Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Inaugural address
 Message to the Fifteenth Legislature,...
 Veto message on Coffee Bill
 Radio message - November 6,...
 Armistice Day message, 1941
 Message to the Fifteenth Legislature,...
 Three radio broadcasts, June...
 Radio broadcast - June 30,...
 Fourth of July message, 1942
 Statement to sub-committee of Senate...
 Message to the Fifteenth Legisature,...
 Armistice Day message, 1942
 Message at inauguration of Dos...
 Message to the Fifteenth Legislature,...
 Statement to the Chavez sub-committee...
 Message to the President of the...
 Radio recording - July, 1943
 Message to the Fifteenth Legislature,...
 Budget message, 1944
 Special message to the Fifteenth...
 Veto message on Teachers Retirement...
 A message to Puerto Rican...
 Message to the Sixteenth Legislature,...
 Budget message, 1945
 Death of Franklin Delano Roosevelt,...
 Proclamation concerning the celebration...
 Papers prepared by Mr. Tugwell...

Title: Puerto Rican public papers of R.G. Tugwell, governor
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00072560/00001
 Material Information
Title: Puerto Rican public papers of R.G. Tugwell, governor
Physical Description: 2 p. l., 3-378 p. : ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Tugwell, Rexford G ( Rexford Guy ), 1891-1979
Puerto Rico -- Office of Publicity and Promotion of Tourism
Publisher: Service Office of the government of Puerto Rico, Printing division
Place of Publication: San Juan
Publication Date: 1945
Subject: Economic conditions -- Puerto Rico   ( lcsh )
Genre: federal government publication   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: Puerto Rico
General Note: "Compiled by the Office of information for Puerto Rico".-Foreword.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00072560
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 01904641
lccn - a 46000180

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Title Page
        Page 1
        Page 1a
    Table of Contents
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Inaugural address
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
    Message to the Fifteenth Legislature, second special session
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
    Veto message on Coffee Bill
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
    Radio message - November 6, 1941
        Page 31
        Page 32
    Armistice Day message, 1941
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
    Message to the Fifteenth Legislature, second regular session
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
    Three radio broadcasts, June 1942
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
    Radio broadcast - June 30, 1942
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
    Fourth of July message, 1942
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
    Statement to sub-committee of Senate Appropriations Committee
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
    Message to the Fifteenth Legisature, third special session
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
    Armistice Day message, 1942
        Page 133
        Page 134
    Message at inauguration of Dos Bocas dam
        Page 135
    Message to the Fifteenth Legislature, third regular session
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
    Statement to the Chavez sub-committee of the Senate Committee on Territories and Insular Affairs
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
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        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
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        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
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        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
    Message to the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House concerning revision of The Organic Act - San Juan, March, 1943
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
    Radio recording - July, 1943
        Page 184
    Message to the Fifteenth Legislature, fourth regular session
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
    Budget message, 1944
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
        Page 207
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        Page 210
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        Page 213
        Page 214
        Page 215
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 223
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        Page 225
        Page 226
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 231
        Page 232
        Page 233
        Page 234
        Page 235
    Special message to the Fifteenth Legislature, fourth regular session
        Page 236
        Page 237
        Page 238
        Page 239
    Veto message on Teachers Retirement Bill
        Page 240
        Page 241
        Page 242
        Page 243
        Page 244
        Page 245
    A message to Puerto Rican troops
        Page 246
        Page 247
    Message to the Sixteenth Legislature, first regular session
        Page 248
        Page 249
        Page 250
        Page 251
        Page 252
        Page 253
        Page 254
        Page 255
        Page 256
        Page 257
        Page 258
        Page 259
        Page 260
        Page 261
        Page 262
        Page 263
        Page 264
        Page 265
        Page 266
        Page 267
    Budget message, 1945
        Page 268
        Page 269
        Page 270
        Page 271
        Page 272
        Page 273
        Page 274
        Page 275
        Page 276
        Page 277
        Page 278
        Page 279
        Page 280
        Page 281
        Page 282
        Page 283
        Page 284
    Death of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, President of the United States
        Page 285
        Page 286
    Proclamation concerning the celebration of victory in Europe
        Page 287
        Page 288
    Papers prepared by Mr. Tugwell in a capacity other than that of Governor
        Page 289
        Page 290
        Report on the "five hundred-acre law"
            Page 291
            Page 292
            Page 293
            Page 294
            Page 295
            Page 296
            Page 297
            Page 298
            Page 299
            Page 300
            Page 301
            Page 302
            Page 303
            Page 304
            Page 305
            Page 306
            Page 307
            Page 308
            Page 309
            Page 310
            Page 311
            Page 312
            Page 313
            Page 314
            Page 315
            Page 316
            Page 317
            Page 318
            Page 319
            Page 320
            Page 321
            Page 322
            Page 323
            Page 324
            Page 325
            Page 326
            Page 327
            Page 328
            Page 329
            Page 330
            Page 331
            Page 332
            Page 333
            Page 334
            Page 335
            Page 336
            Page 337
            Page 338
            Page 339
            Page 340
            Page 341
            Page 342
            Page 343
            Page 344
            Page 345
            Page 346
            Page 347
        Address to student body, University of Puerto Rico - August 27, 1941
            Page 348
            Page 349
            Page 350
            Page 351
            Page 352
            Page 353
        Page 354
        A short introduction to public administration
            Page 355
            Page 356
            Page 357
            Page 358
            Page 359
            Page 360
            Page 361
            Page 362
        A proclamation on the return of the soldiers - October 29, 1945
            Page 363
            Page 364
        Page 365
        Page 366
        Page 367
        Page 368
        Page 369
        Page 370
        Page 371
        Page 372
        Page 373
        Page 374
        Page 375
        Page 376
        Page 377
        Page 378
Full Text




35+~.r ? y95


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/9 -


/ /


Poreword ----.--------- -------------------------- --- 3
Inaugural Address --------- .---- --------- ------------------- 5
Message to the Fifteenth Legislature, Second Special Session -...---. 12
Veto '.!. *- on Coffee Bill --.------..--------- --. 26
Radio Message, November 6, 1941 _.... ------ --- -- --- 31
Armistice Day Message, 1941 ---..-.- -------------------- ------ 33
Message to the Fifteenth Legislature, Second Regular Session------- 36
Three Radio Broadcasts, June 1942 --------. ------------------ 75
Radio Broadcast, June 30, 1942 ------------------------ ----- 87
Fourth of July Message, .1942 -------- ._--- ---------. ---- 03
Statement to Sub-Committee of the Senate Appropriations Committee- 98
Message to the Fifteenth Legislature, Third Special Session ------ 102
Armistice Day Message, 1942 ---------------------. ------------- 133
Message at Inauguration of Dos Bocas Dam ------------- 135
Message to the Fifteenth Legislature, thirdd Regular Session.--- _--- 136
Statement to the Chavez Sub-Committee of the Soente Cocmnittee on 'T'erri
stories and Insular Affairs.. _- .---.~----. ----. --.- -... 146
Message to the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House Concerning
Revision of the Organic Act ---------------------------- ---- 181
Radio Recording, July 1!43 --__ --- ------ ------------- ----- 184
Message to the Fifteenth Legislature, Fourth Regular Ses-ion -- ---- 185
Budget Message, 1944 ---... ---- -----------..----------- 198
Special Message to the Fifteenth Legislature, Fourth I ..2! Session.. 236
Veto Message on Teacher.. Retirement Bill .. ... ..-. ....- ..- 240
A Message to Puerto Rican Troops _---_-------------.--- ..--.- 246
Message to the Sixteenth Legislature, First Regular Session -... 248
Budget Message, 194l ..-- ..-- --.. ----5-.--- .- 208
De:th of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, President of the United Stales --- 285
Proclamation Concerning the Celebration of Victory in Europe---------- 287

APPENDIX-Paperls prepared by Mr. Tugwcll in a capacity other tha' that
of Gov'orwor
Report on the l "Five Hulnred-Acre Law'"- -_-___. __.. 291
Address to the Student Body, University of Puerto Rico- -----. 348

A Short Iniroduction to P'iulie Administration .. 355
A I'roclanmaion on the Return lof the Soldier's -- 3
INI)EX-- ;l(1


This collection of the public papers of R.. G. Tugwell,
Governor of Puerto Rico, is presented for the convenience of
those interested in understanding developments in this United
States possession during a period significant because of the
Island's military importance in a time of war emergency, the
unusual stresses arising from its isolated position, and the
positive, far-reaching program to improve the economic situa-
tion inaugurated by the Insular Legislature. The collection
has been compiled by the Office of Information for Puerto

K. G. Tugwell became Governor
of Puerto Rico on September 19,
1941. His inauguration look place
at La Fortaleza, the .,n, it resi-
dence and office of the Governor.


At the outset I must express the general gratitude of
everyone to Dr. Jos6 Gallardo, my immediate predecessor
in this office, and through him, if I may, to those many other
Puerto Iicans who have held it-sometimes for extended pe-
riods. A number of those men are around me today. I think
the only pride I have on this occasion is in their goodwill.
If I should ever lose that, I should not care to hold this of-
fice. I shall never preside over a dangerous division of
Puerto Ricans of which I am in any way the cause.
What can a Governor of Puerto Rico say on his inaugural
day"? He is not yet fully aware of his responsibilities; he
has not yet tested the capacities of his office. He cannot
therefore forecast much in detail what he will do. He can,
however, express his sense of dedication to the duties which
lie ahead and point out certain of the problems to whose
solution he will turn first.
My own desire to be of use to Puerto Rico is not a new
one, nor did my attempt to serve her begin just yesterday.
In this respect I can only say that I will go on as in the past.
Some of my hopes for the future I outlined a few weeks ago,
when I addressed the students at the University, I did not
dwell then on the problems. That, I thought, I ought to do
today. But as 1 reflected on an obvious list of them it seemed
to me that there was one beside which all others sank into
insignificance; which, if it could not be solved, made all others
insoluble. That was the problem of poverty. On that, I
thought, it would be more than seemly to dwell. It would
be cowardly not to recognize its existence. Justice cannot
be founded on a farming and working folk who live at the
level of a million or more of our fellow citizens in Puerto
Rico. It is useless to expect the full development of higher
things under such circumstances. To look for the growth of
the arts, for a University in which philosophy is the center
of interest, for wide-spread cultural and recreational facili-

ties, for the production and publication of literature-all this
kind of high human aspiration seems thwarted and hindered
in the presence of extreme misery. To walk in the streets of
cities and be confronted with a slum; to travel through the
countryside and to see everywhere the huts of the landless:
these facts must press upon the conscience of every sensitive
person; so that the first task to be undertaken is the better-
ing of these conditions. To it I have the right to ask Puerto
Rican leaders to give their best energies until real accom-
plishment has been made.
It is not a task which is impossible-if it be given devoted
attention. The solutions the theoretical solutions have
been pointed out often enough. Poverty is not merely the
result of a mechanical relationship between the resources of
a region and the number of its 1 I On either side of
such an equation there are infinite possibilities of variation:
the resources may be of many kinds, more or less wanted by
the world outside, more or less useful as means of subsist-
ence at home, more or less available, actually, to those who
have to depend on them for support.
The people may differ greatly, too; not, I think, in intel-
ligence, for that seems to run constant through all races and
classes in all lands; but certainly in helpful custom, in energy,
in organization. There may be a general attitude which ap-
proves class division and even a fatalistic attitude toward
privation. Or there may be held out to every man opportu-
nity to use his talents; and there may be resentment at any
limitation on these rights. Energies may have been wasted
in the fatal downward spiral of underproduction and malnu-
trition. Or there may be fortunate factors. Sunshine may
supply an otherwise deficient intake of vitamins; diseases
may be limited by immunity; there may be a prevailing tem-
peramental courage which is a real even if imponderable
As to organization: this is perhaps most often the source
of difficulty. It is at once the most stubborn and, with res-
olution, the most easily remedied limitation on progress. It
may be devised with a view to control by a small class and
to limiting the numbers of that class. There is no hope when
such a situation exists and sooner or later something hap-
pens: either the ruling class gives way voluntarily or it is in
some way made to share its privileges with others. In con-

trast it may be that the system is a democratic one in which
opportunities are opened to all who have ability; in which
the good things of life are shared with generosity; and in
which there is such a measure of security for the iii.,i.-"lI.al
as can practically be attained.
To bettering the condition of the poor I shall bring every
resource I am able to find in the Governorship. I will be the
friend of every man or woman who helps; I will be the op-
ponent of every man or woman who hinders. Whatever
needs changing for this purpose must be changed; whatever
is useful must be fully employed.
I am aware of some, at least, of the circumstances which
will make my task easier and some of those which will make
it harder.
i ,.i-r have been developed here only a limited number of
products for which the world is willing to pay; and of those,
one, which can be grown in large part more economically
elsewhere, has a predominance which, if inevitable under the
circumstances, is nevertheless dangerous. Furthermore, the
goodwill of continental neighbors is necessary to its market,
a goodwill which sometimes falters in the stress of competi-
tion. No way out of this one insecurity has ever been sug-
gested except the doubtful expedient of trying to become
altogether self-sufficient. This is certainly not possible, not
even in the United States as a whole; but it is still true that
we may by earnest effort and the acceptance of certain risks
develop other products and activities of importance. To do
so it is only necessary to realize clearly the natural elements
at our command. Of these elements the most important is
the soil; but there ought not to be neglected a sun which
shines nearly every day in the year, rain which falls upon
our mountains freely, a wind which blows with regularity-a
whole climate, indeed, which ranges only from good to better.
We have no coal or oil; but sun, wind, and water will be the
important sources of power in the future. We have a de-
ficiency of arable land by present standards; but what if its
productiveness should be doubled or quadrupled? Would
anyone, in view of what has happened in the past two dec-
ades, question such a possibility?
If sun, rain, and wind give us power for factories; and
the land yields raw products to'be converted there, what then
becomes of that favorite frightener, overpopulation? Cer-

tainly, it cannot truly be said that this Island is overpop-
ulated so long as its resources have not been fully utilized
and brought to the people. If its agricultural and industrial
organization has not been well calculated to develop the high-
est efficiency in the interest of all, no one knows what progress
might be made with better organization. The responsibilities
put upon us by the fertility of the people must be met with
plans for greater production. There is nothing wrong with
our children. The trouble is that we do not feed enough of
them well in infancy, teach enough of them to live and work
with efficiency when they are young, and provide them with
opportunities and security when they are grown. These are
failures of leadership, of ingenuity and of generosity. And
it is no escape from this conclusion to charge fertile families
with irresponsibility.
This does not imply that society should forego its inter-
est in encouraging increase among the healthiest of its citi-
zens and discouraging increase among the obviously unfit.
But it does suggest that the easy alibi of overpopulation
which excuses neglect, lethargy and selfishess is not one
into which we should allow retreat without challenge.
On the question of social organization there are great pos-
sibilities. I am, of course, not prepared to say what arrange-
ments will best fit the circumstances of this Island in the fu-
ture. But I can see that a homogeneous people, two million
in number, on ;.::I square miles, much of which is mountain-
ous, needs, in agriculture and industry, the best of leaders, of
managers, and of technicians. They cannot afford speculators
and profiteers. The time is past when absentee capitalists
can expect to extract extravagant percentages of gain, using
the people's need and their own monopoly to force the ac-
ceptance of usurer's terms. To the other kind of capital-
investment-we can offer the security of our basic riches,
certainty of return, and the good faith of a government which
has never broken its word. But that kind of capital will
appreciate the absence of speculation and concentration on
the tasks of production.
What is the way into this future? Through constant im-
provement in administration, through research, through edu-
eation, through the work of a deepening social conscience.
The sources of all these can be established in the University.

But if those sources are to be made amply useful, the Uni-
versity must find closer and more intimate relations with in-
dustry, with agriculture, with government, with the suffering
and hope of our people The theory of an institution set
apart on a little island of scholarship, ignoring the confusions
of the world must be given up. There individual ambitions
must be transmuted into effort for the common good: there
technical excellence must be created and turned to the com-
batting of poverty, disease, and the inllili; ;i.-ii., which lie
behind them.
I do not hesitate to point out that there are controls older
than any government and even more closely associated with
the guidance of individual action. The institutions of reli-
gi,.i once were the dominant influence in preparing young
men and women for adulthood. I have noticed that the secu-
larizing of this ceremonial is often associated with stress
among youth on privileges rather than on duties. The body
of ancient wisdom entrusted now so largely to the schools is
certainly iil.-i fectly administered. The scepticism of science
is good for approaching technical problems; but it leads to
chaos when universally applied in social affairs. If we are
to depend on the consciences of free men to produce justice
and order, there must be well-agreed references of honor.
From their support men of the church must not turn away;
and others must not neglect to ask help from this oldest of
in bettering public health, in educating children, in bring-
ing power, light, sanitation, into people's homes, in building
more homes for the underprivileged, in providing all kinds
of needed public works, in the conservation of soil and other
resources, in replanting forests, in the use and tenure of the
land, in the search for higher wages and greater social secur-
ity-in all these we shall find work enough crowding upon us
in the years to come. We must not avoid any of it. We
must bring to bear on the tasks to be done all the resources
we can find of administrative ability, good judgment and
energy. And the incompetent and the unwilling must be kept
f'Ir-, hindering the efforts of others. We cannot afford to
ignore the fact that our system is in competition with others
for the favor of the world. To talk largely of freedom, of
security and of individual rights without finding ways to

translate these words into action will no longer i1 ..
test has come, and it is a test of performance.
While the totalitarian armies are in the field their pro.
ganda offices at home never cease to deluge every continent
and every island with claims of'superior !.. -w.y. They are
able, they say, to offer better order and even higher ii. .,
levels. Those claims will be -i -... *li-.- to our own under-
privileged in proportion to their disappointed aspiral oKus.
The totalitarian propaganda has the advantage of bei),ng al-
together in the i.*, i of not being tested. We, however, can-
not be vague. Whether we are really doing what ofl !r
t!i- i wouhl do is a matter of fact to be observed by anyone.
It is fortunate from this point of view that there lie. .. I
us some nine years of effort. ', i I has been acce ,
more begun: public works, assistance to farmers, fair ,.
for workers, better health services, earnest efforts at
saving; and finally, of course, the enormous task of helping
to save democracy.
As an instance of the special actions we must take to carry
on this work, I shall issue a call for a special session of
Legislature to deal with two emergencies: inflation of prices
and the provision ol new water supplies and sewerage
teams. About these matters I shall have more to say. For
the moment I only insist that all our farmers and workers
have gained in increased employment and higher wages shall
not be lost through rises in the cost of rice, beans, and the
other necessities of life; also, that water supplies, in some
parts of the Island, which have never been safe and now are
so inadequate as to give only part-time service, and .
disposal systems which are so primitive as to endanger public
health belong to an age in the past. Both are remediable '
ciencies and they ought to be made good at once.
i i.--- are immediate; but there are other facilities which.
must be enlarged and multiplied, other arrangements which
must be perfected. Hindrances may arise. They must be
removed. I shall not hesitate to ask the legislature to meet
whenever necessary to carry out the people's program.
There must be no question in any mind of our resolve to use
all the resources of government not only to insure tr.:. -1 ii
but to create plenty.
Puerto Rico is a good testing ground for American inten-
tions; I am sure her leaders realize quite clearly their ,. -:l

in the great drama which is unfolding. Not only is this Is-
land by size and location the strategic center of the whole
Caribbean area, it is also joined in culture with other Ameri-
cans to the South and to the North. If Puerto Iieans will
make the attempt, they can be responsible for establishing
such institutions of international 'i,.:.. ..ilp as have seldom
before existed. It requires full realization and forthright
effort. But if it succeeds, the nations of this hemisphere
will owe to Puerto Ricans a debt they will proudly acknowl-
edge for years to come.
1 think I can speak for the people of the States. '
would say to you who are their fellow-citizens that their union
with you will never be allowed to become an unwilling one.
For this moment in the world's history we are jointly com-
mitted to a great strw-1'.- for *i .,i. i, and decency. L. hen
the kind of international organization has been insured in
which federations of nations can exist in safety, the people
of Puerto Rico will perhaps canvass again what is in their
hearts with respect to our common citizenship. I can predict
that this is an issue which will be settled only among Puerto
Ricans, and that the conclusion will be wholly respected.
Meanwhile I join you in the campaign against the two
enemies of all mankind: poverty and slavery. As we suc-
ceed, we shall earn a place in the world's counsels and in the
hearts of people everywhere.
-September 19, 1941.

Problems of prices and supplies
arising from the war emergency
demanded attention soon f i', the
Governor took a ...... and a special
session of the Legislature met to
consider these matters.

Second Special Session

Some time ago, the then Governor, Dr. Gallardo, im-
pressed by the difficulties imposed on working people by the
evident rise in prices, appointed a committee to investigate.
The reports of that Committee have amply confirmed the
ordinary observation. In the basic food-stuffs, price rises of
20 to 30 and even to 50 per cent have not been uncommon.
These have more often been rises in wholesale than retail
prices, but in retail prices, too, there have frequently been
what ;',p. ;r to be unjustified increases.
It is not necessary to say that profiteering is taking place.
It is more accurate to say that in a situation such as we face
now the ordinary motives of business must be modified in the
public interest. What is considered usual in ordinary circum-
stances, becomes improper in time of national emergency. At
such a time the dangers and sacrifices are regarded as ones
which all ought to share and i',1,, which no one should be
What the Governor's Committee found was that the ordi-
nary processes of business were resulting in great -;.! i,,ces
by the consumers of staple goods and considerable and un-
usual gains by those who dealt in them. Such a condition
does not appeal to the conscience as justifiable, and naturally
some remedy is sought.
In seeking this remedy, there ought to be as little dis-
turbance as possible in the courses of trade; but at the same
time no measures ought to be neglected which will secure
equality of sacrifice among all members of the community.
What measures are available to secure such a result?
The problem of inflated prices is very simply expressed
by saying that it is a condition in which goods are relatively
scarce and money is relatively plentiful. In the present

situation both these elements are present and are growing
in importance. The nation's productive facilities are being
turned to making defense goods and away lii.- making
consumers goods; there is more volume; this increases em-
ployment and consequently wages. But the increase in
volume of goods is not of commodities purchaseable by
private consumers. People, who before have not been able
to supply themselves and their families with certain kinds of
goods or with sufficient quantities, now have the funds; but
this occurs at a time when the goods are less available. They
are bid up. Both producer and middleman profit by this
competition amongst consumers to spend money. And they
have to be prevented from doing it. There is no r.,i--..ion
to legitimate margins, but no one has a right to take advan-
tage of a national crisis for private advantage. So far as
unwarranted increases by producers are concerned, that is a
problem which, as has been indicated, for many widely used
products, is beyond Puerto Rican control. Rice, beans, cod-
fish-the great staples-come from outside. Primarily their
prices must be a Federal problem.
Remedies can theoretically be applied at either end or in
the middle. All are being advocated at the moment. Wages
could be decreased. But that would put an end to our tradi-
tional way of encouraging effort and is therefore undesirable.
Consumers goods could be increased, but that would jeop-
ardize the defense effort. Apparently whatever remedies
are used have to be of less simple sorts.
It is possible to withdraw part of the new volume of
purchasing power involuntarily through taxes. Funds thus
withdrawn can be put into reserves to be used when ,i.tI---
work ends and unemployment is again increasing. This, if
it can be done efficiently, has the effect of transferring pur-
chasing power from the present, when it is a threat, to the
future, when it will be a boon. Suggestions have been made
of taxes considerable in percentage. Thr--.. ought to be con-
sidered carefully.
It is possible to regulate prices: regulation can be either
at wholesale or at retail; if at wholesale, there is the risk of
unchecked increases by retailers; if at retail, the danger is
that so expensive a policing organization will be necessary
that much of the benefit is lost. This has to be taken into

It is possible, also, to establish equitable prices by "yard-
stick" methods. For instance, rice, beans, dried fish, and
certain canned foods could be distributed through controlled
stores, with administrative methods much like those used for
certain surplus commodities, but limited to the amounts and
periods necessary to the desired effect. If this could b'e
done economically, it might be an effective check.
I mention these possibilities more as showing that it is
not necessary to accept as inevitable a situation which is
harmful to our people than as specific recommendations of
what to'do in the circumstances. And this is true even if
no action with local effect is taken by the Administrator of
the Office of Price Administration and Civilian Supply in
The inflation of prices has been a matter of concern to
the Federal Government almost since the passage of the
Lease-Lend Act, when productive facilities began to be trans-
ferred to the uses of war and at the same time incomes avail-
able for the purchase of goods became greater. In an uncon-
trolled economy a scarcity of goods with an increase in pur-
chasing power will always cause prices to rise. But from
such a situation only certain classes in the community gain.
Others lose. And the community itself loses because what
goods there are go to those who have the most money, not
to those who need them most or those who are contributing
most to the national effort.
In such situations some measures of control are always
taken. In this crisis the President, using the powers given
him by Congress when an emergency should be declared, set
up the Office of Price Administration and Civilian Supply.
Its Administrator has been hampered, however, by uncer-
tainty as to his duties. Finally, finding himself ineffective,
he asked for defining legislation. This is embodied in a bill
now before the Congress.
It appears that, if the situation is to be met in any ade-
quate way, certain measures will need to be taken by the
Insular Government. What those may be, in view of impend-
ing legislation, is not.in every respect clear. But it is clear
that certain things will have to be done in any case. Because
of the uncertainties of Federal control, as well as because of
Puerto Rico's situation, it would seem best to set up an

-organization which can meet the crisis in alternate ways and
with degrees of intensity suited to development which cannot
be predicted.
It is, therefore, reconunended that the Governor be given
certain powers which may be delegated to an Administrator
of Civilian Supply. ThI -.. powers might not have to be used;
or only part of them might be required. It would be foolish
to bring into being an organization larger than the emergency
should demand. On the other hand, it would be equally
ir-..;i.l, not to be equipped with suitable instruments to meet
-any situation which might arise. It seems best, therefore, to
grant the .Executive a certain leeway in these matters.
Certain i,,ii,;n--, made publicly, ought to bring into action
et c .. -'.I -.i envisaged in advance and anticipated by the Legis-
Tih. situation is not dissimilar to that which existed in
1917 and was met by Joint Resolution 10, of 12 April 1917.
In this Act the Legislature set up the Insular Food Commis-
sion with power to fix prices, enter into the distribution of
produce when necessary and generally to control C. i.t ., ing
or restriction of supplies. The powers given then appear to
have been adequate and experience with their use -.:il. --
tory. (See Report by the Food Commission, 1917). In this
Act there were virtually no legislative standards to guide
i execution of the mission. It would seem that some might
; .-Cl.'.I be imposed.
Study of this earlier legislation and consideration of the
prospects for il!'.;,.i during the coming months, and per-
haps .. I.,i -. ought to guide the Legislature to a measure which
will set up an agency firm but flexible; economical but
It is further recommended that the need for transferring
purchliasing power from the present to the future be met by
adi., ;il. Insular income, excess profits and estate taxes to
the new levels established in the Federal Revenue Act of
1941, making these increases proportionate to the relationship
heretofore existing and widening the base on which the taxes
are established.
Such tax increases will produce more revenue than will
be needed or ought to be expended at this time by the Insular
Government. Ti'. funds so secured will, however, be avail-
able to assist in the inevitable postwar shift from defense to

civilian production. If I thought it would be acceptable, I
should recommend even heavier taxes and perhaps the es-
tablishment of an unemployment fund. It is too early to ex-
pect actual unemployment insurance, though it is to be hoped
that we may attain it sometime soon. Indeed, it is the subject
of special study now by a commission which will report to the
regular session of the Legislature. Something approaching
the same effect could be got now by taxes shared by workers
and employers. This would also have the desirable result of
transferring purchasing power into the future. It has been
the general opinion of others, however, that such a tax at
this time would be inexpedient. It is argued that workers
in Puerto Rico have too low a level of wages anyway, and
that any tax on them would be unwarranted. My own fear
is that an increase in prices will constitute such a tax in any
case, if some purchasing power is not withdrawn from the
market; and that this tax will go to speculators rather than
be saved by the government for future use. If control
measures are completely successful, this will not happen;
and in any case, much of the price rise will occur outside
Puerto Rico. I have, therefore, given way on that point.
But I feel that these arguments do not apply to such pur-
chasing power as may be withdrawn through higher income
taxes. And they will help to build up a certain reserve to
be used for post-emergency public works.
The Federal Government has already begun the building
up of a "shell of projects", to be available when needed. If
former practice were followed, a certain local contribution
would be expected. The former experience was that available
funds were used in localities where matching was readiest.
By such management as is here -i-"i.-t,.l, matching funds
would be available in Puerto Rican or Federal securities and
so might be multiplied by whatever contribution to local
projects the Pederal Government should decide to make.
It is suggested, however, out of former experience, that
10 per cent should be set aside at once for the acquisition of
land and for planning. Public works usually require land
which is not already publicly owned. The processes of sur-
veying, taking title, and gaining possession are often pro-
tracted. Many a project in recent years has been lost because
the land on which to operate was not immediately available.

Communities which are most forehanded in this respect are
the best served. If it is not uncommon for the acquisition of
land to -I, ,iii,.- a year or more, the site and detail planning
often require at least another year so that even with funds
available construction may not begin at all for two years or
more. I [t.:', ,i unemployment may grow worse and priva-
tion intensify. Something like this happened in the last
It is out of a desire to avoid these delays and difficulties
that Federal and local officials are now being asked to decide
definitely on at least a minimum number of projects, to
acquire all necessary land for them, and to carry forward
their planning to the point where they can begin at once
when the need for employment arises. ~I.'-..-- given employ-
ment on roads, schools, hospitals, sewers, playgrounds, and
other works, will buy from those who 1.:l,', other pro-
ductive services, the whole forming that economic chain
which, when broken, prostrates the whole community.
Two subsidiary measures are also necessary and ought
to be passed at once: provision for increased personnel to
manage tax collections, a -,- --..- I .. schedule of which will be
presented; and provision [or a central statistical service in
the Office of the Governor. For this latter purpose a much
simpler bill is needed than. Senate 179, passed at the last
session but vetoed by the Governor.
It is desired at this time to point out briefly the relation
of all the foregoing to the Puerto Rican Planning Commis-
sion which will be proposed to the regular session later in
the year and to the action of the National Resources Planning
Board in establishing here a Regional Office.
Assuming that legislation approving a Planning Commis-
sion is passed in somewhat the same form as has been fol-
lowed in several hundred other communities, that Commis-
sion will be charged with the duties of establishing a Master
Plan, having custody of the Official Map, and controlling the
formulation of a Capital Budget for one year and a Program
for several years beyond that.
The 1l:, -t_.r Plan will show projects in their relative im-
portance, properly located, and the Capital Budget, and
Program will show the source and method of financing. If
we now provide for a fund which can be used for such proj-

ects, supplementing Federal ifund- which flow much more
readily to localities whose planning is trustworthy, we shall
not only be in position to go to work promptly, but shall be
assured that the work will be done where it will count most.
It is perhaps necessary to say, in connection with the 10
per cent to be set aside for land and pla;iniiii-'. that no more
than one per cent of that will need to go to the Planning Com-
mission. Its work will not usually include detail, but only
the overhead or central planning. The detail planning for
actual construction will remain as before in the executive
In constructing the Master Plan in the first instance,
which is a long, tedious and extremely expert task, it is
fortunate that the regional .Iiwi.- of the National Resources
Planning 13oard will be available for assistance with its rela-
tions to the home office in Washington and the various ex-
perts on its staff. It is also fortunate that the Public Works
Reserve under the Federal Works Agency will be at work
collecting and .i-~1l in.. for Federal aid the various proj-
ects here which may be eligible.
The whole: the funds in reserve for unemployment and
various ways of pliiinmi,_ ought to bring us to the next crisis
of unemployment far better prepared than ever has been true
in the past. And if the tax measure assists to keep down the
cost of living in the present, so much more will have been
The obtaining of a safe and adequate supply of water and
completely sanitary disposal of sewerage is a problem which
torments any rapidly growing city. This is because the funds
for expansion increase less i :1.: 1]y than the demand. Funds
for expansion are usually obtained through assessment and
there is always determined opposition to increases in assess-
ment or the tax rate which are in proportion to the growth of
population and values. This comes oftenest, perhaps, from
speculative real estate developers who hope that others can
be made to bear the burden; but, also, sometimes i..-t home
owners themselves who do not realize the connection between
taxes and service or who have reason to believe that it is not
as direct as it ought to be.

It is a matter of general knowledge that San Juan, partic-
ularly, but other municipalities as well, has suffered and is
suffering in these respects to a degree which constitutes an
emergency. Not only is there an immense amount of d. i' ..e
activity at stake, but also there is the intensified danger that
we are within the tropics and subject to certain peculiar
dangers. It would not be profitable to assess the blame for
deficiency. It is much more helpful to find a way to provide
To do this it is necessary in the first place to entrust
e I, In -..1.i maintenance, and service work to an organization
which beyond any doubt enjoys the confidence of investors
and of the public. For the imi,...l -..- purpose the word in-
vestor may be thought of as t-i'erring to certain Federal
agencies. I or only through themn.can funds be had at the
moment or priorities be granted for construction.
-With this in mind [ have explored in Washington the pos-
;i.i!;.i..- in a preliminary way and have learned that only
by a complete it..,, i ,' of :1--p"n '1ii ;. can the way be
opened to recognition of the problem as one ,;. 11 -:.. '-l!ense
and worthy of respect as one to be solved with defense funds.
The conclusion is that if San Juan and other areas desire in
the immediate _iii,1, to see the situation corrected, a wholly
new solution has to be found. I think it only fair to warn
everyone concerned, also, that, in my judgment, no compro-
mise will have the desired effect. There is no doubt among
lending agencies as to the emergency or even of its connec-
tion with national Il I'ense. But there is doubt as to whether
!' i.i.-. granted or loaned will be well administered. ()n this
point they will demand to be lully -..i-'i; ..
I have concluded in view of the emergency and of the
attitude which I discovered to exist that I ought to recom-
mend to the Legislature the assumption of these services by
the most logical agency: the new Water Resources Authority
which has not only, under its old name, demonstrated effi-
ciency in force-account construction, in the handling of water
and in service relations with consumers, but which, under its
new one, .l. ,ys such a reputation with investors and partic-
ularly with Federal agencies that it would have a real chance
of obtaining ilhr.. n;e grants at once and loan funds in the

To use this ready resort would enable us to escape from
the dilemma of needs which grow more rapidly than re-
sources. Defense funds are given without local matching, in
recognition of need. If these could be obtained in any con-
siderable amount, local resources could be used to strengthen
the situation still more in the future. And such a start will
have been made that the vicious circle will be broken. I
consider it so desirable to achieve this that I have no hesita-
tion in recommending modification in this instance of mnu-
nicipal responsibility. In a case like the present, which has
many points of likeness with electric power generation and
distribution, in which action has been taken, changes ought
to be made before the situation degenerates even further.
It is also to be noted that a number of the water systems
of Puerto Rico already extend over more than one munici-
pality, sometimes, as in the case of the capital, over several.
The principle of municipal autonomy has already become
greatly modified. No great change is involved in carrying
the consolidation further for such purposes s this. Man-
agement has progressed in recent years so that the controls
necessary to a unit of the size which would include the whole
of our island are readily available. Indeed, they are already
being used for the purpose of making and distributing electric
To make the organization which devised and which op-
erates the one responsible also for the other will involve
certain economies which are worth noting. How great these
will be cannot be estimated with any accuracy, but the savings
will certainly be substantial.
It is recommended that the Special Session establish in
close cooperation with the College of Agriculture and Me-
chanic Arts and the Agricultural Experiment Station of the
Federal Government at Mayagiiez, an Institute of Tropical
Agriculture; for this purpose it is recommended that there
be appropriated immediately one hundred thousand dollars
to make a beginning and that it be declared to be the inten-
tion of the Legislature to appropriate forty thousand dollars
per year for the ten years succeeding.
To effectuate the policy, it is recommended that there be
set up a Board of Trustees of nine members; five of whom

shall first be appointed by the Governor L..! terms of 2, 4, 6,
8, and 10 years and who shall thereafter be elected by a ma-
jority of the Board; and four of whom shall be as follows:
one selected by the Insular Commissioner of Agriculture, one
by the Federal Secretary of Agriculture, one by the Director
of the Pan American Union, and one by the Chancellor of the
University of Puerto Rico.
When constituted, this Board is recommended to have the
power of selecting a Director, who may be the Director of
the Federal station.
It is recommended that the policy of this Institute be an-
nounced as that of fundamental as well as applied research,
and that its activities be oriented to the peculiar effects of
tropic sun, of soils within these latitudes of the Western
Hemisphere and of the air currents and pressures which dis-
tinguish the Caribbean. To achieve the desired results, it is
recommended that a small company of scientists and ad-
vanced students be entertained at the Institute, sometimes
without pay other than subsistence and living quarters. It
may be found feasible to award degrees, but this ought
not to be the first emphasis. The establishment of this
Institute in a formal way does no more than to recognize
what has been taking place for a long time. Scientists and
students have found the Experimental Station at Mayagiiez
a fascinating resort. But many difficulties of a practical sort
intervene when their visits are prolonged enough to be useful.
It is believed that the setting up of an institute, whose center
will be merely a Guest House and Guest Laboratory, may
be the beginning of a profitable venture into exploration. It
is not impossible that it may attract support and funds from
the many agencies which are just becoming interested in the
tropics, in Latin America, and the new central importance of
Puerto Rico.
In this connection Puerto Ricans do not need to be re-
minded that such an Institute has long been projected here;
and that plans for it have on more than one occasion been far
advanced. For one reason or another, these reasons always
being fortuitous, and having nothing to do with the merits
of the project, plans have never actually borne fruit. It will
be recalled, for instance, that in 1928 a committee of the Na-
tional Research Council visited the Island and recommended
the establishment of a Graduate School of Tropical Agri-

culture. And that in 1932 a project was almost consum-
mated for a School or Institute, with Cornell University
sharing responsibility with the University of Puerto Rico in
its conduct. The plan then, however, depended upon the gift
by an individual of a large sum of :i, ;, and when that ..-.
did not materialize, the project was abandoned. That lack,
I think, need not deter us under present circumstances, An
institution with the soi-i.,. I of the Puerto Rican government
and linked with its University will not fail. ,, for a
building program and for endowment would be welcome.
But it may be that such Jiwi,, would be attracted to an ac-
tually going institution.
In this same connection, it is further recommended that
the Legislature authorize by a special appropriation a School
of Public Administration. In my inaugural address I pointed
out the possibilities of bettering the public service and said
that the chief source of this improvement lay in the Univer-
sity. The University could, however, be better organized to
supply both men and procedures. It has a School of Law
and a School of Business Administration; but both these
supply training mostly for private employment. It is true
that an accountant, even though trained for business, may
be useful, for instance, in the Ti;,. .-i 'y; but this is an inci-
dental, almost accidental, concurrence. It is not expected or
required. There is a great field of public administration
which has opened more and more to young talent in the last
few decades. With the expansion of the public service dur-
ing the depression years and now in the crisis of national
defense, it has been vastly expanded. And it has been made
more attractive in the career sense by the outlawing every-
where of the old-fashioned political preferment. That will
take place in Puerto Rico, too. But it is the opening up to
our young men and women of careers not only in the Insular
service but in the Federal service as well, that I have in
The respect with which Civil Service examiners and selec-
tion officers of other sorts regard candidates coupled with
formal training in administration is notable. Some of that
respect ought to be diverted to Puerto Rican youths. The
curriculum of such a school includes Personnel il;.n;.gement,
Budgeting Practice, Paper Work Processes, Administrative

Controls, Fiscal Theories, Public Law, Social Philosophy,
Industrial and Commercial Effects of Government Policy,
Political and E. '.,.ii. Geography, the Theory and Practice
of Public Accounting, etc., etc.-a range of subi.-, 1 either
not treated at all or regarded from a wholly d ; .1. point
of view in the curriculum of a School of Law or of Business,
My -u.i.. ..: l.il. for this purpose would be that the Legis-
lature appropriate, outside other University I,..-A, ',for
the half year beginning with the second semester of this year
for the purpose of putting some competent person to work
at the organization of such a school and that beginning ii
the first semester of the next year ; .:'. be provided which
would grow to $75,000 annually by the third year.
I also .-,-- i that the School of Publie .' c. I i.i 1
and the Law Iih..., should be provided with a joint .. .* .,.g
and 1I 'i- ; Such a building could not be built at once, but
planning for it, which would require at least a year, could
be begun at once. Including land, such an institution ought
to cost about .,"- .l,,l which, in view of the long-run ad-
vantages, can well be afforded.

The Act establishing the iii.,i_.ii Wage Board recently
approved by the Legislature has been found to contain cer-
tain defects which would prevent the l i...!.ing of the
Board on a sound basis if they were not corrected before the
Board is organized and begins to function. This is a very
important piece of legislation and we should move cautiously
to insure the proper operation of the Act and of the agency
created by it.
The Act makes it mandatory for the Governor to request
candidates for membership in the Board from employers and
from industrial, agricultural and commercial associations, as
well as i:,.!ii the workers and labor organizations of the
This may cause complaint from associations or indi. .i.,
employers or workers who were not requested to submit
candidates for the Board. The wording of the Act should be
changed so as to give to any industrial, commercial or agri-
cultural organization, or to any individual ,oi.Lv r' and to
labor organizations, unions and individual workers the i;-il.

to nominate candidates for membership on the Board. From
the persons thus nominated the Governor would select those
who in his judgment are best qualified to discharge the duties
of said office.
The appropriation of funds for the Minimum Wage Board
has been made for specified positions in the general budget
of expenses for the fiscal year 1941-42. However, certain
key positions which are indispensable to the proper function-
ing of the Board, such as economists, statisticians, account-
ants, etc., have not been provided for. The Board will have
to make a complete study of each industry before the mini-
mum wages, hours of work and conditions of employment for
said industry may be established. This has to be done in an
unbiased, scientific manner for which highly trained and
specialized personnel will have to be engaged. At salaries
fixed in the present Budget Act it would be impossible to
obtain the services of competent persons for this type of
work. It is recommended therefore that a lump sum of
$30,000 be appropriated for the Board for the remainder of
the present fiscal year, the budgetary distribution of such
funds to be made by the Chairman of the Board with the ap-
proval of the Governor of Puerto Rico.
The Act as now in effect provides that the Board as a
whole shall have authority to appoint its personnel. This is
deemed very unsatisfactory. It is a sound administrative
principle that the person who is responsible for the admin-
istration of an office shall have the authority to select the
persons who are to work under him and for whose acts he
must answer. This general principle has special bearing in
the case of the Minimum Wage Board, which is composed of
members representing different points of view and in which
many controversial matters will have to be settled. If the
Chairman, who is the only full-time member of the Board
and its executive officer, has to share his authority for the
selection of personnel with the other eight members of the
Board, he cannot be made responsible for the proper and
efficient functioning of the agency.
As the Act is now worded each member has the right to
nominate candidates for positions on the Board, The ad-
ministration and enforcement of the Act should be divorced
from the functions of the Board and left in the hands of its

executive officer. The public interests will be best served if
the Chairman of the Board is made solely responsible for all
executive and administrative matters including the selection
of personnel.
LA FORTALEZA, October 28, 1941.

Before sugar became the number
one export crop of Puerto Rico,
.*..'"ee had for years occupied this
position. ... .... :" :: on byt
successive hurricanes, and other
forces resulting in the loss of
European markets, have '
the 'ce industry to a minor po-
sition in the Island's economy.
It continues, however, to have a
strong hold on public senimci.t, to
the extent that the Legislature hnas,
from time to time, authorized ex-
tensive subsidies. The industry
again appeared to be in need of
(assistance( in lth Fall of' Si /. In
a brief message wh ich he sent to
the Special, : on NVovember 5,
Governor .; '' asked the Lcg-
islat re to "consider the whole
question," and stipulated that a
commission be set up to recom-
mend a permanent ;. ': the
Regular Session. 'i .. nor
found it necessary to withhold ap-
proval of the resulting bill.

i/' O i' 7 '.,..': ,G E
Coffee )!,!,
When, on 5 November 1941, I sent a call to the Special
Session of the Legislature asking consideration for the prob-
lems of the coffee industry, I explained that numerous con-
ferences had not brought about agreement as to what ought
to be done. I thought, therefore, that the Legislature ought
to take some measure of an emergency nature, meanwhile
setting up a commission for the formulation of a permanent
policy. I made the condition that enough revenue be provided
through the income tax to meet any outlays involved.
The condition was not complied with. The increased yield
of the income tax will not nearly equal the $750,000 appro-
priated in this bill for subsidies.
Aside from this, however, the bill merits disapproval for
other reasons. As I have studied it I have had a deepening
conviction that it would not accomplish the purposes for
which it was intended. These were stated: "to increase the
purchasing power of coffee growers, to better the wages of

workers who grow and process this product, to encourage
commerce, to benefit the consuming public, and to preserve
the forest in the coffee zones of Puerto Rico and the sup-
ply of water resources of Puerto Rico."
What it would certainly do, in my judgment, is to in-
crease enormously the profits of speculators and exporters.
Some gains might be made by growers, but not more prob-
ably than they would get under present circumstances and
with legislation now in force if that were properly i~,,.
After the statement of purposes, the interest of workers
and all the other admirable intentions were ; -. ent]ly for-
got, for no conditions whatever are attached to the payment
of the subsidy. As a matter of fact, it would go directly to
"every natural or a: i 1 .i: person who exports coffee." No
relief is offered, in my judgment, to Puerto Rican consumers
in the section providing for home consumption and no scheme
is included by which they might be encouraged to consume
more of the product grown on this Island. If the subsidy
had the effect of expanding home consumption, the burden
on taxpayers might be more justifiable. Nor is there any
limitation whatever on traders' profits. The subsidy is to
be based on a calculation which "allows a net liquidation for
the coffee growers of Puerto Rico of not less than 15 centss;
but it is to be paid to exporters, not to growers, and there is
no means of determining these relationships in such ways as
would protect the growers in the slightest degree.
Beyond these considerations the law does not even make
a gesture toward those permanent conservation measures in-
dicated in the statement of purpose. Nor does it recognize
in any way the need for protection of growers against the
hazards of hurricane. '"-.'tunately a supplementary act was
Ip.,..-,.1 which provides for study of these problems and the
formulation of a permanent scheme. The Legislature when
it meets again a few months from now will be in a position
to consider whether the purposes enumerated in this bill can
not in some way be met. It is to be hoped also that if new
legislation is formulated the administrative provisions of
this bill will not be used as precedent. Those clauses alone
would justify disapproval.
They provide for a Board of seven members, two of whom
are ex-officio, three of whom are dictated by exporters and

the Farmers' Association, and one of whom represents cof-
fee cooperative organizations. There is one to represent
consumers and this member alone is to be nominated freely
by the Governor. This is an undisguised attempt to pack an
administrative board with representatives of private inter-
ests and has to be energetically rejected. If "the executive"
is to be in any sense responsible for the carrying out of laws
he ought not to be limited in this way, and particularly by
delegating his duties without his consent to those who have
an interest in their use.
It must not be supposed that my disapproval of this bill
indicates a lack of sympathy on my part or on the part of
other administrative officers with the difficulties of coffee
farmers. The Legislature has shown its sympathy by pass-
ing this bill. If I disapprove it that is because I believe that
more relief can be provided for the farmer in another way.
If the Legislature had not authorized three-quarters of a mil-
lion dollars in subsidies in this bill, the Treasurer, the Com-
missioner of Agriculture, the Auditor and I, myself, might
have been more reluctant to provide the funds necessary to
the operations of the Stabilizing Corporation now in exist-
ence. The reason for this former reluctance was that no
losses were apparently anticipated or provided for in the leg-
islation; and if they were incurred, they might well have
been charged to bad judgment among administrative officials.
None of them felt that operations could be carried out
without losses if the first care was to bring relief to the
farmer. But if the legislative intention is not against, but
rather for, subsidy to the industry then the Corporation now
in existence is a better vehicle for operations than the Board
provided for in the new act. If its losses are clearly to be
regarded as a function of its relief efforts then there is less
objection to assuming responsibility for their almost certain
occurrence. Since the Corporation does not simply give out
funds but tries to see that returns come to growers through
improving the export market and stabilizing the domestic,
the burden on the taxpayer is certain to be far less than
it might be under the new bill. A fair price is better than
a subsidy. The Corporation will work for fair prices and
keep the subsidies within the closest possible limits.
The Corporation is, therefore, being provided immediately
the funds necessary for its operations. All administrative

officials are cooperating so that no red tape rnay interfere.
F.i,.i ,I will find, I am assured by officials of the Corpora-
tion and by the Auditor, that they can bring their coffee to
specified .I.. --. and receive payment simply and directly.
The distinction between the export and the domestic quotas
will begin after this transaction and will not i:i. !'ere with
!;'. ,- r!.-ii that can be done will be (lone to insure the
orderly marketing and storage of the large crop now being
harvested. The Corporation ,li,.i.., are experienced and
sympathetic. i hope they may have the cooperation of all
genuine members of the coffee growing fraternity.
When it is seen what relief can be brought to farmers by
this method, and how costly it is, the legislative commission
will have actual data for its f' ',i. r consideration of a policy
for i;he industry.
This year's operation cannot be more costly than the
revenue provided in the additions to the income tax. It thus
meets a condition which seems to me imperative. It has been
said that the Treasury is able to meet the $750,000 bill for
subsidy provided in the alternate measure. As to that, such
extra revenue as is now available ought to be used, in all
common sense, for the refinancing of the debt. Great sav-
ings can now be made in interest payments if this is com-
petently done. The Treasurer intends to do it. But he must
have funds to carry out such an operation. There is also the
added necessity of restoring to the emergency fund borrow-
ings in leaner years. Thl-1'- will come disaster; there always
has come disaster. Among those who will suffer most and
have the heaviest claims for relief will be coffee farmers. I
should like to keep the emergency i'~i.1 intact for their sake
if for that of no other group.
These are only two of numerous weighty reasons for not
incurring greater current obligations than are necessary to
efficient and enlightened administration. We ought to spend
what it necessary in planning for the future and for taking
every precaution against the vast risks of our time. But we
ought also to keep in the forefront of our consideration the
need which will surely come for credit when some one of
those risks is no longer avoidable and an emergency occurs.
To reduce the debt; to reduce the carrying charge of the
debt outstanding; to make credit good and so to have a ready

recourse in the margin of borrowing capacity: this is the
policy to which I believe the Puerto Rican government ought
to devote itself at this moment.
There will come a time for .-.,..-ilir. and spending freely.
This is the time to rearrange, to forego, to perfect organiza-
tion, and to plan. If I insist on provision of new revenue
for any new expenditure, this is the reason. I believe it will
commend itself to thoughtful citizens.

-November 21, 1941.

Puerto Rico's attitude toward
the war, in pre-Pearl Harbor days,
was described in the following mes-
sage which was included in a radio
program sponsored by the U. S.
Department of Interior, and broad-
cast from Washington on n ovent-
ber 6, 1941.

It is not surprising that the reaction of Puerto Rico to
the cause of Democracy, Humanity and Freedom, at this
very crucial moment of historical development has been
,ni. .i,, warm and enthusiastic. Puerto Ricans could not
have failed their long tradition of devoted faith in the good
causes for which mankind has struglged and suffered and
died throughout the centuries.
At the present crisis when two irreconcilable philosophies
of living are engaged in a fight to the death, the trend of
the Island has been unanimous. Not a single act of sabotage
has been registered here. Not one group of propagandists
against the policies of our Nation is in existence. No organ
of public opinion, from the largest to the humblest, has de-
clined to express its hearty agreement with our leaders in
Washington, who point out to us the very real danger of the
future and the inescapable necessity, if we are to overcome
those dangers, of uniting for the task of resisting those
powers whose leaders would destroy the human spirit.
Such a spirit is not .new to our Island, its loyalty and
its love of liberty and its capacity ol resisting the thrusts of
,.- _.- -i.i have been demonstrated in epic sagas of the past
as they are being materialized today through splendid co-
operation and discipline.
As far back as the 16th century our community began to
harden in the grim experiences of war and bloodshed. Un-
ending wars were raging then between the Mother Country
and England. Queen Eli ,l:. li and King Philip II, two
of the most ;,i...-uI lI rulers of the existing world, sti1- i1.-I
fiercely over the possession of Puerto .Rico, then, as now, a
coveted stronghold in the defense of the Americas. Proud
warriors of the past, whose names grace history with their
valiant feats and romantic adventures: Sir Francis Drake,
Hlawkins, the Duke of Cumberland, Admiral Abercromby,

Harvey, met defeat and disappointment at the shores of
Puerto Rico where the proud forts of Spain, defended by a
scant garrison and by untrained islanders, still stand as re-
minders of those brave events.
In 1597 the Duke of Cumberland delivered a blow \which
was unsuccessful.
In 1625 it was the brilliant Navy of the "Prince of Or-
ange", the then ruler of the Netherlands, which was to
experience a disastrous defeat at the hands of my distin-
guished predecessor, Governor De Haro, who broke the back-
bone of the Dutch invaders in cooperation with the Puerto
Rican militia, on the peaceful meadows of El Morro" where
golf is now played.
Finally in 1797 England sent to the conquest of Puerto
Rico one of its ablest naval leaders, Admiral Abercromby,
who had won glory and renown at the battle of the Nile, light-
ing, side by side, with Admiral Nelson. With him was the
famous Harvey. The battle, fought at the walls of San Ce-
r6nimo fortress, was carried on the one side by a great fleet
of English units, and on the other by another of my illustrious
predecessors, Captain General De Castro, who at the head of
4,000 Puerto Rican militiamen, inflicted a crushing defeat
upon the invaders.
After the Treaty of Paris, which marked the end of hos-
tilities between Spain and the United States in 1898, Puerto
Rico had one more opportunity to tests its unflinching loyalty.
That was in the first World War when over 20,000 Puerto
Ricans were mobilized to defend the "Stars and Stripes"
and when 55 members of our community gave their lives in
Argonne and Chateau-Thierry for the cause.
It is, thus, small wonder that we are again ready and
alert for whatever may come in the fight for the great cause
of Humanity. I can assure you that all of Puerto Rico is
ready to go as far as necessary, regardless of sacrifices and
without concern for privation or suffering, in order that we
may live to see the survival of the great institutions of lib-
erty which inspire the very soul of our Nation.

-November 6, .1941.

There is no man of my generation who does not have
vivid recollections of that first Armistice Day which we are
celebrating here. Whether he was a member of the armed
forces or whether he served in some civilian way, his recol-
lections are equally sharp. For all of us had been engaged
in what had seemed to us a crusade. And on that day our
hopes seemed to have been fulfilled. The -t i -1 had been
defined as one to make the world safe for democracy. This
meant that free men might work out their ways of living in
peace, and that the resort to force was l,,i.\r,. outlawed. A
new era had come, in which vast accomplishments would be
made, the world transformed-or so we thought. It was for
this that millions had died and millions more had been
maimed, that young men had given their careers, that mothers
had given their sons.
The Day of Armistice was a kind of climax. The years
of steady sacrifice were over, the long tensions were relaxed.
We might now go back to the old enterprises of peace, build-
ing homes, raising crops, making goods, pel'ecting social or-
ganization. No one thought the future was a workless one
or one in which differences would not appear. It did seem,
however, that work might be done, differences settled with-
out some savage running amok with deadly weapons. There
never had been a time when that was true, though it had
sometimes seemed so: the Victorian (lays, the era which came
after our Civil War. It had seemed then, briefly, as though
the institutions of peace were permanent. It had not been
all it seemed. Not only were the seeds of destruction sown
by the Imperialists and by the captains of business; but
also the organization of peace was delayed and neglected.
So that when a nodule of ruthlessness appeared there was
no way to contain and suppress it. It was even encouraged
by those among ourselves who were more devoted to private
gain than to the common good.
But all that was past now. The nucleus of I'-o .. had ex-
panded and had been lanced. We could breathe again. But

more than that our .-tii~--1- had been enriched and defined
by a leader who now would see, as the peace was shaped,
that the institutions of peace were strong and vigilant. Force
had been outlawed and would never rise again. Our sons
would never have to drop their work, leave their wives, and
submit to the disciplines of war.
All this was in the minds of men at eleven o'clock on the
morning of November llth in 1918. On that morning I was
in Paris as the guns began to thunder along the outer ruin
of fortifications a salute to the new Peace. The steady rhythm
jarred the building in which I worked as it had been jarred
many times before by shells or aerial bombs. This, I thought
to myself, will be the last reverberations of that sound. For
I, like others, had visions of artillery sunk in the sea or melted
to make some article of daily use.
It was such a heavy morning as is characteristic of the
Ile de France in November. A kind of ghostly sun behind
the Seine valley's mists modified but little the gloom and
chill of the lightless night we had just come through. Yet
no sun ever seemed so full of glowing promise, I thought, as
I looked out of my window onto the Place Theatre Francais
where, a month before, a great bomb pit had been. Now the
fountain would flow again, children would play in the Place,
old men sit in the sun, and Parisian crowds stream into and
out of the Theatre.
I recall what happened then: I walked down into the
Place and walked up the Avenue de L'Opera. The Avenue
was all but deserted at that moment, as, I thought, it will
never be again. But plodding down it, close to the curb, an
old woman came. She was pushing a great cart heaped with
turnips and in the topmost a little flag of France was stuck.
As she came opposite, I saw that she was in widow's weeds
and that her face streamed with tears. The glory of victory
and passionate hope, the sacrifice and the sorrow-all were
there. And although I went on to see and experience many
other things on that day, no other has stayed so clearly in
my memory as that old woman of France, drowned in brave
tears, yet with the flag flying on her cargo of turnips.
That all the sacrifice should have been in vain, all the
hopes disappointed, is the tragedy of our time. We had the
energy to win the war but not the wisdom to organize the

Now we are in the midst of another effort to suppress an
unlimited ipp,.al to force which is again loose in the world.
Some time soon-we may hope--there will come another Day
of Armistice. We shall have another chance to be generous,
patient and wise. It is my prayer now that we may use it
to achieve those purposes which escaped us before. And
that, this time, we may really sterilize the source of violence
on this earth.

The United States had been at
war for a little more than two
months when the Fifteenth Legis-
lature met in its second -... I.,i.
session on February 9, 1942. This
was the first regular session of
Governor Tugwell's administration.
Th e war emergency, naturally,
dominated the situation. Also im-
portant, however, was the fact that
the Popular Democratic Partyi was
obligated to continue the program
which the Party had promised the
voters in the 1910 election, and
which had been begun in the pre-
ceding year with the enactment of
legislation establishing:,
(1) The Land Authority, to
n.. r the redistribution
of land held contrary to
the provision of Section
3 of the Joint Resolu-
tion passed by Congress
on May 1, 1900, limit-
ing corporate land hold-
ings to 500 acres;
(2) the Water Resources Au-
thority, to develop and
utilize the water re-
sources of the Island
for the benefit of the
People of Puerto Rico;
(3) The Mi i n i m u m Wage
hoard, t o imnpro v e
working conditions and
living stan c a drds of
The Governor's )messag( lakes
account of both these considera-

Second Regular Session
No Legislature in the history of Puerto Rico has had to
meet in circumstances more difficult than those of the present.
You represent a people living in an armed outpost of the
United States. As such it might at any time be attacked--

not, of course, in force, so long as the fleet holds the Atlantic
and a hostile African shore lies at the back of any enemy.
The worst that might happen at present is a sporadic attack
from sea or air. But even that might cost lives and cause
It is a tragic circumstance that the labors of this Legis-
lature should have to be carried on under the shadow of war.
The fact of conflict is an overwhelming one. It is iiii.-ull
to consider other actions than those which have to do with
the defeat of the enemy or defense against his encroach-
ments. Yet I have to tell you that it must be done. The
condition of our people reflects years of injustice and neglect.
Whether we have war or peace we must attempt to set going
movements which in time will lift people out of slums and
will exorcise hunger. They are entitled to shelter, to food-
and to more than that. But the margin above misery they
will create for themselves, if we establish the chance.
Our people cannot be set upon this way of progress un-
less government itself is improved. It is not now an instru-
ment well shaped for a war on poverty and disease. But to
improve government is a long task at which we shall be work-
ing for years; and meanwhile we must go ahead. It would
be better, far better, if you, as legislators, were free from the
dangers which beset us and could deliberate at leisure and in
peace. It would be better, far better, if the beginnings of
social justice had been established in former years. But we
must accept conditions as they are since they are beyond our
control. We must proceed as best we can.
Going ahead with such a program does not mean that
measures for defense are to be neglected. On the contrary,
everything possible must be done to insure the safety of the
civil population while our army and navy attend profes-
sionally to offense. In the weeks while you are in, wi.... ,
there will be settled a number of crucial questions involving
the division of expenditure for civil defense between the Fed-
eral and !i l,.Li' governments. These will be brought as
rapidly as possible to issue and transmitted for your consid-
eration. Of these matters, and others having to do with the
program of action, I have made a more extended memo-
randum which I shall send for your consideration. I confine
myself on this occasion to greeting you and wishing you well
on your deliberations.

Beyond this .:irtit;' I think it not inappropriate to say
to you that in my heart these days there is a swelling thank-
fulness: I have been permitted to live for more than lifty
years of my own life in a free land. No matter what hap-
pens, that cannot be taken from me. And I conceive that,
in spite of territorial status which satisfies no one, and in
spite of misunderstandings and differences, some of them
considerable, you as Puerto Ricans share my gratitute. For
you have had the same citizenship for many years. And the
benefits of the Bill of Rights-and of all those liberties we
associate with the Bill of Rights-have been yours no less
than mine.
As civilians we feel, all of us, these days a deep di--:il,-
faction that we cannot be in uniform and so show where we
stand and what we are willing to undergo for the preserva-
tion of those freedoms we have so long and thoughtlessly
enjoyed. For when we are made to think of it, we are deter-
mined that they shall not be destroyed. Even though the
better part of our own lives are past, and for us personally
much of their value is over, we want them for our sons and
daughters. We realize all at once that this is worth all the
rest of life. Many of those who have gone -in, have said
again and again that death itself is a small price to pay for
freedom. And we had rather fallen into the way of thinking
that words like these and the deeds which followed them were
more than half bombastic. We understand, now when there
is actual challenge, that the words which defined our privi-
leges were genuine and that the deeds which followed were
actually heroic. We, too, may have to use such words in all
seriousness and stand for them until we die. They ring like
new-minted coins now on the granite of minds which never
before were wholly clear.
The months and years of tension have straightened
thought. To us, too, life seems a little thing beside those
mighty principles we had always regarded as common to us
all, not to be thought about particularly, just to be taken for
granted. And we are resolved, not as men who have been
ordered to a duty, but as sober citizens who have pondered
these matters in solitary thought, that we too are quite ready
to die that our children may be free.
You and I and all of us have been critical of the institu-
tions we now defend. Each of us has felt in his own way

that he knew how they could be improved. This was the
saving self-repairing element in democracy. I',ii made it,
in the long run, superior to any alternative. It is a -in'.-
proposition that encouragement of criticism and readiness
to change make possible a permanent society; and that none
is possible without them. Yet its truth has the power to
penetrate the pretentious shell of personal infallibility ( ,.- -
where. Sooner or later dictators make mistakes on a scale
so grand that their empires disintegrate and disappear.
No democracy can make a mistake like that. It can be slow
in decision while all the people absorb facts and .... h.;..
their policy. It can be inefficient because it suspects the
expert. But the running comment of many mindss prevents
the building up of such vast vulnerable edifices of falsity as
totalitarianism makes conceivable. And that is why, when
we begin to win, we shall win everywhere and quickly; be-
cause our power will grow and that of our enemies will
Our system has its faults. Our care for a free press and
free assembly opens us to abuses which sometimes seem
intolerable, almost treasonable. Our slowness to achieve
substantial unanimity on great questions sometimes brings
us to our crises unprepared so that long beyond their cli-
maxes we fumble for the right kind of organization. And
time, in this technological age, has been our enemy.
Perhaps the greatest fault of our system, and the one
which sometimes has seemed the cause of its future destruc-
tion, is its tolerance of injustice. In our desire for personal
freedom, it has often been forgot that freedom to exploit, to
push others down, to refuse them opportunity, is not one of
the guarantees for which our forefathers risked their lives.
The maintenance of equal chance for equal ability, the estab-
lishment of minimums of living and health, these are neces-
sary to any real freedom at all. To argue that men must
be free to underpay their workers, for instance, is like the
specious argument for freedom of speech in order to destroy
it. Those are not the freedoms we fight for. They are not
freedoms at all. They are franchises for destruction which
we must eliminate from society before we can make any prog-
ress. It is just here, as legislators, that you have a duty.
And not only in spite of war, but all the more because of
war. If it is totalitarianism we are fighting, we have to

fight it with legislative bills and administrative effort just
as much as with planes and tanks.
Remember that you do your work behind a rampart of
heroic sacrifice. What soldiers and sailors are doing for a
better world you can surely have the civilian courage to
share. Take the strokes of your enemies as others are tak-
ing the strokes of other enemies. Be worthy of your fighting
comrades. Gain something of social justice and you will
have served in the same campaign.
I am moved to acknowledge here that vast debt of gra-
titude we owe to multitudes of the living and dead in Russia,
in China, in Britain, in those other tropical islands opposite
us on this globe-the Dutch Indies-and even in the occupied
nations. They have given us what we had to have--time:
time to plan machines with which to build other machines.
And since ours are later, they are likely to be better. Ti'-.
people wanted what we too wanted. They hated what we
hated. We have the duty now to finish what, at so great a
sacrifice, they began. And if we win, we owe their children,
along with ours, the better world for which they fought and,
if need be, died.
It is in an atmosphere of high enterprise, of vast risks.
of a new world being born, that this Legislature meets. Let
us be worthy of our time; do nothing out of malice; do
everything for the less fortunate; regard no privilege as
sacred; forget self; work to make Puerto Rico a worthy
part of that world which the soldiers of freedom are creating.

Since the United States was attacked by Japan on De-
cember 7, the Government of Puerto Rico has been faced
with the double task of preparing against danger, and
p.'.--, lin.. while preparations were going on, the rise of
hysteria which, in an emergency, might cause more harm than
the event itself. It was necessary to organize a Civil Defense
which should maintain discipline during alerts and be ready
to preserve order and give aid if there should actually be
Short of creating a vast bureaucracy which would make
and impose regulations, the only method to take was that
of voluntary organization and service. This is admittedly a
slower and more inefficient way. But it has the advantage

of enlisting the cooperation of all earnest and patriotic
citizens and of substituting a kind of self-discipline for
arbitrary regulation. At any rate, this was the way chosen
and the exigencies of the conflict have given us time to
follow it. I had to judge against the advice of many who
saw the situation differently that time would be given. Many
would at once have imposed martial law, called the Legis-
lature in session, closed all the schools and so on. But none
of these was done.
iThis system can be said to have worked reasonably well
c-v:~',rilri but in the city of San Juan, where after weeks
in which little progress toward organization was discernible,
I relieved the local committee and appointed an administrator.
This change, together with arrangements for closer technical
advice by military experts, has put us on the way to satis-
factory accomplishment.
By holding steady and working hard we have come this
far, at least, without resort to measures which violate the
individual's legitimate choices of what he shall or shall not
do. Citizens, in hundreds and thousands, have joined in
learning fire-prevention measures, in practicing the arts of
first aid to the injured, of warden service and the like. And
they have learned to respect regulations for protection which
they recognize as reasonable. Only after considerable ex-
perience, I ventured to -r-',-l a common ordinance for the
municipalities which was worked out in the office of the
Attorney General. Most of them adopted it and there are
now beginning to be penalties for violation of the rules.
In the confusion of the first days of war, it was impossible
to determine how much of the expense of Civil Defense would
be borne by the Federal Government and how much would
fall on the Insular Government; but it was also impossible
to wait. 1, therefore, solicited, and was freely granted, by
the i'!. ii i. Fund Committee, $150,000 at first, and later
an additional $150,000 to go on with. About half of this
was used in ordering immediately quantities of medical
supplies and establishing a blood bank; the larger part of
the remainder was reserved for beginning the construction
of air-raid shelters. This was as much as could be expended
before the Legislature met and before some clear idea could
be had of what the Federal Government would contribute.
I shall send a later communication advising you of what

help we may expect and what we shall need to do ourselves.
And I shall not hesitate to ask for an amount adequate to
carry us through the year.
It is a real pleasure to tell you that in all the difficult
days we have come through, the Commandant of the 10th
Naval District, Admiral John H. lHoover, and the Commander
of the Puerto Rican Department, General James i. C ,
have given continuous cooperation. It has been our habit to
meet frequently in my office for the exchange of c..i,.!..i.i-
and information. I have sought to keep them in touch with
the work of the Insular Government, to explain our limitations
and to be of service when I could, They have put at my dis-
posal their vast technical resources and their knowledge of
the strategic situation. I think we have all of us appreciated
the difficulties each of the others has had; and that the ex-
changes have helped us over a period which was full of pit-
falls. On December 20 there was instituted a new Unity of
Command in which the naval commander takes precedence
in Puerto Rico. But this has not changed the admirable re-
lationships which before existed. Admiral Hoover now be-
comes, in the period before us, responsible for all military
activity. He has studied our problems and understands the
Puerto Rican way of life. This Island is well guarded.

The Puerto Rico National Guard has now become part of
the United States army for the duration of the war. To take
its place Congress has authorized the organization of a State
Guard. My choice of an officer to take charge of this work
was General Luis Ramil Esteves who was in command of the
old National Guard at Camp Tortuguero. There was some
difficulty and some delay about securing his release but it
was finally accomplished. By now the strength authorized
by the War Department, 1324 officers and enlisted men, is at-
tained. Each of twenty rifle companies has begun its training
in accordance with the regulations of the National Guard
Bureau, under instructor officers assigned by the Puerto Rican
Department of the Army.
It is gratifying to report that in spite of a late start,
Puerto Rico is ahead of most States in this work. Only Maine
and Delaware have completed their enrollments. I shall ask
for the support, during the coming fiscal year, of this work,

some $150,000, which will, iC all goes well, not need to be
used up. We shall, perhaps, not actually call for more than
; '2. ,; but I know that the entire sum will be made ., .i-
able so that any need may be met. You may be sure that
under its present leadership the State Guard will alwa -
keep in mind the relative poverty of our people as well as
the need for home defense.

3. PLANS POL EME,1: n(i Y
Only in a genuine emergency should I have asked for the
use of part of the Emergency Fund. I agree with Governor
Leahy () that there has been in the past unjustifiably liberal
interpretation of the provisions of law establishing this Fund.
It has often been dangerously depleted. Of one thing Puerto
Ricans can be certain: destructive hurricanes will return.
It required many millions to repair the damage of the last
one; and even now, nine years later, less than a million
dollars is readily available in the Fund and perhaps half a
million of the nominal total of four and one-half million has
been put to such uses that it is not recoverable. Whether
the people of Puerto iico have war or peace, the unrelieved
threat of hurricane damage need not be allowed to persist.
This Fund should be regarded as a kind ofl insurance, perhaps
the only complete kind, for such a disaster. We may work
out an orthodox insurance scheme for real properties and
even, I" lI;i'-, for crops-and we should try to do that--but
this will not cover the ji,,,' who is made homeless or the
agregado who has lost all his possessions. These poorest
of Puerto Iicans, until they can reestablish themselves, will
need help as they always have. Thl.' are not improvident
by choice, but because to a family with an income of a few
hundreds of dollars a year hurricane insurance is as unat-
tainable as other safeguards against what must seem to them
a hostile world. The only chance Puerto Rico has of moving
quickly in this matter is to have adequate fiii.i. in mobile
There must also be organization. And I digress here,
to speak of that. My inaugural day fell in the most critical
month of the year in this respect. When I had taken office
I began to wonder how Governors could sleep at night dur-
ing the hurricane season. I not only found the iji.-rg.'n. y
(1) T -rfer f his micssage to tho LIe'islalnre in February, 1040.

I"l.I'l depleted but no organization (except, of course, the Red
Cross) prepared to meet a disaster if one should come. I
had fortunately been assigned as Naval Aide, Lieutenant
Connnander Thomas C. Ilennings, Jr., whose wide experience
in public life I at once began to use Hie was asked to take
responsibility for the organization of emergency plans. This
he did, and when I was made Director of Civil Di-ln.-. he
carried on this work as well until i.i. Jaime Annexy was
appointed as chairman of a Central Committee for the Is-
land and began intensive organization.
It might have been expected that with all the experience
Puerto Rico has had with hurricanes and other disasters,
some routines would have been established, some prepara-
tions made. There were none. A hurricane occurs about
once every ten years on the average. The damage may run
as high as a hundred million dollars. Thousands may die
or be injured largely from preventable causes-untended
wounds, contaminated water, exposure, even starvation. We
ought to establish, it seems to me, a permanent emergency
organization so that when disaster comes its effects may at
least be mitigated.
I propose to protect and augment the Emergency Fund.
I asked, at the Special Session of the Legislature in Novem-
ber, that all borrowings should be returned to it. Only part
of what I asked was granted. But what has been borrowed
for Civil Defense can now be returned, and I ask that that
be done. I also ask that there be added to the Governor's
staff an officer to be called Director of ].,,,.-i.-y Plans,
whose duty it will be to have everything in readiness at the
time of disaster so that relief may not have to be improvised
after the event. That office will not need to be filled for the
moment but it should be created against the time when it
will be needed. Just now our Civil Defense organization
covers the Island and can meet emergencies of peace as well
as of war. With the end of war that agency should be kept
alive for the purposes of peace. Such an officer on the
Governor's staff will serve to do it.

The problem of civil defense has taken so much of .
one's time and attention during the last months that other
problems have been somewhat obscured. It is a mistake to

carry this too far. In matters having to do with economic
and social betterment, there is no reason for resting. Those
who have always opposed progress in these matters would
as soon use the excuse of war as any other to take people's
minds off injustice and to prevent any change which would
threaten their privileges. But those of us who have always
worked for changes of this kind would be innocent indeed
if we fell into that trap. Protection against the forces of
I -.i-i1, consists not only in fighting it abroad. Its advocates
only yesterday were vocal enough at home. And their hearts
have not changed. They ought to know that ours have not
changed either. And that we are not confused by the new
mask of patriotism they wear.
To put it bluntly, we are going to push on-as rapidly
as possible-with the social changes which for a generation
have been overdue in Puerto Rico. Specifically, we must
perfect and enlarge the program of land Ii.iiiI; give
workers greater protection; constantly strive to raise the
levels of nutrition; make life and living more secure; per-
feet the devices of government for recruiting and disciplin-
ing the public service; plan and execute public work with
greater efficiency at the same time that we enlarge it. I shall
discuss the specific elements of this program which seem to
me feasible at the present time. But at the outset 1 should
like to remind you of the good beginning already made. The
Legislature last year set up the Land Authority and Mr.
Carlos ('!.i-d6n, as Director, has begun to assemble his -ii7'
and plan his work. It appears that certain changes and
amplifications are necessary and these can be made. But the
beginning is already substantial.
This can hardly be said of the Department of Labor.
Its organization and its operations have in the past been
hardly more than a sop to a I. troublesome progressives.
T am always much more in favor of positive action by gov-
ernment to correct evils than mere regulation. And I would
not like to see the Puerto Rico Department of Labor limited
to mere regulation. But even on the regulatory side it needs
expansion, and certain of its other I,. ii..t n need complete
reorganization. For instance, its mediation work. There
exists in this field a Commission of which I recommend the
abolition, to be followed by the organization, in the Depart-
ment, of a Mediation Service. This is the method followed

in the Federal Department of Labor. There was a time,
years back, when inequities in government were thought to
be somewhat modified by asking several officials to do what
one could do better. That time is past. For such tasks as
this, a single headed service is more appropriate.
It may have been some such impulse as this which led
the Legislature at the Special Session to set up a Food and
Supplies Commission rather than the Administrator which I
recommended in my message on the subject. The experi-
ence of several months leads me to recommend even now
that this decision be reconsidered. I am sure that a single
administrator would be much more effective. The execution
of laws is a job for the executive. In this instance it has
been impossible for me to move in many ways I should have
p,,i.- I red. A part of the executive was, in other words,
handed over to a group outside my control. An administrator
who can act quickly and for whose actions I can take the
responsibility would be preferable.
In this field, again, of supplies and the control of prices,
we cannot at this time be altogether certain of the part which
will be played by the Federal Government-probably most
of what is necessary, although it did not seem that way last
November when the Commission was set up. Bills have now
been completed in the Congress which provide, among other
things, for the accumulation of stocks of food, for the fur-
nishing of the supplies needed for Civilian Defense, and for
the control of prices. The measures taken here can now be
regarded as supplementary; and it is a relief to know that
the financial burden will in large part be borne by the Federal
Government. But here, again, as the Legislature meets, I
am unable to speak in quantitative terms. Policies have not
yet been made sufficiently precise so that 1 can advise you
how we may accommodate our local organizations to the
larger Federal ones. I believe, however, that in setting up
an organization for price control and civilian supply and
going ahead with certain measures for Civil Defense, for
instance, we have taken steps which will make it unneces-
sary in these fields to do more than determine what funds
will be needed to supplement Federal ones. Tir.. basic prin-
ciples seem to be the same as those which govern the T'.-1. ,I I

The Special Session of the present Legislature last Fall
accomplished a great deal, it will be seen, and did it in good
time-ahead of corresponding Federal measures. I shall
certainly be able to advise you before the end of the session
whether changes are necessary. But I think we may take
some pride in having been forehanded.

It is impossible, of course, in two years or even four or
six to repair the neglect of a generation. It is an especially
unhappy circumstance that we must try to do it in the midst
of danger which gives a sense of urgency to every task.
Certain measures looking toward the improvement of the
public service are so basic to any additional expansion in
governmental duties that we must pause to work them out
even though we wonder why they were not completed years
ago and so made available to us now. I refer especially to
the setting up of a Planning Board and to the reform of the
Civil Service. The one has to do with physical and fiscal
accommodation to the means we actually possess; the other
to the creation of an efficient service for carrying out what-
ever policies are determined on. I need not describe the
past situation or even that of the present. The Puerto Rican
people have aspirations. They know what they want. But
everyone knows that the government has no thorough work-
ing plans for achieving these aspirations and no way of ac-
commodating our probable income to the tasks we have to do.
It was actually necessary last year to pass a so-called anti-
nepotism law. This law failed of its effects because it did not
cover real nepotism and because it lacked the necessary envi-
ronment. I propose the substitution for it of a real anti-
nepotism act embodied in a reform of the Civil Service to be
suggested later.
The truth is that almost all those devices and arrange-
ments which make for good government and have become so
familiar in many places, are often lacking, and, when they
do exist, are starved for lack of appropriations. That is why,
in the midst of emergency and when the machinery of gov-
erment is especially needed for 11.4!'',ii,, we have to wait
until much of the machinery has been created. We shall

never be able to do much with the program of land use or
expand our processing industries-at least through govern-
mental assistance-until this work is done. It is for this
reason that I propose to you this year the passage of several
fundamental measures of this nature: a planning act, which
also includes the setting up of an administrative :'i.ig-.l ; a
measure to reform the Civil Service; a bill for the assess-
ment of payments for public improvements; certain bills for
the reorganization and modernization of the courts; and
measures for the improvement of the police system. There
are, of course, other measures which have to do with improve-
ment in the work of the various departments which I shall
discuss later. But these are general measures which affect
the whole conduct of government. They are basic to its
operation everywhere.
Planning is a function which is now seen to be merely
the governmental counterpart of that foresight which a
business or other organization exercises when it looks ahead
to probable resources and desirable functions, except that it
has as its ultimate aim the enlarging not of a net profit for
the organization but of welfare for the whole people. The
desirability of institutionalizing the central controls in any
government, of correlating the activities of departments and
bringing them into comprehensive relationship not only to
each other but to the whole system of government and society,
has so commended itself to municipalities that upwards of
four hundred effective official bodies of that sort now exist
in the United States. They exist also in most states as well
as in the iF'.. i.;i! Government. The ambition to provide
Puerto lRico with a competent planning organization led me
last year to consult with a number of Puerto Rican leaders
and, with their encouragement, to secure the l,.-ltiiis of a
model bill. For this purpose the National Resources Plan-
ning Board generously furnished the services of !l. All, ..I
Bettman, Chairman for many years of the City Planning
Commission of Cincinnati and a distinguished consultant.
He has made two extended visits to Puerto Rico and, in con-
sultation with many interested citizens here, has ijl-..l.. an
act which, it is believed, represents the best thought and
workmanship which could be brought to bear on our prob-
lems. Drafts of this legislation have for some time been
circulated among interested citizens as well as among < :.: its

wherever they could be found. Many i.-,-1.i "i, for change
have been made. Some have been embodied in redrafts.
The present bill represents that kind of work and thought.
It is, in the most genuine sense, non-partizan and non-
political and I cannot conceive that any citizen interested in
good government can possibly be opposed to its passage.
For some time, as is true in every growing community,
the cities of Puerto Rico have had a growing fringe of slums.
The positive approach to this problem is, of course, through
public housing. And it will be remembered that at the
Special Session an appropriation was made for protecting
public land fi.., encroachments. But there is more to be
done. Not all the slums have grown up on public land.
Where they have, measures must be taken to eliminate them;
but where private lands are being used in this way, one
other method of attack is indicated: assessment for ,ii.:I'wI.
The worst feature of slums in Puerto Rico is not poor houses,
for shelter in itself is not so important as dangerous sani-
tation; and this is largely a governmental matter. At
least it should be. Private owners of land will not and can-
not by themselves furnish water, sewers, streets and other
necessary facilities. Ti..... have to be furnished by govern-
ment. But the cost must necessarily be assessed largely upon
the properties which are served. Lacking a law for this pur-
pose, some owners of property will comply with civilized re-
quirements in these matters and some will not. Some deli-
berately evade responsibility and allow developments to go on
which are a menace to the whole community; but some others
are simply unable to meet the requirements. For many dec-
ades this problem has been solved in practically all American
cities by extending utilities and assessing at least a share of
the cost among those served. And indeed there is no other
way to prevent the shameful state into which much of San
Juan's suburban area has fallen.
As to the use of public land for shack towns, that seems
to have been the responsibility of past politicians. As a result
much of the surrounding area of the capital city is covered
with pitiful and revolting slums. Public housing agencies in
Washington .have been generous to Puerto Rico. Projects
are numerous and well-planned. But the slums have been
allowed to grow many times faster than public housing. I
have undertaken to prevent, on the one hand, further spread

of these abominable areas, and, on the other, to secure even
greater aid from Washington. The Legislature made one
appropriation for the former purpose at the Special Session
-to provide watchmen. Its terms were too restrictive. It
should have allowed for fencing and other development. For
this I ask amendments now. As to the getting of larger
housing appropriations, those were promised, and extensive
plans were already drawn, when war began. Since then new
policies have been adopted with new terms of which we cannot
yet judge the effect. But I have some reason to believe that
we can still go forward. It is hoped to do this in such ways
as will make the funds go much further-that is to say, make
each family unit cost less so that more can be built. If, in
just one year we could build more decent houses than were
built in the slums, it would be a vast encouragement to every-
one and would make our warden service effective. I hope
that this next year we may accomplish that. But an essential
part of it is the making sure that private properties un-
serviced by utilities are not used for the erection of shacks.
That is the purpose of the proposed law.
The proposed change in the Civil Service is again a matter
wl9hi is basic to good government. The present system has
the -'*p" .1 ..!.''e of a merit system without acco,,.il -in.,, its
more important aims. The best that can be said for it is
that it gives some protection to job-holders. This is a virtue,
provided the !,ii'.-i : I.1,l. are not given equal protection \.iill
those who are capable and hard-working. But it can scarcely
be claimed that the present law effectively makes such dis-
crimination. It was described to me, before I had experience
with it, as making it easy to get a job in government and hard
to be put out of one. And that is not altogether inaccurate.
I proposed that instead of the present Commission-which
again belongs to a past age in which government was rela-
tively unimportant in the life of a people-there be substituted
a I)irector of Personnel who would be in charge of personnel
matters for the government of Puerto Rico, together with
an appeals board. The Director can then be held respon-
sible for -,.-1..t; -.. by competitive devices which are by now
fairly standardized, and with boards of examiners, new em-
ployees of the regular service irrespective of rank. We shall,
of course, have to carry out, in connection with this, a com-
plete classification, but this has been long overdue. It has

been done recently in the Department of Health by an outside
i- .-'. '-, an action which was forced by the requirement of
Federal aid; but it is equally badly needed in the other
departments. Indeed, it is impossible without it to bring
any order or equity into the whole system. But there is no
need, if we have an adequately trained and energetic Director
of Personnel, of paying an outside agency to carry out such
a task. I would urgently ask the Legislature to give this
government one able administrator instead ofl a multiple-
headed administrative commission which is sure to waAto
most ol its energy in mutual check-mating. It might be
noted that this change could be so managed as to attain the
effect sought by the so-called anti-nepotism law which sub-
stantially I: I;' to reduce genuine nepotism.
Thie Attorney General has submitted measures intended
to provide a more ,*ili.~.ii organization of the Department of
Justice and the Judiciary. Of these various measures, I
make i. i:,1 mention of the bill authorizing the reorganiza-
tioin of the Municipal (Courts, under preparation by a com-
mission created by joint resolution of the Legislature; an
amended Juvenile Court Law, having for its aim to provide
special agencies to give more attention to youthful delin-
quents, and a reformation of the Jury Law, which among
other changes would grant, *l.I,! rights to women by including
them as jurors.
We should not any longer neglect to improve the condition
.i the men and women i -r fi,1.-.i in the prison and correctional
system. It is well known that women prisoners are housed
in a portion of the District Jail of Arecibo; that boys are
confined in the District Jails of San Juan and Ponce; that
the School for Girls in P:once operates under the unsuitable
name of "':. I,'rm School for Delinquent Girls" and has a
capacity for only fifty girls; and that the Insular Peniten-
tiary lacks -',i .lI land for the proper functioning of a
dairy farm. Curative measures; to meet these situations will
be offered for your consideration.
Of interest, not only to the Judiciary, but to other Depart-
ments of the Government and the public as well, are matters
connected with investigations, traffic cases and the carrying
of weapons. It is proposed to provide for a Bureau of In-
vestigation; to organize Traffic Courts to permit of prompt
disposition of' violations of the i:.i-',i. laws and ordinances;

and to so amend the law as to circumscribe the carrying of
weapons. I ask for your favorable consideration of bills
em):-b dying these aims;.
I mention these matters in this place because of their
interest as part of a whole plan to make the government a
more effective instrument. In this same connection, I should
perhaps call to your attention the lack of cadastral maps
and surveys in Puerto Lico, without which it is impossible
to carry out accurate and detailed tax work. lPut these are
necessary also for other purposes of government, such as,
for instance, planning. And I have hoped that instead of
doing this work ourselves at great expense we could devise
otIler ways of accomplishing the same result. That seems
to be possible. We are fortunate to have had established
here, recently, a regional office of the' National I'esources
Planning Board. Not only for this purpose, but for many
others mItuch more important, this contact with Federal plan-
ning will have vast results for Puerto Iico. But as to this
one necessity, it is probable that a division of tlis basic work
can. be made so that the army and navy aerial maps can he
used and much of the interpretative work done by the techni-
cians of this Federal office. Our own new Planning Board,
if the Legislature accedes to my request and authorizes it,
will also share in the work.
Pressure for this fundamental survey work came mostly
from the Treasury which could not carry out tax work ef-
fectively without it. And a Bill for this purpose, totalling
in expense ;i'",,000, was drafted for the Special Session. I
tooi the responsibility then of advising that this expenditure
be saved and the result accomplished in other ways. I am
willing to continue this responsibility. In the course of a lit-
tle time I am sure we shall be able to achieve the result. But
it may be necessary for you to adopt an enabling act. There
are other Treasury projects which are basic. One is the
general refunding and reorganization of obligations which i
shall discuss more at length, perhaps in a special message
or, if we are not ready in time, shall ask you to approve in
a later Special Session. Another is a complete recasting of
the system of excise taxes. I lack of the one imposes an un-
necessary burden of interest; lack of the other raises the
cost of living for the poor and fails to achieve the regulating
effect which such taxes should have.

1 have ii,..1 spoken of the part which the University ought
to play in the life of Puerto Rico. This Island cannot provide
for the population to which it is committed unless it under-
takes intensive development. And this requires an intellec-
tual center which glows with patriotic flame and renews itself
continually with the ardors of its youth. This is not a matter
to be desired vaguely; or a value to be attained after all
others are achieved. The intelligence directs; it furnishes
the means of action. Men without higher nerve centers are
beasts. Societies without them are low forms of human as-
sociation. Not to build up the University, even at the ex-
pense sometimes of other activities, is to admit -;.ti-fa- tin
with a kind of primitive organization.
The 'ii "-r-ity of Puerto Rico is not sufficiently equipped
for the task it has to do. It needs new classrooms, new
laboratories, and the like; and I -1. -.--t that half a million
dollars be allocated for this purpose.(1) It needs new blood
in its scientific departments. .But even more it needs reorien-
tation. There is too much work of sub-university grade
mixed with genuine scholarly effort. And the mixture is
good for neither. In the long run we ought to develop
several junior colleges elsewhere than on the Rio Piedras
campus. And University '"reform"' which has been so much
talked about ought not to be longer delayed. The only "re-
form" worth talking about is what the layman calls "taking
the University out of politics", by which he means, of course,
exempting it from party change. And the way to do that
is the way long ago taken with the judiciary. The governing
body now changes with elections. E\ .iT.-i.i and relatively
short-term appointees make it impossible to develop the in-
dependence and detachment necessary to a higher nerve
center. What is needed above all is a governing body ap-
pointed, as is the Supreme Court, by the. Executive for an
indefinite term. Without this there will be no real "reform".
And the University here will never be recognized by its nat-
() i do ')t lere iaL, deialed s, r'sions for a biilin" pro rani. But so much re-
nlsill to be done thal I ; .:,. can bie Imade almost t anywhere. For the pre seii ...
it vOnid be \\ l o i i qtuai igles a Rio 'icdras now remaining i iir.... i I.
constlrc:t a dormiliory for boys and another for girls-these, it muist be remembered will pay
lihir o iw way, or nearly so, from rentals- -and at Miayagiioz 1 do d certain work, which, if
not done at on'e, will certainly entail Iuch future expense. It miqht be noted, also, that
an appropriation has already beeon Iim:de for all auditorium which lies lunused for lack of
some ne cx ssary a additions to ii. On the whole west end of the Island there is no meeting
place of this sort.

ural supporting agencies--the teachers' and collegiate asso-
ciations which define standards, the foundations which are so
great a help-until this is done. Why put it off?
Perhaps some modification of the customary executive ap-
pointment might be devised. The legislature might, for in-
stance, set up a Collegium for supervision of the University,
whose membership should change in rotation and whose
membership might be large, say ii.. n, for instance. The
sole duty of such a Board would be to choose three or five
trustees for long terms, not all of' ,hem changing at once;
or it might directly choose the (': .'el.lor But certain re-
strictive qualifications might well he est,,( :,I'- I by the ILeg-
islature to ensure that trustees were suitable for the great
duty of supervising the University; or that the (I .,, I'...'
was really qttl;'i...l. The Collegium would meet very infre-
quently but a seat in it would be a great honor and any citizen
would be proud of membership.
The objective of the lower schools is to fit children into a
niche in the social and economic scheme. For this reason
Puerto Rican education has gone in intensively for vocational
education without neglecting to adapt the curriculum to
changing needs. i'rovidiilugg adequate facilities for this in-
't, xarge expenditures. Lacking abundant means, we
must adopt such measures as will give us the best possible
value from the resources at our command.
We have found centralization of school administration
to be desirable, and yet we do not have centralization in a
most important branch of that administration-school fi-
nances. We still allow certain privileged areas to receive
large proportions of municipal monies for school services,
while other areas have scarcely any income at all. This
situation can only be met by the establishment of an equali-
zation I ....! fund which will give the child in the mountains
the same advantages as the child in the rich sugar areas.
'There are certain appropriations recommended in the
budget bill to extend educational services. TI,..- would
increase the number of teachers of certain types, particularly
of industrial arts, and would provide additional personnel for
extending the scope of the work of the Second Unit Schools
which have been admired by educators everywhere. They
are Puerto Rico's best contribution, so far, to the art of
education. They deserve better support.

Throughout the years we have built up a school plant
worth some li' ,.-n million dollars. Yet we have done little
or nothing to set aside f in I1 to preserve and expand it. I
ask that we at long last recognize the need to kee p up what
we have once created and do it systematically.
There is one problem which al'..i ; torments educators
in Puerto Rico. This is the question of language. It has
perhaps been wise to adopt a compromise position. The rich
cultural background of the Spanish would be an inestimlable
loss if the unthinkable attempt were made to substitute
another language for it. Yet Puerto Iican youth, especially
those who have the talent to enter the managerial class, to
become teachers, civil servants-to do all those paper-work
tasks which modern society so much depends on---need '.:.
lish too. We are not doing well enough, in that, a fault which
deliberately shuts off from lPuerto Rican youth numerous
opportunities to rise in the larger world ol which this Island
is only a part. It is easy to see that Puerto Rico appears,
in every-day work, like a whole world. But no society oi two
millions, with such intimate economic exchanges necessary to
its life, can afford to act that way.
It was with something like this in mind that I asked the
Special Session last .Fall to authorize the (. i-i:i-ii!,. ..11 of a
School of Public Affairs in the University, which was done.
That will soon be organized and will certainly open new vistas
to many young people. What would be said, for instance, if
someone should establish an industry in Puerto Rico which
would offer more than a thousand jobs at an average of, say,
$3,500 a year? He would be regarded as a benefactor in this
crowded Island. Yet the Federal government offers exactly
such an industry. A 7.',1i;i i.. iii.~, recently showed me a
table of those areas which were in arrears, in the number of
positions occupied in the government. Puerto Rico was first
by an immense lead. Preference is given in examinations by
geographic areas. Those which do not fill their quotas,
however, lose them to others. Puerto Rico, on this list was
entitled to J i ;i positions, of which only 51 were occupied.
I'lI,... are almost exactly 1,100 ,.-;ii. r,. waiting for young
men and women, with e, i ferential rating attached (,')
Such ni,:ies explain the possible I- .-i in. -. of the new
School of Public Affairs which would be, in a sense, a training
(1) The Federal cglister, 21 Jauiniy 1912. P. 4d0.

school for the Civil Service. But, also, they point up our loss
from inadequate language teaching. Promising boys and
girls are shut out from the largest and most satisfying career
open to them if we do not prepare them adequately. And
this, of course, neglects entirely the vast field of opportunity
to two-language workers in other countries to the South of
us,. 1 hope we shall be able to go forward in this field for
the sake of a generation which ought not to be confined to
the opportunities on this Island any more than this Island
should refuse intellectual importations from whatever place
they may suitably exist.
8. POLIcuS
Unless our Insular police can be put on a different basis,
they can never take the place in the community which we all
desire. As things are today they are inadequately paid, and
they lack security of tenure and certainty of discipline.(2)
Under these circumstances young men of ability will not see
in the force a possible permanent career. Moreover, there
cannot exist that quick sympathy with the public which is
necessary if the police are to be more than mere suppressors
of petty crime. I n recent difficult situations they have done
magnificent work under great difficulties. Everything pos-
sible to improve their opportunities ought to be done.
Besides these changes in selection, status and discipline,
the Puerto Rlican force is far behind in mechanization. It
possesses no private communication system such as most
other American police now have. And its methods of crime
detection, for lack of laboratories and trained investigators,
are almost as much rule of thumb as they were two decades
ago. In these matters we shall be able to count on a good
deal of Federal aid in one way or another but, of course, we
shall have to bear a certain part of the expense. Studies have
been made of the cost of setting up a short-wave radio system,
and it will be included in a budget as soon as that is feasible.
It will be necessary, also, to set up a completely new system
of districts, based on automotive transportation and radio
communication. For this a building program will be needed
and should be planned at once. Large amounts are spent
every year for the rent of quarters which are almost invaria-
(. ) In this 0:co lne eion 1 recomin iendl e relpal of Act No. ... 1 1 A April 1933,
which directs the G0 ovornor to proclrain a police-week every year. I. I are not ap-
propriately objects of charity.

bly unsuitable and are often insanitary. New buildings,
designed for the purpose and owned by the government, will
be a long-run economy. It may be that some of them can be
so designed as to fit into a fire-district scheme such as is now
under study by the Governor's Fire Prevention and ';i.I.
Measure Connmittee. And they ought to provide living ac-
commodlations for rll'-'.I -: on duty there as well as those tem-
porarily assigned. The conditions under which our traveling
police now have to find accommodations are a discouragement
to that kind of duty.
I am reluctant to -n i..- I any increase in the number of
police. I would rather see each policeman fitted out with
such equipment and such overhead direction that his efficiency
was increased. But examination will show that Puerto Rico
will have to make some additions. Nowhere in the United
States is there so small a number of police in proportion to
the number of inhabitants. Material on this subject will be
made available for your study. But 1 think we dare not wait
to make certain increases and certain changes. And I see no
reason for waiting longer to establish an academy for the
training of recruits.
I. recommend, moreover, certain other changes, to remove
,.Iiii,,i. handicaps to discipline and efficiency. The Police
Commission ought either to be abolished or to have its duties
clearly defined as a 1oard of Ap1-j,.-. There have been re-
cently many delays and uncertainties which lead to demorali-
zation. Several changes have been made recently in the
force which I. think have been received with satisfaction by
the public. If, together with these changes, a traffic court
were set up, as is .- ... -i...I elsewhere, greatly increased ef-
ficiency would result.
I turn now to measures of a different kind, not to those
which improve the whole government service, but to those
by which a people achieves its ambitions for progress. In
Puerto Rico at this moment these fall easily into two catego-
ries: agricultural and industrial (which are mostly process-
ing). There is some possibility of establishing a glass and
ceramics industry which, it seems to me, ought to be thor-
oughly investigated. But primarily the wealth of this Island,
which is available in present circumstances and with present

knowledge, is agricultural. I would stretch this term to in-
clude the catching and processing of fish in the seas around.
But how proceed to make the most of these possibilities? It
is quite evident that it is not going to be done by private
enterprise without more direction or encouragement than in
the past, Private enterprise, after many years of complete
freedom, has built up a sugar industry about which a damag-
ing admission has to be made: its cost of production is very
high and it, therefore, has a competitive power with other
areas which is very low. It depends dangerously, -i .;ore,
upon a tariff and quota system which might conceivably some-
time break down or be disastrously modified. ECtie.ieijcx in
Hawaii and in Florida has increased greatly through the in-
troduction of machinery not used here at all. Puerto .ican
efficiency, outside of gains in plant bre. lii ., for which the
governmental experiment stations are responsible, has gained
very little. IEven the production of sugar beets, having
gained in efficiency some 25 per cent in the last few years,
approaches in cost some of Puerto Rico's cane acreage. Fi-
nancial institutions and private financiers have lad available
to them enormous quantities of governmental funds under
the peculiar system of financing used by this government in
the past. But little has been done with these funds to ad-
vance the industrial or agricultural interests of this I.siand.
These are hard facts to face and I am aware that many
Puerto Ricans do not like to be reminded of them. But we
shall soon have to see clearly where the real opportunities
lie. It should be understood, t! ..... ;'ore, that the local finan-
ciers of Puerto Rico will not or cannot make those invest-
ments and take those risks which are necessary if two millions
and more of people are to find the means of making even the
barest living.
It is entirely possible, I believe, that the most prosperous
year Puerto Rico ever had or will have in the life-times of
those now responsible for government, is now behind us.
Defense works have, for the past year. been an acdiviy as
large as the whole of the sugar industry. In other words, a
wholly temporary and factitious element, has, for a year,
about doubled Insular income. Suppose that should end-
and it soon will-and the activity now being carried on werd
suddenly reduced by one-half. To put the situation another
way: there are now about the same permanent sources of

income as existed ten or more years ago; and there are
many thousands more people to share them. And there
will be more people as time passes. To go on: most of the
food for Puerto Rico is still obtained from outside the Island
and is paid for by sugar exports. Those exports are almost
static in quantity and price. But there are many more people
to be fed and the price of food has about doubled. We can
improve the distribution of our income but unless its total
amount is increased and more o .'l', Iili1, i opened, all ef-
forts of this kind will have miniscule results.
No good niii i". ,' would be served by pursuing theoe illts-
trations. But they are the facts which make outsiders who
study our situation impatient and at the same time hopeless.
What capital exists is used to no good :,rl .-. so far as these
problems are concerned. Our growing population seems to
economists I have consulted doomed to share a static---or,
because of erosion and the depression of tobacco and coffee, a
falling-total Insular income. I believe that we can change
all this, that we need not submit to the seeming inevitability
of economic regression. But it is as clear as crystal that we
cannot do it without drastic action, fundamental change. We
shall have to direct our energies differently, use our capital
for new purposes, reform our habits of consumption. It is
a matter really, of taking events in our hands and forcing
them to yield better things. Unless we do, many Puerto
Ricans must actually starve. I do not xs;'-..-_.ate; and I
weigh my words. This is not, however, a time to say any-
thing less than truth.
What is certainly indicated is that government must in-
tervene. It must gather up Puerto Rican capital and help
to direct its uses, together with the energy of the people, into
channels which will yield livings for all of the two millions
on this Island. It is possible that by encouragement and by
sharing risks private capital can be induced to undertake
projects of this nature. That should be tried. And every
effort should be made to do more in the way of pioneering
and showing the way. New industries can be brought by
government to the pilot-plant stage and the exploitation then
shared, sometimes, with private or semi-public capital; or
perhaps cooperatives can be encouraged. And there should
be an effort io do more iin e x;ay of findiln basic fnuiciol'c'!d
designs for woods, metals, fibres and the like which are native

here. The arts of working in these have so degenerated that
what little still remains is practically unsalable on outside
Proceeding on this principle of investing government
funds and inducing private and semi-public funds to supple-
ment these, in industries which li;hve been explored to the
pilot-plant stage, and in which design and function have been
worked out by the best talent obtainable, Puerto Rico may
be made an Island far more independent economically than
it is at present. A fisheries industry can be established, a
glass, a furniture, a fertilizer, a cotton r~;li i,;ilii, a housing-
materials industry, as well as could be done anywhere.
We already have a notable cement plant, which, it will be
remembered, was universally condemned by private enter-
prise and could only be started with government funds. We
need more of the same.
Bills will be submitted to you embodying these ideas and
possibilities. As I have said before, it is tragic that our
government is so ill-prepared to assume these responsibilities
and we must proceed with a basically under-trained personnel
into a future which has been in no adequate way planned.
There are evidently some other things which we must do for
ourselves of a service nature. They do not set us I. ..'d
economically; they are made necessary by time Iailure of
private enterprises to p" 'ii .ii functions with which they
were entrusted but which are so. vital to the community that
they cannot be allowed to break down. The time is al: ...,1
overdue when something drastic should have been done to
insure better transportation and communication services.
But, on the verge of disintegration, it still remains to be done.
It must be undertaken, because there is no alternative. We
face, especially, in the next few months a crisis in transporta-
tion. As everyone knows, automobiles are no longer going
to be made and tires will be so few as to be almost non-
existent. In San Juan, especially, but also elsewhere, many
working people travel back and forth daily, some of them
twice daily, from home to work. In the immediate past
there has been an unfortunate competition between "pibbli-
cos" and the bus line which has a supposedly exclusive
franchise. This bus line is deep in debt, both to the suppliers
of gasoline, tires, etc., and to the Reconstruction -- I ;i,,.-
Corporation, Its service has worsened month by month.

And the "puiblicos" have illegitimately carried more and
more of the passengers. The publicc" is not a dependable
kind of transport as organized at present. It could hold a
legitimate part of the carrying trade if vehicle and tires
were available to it and it were organized into .cooperatives.
But the equipment now in use will wear out quickly and under
present conditions is irreplaceable.
The local condition in Juan is complicated by the
existence of an old fashioned trolley line which belongs to the
Puerto Rico Railway, Light an(d Power Company. It has been
considered something of a nuisance for several years; it will
be ; .:..I; 1 along with the other properties when the electric
services are taken over in the proceedings now going on. All
these circumstances taken into account, the best way out seems
to me the setting up of a Ti;,i,-, rotation Authority which
will acquire the bus and trolley lines. At the same time,
the power to license all other agencies of transportation must
be made concurrent. The public could then operate some lines
and license others. Under such a system the "ptiblicos',
properly organized as cooperatives, could lind a legitimate
and profitable place in the system without jeopardizing the
life of the public bus lines. Unless this is done we shall soon
have an inconceivable chaotic situation. Perhaps for this
purpose we need to recast and strengthen the Public Service
Commission. If so, it should be done at once.
i recommend similar action also in the field of conmmunica-
tions The insular governmentt now owns the telegraph and
certain telephone lines. By taking over and operating all of
them as one integrated system, it could in time provide the
kind of service which is expected in these times. In the case
of both these recolmmenled Authorities, one consideration is
that governmental agencies will certainly be able to com-
mand higher priorities for equipment in the months, and
perhaps years, of war ahead than could private agencies.

The Puerto Rico Water Resources Authority has now
completed its internal organization. The Authority is pro-
ceeding as rapidly as possible with the issuance of bonds for
development purposes, for purposes ol refunding to save in-
terest charges, and for the purchase of properties of the

Puerto Rico Railway, Light & Power Co. as directed by the
However, a few lih, ilt .. have arisen with regard to the
interpretation of the Act which have tended to slow down
progress in this direction. There are certain (. iects of ex-
pression in ihe Act, such as appear in almost any law, how-
ever expertly drawn. The most important question involved
is whether the Authority shall be treated as a bureau of
the Insular Government or shall have i,.,,ate corporate
status like the Puerto Rico Cement Corporation, the Tennes-
see Valley Authority, the New York Port Authority and
hundreds of other such corporations set up by governments
all over the world. I'1,. management of such corporations
is put in the hands of their directors without the burdensome
managerial restrictions which are usually placed on the man-
agement of government bureaus. The Auditor of. Puerto
Rico holds that under the law, as now worded, practically all
the Authority's expenditures are to be made by him, as were
the expenditures of the Utilization of the Water Resources...
that as far as his intervention is concerned, no change has
been made -in the status of the system. He is willing to
exempt only those expenditures which he exempts 'or the
regular government offices, such as those for wages and for
emergency supplies, not exceeding $10 in amount. The Au-
tliority has '. .i'ormed to the ruling of the Auditor, without
accepting it.
As to the legal correctness of the Auditor's interpretation
of the law 1 have no opinion. I definitely think that lie is
doing what he considers to be his duty. He has the support
ol' a preliminary opinion of the Attorney General a; to the
meaning of the law. But, in- as definitely, I believe that any
such construction of the Legislature's intent must be based
either on an error of interpretation or upon an inaccuracy
in the law itself and that the Legislature really intended the
Authority to have the same status as other government owned
corporations. This staLus includes power to imanageo is o\wa
affairs and expend its own funds without outside interference
by persons not directly responsible for the slncess of the
business. Only thus may it attain the degree ol' responsibil-
ity and efficiency which must characterize the management of
successful large scale industrial enterprises. It is mostly to
attain this status that the corporate i'orm is used. Th,- pres-

ence of the Governor, the Commissioner of the Interior and
the Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce on the Board
of the Authority is sufficient to protect the Government's in-
Under the Water Resources Authority Act, the Insular
Government assumes no obligation to pay the bonds of( the
Authority. The good faith of the People of Puerto Rico is
not pledged on the Authority bonds as it was on those issued
for the Utilization of the Water Resources. I f it is the
Authority and its revenues that are to be the primary source
of repayment, rather than the Insular Goveirnment, then, if
only for the protection of the bondholders, the management
of those revenues ought to be in the Board of the Authority
itself and not in the fiscal .,II. I of the Insular Government.
Responsibility to pay debts and the power to manage
revenues so that they will be sufficient to pay debts should
be vested in the same organization. If the Auditor of
Puerto Rico is to control the Authority's funds, then the
bonds should be obligations of the Insular Government. If
the Authority is to be self-support;r it must have control
over the wherewithal to support itself. In an industrial
enterprise, much more than in a government bureau, the
power to control expenditures is the power to manage. Intel-
ligent bond buyers know this and will be loath to buy (or
will demand higher interest on) the bonds of any corporation
that does not control its own money. 'i'l,-fore, the inten-
tion of1 thie IAegJiIture o give e Aiut 'hoi'iWN power to man-
age its own money should be clarified beyond doubt.
Of1 course the Authority does not object to a regular
commercial type audit, such as those to which all large
corporations, governmental or private, are regularly subject.
In such an audit a thorough examination of all the accounts,
including those of expenditures, is conducted and a critical
i ;,t is made. It is proposed that such an audit be con-
duited, and that it be performedd by the Auditor of Puerto
Rico. It is only to the Auditor's claim ol' power to decide
in advance whether or not particular expenditures are proper
that thie Authority cl. i When the Legislature gave this
extreme power to the Auditor, it had in mind no doubt that
it should be applied mostly to moneys taken ii..r taxation
I ( in this connection I. wish to reilerate an objection I have often mado to the
miembcrl ship on the Board of the (ovcrnor who is far too busy to give the position the
9ti 9-ion it needs.

and not to self-supporting institutions contending with private
industry in lively commercial competition.
Doubt has been cast, not only on the Legislature's inten-
tion, but also upon its power under the Organic Act to
establish a separate government owned corporation I be-
lieve that the Legislature has that power but if, after the
Act has been amended to clarify its intention, any doubts
as to its power remain, Congress should be asked to remove
them by validating the amended bill.

It is necessary, if we are to proceed expeditiously with a
housing program, and to secure approval for projects to be
built as part of the defense program, to tighten and simplify
the organization. For this purpose 1. recommend that the
various local Authorities, together with the Puerto Rico
Housing Authority, be merged in one under the name Puerto
Rico Housing Authority and that this organization be given
responsibility for planning and managing all Insular l]i-i,.'
projects. This change has the approval of those who have
the responsibility for housing allocations in Washington m ,
I see no reason for not carrying it out at once.

1 am aware that the prevailing tone ol this message is
pessimistic. I have to tell you of a vast amount of work to
be done. There is no reason why it may not be accomplished.
But much of it is extremely technical and complicated. For
some tasks of this sort committees have been appointed to
study and report. That is true, for instance, of the whole
range of legislation in the interest of social welfare, so
that, in this whole field we are not yet ready and measures
must go over until later. For some others, such as those
I have spoken of above, we are perhaps as ready now as
we shall be and need not delay. This is especially true of
the planning bill which has been prepared with great care.
And others are almost equally well studied. There has been
some suggestion that in certain fields, such as old age as-
sistance, we may go forward before our commission hias
reported. I feel that we ought to wait until what is done
can be well (lone.

There exists at present a Park Commission in the Depart-
ment of the Interior whose jurisdiction is quite limited. Its
functions have been well performed within its limited scope.
But the time seems to me to have come when we should
extend to all classes of the people and in many parts of the
Island the benefits of professional park and recreational
services. Hours of work are being reduced; and even if
only in a restricted way, playground and leisure-time fa-
cilities suited to our small means ought to be made available.
I do not need to enlarge on the benefits which flow from
protected play spaces for children of all ages nor the yield
of satisfaction from the beauty of ordered park places.
T.i', are well enough appreciated by everyone. I have
-u. .-i-..,1 to the proper agencies in Washington that the
National Park Service might find in Puerto Rico unique
natural phenomena. There is at Ell Yunque, for instance,,
the only genuine tropical rain-forest under the flag. It is
now under Forest Service jurisdiction, and so reserved with-
out question to the public, but it ought to be managed, in
my judgment, by the Park Service. And there are other
areas, useful to our teeming population, particularly on the
broad beaches, where national parks might well be estab-
lished. In the meantime, we ought to proceed, with our
limited Insular resources, to the acquisition of these areas
and their modest adaptation to recreational use.

14. THE Ayreyado IP.uocrG
Title V of the Land Authority Act had to do, it will be
recalled, with a program for the betterment of conditions
among agregados who make up approximately one-half the
population of the Island and whose conditions of life are
hard. They are mostly farm workers, but ,.,- still retain
much of the knowledge of agriculture their ancestors had
or many of the household arts. For several generations
their wages have been so low and their opportunities for
work so infrequent that they and their undiminished families
-for their fertility seems to have been unimpaired-have
been reduced almost to the limits of existence. Most of what
is good and beautiful in a material sense has long since dis-
appeared from their households; their state during most of

the last generation has been one of bareness, malnourishment
and suffering so familiar as to pass for inevitable. It is a
high enterprise certainly, perhaps the first duty of each of
us, to do what is possible toward breaking the vicious circle
here-of disease, hunger and incapacity reflected in a declin-
ing ability to make nature yield a living. It was this impulse
which actuated the passage of Title V. The Land Authority
now proposes a tentative plan for the alleviation of this
condition. 'i l-!.. is outlined a vast resettlement scheme to
be carried out over a period of ten years. I commend this
report to the members of the Legislature. I do not agree
with its proposals in every detail; I feel, for instance, that
many agregados ought to be located in cities and towns
already organized in which the extension of utilities would
be far simpler than in remote areas. But this can still be
done and many others will yet remain who work on cash
farms who must be provided for I think, from my expe-
rience elsewhere, that costs, even for the simplest facilities,
will be far higher than those -.-.* :.1 by the Land Au-
thority, especially when it comes to providing for the utilities.
The reason agregados can live at all as squatters is that no
provision is made for sanitation and that they are parasitic
on others for most of their other needs. What they do not
get and what their children are deprived of is paid for in
the long run by sickness, suffering and early death. But
that is hard for a man to understand who has had little
education, little even to eat or wear.
This agregado program goes to the heart of Puerto Rico.
If it cannot, in some degree, succeed, all our work is wasted.
To try to establish a middle class upon a foundation of abject
poverty is to build on betraying sand which will some day
overwhelm all society. We must clear the slums out of the
country-side just as we must clear them, out of El Fanguito
and La Perla. Whether the resources for this vast task
exist is less a matter of something fixed and natural than
of human managerial ability. Foods, !1ii -, woods-all that
comes out of the ground-grow here all year round. Our
resources per acre are perhaps four times those of the tem-
perate zones. We are rapidly learning to use our water
power for the public benefit; and wind power will be next.
The limitations of Puerto Rico exist far more in men's
minds and in their organization than in any rule imposed

by nature. These we can improve. And I propose that we
do not begin our reconstruction with lamentation but rather
with courage. We shall have to change much and disturb
ourselves greatly. The results will be richly worth the cost.

Certain amendments to the Act passed last year are now
-li-.- .- :- i by the Land Authority. Since the primary respon-
sibility for the program is theirs, these -ii..-., -t-i, should
be received in good spirit and carefully considered. One of
the important ones (Section 24) has to do with changes
necessary to secure the advantage of funds k... -. ....1 by the
Farm Security Administration and available for use in our
program but not precisely in the ways laid down in the
original Act. There is involved no -igi!i.,ritd change of
policy which should prevent adoption of this amendment and
I recommend that it be accepted. I also recommend ,ih.i,
provision be made for the establishment of demonstration
farms, managed by the Authority itself. This will inciden-
tally enable us to proceed with the further liquidation of the
PIRtA agricultural program without giving up any of its
really essential services. But more importantly it will, if
well managed, set up centers JI ,, which better strains of
livestock and approved seed stocks can be disseminated by
exchange or by sale.
Certain other amendments are suggested which have the
effect of clarifying its meaning and making its terms more
precise. The Authority should have the power to fix salaries
-that is part of the nature of an Authority. The amendment
which removes the possibility of sale to the managers of
proportional benefit farms is one which ought to be approved
without question. If such disposal were to be made of these
properties a situation would be created similar to that at
Lafa i where a few colonos were set up in very profitable
businesses and little consideration was given to the other
parties at interest. This would be the most inexcusable turn
our land ,. i.n,i could take since it would inevitably shut
out from ;n..,.d;. about 95 per cent of the people. It is not
for i per cent of the more well-to-do farmers that all these
years of effort to change Puerto Rico's land system have
been undergone. And this ought never to be lost sight of in
the confusions of the moment. We have set out to better,

even if only a little, the conditions of those who have suffered
the bitterest of fates and to open new opportunities for their
children. Nothing should divert us from this purpose. We
may lack a good deal, as we progress into the program, of
equipment and efficiency; we shall have to learn by doing.
But that is inevitable. There is such a thing as keeping hold
on permanent values and reducing temporary inefficiencies
and opposition to their proper place. We shall have to culti-
vate it.
In spite of recent temporary amelioration in some sections
of the Island, the prevailing unemployment and low incomes
result in economic distress among large masses of our popula-
tion, which is conducive to poor health and deplorable con-
ditions. If we consider also the widespread prevalence of
certain tropical diseases, notably malaria, hookworm and
dysentery, in addition to tuberculosis, the seriousness of social
and health problems on the Island is evident.
Malaria control work is being carried out intensively in
the neighborhood of several army camps in order to protect
the health of the armed forces. To meet the anticipated
need of an expansion of hospital facilities during a period
of emergency, the Insular Health Department, in coopera-
tion wi.i h Ihe WPA, is training nursing n;uxiliarics and
other emergency hospital personnel. By an act of the Legis-
lature the land and buildings of the old Quarantine Hospital
were i .m-f'erred to the Federal Government for national
defense purposes. A modern institution for the isolation of
contagious patients is being constructed by the WPA in
the neighborhood of the Bayam6n District Hospital. Funds
required for the equipment and maintenance of this hospital
have been included in the proposed budget for the next fiscal
Act No. 29, approved on July 20, 1935, provides for the
construction and maintenance of four district hospitals to be
operated by the Insular Department of Health with the
advice of a Territorial Charities Board, for the care of the
underprivileged population. Three of these hospitals have
been adequately equipped and are in full operation. Two of
these have been already included in the approved list of the
American Medical Association and the American College of
Surgeons. The equipment for the fourth hospital located

in the Aguadilla district has been purchased and is being
delivered. Although on July 1st, .'4 there will be -ii (.-i ,it
revenues from legislation already approved for the main-
tenance of these four district hospitals, it is necessary that
the amount of $300,000 be appropriated for the maintenance
of the Aguadilla District Hospital during the fiscal year
1 -43.
Since the present plan contemplates the construction and
operation of seven district hospitals to cover the Island's
needs, I am taking the necessary steps to secure Federal
assistance in the construction and equipment of at least three
additional hospitals to be located in the Mayagiez, Ponce
and (Guayama districts.
The recommendations for appropriations for salaries in
the Department of Health are presented in lump sums for
the several bureaus and institutions instead of being itemized
by positions, as heretofore. This is because a classification
of the positions in that Department is in process and the
details are not yet known. The classification work will be
finished shortly and lists of the positions and their proposed
salary rates, in accordance with this classification, will be
presented for your information.
This classification and compensation plan which is one of
the requirements of the Social Security Law, was undertaken
upon request of the Federal agencies controlling social secur-
ity funds, which last year contributed in the amount of
$7'';,:.:,00 to the program of the Insular Iealth Department.
It is, thus, highly important that the Legislature make its
appropriations for salaries for the Department of Health in
such a way as not to restrict the application of the classifica-
tion plan. Rigid "line item" appropriations by individual
positions would be incompatible with the application of the
compensation plan and would jeopardize the Island's further
participation in the social security funds.

Puerto Rico lives from the soil. Nothing much in the way
of other industry has yet-though much better efforts must
be made-been established. But for hundreds of years the
soil has yielded first one, than another, crop which has
absorbed the work of the people and given them back a living.
It has not always-not even often-been a good living for

the workers. And, strangely enough, in such a generous all-
year environment, most of the food came from outside. Rice,
beans, codfish-this is even now, as it was a hundred years
ago, the standard diet. It was made standard by hard
masters of the land because it was cheap. It would keep,
and it came as return cargo from the ports to which the
ships carrying Puerto Rican products went. It was not a
good diet. But a tropic sun, mangoes in season, a tiny seed
which flavors the potful of rice-the achiote-and other fruits
and vegetables, used sparely, supplied a tolerable nutritive
So people lived and multiplied. There are those still liv-
ing who can recall the great days-as they seem now-of the
sugar, coffee, tobacco era. Each of these was a famous
crop: sugar for the flat lowlands, tobacco for the elevated
interior valleys, coffee for the hills, The story of decline for
coffee and tobacco is a tragic one. Many Puerto Ricans have
always felt that the best of their people, the genuine old cul-
ture, lay in the hills. A special sentiment surrounded coffee
growing, and, to a less degree, the cultivation of tobacco.
There is still coffee in Puerto Rico and still tobacco. But a
combination of circumstances has surrounded their cultiva-
tion with greater and greater difficulties. Coffee suffered
from cheaper, more prolific varieties, growing in competing
countries. It suffered, too, from being inside rather than
outside the high-wage economy of the United States-so long
as coffee was unprotected by any tariff. And even now with
quotas and subsidies, the handicaps are scarcely equalized.
It was a traditional industry and took reluctantly to changed
methods and new varieties. And so there is trouble throilrdh
all the coffee country.
With tobacco it was worse. The best areas have been
exhausted and cultivation has been pushed back onto steeper
and steeper slopes, with almost no attention, until just re-
cently, to the ravages of erosion. So that thousands of once
fertile acres are now ruined. But Puerto Rico tobacco was
cigar tobacco anyway, and the world took to smoking cig-
arettes. What with losses of markets and losses of soil,
there is trouble all through the tobacco country, too.
When disasters like this happen, those who suffer from
them always feel a sense of grievance. And indeed nothing
that has gone on has been more than partly the fault of those

in the industry. But public policy has to be shaped in view
of inevitable. What is dying cannot forever be kept alive.
The human results of change can be mitigated, but such vast
movements as are affecting coffee and tobacco are outside
the power of Insular legislators. A certain part of the cof-
fee and tobacco industries can, by wise p11;llnW, be kept
alive. F,r n. --s who let their soil run away on tobacco-
planted hills, or who will not adopt new coffee varieties hurt
themselves more than any public help can ever repair. And
public sympathy and assistance ought to be reserved for
those who have a chance of pulling through because they are
honestly trying their best.
The Federal government and the Insular -.\-i ,in''il,
working together, have done nobly, it seems to me, in their
attempts to check the decline of coffee and tobacco. I will
not recall here the various measures taken, the funds devoted
to this purpose. I will simply remind you that there are
reasons why we should go on trying. To equalize such costs
of production as are traceable to higher wages here, is
merely to relieve our workers from a competition in low
standards which we could not afford in the long-run anyway.
We ought to try to get standards raised in other places rather
than lowered here. But the mere payment of subsidies is,
of course, not enough. There is no concealing the fact that
deficits in one place have to be made up in another. If one
industry receives a subsidy another has to pay it. To deny
endlessly the forces working against an industry and to re-
fuse trial of all other alternatives is likely to end in disaster.
For, as I have so often pointed out, our present great crop,
sugar, is "political''. t, too, is subsidized. And to ask it
to bear in turn a subsidy for the Island's two other main
crops is to base our economy on uncertainty.
Nor is such a situation necessary and inevitable. It is a
fact that some coffee, some tobacco, and a good deal of sugar
is grown under conditions which would allow them to com-
pete with any regions in the world. This is sometimes be-
cause of superior management, sometimes because of highly
productive soil and other growing facilities. For whatever
reason, we can grow some coffee, some tobacco and a good
deal of sugar with complete assurance that no one can beat
us at it. That infers a certain amount of unprofitable effort
(in the economic sense) which might possibly be better di-

reacted. I do not believe the Puerto Rican government nor
even the Federal government can -or should-keep everyone
in coffee or tobacco o w hal.ppen ls o imake hai. choice, regard-
less of his managerial ability or the productivity of his soil.
And then, of course, these factors change. Soils which once
were profitable may erode, farms may fail into careles hands.
There was once a ruthless way of eliminating these farms
and these men. When they could no longer pay their debts,
the men were eliminated and the farms were put to other uses.
This seemed harsh and it was. And the matter of foreign
competition was traded on. So government intervention
began, first as tariff, later as outright subsidies.
We have, however, to keep our minds on what it is we
are trying to do. We are not (or ought not to be) trying to
protect carelessness and inefficiency. We are trying to pro-
tect our workers against competition with ruinous wages
elsewhere and our !i:ini.r, against fortuitous circumstances
which are legitimately temporary. There cannot be objec-
tion either to the use of government as an instrument for
achieving what has come to be called "parity"-that is
bringing all agricultural commodities into relation with a
certain standard. But these legitimate initri.-frences we
have to separate out from the others-the protections to
inefficiency and carelessness. An Island like Puerto Rico
can afford these last far less than a richly rounded economy
which is half industrial.
I call attention to these facts in order to define policy.
I was asked recently to approve a bill which would have
given a blanket subsidy to coffee exporters. It seemed to me
necessary to disapprove, since this was an example of that
kind of law which, without discrimination, hands over sums
from the public treasury without requirements for com-
pliance. It had the added repugnant feature of not even
mentioning workers or farmers. But it was in any case il-
lustrative of the kind of thing we should not do.
The coffee plan now in effect is not wholly satisfactory.
But it is far better than the one suggested. My own pre-
ference, following the reasoning I have outlined, is for a dif-
ferent long-run attack, meanwhile keeping the present legis-
lation in force. If we are going to subsidize further, let us
subsidize new crops which may succeed, not old ones which
in so many places cannot again be profitable. .1 do not sug-

gest that we neglect the needs of .. ..i..- and tobacco farmers
and workers. But I --I V.'- t that while we give this kind of
relief, we begin another kind of regenerative action. I shall
send you separate communications concerning each of these
industries ',.-.,-,. the session is over. The legislative com-
mission on coffee has been at work and you will have the bene-
fit of its advice. I hope we may ....I really wise measures in
both these instances for very hard problems.
There are thousands of acres of upland in Puerto Rico
which were once valuable for high-producing crops and are
now almost abandoned. The top soil is mostly gone. But
trees of many very useful kinds, and perhaps vines, will
grow there. What I propose is the development of these
lands not in old ways but in new ones. Something like this
is being done now in Haiti with notable success and with
capital I ,i the American Export-Import Bank. A similar
scheme. for Santo Domingo and for other countries is in the
making. Why not Puerto Rico? There are many crops
available to us, if we take a realistic view of present values,
which we have always said we could not grow. Tobacco or
(Ili land once worth a good deal may now be devoted to
teak, quinine, mahogany or similar forest woods. It will
require great changes. A crop can be had only once or
twice in a generation and meanwhile workers will have to be
supported. That is one reason why it is appropriately a
government risk.
Then there are the new termite-proof bamboos which are
shorter crops but which need to be made available, by new
designing, for furniture and other building uses. There are
essential oils, spices, probably grapes, and sea-island cotton.
There is rubber. And there are oil-bearing trees of many
kinds. I might mention many more, known to be possible on
land not too valuable, and risky, perhaps, as dependable
crops. But funds sunk in unprofitable subsidy-always keep-
ing in mind that I refer to the unprofitable parts of the pro-
duction-might far better be used to develop possible new
additions to our economy.
I believe, however, that we may find funds for some size-
able demonstrations. If a development corporation can be
set up in Haiti outside the United States, there ought to be
good argument for setting one up in a territory of the United
States. At any rate I intend to ask that it be done. And I

shall perhaps request a little later that it be authorized by
I turn now to certain other matters which have to do with
the continuing of profitable activities now being carried on
by the Department of Agriculture and Commerce. The tick
eradication campaign, which is so important, will not be com-
pleted this year. It is necessary to eradicate every last tick
if we are to be free of Texas fever which more than anything
else prevents the successful raising of animals. And, once
free, we shall not have to do more than maintain a quarantine.
We also have the possibility of eliminating contagious abor-
tion. I am sure you will see the necessity of supporting this
work. As for soil conservation, it is perhaps hardly neces-
sary to argue that in order to get ahead we should supple-
ment the work of the Federal Soil Conservation Service.
There is general awareness now that Puerto Rico's soil, her
richest resource and main reliance, is wasting away at a
frightening rate. As the soil is lost on the slopes, the people
too, are washed down into city slums, there to be a growing
problem to be met with diminishing resources.
It is perhaps appropriate to close this message to a war-
time Legislature on this note. As we light for democracy
we fight also for human improvement. I am confident that
you as legislators will do your part in both the ongoing
struggles of mankind.
LA FORTALEZA, February 10, 1942.

In June, 1942, Puerto Rico faced
a critical situation as the result of
of,1 o, submarine warfare. The
Island imports one third of its food
by weight (two thirds by retail
valuee, 7' staples such as
rice, beans, .'. I:. wheat and lard,
and practically all non-food com-
modities. I '.. maintenance of
ocean traffic, therefore, is literally
a life-and-death matter to the
Island's two million inhabitants.
li....!.jl' the ., i... the volurme of
shipping reaching the Island had
been decreasing consistently and
',.'.".. Slocks of essential sup-
plies dwindled toward the vanish-
ing point. The Governor went to
Washington to seek assistance from
the Federal Government. Mean-
time, public apprehension grew in
Puerto /lico. When he returned,
therefore, he reported on the facts
in a series of three radio broad-
casts from La l'..'../. ., on June
9, 10 and 11.


I do not think that anyone who. has not for a time shared
the responsibility of being Governor of Puerto Rico can know
the lift in a Governor's heart as he sees from the wall of La
Fortaleza ships coming and going through the passage at
the entrance to the harbor of San Juan. This free going of
ships i i 'I -i.- the means; and the coming of ships brings
the materials of life, to Puerto Rico. And a Governor lives
by the life of the people. For most of our food, for most of
our building materials, and for our other necessary supplies
we are dependent upon the outside world. Never in the his-
tory of Puerto Rico has this safe coming and going of ships
been threatened as it is threatened now. Never has there
been such I1; i .. r of the economic strangulation which would
follow upon the closing of our ports.
Puerto Rico is not suffering, at least as yet, the kind of
disaster which came on December 7th to Hawaii. Thanks to

the vigilance of the Island's defenders such a disaster has
become less and less likely as the months of war have passed.
Puerto Ricans have seen the transformation of their Island
from a defenseless outpost to a strong fortress within an
incredibly short time. We do not need to be unreasonably
afraid that any enemy is likely to overpower us. No one can
make any certain predictions in a matter of this kind. Tlhe
war has touched the most unlikely regions of the world be-
fore now and it must always be remembered that we are one
of the main guardian bastions for the Canal which crosses
the Isthmus of Panama. But just now, at least, and for the
immediate future, that is not the greatest concern of those
who are entrusted with the defense and the welfare of Puerto
There is another menace and one which in a way is just
as serious. I mean, of course, the submarines of the enemy
which in the last few months have infested the waters of the
Caribbean, the South Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, doing
great damage to our commerce and stopping the free passage
of ships upon their regular routes of commerce. The Gov-
ernor can stand now upon the parapet of La Fortaleza and
see more war ships and troop ships coming and going than
merchant ships bringing food and materials needed for con-
struction and taking away the sugar, the molasses, the coffee,
and the tobacco with which we pay for the things we buy.
This is not a problem for Puerto Rico alone but is a prob-
lem which affects other Islands in the Caribbean and even
those nations which surround it. Those who are most self-
sufficient, not those who have the greatest export crops, are,
for the moment, the most fortunate, since they can at least
live cut of" from the rest of the world.
These dangers and tensions have been growing in recent
months and 1, as Governor, have, of course, been aware of
them and working for their solution. A few weeks ago it
was determined by officials in Washington and in London to
call at Jamaica a meeting of the supply officers of all the
British and American Caribbean islands to assess the situa-
tion and to find out what could be done. There was trans-
mitted to this meeting as a part of its instructions a directive
which was joined in by the responsible departments in Wash-
ington which indicated that for the immediate future Puerto
Rico would have even fewer ships than in the past and that

measures must be suggested to Washington which would in-
crease local food supplies and insure against such losses
in the American areas as were preventable.
After this meeting, at which the irreducible quantities of
supplies for the various areas were surveyed, I thought it
my duty to go to Washington and confer with various officials
to see whether the recommendations I had made could be
carried out at once. These recommendations were calculated
on my part to insure that no one should go hungry and, as
far as possible, that no one of our farmers or our merchants
should suffer economic losses either now or in the future.
The most fundamentally important of them, of course,
had to do with the insuring of such a supply of foods and
medicines and then, if possible, a supply, even if a reduced
one, of such building and other materials as are necessary to
prevent unemployment from coming upon us all at once. In
order to do this it was necessary to have the generous and
loyal cooperation of many officials in Washington in the War
and Navy Departments, the Departments of Interior and
Agriculture, in the War Shipping Board, and the War Pro-
duction Board, and this cooperation was given, actually, in
a measure which in all my years of experience as a public of-
ficial I have never before seen. Everyone was sympathetic
to the position of Puerto Rico and everyone wanted to do
everything possible to help.
Firstt let me describe to you, in a few words, what is be-
ing done to insure the steady flow of necessities for the people
of Puerto Rico regardless of the intensification of submarine
activity and regardless of the increasing necessity for the
use of all the ships that can be got together for s illl-ill
the fighting fronts. The Agricultural Marketing Administra-
tion of the Department of Agriculture has allotted generous
funds with which to purchase large stocks of food and another
fund is in the possession of the officials of the Department
of the Interior which can be used for the purchase of other
necessities. Up until now it hasL not seemed necessary !o
concentrate the buying of supplies in a single agency which
would act for all Puerto Rican merchants. That is apparently
going to be necessary in the immediate future. I was told
that it will not be possible to go on in the old way, which re-
suited in such ships as were available coming to us with
supplies not urgently needed at the moment, or goods which

could be said to have the character of luxuries in times like
these. The War Shipping Board has told us that the wastes
and inefficiences of the past must be corrected; that we will
be allotted only the ships necessary to carry essential mate-
rials here; and that we must accommodate ourselves to this
situation They are not doing this in any other than a spirit
of patriotism and generosity. They say that they can give
us shipping enough so that all our essential needs can be
supplied if we will use those ships to the greatest advantage
and if we will adopt trade routes safer than those now in
use. For this purpose the Agricultural Marketing Adminis-
tration has already stationed .agents in new parts of the
world from which we have never before had materials. They
will buy for Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands. They
are already purchasing food and ships are already being
loaded. Besides this trains are rolling southward in the
United States toward ports of embarkation. These food sup-
plies will come to Puerto Rico by a safe route, partly over-
land, under the protection of the Army and the Navy and
they will insure us against the worst hazards of the present
submarine menace. You will understand why I cannot de-
scribe it to you in detail. But you may take my word for
it that this ensures Puerto Rico against the worst conse-
quences of the submarine blockade. This is what I feel must
be done first and most certainly because it a:li-.-l, working
people, the jibaros, and agregados who, because their wages
are low and their houses small, have laid by no stores of
food. For their sake the merchants' shelves must not be
allowed to be empty.
To the people of Puerto Rico we say that their Govern-
ment stands by them in these trying times. War has reached
our shores and the enemy lurks in the Caribbean. Let us all
face the hard facts with the patriotism and loyalty charac-
teristic of our Island.
I have told you what is being done to insure the food
supply even with the submarine blockade shutting us off
from the world; of the plan for buying foodstuffs especially
in single great orders and distributing them to merchants as
they arrive.
I want, now, to go on to tell you of two other measures.
These are being undertaken for the sake of those same small

people I spoke of before: the workers and the farmers.
These are most vulnerable to the cruel forces at large in a
warring world. One of these measures has to do with the
WPA. it wUas peculiarly unfortunate for us that war plans
called for cutting down the enrollment just now. And I have
undertaken to explain to officials of the WPA in XWashing-
ton that our situation is the reverse of that which prevails
in the States. Up there, some unemployment exists because
certain kinds of industry are shutting down. But so many
war industries are enlarging that employment is available
somewhere within reach of almost everyone. Indeed the need
is so great that many women are taking jobs formerly held
by men. Here, the submarine blockade is making materials
for construction hard to get; we cannot get many new ma-
chines or much motor transport; and gasoline and fuel oil
are as scarce as food. This means that the Army and the
Navy, especially, are going to have to cut down their proj-
ects and that private and public building cannot go on. We
are going to have unemployment. But we must control it
as far as we can.
What will be the use of the stocks of food we are work-
ing so hard to get if men are out of work and cannot buy
them? They will be of no use, of course. And we must not
let such a thing happen if we can prevent it. Two obstacles
stand hi our way. first, there is the danger that WPA
will actually be eliminated or severely reduced. I have ar-
iii.l that it ought to be enlarged in Puerto Rico and I be-
lieve that actually it will be. I have also undertaken to have
modified an order of the War Production Board which
prevents the construction of projects of more than $500 value.
This order is in effect all over the nation. I have argued
that, in our special case, any construction work should be
allowed which does not require priorities-which does not
use material needed for war purposes. 'This is what the or-
der was for: to save precious materials needed for planes,
ships, 1:il,:-, and guns. I would not ask for any favor at
the expense of helping in this. But where no such result is
involved we might well be allowed to build.
If we can have these two modifications-enlargement of
- IPA and rel;. I' from the order which prohibits construc-
tion with local materials, the employment crisis can be met

with more confidence. It is my hope that these changes will
be made by the time our stringency actually arrives.
Aside from that, as you already know, the Federal Gov-
ernment has already undertaken to keep prices at a stable
level-not at one which will be ruinous to merchants, but one,
nevertheless, which will protect those who must buy goods
moving to us through seas afflicted with enemy submarines.

I turn now to the situation of farmers and estate owners,
especially those who have the larger operations. When I
was told that we should not have enough ships to move the
current crop or the crop planned for next year, I for one took
means to find out if this was substantially a military order.
I was told that it was a military matter and one of extreme
urgency. It must be realized that the United States is build-
ing bases all the way from Jamaica and Bermuda to the
Guianas on the coast of South America, and that with the
responsibility for these bases, there goes a certain respon-
sibility for people. On most of the islands-as in Puerto
Rico-export crops are grown extensively; and none of them
grows enough food for nearly all the needs of its people.
To military men who must take care of the bases and who
feel responsible for the civilians, too, it has seemed as simple
proposal that sugar lands be converted to growing food.
Actually it is not so simple; and the objections to it as a
policy are numerous and well-founded. But, in this emer-
gency, the demand must be met. There is no alternative. It
was at first argued that most of the sugar land in Puerto
Rico could be devoted to the growing of food crops. That,
of course, was out of the question and was not serioulI;ly in-
sisted on for long. There is, however, an insistence on the
use of some of the best lands for growing food. And this
demand cannot reasonably be opposed because it is perfectly
feasible. It will take considerable quantities of seed and
fertilizer and some machinery; but it is quite possible to do;
and indeed it is the other side of the total program which
we must adopt if we are to defeat the purpose of submarine
warfare. On the one hand we shall bring in necessary food;
on the other we shall grow our own-or as much as we
reasonably can.
It was against considerable opposition that I argued- the
point of view that such a program ought to be undertaken

only after adequate compensation was given. It was said
that there was sufficient compensation in two very compelling
motives; first, that the produce would be bought by a gov-
ernment agency at a guaranteed price and, second, that it
was a patriotic matter to do it anyway. Our farmers would
be growing food for Puerto Ricans who otherwise might not
have it. That these were compelling motives I did not deny.
Nevertheless I felt that if the sacrifice were made and sugar
lands or potential sugar lands were turned to food crop grow-
ing, compensation might well be given. And I believe that
this view will prevail. In your newspapers you have already
seen evidence of progress in this matter. The President has
take the first step in providing the necessary funds.
I think it will be found that the Washington ,tli',i;-l who
will be in charge of this program will approve substantially
the same compensation for the growing of food as was form-
erly given for the growing of sugar. I believe that if neces-
sary it will be given as a subsidy. The plan is being worked
on now in the Department of Agriculture in Washington and
farmers will soon be called into consultation to work out its
further details. I have already conveyed to Mr. Dickey, of
the Sugar Producers' Association, its broad outlines and have
asked for asssitance in perfecting its operations. I believe
that they will cooperate generously and patriotically.
The present plan for subsisieuce crops will go ahead a;;
planned. And small farmers as well as large will share in
the benefits of the new scheme.
I have often discussed with friends in Puerto Rico and
elsewhere the difficulties and dangers of the one-crop agri-
culture to which Puerto Rico is committed. I do not know
the way out of all those difficulties and dangers. I have, in
this instance, taken every precaution available to me to make
certain that the present emergency should not be used to
Puerto Rico's disadvantage in the later settlement of a per-
manent policy. I do not believe that if we turn a certain
proportion of our potential sugar land to the growing of food
it will be counted against us in future days of peace. The
question of quotas will some day have to be discussed again
and we shall be in competition for their enlargement with
other areas. There is no disposition on the part of anyone
to whom I have talked to use the present situation for gain-
ing an advantage. I only speak of it because I have heard it

used as an argument. If we set against this contention the
fact that unless we do intensify our food growing, we shall
be endangering the food supply as well as failing to do our
part in the war effort, I cannot believe that anyone will find
it in his heart to refuse cooperation.
The program I have outlined to you is one which requires
changes. Merchants must, to a certain extent (though I be-
lieve not harmfully) modify their habitual ways of carrying
on their trade. The sugar growers who have a prejudice
against any other kind of cultivation must sacrifice their
prejudices in the emergency. Those who work must trust
me and the other ,.i'-il.il, I of their government as we endeavor
to prevent unemployment and secure their food supply. I
hope that these may be all the sacrifices Puerto Ricans will
be called upon to make. For the merchant there is the fact
that he can still carry on his customary work. For the farmer
and the estate owners there is the possibility of generous
payment for the growing of food. For the worker there is
the assurance that the crisis which we had hoped to avert
until after the war, and which is now likely to come upon
us at once, may be substantially lessened by public work and,
if necessary, relief.
There are other aspects of the whole plan to meet the
crisis of war. We shall use alcohol made from molasses to
replace partly the gasoline which is so scarce; we shall turn
the rest of our molasses into the rum which yields so great
a revenue. These will help. And there are numerous other
arrangements in the making. All of them require of you as
well as of me, some work, some sacrifice, some restraint un-
der provocation.
Of these matters I shall speak to you further tomorrow
evening. Hasta mariana!
The people of Puerto Rico know well enough that I am
not new to public life. They know that I served through the
early years of the New Deal in Washington and they know
that 1 served after that with a progressive administration
in the City of New York. I have always felt that they know,
also, what that means, and that I had no need to make further
explanation of my attitudes.
It is by now a fairly long service. During it I have
learned that he who works for progressive causes is never

left to carry out his service in peace. T!i..-. who fear that
they may lose money or power never contemplate giving them
up without a struggle. They ahnost invariably attempt to
destroy those who are thought to cause their troubles. But
the people of Puerto Rico know this well enough too. I do
not need to explain. It may be useful, however, if 1 say,
what they may not know, that I shall never be e*..,i'd, .1, any
more than they, by attempts to create confusion. I can as-
sure them too that I shall never be the kind of person who
thinks of himself as the cause of change. I am only one of
its .. N.. And there are many Puerto Rican leaders just
as useful-far more useful-in carrying out indispensable
reform. And they have been working for you far longer
than I.
No one man, not even the President himself, caused the
New Deal in Washington. Forces larger than any of us,
larger than all of us, were destroying the old order and eimat-
ing the new.. That process might alternatively*have been
orderly and decent or revolutionary and bloody. It turned
out to be orderly and decent because opposition ceased at the
danger point. And I am sure that will be true also in Puerto
Rico. Thl.. is no need for fear.
It was the genius of President LRoosevelt to a.;...-it con-
ditions as lie found them and to recognize that America's
chance of survival, of growth and prosperity, lay in making,
boldly, deep and broad changers ihroighont tlhe whole sociJal
structure. lie did not hesitate, when it was necessary, to
carry through these orderly changes vigorously. ile fought
when lighting was the only way. He was always opposed to
any kind of violence and any unnecessary departure from
customary ways. But he meant to secure the American fu-
ture, and he did. The New Deal has gone on now in the
FIdi- Ial sphere for some nine years, It has become em-
bedded in our customs. Only the most ultra-reactionary
any longer questions the justice and the righllness of those
laws for which the President was called such abominable
names throughout the early stages of reform.
The New Deal never properly came to Puerto Rico in
those years. Puerto Rico was always somewhat detached,
isolated from the currents of change. Most of the Island's
people remained sunk in helpless poverty. The efforts which
were made to lift her out of this morass through the Puerto

Rico Reconstruction Administration and other New Deal
agencies were more or less successfully defeated, one ;.a tl-
another, by the small group of reactionaries who dominated
the economic and political life on this Island. They were
Sable to keep their little kingdom pretty much intact from the
forces which were at work elsewhere. To this effort they
devoted great cleverness, large sums of money, and a vicious
willingness to destroy any individual who seemed to threat-
en their power. Most of them made the mistake, however,
that reactionaries have made throughout history: they re-
fused to give away a little that they might retain much. Most
of them refused to become, as they might have done, leaders
of a new order in Puerto Rico, a regime devoted to the wel-
fare of the people, to economic betterment, to social justice,
and insisted with every means at their disposal on fighting
bitterly against even the -ii.- .- i.n, of change.
fortunatelyy there were exceptions. The leaders who stand
out today as the people's champions have been tried in hard
battle, and they are true. I -i.LI.-.- that there is noth-
ing unusual about this, nothing new, and nothing strange
except perhaps that so many intelligent people should so long
and persistently have resisted the lessons being forced upon
them. And not only were the lessons Iorcibly taught; they
were pointed up 1. Puerto Rican progressives over and ovwr
again. But the trend was inevitable. li-t1,, y had her way
with Puerto Rico as she has had her way with one after an-
other of the reluctant areas of the world.
I say these things to you so that you may understand that
I, no more than you, am likely to be confused by fictions and
artificial turmoil. I know as well as you do that such agita-
tions do not go below the surface and have no support among
the people. That you will not be confused has been amply
demonstrated by the support in your Legislature for measures
similar to those which have been found necessary elsewhere
in a period like this. I speak to you as I do not at all because .
I think your minds need to be cleared; and not even very
much because I am afraid that you may think mine needs to
be cleared; but because, added to the passions which are is-
sociated with economic change, we now have an entirely new
reason for division: the war.
War has sometimes seemed, to those who oppose progress,
a very fortunate thing, since they have felt that if, under

its special circumstances, they could create -illwi...-t. disturb-
ance, set group against group, they might frighten lovers of
order and find a refuge for themselves in martial law. T!,'- .
have thought, in fact, to establish Nazism within the very tis-
sues of Democracy-a cancer in the body of freemen. They
cannot succeed. The conception that the invoking of martial
law would put a complete stop to reform is altogether mis-
taken. And it is a mistake which it is important to under-
stand. Martial law would not prevent the kind of changes
which are being made in Puerto Rico. It would merely pre-
vent the violence which is sought to be used in hampering
these changes. In earlier months we heard a great deal about
the virtues of a regime in which arbitrary rule was substi-
tuted for the processes of a liberal government. T:I..- was
similar talk of this kind in early New Deal days in Wash-
I mention this because there may be an unnecessary fear
of martial law among progressive leaders. If we are attacked
we shall have to resort to that system. And since we are at
war we may be attacked. There is only this one source of
confusion that I want to clear up. Puerto Rican reforms
will not be lost so long as it is the army of iDemocracy which
protect s us.
Not once but many times I have -il.':- ..l to workers, who
felt they had a justified grievance, that since our country was
at war there ought not to be a final appeal to the strike. And
invariably the response has been just what I hoped it would
be. It is well known that in Puerto Rico the Selective Service
Act has not yet been invoked to choose soldiers for our
country: volunteering has made it unnecessary. i.l are
only two of many instances I might cite to prove the patriotic
response of Puerto Ricans to war-time needs. These atti-
tudes are well known and appreciated. They indicate to me
that the people are as clear about the fundamental issues of
thle war as they are about the economic issues of the New
Deal. The attempts to create disunity, to embroil groups in
quarrels with one another, to criticize and disparage the work
of any and all ei'T.i;i1, have made no impression on the public
That the Puerto Rican people have earned, by their con-
duct in the economic crisis, and in the crisis of world affairs
which finally became war, the right to be called "successful

democrats" I am prepared to contend anywhere and every-
where; and I believe the time is near at hand when recogni-
tion of Puerto Rican loyalty and devotion to the ideals of
Democracy will have a signal reward. I think there is a great
thing in store of which I can give you only a hint but that
hint should be enough to furnish a clue to my meaning. I
can only say that it is a something which Puerto Ricans have
always universally desired and which I shall, when it hap-
pens, be filled with happiness to have had a part in bringing
about. I will not be the one to tell you of it; voices greater
than mine in other places will bring the message to you.
Other Puerto Ricans have shared in the work for it-one of
them is giving you the Spanish version of this address. Just
now we are working and hoping.
Meanwhile I can ask you to do no more than you have
done; to be patient, faithful, and true; to accept the cruel
stringencies of war as conditions which I shall struggle
against along with you and try to make as little i'h; ii il l as
is possible. You have my assurance that the war, unless we
are overpowered by a force greater than that of a mightily
arming America, will not stop the economic and social changes
which have been undertaken here. Only you, yourselves,
exercising the right of i men, can stop them. And that I
know you will never do.
History is at work in Puerto Rico as it is always at work
in all times and in all places. This is a time for making
changes which have been over-long delayed. The occur-
rences which accompany those changes are bound to take
place whether we like it or not. Pay as little attention to
the violence of other men as you can. Go about your work
p1i,",: Iully, courageously, and in the faith that you are right.
The violence will (lie down, peace will come again, and we
shall discover that what we are now creating has been worth
the struggle and is good.

Soon after the Gover6nr's return
from Washington, in June, 1942,
the war was forcefully brought
home to Puerto Ricans by the sink-
ing of several tankers, and the
consequent development over-
;:.'?.'; .r a serious gasoline and
fuel oil shortage. Paralysis of the
Island's transportation and electric
p o w e r facilities was narrmo'ly
averted by the prompt application
of ';: : .. "' rationing .. ..
At the same time, the Federal Gov-
ernment look over private power
companies, u,,ll.7 ni, ;i, ,l /.;ll,', of
all power facilities for the purpose
of .....' '..; fuel oil '!.; e;, I', cen-
traiized .. ..,.. and conse-
qu.ent maximum use of hydro-elec-
tric plants. It was again in order
for the Governor to talk frankly
and directly with the people.


June 30, 1942
When Mr. Summer Welles, Under Secretary of State,
speaking at the grave of the Unknown Soldier on Memorial
Day, said that this was "in very truth a ... ,,L-'s war" he
meant to be taken literally. The President, as Commander-
in-C'Ir,', and all his assistants, civilian and military, live un-
der the rule which is implied by -,',. ;: that this is a i-..1 -.'s
war. 1 include inu. ..14 in this. But I recognize it not as an
idea created by Mr. Welles or by Rr'i-i.-ni. Roosevelt, but
rather a simple statement of fact. There is no way to over-
come the immense power of Germany and Japan e ....., as
the idea grows in people's minds that the way of life they
have established for themselves can only be made secure by
their own participation. It is not only a war of military
force, but also a war of civilian cooperation.
Saying that this is a people's war means that there must
be participation in the actual carrying on of operations. Se-
lective Service is one evidence of Democracy. It draws on
every class and every ability in the community without favor
or opportunity for evasion. But there are other evidences.

There is the fact, for instance, that a great deal of this war
is being fought with a new weapon, the airplane, which has
redefined the meaning of "front" and established civilians
along with soldiers, women and children along with men, as
objects of attack and subjection. That is why Civilian De-
fense is equally as important as military defense and it is
why civilians have a legitimate part to play, not only as they
go about their ordinary occupations but in matters of war
It is also a technical war, a war of machines, of power,
of swift transportation, and civilian participation is not lim-
ited, either, to merely making airplanes, tanks, and other
weapons of war; but extends, in Russia for instance, to guer-
rilla operations which are an important method of hurting
the enemy. Our part up to now, in the civilian war, is a
milder one-the sacrifice of luxuries and conveniences so that
power and machines may be mobilized where they will be
most effective. That we can do even if we are far from any
theatre of operation. And we can do it loyally.
In this general setting, as a part of the people's war, I
should like to discuss with you the problems associated with
transportation and the use of power. You have been asked
already to make some sacrifices. You may be asked to make
more. You ought not ever to be asked to make sacrifices
which are not necessary to the war effort. On the other hand,
I am confident that you will not withhold cooperation in any
measure which you understand to be clearly necessary. It
has been so in the past and I am sure it will be so in the
You understand that all of Puerto Rico's oil and gasoline
comes from overseas in tanker ships. You understand that
these have been special targets for the submarines which in-
fest the waters around us. The men of the merchant service
and especially those who go to sea on tankers already have
a record of service which is heroic. It is quite literally true
to say in these days and months that gasoline and fuel oil
are sailors' blood. We ought not to use them for frivolous
This is quite apart from the fact that tankers which are
saved from coming to Puerto Rico can go to the fighting

i,.nt. But for both reasons we are called upon to do all
within our power to economize, to refrain from the use of
every unnecessary drop of oil and gasoline. In this respect
Puerto Rico has not until just recently done as much as
ought to be done, any more than the rest of the country has.
Furthermore, it ought to be made clear that the determina-
tion of how much sacrifice is necessary in each place is not
a matter to be determined in that place. It has to be done
by some wider, some over-all authority. In other words,
rationing has not and can not be a responsibility of any local
government. It has to be the responsibility of the Federal
The problem of building up an organization capable of
handling such an immense problem all over the country, how-
ever, has made it necessary for local governments to fill in
while an organization is being perfected. I am told now that
the Federal Government will soon be in a position to under-
take rationing of oil and gasoline in Puerto Rico. In the
meantime I am asking our local committees, together with
the Food and Supplies Commission, to go on doing what
they can. I am well aware, however, that they cannot do
much unless there is sincere cooperation among consumers.
You know as well as I that certain services must be kept
going until the last reserves are gone. Food deliveries must
be made from farm to city, busses and pfiblicos must be kept
running so that people can reach their work, power must be
kept flowing through electric lines, even on a reduced basis,
so that operating rooms in hospitals may be lighted, so that
Army and Navy searchlights may be kept in operation, trucks
and tractors must be kept going on which our economic life de-
1.. i-l. In order to save our gasoline and oil for such ser-
vices as these we must not use our automobiles unnecessarily,
we must not use electric light whenever we can get along
without it, we must learn to walk again whenever walking
will do. We must learn again the pleasures of staying at
Even so we shall have other emergencies such as that
from which we have just emerged. We must not allow our
reserves of oil and gasoline to become exhausted. For this,
drastic measures are still necessary. Street lights have been

turned off early in the night. Gasoline has been withdrawn
from all but the most vitally necessary uses. I have no doubt
that some of you have a grievance because Ihis may seem to
have been done arbitrarily or unfairly. I hope there has
been very little feeling of this kind. You must put it down
to the fact that the severity of the emergency could not have
been anticipated and that measures of control have had to
be devised very hastily. We shall improve as time goes on.
There has been a real sharing of sacrifice. Merchants
have had to stop their illuminated signs, people have had to
make their way through unlighted streets, housewives have
had to walk long distances to market and carry their pur-
chases home. Fjiio.-i, have had trouble getting their I ..-
uce to town. But you ought to know that during these last
weeks the Army, for instance, has also reduced its consump-
iion of gasoline by one-half. ] co]i;d give yvoul many inslance.-
of the same sort of thing. There has, after all, been a rough.
equality which we shall improve in time.
Transportation is not limited altogether by the lack of
gasoline. We shall find that in the long run a far more seri-
ous problem will be our inability to renew tires and to buy
new vehicles. That is a situation which I have lnil.-ii"
for many months and have spoken of again and again but
which many people, so long as cars and busses run, seemed
to be unable to visualize. In anticipation of it I asked the
Legislature to pass an emergency transportation law which
would allow me to pool cars and trucks, equalize .. i:. .,
and to use every resource for moving people and goods to
the utmost efficiency at all times. To do this I proposed that
private automobiles should be publicly used, that trucks
should be managed so that they should not carry a load to
town and go back empty or vice versa. Those elements in
Puerto Rican life who have not been able to understand the
reality of the present emergency, and who still hope that
business may go on as usual, defeated that law. We are now
in more desperate need of it than we then were. I am, I
have to tell you, powerless to act.
There was passed, however, a law which established a
Transportation Authority. This was not intended particu-
larly to meet the present emergency but rather to be a con-

tinuing agency in insular life. It is my belief that as time
goes on it will come to be an accepted institution, useful
both to those who use transportation services and to those
who manage and help to operate them. The new Authority
may, itself, if necessary, operate bus lines, or it may, on the
other hand, help to organize or participate in the operation
of services established by private companies or cooperatives.
It is an institution in which I hope you will take pride and
whose operation you will watch and guard because it belongs,
and always will belong to the people of Puerto Rico.
It ought to be a source of gratification, too, for you that
this emergency could not have been met at all, that we might
well have been without refrigeration or li-ihii._, if it were
not for the service built up through the years by the publicly
owned hydro-electric system, the Water Resources Authority.
The electric current I v..in the dams and power houses, which
usually serves only the south side of the Island, has, for some
time, been turned into the northern system, thus I,-.1,,.i:-
the consumption of fuel oil.
Indeed the proper management of all power resources
has been seen more and more clearly to require interconnec-
tion everywhere. If there were rain and the Carite reser-
voir was full, that ought to be called on; if Garzas had the
most water, the power ought to come from there; and only if
there were no water available, ought :,..i oil to be used.
Considering these benefits from single management and
the excellent record of the public system, the Federal Gov-
ernment, as part of the war effort, has now decided to take
over the private plants and integrate them with the Water
Resources Authority System. This is not only a step in eco-
nomical power production but a singular vindication of those
who have fought so long for public power. Again and again
the policy has been laid down by the Legislature. Again and
again ways to delay have been found. That is now past. The
power resources of this Island-all of them--now belong to
the people.
So far in this war, neither the people of Puerto Rico nor
their soldiers have had an active part to play at home.
Whether the war will come to us I cannot tell you but that
we shall go to the war I can tell you very clearly. Our sol-
diers will go and we may go. We shall be represented in the

tankers which we do not use for gasoline, in the food we
save to go the the fighting fronts, in the support we give to
the American Red Cross, the USO, and other organizations
which support the services. You may work in that most im-
portant of all civilian jobs, Civilian Defense; but most of
all you may have your part in remaining tranquil under
provocation; in not believing, ever, those who are still try-
ing to create confusion: you can be patient with improvised
regulations; you can help me and other officials as we try
to do our best for you and for the cause we represent.

In Puerto Rico, the question of
the Island's political status under-
lies all other important issues. The
Governor discussed this vital ques-
tion, and foreshadowed future de-
velopments, in a Fourth of July
message. On that day, he was
again in I1W ,.l, ,,,i.. in connection
with the :,. ,, ,. a situation, and
the message, therefore, was read
for him.

As we look back on such historic occasions as the signing
of the Declaration of Independence, we are apt to over-sim-
plify the issue which triumphed; to overlook the turbulent
incidents which preceded action; and not to remember that
a minority--often a large one--disputed the wisdom of what
was about to be done-sometimes with violence and ill
It was so, we are now told, with the Declaration. From
my histories in school and college I had a very definite im-
pression of what took place in the afternoon of 4 July 1776:
a group of elderly patriots, having endured an oppressive
absentee administration as long as was humanly possible,
took resolves which were inscribed immediately on enduring
parchment. I assumed that it was done without much debate
in an exalted state of indignation.
Of course it did not happen that way at all. The.resolve
to be independent was taken first on 2 July, not 4 July. On
the second only (he form was approved. The New York
delegates were not empowered to sign until 9 July; and the
inscription, in which John Hancock figured so prominently,
was not actually done until 2 August, and then quite without
ceremony. Some of the gentlemen were so conscious of hav-
ing become subject to hanging for treason that the names of
the actual signers were not published until the following
These are facts which are not very important and they
do not detract from the momentousness of the decision. That
they were not in my school history shows, however, a dan-
gerous adult weakness in dealing with youth. For youths

become men and women, often with no more knowledge of
such events than was entrusted to them in school. And the
happenings of the past come to seem simple and uncontested,
rather than what they were: bitterly fought issues which
aroused the same passions and led to the same divisions as
those of the present.
The lessons we ought to learn from such strip anlo,.- among
friends and neighbors as the long one which preceded the
Declaration is that such decisions are almost always taken
in the atmosphere and mood of controversy, recrimination,
political manoeuvering and bitter dissent-similar to those
we experience in our time. All was not calm and clear in
those Philadephia summer days. The dignified and deter-
mined gentlemen of Philadelphia were quite like ourselves:
they were moved by their own reading of events and their
view of what the future ought to be. Sometimes their public
judgments were influenced by their private interests. Some-
times controversy descended to intrigue.
That out of it all came first the Declaration and then the
Constitution ought to comfort us. As we find only confusion
in our hearts on public questions; as we feel that accident
plays too important a part nowadays in guiding events; as
we see small men entrusted with large tasks; it is a relief
to know that Hancock was once a candidate for General of
the armies in opposition to Washington; or that Robert Mor-
ris and John Dickinson disapproved of Independence and
that they absented themselves on the day the vote was taken;
or that Sam Adams, who pushed and manoeuvered until he
had his way, was considered to be, along with Tom Paine,
the worst radical experimenter of his time.
The Declaration would have had a better effect for its
purpose if it could have been definitely acted on in the Spring
when it was first proposed. The opposition to it was so
serious on 8 and 10 of June, when the Congress considered it
in Committee of Ihe Whole, thai further deal e was postponed
to 1 July. It was after this debate that Edward Rutledge
of South Carolina wrote to John Jay: "The sensible part of
the House opposed the motion; they saw no wisdom in
a Declaration of Independence, nor any other purpose to be
enforced by ii, but placing ourselves in the Power of those
with whom we mean to treat, giving our Enemy Notice of

our Intentions before we had taken any steps to execute;
them ."
For the issue here was not, in 1776, whether the colonies
should be independent. That had been settled long since and
the Continental Congress was in being and its army in the
field. The question was: what kind of independence? -l:,iy
patriots still did not contemplate separation along with equal-
ity. The Declaration came out of a quarrel over ways and
means of getting foreign support. There were those who felt
that riar, and Spain would assist only if the Colonies cut
all connections with Great Britain; and these triumphed on
the day we celebrate. Actually, that assistance was not forth-
coming nearly as soon as was hoped and might have come
in any case. The Declaration probably did not help in what
it was intended to do. But it did remove the stigma of de-
, .i, l.~i.--, thus giving hope to people everywhere who were
governed from afar.
We are justified in celebrating the achievement not be-
cause of the false formalisms of literary history, but because
out of the deep divisions of the time there arose a classic
monument of the spirit i'l.- hesitations and muddlings which
surrounded its creation have sunk into insignificance in the
long perspective of time. We should be right to forget al-
together the surrounding unpleasantness if it did not lead us
to so false a view of our own sti ..,: .-. 1C it is not indicated
that we have advanced since 1776, it helps a good deal to
know that men then Vwere actuated by the same, sometimes
exalted, sometimes ignoble, motives, that they engaged ih
the same quarrels-and that only in the minds of a few did
there exist a clear perception of what must be done and the
means for its doing. It helps also to know that this percep-
tion was irresistible and that all opposition failed.
That Declaration did not end colonialism; but it removed
that system to a moral category which made it l.l,.-l.-ii,;
and so it determined that some day it would vanish. During
the nineteenth century there were actually more subject
peoples than at any time in the world's history. But this was
because the lesson had not yet penetrated the minds and in-
stitutions ol' men in other nations. The United States of
America stood as a reproach to all nations who sought to
govern others without their consent. Popular leaders with-
out number have quoted Jefferson. It was written there that

some day all men would be free. No delay, no prolonged set-
back, no apparent victories of Empire, could conceal the ele-
mental meaning of these phrases.
There have been times when, llhi-lI.1 with strength, and
impressed with others' seeming successes in exploitation, our
own nation has wavered. We have had moments of conde-
scension during which our own superiority has seemed in-
disputable and the subjection of others only a natural corol-
lary. But there is no man in all the Americas now who does
not know that the United States has recovered from her slight
attack of colonialism. The way out of that sickness was a
little difficult. It was found for the Philippines in the grant-
ing of complete independence. It was begun for Puerto Rico
in granting the present Organic Act, but only begun. There
is more to do. The intimate economic relations between this
Island and the United States, and the size of the population
which has grown to be dependent on them, is the factor which
is at once most important and, to many Puerto Ricans, most
difficult. They stand in a relationship which is the reverse of
that which existed between Britain and her colonies in 1776.
The United States does not exploit Puerto Rico. On the
contrary, she is helping in the liquidation of absentee control
of a large part of the Island's chief industry. In many other
ways, too, a clear showing of fraternal friendship has been
I do not feel, and I think other citizens of the United
States do not feel, that this should determine our ultimate re-
lationship. It is my view that Puerto Rico's future depends
on closer rather than looser ties with the United States; but
that that decision ought to be made freely by all citizens, not
by a few capitalists who prefer no disturbance of their in-
This moral problem of the United States in Puerto Rico
is surely as hard a one as ever confronted a nation. To put
Puerto Rico outside the tariff and quota walls of the nation
would bring quick ruin. To keep Puerto Rico inside without
a clear showing of desire would always stand as a reproach
to democratic professions. Sooner or later Puerto Ricans
must be allowed to choose and must accept the responsibilities
of choosing for themselves.
I speak to you of this problem on Independence Day be-
cause some reference to it is so obviously called for in these

times. If I do not know a complete answer, that does not
excuse avoidance. I believe if we cannot solve all the ques-
tions on paper, in advance, we may be able to wori them out,
bit by bit, step by step, thinking and contriving as we go.
There are some re-arrangements from which no dissent would
be likely. Those might be proposed at once. Others will re-
quire discussion, thought and the gathering of consent. t
There will be acrimony, perhaps, certainly an iip--i.1
taking of sides. But there is controversy in the making of
every great decision. There was recently as we prepared to
join the United Nations. There was in 1776, as I have i.l,:...
when the Declaration was under discussion. Our present
hesitations will be incidents which some day will have been
forgot as we have now so generally forgot the controversies
of 1776.
As Puerto Rico's great issues are debated in the ,iitii
the danger is real, it seems to me, that much of the discussion
may be irrelevant. The world has changed since 1776 in ways
which political leaders often seem not to have grasped. In
the sailing-ship, stage-coach world of the eighteenth century,
independence for the British colonies was a way of asseriti,
the equal dignity of men. The right to participate in the
decisions which affect their fate is an issue now between the
democratic and the totalitarian nations. But iin.. i.-li.1.-iI-
even for big nations, may not be the way to that end. When
we win this war, the most important feature of the Peace
will be the atmosphere of interdependen ce in which it will be
shaped. All men will at last be equal-not in rights to ex-
ploit others, to exclude others from the world's resoni .--. or
to maintain the old forms of sovereignty, but in rights to
peace, to security, and to decency in living.
Men have got to learn that they cannot maintain a world
in which equality among the races and among nations is not
actually organized. If the attempted return to medievalism
is defeated, we must accept the commitment to its alternative.
Th.,i is Democracy. And we must not only cherish it in our
hearts but accept it as the principle on which we shall re-
construct society.

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