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Of the $779,395.50 for the department of government, $412,248.08 is for "postalorder funds" and represents the remittances made to the United States during the said year to cover the value of orders issued against that country.
Of the allotment of $300,000 made by the law of June 10, 1902, for incidental expenses there is yet a balance of $31,690.80.
I take the liberty to again recommend to the Congress, as done in my message of April 6, the advisability of always having in the treasury a sufficient reserve fund to meet any emergencies that might arise. I also urge with no less interest the necessity of normalizing the economic affairs of the state, approving the draft of budget which, for the coming year, I will present shortly in compliance with the provision of the constitution, paragraph 5, article 68.
The state continues paying the expenses of provincial and municipal services, which amount to more than 40 per cent of the expenditures, and it is now time to take up the transfer of some of these expenses to the local organizations, since the last budgets of not a few municipalities have been balanced with a surplus. Thus a greater amount of national receipts can be used in public works to favor agriculture in the measure that circumstances require and in conformity with the wishes of the executive.
The advisability of our having some maritime legislation suggests itself, for ruling provisions are not in harmony with the new juridic status of the country.
In the draft of budget is proposed the creation in the department of the treasury of a special bureau of navigation and inspection of vessels attached to the customs service, in order to regulate those services in so far as it may be of their jurisdiction, but it is necesssary that the thought be complemented with adequate legislation by the adoption also of measures tending to favor our merchant marine worthy of protection.
Due to the rigorous observance of the immigration and quarantine laws, we have succeeded in preventing from entering the country undesirable and pernicious people, and we have also avoided the importation of many maladies, among them the terrible yellow fever, smallpox, etc.
I likewise call the attention of the Congress to reforming the regulations on immigration, with the object in view of resolving that important social and economic problem which to-day more than ever preoccupies us by the necessity of immigrants coming here with the intention of working and establishing their home here, not to convert themselves into public charges or floating population, which would offer no benefit to the progress and betterment of the Republic; immigrants with families, healthy, strong, industrious, and easily adaptable to the climate and social conditions of Cuba. The executive urges the importance of the matter, which agriculturalists consider it of the greatest urgency to resolve.
The collection of the taxes created by the law of February 27 has begun in conformity with the regulation issued on September 11, and in virtue of the authorization granted me to put said taxes into effect immediately. The regulation has been adjusted to the limitations of that law, with the modifications made by the laws of May 8 and June 13. It has been impossible to enforce them before, because it was necessary to wait until the stamps used in their collection could be printed, they being considered the most efficacious manner of satisfactorily effecting the collection, and in order that it might be shown that each taxpayer had paid his proportion. At the start all taxes of this kind encounter difficulties of enforcement and collection, but the executive expects that they will be collected without obstacles and that those called upon to pay them will be disposed to do so legally in order not to incur the penalties prescribed. The revenue from these taxes is considered sufficient to pay the interests on the loan of $35,000,000, and it is to be desired that occurrences will confirm this belief so that we will not have to recur to those taxes on exportation of tobacco and manufacture of sugar, suspended until the redemption begins. The protests made against some of the provisions of the regulation have been heeded in so far as they were just, for it is the desire of the executive, as it will ever be, to harmonize in so far as it is his duty the interests of the administration and those of the contributors.
I take the liberty to call to mind the message I sent Congress on April 3, 1903, relative to the sale of the Triscornia Railroad. The contract on parcel No. 1, expiring on September 30 last, has been extended for three months at a rental of $780, half of which was paid under the contract of November 13, 1900. This measure was adopted in order to give Congress time to pass upon my request in behalf of the interests of our treasury, otherwise that property will be completely ruined, it having no application whatsoever and being a burden by reason of the said rent and the cost of vigiling the line and warehouses.
I have endeavored in this message to thoroughly comply with the constitutional pre
cept, setting forth all that refers to acts of the administration and the general condition of the Republic. The purpose of the executive has always been to adjust all its acts to the laws and our fundamental charter, as well as to contribute to the extent of its power to the welfare of the Cuban people and aggrandizement and prosperity of the Republic. T. ESTRADA PALMA.
AUTHENTICATION OF DOCUMENTS FOR USE IN CUBA.
Mr. Squiers to Mr. Hay.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
SIR: I have the nonor to inclose herewith copy of correspondence had with the secretary for foreign affairs regarding refusal of the director of the department of state to certify to the genuineness of the signature of the second secretary of this legation who had, in the exercise of his office, authenticated the signature and seal of the Secretary of State of the United States, and to request instructions if further action is desired.
SIR: We have the honor to inclose herewith a power of attorney given by the Fidelity and Deposit Company, of Maryland, to Antonio A. Martinez, and another, of Habana.
The said power has been duly executed and acknowledged, and is signed by the Secretary of State of the United States, and bears the seal of the Department of State; and is also signed by the United States second secretary of legation, and bears the seal of the American legation at Habana.
We to-day caused the said power to be presented to the director of the department of state of Cuba, with the request that he certify that the said signature of the second secretary of the United States legation at Habana is genuine, and that the said secretary was in the exercise of his office on the date of his so signing.
We are informed that the director of state refused to certify to the genuineness of the signature of the second secretary of the United States legation as requested, on the ground that the law organizing the diplomatic and consular service of the Republic of Cuba, promulgated February 17, 1903, prohibited the same.
We beg to be officially advised whether such is the decision of the department of state and justice, and whether the said department refuses to recognize the seal of the Department of State of the United States and the seal of the American legation at Habana.
We have, etc.,
RUNCIE, PORTUONDO, AND LAMAR.
Mr. Squiers to Señor de Zaldo.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
YOUR EXCELLENCY: I have the honor to bring to your excellency's notice a complaint made by Messrs. Runcie, Portuondo, and Lamar, a firm engaged in the practice of law in this city, to the effect that the director of the department of state and justice had refused to certify the genuineness of the signature of the second secretary
FR 1903- -24
of this legation, who had, in the exercise of his office, authenticated the signature and seal of the Secretary of State of the United States, before whom a power of attorney given by the Fidelity and Deposit Company, of Maryland, to Antonio A. Martinez, and another, of Habana, had been executed and acknowledged; and that this action is based on the ground that the law organizing the diplomatic and consular service of the Republic of Cuba, promulgated February 17, 1903, prohibits such certification.
I beg to submit that after a careful examination of the law mentioned I fail to find therein any justification or ground on which to base such refusal, and beg to submit to your excellency that, as the second secretary of this legation acted within the power conferred on him by Congress, see Revised Statutes, section 1750, as well as the regulations of the State Department, such instruction be given as will prevent a recurrence of the action complained of, and that the seal of this legation and signature of the second secretary thereof attached to the paper herewith inclosed be duly authenticated and returned.
I take, etc.,
HERBERT G. Squiers.
[Inclosure 3.-Translation.] Señor de Zaldo to Mr. Squiers.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE AND Justice,
Mr. MINISTER: Acceding to the request contained in your excellency's note of the 2d of the present month, and as an act of courtesy to the legation, I have the honor to return, duly certified, the document of Messrs. Runcie, Portuondo, and Lamar, which your excellency inclosed in said note for that purpose.
At the same time I take this occasion to inform your excellency that the director of the state deparment has good reasons for not legalizing the said document, not only because a document issued abroad, to be given due credence in Cuba, must be legalized by a diplomatic or consular agent of the Republic, but also because the fees for legalization, duly authorized by law of February 14, 1903, could not be taken advantage of by those agents, if the representatives of foreign nations accredited near the Government of Cuba legalize the documents to which I refer.
I take the occasion, etc.,
CARLOS DE ZALDO, Secretary.
Mr. Squiers to Señor de Zaldo.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
YOUR EXCELLENCY: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your excellency's note of the 13th instant, touching on the certification, by this legation, of the signature of the honorable the Secretary of State of the United States, and beg to inform your excellency that I have referred the matter to the Department of State at Washington for its consideration, and that until instructions to the contrary are received from my Government, I beg to request that the seal of this legation be certified to as heretofore.
I hereby decree the following by virtue of the authority given me by the constitution:
ARTICLE 1. The legalization required by law for public or official documents of all kinds issued in foreign countries by foreign functionaries to become effective in Cuba must be made by a diplomatic or consular agent of the Republic, or such persons as act in their places. When a document has been issued in a country where there
is no accredited diplomatic or consular agent of Cuba, it may be legalized by the diplomatic agent or any of the consular agents of the same country accredited in the Republic.
ART. 2. For legalizations made in accord with the provisions of the foregoing article to be held as good in Cuba it shall also be an indispensable requisite that the signature of the functionary who appears as authorizing them to be legalized by the department of state or the director of the department. Notarial documents issued by diplomatic or consular agents of the Republic, and those they may issue referring to the civil registry, must contain the same requisite to be considered in Cuba as authentic.
ART. 3. The provisions of the two foregoing articles will be applicable to documents presented in courts or offices of the Government from the date the present decree takes effect.
Done at Habana, President's palace, on April 11, 1903.
CARLOS DE ZALDO,
Secretary of State and Justice.
T. ESTRADA PALMA, President.
Mr. Hay to Mr. Squiers.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
SIR: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your No. 492, of the 24th ultimo, reporting the refusal of the Cuban department of state to authenticate a paper for use in Cuba, certified under the seal of this Department, and then under the seal of your legation and signature of the second secretary thereof.
Your insistence upon its authentication appears to have been correct, as such authentication is customary in the intercourse of nations. You, however, inclose copy of a decree issued by the President of Cuba on the 20th ultimo, providing that to legalize documents for use in Cuba they must be authenticated by a Cuban diplomatic or consular officer residing in the country where the document is prepared, if there be such an officer, and, if not, by the diplomatic or consular agent of the country accredited to Cuba, and either of the above seals must in turn be authenticated by the Cuban department of state.
As this decree relates to Cuban internal affairs, it would seem that persons wishing their documents legalized will have to conform to it. It will be made public by this Department.
I am, etc.,
JURISDICTION OF SUPREME COURT OF CUBA IN CONSTITUTIONAL QUESTIONS.
Mr. Squiers to Mr. Hay.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
SIR: I have the honor to forward herewith translation of a law passed by the Cuban Congress, signed by the President on March 31 and published in the Official Gazette April 1, establishing a procedure that enables the constitutionality of laws, decrees, regulations, etc., to be passed upon by the supreme court.
I am, etc.,
H. G. SQUIERS,
Signed by the President March 31, 1903; promulgated in the Official Gazette April 1, 1903.
ARTICLE 1. All controversies between parties over the constitutionality of a law, decree, or regulation shall be decided exclusively by the supreme court of justice in the manner and by the procedure this law provides.
ART. 2. The supreme court shall also decide exclusively in the manner this law provides, and when subject of a controversy between parties whether or not any law, decree, regulation, order, or ruling in force on the 20th day of May, 1902, is contrary to the constitution in conformity with the provisions of the seventh transitory provision of the constitution.
ART. 3. If any of the parties claim or allege in a civil, criminal, or administrative suit the unconstitutionality of a law, decree, or regulation, the judge or court on whom it is incumbent to decide such suit will refrain from rendering a decision upon such point, so stating in the decision, and the parties may interpose appeal or have the recourse for annulment before the supreme court provided by existing laws, resting the same on such unconstitutionality.
The recourse shall be interposed and supported in the manner determined by existing laws of procedure, and the supreme court shall expressly determine in its decision such alleged unconstitutionality.
ART. 4. Although the suit may be one in which the recourse for annulment or appeal before the supreme court is not authorized, the recourse for annulment or appeal before the supreme court for breach of law against the decision in last instance may be interposed and it shall be rested exclusively on the unconstitutionality of a law, decree, or regulation. The recourse shall be regulated by existing law, and an article of the constitution must be cited as the law infringed.
ART. 5. The remedy the preceding article authorizes will not suspend the proceeding, and in order that it may be continued there shall remain with the judge or court a verbatim copy of the decision appealed and other parts of the record the judicial authority may deem necessary. Such copy will be made within the maximum period of five days, save in the case provided for in article 20.
ART. 6. The unconstitutionality of a law, decree, or regulation may be reason for the recourse for annulment, although it may not have been brought up or alleged in the suit.
ART. 7. The public prosecutor must participate in the said recourse as one of the parties and attend the hearing before the court.
ART. 8. Any person on whom a law, decree, or regulation that he deems unconstitutional is enforced outside of judicial proceedings will have the right to state the same in writing, within the five days following the notification and to the authority or functionary ordering such enforcement, informing them of his intention to appeal to the supreme court of justice to decide the controversy. However, when the matter in question is that of a resolution of a provisional council the interested party must ask, as a prior step, the governor of the province to suspend the same, and if he denies the suspension, then the President of the Republic.
Should it be a resolution of an ayuntamiento, the interested party must first ask the alcalde to suspend it. If he denies the suspension it must then be asked of the governor of the province, and if he also denies it, then of the President of the Republic.
The recourse provided by the preceding paragraph having been exhausted, the right of the interested parties is then free to interpose before the supreme court the recourse to which this article refers against the disposition giving rise to it.
The petition for suspension must be decided by the functionary to whom made within the exact period of eight days.
If the disposition in question shall have come directly from a governor of a province, an alcalde, or functionary of the administration against whose acts and resolutions a recourse of complaint or appeal is authorized, and what is ordered is not based on a preexisting law, decree, regulation, or provisional or municipal resolution, the recourse before the supreme court shall be established against the administrative decision having definitive character as provided by existing law.
The provisions of this article do not prevent the functionaries to whom articles 96 and 108 of the constitution refer from using, as a right of office and independently one of another, the power of suspension said articles confer on them.
ART. 9. The authority or functionary to whom the document mentioned in the preceding article is delivered shall deliver to the appellant, within the three days following, a verbatim copy of the resolution or order originating the controversy and cite all the parties to appear before the supreme court within the ten days following such delivery. The period of time shall be fifteen days for appeals established in the provinces of Santiago de Cuba and Puerto Principe.