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authorized to appoint an inferior provost court, for the trial of minor offenders against the laws of war or military government. The maximum punishment which this court could impose was imprisonment for three months and a fine of 1,000 marks, or both. These courts were practically police courts and each kept a simple record showing the name of the offender, the offense, the plea, the findings, the sentence and the action of the convening authority in each case. All money collected as fines by provost courts was turned in weekly to the Department of Fiscal Affairs.
Sanitation and Public Health.-The well organized public health service which the occupying army found in the territory was continued under the supervision of the division surgeon of the American army.
Billeting.-In each city and village there was a billeting officer, charged with the duty of securing suitable quarters for officers and men. He worked in coöperation with the burgomaster. In the cities of Treves and Coblenz the best hotels were requisitioned and used by officers, and to care for American and allied guests coming into the area. Entire houses were requisitioned in some cases.
The higher German officials and prominent citizens accepted the occupation but were at first inclined to try out the American temper. When the burgomaster of Trier was summoned and told to secure a suitable office building in a good location, and dignified in every way, he designated an old dilapidated barracks on the outskirts of the town. When told in a forcible way that this building was not dignified, was not an office building and was not in a suitable location, he designated a school. When informed that the American Army did not propose to use school buildings and that, if a suitable building were not provided within a few hours, the American General would make his own selection, he promptly offered a threestory office building in the best location in town. No further trouble was ever experienced with this official.
Censorship.—The censorship over the press, postal, tele
graph, and telephone service was early established. The censorship over the press was liberal. Articles reflecting on the military government or upon the allies were prohibited. There were several cases of suspension of newspapers of from one to seven days for violations of these rules. Aside from this the press was free. Long-distance telephone messages were subject to censorship, as were all telegrams. The mail was subject to censorship at all times. About 5 per cent of all letters passing through the mail were read by the American censors. The object of this censorship was not to prevent communication, but to gain information for use of the American Army in regard to the sentiment in occupied territory.
All theatres and motion pictures were subject to censorship. In the exercise of his function as theatrical censor, one young officer went so far as to prohibit the production of “Madame Butterfly" on the ground that the opera represented an American naval officer as a bigamist. This incident, however, cannot be taken as a fair example of American censorship, which was generally of a tolerant nature.
Circulation. In the American zone, no restrictions were placed upon the movements of individuals, providing the traveler had the usual identity card. This freedom was in striking contrast to the French and Belgian regulations, which were very strict at first. It was also much more lenient than the British rule, which required all inhabitants to remain in their homes after nine o'clock in the evening.
In order to check unauthorized persons coming into towns and villages, burgomasters were required to report all arrivals within their jurisdiction. Each house also had posted just inside the door a list of all residents, showing the name, sex, and age. A curfew law was imposed by the American authorities upon a few towns where disturbances occurred.
To go beyond the American zone, into unoccupied Germany or to the British, French or Belgian zones, pass was necessary. Circulation offices were established in the larger towns. It was astonishing how many Germans wished to travel. In
Coblenz and Treves they applied for passes by the hundred. These passes were always granted where there was any legitimate reason for so doing.
Schools and Charitable Institutions.-Pursuant to the policy outlined by the commander-in-chief, American Expeditionary Forces, orders were issued directing that all buildings of schools and charitable institutions used as billets for troops would be vacated wherever it was possible to give the troops proper accommodations elsewhere. As a result, these buildings became available for their normal use, and beginning January 1, 1919, almost every school building in the territory occupied by American troops was open and available to the German educational authorities.
Supervision of schools and charitable institutions was exercised through the commissioners of education, or, in isolated cases, through the responsible director of the particular institution concerned. This plan gave satisfactory results and met in every way the requirements of the situation.
Public Works.—As soon as American troops had occupied their area an inspection was made of all public utilities, the principal highways, and the leading industrial plants. The importance of obtaining an uninterrupted service from the water works, electric light and power companies, gas works, street railways, plants for disposal of sewage, and street cleaning was discussed with German authorities, and provisions made for the continued functioning of these services.
The country highways and many city streets were like the machinery in the public utilities—in need of overhauling. The immediate increase in traffic caused by the large number of American automobiles and trucks required such work to be started at once, and the first road construction work was done by American troop labor. A general scheme of road improvement, mostly resurfacing, was begun. This work was supervised by the engineer troops of the Third Army, but the labor was furnished by the German authorities.
Requisitions. The principle of requisitioning supplies was exercised extensively throughout the area, but always under central control so that there was no abuse of the privilege. Requisitions were limited to the classes of supplies procurable on the supply tables of the American Army and properly approved receipts were given in all cases. Food and forage were not requisitioned. A board of appraisal was appointed and payments made for all property heretofore obtained by requisition on the inhabitants.
According to the system used, requisitions were made on the local burgomasters, who as a rule placed the orders with appropriate dealers or stores. The whole transaction was little different from buying on a few months' credit.
Keeping in Touch with the People.—Being well aware of the fact that no military government can be a success unless it keeps in touch with the sentiment in the occupied district, the American authorities established the necessary machinery for obtaining information along this line. The sources of information were many and varied-intelligence reports from all headquarters; reports of censorship and secret service agents; reports of interviews with inhabitants; newspapers not only of the occupied area but of adjoining areas; reports of chambers of commerce and other business associations; and even sermons by priests and preachers. A competent officer was charged with the duty of making a daily study of all of the information derived from these sources, and the responsibility for digesting and editing the net result. Daily reports of important happenings were laid on the desk of the officer in charge of civil affairs. In this manner a finger was kept on the pulse of the community at all times.
II. MILITARY GOVERNMENT OF CEDED OR CONQUERED TERRITORY
When occupied territory is ceded to the occupant by the terms of the treaty terminating hostilities, the conclusion of peace invariably finds the military government in force over ceded territory. This is continued pending the establishment of a civil government to replace it. The interval during which the military government continues to function over ceded territory is dependent upon numerous factors, the most important one being the attitude of the former enemy subjects toward the change of sovereignty. Should the inhabitants generally look with favor upon the change, the military government may continue barely long enough to allow for the formulation of a plan for the permanent civil government to take its place. Thus California, ceded to the United States by the treaty of peace with Mexico in 1849, was admitted into the union as a state in September 1850. On the other hand, if the inhabitants of the ceded territory are resentful and hostile toward the state which has assumed authority over them, the military government may be of long duration. In the Philippine Islands for instance, a government which is essentially military has continued for more than 20 years, although the true military government was formally superseded by a so-called civil government in 1901.
The cessation of hostilities, however, and the transfer of sovereignty operate to alter the relations between the military government and the inhabitants of conquered territory. The prime necessity of contributing to the success of a field army operating against an armed enemy no longer exists. Moreover, since the occupied territory has been permanently transferred to the conquering state, the government will be determined by the policy of the home government toward its newly acquired possessions. This policy will be based upon whatever plans the home government may have for the future of the territory, whether it is to be eventually incorporated in the state, as was the case of California, New Mexico, and Alsace-Lorraine, and Korea, whether it is to become a permanent colonial possession as in the case of Porto Rico and Algeria, or whether it is to be given independence, as in the case of Cuba, and as was professed in the case of the Philippines. Generally speaking, the effect of the policy of the home government upon the military government is to modify the severity of its rule in the endeavor to reconcile the inhabitants to the new authority.