Thompson and Butu

 

National Affairs: Philippine Oracle

Monday, Jul. 26, 1926

 

Colonel Carmi A. Thompson, suave among politicians, even more suave among business men, has become an oracle in the Philippines in less than a fortnight. Filipinos and Moros, little brown senators and big brown generals were curious to hear the personal representative of President Coolidge. Is he a meddlesome quack or is he a saintly surgeon come to mend their wounds?

As an oracle, Colonel Thompson was a worthy successor of Apollo. His replies had a frank and sonorous ring, implied everything and committed themselves to nothing.

Example A: “Whatever conclusions I reach at the end of my survey, my report to President Coolidge will contain positive constructive recommendations regarding the future of the Philippines.”

Example B: “The Philippine Islands are approaching a prosperous era.”

Filipinos. Oracle Thompson was an interesting exhibit before the joint opening session of Filipino Senate and House. He was applauded half-heartedly (Governor General Leonard Wood was not applauded at all); he spoke of “public lands . . . rubber . . . righteousness . . . loyalty;” he heard a unanimous resolution, agreed upon by both Houses, informing President Coolidge of the intense desire of the Filipinos for immediate, complete, absolute independence. Colonel Thompson had another entry for his notebook, along with the item that the night before he had drunk champagne to Mr. Coolidge’s health at the proposal of Manuel Quezon, president of the Senate.

Moros. Senator Hadjib Butu, representing Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago (where Moros predominate), also visited Oracle Thompson. He promised to introduce him to the Sultan of Sulu when he traveled southward; he told how Mohammedan Moros preferred U. S. rule to that of Christian Filipinos. Said Senator Butu: “The situation we face reminds me of the story of Joseph and his brethren in your Bible. The Moro looks up to the American as his father and upon the Filipino as his brother. Because of the love between Joseph and his father, his brothers threw him into a pit and left him there to die. And the Moros want American rule instead of Philippine domination.”

General Aguinaldo. Colonel Thompson reminisced on the Spanish-American war with the old insurrector, General Aguinaldo, who has now become a leader for the Americanization of the Philippines. He believed that many of the Filipinos would hate to have the Americans leave. Petite brown ballarinas had begun to like U. S. soldiers, sailors, wealthy businessmen, dance halls, automobiles from Detroit, clothes from Chicago. There is a possibility that General Aguinaldo may come out of his retirement to lead Americanists if Filipinos Quezon and Roxas continue their noncooperation policy toward Governor General Wood.

Rubber. While there seems to be a difference of opinion concerning exactly what the different peoples of the Philippines want, nevertheless U. S. business men have a substantial suspicion that Colonel Carmi A. Thompson wants to find a few hundred thousand acres for the cultivation of rubber by American industries.

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,846696,00.html?iid=chix-sphere

 

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