« AnteriorContinuar »
it be within the boundaries of a State or of a Territory or of one of the possessions. The term, therefore, would include the Philippine Islands, though not a possession of the United States at the time Revised Statute 398 was passed. (De Lima v. Bidwell, 182 U. S. 1.) This same construction must be given to Revised Statute 4028, since this section evidently refers to the same subject matter as Revised Statute 398.
In order, however, to determine whether the above sections are applicable to conventions regulating postal intercourse between the Philippine Islands and foreign countries, it is necessary to examine the legislation of Congress in regard to those islands, because, if the power to conclude postal conventions with foreign countries is in Congress, Congress can, in the exercise of its plenary sovereignty over the Philippine Islands, delegate that power to the Philippine government, just as it has delegated to that government the power to coin money. (Ling Su Fan v. United States, 218 U. S. 302; United States v. Heinszen & Co., 206 U. S. 370.) By the instructions of the President of April 7, 1900, legislative power over the Philippine Islands was transferred to a commission, subject to the approval of the President, through the Secretary of War, the executive power being left with the military governor. By order of the President, through the Secretary of War, of June 21, 1901, the executive power was transferred to a civil governor, and this action of the President had congressional sanction in the Spooner amendment of March 2, 1901 (31 Stat. 895, 910.) No doubt postal service existed in the Philippines prior to the military occupation and was continued by the military authorities. At any rate, the commission, which began its work on September 1, 1900, on October 15, 1900, by act No. 23 made an appropriation for the director of posts, including the expense of outgoing foreign mail. By act No. 102, of March 9, 1901, the salaries of the director general of posts and of the employees were fixed, and by section 4 of the act No. 181, of July 25, 1901, the director general is given power to establish post offices. By act No. 222, of Septem
her 6, 1901, after reciting that the President, through the Secretary of War, has directed the establishment of four departments, one of which is the department of commerce and police, it is provided that the department of commerce and police shall have under its executive control, inter alia, “ the bureau of post offices.” The above establishment by the President of legislative and executive government in the islands, and the action of the commission in establishing a bureau of post offices under the control of the department of commerce and police, was ratified by Congress in section 1 of the organic act of July 1, 1902, and the continuance of the legislative and executive government, as above described, provided for, subject to the change in the legislative power to occur by the coming into existence of the legislative assembly and subject to the reserved power of Congress to annul legislative acts. By section 87 of the same act the Bureau of Insular Affairs of the War Department was created to exercise, under the authority of the Secretary of War, the jurisdiction of the War Department over the islands. It thus appears that Congress, acting by virtue of its full sovereignty over the islands, has granted legislative power therein to the commission, to be succeeded by a legislative assembly as to certain portions, and executive power to a civil governor, responsible to the Secretary of War, acting through the Bureau of Insular Affairs.
On October 26, 1905, by section 15 of the reorganization act, No. 1107, the commission provided that
“ The bureau of posts shall have exclusive jurisdiction and control of all mail and postal business within the maritime jurisdiction of the Philippine Islands."
The commission has also provided for the carriage of mails between the islands by coast-guard or Government Vessels, but, so far as I am aware, no act has been passed purporting to regulate, or granting power to others to regulate, postal intercourse between the Philippines and foreign countries.
It thus appears that the Philippine postal administration is a wholly autonomous system, independent of the
administration's control. The delegation to the Philippine government, subject to the control of the Secretary of War, of executive control over post offices and post roads within the Philippine Islands, resulting from the various acts above referred to, carried with it the grant of all incidental powers necessary to make such delegation effective. The case Ling Su Fan v. United States, supra, is very significant in this connection. Congress, by the organic act of July 1, 1902, section 76 et seq., and by sections 2 and 6 of the act of March 2, 1903, chapter 980, granted to the Philippine Islands authority to coin money, to fix a standard of value, to coin silver pesos, and to adopt such measures as might seem proper to maintain the parity between the gold and silver coins. This was held to justify a law of the commission prohibiting the export of silver coin and bullion. The court said (218 U. S. 310):
“ The power to coin money and regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin,’ is a prerogative of sovereignty and a power exclusively vested in the Congress of the United States. The power which the government of the Philippine Islands has in respect to a local coinage is derived from the express act of Congress.” And further (p. 311):
There can be no serious doubt but that the power to coin money includes the power to prevent its outflow from the country of its origin.”
So the grant by Congress to the Philippine government of the power to establish post offices and post roads in the islands carried with it as an incident to its exercise the authority to enter into agreements with other countries concerning foreign mail.
foreign mail. For, as Solicitor General Taft in the above-quoted opinion said:
Foreign mail is so closely connected with a proper system of inland mail as that the power to organize and carry on a general post-office system would seem to imply a power to organize, in connection therewith, a system of foreign mails, and, in the maintenance of such a system, a
89760° --VOL 29-13-25
power to conclude contracts with the post-office departments of other countries.”
Congress must have understood that the situation of the islands and the great importance to them of communication with foreign countries, and especially with the East, made it impracticable, if not impossible, to carry on an effective local post-office system without the authority to conclude arrangements with foreign countries by which the local system might be projected beyond the boundaries of the islands themselves.
The practice of the Post Office Department is in accord with this conclusion, for the Postmaster General has conceded the authority of the Philippine government to directly negotiate with foreign Governments for moneyorder conventions. As late as December 20, 1911, the Postmaster General returned a draft of a proposed money-order convention between the Philippine Islands and the Straits Settlements colony to the State Department for submission to the director of posts of the Philippine Islands, on the ground that the Philippine government had “ plenary power to conclude money-order conventions with other countries.” There is no evident ground of distinction between money-order conventions and parcel-post conventions, the extent of the authority of the Postmaster General of the United States over one is precisely the same as over the other form of arrangement, and to admit the authority of the Philippine government to negotiate for money-order conventions carries with it, necessarily, a recognition of its power to enter into any other form of convention relating to postal communication.
I am of the opinion, therefore, that the power to negotiate and conclude the conventions or agreements to which you refer resides, not in the Postmaster General, but in the government of the Philippine Islands. Respectfully,
GEORGE W. WICKERSHAM
The POSTMASTER GENERAL.
EXPORTATION OF ARMS, AMMUNITION, AND MUNITIONS
OF WAR TO THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC PROHIBITED.
The President's proclamation of October 14, 1905 (34 Stat. 3183),
prohibiting the export of arms, ammunition and munitions of war to the Dominican Republic, pursuant to a joint resolution of April 22, 1898 (30 Stat. 739), is still operative under the amended joint resolution of March 14, 1912.
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE,
April 11, 1912. Sir: I am in receipt of your letter of April 5 making the inquiry hereafter to be mentioned, in reply to which I have to state:
By a joint resolution of Congress, approved April 22, 1898, it was provided
“ That the President is hereby authorized, in his discretion, and with such limitations and exceptions as shall seem to him expedient, to prohibit the export of coal or other material used in war from any seaport of the United States until otherwise ordered by the President or by Congress." (30 Stat. 739.)
Pursuant to the authority conferred by that resolution, President Roosevelt, by a proclamation dated October 14, 1905, did declare and proclaim-“ that the export of arms, ammunition and munitions of war of every kind, from any port in the United States or in Porto Rico to any port in the Dominican Republic, is prohibited, without limitation or exception, from and after the date of this my proclamation until otherwise ordered by the President or by Congress.” (34 Stat. 3183.)
So far as I am advised, it has not been otherwise ordered by the President or by Congress than is declared in such proclamation, unless the joint resolution next to be referred to shall have that effect.
By a joint resolution approved March 14, 1912, the joint resolution of April 22, 1898, above quoted, was amended to read as follows:
That whenever the President shall find that in any American country conditions of domestic violence exist