Governor General Reviews Administration
Much Has Been Done, But Big Problems Await Solution, He Says—All Elements Should Cooperate in Work
GOVERNOR General Wood outlined before the Rotary club, at their luncheon Thursday noon, the accomplishments of the administration during the past two years and the problems which still confront the government.
The finances of the government, he stated, were for the first time in several years, in a favorable condition, and during the past six months expenditures had been reduced so as to come within government income. Business is improving throughout the islands, though reverses here and there have been noticeable. In general, he said, the business outlook was favorable. Discussing public order, he said that it was excellent in all the provinces he had visited.
The rinderpest situation is better than for several years, he stated, and the bad results of inattention by officials during 1922, election year, had been remedied.
The governor general spoke on the need for outside capital to develop the islands, for the benefit of the people. “Our effort has been,” he said, “to build up business, through all legitimate means, so as to safeguard adequately the heritage of generations yet unborn. It is doubtful if the resources of the islands can be exploited under existing laws. The legislature has gone a little too far in its desire to protect the people from exploitation, with the result that some of the land and mining laws of the country prevent development.”
Taking up the question of education, he said there was a considerable feeling that education should for the present be concentrated on primary and intermediate training, and on agricultural and vocational schools.
The land question was regarded as important and steps are being taken to speed up the settlement of conflicts with regard to land titles, so that as far as possible each family can be established on a piece of land which it owns.
Inter-island rates, he said, were out of all proportion, and have resulted in practically killing inter-island trade. The government has encouraged direct shipments to the United States from provincial ports, which policy has proven very satisfactory during the past year.
In closing, the governor general asked for cooperation from all elements, stating that while much had been done, yet big problems awaited solution and no “picayune differences” should be allowed to impede the work of the government.
He made no direct reference to the break between him and the legislative and cabinet leaders.