Items of Interest

The world's interest was centred in the passage of the army bill in the United States Senate and House of Representatives last week, not on account of the bill itself, but on account of two amendments that were attached to it; one providing for a civil government to be established in the Philippines, and the other for establishing a protectorate over Cuba. The Philippine amendment provides for delegating all the rights over the Philippines secured by the United States under the treaty of Paris, to the Taft Commission of five men appointed by the President. A number of amendments to this amendment, seeking to commit the administration to extend the benefits of the constitution of the United States to the people of the archipelago, were voted down, which leaves the President and the commission acting under his authority free to govern the Philippines until a permanent government is established.

The Cuban constitutional convention had adopted a constitution providing for a republican form of government; but the amendment to the army bill places certain limitations on the proposed government which are briefly (1) that Cuba is not by treaty to impair its independence or alienate any of its territory; (2) that the United States shall have authority to limit its power to contract debts; (3) that the United States must be accorded the privilege of armed interference to protect life and property in case of international troubles; (4) that all acts of the military government be ratified; (5) that the United States be allowed to dictate in regard to the sanitary measures in Cuban cities; (6) that the Isle of Pines be not considered Cuban territory, but that the title must be left to negotiation; (7) that the United States shall be allowed to buy or lease such tracts of land on the coast of Cuba for naval and coaling stations as this government may see fit; (8) that these requirements must be embodied in a permanent treaty between the United States and Cuba.

The members of the Cuban constitutional convention were bitterly resentful when these conditions were first made known before the actual passage of the bill, and armed revolt was freely threatened, but after the amendment passed the Senate the Cuban convention took up the matter in a more pacific spirit, and adopted a statement of what should be the relations between the two countries, which seems to embody most of the demands contained in the amendment, though not so clearly as the President may desire.

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History of the "New Star."
March 7, 1901

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