Jose Podin, former commissioner of Education in Puerto Rico, charged on Thursday night that the island's present suger-dominated economy is "very unsatisfactory." His address was made before members of the Spanish Club in Harvard Hall.
Podin served in Puerto Rico as Commissioner of Education from 1930 to 1936. He was appointed to that post by President Hoover and reappointed in 1934 by President Roosevelt, and is at present editor in chief of the D. C. Health Publishing Company.
"There can be no real independance for Peurto Rice," he added, "unless it is allowed a period of free trade with the United States, followed by a gradual application of tariff rates."
By developing industry he claimed the island could in time establish a balanced economy that would overcome the crippling grip of the one-crop system.
In discussing Senator Millard Tydings' bill which proposes to let the islanders decide whether they are to have a continuation of the present form of government, statehood, independence or dominion status, Podin emphasized that the situation is essentially the same as the Philippine problem.
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