THE CABINET: More Charges

  • Carrying over the head of the War Department the question of whether Governor General Wood has malad-ministered the Philippines, the Filipino Independence Mission (consisting of Manuel Roxas, Pedro Guevara and Tsauro Gabaldon) went directly to Congress with a memorial denouncing the administration of General Wood and asking freedom for the Islands. The three signers of the memorial are, respectively, the Speaker of the insular House of Representatives and the two regular representatives of the Islands at Washington, "Resident Commissioners."

    The allegations against General Wood were not specific but consisted mainly of the following:

    "Governor General Wood . . . has most decidedly taken a backward step by depriving our Government of the key and the nerve-center of the former autonomous administration— the counsel* of the Filipinos.

    "He has surrounded himself with a secret cabinet composed of military and other extra-legal advisers, which has encroached upon the legitimate functions of the Filipino officials in the Government. . . .

    "He has placed himself over and above the laws passed by the Philippine Legislature, laws that have never been declared null and void by the courts or by the Congress of the United States. . . .

    "He has abused the veto power, exercising it on the slightest pretext on matters of purely local concern that did not affect the sovereignty of the United States or its international obligations. . . . He has disregarded the rights of the Senate in his exercise of the appointing power.

    "He has destroyed our budget system, the greatest achievement in the financial administration of our Government. He has endeavored to defeat the economic policies duly laid down by the Philippine Legislature for the protection of the rights and interests of the Filipino people in the development of the resources of the Islands. . . .

    "The recent incidents simply serve to bring home the compelling need that the Philippine question be now settled once and for all. . . . The time for Philippine independence has come. It can be postponed no longer. Filipino welfare calls for it; Filipino ideals long for it, and the good name and pledged faith of America require it."

    Some of the above charges need qualification, e.g.;

    The Council of which General Wood "deprived" the Philippines resigned, making at that time practically the same charges as those of the present memorial; General Wood told its members to their faces and almost thus bluntly: "Your charges are lies" (TiME, July 30, Aug. 6).

    On the same day on which the memorial was filed with Congress charging that General Wood had "destroyed our budget system," the insular Senate passed a general appropriation bill practically identical with the budget presented by General Wood, except that it curtailed expenditures of the Governor General's office and eliminated the appropriation for operating the Governor's yacht, Apo. The insular House had previously passed the same bill in slightly different form.

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