Federal Register

Proclamation 4938--Application of certain United States laws to the Northern Mariana Islands

Source: The provisions of Proclamation 4938 of May 3, 1982, appear at 47 FR 19307, 3 CFR, 1982 Comp., p. 49, unless otherwise noted.

The Northern Mariana Islands, as part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, are administered by the United States under a Trusteeship Agreement between the United States and the Security Council of the United Nations (61 Stat. 3301). The United States has undertaken to promote the political development of the Trust Territory toward self-government or independence, to protect the rights and fundamental freedoms of its peoples, and to guarantee freedom of speech and of the press.

The United States and the Northern Mariana Islands have entered into a Covenant to Establish a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in Political Union with the United States of America (Public Law 94-241; 90 Stat. 263; 48 U.S.C. 1681 note) pursuant to which many provisions of the laws of the United States have become applicable to the Northern Mariana Islands as of January 9, 1978 (Proclamation No. 4534, Section 2). Section 1004(a) of the Covenant provides that if the President finds a provision of the Constitution or laws of the United States to be inconsistent with the Trusteeship Agreement, the application of that provision to the Northern Mariana Islands may be suspended.

The Communications Act of 1934, as amended, is applicable to the Northern Mariana Islands. Certain provisions of that Act limit the issuance of licenses, other authorizations, and privileges to citizens of the United States. Other provisions of the Act prohibit the issuance of certain licenses to foreign governments, aliens, corporations organized under the laws of a foreign government, and corporations of which any officer or director is an alien, or of which more than one-fifth of the capital stock is owned by aliens, or to corporations which are directly or indirectly controlled by corporations under alien control.

The vast majority of the citizens of the Northern Mariana Islands will not become citizens of the United States until the termination of the Trusteeship Agreement. Consequently, the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands, its citizens, and corporations organized or existing under laws of the Northern Mariana Islands, as well as domestic corporations which have officers, directors, or stockholders in excess of 20 percent, who are citizens of the Northern Mariana Islands, or which are otherwise under the control of Northern Mariana Islands interests cannot receive certain licenses, authorizations, and other privileges under the Act. This result would be inconsistent with the obligation assumed by the United States in the Trusteeship Agreement to protect the rights and fundamental freedoms of the people of the Trust Territory and to guarantee freedom of speech and of the press.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, RONALD REAGAN, President of the United States of America, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, including Section 1004(a) of the Covenant to Establish a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in Political Union with the United States of America, do hereby find, declare and proclaim as follows:

1. Any provision of the Constitution or laws of the United States which prohibits the issuance of a license or authority or the grant of a privilege under the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, to foreign governments, aliens, corporations organized or existing under the laws of the Northern Mariana Islands or to domestic corporations which have alien officers, directors, or stockholders, or which are otherwise directly or indirectly controlled by foreign interests would be inconsistent with the Trusteeship Agreement if applied to the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands, or to corporations organized or existing under the laws of the Northern Mariana Islands, and would be inconsistent with the Trusteeship Agreement to the extent that citizens of the Northern Mariana Islands would be considered as aliens or the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands a foreign government for the purposes of the administration of that Act.

2. The application of any such provision, including Sections 303 and 310 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (47 U.S.C. 303 and 310), to such Government, corporations, and persons is therefore suspended to the extent of such inconsistency until the termination of the Trusteeship Agreement pursuant to Section 1002 of the Covenant.

3. As used in this Proclamation: (a) "citizen of the Northern Mariana Islands" means an individual citizen of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands who is exclusively domiciled within the meaning of Section 1005(e) of the Covenant in the Northern Mariana Islands, and a partnership, unincorporated company, or association whose members and officers are all citizens of the Northern Mariana Islands.
(b) "corporation organized or existing under the laws of the Northern Mariana Islands" means a corporation organized under the laws of the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands, including a predecessor government, which is doing business exclusively in the Northern Mariana Islands or in the United States.
(c) "Government of the Northern Mariana Islands" includes a political subdivision of the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands;
(d) "domestic corporation" means a corporation organized under the laws of the United States, a State, the District of Columbia, a Territory, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this 3rd day of May, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and sixth.


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