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INDEPENDENCE FOR THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 1932

UNITED STATES SENATE,
COMMITTEE ON TERRITORIES AND INSULAR AFFAIRS,

Washington, D.C. The committee met, pursuant to call, at 10 o'clock a. m. in the committee room of the Committee on Interstate Commerce, in the Capitol, Senator Bingham (chairman) presiding.

Present: Senators Bingham (chairman), Robinson of Indiana, Nye, Metcalf, Vandenberg, Cutting, Pittman, Broussard, Hayden, Tydings, Hawes, and King.

Also present: Hon. Sergio Osmeña, acting president of the Philippine Senate; Hon. Manuel Roxas, speaker of the Philippine House of Representatives; Hon. Pedro Sabido, majority leader Philippine House of Representatives; Hon. Ruperto Montinola, minority leader Philippine Senate; Hon. Emiliano Tirona, minority leader Philippine House of Representatives; Hon. Pedro Guevara and Hon. Camilo Osias, Resident Commissioners.

The CHAIRMAN. The hearing this morning is in two parts. The committee invited the Secretary of War to be present and report anything he had to say in regard to the Philippine question, particularly with reference to S. 3377. Other witnesses, by vote of the committee, are to be limited to remarks connected with the bill introduced by Senators Hawes and Cutting on January 28, S. 3377, which will be printed in the record at this point. (S. 3377 is here printed in the record in full, as follows:)

(S. 3377, Seventy-second Congress, first session] A BILL To enable the people of the Philippine Islands to adopt a constitution and form a government

for the Philippine Islands, to provide for the independence of the same, and for other purposes Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

CONVENTION TO FRAME CONSTITUTION FOR PHILIPPINE ISLANDS Sec. 1. The Philippine Legislature is hereby authorized to provide for the election of delegates to a constitutional convention, which shall meet in the hall of the house of representatives in the capital of the Philippine Islands, at such time as the Philippine Legislature may fix, to formulate and draft a constitution for the government of the Commonwealth of the Philippine Islands, subject to the conditions and qualifications prescribed in this act, which shall exercise jurisdiction over all the territory ceded to the United States by the treaty of peace concluded between the United States and Spain on the 10th day of December, 1898, the boundaries of which are set forth in Article III of said treaty, together with those islands embraced in the treaty between Spain and the United States concluded at Washington on the 7th day of November, 1900. The Philippine Legislature shall provide for the necessary expenses of such convention.

CHARACTER OF CONSTITUTION

MANDATORY PROVISIONS

SEC. 2. The constitution formulated and drafted shall be republican in form, shall contain a bill of rights and provisions to the effect that, pending the final and complete withdrawal of the sovereignty of the United States over the Philippine Islands

(a) All citizens of the Philippine Islands shall owe allegiance to the United States.

(b) Every officer of the government of the Commonwealth of the Philippine Islands shall, before entering upon the discharge of his duties, take and subscribe an oath of office, declaring, among other things, that he recognizes and accepts the supreme authority of and will maintain true faith and allegiance to the United States.

(c) Absolute toleration of religious sentiment shall be secured, and no inhabitant or religious organization shall ever be molested in person or property on account of religious belief or mode of worship.

(d) Property owned by the United States, cemeteries, churches, and personages or convents appurtenant thereto, and all lands, buildings, and improvements used exclusively for religious, charitable, or educational purposes shall be exempt from taxation.

(e) Trade relations between the Philippine Islands and the United States shall be upon the basis prescribed in section 6.

(f) The public debt of the Philippine Islands and its subordinate branches shall not exceed limits now or hereafter fixed by the Congress of the United States; and no loans shall be contracted in foreign countries without the approval of the President of the United States.

(g) The debts, liabilities, and obligations of the present Philippine government, its Provinces, municipalities, and instrumentalities, valid and subsisting at the time of the adoption of the constitution, shall be assumed and paid by the new government.

(h) Provision shall be made for the establishment and maintenance of an adequate system of public schools, primarily conducted in the English language.

(i) Acts affecting currency, coinage, imports, exports, and immigration laws shall not become law until approved by the President of the United States.

(j) Foreign affairs shall be under the direct supervision and control of the United States.

(k) All acts passed by the legislature of the Commonwealth of the Philippine Islands shall be reported to the Congress of the United States.

(1) The Philippine Islands recognizes the right of the United States to expropriate property for public uses, to maintain military and other reservations and armed forces in the Philippines, and, upon order of the President, to call into the service of such armed forces all military forces organized by the Philippine government.

(m) Appeals to the Supreme Court of the United States shall be as provided by existing law and shall also include all cases involving the constitution of the Commonwealth of the Philippine Islands.

(n) The United States may exercise the right to intervene for the preservation of the government of the Commonwealth of the Philippine Islands and for the maintenance of the government as provided in their constitution, and for the protection of life, property, and individual liberty and for the discharge of government obligations under and in accordance with the provisions of their constitution.

(o) The authority of the United States commissioner to the government of the Commonwealth of the Philippine Islands, as provided in this act, shall be recognized.

(p) Citizens and corporations of the United States shall enjoy in the Commonwealth of the Philippine Islands all the civil rights of the citizens and corporations respectively thereof.

now

SUBMISSION OF CONSTITUTION TO FILIPINO PEOPLE

Sec. 3. If a constitution is formed in compliance with the provisions of this act, the said constitution shall be submitted to the people of the Philippine Islands for their ratification or rejection at an election to be held within four months after the completion of the constitution, on a date to be fixed by the Philippine Legislature, at which election the qualified voters of the Philippine Islands shall have an opportunity to vote directly for or against the proposed constitution or for or against any proposition separately submitted. Such election shall be held in such manner as may be prescribed by the Philippine Legislature, to which the return of the election shall be made. The Philippine Legislature shall by law provide for the canvassing of the return and, if a majority of the votes cast on that question shall be for the constitution, shall certify the result to the Governor General of the Philippine Islands, together with a statement of the votes cast thereon, and upon separate propositions, and a copy of said constitution, propositions, and ordinances.

SUBMISSION OF CONSTITUTION TO CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES

Sec. 4. When the constitution has been adopted in compliance with the provisions of this act and has been duly ratified by the people of the Philippine Islands, a certified copy shall be submitted to the Congress of the United States for approval. If the Congress by law approves the constitution, or if the Congress, within three months of législative session following submission to it, fails by law to disapprove

the constitution, the President shall so certify to the Governor General of the Philippine Islands, who shall, within thirty days after the receipt of such notification from the President, issue a proclamation for the election of officers of the government of the Commonwealth of the Philippine Islands provided for in the constitution. The election shall take place not earlier than three months nor later than six months after the proclamation by the Governor General ordering such election. When the election of the officers provided for under the constitution has been held and the results determined, the Governor General of the Philippine Islands shall certify the result of the election to the President of the United States, who shall thereupon issue a proclamation announcing the results of the election, and upon the issuance of such proclamation by the President the existing Philippine government shall terminate nad the new government shall enter upon its rights, privileges, powers, and duties, as provided under the constitution. The present government of the Philippine Islands shall provide for the orderly transfer of the functions of government,

If the Congress, within three months of legislative session following submission to it, by law disapproves the constitution adopted and ratified in pursuance of the provisious of this act, then such fact shall forthwith be communicated by the President to the constitutional convention, which shall thereupon consider any objections made and proceed to redraft the constitution for ratification and submission in accordance with the provisions of this act.

SEC. 5. All the property and rights which may have been acquired in the Philippine Islands by the United States under the treaties mentioned in the first section of this act, except such land or other property as has been designated by the President of the United States for military and other reservations of the Government of the United States, and except such land or other property or rights or interests therein as may have been sold or otherwise disposed of in accordance with law, are hereby granted to the government of the Philippine Commonwealth when constituted.

RELATIONS WITH THE UNITED STATES PENDING COMPLETE INDEPENDENCE

SEC. 6. Trade relations between the United States and the government of the Commonwealth of the Philippine Islands established under this act shall be as now existing under the provisions of the act entitled “An act to provide revenue, to regulate commerce with foreign countries, to encourage the industries of the United States, to protect American labor, and for other purposes," approved June 17, 1930: Provided, however, That from the date of the inauguration of the new government provided in this act and thereafter until the final withdrawal of the sovereignty of the United States over the Philippine Islands, the same rates of duty which are required by the laws of the United States to be levied, collected, and paid upon like articles imported from foreign countries shall be levied, collected, and paid on refined sugars coming into the United States from the Philippine Islands and on raw sugars, in excess of 20 per centum of the total sugar imported into the United States from Hawaii, Porto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Philippine Islands, and from foreign countries, during the previous calendar year. In the event that in any year the limit of free sugar which may be exported to the United States shall be reached by the Philippine Islands the following shall be fixed as the basis

for allocating, under export permits issued by the government of the Philippine Commonwealth, sugar produced in the Philippine Islands during the following year. The amount of sugar exported on free entry into the United States shall be allocated to the sugar producing mills of the islands proportionately on the basis of their outturn the preceding year. The amount of sugar which each mill shall be permitted to export shall be allocated between the mill and the planters on the basis of the propoertion of the sugar to be derived from the planters' cane which shall be received by the mill and retained by the planter. The same rates of duty which are required by the laws of the United States to be levied, collected, and paid upon like articles imported from foreign countries shall be levied, collected, and paid on coconut oil coming into the United States from the Philippine Islands in any calendar year in excess of the amount of coconut oil brought into the United States in the prior calendar year in the form of copra, such coconut oil to be determined on an oil content of copra of 63 per centum; and the same rates of duty which are rqeuired by the laws of the United States to be levied, collected, and paid upon like articles imported from foreign countries shall be levied, collected, and paid on all yarns, twines, cords, cordage, rope, and cables, tarred or untarred, wholly or in chief value of manila (abaca) or other hard fibers, coming into the United States from the Philippine Islands in any calendar year in excess of a collective total of seven million six hundred thousand pounds of all such articles hereinabove enumerated.

Sec. 7. Until the final and complete withdrawal of American sovereignty over the Philippine Islands

(1) Every duly adopted amendment to the constitution of the government of the Commonwealth of the Philippine Islands shall be submitted to the President of the United States for approval. If the President approves the amendment, or if the President fails to disapprove such amendment within six months from the time of its submission, the amendment shail take effect as a part of such consititution.

(2) The President of the United States shall have authority to suspend the taking effect of or the operation of any law, contract, or executive order of the government of the Commonwealth of the Philippine Islands, which in his opinion will result in a failure of the government of the Commonwealth of the Philippine Islands to fulfill its contracts, or to meet its bonded indebtedness and interest thereon or to provide for its sinking funds, or which seems likely to impair the reserves for the protection of the currency of the Philippine Islands, or may create international complications.

(3) The chief executive of the government of the Commonwealth of the Philippine Islands shalı make an annual report to the President and Congress of the United States of the proceedings and operations of the government of the Commonwealth of the Philippine Islands and shall make such other reports as the President or Congress may request.

(4) The President shall appoint, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, a United States commissioner to the government of the Commonwealth of the Philippine Islands who shall hold office at the pleasure of the President and until his successor is appointed and qualified. He shall be known as the United States High Commissioner to the Philippine Islands. He shall be the representative of the President of the United States in the Philippine Islands and shall be recognized as such by the government of the Commonwealth of the Philippine Islands, by the commanding officers of the military forces of the United States, and by all civil officials of the United States in the Philippine Islands. He shall have access to all records of the government or any subdivision thereof, and shall be furnished by the Chief Executive of the Commonwealtn of the Philippine Islands with such information as he shall request.

If the government of the Commonwealth of the Philippine Islands fails to pay any of its bonded or other indebtedness or the interest thereon when due or to fulfill any of its contracts, the United States commissioner shall immediately report the facts to the President, who may thereupon direct the commissioner to take over the customs offices and administration of the same, administer the same, and apply such part of the revenue received therefrom as may be necessary for the payment of such overdue indebtedness or for the fulfillment of such contracts. The United States commissioner shall annually, and at such other times as the President may require, render an official report to the President and Congress of the United States. He shall perform such additional duties and functions as may be lawfully delegated to him from time to time by the President.

The first United States high commissioner appointed under this act shall take office upon the inauguration of the new government of the Commonwealth of the Philippine Islands. He shall receive the same compensation and be entitled to such personal staff as is now received and enjoyed by the Governor General of the Philippine Islands, but such salary and expenses shall be paid by the United States.

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