Richard F. Taitano
Micronesian Area Research Center REMARKS FROM THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE
FIRST CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION OF
An online publication of the Micronesian Area Research Center University of Guam
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Guam First Constitutional Convention Remarks Remarks Of The Honorable A. B. Won Pat ...............................................2 Remarks Of Senator Francisco B. Leon Guerrero ....................................5 Remarks Of Senator B.J. Bordallo ............................................................8 Remarks Of Senator William D.L. Flores ................................................11 Remarks Of Senator Richard F. Taitano..................................................14 Remarks Of Speaker Joaquin C. Arriola, ................................................17 Remarks Of Governor Carlos G. Camacho ............................................19 Remarks Of Governor Joseph Flores .....................................................22
Remarks Of The Honorable A. B. Won Pat 7th Plenary Session Of The First Constitutional Convention Of Guam July 10, 1969 Mr. President, Members of the Convention: It is a pleasure to be here this evening to speak to you at the invitation of your presiding officer. I do appreciate this opportunity particularly to meet with you and hopefully I trust that I can contribute in a small way toward your deliberation. However, let me make clear at the outset that I have no presumption that I can tell you what to do and how to do your important task. Let me congratulate each and every one of you upon your selection by the electorate of this territory to assume the important post which you are now undertaking. I note particularly that the convention is uniquely representative of our territorial constituency—academia, the professions, government, business and industry, as well as the laity are represented. The members of the Ninth Guam Legislature deserve commendation also for their foresight, imagination and wisdom in enacting Public Law 9-244, which created this Constitutional Convention. In reading the law which created this body, it simply provides for a review of the Organic Act and to propose amendments or modifications to such act. Among others, it also provides that a report of the convention be completed within a year and that such report be submitted to the Legislature, to the Governor of Guam, and to the Congress of the United States and nothing else. The statement of findings of the Legislature which led to the enactment of the law points out that the Organic Act has never been comprehensively reviewed and that some of the provisions are outdated, inappropriate, or unenforceable and that the people of Guam have never been formally consulted as to its provisions and any desired changes therein. I point this out because in the first place the purpose for which this convention is created, in my opinion, falls short in some respects by not defining our principal objective and that is the goal of achieving an autonomous status whether it be and incorporated territory, a commonwealth, or a state ultimately or shall we be satisfied to remain under our status quo? In the second place, it failed to recognize and take into consideration one of our major political and social aspirations; that is, to bring about the integration of the Marianas Islands as a single entity within the American democratic system. There is a great deal of credence in support of this premise as we have by the fact that the inhabitants of the Marianas Islands have not only manifested their desire more than in one instance to become associated with us, but because of common ethnic, language, culture, and geographic ties. Likewise, the people of Guam through their elected representatives have gone on record consistently since the 5th Guam Legislature, expressing a common desire to be politically, socially, and economically integrated with them. I am sure that some of you have heard or read my report in connection with this particular phase of our political objective. Now, let me give you a very brief account of the background events which led to the establishment of Civil Government of Guam and the bestowal of American citizenship upon the
inhabitants of this territory from the time I was politically and publicly identified to show that we, the people of Guam have been formally and actively involved in the evolution of the basic act. During the 9th Guam Congress, at which time I was a Speaker of the House of Assembly, the Congress then was bicameral consisting of the House of Council and the House of Assembly. At that time my counterpart in the House of Council was the Honorable B.J. Bordallo, the father of the Honorable Ricardo J. Bordallo, who is a member of the present Guam Legislature and who is one of the Democratic candidates for the elective governorship. One of the outstanding councilmen in the Guam Congress was the Honorable Francisco B. Leon Guerrero (Suilo), an acknowledged leader in the citizenship movement since the early 30’s and a former colleague in the Guam Legislature for several years. Since we were under the Naval Administration, Guam Congress then was purely an advisory body and had absolutely no legislative powers. We were only serving at the pleasure of the naval commander who was at the same time governor of the island, and we were governed by rules and regulations promulgated as executive orders, although we were elected by the people in our respective district. The Honorable Carlton Skinner, who was the first civilian governor appointed during the Naval Administration, was a man of great vision and had a deep understanding of the people of Guam’s desire to become Americans. He was also a man of great dedication to our aspirations. It was he and the leaders represented in the Legislature through common efforts and determination, who were able to overcome the indifference of some segments of our community who did not want to see any change of the military administration as well as the mute resistance of the military establishment who understandably did not want to relinquish any degree of control over the island. In the spring of 1950, Mr. Leon Guerrero and I were chosen to go to Washington from each House of Congress to work for legislation to provide for US citizenship and civil government for Guam. We actually participated in the drafting of the original Organic Act and we also testified for its enactment. The Organic Act was enacted by the Congress of the United States and signed into law by President Truman, August 1, 1950. However, the law was made retroactive to July 21 to coincide with the Liberation of Guam from the enemy. One of the original provisions of the Organic Act provided for a Presidential Commission to study the vast number of federal laws and to recommend which of these laws should be made applicable to Guam. The reason for the creation of this Commission was the fact that another provision of the Act provided that no laws of the US should be made applicable to Guam unless the word “Guam” or “possession” is specifically mentioned in such law. The commission recommended more than 100 federal laws, but the Guam Omnibus Bill as enacted by the US Congress several years later merely incorporated a score of federal laws and most of these laws were not of significant importance in terms of providing benefits to the territory or granting more rights to our citizens. Since then, several amendments to the Organic Act were made as a result of the efforts of delegations from the Legislature sent to Washington over the years. I have been honored and privileged to be a member of various delegations sent until the establishment of the Washington Representative which provides for full-time representation. 3 of 26
It is obvious that the Organic Act has undergone many amendments throughout the years as a result of our efforts as required by our needs, desires and our problems. The last and most significant of these amendments was the enactment of the Elective Governorship Bill last year by the 90th US Congress. This amendment not only granted Guam a greater degree of selfgovernment by permitting the people to choose their own chief executive, but also provided for other Constitutional guarantees that were not provided in the Organic Act or amendments made heretofore. Our aim should be to strive to achieve an autonomous political status by having a constitutional form of government within the framework of our American system. The realization of this goal is dependent upon our desires and efforts and our ability to demonstrate that we are capable of assuming this self-determination, and by the attitude and action of the Federal Congress. In our quest for these objectives, I think that it might be helpful for us to take a look at what the Virgin Islands did in the same respect since Guam has a parallel political status with her. In the fall of 1964, the Virgin Islands Legislature created a Constitutional Convention and charged it to draft a constitution or an Organic Act for the Virgin Islands. The convention within four months thereafter completed its work at a cost of $40,000. That historic document was presented to the appropriate officials of the Federal Government and to the Congress of the United States, but until now the US Congress has done nothing about it notwithstanding the fact that the Legislature of the Virgin Islands had subsequently memorialized it to grant her a constitutional form of government. In the light of this, it appears to some responsible and well-meaning people that such political activity was nothing but an exercise in futility. The Organic Act of Guam amended throughout the years is a fine document. It has been brought up to date to meet the needs of our changing society. It is by no means a perfect document I submit, but a major amendment to any basic law is certainly bound to be a cumbersome task. And it is a task which you will be instrumental in bringing about. I offer you the resources and facilities of my office in helping you in your great task. Si Yu’us ma’ase.
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Remarks Of Senator Francisco B. Leon Guerrero 9th Plenary Session Of The First Constitutional Convention Of Guam August 4, 1969 I cannot do very much singing now, but I will do what I can. First I would like to correct your Chairman when he said I am honoring by you being here. It is the reverse. I am being honored. Although I am used in my varied career to receive both brickbats and bouquets, this is a significant treatment on the part of you gentlemen. There is an apt saying from the olden days of the Spanish occupation. In the Catholic cemetery there was a sign on the top saying (in the vernacular) that is the same as, “what you are doing today will be more to be appreciated than what little we have done.” Our contribution was as much as we could do; that’s all we could do, we couldn’t go any further. But you have everything before you and there is nothing to fear like the old days when even angels feared to tread. In those days, only two government employees openly supported us. Neither was related to me although one is my compadre, Simeon Sanchez, and Francisco Baza. All the others were hiding. They were afraid of the Governor. They argued that if the Navy gets mad they will not allow us so many privileges. There was an occurrence in Yona after the war when one of the farmers stood up—I was a school teacher in Yona in 1915—and he said, “Master, what about the dump? If the Navy gets mad we will never go up to the dump.” Then Ramon Baza stood up and said, “I too would like to forget the Navy dump. All those things are dumped—and the word is very clear—those things are no longer needed, practically of no use, and we go pick them up. We ought to be ashamed.” Many things like that occurred. All the time we were going around getting signatures for the Organic Act and we heard many remarks, names and otherwise. That’s where the brickbats came much, and bouquets. In those days they called me in a very sarcastic manner, “Mr. Organic Act.” After the Act was passed, then they change to a different manner, but I still remained “Mr. Organic Act” although I didn’t pass the Organic Act. It was the Congress of the United States that did. We ought to be thankful to both political parties. That is why I cannot join either of them, Republicans or Democrats, and all of us, regardless of party affiliation, we are all Territorials, anybody living in the Territory is a Territorial, even if he doesn’t belong to my party, and that’s how we stood in Washington, myself and my former colleague, “B.J.” We put out something that we knew we could not fill the need all the time. We only stood for citizenship at first, but we knew that if we got citizenship, we could get civil rights and we always counted on the provisions of the Treaty, that the Congress of the US will determine the civil rights and political status of the natives. Civil rights and political status we always emphasized. We asked for citizenship but we knew all along that if we get citizenship, we get civil rights.
The Secretary of the Interior at the time wrote an article, a very interesting article, after we showed him Mr. Taitano’s record in the Guam Congress. He was one of the toughest men in the Administration. Although the Secretary at the time was inclined to check on the remarks made by the Navy, at the same time he stood up openly in the Saturday Evening Post. Another Secretary of the Interior wrote another interesting article. It was published in the Guam Recorder. The heading of the article was “Soldier or Civilian?” A stupid answer was made by Governor Shepley but nothing happened. All the time we had friends of ours batting for us. We had so many bills introduced to Congress. The only trouble was that we were not vocal enough. For example, the Philippines and Puerto Ricans were granted the beginning of an Organic Act in 1902, but nothing about Guam. I don’t know if it was the Army that managed it, but they were very vocal, those people. It is understandable, the larger the Territory, the greater the cooperation and very, very noisily they got their requests and subsequent Acts. One of the Naval governors recommended the Organic Act but he was crossing the Chief of Naval Operations. We had so many of those things to think about. We have one Congressman who is retired—he is not bankrupt, he is retired, very wealthy and very successful in Florida. He is the one who managed the passage of the Act, Congressman Peterson. We started making friendships in 1936 in both the Senate and the House. We had a friend who came to Guam at the time and instigated the introduction of bills both in the Senate and the House, by making a floor speech in the Senate and he certainly hammered all about citizenship. He was a Democrat. The first bill introduced in 1936 was a joint bill by a Democrat and a Republican—one of the Gibson bills. Some of you may know Gibson because of Gibson Highway that was changed to Route 4. It is an interesting thing too about changing names without our knowledge and consent. It is true the Navy established the route.—I am not against the Navy—but against the Naval Government, definitely, not 100 percent - maybe 500 percent. I always called the Naval Government the Anti-American Government and some of the Naval officers supported me. They even wanted to come and testify. They made it very clear to me, they said, “We were Americans before we became Naval officers.” Everything was operated in the interest of Naval operations, not in the interest of Guam or its people. From the beginning we had some good men sent out here, some bad men, and some indifferent. Sometimes they picked out good men and sent them out here. Men like William Safford—he was one of the first good men sent out here. He was practically the Governor himself because the Governor stayed aboard a ship. He mixed with the natives, he studied everything about Guam and certainly supported us. He was blacklisted because of certain speeches he made before the Daughters of the American Revolution. He came out very openly and it didn’t help him. He was a ranking officer in the US Navy and won the Congressional Medal of Honor and I am not sure, but I believe that that is the thing that kept him from being ruined in his career. He certainly didn’t go any higher than Commodore. When he entered the US Congress in 1942 he made a floor speech in the 6 of 26
Congress that was very harsh but later he changed his mind. Some pressure must have been put on him. There are so many others that I cannot begin to mention them. Some of our own people supported us. The people in California wanted to send me back in 1938, but not all the people. I rather blush to say, I am not a school kid, but it is very embarrassing how many people were so afraid of their own shadow in those days. I had experiences. One of the Naval officers reprimanded one of our own people because he was not in favor of the Organic Act. Imagine that! That is not against Naval regulations, as a matter of fact, Navy men of good will were happy to be taken off the hook. They are not geared for that purpose, for administration. The Army is more geared for it than the Navy. The Navy is all right for Naval interests. That is how the Navy operated in Guam—in the Naval interest—forgetting Guam and its people. I am not going to slam down too hard because after all the Navy itself is the US Navy. Now it is our Navy. Before we belonged to it, now the Navy belongs to us. Why? Now we have officers in the Navy, we can join any Armed Force of the US, we can take any job, according to our capacity, but before, no. I remember very clearly how the Insular Forces used to get half pay and half rations. Whenever you saw a capital (N) in parenthesis, you could bet it was one-tenth the pay. My salary when I taught school in 1914 was 35 cents a day and some of those American people who could hardly write their names were given the top pay of $2.56, and I wasn’t very low in the examination. All those things you know are anti-American Government. You can’t call it Naval Government. There is one thing I am very happy to say, many officer friends wanted to come up on our side openly but I had to tell them the regulations that they can’t testify in Congress unless they get permission to do so. I don’t think we can take all those petty questions tonight but I would be very glad if any of you would like to get more information about who supported us. I will do my best to remember. All that happened so long ago and so many things have happened since. I have no regrets. I did the best I could; I couldn’t do any more. I will apply that saying (in the vernacular), whatever you are honoring me for, you will get thanks because you will do more; you are in a position to do more. Well, God willing, you will also come up to my age and perhaps more; don’t be in a hurry. I do congratulate you ladies and gentlemen for the Territory and the people. I was also a candidate. I am not jealous of you, but I am happy to say that you have a better future than I had when I was working for this. My former colleague, Mr. B.J. Bordallo, did his best too, and we were traveling mostly on our own gas, which is not often done nowadays. If there is anything that I can do—I can’t do very much now—but if there is anything I can do for any of you, I will be more than glad to do it. Thank you. 7 of 26
Remarks Of Senator B.J. Bordallo 12th Plenary Session Of The First Constitutional Convention Of Guam August 25, 1969 Mr. Chairman, members of the Constitutional Convention, I am speaking to you very informally. I want to give you an outline of the economic life of the people of Guam, say, back to 1915. At that time some of the people were pretty poor; they had no means by which to earn money to buy themselves some of the necessities of life. The copra industry was still in its infancy. When the copra trade was opened up after the arrival of the Americans, the farmers of Guam found the price was very good, very satisfactory. They went right in and started to plant coconuts. In 1915 some of the farmers who were far more advanced in their thinking than others, started to reap in the harvest of their labor. However, the prevailing wage of the common laborer was $4 to $6 a month; the wage for girls who did household work got $3 to $4 a month; carpenters at the time were getting $1 to $1.25 a day. 1915 was the last year before I went to the States. Incidentally, I may add that I am very proud to mention that in that class that I left behind, there was Dr. Ramon Sablan, the first Guamanian to receive his MD in the mainland; Joe Flores, our ex-governor; Mr. F.P. Flores, who was chief auditor of the Government of Guam for many years and father of the Vice-Speaker of the Legislature; Ben Arriola, the father of the present Speaker; Mr. Juan Muna who was assistant secretary to the Governor for some years prior to the war. After the war he was in charge of the Draft Board and he is now retired, and others. When I returned to Guam in 1920 I found things had changed. There were five or six hundred Marines on Guam which greatly affected the economic conditions on the island. In 1922 the Marine Aviation came to Guam with 300 men. Copra prices went up to $4.50 to $4.75 which was quite a difference to $2 back in 1915. So things looked rosy for some years from 1920 to 1929. In 1929 the Marine Aviation left Guam and went to the Philippines to stand by just in case of war between Japan and the United States. A few hundred Marines were sent back to the US. The price of copra dropped to $2.25, a hundred pounds and wages started to come down. In 1930, Commander Willis Bradley was appointed Governor of Guam. He was the first Commander I had seen who was made Governor of Guam. One of the first official acts of Governor Bradley was to give the people their civil rights, followed by the establishment of the Guam Congress. I am sure that most of you know the set-up of the Guam Congress back in 1932, consisting of two houses. The upper house was called the House of Council and the lower house was named the House of Assembly. In the House of Council we find that there were sixteen Councilmen, each Councilman representing a village. iN the House of Assembly we find that it was composed of some thirty Assemblymen who were elected by the people according to the size or population of the town. In 1933, ’34, ’35, and ’36, things were getting really bad. Prices of copra went down to .75 cents a hundred pounds—from $4.75. Wages went down from 75 cents to $1.25 back in 1929 to .40, .50, .75 a day. In 1936 the members of the Council were chiefly interested in the
economic plight of the people, whereas the Assemblymen, whose leadership was in the person of F.B. Leon Guerrero, were very much interested in the determination of civil rights and political status of the people as written in the Treaty of Paris. So these two interests of the Council in the economic condition of the people and the Assemblymen in the determination of the political status merged and as a result we decided to hold a special session of the Congress. In that special session it was unanimously agreed that the Guam Congressmen should take the initiative and start a movement, supported by the people of Guam to send a delegation to Washington to petition the US Congress for American citizenship. A joint resolution was drawn up. I am very sorry that I don’t have a single copy in my hands nor my home. I had some copies but they were destroyed during the war. It was signed by every Congressman of the Congress. The report was made to the Governor and his aide concerning the decision of the Guam Congress to send a delegation to Washington. The Governor immediately responded very favorably. In fact, he volunteered to donate $20. He said, “Put me down for $20.” However, it took us four, six, or eight months to collect that $20 because when we got to Washington, the Navy Department did not approve of our mission. It may interest you to know, gentlemen, that the Labor Department, the Department of the Interior and the State Department, I will add, were all in favor of our mission. However, after the Navy Department made its views clear to the State Department and to the Labor Departments on how it stood concerning our movement, I regret to say that they backed out except the Interior Department. They were with us all the way through. I believe I will wind up the first phase of my speech and given time I will start on the second phase. I understand the work, responsibility and interest you are giving your assignment. To you, gentlemen, I plead that you give serious consideration to, I believe the necessity that we should have a bicameral Congress. As it is now we have a unicameral Congress with only one house. Back in 1930 we had a bicameral. It seems to me like we are 20 years behind because in 1930 Governor Bradley established a Guam Congress of two houses. In 1950 the US Congress conferred US citizenship upon us but allowed us only one House of Congress. I am pretty sure that the main reason for that, although I never took the trouble to find out from any of the Congressmen back there, as to just why we were allowed only a one house Congress, but I am inclined to believe that it is to economize the funds of the United States. That is the only reason I can think of, to economize, so the US Congress will be paying only for the services of 21 Congressmen instead of 30 some which we had before. Please remember this that in 1949 when Mr. Leon Guerrero and Judge Manibusan went to the States to represent us before the US Congress concerning US citizenship, the instructions they received were not to argue, not to make yourselves hard to please. The main thing is to go there and accept US citizenship under any conditions. That was why it was never questioned. It was never argued before the committee as to just why we agreed to accept US citizenship and the Organic Act as it was written. 9 of 26
Also included in the Organic Act was the way the Congressmen were to be elected. It was entirely different to the method used in 1930. It was not by direct representation of the towns and villages, but indirect. I would like to see a direct representation—I would like to see district representation. As you all know, in a decision by the Supreme Court, it was a decision made by the people of Guam on a referendum which took place some time back. We need to have that District Representation. We could work it so that we may have two Houses of Congress—one house to represent Congressmen directly, elected by the people according to population, and we may have the Senators by popular election by the people in general. I believe that will make a good set-up. I think I have taken up enough time, if there are any questions that members would like to ask I will be happy to answer. Thank you very much.
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Remarks Of Senator William D.L. Flores 14th Plenary Session Of The First Constitutional Convention On Guam October 6, 1969 Thank you Mr. Chairman. Delegates, good evening. I am going to try and make a short speech here, because I am supposed to be up in Dededo presiding at a public hearing tonight. Mr. Chairman, I would like to make a comment though, at the start, that this group here is no different than the Legislators. I do not come with a prepared speech really. I believe you are all aware of the question that we are to settle in November. I’d like to give you a little background of what has been happening on this reintegration of the Marianas question. The idea was stated, let’s say back in 1953, by a few members of Guam Congress and some members of the Legislature they had at that time. They were Mr. Francisco Leon Guerrero (Kiko Suelo) and Mr. Joaquin Perez and some of the other members of Congress at that time. They met with these people, and got the idea going. But it was never taken seriously until 1958 when Senator James Sablan started again, or reactivated the idea, let’s say. Since then every Legislature that came into being took up the idea of reintegration of the Marianas. Appearing then, year after year, it was after the typhoon when the reintegration question was really taken up seriously by both the members of the Legislature in Guam and in the Marianas Districts. The special committee of which I am the Chairman, this Reintegration Committee, started meeting with these people to find out really how they feel about reintegration. We even went as far as Pagan Island to see those people there. I would say at this point through our findings that the people of the Marianas District are, let’s say the majority, are in favor of this idea. They have had referendums in the past, I think it was twice; in both the reintegration of the Marianas came out on top. But the Trust Territory administration never took these referendums over there seriously and we decided that maybe perhaps another time where Guam is concerned about the referendum, will make it a little more official. So gentlemen, we are having this referendum as a result of all these meetings that we’ve had with these people over there. Now, there are questions, naturally, that will jump to our minds, especially you as delegates of this First Constitutional Convention, as to how this thing is going to affect your studies, let’s say, during the coming months. I’m not sure. Of course, I’d say this, that under representation, I think your findings will be affected. Other than that, citizen’s rights, privileges, and all that, I think that if we all become US Citizens, that we all have the same. But I can only say at this time that it is just in the area of representation. Now there are other areas, perhaps, because this is not only multipurpose, multiphase, or whatever you call it, it has many facets to it. But where we are trying to sell, let’s say, the Committee is trying to sell, the idea of reintegration, especially now that we are going to have
this referendum, is that politically we will be in a better position to achieve a goal higher, much higher, than what we have right now. Perhaps a commonwealth, maybe statehood. That is one of the reasons, like I said, politically. Now economically, I’m sure you are all aware of the economic expansion that is going on. Guam will have too much and it will spill out, and if we do not at this point, take advantage of the situation, we may lose out. We all want to make Guam the center of all things. We want to make Guam the center of education, we want to make Guam the financial center of this area, we want to make Guam the social center and cultural center. That is one of the reasons why we cannot drop this ball, we’ve got to hold it, keep it, keep pushing. On the other areas like social, cultural, you all know what that’s going to be. But most important is politically and economically, really. We cannot let this ball go. I don’t know if you are aware of it, but we are competing, on this idea. All the other islands on the other side of the Equator, and I’d like to tell you, that they’re not in favor of this. We’ve never invited them to participate really on this thing, the reintegration of the Marianas, because they are not interested. They have other ideas and that is why we are just talking for the Marianas as a group. But we are competing with them because they’re talking of independence and everything else. And delegates, or gentlemen, as you know, like I say, take advantage of the situation or we may lose out. We talk of tourism. Guam in about 5 or 10 years will be, let’s say, expanded to a point where all these goodies will spill out, and where is it going to spill out? If it spills out to the Marianas, we might as well take advantage of the situation so that we can be all benefited by it. Now Guam is too small by itself. The Northern Marianas too, I’d say, is too small. They can’t do too much all by themselves and by ourselves in about 10 years Guam will be a small little island, believe me. So, gentlemen, we can’t help it, there’s no other alternative but to go after this thing, the reintegration of these islands here. For our sake, for their sake. Now—there are questions that naturally come to our minds. Why is this thing just brought up? Well, in the beginning, the folks over there in the Northern Marianas were, let’s say, not as bold as they are right now. Now they’re bolder and they’re coming out with it. They’re sending resolution after resolution to the United States and US Congress about this thing. Washington is very cognizant, very aware of this thing now. With us here in this territory, we did not want to come out in the open with it because we were afraid that we might embarrass the United States. Some members of the United Nations might come out and say that we are the instigators of this thing, we’re trying to get a hold of a territory, or something to that effect. But that is one reason why we did not come out strongly in the past, really to go after this integration or reintegration of the Marianas. But now we have talked, we’ve discussed this thing with some of the members of Congress who have been to Guam, and they gave us the impression that there’s nothing wrong with it. The people of Saipan and the other Marianas Islands, naturally, must start the ball rolling and we can help out. 12 of 26
That’s where we are today, gentlemen. These are questions that people ask of us. For instance, “Are the Guamanians going to come in and monopolize business, take over their lands”, and all those kinds of questions. We told them that we can only tell you what is happening in Guam. Now do you want to sell your land? That’s your business. You don’t want to sell it, keep it. Now as far as monopolizing the business is concerned, that’s something else. You guys can get yourselves incorporated to where you can monopolize the business over there, that’s your business again. But if we all become citizens, everyone has that opportunity to go in there and go do business. Just like if they want to come to Guam and do business, good. Just like if we want to go to Saipan, we go there, we do business. One of the questions they are really much concerned with and especially the people that are working in the Government, is “If this reintegration comes into effect, will the people of Guam come over to the Marianas and take all the Government jobs away from the people there?” Of course we only answered them that even the Government of Guam right now, we don’t have enough people to run the government, we have to import people to help us run the government. So there’s no problem in that. Of course, the policy is to try to keep the people who are working in the government right now, there. To keep them there. “How will taxes affect us?”—is another question. Well we told them that if we are integrated, you will have to share the financial burdens of running the government. If you want to run your own government, you’d better be prepared to finance it. You’ll be taxed and everything else, just like Guam is being taxed right now. That didn’t stop them and they are still for it. Now when we had the meeting with them before the enactment of this law, for this referendum, we were a little bit embarrassed every time they asked us “How do the people of Guam feel about this—the reintegration?” Of course at that time, all we can say is that, “All the political parties in Guam are in favor of it. The Civic Club of Sinajana had some kind of debate deal in Sinajana and it seems like everybody that came up there to make comments were in favor of reintegration.”—and that’s about all we could tell them—that we haven’t heard too many people in Guam objecting to the idea. So Senators Taitano and Bordallo decided that it is better to have a referendum so that once and for all we decide the question whether the people of Guam want to be reintegrated with the rest of the Marianas. And that’s where the issue stands right now. Now, I say I didn’t come prepared with a speech, but I will answer questions within the next ten minutes.
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Remarks Of Senator Richard F. Taitano 15th Plenary Session Of The First Constitutional Convention Of Guam October 20, 1969 Mr. President, and members of the First Constitutional Convention of the Territory of Guam, it is really both a pleasure and honor to participate with you in one of your soon-to-be historical sessions. Thank you for the invitation to join you this evening. When your Legislature enacted the measure which authorized the calling of this Constitutional Convention, it did so with the conviction that the citizens here in our territory are prepared to shape their own destiny. That is, as citizens of the greatest democracy in the world today, the people of Guam could and should have a most meaningful role in the shaping of their Constitution. We as free people are and should be active participants of that social compact which is “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” And if I may make a general observation, the work of this Convention thus far has fully borne out the verities of the elements of this compact. You are to be commended for the progress and quality of your efforts and your sincerity. Too often during my three-year assignment in Washington I heard remarks to the effect that local politicians had axes to grind whenever proposals were submitted for the consideration of the federal establishment. That these proposals in the main are the sincere aspirations of a growing territory was of secondary importance. Since, however, the advocates of these proposals were our first-line politicians, and since the capital of the nation is a continent and an ocean apart from our territory, it is perhaps not unreasonable that such an attitude did develop. I am confident that the end product of this Convention will be a direct and primary manifestation of our community’s aspirations—true aspirations of a free people—and will go far toward counteracting the further growth of such a suspicious attitude. In the present era of non-colonialism, the calling of the Convention is both appropriate and opportune. We could be of great service to our country by providing first-hand evidence that Guam is not a colony as our critics are wont to charge. Our Constitution would be of our own design and desire. On the other hand, I am mindful that under the present rules, the ultimate decision on this matter rests in the hands of those who are not of our community. I have been made to understand that it is your wish to hear my views as to which parts of our Organic Act should bear your close study. To detail these would, as you have found out, take several sessions of this Convention. With your kind indulgence, however, I would suggest the following areas for your deliberation: The Power and Authority of the Governor The power of the Governor under the present Organic Act will delight any person who is a strong executive. While in general this may be desirable for a fast developing community, I submit that certain provisions of the Organic Act need toning down somewhat. For example, the power of the Governor “…to issue executive orders and regulations not in conflict with any applicable law” could be somewhat too broad for comfort. I submit that this is quite different from the power “to issue executive orders and regulations pursuant to applicable laws.” At the risk of being facetious, this proposition, in effect, says that in the absence of a law to the
contrary, the Governor is empowered to do anything via the route of executive orders or regulations, or both. In the same vein, the Governor’s reorganization power under Section 7(c) could negate any legislative enactment on the subject. These two provisions—part of Section 6 and Section 7(c) —give the Governor too much legislative power. The Governor’s authority to portion—or item-veto money measures under Section 19 deserves a re-evaluation. This, in my humble opinion, tends to reverse the doctrine that the “Executive proposes and the Legislature disposes.” As a corollary, it encourages legislative irresponsible appropriation actions. To those of you who are education-oriented, you may want to examine the extent of the Governor’s authority under Section 29(b). He is given sole responsibility for the public educational system including but not limited to the establishment, maintenance, and operations of public schools. No doubt, you are already familiar with this plenary power and its possible implications. The Power and Authority of the Legislature Given our Bill of Rights and the first sentence of Section 11 of the Organic Act, one could easily assume that we are on sound ground insofar as the power of the Legislature is concerned. I suspect, however, that though you have found few substantive restrictions on the exercise of normal legislative powers, you do have misgivings on the conduct of the legislative processes and on the conduct of individual legislators. On the former, the uniformity clause on the power to tax does deserve a re-examination. This requirement for uniformity goes back to the days when property ownership was the principal voter qualification. As an instrument for the achievement of social justice and development, the uniformity principle has extremely little virtue, particularly when it is narrowly constructed. The 10 percent ceiling on public debts is outdated. Such a ceiling should be tied to the community’s ability to finance the servicing of public debts. A prudent businessman’s approach is more appropriate than the existing arbitrary ceiling, particularly when the government’s real estate tax revenue is rather small. Taxable realties of the island constitute, I guess, not more than a third of the island total. On the latter, let me point out that our statutes now require that no bills may be enacted without 11 affirmative votes and that every bill must be given a public hearing before it may be enacted except under certain emergency conditions. But to some of us, statutory enactments do provide a constitutional guarantee against rash actions and may see the desirability of constitutional provisions for these and other procedural requirements which would ensure the democratic handling of the legislative business. With these, then, you may want to consider the appropriateness of requiring several readings of any measure, the time element between such readings, and the requirement for any measure to include a single legislative subject. This last one would tend to off-set the legislative propensity to include non-related riders to measures. I think that consideration should also be given to the timely publication and dissemination of the legislative journal together with a minimum requirement for the contents of that journal. 15 of 26
It delights me to know that as part of your “right-to-know” approach, the imposition of a code of ethics has been discussed by one of your working committees. General provisions along the line of Section 15 of the Organic Act may indeed be in order. Objections to this proposal conjures a “divine-right-of kings” vision. No doubt, you have discussed quite extensively the apportionment formula for legislative districts. Personally, I believe such an apportionment formula should be based on the federal population census of bona fide residents. Section 10(c) of the Organic Act should be so clarified. The Judiciary As regards the courts of Guam—excluding here the District Court of Guam—I commend to you the Missouri Plan, or something similar to it, for the selection of local judges. I do have an axe to grind here for I was the author of the short-lived reform plan adopted by the Ninth Legislature and abolished by the Tenth. As regards the District Court of Guam, I would defer any major changes until we are ready to change the political status of the territory — to a capital T, to a commonwealth, or to a state. The Government Comptroller There is no need to dwell too long on this unwelcome pet of mine except to associate myself with those of you who still believe in its elimination. You may, however, want to review the provisions of subsections 9-A(d) and (e). These to me are vestigial remains which perhaps ought to be buried. In conclusion, let me say that I look forward to receiving a copy of your final report. Thank you again.
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Remarks Of Speaker Joaquin C. Arriola, Speaker Of The 10th Guam Legislature 18th Plenary Session Of The First Constitutional Convention Of Guam December 1, 1969 “Guam is declared to be an unincorporated territory of the United States…” Section 1421a, Title 48, USC.A. Insofar as the political status of the Island of Guam is concerned, this part of our Organic Act is most important. The word “territories” in our American history has been construed to mean that system of organized government by which certain areas have been erected into civil governments. I make no distinction between a “territory” and a “dependency” because, although strictly speaking, “dependencies” are subject territories, under our system of government, they are synonymous for all practical purposes. For example, Puerto Rico is sometimes spoken of as a dependency and sometimes as a territory. The Federal Constitution is silent as to the acquisition of new territories or the extension of the Constitution over them. Is the Constitution applicable to territories? Does the Constitution follow the flag? Although Supreme Court decisions have not been altogether harmonious on this subject, it is safe to say that the Constitution does apply to incorporated territories. I should point out, however, that some justices take the position that the Constitution does not apply to territories without legislation, while others take the view that the Constitution applies ex proprio vigore to all incorporated territories, Congress has extended the provisions of the Constitution. Territorial possessions are lands acquired by the US by treaty or purchase. They are not an integral part of the US; they are not incorporated into the US. Still further, territories have been divided into two classes: those incorporated into the United States, and those not incorporated. Ant within these classes—incorporated and unincorporated—there may be organized and unorganized territories, the determining feature of an organized territory is the local legislature as distinguished from a territory having a more rudimentary and less autonomous form of government. An organized unincorporated territory—like Guam—is a temporary sovereign government. It is temporary because its Organic Act and its very existence are subject to the paramount will of Congress, its creator. It is sovereign in that its executive, legislative and judicial powers are unlimited except by the terms of the Constitution or its organic law. Territorial governments usually have three branches of government. They are not, however, in any sense independent governments. During the term of their pupilage as territories, they are mere dependencies of the US. Their people do not constitute a sovereign power, since all political authority is derived from the Federal Government. They have no Senators or Representatives of Congress. While ceded territory ceases to be foreign in character, and for all purposes becomes domestic, that is, territory over which the sovereignty of the US extends, it is appurtenant domestic territory and not an integral part of the US, so that Congress, in the administration of it, is uncontrolled by many of the provisions of the Constitution. Accordingly, the rule is that as
to territory which has not been made an integral part of the US, the Constitution does not, without legislation and its own force, carry guarantees of the Sixth Amendment securing a trial by jury. Until Congress shall see fit to incorporate a territory, the territory is to be governed under the power existing in Congress, contained in Article 4, Section 3 of the Constitution to make laws for such territories, and subject to such constitutional restrictions upon the powers of that body as are applicable to the situation. Public Law 9-244 which established the First Constitutional Convention became law on August 13, 1968. It is interesting to note that the Congress enacted the Guam Elective Governorship Act in September 1968, containing among other things, a section extending certain provisions and amendments to the Constitution to Guam, namely, Article I, Section 9, Clauses 2 and 3 (habeas corpus and prohibition against ex post facto laws), Article IV, Section 1 and Section 2, Clause 1 (full faith and credit clause and privileges and immunities of citizens), the 1st to the 9th Amendments, and other portions of the Amendments to the Constitution. Section 1421a, Title 48, USCA merits your careful consideration and study, for the provision declaring Guam to be an “unincorporated territory” encompasses a wide area in our political structure. This is one area in our Organic Act where a decision must be made—and must be made very shortly, if we are to make progress in our political growth and development.
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Remarks Of Governor Carlos G. Camacho 21st Plenary Session Of The First Constitutional Convention Of Guam January 19, 1970 Mr. President, Delegates to the First Constitutional Convention of the Territory of Guam: Let me thank you for inviting me to speak to you tonight. It is my pleasure to address such a group of citizens chosen by the people of Guam to conduct a comprehensive review of the Organic Act of Guam, and to make recommendations thereof. Ladies and gentlemen, my talk will be brief but to the point. Under our democratic form of government, the people have the fundamental right to petition their government. Your recommendations will be, in effect, a petition from the people of Guam to the US Congress. You, as the people’s delegates to this convention, have a legal basis for your actions, and the US Congress is legally obliged to hear and consider your recommendations. The right to petition clause in the Federal Constitution demands that you be heard. Our country experienced many years of political instability and economic insufficiency before it attained the status as we know it today. Many of the states of the Union did not achieve statehood status until early in the 20th centuryIn considering the future political status of our territory, I ask you to bear this thought. For hundreds of years, the people of Guam had no definitive political status, When Spain ruled the seas three centuries ago, the people of Guam were Spanish subjects governed by laws not of their making. When the US assumed possession of Guam in 1898, the people became American nationals —a label which in reality means second class citizenship. It was not until 1950—20 years ago—when the people of Guam were finally granted United States citizenship. Political development is a slow process. It is necessarily gradual because variable factors are involved. Political progress takes into account political maturity, economic sufficiency, governmental stability, and social progress. , and in the cases of Alaska and Hawai’i, they attained statehood only a short time ago. The people of Guam are Americans by choice and disposition. It is incomprehensible for our people, if given an opportunity to express their beliefs anew, that they will choose any other political identity. The political alternative then will not be independence, for independence will be politically and economically impractical and socially unacceptable. Certainly, independence is ideal, and somehow brings forth visions of Utopia, but we are living in a real world, and our collective rationale will not favor independence.
I cannot foresee Guam’s eventual annexation to a foreign country. Our attachment to the US is too strong and permanent for us even to consider alignment with a strange country. So, our alternatives are reduced to Incorporation, commonwealth status, statehood, annexation to the state of Hawai’i, and the status quo. Ladies and gentlemen, any of these choices has advantages as well as disadvantages— without impairing our status as Americans. The question that you must resolve is which alternative is best for the people of Guam, and at the same time attainable and practical, considering all the factors that are inherent in the various alternatives. I do not presume to know all the ramifications in any given choice, but all deserve your study and consideration. Guam is growing—and growing at such an accelerated pace that it would be no surprise to me if our children’s generation will be casting their votes for the President and Vice President of the US as well as the United State’s Senator and Congressmen from Guam. There are members of the US Congress who foresee the day when there will be a Pacific state, just as there were members of Congress who foresaw Alaska and Hawai’i as members of the union of states. I do not expect attainment of statehood for Guam during my lifetime, but I foresee its possibility in the very near future, if not sooner. On specific questions, I would like this convention to consider several matters which are of great import. Under Section 19 of the Organic Act, as amended, the Governor is allowed 10 days in which to decide whether to approve or veto a bill passed by the legislature, unless the lawmaking body by adjournment prevents its return. I believe the Chief Executive should be permitted sufficient time to conscientiously weigh the merits and demerits of all bills passed by the legislature, and I feel 10 days is not adequate. I recommend that the provision be amended to allow the Governor 30 days in which to sign or veto proposed legislation. With this amendment, the subsequent provision authorizing pocket veto may be deleted. Section 12 of the Organic Act provides that 11 legislators constitute a quorum in the legislature, and that no bill shall become law unless it shall have been passed at a meeting at which a quorum was present by the affirmative vote of a majority of the members present and voting. In other words, it is conceivable for a bill to be passed by the affirmative vote of six members, or 28 percent of the total membership. It is true that there is now a local prohibition against such law by minority rule. This provision is very easily subject to change. I do not believe so important a matter of our basic law should be given such casual treatment in the Organic Act. I believe that the Organic Act should require that a bill shall not become law unless it shall have been adopted by a majority vote of the entire membership of the legislature. I suggest also that you consider recommending amendment of subsection B of Section 10. This section, as you know, is concerned with the apportionment of the legislature. It is my position that district representation be based upon the total number of registered voters. While I am not an attorney, I have good reason to believe this method of apportionment would not 20 of 26
violate the one-man, one-matter has been judicially tested in Hawai’i, which, like Guam, has a very substantial number of military personnel and dependents, and it was held to be Constitutional. Section 8c also deserves your consideration. This section provides for the Speaker of the Legislature to serve as acting Lieutenant Governor on a temporary basis. To me this is a clear violation of the separation of powers doctrine, for the Speaker, while serving as Lieutenant Governor in the Executive Branch would continue to hold his post as the chief official of the legislative branch. Let me thank you, again, for allowing me to speak to you tonight. In closing I want to assure you of my cooperation and support in this important task you have undertaken. May God inspire you in our work, and may it take us still further down the road of self-government within the framework of American democracy.
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Remarks Of Governor Joseph Flores 21st Plenary Session Of The First Constitutional Convention Of Guam March 2, 1970 Mr. President and my fellow Americans serving as Delegates of the First Constitutional Convention of the Territory of Guam. With your kind indulgence, I would like, first of all, to thank you for the honor you have accorded me by inviting me to Speak at this General Session of the Guam Constitutional Convention. Secondly, I should like to point out that I have advisedly and deliberately greeted you as my fellow Americans. All of us who were granted the great gift of American citizenship are Americans regardless of our various ancestral backgrounds or biological heritage. We are not citizens of the illustrious and to be respected nations of Spain, the Philippines, Mexico, Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Italy or any other nation. We are citizens of the United States of America. It is to that nation, and to that nation alone, that we, by nativity or freely expressed allegiance, belong. Consequently, while our ancestry might be marked by great diversity, our nationality is one and indivisible - it is American. As one has used his God-given talents to enhance the cause of Americanism, and as one who freely and gladly served in the Armed Forces of the United States, and as one who has had the distinct honor and privilege as the American governor of the American territory of Guam: I stand here before you and say, without hesitation and with sincere pride, I am an American. Some of you might be asking yourselves the question, “Why is Governor Flores stressing the fact that we are Americans?” In answer to your question I am compelled to say. “Americanism must be and is the very heart of this whole matter - this Constitutional Convention. You have been given a mandate by Public Law 9 - 244 and by the voters of this territory to conduct a comprehensive study of the current provisions of the Organic Act of Guam, to make recommendations as to changes in the Organic Act, to prepare a written report of your studies, and to submit copies of your report to the Guam Legislature, the Governor of Guam, the President of the United States, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the United States of America. The following facts are indisputable: 1. The nationality of each and every delegate to this Convention is American. This is true because Section 15202 of the law which created this Convention says, in part, “Each delegate shall be a citizen of the United States…” As I mentioned previously, it is citizenship that determines the nation to which you belong; in other words, your nationality. 2. The Organic Act of Guam is an American law conceived and enacted by men whose thoughts and ideals were formulated by the cultural heritage and political traditions that evolved as the result of almost two centuries of experience with unique American political institutions. 3. In view of the fact that you and I are Americans and, further, in view of the fact that you have been authorized by an American legislature and elected by American voters to recommend changes in the basic law that determines the affairs of government in this American territory; you are legally and morally obligated to consider, discuss, and act in a manner that is in complete harmony with American cultural concepts and political traditions.
If you fail to think and act in terms of American ideals, you will do a grave injustice to all who are presently residing in this territory and you will do irreparable damage to the hopes and aspirations of future generations of Americans, regardless of their ancestry, who will make Guam their home. My words concerning the fact that we are Americans and must, to the best of our ability, think and act like Americans, can be summed up in the words of a great American of Guamanian ancestry who, while addressing a Congressional committee in Washington, DC, in 1959 said, “There has been and always by one ‘ism” in Guam and that is Americanism.” Ladies and gentlemen, it has been 21 years since those words were spoken and we have yet to hear or see any demonstration contrary to those words. According to information released by your very efficient Public Information Office, your Political Status Committee has suggested six alternatives with respect tot he political future of Guam. 1. Independence 2. Incorporated Territory 3. Commonwealth 4. Association with another country 5. Statehood 6. Maintenance of the present status of unincorporated territory In view of all that I have just said concerning our American citizenship and heritage, I can give no consideration whatsoever to the ideas of independence or of association with another country. Moreover, in view of time limitations and other considerations I would like, at this time, to express some ideas related to the advantages and disadvantages of statehood. I do so because, recently, there has been a great deal of discussion concerning the possibility of statehood for Guam. I will, first of all, enumerate what I consider to be a disadvantage to statehood. They are as follows: 1. Guam’s population is so small and its resources are so limited that it cannot, on its own, support a state government. In fact, at the present time, several of the supposedly rich and highly industrialized states of the Union are finding it extremely difficult to meet their state payrolls. The state of Michigan is one example. It has been said, in a joking vein I’m sure, that there are just three things that Guam has plenty of, namely coral, rainfall and babies. 2. The attainment of statehood would, in a likelihood, mean that all income tax revenue that is not deposited in the treasury of Guam to support the government of Guam would, instead, be turned over to the Federal government. I am sure you know that consists of funds that amount to many millions of dollars - and it’s still mounting each year. To make up the difference, the government of Guam would probably be forced to impose many new taxes in order to maintain its operations. An even more frightening prospect is the possibility that the full burden of the federation tax system would be imposed on the people of Guam. By that I mean that we would have to pay many federal taxes from which we are now exempt. 3. Statehood would probably mean that Guam would no longer be a free port. Items from Japan, Australia, and other countries, that are now imported without tax, would become subject to federal taxes. This would have the effect of raising our cost of living which, as we all know, is already too high. Now, if I can, I would like to discuss what I consider to be some of the advantages of statehood. They are as follows: 23 of 26
Statehood would give the voters of Guam the right to vote for the President of the United States. 1. It would strengthen the position of the elected governor of Guam by freeing him from certain obligations to the Department of Interior and would compel him to be directly and consistently responsive to the will of the electorate of Guam. 2. Achievement of statehood would provide an opportunity for maximum representation of the people by the members of the legislative branch of the government in accordance with a logical districting pattern and in conformity with the one-man one-vote principle. 3. One of the most important aspects of the achievement of statehood lies in the fact that Guam would be able to exercise real political power at the federal level. Under statehood, Guam would have two members of the US Senate and at least one member in the House of Representatives. At the present time Guam has no legal representative in the Congress and cannot exercise meaningful influence on critical issues except through the good will and the good offices of members of Congress who are true friends of Guam. I am sure that with regard to statehood, other advantages and disadvantages could be listed. I, however, have chosen to mention only a few. Now, if I may, I would like to briefly discuss a matter that is not among the six alternates listed by the Political Status Committee but nevertheless, is directly related to the future political status of Guam and Micronesia as a whole. I refer, specifically, to the interesting and controversial issue of the reintegration of the Mariana Islands. I believe that a more advanced political status for Guam and reintegration of the northern Marianas Islands with Guam are inseparably interwoven. Although our remote ancestors, whom the Spaniards called Chamorros, were nearly eliminated from these islands; the Neo-native population which developed here possesses similar cultural and ethnic characteristics which are shared by the people of both Guam and the Northern Marianas. For this, and the following reasons as well, I believe that reintegration of the Marianas and advanced political status for this area must go hand in hand. By itself, Guam will find it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to achieve statehood or some other highly advanced and sophisticated political status. Relative isolation, a small population, limited natural resources, and an almost complete lack of industry are factors that severely hinder the development of Guam to its maximum potential. Reintegration would, in all probability, greatly accelerate the development process. This would, in the main, be due to the fact that reintegration would provide additional opportunities for the expansion of tourism, agriculture, and fisheries to name a few. When commenting on matters related to reintegration of the Mariana Islands, I must admonish you and all others residing in the area under discussion to approach the matter with the utmost caution. After all, the Northern Marianas do not belong to the United States. Consequently, any decisions affecting their future status will, in all likelihood, be made by the United Nations. In our desire to effectuate reintegration of the Mariana Islands we, as Americans, must do nothing that might discredit or embarrass our mother country. Recent press reports indicate that previous speakers who have addressed this very excellent body have presented for your consideration specific changes that should be made in the Organic Act of Guam. That is at it should be and, consequently, I should like to do likewise. However, I shall limit myself to one suggested change. But the change which I am about to 24 of 26
suggest is, in my opinion at least, the most important that can possibly be made - important in terns of the implications that it holds for the progress and welfare of generations yet unborn who will live in they beloved place which we call Guam. Before pursuing this matter further I would like, if I may, to make a brief personal reference. Although I do not frequently think of myself as being an old man, I would be deceiving you, and myself, if I tried to lead you to believe that I am a young man. Indeed, in terms of the words of the Scriptures, I have just about read my “three score and ten” years. Moreover, among the honors that have been bestowed on me is that of having been permitted to serve as a statesman in the capacity of governor of this territory. Consequently, in view of the fact that I have already received the highest honors that it has been within the power of this government to bestow; I do not seek other honors or offices, elective or otherwise, for myself. Rather, I am content to be able to make what I hope are constructive suggestions in the role of elder statesman - a role which I have been graciously consigned by some of my peers. Now - to my suggestion. If you have not already done so, I suggest - indeed I urge without hesitation or reservation - that you recommend that Section 29 - (b) of the Organic Act be eliminated or, at least, drastically changed. As you know, Section 29 - (b) reads as follows: “The Governor shall provide can adequate public educational system of Guam, and to that end shall establish, maintain, and operate public schools at such places in Guam as may be necessary.” As most of you know from your studies, American public education traditionally has been and is established, maintained, and operated by and through the express will of the people. If you have not already done so, I urge you to study the pertinent sections in the constitutions of all the states in the Union. If you do, you will quickly be overwhelmed by the very obvious fact that American public education is not controlled or operated by any one particular individual. Indeed, you will find that pertinent educational sections in our various state constitutions were designed so as to insure that ultimate responsibility for operating the schools remained, through the power of the ballot, in the hands of the people. God forbid that such a thing should ever happen, but I submit that as Section 29 - (b) now reads, an overly ambitious man might in the future, interpret the word operated literally and proceed to subvert the schools and make them completely responsive to his will rather than to the will of the people. This must never be permitted to happen in America, and Guam is America. I am especially concerned about this matter because, as you know, Guam has now entered a period of rapid and drastic change. The social, political, and economic forces at work here are making cultural, occupational, and psychological demands on our people such as they have never experienced before. Education, in my opinion, is the principal tool available to us for coping with these new demands and, indeed, for ensuring our cultural survival. Most of you, I am sure, are familiar with the passage of the Scriptures to the effect that “every man who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against the house, and it fell; and great was the fall.” In my opinion, the house which you and I must strive to build here is the house of American democracy. That house can be built only on a solid educational foundation which is not 25 of 26
established, maintained, and operated by one man but, rather, is established, maintained, and operated by all the people. For your gracious invitation to address you ladies and gentlemen, again I say, with utmost sincerity, thank you and may God bless all your endeavors.
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