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to Burma, coupled with an under- state if it was possible to procure the standing of the deep-seated feeling spices and other products which it which exists throughout the East that sought by dealing with the existing Japan is the potential leader of a pan ruler or by replacing him with an Oriental movement, is enough to ex- always available rival. Consequently, plain this Japanese activity in the at the end of the eighteenth century Malay archipelago. It might be added when, under Spanish rule, the branch that a conspicuous part of the standard of the Malay race which inhabits the schoolroom equipment of the Dutch Philippine Islands had been Chrispossessions is a wall map which tianized and organized socially and includes Mindanao as a part of politically upon the lines of a unified Insulinde, and that Japan has estab- Occidental state, the inhabitants of lished a large colony on the southern the lower part of the Malay Archicoast of that rich and undeveloped pelago were still Mohammedans groupisland of the Philippine group.
ed into a congeries of native states
bound to Holland by treaty only. II
During the nineteenth century the
Dutch viceroys gradually assumed the The distinguishing characteristic of direct government of most of Java and the political development which is now Madura, now the home of about occurring in the Netherlands Indies is 37,000,000 of the 47,000,000 inhabitthat it is based upon the historic ants of their wide-flung domains. But institutions of the native inhabitants. even under the centralized system It is a commonplace that the Nether, which the great Daendels inaugurated lands East Indies Company, the in- the Native governmental organization strument of Dutch authority in the is utilized. The Native regents, heredOrient from 1602 to 1798, existed for itary chiefs of subdivisions of the old the sole purpose of trade. This associa- Javanese kingdoms, are officials in the tion of adventurous merchants cared Dutch hierarchy, with each of whom is nothing for the glory of sovereignty associated a Dutch resident, or ‘elder and felt no impulse either to save the brother,' who really directs the governsouls or to improve the worldly state of ment of the district under the strict the island peoples with whom it dealt. supervision of the Governor-General in So instead of the legions, the law, and Batavia. The regent is, in turn, the language of Imperial Rome, the assisted by subordinate native officials, soldier, the priest, and the adminis- wedenos, who also serve with Dutch trator of Colonial Spain, or the groups controleurs, and whose duties within of hardy settlers which reproduced their smaller districts are similar to England in half a dozen parts of the those of the regent within his larger world, the Dutch sent to their Eastern sphere. Within the villages the old possessions only the factor. At an democratic Malay institutions are enormous distance and with inadequate largely maintained and the natives, support from home, this functionary Inlanders, the Dutch call them, as a always sought to trade rather than to rule live under their ancient law, or govern. The company maintained a adat, administered by native tribunals. few strong posts at strategic points and Outside of Java and Madura, Dutch sought the exclusive control of the authority is exercised chiefly through Malayan seas. Its policy was never to residents, or controleurs, who act as assume the government of a native authoritative advisers to hereditary
native rulers. There are still some of votes. The new organs thus estabthree hundred and fifty of these self- lished exercise a limited control over the governing districts in the external usual subjects of local administration. possessions. Thus the Dutch, instead The decentralization and popularizaof destroying, have utilized the po- tion of local government which was litical and social organization which thus begun in 1903 is being slowly they found in their Asiatic colonies, extended through Java and Madura, and, along with these old institutions, and to a few of the 'external possestheir Malay subjects have retained sions. The Dutch are not in a hurry. much of their ancient culture and the They have been in the Indies for more religion which they possessed when than three centuries: why should they their present masters arrived from attempt to remake the country in a Europe.
generation? Furthermore, having made
no rash promises, one of the indisIII
cretions of less experienced colonial The present movement toward self powers, they are not pledged to apply government in the Dutch Indies began the dogmas of democracy to subjects in the local field in 1903. Constitu- not prepared to receive them. tionally authorized in that year, urban, Local self-government in Insulinde district, and provincial councils were does not yet mean popular selfgradually instituted in those places government. In preparing the masses which the Batavia administration of the people for popular government deemed ready to use them successfully. of the Western type, the Dutch have In the urban and district bodies the progressed in the Indies to about the government is represented by adminis- point which had been reached by Spain trative officials sitting ex-officio, while in the Philippines in 1898. But in the the European population, the Natives, Philippines the Spaniards destroyed and the foreign Orientals speak through all native political organization, while elected and appointed members. The in Insulinde the Malay still expresses provincial councils are entirely ap- himself governmentally through his pointed. Thus far Europeans predom- ancient political institutions, which are inate in the provincial and municipal controlled but have not been oblitercouncils, so that modern European ated by his alien overlord. ideas of local administration and Thirteen years after the inauguration sanitation, especially in the greater of limited local self-government in the centres of population, may be guar. Indies, Holland introduced a similar anteed.' District councils are now element in the central administration being created, however, with Native of her Eastern colonies. In 1916 an majorities.
act of the States-General provided for Both electoral and membership the establishment of a Volksraad to be qualifications for these bodies are high, associated with the Governor-General, consisting of the payment of consider the Council of the Indies, and the able taxes or the ability to speak and departmental secretaries who had read Dutch. The result is that the hitherto been the sole repositories of electorate consists of Dutchmen, governmental power in Batavia. A Eurasians, and the wealthier Natives, distinguished Dutch citizen, whose Chinese and Arabs — the Eurasians, family has been associated with the a powerful and highly self-conscious Indies for generations and who played class, having by far the greater number an important part in the organization
writer the said, in substa Volksraad from
in thbers are elenave alread all are
of the new council, described to the writer the influences which led to this step. He said, in substance:
The Volksraad in Batavia is one of The plan for the Volksraad was the most interesting colonial councils launched as early as 1905, and from in the world. Half of its forty-eight that time on there was an increasing members are elected by the local Native demand for its creation. The councils which have already been Malays were supported by the Chinese described, while the other half are who were also clamoring for better appointed by the Governor-General. treatment and more political and civil Membership is divided equally among rights. With the formation of the the Natives and the European and Chinese Republic in 1912 these de- Chinese subjects of the Queen. The mands became stronger, as did those assembly is housed in a dignified and of the Natives and of a section of the beautiful building, which was once the Europeans. The Philippine example, palace of the Governor-General, and it especially the increase of autonomy there enjoys quarters that any legislawhich occurred upon the advent of ture in the world might envy. Called the Wilson administration, exerted a to their chamber by the sound of an anpowerful influence here and was one of cient Javanese gong, the members repthe great compelling forces that finally resent almost every element of power led to action. Dutchmen said, “We and influence in Insulinde. Stalwart, must do something or we shall be left white-clad Dutchmen, marked by the far behind in the general development air of mastery which distinguishes that of the world.” And of course self- race in the tropics, slim Javanese, government in the Philippines was Sundanese, Macassars, or other Naused as a lever by the Natives, as well tives, often wearing Bond Street coats as by liberal Dutchmen here and in and haberdashery in combination with Holland. The creation of the Volks- batik sarongs and Oriental footgear, raad in 1916 was due to these causes an Arab Hadji in his fez, and impasand to the fact that, at that time, when sive Chinese, all mingle together in the Holland was busy at home protecting usual legislative fraternity. her neutrality and was in financial The presiding officer, or 'voorzitter,' straits on account of the mobilization is appointed by the Crown, and the of her army and the disorganization of present incumbent, Dr. W. M. G. her trade, she could not afford to risk Schumann, plays an important role in trouble in the Indies. The conserva- the transactions of the chamber. A tives both here and at home were Eurasian of German origin, Dr. opposed to the step, but they could Schumann is an authority on adminisprevent it no longer.'
trative law and had won distinction as Similar views as to the forces which an administrator and teacher before compelled the creation of the Volksraad entering the first Volksraad as a are commonly expressed in Java, Liberal. It is evident even to the Native speakers emphasizing the com- casual observer that he does not hesipelling influence of their demands. tate to use freely the wide powers The importance of the Philippine which the rules of procedure place in example is of particular significance to his hands, and that he is regarded as a Americans, especially as this influence leader by every group in the House. is equally powerful in every other part Members not only respect his judgof the Orient.
ment, but enjoy and at times fear his
ready wit. It is often said, too, that man added, “a new day had dawned in the voorzitter enjoys special prestige the Indies when the Government had and power because his appointment to consider carefully what any local comes direct from the Crown, a condi- council, especially one composed in tion that would not exist in most part of Natives, might think of its assemblies.
measures.' The powers of the Volksraad are so The rôle of the Volksraad in inlimited as to seem almost trivial when fluencing both legislation and adminiscompared with those enjoyed by the tration was admirably illustrated at Philippine Legislature, or even by the the time of the debates upon the new National Legislature in British educational chapters of this year's India. All legislative authority is budget. In the Department of Educavested in the Governor-General and tion and Religion the writer found all his council of three or in the States of the higher staff absorbed in preparGeneral itself. The Viceroy, however, ing material to be used by the secretary must seek the advice of the Volksraad in justifying his proposals to the House, upon the annual budget bill, upon in meeting criticism of its weak points, other financial measures of importance, and in defending the educational policy and upon proposals to impose military and administration of the Government. duties upon the people. The budget In the Volksraad the secretary faced must be approved by the Volksraad his critics in precisely the same spirit before the Governor-General can make that British ministers face the House it effective; but this seeming hold over of Commons during the debates upon the administration is rendered some- the estimates. The fact that the what illusory by the provision that assembly lacks power to dismiss him financial measures shall be finally from office did not seem to make the enacted by the States-General, which three-day discussion less of an ordeal. often treats the budget from Batavia Very obviously the Government was with as little respect as our Congress dealing with a body whose wishes shows for Executive recommendations. could not be ignored. In this matter, In the exercise of his other powers the as in many others, the influence already Governor-General is not bound to exercised by this new colonial council follow the advice of the Volksraad. is another illustration of the fact that
During the five years of its existence, constitutions serve only as startingnevertheless, the Volksraad has exer- points for the development of the cised a much greater influence than powers of legislatures. might have been expected from an a The first Volksraad was decidedly priori estimate of its legal powers; radical in its membership but in the and that influence is plainly increasing. second elections, which occurred in As one member of the chamber re- 1921, the limited electorate returned marked, “We have never changed a representatives who were conservabudget, it is true, save in unimportant tives, almost to a man. The Governordetails. Our chief use is as a pre- General, however, then appointed a ventive. That is, we compel the Gov- considerable number of Radicals, inernment to consider very carefully cluding a Socialist, to the assembly. whether its budget or other measure The result is that in Batavia the Govwill be approved before presenting it. ernment is faced by an opposition Then when the measure is presented which owes its existence to appointit is fully discussed. And,' this gentle- ments by itself.
by the inclusiveness and generosity
which is characteristic of the platforms A natural concomitant of the devel- of parties possessing neither power nor opment of the Volksraad has been a responsibility in government. marked strengthening of Dutch-Indi- Of more recent origin than the Dutch an political parties. Although these groups, and of far greater potential groups as yet possess only a rudimen- importance, are the growing Native tary organization and a restricted parties. Of these organizations the membership, they are beginning to Javanese Nationalist Party (Boedi perform some of the functions which Oetomo) and the Mohammedan party necessarily fall to parties in the govern- (Sarekat Islam) are of greatest interest. ment of large democratic states. That The former is the organ of the upperis, they assist in the creation and class Javanese, of the aristocracy. It is expression of public opinion, share in nationalistic but not democratic. It the selection of officials, and help to demands increased Native participaenforce the responsibility of those tion in the administration of the state, officials to their constituents. Several some extension of the suffrage, parliaof them send speakers all over Java and mentary government, equality before to some of the “external possessions,' the law for all Dutch subjects of besides being instrumental in the pub- whatever color or race, and educational lication of widely circulated accounts opportunities for all ‘in conformity and criticisms of the proceedings of with natural condition and future the Volksraad.
profession. This group is distinctly In one group of these parties are to the Native party of the right. be found extensions, or imitations, of On the left is Sarekat Islam. Based the established parties of Holland, as upon religion, nationalism, and dethe Christian-Ethical, the Liberal, the mocracy, colored by socialism and Politico-Economic, the Roman Catho- led by a Javanese of vivid and virile lic, the Social-Democratic and the personality, this party possesses all of Communist parties. Membership in the qualifications for dynamic nationalthese groups is largely European with ist leadership. Its most recent declaraa fringe of Native adherents. A survey tion of principles begins with a vigorous of the official declarations of these protest against Dutch domination of organizations reveals a substantial the Indies. This domination is stated agreement that the Indies should to have grown out of Europe's need eventually become autonomous, that of the Orient's rich products, to have the powers of the colonial legislature been attained by Europe's command should be increased and that its of modern means of production, and members should be directly elected to rest upon a system of racial discrimthat the natives should be educated ination. The introduction of Euroand prepared for self-government, and pean capital and methods into the that liberal economic and social legisla- islands is said to have destroyed the tion should be enacted. The extent of old native economic organization and these reforms and the rapidity with to have put an end to free tradesmen which it is proposed to accomplish and farmers who can live by their them increase as one proceeds from the hands . . . so that almost the entire Christian-Ethical party on the right island-population now consists of hired to the Social-Democrats on the left. laborers who earn enough to exist, but Most of the declarations are marked not enough to live in a way fit for