THE WHITE MAN'S BURDEN
When the United.States bought the Philippines from Spain tor £4,000,000 in 1898 the islands, which now have a population of 9,000,000, had been under the rule of Spain tor 250 years. Rebellion had become the rule rather than the exception. There was no such thing as justice. It was common ior men to remain in gaol ten years before trial. Year after year epidemic, disease, plague, small-box, and berri-bern swept the weak. That was bttore Uncle Sam stepped in. He has effected a remarkable reformation. In Boston the other day Governor General W. Cameron Forbes, who recently returned from the Philippines, attempted to give an audience some account of the improvement made since the Americans took charge. The plague has disappeared. The reI mainmg lepers have been segregated. Last year no one in.the.Philippines died Irom smallpox. In 1902 the deaths Irom smallpox numbered 77,000. An effective,campaign against tuberculosis is being earned on. My sinking 700 artesian wells, and teaching the population something about the danger of drinking contaminated water, the death rate in country districts has been reducedby fifty per cent. Every day the road-builders construct about threequarters of a mile of high-class highway, and already the country has 1000 miles of good roads. One-third of all the children are now being educated. Bandits in the principal provinces have been suppressed. Commerce has been reorganised and transportation has been
improved greatly. For the year ending July, 1912, the administration had'-a balance of ,£60,000 on the right side of the ledger, and this is being applied to the development, of the islands. There is now pending at Washington a Bill which would give the Philippine Islands their independence within a few years. While believing that ultimately such action should be taken, Governor Forbes told his Boston audience that the time when that could safely be done has not yet arrived. Naturally there will be difficulty in determining when the Philippines are ready to rule themselves. They may not be willing to wait until the Americans say the word. Whatever may be the fact as to that, the story of the Philippines as they were in 1898 and as they are to-day, told by Governor Forbes, is impressive enough.
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