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Treaty Ratified

Treaty Ratified image
Parent Issue
Day
10
Month
February
Year
1899
Copyright
Public Domain
OCR Text

Monday afternoon witnessed the ratification of the peace treaty by a majority of one more than two-thirds. The news of the fight at Manila probably strengthened the hands of the administration in bringing about this result. It is alleged also that the administration made certain promises as to its future policy in order to insure ratification, agreeing to give the Filipinos as liberal a government as the better element of the people there consider safe. But be this as it may, it is difficult to see what other course than ratification was open. We had to ratify the treaty. It was a necessity of the position in which we have been placed by the results of the war. No other course, under the conditions, was open to us with honor or credit to ourselves. Having everthrown the Spanish authority, and demanded that other nations stand aloof, we were bound by every obligation which appeals to honor and right to set up a stable control, in the place of it. Much as we might wish to escape the obligation, it could not be done. We were obligated to the foreign residents to that extent, even though we acknowledged no accountableness to the Filipinos. There are many German and English residents in the islands and their lives and property were under our protection. We had the moral support of England throughout the war and during the critical days at Manila. She expected, and had a right to expect, that we would protect her citizens when we had overthrown Spanish rule. We almost came to a ruction with the German naval authorities over our determination to compel her to keep hands off. It is a solemn duty, therefore, having assumed control, to protect her subjects. Nor can we escape obligation to the Filipinos. Nobody was willing to return the islands to the misrule and tyranny of Spain. We do not believe they are capable of maintaining a stable and safe government for themselves, a government that would safeguard all interests. If they are not, to leave them to their own volition, would be to invite, yes, to insure, a state of anarchy, a condition which would call for immediate intervention of foreign powers.

Looking at the question, therefore, from any standpoint we please, we find ourselves confronted by obligations which are not to be lightly shaken off. We can no more escape them than the individual can escape his obligations to society. In ratifying the treaty the senate did the only thing possible under the circumstances.