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SOME LEADING EVENTS IN THE CURRENT
STORY OF THE WORLD.
BY DR. J. M. TANNER, SUPERINTENDENT OF CHURCH SCHOOLS.
The Situation in the Philippines.
The last month has witnessed abundant and sometimes bitter discussion, both in Congress and in the press, respecting our rights and duties in the Philippines. Governor Taft, our highest civil authority, has returned to the United States and made reports of conditions as he sees them, and it is quite generally believed that he and General Chaffee are not in fullest accord. We have a very peculiar condition in the Philippines. We have an army there putting down guerilla warfare, and a general establishing military rules for the guidance of the soldiers and the regulation of the communities that are under martial law. We have civil authorities striving to organize a civil government. Why the United States has not adopted a procedure in the Philippines similar to that which it has adopted in Cuba, it is not easy to understand. General Wood, in Cuba, has given general satisfaction, both as military and civil governor of that island. General Chaffee and Governor Taft are both men of eminent ability, and either, it seems, would have been thoroughly competent to deal with the situation in the Philippines. Reports as to the violent disagreement of our authorities there must certainly be received with some allowance. The situation is, however, described by a correspondent of the London Chronicle as amusing. He says:-“The civil commission is proceeding as if the natives were the most docile people in the world, and sending its employees to the most remote corners of the islands, where there are no military posts. The military are silent, but have issued strict orders that no soldiers shall appear on the
streets of the most pacified towns unarmed; and the outposts shall be strengthened, and vigilance increased in every way."
The Senate of the United States has been busily occupied with the tariff measure sent up to that body from the House of Representatives. The House bill provides that the United States collect on all articles imported into this country from the islands the same tariff that is provided in the Dingley bill, thus treating the Filipinos as foreigners in the matter of commercial relations, except that the tariff collected is to be returned to the islands for the administration of government and the improvement of the people. In the islands, the tariff schedule prepared by the civil commission is to remain unchanged, and the open door for all the markets of Europe prevails in the Philippines. The Senate has recently proposed an amendment of twenty-five per cent below the schedule fixed by the House. One of the reasons for maintaining a tariff policy with the Philippines; that is, putting other countries on the same footing as the United States, is that the United States is now demanding that the open door policy be maintained in China. Russia is almost as completely in control of the vast province of Manchuria, as the United States is of the Philippines, and it is our policy not to give Russia any pretext for discriminating against us in Manchuria. Manchuria is today one of the best fields in the Orient for the commerce of the United States. It is said that that Chinese province alone furnishes more than three-fourths of all our markets in China.
The question of what is to be done with the Philippines not only gives rise to our embarrassment in dealing with the natives of those islands, but affords abundant material for discussion at home. No doubt, many shrewd Filipinos think that the United States hardly knows what it is about, and that our policy may shift at any time, and thus make possible absolute independence. President Schurman; of Cornell University, chairman of the first commission appointed to the Philippines, in a recent address at Boston, declared that it should be the policy of the United States to announce and grant complete and absolute independence to the Filipinos as soon as conditions in that country would justify it. On the other hand, Representative Cannon in the House announced in a most dramatic manner that we are in the Fhilippines “to remain
forever and a day.” The Democrats in Congress have formulated and announced their policy with respect to the Philippines; and, as the natural tendency of their policy, on the one side, is to consolidate, it follows that the Republicans, on the other side, are more than likely to announce the policy of permanent occupation. The five political declarations of the Democratic party are here given in full.
(1) That the United States relinquish all claim to sovereignty over the Philippines, subject to the provisions hereinafter set forth. (2) That from and after the passage of this act, the Philippine Islands shall be foreign territory, and all goods entering the United States therefrom shall be subject to the same duties, customs, and imposts, as are now, or may be hereafter, prescribed by law for goods entered from other foreign countries; provided, that during the temporary occupation of the islands all trade between them and the United States shall ke free. (3) That the United States shall continue to occupy the archipelago until the Filipinos have formed for themselves a stable government, and until sufficient guarantees have been obtained for the performance of our treaty obligations with Spain, and for the safety of those inhabitants who have adhered to the United States. (4) That as soon as these results have been accomplished, it is declared to be the purpose of the United States to withdraw from the Philippines, and leave the government thereof to the inhabitants, retaining only such military, naval, and coaling stations as may be designated by the Government of the United States.
The Democrats will find a large number of sympathizers among the Republicans; though party discipline may minimize the number of those who would otherwise be willing to join the Democratic party in the announced program. It will not, then, be surprising if permanent occupation is announced by one party and temporary occupation by the other. If, however, the Democrats mean by temporary occupation of the Philippines what the English mean by the temporary occupation of Egypt, it will be a long time, in any event, before we get out of the Philippines.
Cuba and the Tariff.
Considerable interest is manifest in Utah over the proposed revision of the sugar schedule in our tariff law. At present we are collecting about $1.68 per hundred on imported sugar. Cuba
cannot pay a bounty as Germany and France are doing; and the tariff, therefore, becomes practically a barrier to Cuban sugar. The same is largely true of our tariff on Cuban tobacco. As the United States is practically the only market in the world for Cuban sugar, the prosperity of that island is very largely dependent upon our tariff policy. The friends of the revision say we have imposed upon the island a sort of protectorate; we have compelled her people to accept the conditions we imposed upon Cuba, and we are now in honor bound to maintain a liberal commercial attitude toward her. It is insisted that Cuba may be as unfortunate in her present commercial bondage to the United States as she was in her political bondage to Spain. It has been generally thought that Congress would reduce the tariff something like twenty-five per cent. That would make a difference of forty-two cents on the hundred. It is difficult to see just how this could effect our own sugar interests. At the new rates, we should be bound to pay practically the same for Cuban sugar that we now pay for our own, so the price to the consumer would not be materially less than it is today. This is due to the fact that between seven and eight hundred thousand tons of sugar are annually imported from Europe; and Cuba and Hawaii send us about one million tons. The United States produces something like four hundred and fifty thousand tons. Of this amount one hundred and seventy-five thousand tons is beet sugar and two hundred and seventy-five thousand cane sugar. It will be seen from these figures that the United States produces somewhere about one-fifth of its consumption. No doubt, in time, this country will increase its consumption per capita of sugar; since, today, it consumes something like twenty pounds per person less than England. Zionism.
Zionism is growing, and, if we can believe the reports of its friends its influences are extending beyond the effort to colonize the Holy Land. It now contemplates, in its latest phase, a rehabilitation, or at least an improvement, of Jewish character and Jewish life. Zionism is insisting that preparation be made by the Jews to reclaim the land of their fathers. As a result, it is said that missionary work has been inaugurated, that the filth of the
Ghettos, the quarters of the Jews in the great cities, is to be cleaned out, that learning is to be more modern and to meet the present demands of civilization and human progress. An effort will be made to remove the petty differences and bickerings in religious matters, and unite the Jews upon a common basis of belief. From the last conference at Basle, it was reported that $3,000,000 out of the proposed $10,000,000 had been paid in to the trust fund, and steps would soon be taken to purchase land in Palestine for new colonies.
Reports were sent out last month from German correspondents in South Africa to the effect that the conduct of the English soldiers toward Boer women in the concentration camps was most shameful and cruel, and some of the German illustrated papers presented the reports in cartoons that reflect upon the honor and chivalry of the English soldier. This aroused a spirit of intense indignity throughout England, and the reports were promptly denied. The Germans have been taking their revenge on the English during the Boer war. They have not forgotten how England was constantly misrepresting conditions between France and Germany, and apparently agitating these hostile nations to conflict. For years, Germany and England have been engaged in a newspaper warfare that has resulted in strong national prejudices, that sometimes assume the character of hatred.
Since the return of the Emperor of China and the Empress Dowager to Pekin, rumors have been circulated about the breaking down of the health of the Empress Dowager. Her days, it is said, are nearing an end, and speculations are rife as to what will happen to China when left to a weak and vacillating boy who now occupies the throne. The Empress Dowager has taken great pains to impress the world that China is quite willing to submit to certain foreign demands, and grant concessions and franchises to the commercial world now at work in exploiting China's greatest resources. Millions are flowing annually both from this country and Europe to the enterprises now in progress in China.