REPRODUCED AT THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES MOLU, 0013 1987100 right gimas (WAVOTRE GBHISS 1930. The political abuses to which this could give rise are obvious and more especially when the code calls for a minimum wage which will cover the material, moral and cultural necessities of the worker. In interpreting the law, Article 17 of the first section covering general regulations, states that the interest of the workers and social convenience, fundamentally, will be taken into consideration. Written contracts between employer and employee are called for and if there is no written contract the fault will always be that of the employer.
There are several sections of the code as presented which are not clear, and almost all of the articles are subject to differences of interpretation. The legal costs envisaged in obtaining final decisions in such cases are naturally high. In spite of the radical and fundamental changes which the code could make in Costa Rican life, the Legation has been informed that this code is to be passed on May as a Labor Day gift. The secrecy in which the bill was drafted and the speed with which the administration hopes to get it through Congress have caused some bitter comment. The big companies were first given only until Monday, April 19, to make their observations. Since the bill contains 587 articles and could radically overturn Costa Rican economy if fully carried out, this is a very short time. Mr. Luis Anderson, the well known Costa Rican international lawyer, and attorney for the Electric Bond and Share Company, the United Fruit Company and several other corporations here, stated to a member of the Legation staff that he read the bill in one hand with a glass of Sal Hepatica in the other. He added that if a Machiavellian person desired to do harm to the present administration and to Costa Rica he could have chosen no better means than to present such a labor code. Not only will costs to big companies be raised an estimated 38 percent, but large coffee growers are fearful lest the added costs to them will be a death blow to their activities, since they sell in a competitive world market.
It is freely admitted by all, however, that the bill must and will pass for political reasons. The President is behind it and his party needs the support which Manuel Mora has promised to the party which passes the code.
José Joaquin PERALTA, an important agriculturist, educated in the United States and a deputy from Cartago, also stated to a member of the Legation that he felt the bill to be too radical and too detailed. He too felt that the time for studying the bill would not be sufficient. In this connection, Congress passed a ruling on April 14 limiting discussion on this bill to fifteen minutes for each deputy and no more than six speeches for and six against, limited to one hour each.
With the number of articles to be studied and the importance of the bill itself, this limitation is felt to be not only unjust but unwise. It is to be noted that the man to whom the bill means more than to any other deputy, Manuel Mora, voted against the limitations on the debate.
One technical difficulty connected with the passing of this labor code, already commented upon in the press, which mentions the fact that the code frequently refers to the social guarantees in the Constitution, and these guarantees have not yet been incorporated into the Constitution. But the outcry against the haste with which the bill was apparently to be rushed through Congress brought results. The Minister of Government (Gobernación. Carlos María JIMENEZ, announced in the