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Each of the executive departments is in charge of a commissioner who in this capacity is known as the secretary of that department.

The object of dividing the executive duties of the government into these five departments is to economize the time and strength of the executive officers by a systematic arrangement of the executive business of the government, and to fix the responsibility for the execution of the laws. The number of departments is purely a matter of convenience. As need arises the number might be increased or decreased. All governments divide their executive work in a similar way, tho the number of departments varies in different countries.

The Four Executive Departments.-The four great executive departments are the Department of the Interior, the Department of Commerce and Police, the Department of Finance and Justice, and the Department of Public Instruction. These departments are divided into bureaus, and the bureaus, in some cases, into divisions. There may be a further subdivision into offices, or other branches of the public service. There are at present twenty-three bureaus of the Insular government. It is thru these bureaus that the actual administration of the affairs of the government is performed. Their chiefs and assistant chiefs administer the laws and come into direct contact with the people.

The Grouping of Bureaus.-The present assignment of bureaus to the executive departments is as follows: The Department of the Interior includes the bureaus of Health, Lands, Science, Agriculture, Forestry Quarantine Service, and the Weather Bureau.

The Department of Commerce and Police includes the bureaus of Constabulary, Public Works, Navigation, Posts, and Coast and Geodetic Survey.

The Department of Finance and Justice includes the bureaus of Justice, Customs, Internal Revenue, and the Bureau of the Treasury.

The Department of Public Instruction includes the bureaus of Education, Supply, Prisons, and Printing.

It sometimes happens that in the absence or illness of a secretary, or during a vacancy in his office, his place must be filled by another. The law provides that in such cases the Governor-General shall discharge the duties of the office, or authorize some other person to do so.

Duties of the Secretaries.-The business of the secretary of an executive department is to plan the general policy of his department. One of his most important duties is to construe the meaning of the laws that relate to his department. After a law is made its exact meaning is not always clear nor is it always plain to what persons and persons and conditions it applies. The decision as to what a to what a law means is its "interpretation;" the determination of its application may be called its "construction." If any officer of the government is in serious doubt as to the interpretation or construction of the laws he may apply to the Attorney-General of the Insular government, a part of whose duties is to answer questions regarding the meaning and effect of the laws. In most cases, however, the secretaries interpret and apply the law according to their best judgement. This results in their issuing many administrative orders; that is to say, additional com

mands necessary for the proper execution of the laws. The decisions and orders of the executive secretaries in such cases may be called subordinate legislation, or administrative legislation, because their decisions have the effect of laws in the direction of minor matters.


The importance of this administrative legislation is very often overlooked. Two successive secretaries may administer the affairs of the same department in very different ways, tho both act under the same laws. Even when they interpret and construe the law in the same way, they may differ very much in the methods by which they apply the law. Thus a great deal of power is entrusted to these secretaries. their acts are subject to review by the GovernorGeneral, who is ex-officio the head of all the departments, but the success or failure of their administration depends chiefly upon the secretaries themselves. No matter how good the laws, or how numerous, an inefficient administrator of the laws will fail to carry out their purpose. Many people cannot see the difference between a government that is perfect on paper and one that is perfect in practice. They imagine that good laws make a good government, whereas it is the men who administer the laws that make a government successful. It is possible to plan an almost perfect government, and to pass laws that seem to provide for complete protection and justice to the people, but the final value of all laws is determined by the character and ability of the men who administer them.

The executive secretaries receive the reports, inquiries, and recommendations of their bureau chiefs and act upon them. They stand between the bureaus


and the Commission as a whole. Each of them is the medium thru which the Commission receives information of the progress and needs of the various bureaus of his department.

Special Executive Divisions.-In addition to the bureaus mentioned several of the departments have special matters within their supervision. The Department of the Interior has oversight of the fisheries and of the non-Christian tribes, except the Moros. It is the duty of the Secretary of the Interior to visit these tribes from time to time and to recommend legislation concerning them.

The Department of Commerce and Police supervises all business corporations, except banks. The power and wealth of great business corporations makes special laws necessary for their control, and special measures must be taken to control their operations lest they become a danger to the state.

The Department of Finance and Justice, in addition to its other duties, has the supervision of the banks, the coinage and currency, and the City of Manila.

The explanation of the work of the several bureaus demands a separate chapter.

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The Executive Bureau.-In some respects the Executive Bureau is the most important of the bureaus, for thru this bureau the Governor-General exercises the control belonging to the central government over the provincial and municipal governments, including the city of Manila.

The Executive Secretary is the official thru whom the correspondence of the Philippine government with the United States and with foreign governments is carried on. Two of the important divisions of the

Executive Bureau are the Division of Translation and the Records Division. In the former are translated all the official documents of the government that require translation. In the latter the records. of the official correspondence of the heads of the departments are kept. A third division of great importance is the Division of Archives, Patents, Copyrights and Trademarks.

Appointment of Bureau Chiefs. The Executive Secretary is appointed by the Governor-General with the consent of the Commission. The chiefs of all the other bureaus are appointed in the same way, except the Insular Auditor and the Insular Treasurer. These officials are appointed by the Secretary of War of the United States, with the concurrence of the Governor-General and the approval of the Philippine Commission.

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