One of the many perplexing problems which has been left to the new administration is that of the Philippine Islands. Nearly every one agrees that the United States should not retain the Islands one moment past the time they are able to govern themselves and retain their independence. The question to decide is whether that time has or has not come. President Harding has entrusted the decision to two Harvard men. William Cameron Forbes, A.B. '92, L.L.D. '12, and General Leonard Wood, M.D. '84, and L.L.D. '99. On the judgment of these two men the future freedom of the Philippine Islands largely depends.
Both Mr. Forbes and General Wood are admirably fitted for the task set them. The former has served in high official capacities in the Islands since 1904. In 1908 President Roosevelt made Mr. Forbes Vice-Governor of the Philippines, and in November, 1909, President Taft appointed him Governor-General, a position which he held until September, 1913.
General Wood, after a romantic and able army career, beginning with Roosevelt's "Rough Riders", served as military governor of Cuba from 1899 to 1902, when the government of Cuba was given over to the Cuban Republic. In this capacity he displayed the same remarkable executive and constructive ability and foresight as Cameron Forbes showed in his work in the Philippines. Later he obtained a background for his new position by commanding the Philippine division of the United States Army.
When Mr. Forbes and General Wood return from the Islands, Washington will be able to decide the complex problem on a basis of real facts and able suggestions from two men who know what they are talking about.