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Mr. Rathbone was succeeded by Mr. M. C. Fosnes as director-general of posts. The frauds and irregularities were brought to a summary conclusion, and at present the department of posts is turning in much larger receipts to the General Government and is, I believe, being ably and efficiently administered.

The irregularities disclosed in the investigation above referred to were scandalous in character and, I believe, indicated a conspiracy to systematically defraud the island government.

Mail contracts have been made on favorable terms, and the entire postal service may be generally considered as being firmly established and thoroughly efficient.


The light-house service was first organized under Mr. Mario Menocal, who resigned on account of important private business and was succeeded by Mr. E. J. Balbin, the present efficient head of this department. The work of the light-house service has been principally in equipping many of the lights, organizing for their systematic maintenance and supplies, the completion of the construction of the light-house at Cienfuegos, and extensive work in the way of placing beacons in the inland waters of the south coast. Contracts have been made, and are now being filled, calling for the delivery of large amounts of buoys, anchors and chains, and numerous port lights; also for the construction of two large light-houses of the type of the Alligator Keys lighthouse, off the Florida coast. One of these new light-houses is to be located on the western end of Colorado reef and the other at Bahia Honda. These two lights will be of great service to ships coming from the Gulf of Mexico and will result in the avoidance of a good many wrecks in future. The strong set of the currents on the north and west coasts of Cuba and the absence of lights between Cape Antonio and Habana have resulted in many valuable ships and lives being lost. The demands of this service require a light-house tender capable of making the voyage around the island and carrying supplies to the various lighthouses. This vessel should also have apparatus for handling buoys, etc.

All the coasts of Cuba require resurveying, and most of the harbors require buoys and marking. Light-houses, in addition to those above mentioned, are required on the southern coast of the Isle of Pines and on the easterly termination of the keys south of Mantanzas.

Attention is invited to the report of the chief of the board, who has worked unremittingly in developing the efficiency of this service.


The quarantine service has been conducted in a thoroughly effective and efficient manner by the officers of the United States Marine-Hospital Service, both regular and contract. During the first portion of the year it was under the charge of Dr. H. F. Carter, and later under Dr. A. H. Glennan. The administration of the service by both of these officers has been admirable. They have always cooperated loyally and efficiently with the insular government in its effort to maintain good sanitary conditions in the island. The service is well equipped at all principal ports with disinfecting apparatus, both afloat and ashore, launches, etc. The majority of the officers are Americans, but among them are found many Cubans who are receiving thorough

and careful instruction in the administration and working of this department. These men will soon become available for service as quarantine officers at the various ports. The work done has included almost all classes of marine disinfection, the disinfection of immense amounts of baggage, and the careful control and supervision of those found necessary to hold in quarantine.

Attention is invited to the individual report of the chief quarantine officer, which is included herewith, attached to the report of the secretary of finance.

The quarantine service as originally established and administered was entirely independent of the island authorities. Funds were allotted for its maintenance upon presentation of a statement of expenditures. Under this system the general administration and expenditures of the quarantine service were entirely beyond the control of the military governor of the island, and while the administration and conduct of the service was both economical and efficient, yet inasmuch as the general purpose of our control in Cuba is to establish a stable government it was deemed best to place all departments of insular administration under one general head in order that the military governor, who is responsible for the proper and economical maintenance of the island government, should have under his control all expenditures therefor. This was accomplished by the following order:

No. 292.

Habana, July 17, 1900.

The following order of the President of the United States is, by direction of the military governor of Cuba, published for the information and guidance of all concerned in the island of Cuba:

[Circular No. 39. Division of Customs and Insular Affairs.]

WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, June 30, 1900.

The following order of the President, relative to the Marine-Hospital Service in Cuba, is hereby published for the information and guidance of all concerned:

EXECUTIVE MANSION, Washington, D. C., June 29, 1900.

On and after July 15, 1900, there shall be detailed on the staff of the military governor of the island of Cuba, as chief of the quarantine service established by the Executive order of January 17, 1899, a commissioned officer of the Marine-Hospital Service, who shall, on the first day of each month, or at such other periods as may be directed by the military governor, submit to the military governor a detailed estimate of the quarantine expenses of the island of Cuba. After the approval of such estimate by the military governor the chief quarantine officer shall make requisition for the funds required in favor of the disbursing officer or agent, who shall pay the bills and vouchers on account of the quarantine service upon the certificate of an officer detailed under Executive order of January 17, 1899, and after approval by the chief quarantine officer. The disbursing officer or agent shall render his accounts of such disbursements in accordance with the rules and instructions to carry into effect the Executive order of May 8, 1899, relative to the military government of the United States in the island of Cuba during the maintenance of such government.


This order to be duly proclaimed and enforced in Cuba.


Secretary of War. J. B. HICKEY, Assistant Adjutant-General.

The geographical situation of Cuba, especially Habana, renders it most essential that the quarantine work should be thoroughly and systematically conducted. Cuban ports, until recently, have always been centers of yellow-fever infection, Habana especially so. The tramp steamers, as well as passenger steamers, plying between Central American, Mexican, and United States ports touch, as a rule, at Habana. In many instances it is believed that infection is brought to Habana from the Central American and Mexican ports, especially Vera Cruz and Progreso, and there is little doubt that cases of yellow fever supposed to have originated in Habana have been brought from the above-mentioned ports. The local quarantine between Habana and other seacoast cities of the island has also been an important feature of the service, in order to prevent the fever being carried from Habana to the smaller ports.

All of this work has been ably and efficiently conducted. There is no reason to doubt that with maintenance of an efficient and thoroughly sanitary work, combined with careful and rigid maintenance of quarantine, Cuba will in a few years be practically freed from yellow fever, certainly as a constant factor. Of course the principal means in obtaining this result will be sanitation, but nevertheless a very important agent will be the enforcement of proper quarantine regulations. There is no reason why Cuba should not be a healthy country, and Habana ought to be one of the healthiest cities in the world.


The customs service has been, since the organization of the island government, under the charge of Maj. Tasker H. Bliss, who has been chief of the service and collector of the port of Habana. Major Bliss has had as subordinates in the larger ports officers of the Army as collectors; at some of the smaller ports civilians, usually Americans. Nearly all the collectors, however, have been officers of the Army.

This service has been admirably administered and directed. The collections have been economically made. Each collector has been supplied with the necessary launch and boats required. The customhouses have been very generally repaired and rendered habitable and presentable. At some of the larger ports launches sufficiently large for patrol work have been purchased in order to cover the shallow inland waters in the vicinity of the ports. These, however, were found to be insufficient, and early in the present year it was decided to build five small steel patrol boats, four of them 60 feet long and one 70, with light draft, good beam, fair speed, and so constructed as to be capable of standing rough weather. The contract for this purpose was made with Nixon, shipbuilder, and the boats ordered were delivered in October, but did not reach Cuba until December. The five boats were constructed and fully equipped for approximately $40,000, or about $8,000 each, including armainent of one rapid-firing one-pounder, with liberal supply of ammunition for each boat. These little vessels were brought to Cuba by inland waters as far as Florida and then across to Habana. They have shown themselves to be thoroughly seaworthy, reasonably fast, and comfortable for the crew. Their extreme draft is about 3 feet. These boats, together with a former Spanish gunboat, a small craft of some 70-odd feet, constitute the revenue-cutter service of the island. They are stationed at various

ports on the north and south coasts and are rendering excellent service in the protection of fisheries and prevention of smuggling. They are, moreover, gathering very valuable information in reference to the coast, such as the soundings at the mouths and for certain distances up the rivers, locating channels among the reefs and collecting data of all kinds for the use of mariners.

The arrangements for the construction of these boats, the supervision of their construction, their conduct to Florida, and control in these waters have been in the hands of Lieut. Felix Hunicke, former lieutenant, United States Navy. Lieutenant Hunicke's work has been very conscientiously and ably performed.

Attention is especially invited to the report of Maj. Tasker H. Bliss in all that pertains to the details, administration, receipts, etc., of the customs service. Major Bliss's work has been of an exceptionally high order. He has built up and organized a thoroughly first-class customs service, and in the conduct of this service he has displayed the greatest zeal, intelligence, and loyalty not only to the material interests of the island, but to the purposes and policy of the Administration. His services, in short, have been invaluable, and his department has been one of the most stable and efficient branches of the island government.


The University of Habana is the University of Cuba. It consists of the academic department, together with the various professional schools. The arrangement of studies is entirely different from that existing in American universities, the students entering the university from the "institutos" and combining various preparatory with professional studies. The courses of professional schools last from five to seven years and include, together with the preparatory course, many of the elementary studies.

Beginning with the year 1900 the courses of the university had been arranged in accordance with order 214, November 4, 1899. Professors had been appointed in accordance with order 250, of December 28, 1899. The number of students was comparatively small, but I was assured by thos familiar with the situation that this number would rapidly increase. At this time the faculty of the university consisted of 72 professors and 24 assistant professors, and the number of students was approximately 200, including the academic and professional schools. The university was ill equipped with books, material, and apparatus. A great many of the professors were entirely unfitted for their positions, which had been obtained in many instances in an irregular manner and held very much as a sinecure, without any feeling of responsibility as to either amount or quality of services which they rendered in return for the salary paid by the government The university was, in short, in a condition of demoralization, and after a few months it was apparent that if it was to become in any way efficient a thorough reorganization, combined with radical changes in the personnel, was necessary.

The task was a difficult and unpleasant one. Many of the chairs were held by venerable gentlemen whose days of activity and capacity for teaching had long since passed. The old institution was surrounded by an atmosphere of helplessness and inefficiency. To intrude upon its traditions with modern ideas or purposes of reform was regarded,

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in a way, as something almost sacreligious. No one seemed to doubt the fact that the university was thoroughly inefficient, but no one was willing to put his hand to the work of reformation until the matter was actively taken up by Secretary Varona, who, with singular courage and devotion to the improvement of the university and the elevation of university teaching in the island, and regardless of the storm of personal abuse which was poured upon him, taking at times the form of most insulting letters, and indifferent to the loss of personal friends or the creation of enemies, proceeded to mark out what he considered a straight line of advance and improvement and adhered to it. In this he was given the full support of the government, and the result was the reexamination of practically all professors of the university, as well as those of the institutes of secondary instruction. In all such the professors who had obtained their positions by competition and were still efficient and able to render good services were retained. Those who, either by virtue of eminent attainments or conspicuous ability, were deemed worthy of appointment or retention without examination were also continued. Among those of this latter class were included several secretaries of the insular cabinet who were professors in the university. All other chairs were declared vacant, and competitive examinations held to fill them. The result was many new men, bringing with them new energy and ambition to make the university one in fact as well as in name. Certain qualifications were prescribed for admission to the university and the university course was rearranged and modernized, making it practically a four years' course in the academic department. Admission to the professional schools was prohibited for students under 18 years of age, and it was required that they should be either graduates of the academic department of the university or able to pass certain preliminary examinations sufficiently severe to indicate that they possessed a liberal


That this radical reorganization was necessary is shown by the following correspondence:

Habana, April 15, 1900.

SIR: The military governor directs me to inform you that he desires with as little delay as practicable the following information relative to the University of Habana: I. The number of students at present duly matriculated in the university and engaged in a course of study therein.

II. The number of students in each department of the university.

III. The number of professors and instructors in each department of the university. (a) The number of lectures given per week by each professor or instructor and the time occupied in delivering same; (b) number of students attending each lecture; (c) salary of each professor or instructor.

IV. The number of professors or instructors in each course or subdivision of the professional schools and the School of Arts and Letters, i. e., number of professors or instructors in each course of study (for instance, in the Greek course, representing all subdivisions of this branch: Greek grammar, Greek literature, etc.; or, for example, in the medical school, the number of professors or instructors teaching anatomy, etc.).

V. The number of students in attendance from each province of the island.
VI. The average daily attendance in the different branches.

Trusting that this information may be submitted without inconvenience, I am,

Very respectfully,

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