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As I said, the Governor General has executive direction of the functions of the government.
Supplementing this authority is the responsibility for the approval of certain types of legislation in the President and in the Congress of the United States. The direction is also indicated by the fact that a majority of the supreme court of the islands have been Americans, and that in certain types of litigation the right of certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States is provided.
In addition to this, The American obligation for the protection from external aggression is complete. Responsibility for the preservation of internal order is shared by the United States Government and the local government. Final responsibility for the soundness of the currency and the stability of the government is assumed by the United States.
It is admitted by all that during the 32 years of American control of the Philippine Islands, the Filipinos, with American aid, have made greater progress socially, economically, and politically than during all the centuries that passed before. During the whole period of American occupancy, successive steps have been voluntarily taken by the United States reducing the degree of American authority exercised in the islands.
There is an evident confusion in the minds of the great mass of the Filipino people as to the distinction between self-government and absolute independence from the United States. It is difficult to realize that the steady and vociferous clamor for complete independence does not represent the fundamental sentiment of the Filipino population. Most of the more intelligent people appreciate fully the risks that would be incurred by the whole population if immediate independence were granted. While the inhabitants of the mountain Provinces, the Sulu Archipelago and the Island of Mindanao, expressed themselves freely upon this subject, they are, however, fearful of the unreasoning and universal sentiment that has been created in other portions of the island. Well aware of their own unpreparedness to undertake the responsibilities devolving upon a completely independent state, these so-called non-Christian people are forced to depend upon America's good faith and common sense to save them from the consequences that would follow political separation from the United States.
In other parts of the island the Filipinos who are in business and leaders in the various professions privately stated their opposition to independence and expressed their opinion that complete independence would be followed by chaos and anarchy. They also stated that so much money had been spent in creating the independent sentiment, and that freedom of speech on the subject had been so completely suppressed that most of those not in favor of independence dare not express their sentiments.
And let me say there that the Philippine Islands is the only place under the American flag where freedom of speech is not tolerated.
Mr. BRUMM. Do you mean by law?
Secretary HURLEY. No, sir; I mean by propaganda, where people are suppressed in the expression of their opinions, as opposed to the program of the dominant leaders. There is no law to that effect. If there were, it would become our responsibility to change it immediately.
Mr. BRUMM. I mean, it is not done in an official way?
Secretary HURLEY. Well, I do not know whether it is in an official way. The legislature appropriated money to conduct this propaganda. You have had an example recently of a leader who wanted to postpone independence; you have seen his leadership threatened. No Filipino leader who expects to continue as a leader dare oppose independence or dare oppose the dominant majority. Mr. UNDERHILL. Because of boycott or intimidation?
Secretary HURLEY. I do not like to use those words, because I am really for those boys.
Mr. UNDERHILL So am I.
The CHAIRMAN, Do I get the impression, Mr. Secretary, that the appropriation was made by the legislature for this propaganda ?
Secretary HURLEY. Yes, sir. I would rather that one of the Fili. pinos would speak on that, because that is their business.
Mr. Roxas. May I speak a word there?
Mr. Roxas. I thank the Chairman and the Secretary for this opportunity. Of course, I am sorry I have to differ with the Secretary's opinion-I am going to limit my remarks to one particular point, That no freedom of speech exists in the Philippines is unbelievable. No Governor General, nor the President of the United States, would permit such a condition to continue if it obtained in the islands. But this situation does obtain, that the Filipino people will not follow a leader who does not advocate Philippine independence. Nobody has intimidated anyone.
Secretary HURLEY. Now, just pardon me a minute. I am willing for you to make an argument, but that was not the question I asked.
Did you appropriate money, by the legislature, to build this sentiment?
Mr. Roxas. In 1919 the legislature appropriated money for the presentation of this independence question to the Congress of the United States. We believe that this is a problem which should follow constitutional processes. We thought that instead of making it a movement of the people
Secretary HURLEY. Pardon me, Mr. Speaker. Now, I am willing to have you take my speech and dissect it, and I do not want to appear abrupt, but if you will answer me and let me proceed, then you can make your argument to the committee.
Did you appropriate money to create this sentiment? Mr. Roxas. Not to create this sentiment. Secretary HURLEY. What did you appropriate this money for? Mr. Roxas. To present this question before the Congress of the United States, which is the proper thing to do.
Secretary HURLEY. You did not use that moneyMr. Roxas. And it was approved by the Governor General of the Philippine Islands. The legislature can not pass a law without his approval.
Secretary HURLEY. Did you use any of that money in the Philippine Islands?
Mr. Roxas. Not a cent, Mr. Secretary. Secretary HURLEY. Who, then, paid, for instance, the datu in Mindanao who told me that he received $80 a month for a period, working on the independence question ?
Mr. Roxas. Mr. Secretary, the records are in the office of the insular auditor, and I challenge any statement that that money has been used to employ anybody in the Philippine Islands.
Secretary HURLEY. Well, I do not ask you to challenge it. I asked you if it were a fact.
Mr. Roxas. That is not a fact.
Secretary HURLEY. Then who does pay that money in Mindanao? Do you know that money is being paid for this propaganda in Mindanao?
Mr. Roxas. The only money that is being spent in Mindanao is money spent by those who want to retain the Philippine Islands and promote sentiment against independence. There is not a single cent spent by us in Mindanao for the purpose of creating an independence sentiment.
Mr. BRUMM. How was it appropriated? Mr. Roxas. There is no longer an appropriation. Formerly for about a year or two there existed an appropriation of about a million pesos; it lasted until 1923.
Mr. BRUMM. Was not that appropriation from the legislature terminated by the American auditor?
Mr. Roxas. By the Governor General in 1923, yes; since 1923 we have not had an appropriation.
Mr. LOZIER. If I remember history correctly, there was an appropriation equivalent to about $200,000 to cover the expenses of a commission to present the Philippine plea for independence to the Congress of the United States. That appropriation was vetoed by the Governor General and on appeal to the President of the United States, the veto was sustained.
Is not that true, Mr. Secretary?
Mr. Roxas. When the insular auditor declined to approve accounts chargeable to that fund in 1923, the Governor General confirmed the decision of the auditor, and we did not pursue the case any further. We thought that if the American Government did not want us to carry on our campaign with public funds, that we were ready to carry it on through voluntary contributions, and that is what we have been doing.
Mr. LOZIER. My impression was that the veto of the Governor Gen. eral was afterwards approved by the President of the United States. I may
be mistaken about that, but I do recall very distinctly that the Governor General vetoed the utilization of that fund.
Secretary HURLEY. It is true that, without one scintilla of oppression, with every Filipino leader and individual alike saying that more schools have been established, that more roads have been built, that there has been created a greater unification of language, a greater unification of government, a more prolonged period of economic stability, a better condition of sanitation, and the most prolonged period of intertribal peace in the history of the islands; that with all this frankly admitted, still by reason of political propaganda alone, the opinion of the Filipino people has been consolidated not only against the continuance of the United States in the islands, but against any leader who would dare oppose that sentiment.
Now, to answer Mr. Roxas once more: I do not blame him for resenting my statement that freedom of speech is suppressed. But I am not speaking from hearsay on that; I am speaking of personal experience. I have had Filipinos, men who are sensible leaders in business, leaders in professions, come to me in the nighttime and tell me: “My business will be destroyed, I will be ostracized, if I tell the truth about this.” Freedom of speech is not permitted. Regardless of what Speaker Roxas says, that is the truth. The condition does not prevail in any one place in the islands, it prevails throughout the islands. No man is permitted to express his views on this subject if they do not coincide with those expressed by these leaders.
Why, Senator Hawes, who sits right there, told a man who was on the stand over in the Senate committee, fearing that he would testify against independence, that he did not dare go back to the Philippine Islands. Why did Senator Hawes say that? Because he had been told by these gentlemen that this man might not testify correctly.
Why, there is suppression of freedom of speech, and it is futile for any man, it is absurd to say that there is freedom of speech in the Philippine Islands. There is no freedom of speech on the question of independence. A man who is opposed to independence is punished. I have reams of letters from men who have said: “If you publish my name, my business and my reputation may be destroyed." But if you permit independence at this time, you destroy the possibility of the Filipino people ever becoming a nation.
That is the situation, gentlemen. You must not be misled over it.
Mr. Cross. Now, Mr. Secretary, did not the same situation exist, to the same extent, in our colonies with reference to England, when we were struggling over here for independence, that a considerable element of our people were bitterly opposed, many of them, to it, claiming that they would be ruined if we succeeded?
Secretary HURLEY. You are correct about that. I understand, of course, that it is quite popular to recite the Declaration of Independence, freedom of speech, “ Taxation without representation is tyranny, “Give me liberty or give me death," and attempt to make it applicable to a situation where there has never been any oppression. There has never been a dime of taxes levied by the American Government. There can be no application of those principles to the Philippine Islands.
Mr. Cross. No; I am talking about individuals.
Secretary HURLEY. For the reason that not one single sentence in the complaint, in the long list of abuses, the autocracy, the oppression of every element of freedom, stated in the Declaration of Independence, is applicable to the Philippines.
Take the Declaration and read it, and there is not one of those complaints that applies to the present situation in the Philippine Islands.
Mr. Cross. I wanted to call attention to the fact that there were what we call the Tories—
Secretary HURLEY. There is no question about that.
Mr. Cross. Who were intimidated from expressing themselves, and who thought they would be ruined if we gained our independence.
Secretary HURLEY. But we did not say that we did not oppose a tariff; we did not equivocate. The assertion was that there was no freedom of speech existing.
Mr. WELCũ. But did not that condition exist in every country as the world's history will prove where people struggled and fought for their independence ?
Secretary HURLEY. Yes; where they are struggling for their independence, but there is a difference now. This Nation is committed, not only by the blood of its sons and the treasure it has spent in the Philippine Islands, but by every President of the United States and by Congress, to the ultimate independence of the Philippine Islands, when we have achieved our purpose. The whole thing has left the realm of social and economic reasonableness and has gotten over to a political agitation.
Now, please understand me, this responsibility is with Congress, and when I have told the facts as I know them, then Congress assumes the responsibility. But I want Congress to know that there are two elements in this program that the United States undertook to put into effect in the Philippine Islands, that are not in effect. If the United States now wants to surrender them, it has a right to do so, if it feels no obligation to the men whom it sent into the islands, to the men whose bones are still reposing there, to the millions that have been spent. If you now want to break faith with those who died, and say that we will not accomplish the purpose which we sent them there to accomplish, that we will back up from the whole thing, it is up to you to do so. But I want you to know that I am not backing up. I believe that this question can be worked out on terms of amity, justice, and fairness, and we can still make the Filipinos a nation instead of destroying them.
Mr. LOZIER. When?
Secretary HURLEY. I will get to that in a moment. But, as a matter of fact, just to break in there, I notice that someone has wanted to know the time. I think it is absurd for anybody to say that at 2 o'clock on Friday afternoon a nation shall have achieved that degree of economic independence where it will be in a position to obtain its economic freedom. I think that it is impossible to fix a definite future date.
Mr. WELCH. The same argument would have been used by imperialistic England had we lost the war of the revolution; England would have claimed she owed it to her people, by reason of the very thing that you have referred to, the loss of the blood of her sons in defending the rights of Britain for dominion over this country?
Secretary HURLEY. Yes; I agree with you fully, that that argument could be logically made, or could have been made by any tyrant. But I must assert that it could never have been made by a tyrant if that government had been committed to the proposition that we are building this Nation for freedom, not for domination; the premise is not the same.