Items of Interest

In a recent gathering, representing all parties, in Porto Rico, the following memorial was adopted and the appeal made that,—

The House of Delegates shall continue as heretofore, elected by popular vote and composed of thirty-five members; that instead of the Executive Council there shall be an Insular Senate composed of fourteen Senators, to be elected, two for each one of the seven districts into which the island is divided; that these two legislative branches shall have all legislative authority granted by the act of April 12, 1990, to the Legislative Assembly of Porto Rice; that the six departments now existing, namely, the Secretary of Porto Rico, the Attorney-General, the Treasurer, the Auditor, the Commissioner of Education, and the Commissioner of the Interior, shall be continued in force; that the heads of these six departments shall be appointed by the Governor of Porto Rico with the advice and consent of the Insular Senate.

Pray grant unto this country all legislative authority and at the same time all responsibility. We cannot accept that public officers be sent to Porto Rico who, as general rule, are unacquainted with the language, the customs, and the needs of this country, and within twenty-four hours after their arrival take their seats in the Executive Council and decide by their votes complicated and transcendental questions. We desire that the opportunity, heretofore denied to us, be given, that we may show that we are now capable of self-government. Our commonwealth has an old civilization of its own; we have shown our estimation and respect for the laws; we worked out the problem of the abolition of slavery within the most perfect normal bounds; we have met, without disorder, most terrible financial crises. We know ourselves, we fully know our needs, and we are fully convinced that we can successfully manage our own local affairs.

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August 26, 1905

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