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Government of the Philippines

Government of the Philippines

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Excerpt from Government of the Philippines: Speech of Hon. Richard F. Pettigrew, of South Dakota, in the Senate of the United States, Monday, June 4, and Tuesday, June 5, 1900

The Senate having under consideration the bill (S. 2355) in relation to the suppression of insurrection in. and to the government of, the Philippine Islands, ceded by Spain to the United States by the treaty concluded at Paris on the 10th day of December, 1898 -

Mr. Pettigrew said:

Mr. President: When the present session of Congress convened six months ago, the Senate expected and had aright to expect, and the American people expected, that the Administration in charge of the Government, in charge of events which were occurring in the Philippine Islands, would report to Congress the results of our operations in that distant country. A complete resume of everything that had been clone by our Army and our officers should have been laid before both Houses of Congress, but it was not done. The public was well aware that some information in regard to what had been occurring in the Philippines had reached us through the censored press and the correspondence of our soldiers. That such information was meager, that it was uncertain, and that the facts were hard to secure, was known to all. When Congress assembled, those statements regarding the situation which we had a right to expect were not forthcoming. December passed, and in January resolutions were introduced in this body calling for important facts in connection with the war on the Filipinos.

The resolutions introduced were promptly laid upon the table by the Administration majority in the Senate. Finally a resolution prepared by the Senator from Massachusetts [Mr. Hoar] passed the Senate, asking the Administration for a detailed account of all its doings in connection with the Philippine Islands. We waited many weeks, and finally a partial statement was sent in It did not cover the scope of the inquiry, and at the close of the session we are without the information. The report of the President in answer to our resolution of inquiry concerning transactions in the Philippines did not convey all the truth. It contained only fragmentary selections from the record. All that has come to us in a direct way has been printed. I believe it is insufficient: that it does not cover the ground; that such information was withheld as the Administration desired to suppress; that the American people are no longer trusted by the party in power; they are no longer taken into the confidence of their administrative servants and intrusted with the facts. Proof conclusive that facts were withheld was furnished by the Senator from Wisconsin [Mr. Spooner] in his speech a few days ago. He read from the printed reports which came from the Administration in reply to our resolutions; but Mr. President, lie also read from manuscript, more than from anything else, that which was withheld from Congress, that which had not been furnished to the whole people. He read what was accessible to Administration Senators and not accessible to other members of the Senate.

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