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board, and of other boards established by this decree, whose terms of office may extend beyond the period of the military occupation of Cuba by the United States shall be subject, upon the termination of such occupation, to the approval of the government which shall follow. Appointments to fill vacancies caused by death, resignation, or otherwise, shall be for the unexpired term. The board of charities shall be appointed on or before July 31, 1900, and shall hold its first meeting between July 31, 1900, and September 30, 1900, at the call of the superintendent of charities and hospitals. The board of charities shall hold regular meetings once in each quarter of the year, in the city of Habana, at such times as it may determine, and may hold such other regular or special meetings as it may deem necessary. Six members shall constitute a quorum, but the affirmative votes of at least five members shall be necessary for the transaction of any business. The board shall appoint annually an executive committee of five members, and it may by resolution delegate to such executive committee, or to a standing or special committee, or to the officers or any officer of the board, the exercise, during the intervals between its meetings, of such of its special powers, to be clearly defined in the resolution, as it may deem advisable, and may, in its discretion, revoke such delegation of authority. SEC. 3. No member of the board of charities shall be a trustee or officer of any institution subject to inspection by said board, nor shall any member have any authority to make, directly or indirectly, any sale of real or personal property to any such institution, or any purchase from any such institution; nor shall any member have any pecuniary interest in any such sale or purchase. Members of the board of charities shall receive no salary, but shall be paid their traveling and other necessary expenses incurred when engaged in official business; provided that the total official expenditure of any member of the board during any calendar year, for purposes other than transportation, shall not exceed the sum of five hundred (500) dollars. The appointment of the members of the board of charities for terms of six years, and the provision that they shall serve without salary, are intended to secure the result that such appointments shall always be made without regard to political considerations, and that the destitute and helpless wards of public charity shall receive the benefit of the services of eminent citizens, possessing special knowledge and qualifications for rendering useful service in such positions. Each member of said board shall, so far as may be practicable, inspect the charitable institutions in the province in which he resides, once each year, and shall inform himself in regard to the measures that have been adopted for the assistance of the poor in Cuba and in other countries.
SEC. 4. The board of charities shall assume such of the duties hereby conferred upon the department as may from time to time be transferred in writing to it by the superintendent of charities and hospitals, and may establish such rules, regulations, and by-laws for the regulation of its affairs as it may deem wise, subject to the provisions of this decree.
SEC. 5. During the period of organization the superintendent of charities and hospitals shall possess and exercise all the powers hereby conferred upon the department; excepting those that by reason of sec. 4 he may have already transferred in writing to the board of charities. When, in the judgment of the military governor, the various branches of work of the department may have been thoroughly organized, the board of charities shall be so informed in writing, and the superintendent of charities and hospitals shall thereupon become the secretary of the board of charities, and shall be its chief executive officer, and the said board shall then be the head of the department, and shall possess and exercise the powers hereby conferred upon the department. Thereafter, whenever a vacancy shall occur in the office of secretary of the board of charities, the board shall appoint a secretary to fill the vacancy. Members of the board shall not be eligible for the office of secretary. The secretary shall receive a salary, to be fixed by the board of charities, subject to the approval of the military governor. The secretary shall hold office at the pleasure of the board, provided that he shall not be removed from office except for cause, stated in writing and entered in the minutes of the board, and after reasonable notice and an opportunity to be heard before the board upon the cause of his proposed removal. The department may, within the limits of its appropriation for such purpose, employ such assistants, inspectors, clerks, and other employees as it may deem necessary, and fix their salaries, from time to time, and may remove any employee from office, in its discretion, for cause stated in writing, and after an opportunity has been afforded such employee to be heard upon the cause of his proposed removal.
CUBA 1900-VOL I, PT 1- -2
CONCERNING DESTITUTE AND DELINQUENT CHILDREN.
SEC. 6. It is hereby declared to be the general policy of the island of Cuba, to be carried into effect as speedily as circumstances will permit, that destitute and delinquent children who are now, or become in the future, subjects of support from public funds shall be cared for by the state, and shall be committed to the guardianship of the appropriate insular authorities. Such children shall be cared for, according to their respective needs, in families, training schools, or reformatories, as may from time to time be found to be advisable.
SEC. 7. No municipal, district, or provincial institution for the care of destitute or delinquent children shall hereafter be established, but this shall not prevent the establishment of municipal hospitals for sick children. Any existing municipal institution for the care of children may be discontinued at the option of the municipality, or by order of the department, and the inmates may be committed by the alcalde to the department. Each municipal institution for children, until discontinued, shall be under the charge of a board of managers appointed by the alcalde, and of which the alcalde shall be ex officio a member. Payments from the insular treasury for the support of children in municipal or private institutions will be discontinued as rapidly as provision can be made by the department for the care of such children. From and after the first day of September, 1900, all payments from the insular treasury to orphan asylums and other institutions for the care of destitute children, except state institutions, shall be made on the basis of a per capita payment for the care and maintenance of such of the inmates of said institution as may be accepted as proper public charges by the department. The various orphan asylums established by the Red Cross and other organizations, which have been or may be turned over to the insular authorities. having served the special and temporary purpose for which they were established, will be discontinued as rapidly as may be found to be practicable, unless, for special reasons, the department may decide to continue one or more of such asylums as temporary homes for children until such children can be placed in families or removed to a training school.
SEC. 8. A destitute child is hereby declared to be one not possessed of sufficient means for self-support, and who has neither parents nor grandparents, or whose parents or grandparents, if living, are unable to provide for the support of said child, or have abandoned it, or have habitually and grossly neglected to provide for its physical well-being, or are habitual drunkards, or are of notoriously immoral character, or are confined in a prison, or in a hospital for the insane. Nothing in this decree shall, however, impair any of the obligations created by Title VI of the civil code, concerning the support of relations.
Any alcalde, upon proof to his satisfaction that a child then residing in his municipality is destitute as herein described, may, unless the support of said child shall be voluntarily assumed by some individual known to the alcalde to be of good moral character, and of sufficient ability to provide for said child, or by some private charitable institution at its own expense, commit said child to the care and custody of the department of charities until it reaches the age of sixteen years. Before making any such commitment, the alcalde shall cause a careful inquiry to be made as to the whereabouts, circumstances, and character of the surviving parents and grandparents of the child, if any. The results of such inquiry shall be reduced to writing and placed on file in the office of the alcalde, and if the child is committed a copy shall be forwarded to the department with the commitment paper. Such commitment shall be made only upon the application of a parent or a grandparent of such child, or after notice of at least three days to the parents, if living, or, if both parents are dead, after a like notice to the grandparents, if living, and after an opportunity has been afforded to such parents, or grandparents if the parents are dead, to be heard before the alcalde upon the cause or causes for which it is proposed to commit such child. The testimony taken at such hearing shall be placed on file in the office of the alcalde, and if the child is committed a copy shall be sent to the department with the commitment paper.
No child shall be committed who has a parent or grandparent of good moral character and of sufficient ability to provide for its support, or who has a relative or friend of good moral character and of sufficient ability to provide for its support and willing to do so, or whose support may be voluntarily assumed by a charitable institution at its own expense. The insular authorities may, in their discretion, collect from each municipality a sum not to exceed thirty cents per day for the maintenance of each