The first Organic Act served a useful purpose, but the limitations on the exercise of self-government were unsatisfactory. As a result Congress passed a new Organic Act, which came into effect on March 2, 1917. Under its provisions the governor's term is made dependent on the pleasure of the President. Six executive departments were created, justice, finance, interior, education, ag riculture and labour, and health. Of these the heads of the depart ments of education and justice are appointed by the President, the others by the governor. The President also appoints the auditor and the members of the supreme court. The Legislature consists of 19 senators and 39 representatives, all elected by the people. A resident commissioner to the United States, paid by the Federal Government, is elected by popular vote for a term of four years; he represents the island in the U.S. House of Representatives, with a voice but without vote, and is recognized by all departments in Washington. There are four political organizations in the island, the Unionist, the Republican, the Historical Constitutional and the Socialist parties. At the last election the Unionist and Republican parties united on the same candidates, as did the Historical Con stitutional and Socialist. The issues are mainly local, but there is great diversity of opinion as to what the future status of the island should be. All parties, however, seem practically united on the demand that the island be given the right to elect its own governor. Elections are held every four years, and the qualification for voters is limited to male citizens at least 21 years of age.
Production.—The products of Porto Rico are principally agricultural. Sugar-cane is grown and sugar is manufactured at the centrals or sugar factories. Tobacco is grown and there are cigar and cigarette factories. The principal products are sugar, tobacco, coffee and fruits.
$45,000,000). For the next ten years the total production of sugar averaged 440,292 tons. But the amount produced during the fiscal year 1925-26 rose to 631,621 tons, and in 1926-27 it was 603,184 tons; in 1927-28, 629,129 and the estimated products of 1928-29 is 720,000 tons. Thus, while the average annual production, 1915 was but 440,292 tons, the average production for the last four years has been increased to 645,987 tons. This remarkable increase is the result of research and experiment principally by the Insular Government experts who have improved the sugar content and the mosaic-resisting varieties of the cane. The price of sugar for these later years has remained low. In 1925 the average price per pound was 4.66 cents ; in 1926, 4.16; and in Were it not for the increased product per acre the profits during these years would have been low, for it is considered that the average cost of pro duction in Porto Rico is about 4 cents per pound.
Tobacco.—Tobacco has been produced for market since when by royal decree the colonists were permitted to plant and sell the crop. Small progress was made until 1870, when Cuban to bacco rose to great prominence and demand. For a time the Porto Rican product was exported to Cuba and sold there as Cuban tobacco. This demand soon diminished and production decreased accordingly until in 1896, the tobacco exports were only one-third of the amount for 1846. To-day Porto Rican tobacco has a high reputation as one of the best in quality, especially for the manu facture of cigars, and a large part of the crop is manufactured into cigars and cigarettes. The value of the cigars exported has increased from $306,000 (1901), to $7,196,365 (1926). The value of the leaf tobacco exported has increased from $1,232,058 (1907), to $20,587,484 (1927). Porto Rican tobacco now commands the highest price in the market. The amount produced is increasing annually and its total annual value is second only to that of sugar.
Coffee.—While sugar production is limited mostly to the low coastal plains and tobacco to the valleys, coffee is best pro duced in the higher altitudes, from 600 to 2,500 feet. In the higher valleys of the interior mountain ranges the coffee trees are principally grown. The trees are from 6 to 20 ft. high, with perma nent leaves, a beautiful white blossom and a small flexible trunk only a few inches in diameter. The coffee is of high quality and commands the highest price in the market (average price, 1901, was but 13 cents per pound, in 1927 it was 29 cents). The total amount of coffee exported in 1901 was 12,157,240 pounds. It had increased to 26,330,159 lb. in 1926, and its value during the same period had increased from $1,678,765 to $7,070,652.