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July 04, 1946 - Image 2

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1946-07-04

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Fifty-Sixth Year

Truman's ForgottenPromise

Edited and managed by students of the University of
Michigan under the authority of the Board in Control
of Stydent Publications.
Editorial Staff
Managing Editors .. Paul Harsha, Milton Freudenheim
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Sports .... ............................-Jack' Martin
Women's'............................... Lynne Ford
Business Staff
$uslness Manager ........................ Janet Cork:
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Editorials published in The Michigan Daily
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dendence day, the United States is granting
what is reputed to be complete independence to
the Philippine Islands.
Before being carried away by the apparently
high-minded idealism of our action, it is well to
examine the hypocrisy which I believe underlies
the situation.
Today the Filipinos gained their political
freedom, yes. But they gained this freedom
at the expense of perintting unchecked eco-
nomic expiitation by American capital.
Before the war eighty per cent of all Philip-
pine exports were sent to the United States
without tariff restrictions. With the country's
economic stability shattered by the war, the
Filipinos must depend upon the continuation of
free trade with the United States until its eco-
nomy is restored to normal. To permit this, Con-
gress, last April, passed the much lauded Bell
Bill which provides for a eight year period of
free trade between the two countries and a
gradual application of five per cent of the nor-
mal tariff each year for the following twenty
This portion of the bill met with enthusias-
tic response from the Filipinos; however, in
order to receive the benefit of this tariff agree-
ment, the Philippines must first amend its con-
stitution to grant special privileges to American
business interests in the islands.
The Philippine constitution provides that any
corporation receiving a natural resource must
be composed of at least sixty per cent Phili'
pine capital. The Bell Bill requires that for the
tariff provisions to become effective, the Islands
must permit United States citizens to have equal
rights with Filipinos in the operation and ex-
ploitation of public utilities and natural re-
This bill was passed despite the protests of
Filipino leaders and despite the admission of
High Commissioner Paul McNutt that the
granting of equal rights to Americans is against
our international policy and a violation of the
United Nations Charter which would necessitate
that the same privileges be extended to other

Former-President Osmena has stated that
this action is a "curtailnent of Philippine sov-
ereignty" and a "virtual nullification of inde-

rfHE FOURTH OF JULY is always an historic
occasion because it is the birthday of this
Nation. But this time it will become doubly
historic because it will mark the birth of a
new nation, the Philippine Republic.
It will be a notable event-this voluntary
giving up of a rich and populous territory and
the granting to it of complete sovereignty. It
is the sort of action which we like to think of
as being distinctively American. It will be a
magnificent act, marred by but one thing-
the *absence of the President of the United
States from the formal ceremony when the
Philippine flag will be raised over a free land.
The President has said he is "too busy" and
has delegated as his representatives Paul Mc-
Nutt, our Ambassador to the Philippines, and a
brace of Missourians-the ubiquitous Robert E.
Hannegan and W. Stuart Symington-with J.
Weldon Jones of the Bureau of the Budget in
Mr. Hannegan has already shown too much of
a disposition to mix into foreign affairs. Mr.
Symington has not too imposing rank of Assis-
tant Secretary of War and Mr. McNutt as our
Ambassador is already part of the Philippine
scene. However, the important thing is not so
much who is appointed to represent the Presi-
dent on this historic occasion. The important
thing is the lack of respect and the poor judg-
ment inherent in the decision of the President to
appoint anyone.
It is a job that the President should have done
unless he were incapacitated, in which event,
and in the absence of Secretary Byrnes in Paris,
he should have adhered to his decision to send
Secretary of the Interior Krug as his represen-
Rusin Drscord
OS ANGELES-The breakdown between Rus-
sia and the West has had its effects within
the United States, of which one sees numerous
signs in a trip across the country. Americans
have become more sharply critical of the Rus-
sian way of life; for example: Our small town
newspapers speak constantly of the lack of free-
dom of the press in the Soviet Union, etc.; there
is an air of invidious comparison which did not
exist before Mr. Byrnes and Mr. Molotov found
that they were not made for each other.
It might be argued that it is the lack of
free comment, free press, etc., in Russia which
has helped produce the breakdown in rela-
tions with the West. Actually, it is something
like the other way around; we always knew
that the Soviet system was different from ours;
we never had any doubts on that subject; and
it is the breakdown which has made these dif-
ferences an immediate issue. We now discover
faults where once, on exactly the same evi-
dence, we used to strain to find virtues; but it
is not the faults which have produced the
breakdown; it is the breakdown which rivets
our attention on the faults.
Another result of the breakdown has been what
might be called the return of the skeptic. This
is the doubter's hour in American life. The mag-
nificent warm people who used to cheer for
Willkie and one world are on the sidelines now,
looking for spiritual band-aids to apply to
their wounds. They know they were right, but
they look as if they were wrong, while those
who have been wrong most of their lives now
sound, much to their own surprise, as if they
were right.
It is the scoffer's day; and we might say that
a moral climate of high idealism has been re-
placed by a kind of damp fog. And while the
international crisis seems to legitimatize the
scoffing, the scoffing, in its turn, deepens the
crisis. So, again, there has been a kind of rever-
sal, for while isolation did not produce the break-
down, the breakdown has released the forces of
isolation in American life. They have been saved,
in the nick of time, by a disaster, and that is
part of the cost of the disaster.
There are other elements in the picture;
there is the despair of liberals, some of whom
are turning against liberalism itself, since,
with the integral hope of our day vanishing,
they feel it has let them down. There is that

special hostility toward Russia of those lib-
erals who feel that Russia has not properly ap-
preciated the better elements in American
opinion and has not tried noticeably to make
their task easier. All these developments com-
bine to strengthen the feeling that the great
breakdown between Russia and the West is not
the topic of one year, but the event of a gener-
ation; an occurrence which can shape a cen-
tury, in that it not only changes men's
thoughts, but changes also the very appara-
tus and mechanism by which men produce
thoughts, and the climate in which they try
to think their thoughts.
It is only a small satisfaction to be able to
say that all this proves that the one worlders
were right: the vast effects of the breakdown
show that their predictions about the cost of a
breakdown were correct. But it is not in this
way that the world wanted the case proved; not
negatively, but affirmatively; and so at stake
at the moment is our last chance to show that,
for once in an eon, men can evaluate a failure
without having to enact it.
(Copyright, 1946, N.Y. Post Syndicate)

tative because that Department has had juris-
diction of the Philippines for a number of years.
Secretary Krug would have added both dignity
and prestige. But if physically fit to go, the
President and only he-not as Harry S. Truman
but as the President of the United States-was
the only person who could adequately represent
the United States at such a moment in history
as this.
As a matter of fact, President Truman had
already promised the people of the Philip-
pines, through their then president, Sergio
Osmena, that he would be present at the birth
of a new nation which would also mark the
beginning of a new era of freedom and inde-
pendence for the Philippine Islands. Earlier,
President Roosevelt, also in my presence, had
told Osmena's predecessor, Manuel Quezon:
"I will not only be there, I will arrive in one
of our most modern battleships accompanied
by a fleet." What an impressive and dig-
nified gesture that would have been in honor-
ing a people who had won their freedom!
But with a recurrent lack of feeling for history
Mr. Truman has decided that he is "too busy."
This is the same President who was not "too
busy" to take a twelve-day trip to the West Coast
last year which was extended by three days, and
he went fishing.
Nor was he "too busy" last September to spend
two days relaxing in Independence, Missouri,
Or, again, he spent five dayson a trip through
six states in October during which time he
checked in at a country fair, spat in the Missis-
sippi River, and boyishly rang a locomotive bell.
Some of his other jaunts would hardly come
under the head of "business." They include
numerous week-end cruises on the Potomac, a
week's trip with the 8th Fleet off the Virginia
Capes, another to Fulton, Missouri to receive a
token degree, a journey to Easton, Maryland, to
receive a similar degree, and a clam bake on
Jefferson Island.
Now it has been reported in the press that
the President proposes this same month of
July to take a leisurely boat trip to Alaska as
the guest of Governor Mon Wallgren of the State
of Washington.
We are no longer living in the age of horses
and buggies. In point of time the Philippines
are not as -far away from Washington as New
York was before the day of the locomotive.
Such government papers as had to be signed
could have been flown to the President. There
are still the telephone and the radio by which
communications could have been maintained.
The people would have been proud to be rep-
resented on July 4 by their President at a tre-
mendous event in history that has never hap-
pened before and is unlikely ever to happen
On numerous occasions, Mr. Truman has
stated that he did not want to be President. It
becomes clearer every day that he not only did
not want to be President, but that he is disin-
clined to act the part of one.
(Copyright, 1946, N.Y. Post Syndicate)
Toward Inflation
IN A TELEGRAM sent Tuesday to the local
congressional representative, Earl C. Mich-
ener, directors of the Ann Arbor Board of Real-
tors, stated, "Leave rent control to the honesty
and fairness of American property owners." The
local real estate men represent landlords who
control the rents for some 17,000 persons in this
city, more than half of the citizens.
At their meeting Tuesday, which was intended
to demonstrate their willingness to serve the
public without OPA rent controls, by keeping
prices down, the realtors effectively "gave the
plot away." This same meeting which was to re-
assure the city, actually authorized rent in-
creases of from 10 to 15 per cent. The real estate
men at the same time indicated their unwill-
ingness to control any landlords who care to
violate the sanctioned increases.
A resolution urging passage of a city ordinance
to control rents was defeated. The realtors of-
fered the services of their board to any city
rent control plan, but they declined to go on
record as endorsing such a plan.
Evidence of the effect of the relaxation of
OPA controls on rents are already forthcoming.
One apartment house landlord hiked his tenants'
rents from 30 to 38 per cent. While this action

is from two to three times that sanctioned offi-
cially by the real estate men, their stand refus-
ing to invoke- effective controls makes them a
party to it.
Rep. Michener, who should know as much al-
ready, can find adequate testimony as to the
"honesty and fairness of American property
owners" in a report from the Washtenaw County
Sheriff's Office. It seems that these honest pro-
perty owners have come through with eviction
of mote than a dozen tenants in the first two
days following the end of OPA control.
The action taken by the city real estate board
seems indicative of that! which we may expect
from other merchants. The pattern was repeated
by city meat dealers. They gave their pledge in
a newspaper advertisement to keep prices down;
simultaneously they announced meat increases
at both wholesale and retail levels. ,
"Fairness" has always been a debatable term,
but for some undoubtedly naive reason, we have
always associated "honesty" with consistent ac-
tion and promise-keeping.
-Milt Freudenheim

The Islands need the assistance of American
capital today, but there is a wide distinction
between foreign investments as such and the
imperialistic exploitation by a permanently pri-
vileged class.
To say that the Philippines is independent to-
day is to blind ourselves to the economic depen-
dency which we are foisting upon the Philippines.
The Filipinos may well remember this Fourth
of July, not as the day when the received their
political independence on paper, but as the day
when control of this busines and industry was
conunandeered by American capital.
-Tom Walsh
The. Franco Engm An
What bearing if any has the Soviet-Argentine'

It would be advisable, m'boy, to repair to
the living room- Don't forget that my ad
appears in today's paper- And possibly a

By Crockett Johnson
Could they be
;nr len

Look! A Fourth of July
parade. But there's no
- - ~, ~.. -



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