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delegates to a popular assembly for the islands. The census was taken in 1903 and the Philippine Assembly established in 1907.
In 1916 Congress passed what is known as the Jones law, the present organic act of the Philippine Islands. By this act Congress has given to the Philippines practically all the power that can be granted to them short of complete sovereignty. În accordance with this act the President of the United States appoints the Governor General, the vice governor, who is also the secretary of public instruction, the chief justice, and the eight associate justices of the supreme court, the auditor, and the deputy auditor.
Congress and the Governor General may review and nullify the acts of the Philippine legislative bodies.
The Philippines have been transformed from an impotent colonial possession, with doubtful efficiency of government, to a people largely handling their own affairs, under the supervision of a few American officials.
Are the Filipinos ready for self-government; can they maintain a stable self-government?
In the Jones Act previously referred to will be found the following preamble, which is a part of our statutory law, and which has laid down the policy we have pursued in our relations to the islands since 1916, as follows:
Whereas, for the speedy accomplishment of such purpose it is desirable to place in the hands of the people of the Philippines as large a control of their domestic affairs as can be given them witho in the meanti impairing the exercise of the rights of sovereignty by the people of the United States, in order that by the use and exercise of popular franchise and governmental powers they may be better prepared to fully assume the responsibilities and enjoy all the privileges of complete independence.
It is pertinent to inquire whether, under the Jones Act, the Philippine people are exercising all of the functions of government with the exception of sovereignty.
In this connection the following must be considered:
The Philippine people elect the Philippine Senate of_22, two members being appointed to represent the non-Christian. They also elect 86 members of the house, 9 being appointed to represent the non-Christian Provinces. This bicameral body enacts the domestic laws for the Philippine people.
There are only three high executive officials in the Philippine Islands who are not Filipinos. One of these is the governor general, appointed by the President; another is the vice governor, who is secretary of public instruction, and the third is the auditor. The deputy auditor is a Filipino. Of the high judicial officials (the chief justice and eight associates-nine in all) the chief justice and three of the associate justices are Filipinos.
The governors and members of the provincial boards of the 39 regularly organized Provinces, and all members of the legislature from these Provinces, are Filipinos elected by the people.
In the nine specially organized Provinces, five governors are appointed and four elected. Of these 9, 6 are Filipinos and 3 Americans.
From the beginning of American occupation the 900 municipal governments of the islands have been administered practically exclusively by elected Filipinos.
According to the report of the director of civil service of the Philippine Islands, there were on December 31, 1928, only 494 Americans in the civil personnel of the Philippine government, while 19,606 Filipinos were permanently employed under the civil service. Of the 494 Americans, 293 were in the teaching service.
There are 30,000 teachers in 8,000 public schools in the Philippines. Of these teachers only 293 are Americans. The schools are scattered throughout the islands.
Out of the 13,000,000 population, there are more than 1,100,000 enrolled in the public schools alone. There are private colleges and universities in the islands. Some of these institutions are as old as our oldest universities.
It is significant that public order in the Philippines is maintained with unusual vigor and success by what is known as the constabulary, or insular police force. This force is composed of 6,331 Filipinos as enlisted men. Of the 398 officers, 375 are Filipinos.
The Wood-Forbes report on this particular subject states that the Filipinos “are naturally an orderly and law-abiding people," and further that "the constabulary has proved itself to be dependable and thoroughly efficient.” The Secretary of War testified that “excellent general conditions of order have existed for over 25 years in the Philippines.”
Attention is called at this point to the fact that on the entrance of the United States into the World War the Philippines organized a force and offered it to the United States for service.
At the last election more than 1,000,000 Filipinos voted, notwithstanding each voter is required under the Philippine laws to possess certain electoral qualifications. From 80 to 95 per cent of the registered voters actually vote.
In connection with the holding of elections we have at least one noted authority (the Wood-Forbes report) which says:
Interest in the election was widespread and election day passed without any serious disturbance. There was a general wide acceptance by the minority of the results of the popular vote.
There are only two political parties in the Philippines, the majority and minority parties, whose differences are on domestic problems. They are in agreement as to Philippine independence.
The present government is substantially a popular government. The elected representatives of the people legislate for the whole country Executive functions are administered through the different departments at the head of each of which, with the exception of the department of public instruction, is a Filipino secretary. These secretaries are appointed by and with the advice and consent of the Philippine Senate after each general election, upon recommendation of the leaders of the party in power, from the members of the party which commands a majority in the legislature. The executive departments function under the direction of the secretaries of departments subject to the power of supervision and control of the Governor General.
The Philippine government has been self-supporting since the establishment of civil government in the islands. The only expenses incurred by the American Government are those in connection with the United States Army stationed in the Philippines. The Philippine government has been and is in a sound financial condition. Its income is in excess of its expenditures for the present necessary activities of the island government.
The Philippines have a stable government currency based on the gold standard. The circulation is about P130,000,000.
The net bonded indebtedness of the government at the end of the year 1928 was P 175,237,000, for which there were accumulated sinking funds amounting to over P43,000,000. This indebtedness is below the total debt limit fixed by Congress. Besides, this indebtedness will be reduced during the current year by P 12,000,000, already set aside by the legislature for the redemption of bonds which are redeemable at the option of the government during this year.
A further analysis of financial operations of the government will be found in the budget for 1930 submitted by the Governor General.
HOMOGENEITY AND CULTURE
Joined with the argument that there is some doubt as to the ability of the Filipinos to manage their own affairs is the frequently asserted statement that there exists a diversity of tribal interests, antagonisms, and prejudices which would militate against the maintenance of a stable government. The facts as given to your committee do not bear out the statement.
The late Chief Justice Taft in 1914, testifying before the Senate, said:
There is a racial solidarity among them (the Filipinos), undoubtedly. I can not tell the difference between an Ilocano and a Tagalog or a Visayan to me all Filipinos are alike.
Former Governor General Forbes says:
Racially the Filipino is a Malay and throughout the islands the bulk of the population is sufficiently similar in type to indicate no great difference in origins.
Testimony indicated that while there are many dialects in the Philippines, just as there are in all oriental countries, there are but three basic dialects, the Tagalog, the Ilocano, and the Visayan. There are 3 other important dialects, but the testimony was that it was a simple matter for the people to have a speaking knowledge of 2 or 3 of these dialects.
Moreover, as the result of the teaching of English in the islands for more than 30 years, a great number of the Filipinos, regardless of their groups or their dialects, speak the English language, which is rapidly becoming a common language throughout the islands, especially among the younger generation. English has been the official language of the government for many years.
In one of the Latin American States of South America nearly 100 dialects are spoken; in Mexico there are estimated 59 dialects, and it is hardly necessary in order to negative the contention that language differences are a bar to independence to indicate the numberless dialects of China, which have persisted for thousands of years and which in that country render the inhabitants on one side of a stream wholly unable to talk with inhabitants on the opposite side of the stream. The old countries of Europe are not free from linguistic differences. In Bulgaria there are Bulgarians, Turks, Rumanians, and Greeks. Three languages are spoken in Switzerland. In Hungary Magyars, Slovaks, and Germans use their respective languages, and in other countries of the world there are similarly diversified peoples of distinct racial stock.
In the Filipino delegation which appeared before your committee several sections of the islands and various groups of the people were represented. Yet they had common media of communication and expression.
By itself the mere differences in language would hardly be a bar to national aspirations for independence.
In connection with the fact that there are 8,000 schools in the Philippine Islands, it is significant to note that in Siam, with a population estimated at 9,000,000, there are 5,600 schools; in Peru, with an estimated population of 6,147,000 there are 3,486 schools; in Venezuela, with a population of 3,029,000, there are 857 schools, excluding special and higher schools and primary schools with an enrollment of 73,000.
Statistics indicate that a minimum estimate of literacy in the Philippines is something above 40 per cent, measured by the American standard. The percentage of illiteracy in Mexico is 62 per cent, in Siam 79 per cent, in Venezuela 72 per cent (taking countries at random for this analysis).
The number of pupils in the public schools of the Philippines in 1904 was 227,500. In 1928 there were 1,111,500 enrolled.
In 1930, according to the budget figures, 28 per cent of the total Philippine revenues was set aside for education. The percentage of school children in the public schools in the Philippines, exclusive of private-school children, compared to population, is 9.26 per cent; while in Korea, according to the Japan Yearbook, 1929 (p. 677), it is 2.7 per cent; in the Dutch East Indies it is 3 per cent; and in French Indo-China, 1 per cent (according to the figures of G. Angoulvant in Les Indes Neerlandaises, Vol. I, p. 312).
This report has accepted the percentage of literacy in the Philippines as 40 per cent in order to make its comparison conservative. However, the Philippine census of 1918 (Vol. II, pp. 53, 54, and 58) gives the percentage of literacy as 49.2 per cent in that year. The Philippine respresentatives claim more than 60 per cent of literacy. They hold that full credit is not given to those who are literate in certain dialects, and that sufficient allowance is not made for the increased school facilities and larger annual expenditures for education since 1918.
CAPACITY TO MAINTAIN INDEPENDENT GOVERNMENT
Your committee desires to discuss particularly one frequently made statement, namely, "that the existence or nonexistence of adequate preparation for complete independence can be established with finality only by an actual test.”
So long as the United States exercises that supervision, control, and authority over the affairs of the Philippine Government under the present organic act, a categorical decision as to the Filipino people's capacity or incapacity for independent government can not be made. It is argued, therefore, that to grant such a test would "involve an advance decision” with respect to the “very question for the ultimate determination" of which the test would prove a guide.
But such is not the case, as is evidenced by the provisions of the bill (S. 3822). Under the provisions of this bill the United States is to furnish the machinery for the setting up of a government and the application of certain conditions precedent to independence which will give the Philippine people the test desired without relinquishing at once the sovereignty of the United States over the islands. These people will determine for themselves subsequently to the test whether they still desire independence and during the period of the test the United States remains in that control necessary to determine for itself whether it wishes to proceed with its approval of what the island government is or is not doing. It controls the veto, if necessary, to the island's legislative enactments. There is no other way to test that capacity.
But whatever may have been our Government's influence in the matter, the fact is that noted authorities have complimented the Philippine governmental agencies upon their efficiency and capacity and have commented as well upon the widespread participation of the people in the elections held in connection with governmental functions. Nor was there any evidence further than that cited to indicate that permanent stable government is or will be menaced by racial or tribal differences. The witnesses before your committee, whatever their views as to what should be done with the Philippines, did not criticize the manner in which the Philippine government is being managed by Filipinos and some were high in their praise of both the efficiency and intelligence manifested by those in charge of Philippine domestic affairs.
President Wilson, in connection with the maintenance of a stable government in the Philippines, said:
Allow me to call your attention to the fact that the people of the Philippine Islands have succeeded in maintaining a stable government since the last action of the Congress in their behalf, and have thus fulfilled the condition set by the Congress as precedent to a consideration of granting independence to the islands.
I respectfully submit that this condition precedent having been fulfilled, it is now our liberty and duty to keep our promise to the people of these islands by granting them the independence which they so honorably covet.
Under the present system of government the Filipinos have assumed and exercised the essential functions of administration subject only to the reserved power of the Governor General. The valuable experience acquired by the Filipinos under their present government should fully capacitate them to discharge the functions which will devolve upon them under the new government provided for in this bill.
Governor General Stimson in his report for 1928, after detailing the work of the Philippine Legislature, said: The record of legislation produced was highly creditable.
In addition to demonstrating their capacity to administer the affairs of government we are not without evidence that the Philippine people have acquired a reasonable degree of appreciation of the