Economics of the Philippine Problem

December 12, 1931

Report Outline
Economic Aspects of the Philippine Problem
American-Philippine Free Trade
Philippine Competition in the American Market
Need of Economic Preparation for Independence
The Philippine Problem Before Congress
Special Focus

The Seventy-second Congress, now in its first session, is expected to come to grips with the Philippine problem and before its expiration fifteen months hence to pass legislation definitely providing for the future independence of the Philippine Islands. In the last Congress the committees on insular affairs of both houses considered bills to free the Islands from American control, and a majority of each committee favored such legislation. Senator Bingham, chairman of the Senate committee, has predicted independence legislation by this Congress, although he himself is strongly opposed to an early grant of Philippine independence.

The Hawes-Cutting bill, favorably reported to the Senate during the last Congress, provided for a five-year period of autonomy and trade adjustment, followed by a plebiscite of the Filipino people on the question of independence. This or some similar proposal will probably command a majority in the Senate whenever it can be brought to a vote, and a House controlled by Democrats and Progressives is regarded as generally more favorable to Philippine independence than the House of the last Congress.

Attitude of the Hoover Administration

The election of a Republican Congress and a Republican President in 1928 was regarded by Filipino leaders as a blow to the independence movement and as removing any possibility of early action on their demands. The Philippine Herald, organ of the independence movement, said on November 9, 1928: “From what the Filipinos know of Herbert Hoover, there is not the least, hope of their seeing the dawn of a new and more advanced stage of political progress. …The question has simmered down to an endurance test.” Since this opinion was expressed the situation—in Congress at least—has undergone a radical change. Economic considerations have intervened to produce a new alignment on the Philippine question at the Capitol.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Aug. 10, 1990  Can Democracy Survive in the Philippines?
Feb. 06, 1987  Philippine Politics
Oct. 28, 1983  Political Unrest in the Philippines
Oct. 24, 1980  The Philippines Under Stress
Apr. 25, 1975  Philippine Instability
May 17, 1967  The Philippines: Time of Frictions
May 17, 1950  Philippines in Transition
Apr. 12, 1945  Rehabilitation of the Philippines
Aug. 05, 1933  Independence Contest in the Philippines
Dec. 12, 1931  Economics of the Philippine Problem
Nov. 06, 1926  The Problem of the Philippines
Jan. 28, 1924  Philippine Independence
Economic Analyses, Forecasts, and Statistics
Imperialism, Colonization, and Independence Movements
Regional Political Affairs: East Asia and the Pacific