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Now that the Philippine controversy has resolved itself into a distinct case for complete independence, it is fortunate that Harvard is to have an exposition of this case from Mr. Pedro Guevara, Philippine representative at Washington, tonight at the Union. the some 3,141 islands composing the Philippines, present a problem to our government every bit as complex as that which India presents to Great Britain. In 1899, not long after the Patriots' League demonstration of 1896, which resulted in the overthrow of the usurper, Aguinaldo, President McKinley appointed a commission to investigate conditions in the Philippines. They reported a lack of education and "linguistic diversities," plus a Moro element, a small but violent portion of the total population which professed the Mohammedan religion in opposition to the Catholic.
The present dispute has, in its growth, resembled that of 1896, although it comes at an apparently more opportune time. Then the goal was at first merely the correction of governmental abuses; but the attack gradually shifted, as it has in the present movement, to a demand for complete independence.
It is not a question of whether the Philippines should ever have independence; the Jones Insular Government Act made some eventual provision for that. The question is, should they have it now? Perhaps Mr. Guevara can advance arguments to prove his case, or even discredit the administration of General Wood. At any rate, it is good to hear the other side of the case from a sincere and intelligent advocate.
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