COLLECTION FINDING AID
RECORDS OF THE U.S. AD HOC ADVISORY GROUP
ON PUERTO RICO, 1973-75
These are Federal records, part of National Archives Record Group 220, Records of Temporary Committees, Commissions, and Boards. The records contain the charter, meeting minutes, position papers, and drafts and finished version of the final report submitted on October 1, 1975.
3.2 linear feet (ca. 6400 pages)
Federal records accessioned by the National Archives on October 29, 1975 (accession number NN-376-89), and deposited in the Ford Library on January 4, 2005 (accession number 2005-NLF-021).
Works prepared by U.S. Government employees as part of their official duties are in the public domain. The copyrights to materials written by other individuals or organizations are presumed to remain with them.
Prepared by Stacy M. Davis, May 2005
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ADVISORY GROUP MEMBERS AND STAFF
Members Appointed by the President of the United States
- Marlow W. Cook, Co-Chairman
- James L. Buckley, Senator, New York
- Don H. Clausen, Rep., California
- Thomas S. Foley, Rep., Washington (resigned May 26, 1975)
- Paul N. Howell, Chairman and C.E.O., Howell Corporation, Houston, Texas
- J. Bennett Johnston, Senator, Louisiana
- Richard B. Ogilvie, Chicago, Illinois
Members Appointed by the Governor of Puerto Rico
- Luis Muñoz Marín, Co-Chairman
- Jaime Benítez, Resident Commissioner from the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to the U.S.
- Juan Cancel Ríos, President of the Senate of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
- Justo A. Méndez, Legislature of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
- Víctor M. Pons, Jr., San Juan, Puerto Rico
- Luis Ernesto Ramos Yordán, Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
- Angel M. Rivera, President Banco Crédito y Ahorro Ponceño
Staff Appointed by the President of the United States
- Peter J. Gallagher, Executive Director
- Patricia M. McNabb, Administrative Assistant
- William J. Oxley, Administrative Officer
Staff Appointed by the Governor of Puerto Rico
- Hiram R. Cancio, Executive Director until February 8, 1974
- Delia Castillo de Colorado, Legal Advisor and Administrative Officer
- José Trías Monge, Executive Director beginning February 9, 1974
Representative of the President
(Required by Federal Advisory Committee Act, Public Law 92-463, 1972)
- Richard M. Fairbanks (September 20, 1973 to April 25, 1974)
- Norman E. Ross, Jr. (April 26, 1974 to June 20, 1975)
- James H. Falk (June 21, 1975 to Termination)
The Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Puerto Rico was established by charter on September 20, 1973, and membership was announced jointly by President Richard Nixon and Commonwealth of Puerto Rico Governor Hernandez Colon on September 27, 1973. The Ad Hoc Group was responsible for determining extent of the applicability of federal laws and regulations to Puerto Rico, in light of its commonwealth status. It was co-chaired by former U.S. Senator Marlow M. Cook (R- KY) and former Puerto Rico Governor Luis Muñoz Marín. This Ad Hoc Group was actually the second such group resulting from a 1967 plebiscite on Puerto Rican status. The First Ad Hoc Advisory Group met in 1970 and 1971 to consider the feasibility of granting U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico the presidential vote.
The Nixon Administration Domestic Council played an active role in the establishment of the second Ad Hoc Group, and the President's representative on the Group was a Domestic Council staff member. Richard Fairbanks, the first representative, served during the Nixon administration. In April 1974 Norm Ross succeeded him; he in turn passed responsibility to James Falk in June 1975. Falk served until the Ad Hoc Group's work was completed. Domestic Council staffers Richard Parsons and Dean Overman continued review of Puerto Rican issues within the White House until the end of the Ford administration.
The Ad Hoc Group terminated upon submission of a bilingual final report on October 1, 1975 entitled, Compact of Permanent Union between Puerto Rico and the United States: Report of the Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Puerto Rico. If approved by Congress, the Compact would have revised and made permanent the open-ended relationship established by legislation in 1950 between the United States and Puerto Rico. Following a review of the proposed Compact by his Cabinet, President Ford announced on December 31, 1976 that he was rejecting the Ad Hoc Group's recommendations. Instead, he argued that statehood was a more appropriate step for Puerto Rico and recommended that the 95th Congress enact legislation toward that end. No action was taken on the Compact.
The Ad Hoc Group Records:
This collection contains the records accumulated by the Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Puerto Rico. It documents the development and operation of the Group and development of the Compact of Permanent Union. It also contains citizen, Ad Hoc Group member, and federal agency views on Puerto Rico’s relationship with the United States. Other topics include Group deliberations, publicity, employment opportunities, logistical and administrative matters, and other issues related to Puerto Rico.
The collection contains a record set of documents, including the Group’s charter, meeting minutes, proposals, position papers, public notices, and drafts and a finished version of the final report. It includes transcripts from public hearings held in Puerto Rico in December 1973–April 1974 and public meetings held in Washington, D.C. in June 1974 and July/August 1975. Correspondence and memoranda between Peter J. Gallagher, Executive Director for the United States delegation, and José Trías Monge (his counterpart for the Puerto Rican delegation), Ad Hoc Group members (mostly the U.S. delegation), government officials, members of Congress, and the general public document the progress of the Group, personal opinions, and provide an administrative record. There are also copies of some correspondence between Co-Chairmen Marlow W. Cook and Luis Muñoz Marín.
A number of Domestic Council staff members had responsibility for Puerto Rican issues during the Ford administration. The files of Samuel Halper consist primarily of Norman Ross's and James Falk's material from their work for the Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Puerto Rico. Halper, a journalist with lengthy ties to Puerto Rico, inherited and used these files while serving as consultant to the Domestic Council from May 1975 to April 1976. The files of James Cannon, Executive Director of the Domestic Council, contain reports, correspondence and other materials from Ross, Falk, Halper and others.
The files of Dean Overman contain material related to Puerto Rico that he inherited from Domestic Council staffer Richard Parsons near the end of the Ford Administration. The files contain a copy of the report, memoranda from the agencies and departments commenting on the report and subsequent congressional bill, drafts of Parsons' Presidential decision memorandum of October 1976, and drafts of the Ford administration's statehood bill in January 1977.
White House Central Files category FG 367, Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Commonwealth Status (Puerto Rico), contains related correspondence, memoranda and reports.
Public Record of Deliberations, September 1973 – October 1975.
(Boxes 1‑3, 1.2 linear feet)
Minutes, correspondence, memoranda, transcripts, reports, statements, studies, press releases, clippings, and other records that document the work of the U.S. Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Puerto Rico. Included in this series is the Ad Hoc Group's charter, meeting minutes and transcripts, proposals by the Puerto Rican delegation, questions posed by the U.S. delegation, drafts of a compact of permanent union between Puerto Rico and the United States, comments from various federal agencies regarding Puerto Rico, the final report (the compact) of the Group, and written statements of independent views of Group members. Also included are notices of public meetings and hearings held in the United States and Puerto Rico and written statements of numerous witnesses at the hearings. Some of the documents appear in both English and Spanish.
Arranged by public record volume number.
Transcripts of Public Hearings and Public Meetings, December 1973 – August 1975. (Boxes 4‑5, 0.8 linear feet)
Transcripts of public hearings held by the Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Puerto Rico in Puerto Rico in December 1973- April 1974 and public meetings held in Washington, D.C. in June 1974 and July/August 1975. The material contains testimony and question-and-answer sessions by Puerto Rican citizens before the Group on their views of Puerto Rico’s relationship with the United States. This series also documents Group deliberations related to the Compact of Permanent Union between Puerto Rico and the United States, the Group’s final report.
Arranged chronologically by date of hearing or meeting.
General Correspondence File, October 1973 – October 1975.
(Boxes 6‑7, 0.8 linear feet)
Correspondence, memoranda, clippings, resumes, notes, testimony, invoices, and reports accumulated by the Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Puerto Rico. A majority of this series is correspondence and memoranda between Peter J. Gallagher, Executive Director for the United States delegation, and José Trías Monge (his counterpart for the Puerto Rican delegation), Ad Hoc Advisory Group members (mostly the U.S. delegation), government officials, members of Congress, and the general public. In some cases there are attachments to the correspondence, but in many cases only the cover letter is present. There are also copies of some correspondence between Co-Chairmen Marlow W. Cook and Luis Muñoz Marín. Topics include meeting agendas and minutes, summaries of informal meetings, publicity about the Group, issues related to Puerto Rico, the development of the compact of permanent union between Puerto Rico and the United States, logistics, trip reports, expense reimbursements, and other administrative matters. Also included in this series are letters from people who would like to testify at the public hearings held by the Group and people seeking employment. Many of the letters in this series also appear in the Subject Correspondence File.
Arranged chronologically by month and year of the correspondence.
Subject Correspondence File, 1973–1975. (Box 8, 0.4 linear feet)
Correspondence, memoranda, clippings, affidavits, and press releases accumulated by the United States delegation of the Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Puerto Rico. Files for each Ad Hoc Group member mostly contain copies of outgoing correspondence from Executive Director Peter J. Gallagher, administrative assistant Patricia McNabb, and Administrative Officer William Oxley to members of the United States and Puerto Rican delegations. Many of these files also include biographies and copies of appointment affidavits. This series contains a file of correspondence from the Puerto Rican delegation to the Washington, D.C. office, a copy of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary report on the Bilingual Courts Act, and copies of other miscellaneous legal documents. Also included are published copies of the report submitted by the first Ad Hoc Advisory Group on the Presidential Vote for Puerto Rico (August 1971) and the report of the second Ad Hoc Group, “Compact for Permanent Union Between Puerto Rico and the United States” (October 1975). Many of the letters in this series also appear in the General Correspondence File.
Arranged alphabetically by subject or the person’s name.
Box 1 - Public Record of Deliberations
- Volume 1 (1)-(3)
- Volume 2 (1)-(3)
Box 2 - Public Record of Deliberations
- Volume 3 (1)-(3)
- Volume 4
Box 3 - Public Record of Deliberations
Box 4 - Transcripts of Public Hearings and Public Meetings
- December, 1973
- February, 1974
Box 5 - Transcripts of Public Hearings and Public Meetings
- April 27, 1974 (Hearing), June 10, 11, 12, 1974 (Meetings)
- July 10, 11, 12, 1975
- July 31, August 1, 1975
Box 6 - General Correspondence File
- General - October, 1973
- General - November, 1973
- December, 1973
- January, 1974
- February, 1974
- March, 1974
- April, 1974
- May, 1974
- June, 1974
- July, 1974
- August, 1974
- September, 1974
- October, 1974
- November, 1974
- December, 1974
- January, 1975
- February, 1975
- March, 1975
- April, 1975
Box 7 - General Correspondence File
- May, 1975
- June, 1975
- July, 1975
- August, 1975
- September, 1975
- October, 1975
Box 8 - Subject Correspondence File
- Benítez, Hon. Jaime
- Bilingual Courts Act
- Buckley, Sen. James L.
- Cancel Ríos, Juan
- Clausen, Rep. Don H.
- Comite Correspondence, No. 2
- Cook, Sen. Marlow K.
- Foley, Rep. Thomas C.
- Howell, Paul N.
- Johnston, Sen. J. Bennett Jr.
- Legal Documents
- Méndez, Sen. Justo
- Muñoz Marín, Luis
- Ogilvie, Richard B.
- Pons, Víctor M. Jr.
- Ramos Yordán, Luis Ernesto
- Rivera, Angel
- Ross, Norman
- State Department Dinner
- Trías Monge, José (Pepe)