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manding the cruiser force of the United States Atlantic Fleet, and the armed forces of the United States stationed in various places within the territory of the Republic of Santo Domingo, acting under the authority and by the direction of the Government of the United States, declare and announce to all concerned that the Republic of Santo Domingo is hereby placed in a state of military occupation by the forces under my command, and is made subject to military government and to the exercise of military law applicable to such occupation.
This military occupation is undertaken with no immediate or ulterior object of destroying the sovereignty of the Republic of Santo Domingo, but, on the contrary, is designed to give aid to that country in returning to a condition of internal order that will enable it to observe the terms of the treaty aforesaid, and the obligations resting upon it as one of the family of nations.
Dominican statutes, therefore, will continue in effect in so far as they do not conflict with the objects of the occupation or necessary regulations established thereunder, and their lawful administration will continue in the hands of such duly authorized Dominican officials as may be necessary, all under the oversight and control of the United States forces exercising military government.
The ordinary administration of justice, both in civil and criminal matters, through the regularly constituted Dominican courts, will not be interfered with by the military government herein established; but cases to which a member of the United States forces in occupation is a party, or in which are involved contempt or defiance of the authority of the military government, will be tried by tribunals set up by the military government.
All revenue accruing to the Dominican Government, including revenues hitherto accrued and unpaid, — whether from customs duties under the terms of the treaty concluded on February 8, 1907, the Receivership established by which remains in effect, or from internal revenue — shall be paid to the military government herein established which will, in trust for the Republic of Santo Domingo, hold such revenue and will make all the proper legal disbursements therefrom necessary for the administration of the Dominican Government, and for the purposes of the occupation.
I call upon the citizens of, and residents and sojourners in, Santo Domingo to coöperate with the forces of the United States in occupation to the end that the purposes thereof may promptly be attained,
and that the country may be restored to domestic order and tranquillity, and to the prosperity that can be attained only under such conditions.
The forces of the United States in occupation will act in accordance with military law governing their conduct, with due respect for the personal and property rights of citizens of, and residents and sojourners in, Santo Domingo, upholding Dominican laws in so far as they do not conflict with the purposes for which the occupation is undertaken.
H. S. KNAPP.
Captain United States Navy,
Commander Cruiser Force, United States Atlantic Fleet.
C.S. S. OLYMPIA Flagship,
AN ACT TO PROVIDE A TEMPORARY GOVERNMENT FOR THE WEST INDIAN
ISLANDS ACQUIRED BY THE UNITED STATES FROM DENMARK !
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That, except as hereinafter provided, all military, civil, and judicial powers necessary to govern the West Indian Islands acquired from Denmark shall be vested in a governor and in such person or persons as the President may appoint, and shall be exercised in such manner as the President shall direct until Congress shall provide for the government of said islands: Provided, That the President may assign an officer of the Army or Navy to serve as such governor and perform the duties appertaining to said office: And provided further, That the governor of the said islands shall be appointed by and with the advice and consent of the Senate: and provided further, That the compensation of all persons appointed under this Act shall be fixed by the President.
SEC. 2. That until Congress shall otherwise provide, in so far as compatible with the changed sovereignty and not in conflict with the provisions of this Act, the laws regulating elections and the electoral franchise as set forth in the code of laws published at Amalienborg the sixth day of April, nineteen hundred and six, and the other local laws, in force and effect in said islands on the seventeenth day of January, nineteen hundred and seventeen, shall remain in force and
1 Public — No. 389. — 64th Congress.
effect in said islands, and the same shall be administered by the civil officials and through the local judicial tribunals established in said islands, respectively; and the orders, judgments, and decrees of said judicial tribunals shall be duly enforced. With the approval of the President, or under such rules and regulations as the President may prescribe, any of said laws may be repealed, altered, or amended by the colonial council having jurisdiction. The jurisdiction of the judicial tribunals of said islands shall extend to all judicial proceedings and controversies in said islands to which the United States or any citizen thereof may be a party. In all cases arising in the said West Indian Islands and now reviewable by the courts of Denmark, writs of error and appeals shall be to the Circuit Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and, except as provided in sections two hundred and thirtynine and two hundred and forty of the Judicial Code, the judgments, orders, and decrees of such court shall be final in all such cases.
Sec. 3. That on and after the passage of this Act there shall be levied, collected, and paid upon all articles coming into the United States or its possessions, from the West Indian Islands ceded to the United States by Denmark, the rates of duty and internal-revenue taxes which are required to be levied, collected, and paid upon like articles imported from foreign countries: Provided, That all articles, the growth or product of, or manufactured in such islands from materials the growth or product of such islands or of the United States, or of both, or which do not contain foreign materials to the value of more than twenty per centum of their total value, upon which no drawback of customs duties has been allowed therein, coming into the United States from such islands shall hereafter be admitted free of duty.
SEC. 4. That until Congress shall otherwise provide all laws now imposing taxes in the said West Indian Islands, including the customs laws and regulations, shall, in so far as compatible with the changed sovereignty and not otherwise herein provided, continue in force and effect, except that articles the growth, product, or manufacture of the United States shall be admitted there free of duty: Provided, That upon exportation of sugar to any foreign country, or the shipment thereof to the United States or any of its possessions, there shall be levied, collected, and paid thereon an export duty of $8 per ton of two thousand pounds irrespective of polariscope test, in lieu of any export tax now required by law.
SEC. 5. That the duties and taxes collected in pursuance of this Act shall not be covered into the general fund of the Treasury of the United States, but shall be used and expended for the government and benefit of said islands under such rules and regulations as the President may prescribe.
SEC. 6. That for the purpose of taking over and occupying said islands and of carrying this Act into effect and to meet any deficit in the revenues of the said islands resulting from the provisions of this Act the sum of $100,000 is hereby appropriated, to be paid out of any moneys in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, and to be applied under the direction of the President of the United States.
SEC. 7. That the sum of $25,000,000 is hereby appropriated, out of any moneys in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, to be paid in the city of Washington to the diplomatic representative or other agent of His Majesty, the King of Denmark duly authorized to receive said money, in full consideration of the cession of the Danish West Indian Islands to the United States made by the convention between the United States of America and His Majesty the King of Denmark entered into August fourth, nineteen hundred and sixteen, and ratified by the Senate of the United States on the seventh day of September, nineteen hundred and sixteen.
Sec. 8. That this Act, with the exception of section seven, shall be in force and effect and become operative immediately upon the payment by the United States of said sum of $25,000,000. The fact and date of such payment shall thereupon be made public by a proclamation issued by the President and published in the said Danish West Indian Islands and in the United States. Section seven shall become immediately effective and the appropriation thereby provided for shall be immediately available.
Approved, March 3, 1917.
MEMOIRE OF THE BELGIAN GOVERNMENT IN REGARD TO THE DEPORTA
TION AND FORCED LABOR OF THE BELGIAN CIVIL POPULATION ORDERED BY THE GERMAN GOVERNMENT 1
The German Government tries to justify the deportation of Belgian civilians by invoking reasons of different sorts.
It alleges first that the depressed condition of Belgian industry could not offer to unemployed Belgians any means of working, or, at least, any means of making a suitable livelihood in Belgium.
Then it alleges that the general interest of the occupied territory (for which the occupant is responsible) demanded that the unemployed should not remain a charge upon public charity, finding in such aid an encouragement to their natural laziness and exposing themselves to the loss of their technical skill by long idleness.
Finally, it alleges its anxiety for order and public safety to which the increasing army of unemployed Belgians might constitute a danger.
None of these reasons justifies the measures taken by the German general headquarters on October 3, 1916.
Inconsistency of German Argument The fact will not escape an attentive mind that the motives set forth in the plea of the German Government are contradictory to each other.
i Official Bulletin, Washington, June 9, 1917. The following note from the State Department accompanies the memoire:
The Belgian Minister, Mr. de Cartier, has transmitted to the Secretary of State the following memorandum prepared by the Belgian Government in regard to the deportation of civilians and the forced labor imposed on them by the German authorities. In his note of transmittal Mr. de Cartier says:
“This document is a complete refutation of the excuses offered by the German authorities for these acts of barbarity, and is a clear statement of the successive steps by which Germany has sought to break down the patriotic spirit of the Belgian workmen and to enslave them for work of military utility against our own fellow countrymen.”