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Politicians Not Needed

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Parent Issue
Day
17
Month
November
Year
1899
Copyright
Public Domain
OCR Text

Friday Prof. Henry E. Bourne of the Western Reserve University, o: Cleveland, Ohio, read a very a ble pa 'per on "Methods of Colonial Admiu istration" bef ore the Michigan Political Association in Tappau hall. No excerpts from the carefully preparec paper can do it 'full justice. Prof. Botirne traced a wide distinction betweeu the purchase of Louisiana territory and lands already occupied by an alien or barbarons population, where there rould necessarily be a struggle for race supremacy. He instanced the poor success that France has had in changing the semi-barbarotis civilization of Algiers. In speakiug.of tropical colonial government, he showed that it nrast be government from a distance until medical science makes it possible for Europeans to live contiuuously in a tropical elimate and bring up their children to a vigorous manhood there. The natives are not scattered tribes, but peoples, or even nations, with a wideJy different civilization, the growth of eenturies. It would be as difficnlt to transform a Malay into an American as au American into a Malay. The controlliug power must seek to adjust its rule with the minimum of sliock to the existing order and then build a better social order. He bore down -heavily on France's colonial administration. A country which England opens to civilization is so much territory given to the trade of the world, but France seeks to colonize for her own exclusive proflt, by tariff and trade regulations forcing the people to buy only French mairafactures and adding oppressive forms to taxation to those already existing. He traced the history of colonies wliere the natives were enslaved and forced to work for the revenue of the government. The colonizing power must choose between a direct government and a protectorate. But a direct government may be carried on in the spirit of a protectorate. The United States could not establish a protectorate in the Philippines. The sovereignty recognized in the Philippines was Spanish. When that sovereignty disappeared, there was nothing to proteet unless it might be au improvised republic. Nevertheless, the United States might work through native local aiithorities and scrupulously respect native institutions and prejiidioes. No European government which has assumed control in the tropics recently has ventured to dispense with the local officials wholly and substitute for them functionaries sent from home. Thero should be some better disiiosition made of oflice seekers tlian to send them ïar from the restraints of public opinión to experiment with some of the most delicate problems of administration that the world now aiïords As important as is the organization of the government is the selection of papable men to flll positions. The Dutch oonld not have succeeded in Java had their offloers been selected beoause of some spec-ia] skill in keeping party fences at home in repair. The Spaniards faiLed. Their officials were not only corrupt, but ignorant of the langnage of the natives. Eiifiland will not put up with ineffioieiicy, because it is bad politics to insist on the appoiiitmeut of trained men.