The Conservative (Nebraska City, Neb.) 1898-1902, March 02, 1899, Page 6, Image 6

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    6 t3bc Conservative *
sens. " "Wlmt is right and just and hu-
nmno is what the same President Wil
liam McKinley dcolnrctl to bo his pur
pose ; namely : not to commit nets of
criminal degression , not to slaughter
them by thousands , not to subject them
to government by force , not to try to
make them vassals , and not to try to put
upon them any form of government
without the consent of the governed or
to attempt to tnx them without repre
sentation on their own part.
Thn president says , "That treaty now
commits the free and enfranchised Filip
inos to the guiding hand nnd the liberal
izing influences , the generous sympath
ies , the uplifting education , not of the
American masters , but of their Ameri
can emancipators. " Having divested
himself of all authority , let him with
draw the orders which now stand to the
oppression of these people , and then let
congress forbid their oppression by
armed forces. Let them withdraw our
forces as we withdrew them from Mexico
ice under similar conditions. Let these
people have the same opportunity thnt
we gave to the Mexicans after having
conquered them , to establish a stable
government , in which after several ef
forts the Mexicans have been so com
pletely successful.
Let congress give , ns the president
suggests , to the people of the Philippine
islands pence and order , afford them
every opportunity to prosecute their law
ful pursuits , encourage them in thrift
and industry , making them feel nnd
know that wo are friends. Let con
gress do that , and if possible remedy the
evil of criminal aggression nnd do nwny
with the method of making friends by
slaughtering them in thousands , shelling
nnd burning their villages without giv
ing the women nnd children nn oppor
tunity to escape. Truly the American
people , acting through its congress , may
be trusted nnd thnt trust will not by
congress bo betrnyed.
What stands in the way of enabling
the people of these islands through their
chosen lenders of proved ability nnd
patriotism to work out their own snlvn
tion in pence and without oppression ?
The pretense that they maybe subjected
to spoliation by other nations. Which
nation stands rendy to assume the cost
nnd danger of this undertaking ? Not
one. It is for the interest of this coun
try , of Great Britain , of Franco , of Ger
many , of Russia nnd of Japan thnt these
islnnds shall not bo made the base foi
offensive measures of war in any direc
tions. None want them. None wish
that any other nation shall possess them.
All are prepared to support them in their
effort to govern themselves. Give them
that right ; neutralize them. Let them
rnnke bnrgnins with every nntion foi
coaling stations , cable landings and for
protection within their waters from ng-
gression. What stands in the way'
Are not all the conditions propitious
Are not European nations trying to
ind out a way to spare themselves from
he further pursuit of war ? Are not all
eeking to extend their commence ?
Why should there not bo one group of
sinmis iu the whole wide world neutral-
zed as Belgium is. as Switzerland is , as
he Congo Free State is , as the Suez
Canal is ports free to all , no hostile
shot to be fired from land and no fleets
o fight within the waters ?
To those to whom such a conception
coins visionary , all efforts to maintain
icace are visionary. They are governed
> y the survival of the brute element ,
vhich would even burden this nation
vith militarism , with great standing
armies , with navies for offensive and
lot for defensive purposes , nnd nil the
evils of the hell of wnr.
Where there is a will there is n way ,
and that will will be convoyed to the
ncmbers of our congress from the ranks
of the laborers , the farmers , the mer
chants , the manufacturers , and from
all alike who find in themselves any
lower that makes for righteousness nnd
who nro governed by the precepts of
common sense.
In the few hours of a busy morning in
which I have had time to review the
speech of apology and excuse made last
light by the president , I have probably
'ailed. With more time I might have
made the case more clear and the con
demnation of criminal aggression more
[ Now York Evening Post ] .
The speeches of Senators Platt ( of
Connecticut ) and Foraker unwittingly
reveal the abyss into which they ask the
country to plunge with them. They no
doubt reflect the sentiments of all who
wish to launch on an unknown sea of
adventure. When objection is made to
incorporating Asiatics into our body
politic because our national constitution
was made for European races , nnd pnr-
ticulnrly the Anglo-Snxon , nnd is not lit
for the government of peoples who have
no traditions of freedom and are steeped
in despotism , their answer is that con
gress has absolute plenary power over
territories , nnd is subject to no consti
tutional restrictions in governing them
in other words , that a government of
a territory is entirely outside the con
stitution. The only practicable way by
which congress can exorcise such powei
is by transferring it to the president.
It is true , they say , that , in an organic
act , congress usually extends the consti
tution and laws of the United States
over a territory , but that the constitu
tion does not proprio viyorc extend it
self there , as it does over a state. Con
sequently , if , after adopting the consti
tution for a territory , congress shoulc
pass an act in conflict with it , to tha
extent it repeals the constitution.
These declarations should bo taken as
notice that if the Philippines are an
lexed , they will bo governed without
regard to constitutional limitations.
The advocates of this policy do not seem
o be conscious , in making this avowal ,
hat they furnish an overwhelming
argument ngninst holding Asintic pos-
essions , where , from necessity , con
gress must invest the president with n
rinity of power executive , legislntive ,
nnd judicial which is the very essence
of despotism. It menus the creation of
a great Oriental monarchy nnd nn nt-
empt to establish at Washington the
empire of the Caliphs of Bagdad. It islet
lot much comfort to be told that our
jresident will bo another Haroun Al-
laschid. Mr. Platt quotes from a
speech of Mr. Webster's the following
an gunge as to the power of congress
over the territories : "It may establish
my such government nnd any such
a\vs in the territories as in its discre-
ion it may seem fit. It is subject , of
course , to the rules of justice and pro-
n'iety , but it is under no constitutional
restraints. " He also cites with approval ,
as does Mr. Foraker , the acts of con
gress that made the president absolute
dictator in the territories of Florida and
Louisiana , and a late decision of the
Jnited States Court of Appeals for the
Ninth Circuit (86 ( Fed. Reporter , 45(5) ( ) ,
the syllabus of which reads :
"Congress has full legislative power
over the territories , unrestricted by the
.imitations of the constitution. "
The court was unanimous , and the
opinion is supported by references to
supreme court decisions tending in the
snme direction. Bo it so ; then let us
beware of entrusting congress with this
colossal power to bo delegnted to the
president , except in the case of absolute
necessity. If there were a rocky island
in the Pncific beyond our jurisdiction
that was a Gibraltar which commanded
the entrance to the Golden Gate , no one
would question the propriety of our
acquiring and holding the same in self-
defence. No such renson can bo alleged
for our holding the Philippines , but just
the reverse. They would be a weak
point in war which we would have to
defend. The force detached to defend
them could bo of no use anywhere else.
The occasions for using despotic
power should bo reduced to a minimum ;
familiarity with it abroad may gradually
sap and undermine all the safeguards
of freedom at home. In such a school
the Prajtorian bands wore trained. A
government of the Philippines must be
a despotism or no government at all.
Asiatics are not fit for anything else.
Mr. Foraker says wo will hold them
only temporarily until these people are
fit for self-government. But all people
are fit for self-government in their own
way. Asiatics and Africans are as con
tented with their forms of government
as wo are ; they never will bo with ours.
But why confine our philanthropy to
the Philippines ? Why not embrace all
Asia in this benevolent scheme to regen-
* " i
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