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The other bills before your committee were S. 204, providing for the withdrawal of the United States from the Philippine Islands; S. 3108, to enable the people of the Philippine Islands to adopt a constitution, etc.; Senate Joint Resolution 113, requesting the President to call a conference on the Philippine question; Senate Resolution 199, to investigate the feasibility of tariff autonomy for the Philippines; and S. 3379, to enable the people of the Philippine Islands to adopt a constitution, etc.


Your committee at various times between January 15 and May 22, 1930, held public and executive hearings on all of the bills mentioned.

Witnesses were heard by the committee both for and against the proposed measures. These witnesses included the officially authorized representatives of the Philippine people sent to this country for the purpose of presenting the Philippine cause; Americans with business interests in the Philippines, economists, political leaders, and experts familiar with every phase of the Philippine question.

At the conclusion of public hearings, your committee decided to hear also the Secretaries of State, War, and Navy in executive session. The Secretary of State also appeared at one open session and a letter from the Secretary of War, detailing his views on the question of Philippine independence, was made a matter of record.

Among the Filipinos heard by your committee were Hon Manuel Roxas, speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippine Islands; Hon. Manuel Briones, majority leader of the Philippine House; Hon. Pedro Gil, floor leader of the minority party in the Philippine House of Representatives; and Hon. Pedro Guevara and Hon. Camilo Osias, Resident Commissioners of the Philippine Islands.

It is pertinent to state that the Philippine Commission represented both the minority and majority political parties, as well as the different sections of the Philippines. They asserted, without contradiction, that they voiced the unanimous desire of all political parties and peoples in their islands for Philippine independence.

Your committee calls particular attention to the extensive array of facts and figures concerning the economic, political, social, racial, historical, and geographical phases of the Philippine question which may be found either in the 700 pages of testimony taken by the committee or in the many speeches on this subject delivered by Members of the Senate and House and reported in the Congressional Record.

In addition, there are available the facts presented to the House Ways and Means Committee and to the Senate Finance Committee during the consideration of tariff problems; the testimony obtained by the Commerce Committee of the Senate on the question of the extension of the coastwise shipping laws, and statements and data recorded in the hearings of the House Committee on Immigration on the subject of Filipino exclusion.

It is doubtful whether any material facts relating to the Philippine question have not been made accessible in the records of the present Congress.

Your committee further calls attention to the fact that although the Philippine question has never, since the occupation of the islands in 1898, been entirely outside the contemplation of Congress, the question has not heretofore (with the possible exception of the session of 1916) received the detailed and comprehensive consideration that has been given it in the present Congress. So that, in making this majority report to the Senate, your committee feels that little need be left to speculation. The facts may be gathered accurately from the records.


In a general way, S. 3822 may be said to contain four major purposes, as follows:

(1) To provide for the drafting of a constitution for a free and independent government of the Philippine Islands;

(2) To provide for a ratification by the Philippine people of the constitution so formulated, and the election of governmental officials under the new constitution;

(3) To provide a 5-year period of test for the gradual change in the economic and political relationship between the islands and the United States, thus giving the Philippine people an actual experience of such relationship, and an opportunity, following such experience, to decide at a plebiscite whether they approve or disapprove of separation from the United States;

(4) To provide, in the event of an affirmative vote in the plebiscite, for the final withdrawal of American sovereignty over the islands, with such agreements by treaty or otherwise as may be necessary for the protection of American rights and properties in the Philippines, the liquidation of the public debt of the Philippines, and the retention by the United States of sites for coaling or naval bases as the United States may deem advisable.


During the “test” period and under the constitution to be adopted by the Philippine people for this period, the United States, in pursuance of the terms of the bill reported, remains in complete supervision and control of every step taken by the Philippine people toward Philippine independence, and is not to relinquish the islands finally until the provisions of the bill shall have been satisfactorily complied with and until the Congress of the United States shall have approved both the constitution to be framed by the Filipinos and every other step in their progress toward competence as a self-governing people.


In detail, the bill (S. 3822) provides as follows:

(1) That the Philippine Legislature shall elect delegates to a constitutional convention for the purpose of drafting a constitution for a free and independent government, the expenses of such convention to be provided for by the Philippine Legislature;

(2) That the constitution so formulated shall provide for a govern, ment republican in form and adequate to secure a stable, orderly, and free government;

(3) That the constitution so formulated shall, pending the final and complete withdrawal of United States sovereignty, provide among other things as follows:

(a) Citizens and officers of the Philippine Islands shall take the oath of allegiance to the United States;

(b) Religious freedom and tolerance shall be secured and all citizens protected in their religious worship;

(c) Property owned by the United States, and cemeteries, churches, parsonages, convents, and buildings used for religious, charitable, or educational purposes shall be exempt from taxation;

(d) Foreign affairs of the islands shall be under the supervision of the United States;

(e) All acts of the Philippine Legislature shall be reported to the Congress of the United States, which shall have the right to annul such acts;

(f) The United States may intervene for the preservation of the government of the islands;

(g) The Philippine government shall maintain public schools in which the language of instruction shall be English, and an adequate system of sanitation for the protection of public health;

(h) No revenue shall be used for sectarian or denominational purposes;

(i) The authority of the High Commissioner of the United States to the Philippine Islands shall be fully recognized and accepted.

(4) That after the adoption by the convention of the constitution so formulated, the constitution shall be submitted to the people of the Philippine Islands at an election and they shall vote directly to accept or reject it;

(5) That the constitution so adopted and approved shall be submitted to the Congress of the United States for approval or rejection;

(6) That if approved by the Congress, the President of the United States shall certify this fact to the Governor General of the Philippines who shall issue a proclamation for the election of Philippine officials to assume and administer the new government;

(7) That the new government having been thus formed and installed, trade relations between the United States and the Philippines shall be, during the 5-year period, upon the following basis:

(a) During the first year, trade relations shall be as at present.

(6) During the second year, 25 per cent of existing duties shall be levied upon all articles imported into the United States from the Philippines, and on all articles imported into the islands from the United States;

(c) During the third year, 50 per cent of such duties shall be levied;

(d) During the fourth year, 75 per cent of such duties shall be levied ;

(e) During the fifth year, full duty shall be levied upon imports to both countries in the same manner as on all foreign imports.

The proposals for the gradual application of tariff duties during the period of transition from the present status to complete independence were adopted from the provisions of a bill introduced by Senator Arthur H. Vandenberg, a member of this committee.

Should the Philippine people fail to ratify the proposal for independence in the plebiscite, the bill provides that tariff relations between the islands and the United States shall be restored to the basis in effect at the time of the passage of S. 3822.


(8) Within the first six months of the fifth year after the adoption and approval of the constitution, and the election of officials under it, the intervening period being the “test” period under the new trade relationships, the Philippine people shall vote on the question of ratifying or rejecting the granting of Philippine independence by the United States, and if in this vote they do so ratify independence, this fact shall be certified to the President of the United States, who shall issue a proclamation withdrawing, at the end of the 5-year period, the sovereignty of the United States over the Philippine İslands, transferring to the duly elected officials the government of the islands.

(9) Before the withdrawal of sovereignty, the government of the islands shall make provision for the acquisition by purchase.or lease by the United States in the islands of adequate naval bases, shall provide by treaty or otherwise for the protection of property rights of Americans and the United States in the Philippines, and shall, on terms acceptable to the United States, provide for the disposition of all fiscal matters and the settlement of all debts and liabilities.

Your committee desires to emphasize again the fact that the bill (S. 3822) grants independence to the Philippine Islands but not forthwith. The actual withdrawal of sovereignty will depend on the result of the plebiscite, which is to be held only after a test of the new relationship between the islands and the United States and after the Filipinos shall have experienced the effects of independence.

In the requirement for a system of public schools in which English shall be the language of instruction; in the provision for the adoption of what is practically the American Bill of Rights, and in the other provisions of this bill" (S. 3822), such as the imposition of tariff barriers, and the stipulation of conditions under which the Philippine people will ultimately vote for freedom or a continuation under the American flag, there are imposed upon the inhabitants of the Philippines demands which involve severe hardships. But in the last analysis the Philippine people must determine their course and destiny.


It is significant that, without exception, every witness of the many who appeared before your committee admitted that the present situation of uncertainty as to the political future of the Philippines should be removed. The record contains many appeals for a removal of the unsatisfactory conditions which exist at the present time. Even those who oppose early independence for the Philippines admit that the present dubious status of the islands should not be permitted to continue.

The reasons are manifest. The Filipino is neither a citizen of the United States nor is he a citizen of a free country. A Malayan by race, an oriental geographically and by tradition, a foreigner under certain of our statutory provisions, the Filipino has had 30 years of existence as a pseudo American Living 7,000 miles from our western coast, on 7,000 islands in the Far East Pacific, these 13,000,000 people, thrown by a great war into the protective arms of a western nation, find themselves, after a generation, to be in law and in fact neither Americans nor foreigners.

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Every witness who appeared at the hearings, whether he was an official of the federal or the insular government, or a private person with admitted economic interests at stake, agreed that a definite policy toward the Philippines would be both necessary and desirable as a means of curing the present uncertainty.

The initiative of the Filipino is hampered by his status. The development of 114,000 square miles of island area is being handi(apped, and certain manufacturing possibilities are being dwarfed because of the general uncertainty.

American capital, doubtful of the future, declines to enter the islands. Foreign capital, with no voice whatever in the settlement of the problem, will not invest there. Under such conditions satisfactory economic progress is impossible.


It appears from our inquiry and study that the uncertainty can be removed only if and when Congress shall adopt one of the following courses:

(1) Granting immediate independence.

(2) Setting a date in the distant future when independence shall be granted.

(3) Creating what might be termed a colonial form of government for the future retention of the Philippines.

(4) Incorporating the Philippines as one or more States of the American Union.

(5) Providing, as in this bill (S. 3822), for the organization of a free government and permitting the Philippine people to determine whether under the new conditions they desire to become independent, and grant them independence.

One of these solutions should be adopted by Congress.

Few Americans will advocate immediate independence. The Filipino representatives ask for immediate independence, although they realize the difficulties of reconstruction and readjustment. They would rather suffer the hardships of an immediate dissolution of ties which bind them to the United States than continue in the disastrous uncertainty. They prefer any hardship to the possibility of their remaining forever a subject people.

As to the second proposal, the mere setting of a date for future independence of the islands gives the Philippine people no opportunity to express their views. Furthermore, it is manifest from the hearings that the fixing of a deferred date for Philippine independence is regarded as a plan to make impossible the ultimate granting of such independence. The Secretary of State, in proposing a long period of time for Philippine independence, very frankly stated he cherished the hope that at the end of that period both the Philippines and the United States would decide to continue their relationship.

Your committee is confident that if the date of independence were set for some time in the remote future the economic ties and commercial considerations that meanwhile will have grown up will militate against any possible future relinquishing of American sovereignty.

We shall not discuss at length in this report the proposal to form a colonial government for the Philippines, as we consider this repugnant to the pledges we have made through our Executives and in statutory law dealing with the Philippines.

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