Nicholas Longworth IV (November 5, 1869 – April 9, 1931) was an American politician in the Republican Party during the first few decades of the 20th century. He served as House Majority Leader from 1923 to 1925 and subsequently as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 1925 to 1931. Longworth visited the Philippines in 1905, and after his trip reported to the House of Representatives on the “Philippine Tariff Debate”. Some of his observations on the Filipino people during that report are worthy of note.
“I liked the Filipino better when I had read of him than I do now that I have seen him.” He remarked. “I like him better in the abstract than I do in the concrete”.
“I differ with my colleague Gen. Grosvenor, as to the brilliant future before the Philippines and the noble character of the Filipino people. I cannot believe there is any brilliant future for them, and with the exception of their love for family and home I cannot find anything noble in their character. I for one am not in favour of holding the islands a moment longer than we absolutely have to. [Applause on both sides of the chamber] I am in favour of turning them over to the Philippine nation at the first moment they prove to us that they are capable of governing themselves, and the sooner the better.”
The applause was a little premature, for Mr Longworth next proceeded to show the Filipinos up as hopeless cases.
“There are two prime characteristics of the Filipinos” he said, “which today render them absolutely unfit for self-government. The average Filipino mind can form no conception of the duty of officials to the people, and it can form no conception of the dignity of labor. The very fact that the Filipino is so shiftless, so worthless, so untrustworthy, and so helpless is all the more reason this Nation should reach out the helping hand to him.”
The original source of this information is the New York Times, dated January 13, 1906. Has anything at all changed since 1906?Published in