 1976 that he favored

statehood for the commonwealth could be considered as part of

this trend to examine alternatives previously not seriously con-

sidered. Finally, there was the inter-agency review taken under

the Carter Administration. In a subsequent message to Congress

on February 14, 1980, transmitting the administration's framework

for a comprehensive Territorial policy toward American Samoa,

Guam, the Northern Marianas and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the

President stated:

"In keeping with our fundamental policy of self-determina-
tion, all options for political development should be open
to the people of the insular territories so long as their
choices are implemented when economically feasible and in
a manner that does not compromise the national security of
the United States.

If the people of any of the territories wish to modify
their current political status, they should express their
aspirations to the Secretary of the Interior through their
elected leaders, as is the case now. The Secretary, along
with representatives of the appropriate Federal agencies
will, in turn, consult with territorial leaders on the
issues raised. Following such discussions, a full report
will be submitted to the Congress, along with the Secre-
tary's proposals and recommendations."







In this connection also, it should be noted that Task Force No. 1

of this Inter-agency Policy Review made the following comment:

"There is a range of choices that are at least theoretically open

to the people of the U.S. territories, some for the long term,

some for the shorter term, such as unincorporated territorial

status. U.S. security interests are susceptible of accommodation

in connection with any of these choices, but they are, of course,

more easily accommodated with some status choices than with others..."

("Interagency Policy Review U.S. Territories and the Trust

Territory," Task Force No. 1, p 7.)

Thus, the federal government itself, during the seventies,

indicated that a new spirit of flexibility may be developing on

status issues. While the change of administrations in 1980 obvi-

ously raises questions regarding the willingness of the Reagan

administration to continue this trend, there are some preliminary

indications that it too may be responsive to the need for change.

In comments made at a conference in March, 1981 at the College

of the Virgin Islands on the topic of "Recent Developments in

U.S.-Offshore Areas Relations," Tom McGurn, who headed the Reagan

transition team dealing with the International and Territorial

Affairs Division of the Department of the Interior, and was a

leading candidate for the position of Assistant Secretary for

that office, commented:

"I would like to end by making a few comments about
status. One of the most important issues of the 1980's
is the economic and political status of the Offshore
Areas. Significant changes will take place in the Caribbean









and Pacific basin, and more than ever the changes will
be affected by world events. In order to influence and
plan for a stable and productive economic system, the
Offshore Areas must explore every reasonable and practical
option for your future status with the U.S. Federal govern-
ment, as well as, and very importantly, your regional
neighbors. The future will require a greater voice for
the Offshore Areas and local self-determination of poli-
tical, economic and social development, and the means to
assure a stable local and regional future. If you do not
take advantage of this opportunity in a vigorous manner,
then your choices by default will be made by the Federal
Government. The resulting options are most likely to be
less than adequate or desirable for the Offshore Areas.
It appears that the Reagan administration is determined
and supportive of greater local self-determination, giv-
ing necessary consideration to over-all national security
issues. However, the window of opportunity may not remain
open for long due to unpredictable world events and new
long-term changes in economic development. It is up to
the people of the Offshore Areas to seize the day and
vigorously pursue the establishment of their status options.
Vigorous and energetic local governments can and will pro-
duce a more prosperous future. Cooperation among the Off-
shore Areas in the development of this new status will
help produce a stronger and mqre cohesive approach. This
will benefit each individual and will be less confusing
and therefore more acceptable to the Congress and those
in the Executive branch who make federal policy."












Summary

A recent development of great significance in the U.S. Off-

shore Areas is a concern with their political status. Previously,

only Puerto Rico had expressed an interest in the nature of their

political relationship with the United States. During the 1970's

every Offshore Area either established political status commissions

or entered into negotiations for a new political status. This

trend was caused by several inter-related factors. Internationally,

dependent status is increasingly unacceptable in an era of decolo-

nization. In addition, the United States has legal obligations

under the United Nations Charter which relate to its non-self-

governing territories. Regionally, the example of newly indepen-

dent states of similar size and resources has awakenedinterest in

a re-examination of the current limited political status among

the U.S. insular areas, as well as a desire for more representa-

tion on international and regional organizations that affect them.

Within the U.S. territorial system itself, negotiations with the

Northern Marianas and Micronesia have created the possibility of

new forms of status that did not previously exist. Finally, the

Federal government itself has exhibited greater flexibility and

sensitivity with respect to issues of self-determination.








Major Sources for this Section


"Final Report from the First Future Political Status Study
Commission of American Samoa" (Pago Pago, American Samoa,
1970)


"Interagency Policy Review U.S. Territories and the Trust
Territory", Task Force #1 (Washington, D.C.: N.d.)


"A Reassessment of Guam's Political Relationship With the
United States," prepared for the 15th Guam Legislature by
Venture Development Management Resources, Inc. (Agana, Guam,
1980)


"Report for the Second Future Political Status Study Commission
to the Governor of American Samoa and the Fifteenth Legislature
of American Samoa" (Pago Pago, American Samoa, 1979)


"Status of Guam: Report of the Political Status Commission of
the Twelfth Guam Legislature" (Agana, Guam, 1974)


"The United Nations and Decolonization" (New York: United
Nations, 1980)







B. Status Concerns in the Pacific Areas: Guam, American Samoa,
Nicronesia and the Northern Marianas


1. Guam

The first Guam Political Status Commission was authorized by

legislation passed by the Twelfth Guam Legislature and produced a

two-part report in September, 1974. In their report, the Commis-

sion distinguished between the long-term goal of Guam's ultimate

political status and short-term goals that relate to immediate

needs for adjustment within the present status. As for the former,

the Commission held that no firm recommendation could be made with-

out the development of a consensus among the people of Guam; an

educational and political process must precede that development.

Regarding short-term adjustments, the Commission held that the

present Organic Act should be replaced with a constitution

(including a Federal Relations Act) drafted by the people of Guam.

Of particular concern was the impact of the U.S. military presence

including the reservation of large tracts of land and the impor-

tation of foreign laborers without regard to Guamanian needs.

The Commission also expressed its dismay at the growth of a large

migrant labor force being employed in the private sector. This

labor force was admitted as a result of Federal Government policies

over which Guam had no control, despite the potentially drastic

consequences. Another issue raised by the Report was the desire

of Guam to participate in Pacific regional organizations, such

as the Asian Development Bank, particularly since areas with less

autonomy than Guam (e.g., Micronesia) do so. The final short-

term problem identified by the Commission was inconsistent








treatment of Guam under federal law, including lack of sensi-

tivity to the special needs of the Island. The specific recom-

mendations made by the Commission were:

1. a local Constitution and Federal Relations Act to
replace the present Organic Act;

This would address the short-term concerns of
Guam and leave open for future determination any
final status: "The Commission regards this as a short-
term immediate response to Guam's problem so that
the longer-term issue can be handled more at its
leisure and with the proper degree of local control.
It is the Commission's view that this interim position
would be similar to the Commonwealth status granted
Puerto Rico and that which is being discussed for
the Marianas. But this interim position is not nec-
essarily the longer-term status goal. It may be that
Commonwealth should continue to develop and grow but
it could also be the people of Guam would wish closer
association with the United States through statehood
or a more distant one similar to that being discussed
with Micronesia at present." (p. 19)

2. a referendum presenting the choice between the present
Organic Act and a constitution;

3. a joint U.S.-Guam Ad-Hoc Committee to review the U.S.
military presence;

4. a public education campaign to inform the Guamanian
public about political status issues and their implications.

Also of interest are three of the conclusions drawn by the

Status Commission:

1. The relationship between the United States and Guam should

be based on the principle of self-determination. Changes

in the status of Guam must be undertaken only after due

consultation with the people of Guam;

2. In accordance with this principle, it is essential that

Congress and the Executive fully understand the wishes of

the People of Guam so that it can be properly guided in

carrying out these wishes.







3. The various status alternative are within the power of

the people of Guam and the Congress to establish under

the Constitution. (This was originally Point 4 in the

Report.)


In 1979 the 15th Guam Legislature called for another reasses-

ment of relations with the United States. Rather than appoint a

separate Commission, it placed responsibility for the study upon

a Legislative subcommittee ("Subcommittee on Federal Political

Reassessment"). Its major purpose was not to make definitive

recommendations, but to provide an analysis that would help pro-

voke and inform public debate on the issues. The basis for the

subcommittee's work was a report provided by a local consulting

firm, Venture Development and Management Resources, Inc.

By the time the 1979 re-examination of relations with the

United States occurred, a great deal of controversy had developed

regarding the implications of U.S. Public Law 94-584 of October 21,

1976, authorizing Guam and the Virgin Islands to draft constitu-

tions for local self-government within the existing territorial-

federal relationship. This followed the work of a second Guam

Status Commission, authorized by the 13th Legislature in 1975,

which had held inconclusive discussions with aPresidential repre-

sentative, Mr. Fred Zeder, then Director of the Office of Terri-

tories. Following these discussions and the Commission's recom-

mendations, a plebiscite was held in September, 1976 on status

options.








The results were:


Status Quo 8%
Improve Status Quo 51%
Independence 5%
Statehood 21%
Other 3%
(88% of the eligible voters participated in the referendum.)

In this context, Public Law 94-584 was interpreted as an

attempt to keep status discussion within the limits defined by

the existing relationship, and as a pre-emptive effort on the

part of the Federal government which would preclude an authentic

act of self-determination. It was argued that if Guam passed

such a constitution, it would be viewed as a vote in favor of

the present relationship, so that further discussions would be

moot.

Nevertheless, a constitutional convention was authorized,

met in 1977 and 1978, and drafted a proposed basic law. Opposi-

tion surfaced immediately, much of it focusing on status implica-

tions. Most legislators publicly expressed disapproval. A refer-

endum was held on August 4, 1979, in which the proposed Constitu-

tion was defeated by a margin of 5 to 1; only 47% of the registered

voters participated. The defeat was generally interpreted as an

indication that status issues had to be settled before any con-

stitution would be adopted.

With this background, and after examining the advantages and

disadvantages of various status options, the Venture Development

Report followed the pattern set by the 1974 Status Commission in

recommending both immediate and long-term goals. It differed,








however, in recommending a specific long-term political status.

In the short-term, the Report called for the negotiation of a

covenant with the United States based on the Northern Marianas

precedent. Under the terms of the covenant long-standing Guama-

nian grievances, such as military land use, restrictive federal

laws, and the right to participate in regional organizations,

could be resolved. Following negotiation of the agreement, it

would be confirmed by local plebiscite and Congressional action.

Only then would a Guam Constitution be in order. For the longer

term, the Report recommended statehood, either alone or as a

united commonwealth with the Northern Marianas. In the meantime,

the economy should be strengthened.

The Report also noted that a careful planning process was

required whatever the political status goals chosen. Important

in this regard were an effective public education campaign followed

by a plebiscite in which the electorate decided which path was to

be followed. Only then would it be appropriate to negotiate for

the status chosen: "...constitutions, covenants or compactsto be

negotiated with the federal government should not be drafted with-

out first obtaining the electorate's approval, after an effective

educational program, of the aim of such a document. Any covenant

or compact by necessity must point toward a particular

new political status; that status preference should be determined

beforehand by the people in a formal plebiscite, not by a status

commission or informal public opinion polls....Once the public

consensus is known, then the function of a status commission...

is to negotiate the covenant or compact." (p. 61)







In connection with its Report, Venture Development conducted

an extensive public opinion poll. Regarding political status,

the results were:

Territory 39%
Statehood 30%
Free Association 4%
Commonwealth 8%
Independence 5%
Not Sure 14%
100%

At present, both the political status and constitution issues

are unresolved in Guam. A status commission exists, but is inactive.

Resentment continuesregarding treatment by the federal government,

but there is no indication of any serious attempt to resolve them

outside of the present political framework of close association

with America.


2. American Samoa

The first Future Political Status Study Commission for American

Samoa (FPSSC) was created by the Eleventh Legislature in July, 1969.

It was created as a result of political and economic changes with-

in American Samoa, including discussion of its ultimate political

destiny. Under the terms of its mandate, the Status Commission

was to analyze alternative forms of future political status and

present its findings and recommendations to the Legislature. To

gather information, the Commission travelled to Washington, D.C.

to consult with members of Congress and officials of the Interior

Department. It also visited Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands,

conferred with large Samoan communities on the West Coast and








Hawaii, and examined the political and economic situation in

selected Pacific countries (New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga and Western

Samoa). Within American Samoa itself, meetings were held with

leaders and the public in order to assess attitudes on status

issues.

The FPSSC examined six possible political statuses:

1. Independence
2. Union with Western Samoa
3. Incorporated territory of the U.S. (with an Organic Act)
4. Commonwealth of the U.S.
5. A county of Hawaii
6. Present status

The committee saw its role to be one of exploring and evaluat-

ing these options so as to provide a basis for public discussion,

not that of being an advocate for a particular choice: "The function

of this report is to explore and evaluate the political alterna-

tives open to American Samoa, not to select an alternative on be-

half of the people. The Commission's role is merely to provide an

analytical report which can be the basis for intelligent discussion.

The final decision rests, of course, with the people of American

Samoa and the Congress of the United States." (p. 5)

The Commission's recommendation was to retain the present status

of American Samoa as an unorganized and unincorporated territory of

the United States. (American Samoa is "unorganized" because Cong-

ress has never passed an Organic Act for it. Instead, it is

governed through the authority of the Secretary of the Interior,

who was delegated this function by the President. The President,

in turn,had been given this authority under an act of Congress







in 1929). The major reason for this choice was the fear that

aspects of the traditional Samoan way of life would be imperiled

if Samoans became U.S. citizens and were governed by an Organic

Act which might bring to bear provisions of the U.S. Constitution.

Of major concern were preservation of the present form of communal

land holding which prohibits alienation of land to outsiders. In

addition, the traditional matai (chief) system is the basis for

selection to the upper house of the legislature not the secret

ballot based on universal suffrage. Finally, under its present

arrangement, Samoa controls immigration into the territory, inclu-

ding the entrance and terms of residence of U.S. citizens as well

as non-citizens. All of these buttress the traditional order, and

could be overridden if put to a constitutional test. However, the

main concern of the FPSSC was the land holding situation. Indeed,

as part of the political modernization of American Samoa, it

recommended that both houses of the Legislature be popularly elec-

ted. Other recommendations were: election of a governor with

exclusive veto power over local legislation, a re-examination of

the educational system, official representation in Washington, a

land survey and registration, and a joint U.S.-Samoan Committee

to study further the possibilities of Commonwealth and Organic Act

Status.

As previously noted, American Samoa has subsequently gained

both an elected governor and a Washington Delegate. The upper

house of the legislature, however, is still selected by traditional

methods.

In 1979, a Second Future Political Status Study Commission was







created by the American Samoa Legislature. It was charged with

the same responsibilities as the First Commission. It also ex-

amined the same political status options as the latter, but with

one addition return to Ancient Samoa prior to U.S. administration.

It followed the same pattern of soliciting information through pub-

lic meetings with American Samoans both in the territory and in

the United States. Discussions were also held with Washington

officials.

In its final recommendations, the Second Commission reaffirmed

the position of the First, and called for a retention of the pres-

ent status of an unorganized, unincorporated territory in order to

safeguard the traditional culture and social system. This would

enable change to occur in a gradual and peaceful manner and keep

future options open: "The great majority of American Samoans are

devoted and devout in their feelings for America. However, facts

may arise which would make independence or union with Western

Samoa or to join with Hawaii as part of that very fine State the

wisest course of political development. The Commission feels that

while these alternatives are not practical at this time, they should

not be summarily dismissed. American Samoa must continue to search

its soul in the light of future developments." (p. 47)

Other recommendations made by the Second Commission included

the establishment of a unicameral legislature (including members

selected in the traditional manner), the Chief Justice and Associate

Justices to be appointed by the Governor, changes in the qualifi-

cations for candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor re-

quiring American-Samoan ancestry, and the creation of a Third








Future Political Status Study Commission in the next ten to fif-

teen years. Of particular interest is the recommendation that

American Samoa be given the right to negotiate with other Pacific

nations with respect to economic matters of special interest.


3. Micronesia

The negotiations between the United States and Micronesia for

a political status acceptable to both sides began in 1967, and

are still not concluded. The Congress of Micronesia, which was

established in 1964, created a Future Political Status Commission

(FPSC) composed of six Congressmen, with one elected from each

district of the Trust Territory. (At that time the districts

were: the Marianas, the Marshalls, Ponape, Truk, Yap, and Palau.)

The FPSC published an Interim Report in June, 1968, which examined

four possible future statuses: independence, a freely associated

state, integration, and continuance as a trust territory. In

July, 1969 a final report was issued which favored free associa-

tion, with independence to be pursued if negotiations for free

association failed. Significantly, integration with the United

States, either through a territorial or commonwealth status, was

rejected because it would entail the destruction of the Micrones-

ian way of life. Independence was rejected because it would not

eliminate the need for ties with a major power, given the strategic

location of Micronesia, and it would result in unacceptable con-

sequences for the present living standard which was dependent on

the American connection. Free Association was chosen as a viable

compromise status.







Following publication of the final report, a Political Status

Delegation was appointed by the Congress of Micronesia which held

its first meetings with American officials in Washington, D.C.,

in 1969. In 1970 the Congress of Micronesia adopted a set of

four non-negotiable principles to guide status discussions:

1. That sovereignty in Micronesia resides in the people

of Micronesia and their duly constituted government;

2. That the people of Micronesia possess the right of

self-determination and may therefore choose indepen-

dence or self-government in free association with any

nation or organization of nations;

3. That the people of Micronesia have the right to adopt

their own constitution and to amend, change or revoke

any constitution or governmental plan at any time; and

4. That free association should be in the form of a re-

vocable compact terminable unilaterally by either

party.


In the negotiations which ensued starting in 1969, the major

issues were future status, land,defense and foreign affairs, and

finance. Initially the United States opposed the concepts of uni-

lateral termination and free association, and offered instead a

"permanent" relationship in the form of commonwealth or unincor-

porated territory. Eventually, the United States would come to

accept free association with unilateral termination, provided

that American defense interests were safeguarded. Eventually,

too, Micronesia would gain control over foreign affairs (with

some modest restrictions) as well as internal affairs. However,








a protracted series of negotiations would be required before

the Micronesia position prevailed.

In 1972 the United States initiated separate talks with the

Marianas district which was interested in a permanent affiliation

with the United States and had desirable military base areas to

offer. At the same time, concurrent discussions were held with

the other districts of Micronesia. The result of the latter was

a Draft Covenant of Free Association concluded on October 30, 1974,

but subsequently rejected by the Congress of Micronesia as pro-

viding inadequate levels of financial assistance and other short-

comings, including lack of control over foreign affairs. In 1976

negotiations resumed, resulting in a draft compact that left only

one major area for further resolution control of marine resources.

However, no agreement was reached on this issue and a newly re-

organized Micronesian negotiating Commission (the Commission on

Future Political Status and Transition) assumed authority for the

negotiations.

No further negotiations took place from mid-1976 until late

1977 due to several factors, including the issue of the Federated

States of Micronesia Constitution. A constitutional convention

was held in 1975 which drafted a proposed constitution for the

remaining districts of Micronesia during the period when the

Northern Marianas was concluding its separate negotiations with

the United States. According to the enabling legislation estab-

lishing the constitutional convention,any district which rejected

it by referendum would not be subject to its provisions. In the

course of the convention, the MarshallIslands and Palau both







indicated reservations about future incorporation into a federa-

ted Micronesia. In the referendum held on July 12, 1978, both

districts rejected the proposed constitution.

To deal with these problems, an agreement was reached in Guam

in July, 1977, to establish a two-tier framework for future nego-

tiations, with one tier to discuss matters of common interest for

all of Micronesia and the other to consider matters of specific

concern to each district. Questions of unity or separation would

be decided at the district level.

The next major steps took place after formal negotiations were

renewed on October 24, 1977 in Hawaii after a halt of seventeen

months. A new American Ambassador, Peter Rosenblatt, had assumed

office as of August 25, 1977. Following meetings in early 1978

in San Diego and Hilo, Hawaii, agreement was reached on eight

"Hilo Principle" in April, 1978. These formed the basis for the

detailed negotiations which followed resulting in the "Compact of

Free Association" of 1980 which has been initialled by all four

parties to the negotiations (the United States, the Federated

States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Palau).

The compact contains the following major provisions:

1. full internal self-government for Micronesia;

2. the right of Micronesia to conduct foreign affairs and

make international agreements in consultation with the

United States;

3. preferences to Micronesians over other aliens with

regard to entry requirements into the United States;

4. non-applicability of U.S. law, except where explicitly

provided in the compact;







5. substantial general grant assistance, on a decreasing

basis, for fifteen years, as well as continuation of

certain specific federal grant programs;

6. full authority to the U.S. over defense and security

affairs, including denial of access for military pur-

poses of any third country and the option to establish

and use military bases (subject to subsequent agreements);

7. the right of unilateral termination of the agreement by

either side, with Micronesian termination to be based

on a plebiscite in which a majority vote approves dis-

solution of the compact. (However, defense and security

provisionswill remain in effect for fifteen years even

if termination of the association occurs.)


In order to become effective, the compact must be approved by

the governments of the three entities and a popular plebiscite,

as well as be approved by the United States. The provisions of

the compact which have a fifteen year time limit (e.g., the de-

fense and grant aspects) must be renegotiated on the thirteenth

anniversary of the agreement.

At present there arettwo factors which would seriously affect

the future of the free association agreement. The agreement it--

self is under inter-agency review in order for the Reagan adminis-

tration to decide if it wishes to submit the compact to the Congress

as negotiated, or to re-open discussion on provisions it may find

unacceptable. (Ambassador Rosenblatt's resignation was accepted

in March, 1981..) Even if the compact is accepted by the Reagan








administration, however, it may face difficulties in gaining

Congressional approval, as there are indications of serious res-

ervations, at least in the House of Representatives' Committee

on Interior and Insular Affairs.

Even assuming approval by the United States (and, of course,

the three Micronesian parties), there remains the possibility of

serious difficulty in the United Nations. As a strategic trust,

any proposal for termination must be submitted for the Security

Council, on which both the Soviet Union and the People's Republic

of China possess a veto. If the termination agreement is pre-

sented for approval, a veto is quite possible. In addition, al-

though the Compact of Free Association with the Federated States

of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Palau probably conforms

to United Nations pronouncements on self-determination, the

Northern Marianas covenant does not, since there is no right of

unilateral termination and it provides for a permanent union with

the United States. Since the trusteeship as a whole must be dis-

solved, the unacceptability of the Marianas agreement could under-

cut the more acceptable free association agreements. (On these

points, see Roger S. Clark, "Self-Determination and Free Associa-

tion Should the United Nations Terminate the Pacific Islands

Trust?" Harvard International Law Journal, Vol. 21, No. 1, Winter,

1980.) In anticipation of such difficulties, the United States

appears to be preparing the position that the Security Council

approval of termination is not required by the Agreement estab-

lishing the Strategic Trusteeship, that it merely must be informed

of United States' actions and the dissolution presented as a








fait accompli. If this strategy is followed, both the free

association compact and the Northern Marianas Covenant will be

born with an air of international illegitimacy surrounding them.

In the long run, such a course of action may have unfortunate

consequences for the international standing of both the United

States and its new associates.


4. The Northern Marianas

In December, 1972 the United States began discussion with the

Northern Marianas district of the Trust Territory of the Pacific

Islands which had expressed a desire for a closer form of politi-

cal relationship than the other districts. In addition to the

expressed desire on the part of both parties to realize democratic

ideals, there was also the firm ground of mutual interests -

military security for the United States; economic development for

the Northern Marianas. The major concerns of the latter during

the negotiations were: the exact nature of the future political

status; land issues, including the extent of military needs;;

return of public lands held by the United States under the trustee-

ship; prohibition of ownership of real property by non-Marianas

people; economic and financial questions involving the level of

American assistance, the type of tax system and access to federal

programs; and transition questions, most importantly the prompt

implementation of the new status regardless of the complications

caused by remaining associations with the Trust Territory and the

form and timing of the Trusteeship's termination.

Agreement was reached on all issues and the Covenant was

signed by the two parties on February 15, 1975. It was approved








by the Northern Marianas Legislature and by its people in a

plebescite observed by representatives from the U.N. Trusteeship

Council. The agreement was approved by 78.9% of those voting,

who represented 95% of the registered voters. After being sub-

mitted to Congress, the agreement was approved by Joint Resolu-

tion in March, 1976.

The Northern Marianas Covenant established a "self-governing

commonwealth...in political union with and under the sovereignty

of the United States of America." This union cannot be dissolved

except by mutual consent. Internal autonomy is guaranteed the

Northern Marianas through the right to adopt and amend its own

constitution. (Only the Constitution as a whole must be submitted

to the United States Congress for approval based on its consisten-

cy with the terms of the Covenant, the U.S. Constitution, and U.S.

laws and treaties applicable to the Northern Marianas.) Any con-

stitution adopted by the Northern Marianas must provide for a

republican form of government, but the covenant expressly permits

equal representation in one house of the legislature for all three

municipalities in the Northern Marianas (Saipan, Tinian and Rota)

despite large population differences among them. Authority is

also granted to establish a local judicial structure with full

jurisdiction over cases arising out of the local laws and consti-

tution, as in state court systems.

While the sovereignty and authority of the United States are

expressly acknowledged in the Covenant, a unique feature is the

voluntary relinquishment, by Congress, of portions of its plenary

authority over the territory when it involves the "fundamental




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