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REASONS FOR ACTION.
Two reasons are given in the majority report for this strange action, this abandonment of principle, this refusal to perform an apparent duty.
The first is the cost. The Philippines don't pay; therefore why longer keep them? If we had purchased them as an investment we might consider that question. But in that view we should endeavor to sell them for as much as they have cost us to any nation which would buy. But we do not even try to make the best bargain possible; we throw them away to be picked up by the first comec. Of course such a view is absurd. We did not obtain them with a view to profit.
In the instructions given by President McKinley to the Philippine Commission in 1900 is expressed the policy and purpose of the United States regarding the acquisition and government of the Philippines. In that statesmanlike and noble pronouncement he said:
The commission should bear in mind that the government which they are establishing is designed not for our satisfaction or for the expression of our theoretical views, but for the happiness, peace, and prosperity of the Philippine Islands.
Again he said: The Philippines are not ours to exploit, but to develop, to civilize, to educate, to train in the science of self-government.
That was the primary purpose of the American occupancy, not gain, not profit, not exploitation, but help, counsel, and encouragement in securing continued progress and an ultimate place among the civilized peoples of the world.
But it is proper in this connection to call attention to the fact that the development of the islands thus far has been principally paid for by the people of the Philippines, and not by the United States. Their government is maintained by themselves. They have cheerfully borne a large burden of taxation, and have made great sacrifices to secure for themselves the roads, schools, and other public works which have been built in such a short time.
The expense of maintaining American forces in the Philippines is confined to the difference in the cost of maintaining our soldiers there and at home.
On the other hand our trade with the Philippines has increased marvelously during our occupancy. We sold them of our products before we went there about $150,000 annually. Last year we sold them to the value of over $28,500,000. It is doubtful, if a balance were struck, if it would be found that the Philippines are a financial burden to the United States. Our trade with the Philippines is certain to grow to large proportions if our relations are continued. That this would be to our mutual benefit must be apparent. We need their hemp for binding twine. We need their sugar, tobacco, copra, fruits, and mahogany. The demand for tropical products which we can not produce is continually increasing. It will be to our best interests to have them produced under our own flag. The Philippines are at present the richest undeveloped country of equal area in the world. Economically they are an asset and not a liability.
But it is urged in the majority report that the Philippines are a source of military weakness, and that we ought to abandon them as a part of our plan of "preparedness.” The argument advanced is that if the United States has any possession anywhere outside our continental boundaries, they should be abandoned if difficult to defend.
If we abandon our possessions because they are subject to attack by an enemy in war, we should not limit our scuttle” policy to the Philippines. We should abandon Guam, for it is defenseless. We should abandon the Samoan Group, they have not been fortified. We should abandon the Hawaiian Archipelago. It will cost more to fortify and protect than the Philippines. We should abandon Porto Rico. It is defenseless. We should abandon the Canal Zone and the Panama Canal itself. It will be exceedingly difficult to fortify and protect, it will cost a large sum to retain, and is more the object of desire by foreign nations than is the Philippine Archipelago. Indeed, we should abandon Alaska. It is as isolated as an island. It has thousands of miles of undefended seacoast, with cities and harbors defenseless. It would be a rich prize for any nation with interests in the Pacific because of its stores of coal, timber, and gold.
The majority report declares the Philippines could not be successfully defended. In the event of foreign attack if we should abandon the islands to their fate, the report declares, we would invite "the scorn of the world and of standing humiliated in the presence of all mankind.” In order to escape that dreadful fate the report advises us to run in advance, to say to all foreign nations: “If you want the Philippines, here they are, take them. We will not fight for them. We could not do much if we tried to fight. Besides we are 'too proud to fight, anyway.” That, according to the majority report, would be dignified, it would be manly, it would save us from the scorn of the world," and from "standing humiliated in the presence of mankind."
If that is the temper of the American people, the minority confess they do not understand it. If American rights are to be sacrificed everywhere or anywhere because we are afraid to assert them, we should give up claiming to be a Nation. If counsels of fear are to become the permanent policy of our country, we should blot out the heroic history of our past, and forget the sacrifices of those who have made us a Nation.
If such a proposition should be thought worthy of consideration, it may be suggested that the Philippines can be made a source of military strength rather than weakness. They have a population of 9,000,000. An army of 200,000 men could easily be enlisted from among their own people and trained for their own defense. The work of the Philippine Scouts and Constabulary has demonstrated their capacity and value as soldiers. An army should be trained whether the islands are to continue their relations with the United States, or become independent. Their greatest element of weakness in either event is that they have no adequate means to protect themselves.
The minority entirely agree with the majority that the Philippines should be given a new fundamental law granting to the people a larger measure of self-government. The minority would gladly support the passage of the Jones bill without the preamble. They would even support the Jones bill with the preamble as a substitute for the Senate bill with the Clarke amendment. But they are united in opposition to the Clarke amendment. The minority believe the Jones bill as reported to the House is a much more consistent and more carefully framed piece of legislation than the Senate bill. But either the House bill or the Senate bill is absurd with the Clarke amendment. To provide for and institute an entirely new form of government which may be abandoned in two years, and must be thrown aside within four years, is indefensible from any standpoint. If the "scuttle” policy is to prevail it would be much better to pass the Clarke amendment alone, and let the Philippine people prepare under their present government for their independent republic, or whatever they may decide they will try first.
The minority would have been glad to cooperate with the majority in supporting a bill on which all could have agreed. But being unable to support the Clarke amendment under any circumstances, they are compelled to forego that privilege. In this "dissenting opinion” they feel that it is fitting they should express the appreciation of the uniform courtesy during the deliberations of the committee manifested by the chairman, Mr. Jones. The minority are glad to express their profound respect and affectionate regard toward this Nestor of the House, whose record of continuous service is longest in point of time among the entire membership of that body. It may not be improper to express the hope that his party associates in the House may substitute his bill for the Senate bill, so that its passage may be the crowning act of a long, an honorable, and a distinguished career of public service.
H. M. TOWNER.
GAME PRESERVE IN THE STATE OF KANSAS.
APRIL 7, 1916.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the
Union and ordered to be printed.
Mr. McClintic, from the Committee on the Public Lands, submitted
[To accompany S. 1793.]
The Committee on the Public Lands, to which was referred the bill (S. 1793) granting to the State of Kansas certain lands in said State for use as a game preserve, having had the same under consideration, beg leave to report it back to the House with the following amendments:
In line 4, strike out the word "grant” and insert the words “issue patent.”
In line 9 strike out the words “hereby granted."
In line 12. strike out the words “declared by the Secretary of the Interior" and insert in lieu thereof the following: "specified in said
As thus amended the committee recommend that the bill be passed.
The bill was referred to the Interior Department, and the Secretary of that department furnished the committee with the following report thereon:
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
Washington, January 10, 1916. Hon. HENRY L. MYERS,
Chairman Committee on Public Lands, United States Senate. My Dear Senator: In response to your request therefor, I have the honor to submit the following report on S. 1793, a bill "Granting to the State of Kansas title to certain lands in said State for use as a game preserve.
The area described in the bill is near the town of Garden City, Kans., being from three-quarters of a mile to about 5 miles distant therefrom. The sections named are shown by the records of the General Land Office to be public, with the exception of a strip of 21.12 acres along the west boundary of sec. 35, T. 24 S., R. 33 W., 2.64 chains wide and 80 chains long, and the E. } of E. } sec. 1, T. 25 S., R. 33 W., which are within approved selections of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad Co., not included in the reconveyance to the United States of the remainder of said sections under an exchange authorized by the act of February 28, 1911 (36 Stat., 960). The area of public land in the sections mentioned in the bill is 3,022.40 acres.
Such sections were excluded from the Kansas National Forest on December 1, when the reservation was abolished under the President's proclamation of October 14, 1915. The Secretary of Agriculture, when recommending such action, informed me that the Forest Service had maintained a forest nursery, equipped with buildings, tank, fencing, etc., on sec. 26, T. 24 S., R. 33 W. He also stated that there are antelope in that vicinity, and that he was advised of contemplated legislation to grant said section and improvements, with the other sections named in the bill, to the State of Kansas for a game preserve, and recommended that such sections be not restored to the public domain with the rest of the public land in the reservation, but withdrawn by the terms of the proclamation abolishing the national forest.
As there appeared to be no objection to withdrawal of the public lands in such sections for the desired purpose, I concurred in the recommendation of the Secretary of Agriculture, and by a provision in said proclamation of October 14, the public lands in secs. 25, 26, and 35 of T. 24 S., R. 33 W., and secs. 1 and 2 of T. 25 S., R. 33 W., were withdrawn under authority of the act of June 25, 1910 (36 Stat., 847), as amended, for classification and pending consideration by Congress of proposed legislation to set such lands apart as a game refuge.
Since, as hereinbefore stated, the title to a portion of the area described in the bill is not in the United States, I would suggest that the words "the public lands in ” be inserted after “Kansas" in line 4 of the bill, or that the areas in adverse ownership herein described be omitted. I would also suggest that the words “use or" be inserted after "time" in line 8, and, in order that the question of reversion may be determined by this department and not the courts, that the words “such reversion to be declared by the Secretary of the Interior" be added after “States," the last word in the bill. Very truly, yours,
FRANKLIN K. LANE. The bill was also referred to the Department of Agriculture, and the Secretary thereof in his reply to the committee used the following language:
The bill provides for granting to the State of Kansas five sections of land for a game preserve in the northeastern corner of the Kansas National Forest in Finney County near Garden City, On December 21, 1915, the Secretary of the Interior was advised that the lands within the Kansas National Forest were no longer needed for national forest purposes and was requested, after a conference between the Commissioner of the General Land Office and the forester, to have a proclamation drafted to open the area to entry with the exception of certain sections which the State of Kansas had proposed to be set apart as a game preserve. These areas as described in Senate bill 1793 are now withdrawn under the act of June 25, 1910, pending action by Congress.
The purpose of this game preserve is to provide permanently for the preservation of a small herd of antelope which has been protected for several years on the Kansas National Forest and which is certain to become exterminated in the near future when the lands in the forest are opened to settlement unless provision is made for its protection. From every point of view the project seems to be desirable. The antelope, which is now in greater danger of extermination than any other species of big game native to the United States, is rapidly disappearing with the settlement of arid lands in the West, and it is very important that some provision be made for preserving this species. A small herd of antelope already exists on the Kansas National Forest and if it can be rounded up and placed in an inclosure safe from coyotes and other predatory animals it can probably be preserved indefinitely.
The State of Kansas through its system of hunting licenses has recently provided a game protection fund and a regular income for the preservation of game. By means of this fund it has established one of the largest fish hatcheries in the United States and is doubtless in a position to maintain a game preserve, but at present has no lands suitable for such purpose. The present bill if enacted into law will provide not only the land necessary for such a preserve, but the nucleus of a herd of antelope.