The Compact of Permanent Union: Records of the U.S. Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Puerto Rico

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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 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 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.

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.

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