Time for NATO to Close Its Door
The Alliance Is Too Big—and Too Provocative—for Its Own Good
We had best take note of Micronesia. It is, with Samoa and Okinawa, the one area of the world where "American colonialism" is an incontrovertible presence, where our responsibilities are not a matter of policy preference but of law. Except for Papua-New Guinea, which is officially headed for independence, it is the only remaining U.N. Trust Territory, and a unique one at that. No one knows where this splattering of Pacific islands is headed politically and perhaps only the Defense Department really cares. But having completed 21 years under American authority, the Micronesians are expected to vote soon on whether they will freely associate with the United States or strike out on their own.
How is one to become concerned about a people so limited in numbers that they could be fitted into the Rose Bowl, though they are scattered over an ocean area the size of the United States? With all our problems at home and abroad, how can we worry about a hundred thousand lotus-eaters on their picturesque atolls which total only 700 square miles? The answer is that we have a particular legal obligation to the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands unlike any other; that we have a national, strategic interest in the Territory which is hardly exceeded anywhere; and that failure to recognize these obligations and interests may carry stiff penalties. That we also have a special moral obligation to the Micronesians, who have been pawns of the great powers for a century, is an added factor that will be acknowledged by some if not by others.
A measure of the Micronesians' condition today can be gained from the fact that their second largest export is scrap metal from World War II. Their population is half what it was a century ago when Spain dominated the islands, as it had for three centuries, bringing them little but Christianity. In the 1880s came the Germans to challenge the Spaniards, first with gun-boats, then with the equivalent of $4.5 million to purchase the islands after Spain's defeat in the Spanish-American War and our seizure of Guam as part of the spoils. The Germans encouraged trade, increased the production of copra and seized lands not actually occupied by Micronesians. These lands, constituting 53 percent of the total, are still inaccessible to the Micronesians, for whom the United States holds them in public trust.
Next came the Japanese who, having seized the islands early in World War I, administered them under a League of Nations Mandate in the interwar years. In their drive for self-sufficiency, the Japanese used Micronesia as an extension of their home islands, subsidizing agriculture, building fisheries and populating the islands with their own. There were incidental advantages for the Micronesians and, despite the harsh military occupation that concluded the period, many islanders look back on the thirties as the happy days. Then, in a matter of hours, all that had been built up was serially destroyed by war. A quarter of a century later that infrastructure still has not been replaced. The pot-holed roads are those the Japanese left and some of the bomb-scarred structures of reinforced concrete are still in use, supplemented by Quonset huts and other corrugated monuments to the Second World War.
The Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, like so many political entities today, is an historical accident of the colonial period and therefore an artificial creation. It is composed of a number of distinct cultures and at least nine languages plus many dialects. It includes two Polynesian islands but excludes Guam, which is one of the Marianas and therefore should belong. Of its 2100 islands less than a hundred are inhabited; yet even this number is too large, for only with greater concentration of population will it be possible to achieve significant economic development or provide adequate public services.
Each of the six administrative Districts into which the islands have been divided (see map) contains one dominant cultural group plus minorities (generally on outlying and therefore neglected islands) who feel as put- upon as any in the world. Some people believe the Territory should not be pushed into one mold, but under the terms of our treaty with the United Nations we are obliged to treat Micronesia as an entity at least as long as the Trusteeship lasts. By then it seems likely that the Micronesians will have achieved enough cohesion to turn their backs on all suggestions for fragmenting the area. Nevertheless, their sense of strangeness, even fear of one another, is one reason they may oppose the option of independence when it is offered.
Like Japan, the United States has provided Micronesia both military and civilian administrations. Until very recently, the budget for the whole Territory was about $7 million. By the time the salaries and emoluments of the American administrators had been paid, there was little left for development, and Micronesia stagnated. The official justification for so small an appropriation was that we did not want to make the Micronesians permanent wards by establishing a budget which they could never hope to meet from their own resources. By a coincidence which does not escape the notice of Micronesians, a change in this philosophy occurred as the war in Viet Nam began to escalate and as the Japanese heightened the pressure to force us out of Okinawa. Whatever impetus these events added, the change was in fact planned before they became significant.
Within a few years, the budget has risen to about $40 million, including supplemental appropriations and emergency funds to repair the ravages of Typhoon Jean, which swept through the islands a year ago. The outgoing Administration has asked for $41.2 million next year. So far, the increase has not shown dramatically. Micronesians complain that the lion's share of the budget goes for goods and services which primarily benefit the American administrators. It is true that electrification and sewage have a way of ending at the edge of District centers where Americans are concentrated. Except on Saipan, which is the headquarters of the High Commissioner, almost nothing has been done to repair roads and only nine miles of resurfacing is budgeted for the next fiscal year. There are more studies than development projects going on. Inexplicably at a time of increasing budgets, the Farm Institute on Ponape, the only place where there was serious agricultural research and experimentation, was simply eliminated last year "for lack of funds." Transportation and communication except between District headquarters are lamentable, though it must be admitted that an adequate system would be uneconomic in the extreme-as is the case with so many things that need doing in Micronesia, where so few people are scattered over such an enormous area. Also, high salaries are required to induce competent Americans to serve in Micronesia and transportation costs may double or triple the price of a school desk or an earth mover purchased in the United States.
Nevertheless, progress is being made and there are some real achievements. Our best efforts have been in health and education. There is some question, particularly in the minds of Micronesians, whether the education offered is that best suited to the people, and certainly vocational education has lagged till now. Adequate training for municipal officials and lesser bureaucrats is not yet even contemplated. Also the education available has varied enormously from one District to another. In Palau and the Marianas, for example, it is estimated that 90 percent of those who want to go to high school are accommodated, while the figure for Truk and the Marshall Islands is probably 25 percent.
The Peace Corps has helped, though their overwhelming presence, which has doubled the American population, is a matter of controversy among Americans and Micronesians alike. There are more Volunteers in relation to population than any place in the world-some 600, of whom only a small minority have a skill. Some lack the dedication associated with the Peace Corps and some are no doubt incompetent, as the professional educators in the Territory are disposed to believe. But what particularly galls the administrators is that the Peace Corps Volunteers are "meddling" in local politics, which they are expressly prohibited from doing. The Volunteers reply that Micronesia is not an independent country whose sovereignty must be respected, that their commitment is to the people whom they elected to serve and that they are under no obligation to defend policies of the United States with which they disagree. In some respects they cause considerable mischief-as when they proliferate rumors about impending military installations or, on moral grounds but without consideration of the economic consequences, they encourage Micronesians to demand equal pay for equal work (with Americans). Yet they are making a contribution which would not otherwise be made on the same scale, and on balance even their political activism may be beneficial in goading the Administration and alerting the Micronesians to their rights and interests.
Our greatest achievements in Micronesia have cost next to nothing. These have had to do with the creation of democratic institutions, including legislative bodies, the rudiments of a free press and the principle that free speech is not only tolerated but encouraged.[i] Popularly elected Municipal Councils and District Legislatures are well established. The Micronesian Congress, consisting of a 12-member Senate (two from each District) and a 21-member House, is now in its fifth session. Its legislative powers are heavily circumscribed and subject to veto by the High Commissioner, but the Congressmen are gaining experience and emerging as a focus of pressure on the Trust Territory government. Soon, though, they must be granted greater responsibilities.
Most recently the beginnings of a press have appeared, publicly subsidized but remarkably free. A Micronesian News Service, with headquarters on Saipan and staffed largely by Peace Corps, serves both District radio stations and twice-monthly mimeographed newspapers printed in parallel columns in English and the local language. A majority of the news items are of course locally produced and are supplemented by editorials and letters, but the News Service, by providing material of Micronesian-wide interest, is helping to force a sense of collective identity among the islanders. In addition, a quarterly Micronesian Reporter, in English, does a highly professional job of reporting and analyzing major problems and issues of the Territory, not fearing to explore the most controversial matters. None of these periodicals hesitates to be outspoken and critical (and sometimes misinformed), with the result that the Trust Territory Administration is in a constant state of tension between its pride in having established a free press and a feeling that one or another of the local Micronesian editors has really gone beyond the pale.
Actually it is not easy for Micronesians to learn that they may express themselves freely. It was not permitted in their chiefly tradition and it was not tolerated by their former colonial masters. Within their cultures it remains unseemly to be outspoken. But there are enough thoroughly Westernized Micronesians around to put the Americans' principles to a severe test.
It is often said that we are giving Micronesians education but nothing to do with it. The most recent visiting mission of the United Nations, whose detailed report was fair and balanced, was particularly critical of our failure to provide economic opportunity. The Nathan Report said, among other things: "There is also the ever-present possibility that further increasing government employment while neglecting the needs of private enterprise will absorb most of the available supply of both skilled and unskilled wage workers and thereby create an economy supported mainly by the government and increasingly dependent on imported goods of all kinds."[ii]
The sorry truth, however, is that Micronesia's potential for economic development is very poor. Some of the obstacles to development are cultural. Perhaps the most serious is the extended-family system whereby wealth must be shared and any have-not is entitled to cadge on a relative who has. This social pattern, so familiar in the underdeveloped world, does not encourage individual enterprise or the accumulation of capital. It is reinforced in Micronesia by the very ease of living, where all the essentials of life are at hand for the taking and there is no need to lay up stores against a harsh winter (though in fact Micronesians prefer imported foods, especially in cans). A third factor is that a people who have had four colonial masters within living memory, who have seen things given and things taken away in apparently aimless or contradictory ways, are likely to have developed a psychology of dependence. The wonder is not that so many Micronesians are passive supplicants, but that so many are showing enterprise in solving their own problems (though here the difference among the peoples of Micronesia is marked). For example, the Palauans are exceptionally competitive and the Ponapeans support their own rice research and are building roads on a base of coral rock laid by hand.
Much more serious than any cultural obstacles is the simple fact that Micronesia has little natural wealth. So far, the only significant money- maker is copra, and even this is subsidized by artificially low shipping rates. Fishing, the only activity that the Japanese found profitable despite enormous effort, is one of the very few enterprises that has real promise, and much more effort needs to be put into it. Thus far there is only one commercial undertaking-a tuna catching and freezing operation in Palau; meanwhile Micronesians buy quantities of canned fish from Japan, much of it no doubt taken out of their own waters. Strangely, Micronesians do not especially like the sea; many fear the open water and most fishing is done within the lagoons, where the supply may become exhausted.
While agriculture can be improved so as to reduce the heavy dependence on imports, the search for export crops other than copra has so far been unrewarding. At the moment, cacao and pepper look promising, but an experiment in rice growing on Ponape is floundering. Ken Jones, Guam's multimillionaire entrepreneur, has leased a large tract on Tinian and is experimenting with beef cattle, for which there is a good market in Guam. Similarly, an effort is being made to prove that mechanized truck farming is possible on Rota, which is also accessible to the Guam market. But none of these modest operations will have a major impact or alter the fact that the soil of Micronesia is poor and that probably only 15 percent of the land is arable. Much of the rest may be suitable for forestry, which would both reduce erosion and lessen the need for building materials from abroad, but lumber for export, except to Guam, is not likely to be economical.
The same applies to light industry, and for the same reason: there is no sufficient concentration of labor or materials in one place. Many Micronesians ask why they cannot have processing plants for their coconuts. The answer is that, as compared to the Philippines or Indonesia or New Guinea, there are not enough coconuts potentially within economic reach of a plant. Although there is underemployment in Micronesia, there is no unemployment and the labor force is so small and scattered that labor- intensive enterprises are impractical.
Another deterrent to private capital investment is that Americans cannot own land in Micronesia-a reasonable precaution if the islanders are to be protected from exploitation and if we are to fulfill our obligation to hold their lands in trust until such time as they are capable of handling their own affairs. But the effect is to discourage investment, and even to deter Micronesian enterprise, since American bank loans are hard to obtain where mortgages are meaningless. Meanwhile, economic development is further slowed by the very uncertainty of Micronesia's political future.
A principal hope is tourism, about which the Micronesians feel-with some reason-ambivalent. Most realize that they must exploit such slender resources as they have, and the beauty of their islands and their unspoiled culture, especially in the remoter islands, can be an enormous attraction as soon as minimum facilities are available. Continental Airlines, the only airline providing service in the islands, is committed to building six first-class hotels-one for each District-in the next three years. Many Micronesians are unhappy about it. They correctly see that the intrusion of thousands of tourists will alter their way of life and that what now is natural may become vulgar and commercial. The Yapese are particularly opposed to outsiders and their District Legislature has passed a resolution opposing the construction of a hotel for tourists. Nevertheless, tourism is on the way, partly because improved transportation makes it inevitable, partly because a significant group of Micronesians is in favor of it and partly because the Americans see it as a necessity. The Japanese are already there, visiting their shrines and the graves of their war dead.
What is left as a source of revenue? Micronesia's most treasured possession, land. By leasing land to the Defense Department at high rates, the Territory could obtain an important source of revenue, while the indirect flow of cash in the form of wages and expenditures by servicemen could be very substantial. It is a matter of profound controversy among Micronesians whether they should do so, assuming, as most people do, that the American military is-or will be-interested.
So far, the Americans have not asked but taken, and negotiated the price afterwards. We drove Micronesians off Bikini and put them on Rongerik and Kili; we lifted them off Eniwetok and put them on the now rat-infested island of Ujelang, 300 miles from the nearest island and 600 miles from the District center; we pushed them off Kwajalein and dumped them on Ebeye, which for years was a ghetto of the most appalling sort. Nothing we have done or failed to do in 22 years has caused so much bitterness as this arbitrary removal of people from their land without adequate compensation.
By law we were entitled to do so. When we took over the islands from the Japanese, we were obliged-consistent with our assertion that we fought the war for no territorial gain-to put Micronesia under U.N. Trusteeship. But we insisted on having the islands designated a Strategic Area in which we had the right to install military bases in the interest of Western defense. Sumner Welles at the time called the agreement "a vicious precedent." According to the agreement, we are responsible not to the General Assembly, as is the case with other administering powers, but to the Security Council where we have a veto. Actually, there are still no bases as such in the Territory; the islands confiscated were or are used for atomic testing and experiments in developing anti-ballistic missile systems. Now that our days on Okinawa appear numbered and our bases in the Philippines are a political football in a highly unstable domestic situation, the Defense Department is undoubtedly giving careful study to the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands as a fallback area. Every District is alive with rumors that this or that piece of land is about to be confiscated and used as a base. The rumors have some basis in that many plans undoubtedly exist; but it seems equally likely that no decisions have been made.
One reason is that, until the future status of Micronesia is clear, the Defense Department is reluctant to put large investments into property that is not ours. Another is that until the new Administration in Washington decides what role we should play in Asia, what sort of presence in the Western Pacific is required to support our policies, the military can hardly determine what forces and facilities are needed. And basic decisions with regard to Okinawa must certainly precede those with regard to Micronesia. From a purely physical standpoint, there is enough real estate on Guam (a U.S. possession) to replace our facilities on Okinawa and most of those in Japan, though of course one would not want to put all one's military eggs in so small a basket. But so far there is no visible expansion of facilities even on Guam. The State Department also has an interest in postponing any military decisions with respect to Micronesia, for the construction of military bases there, despite its legality, would cause a storm in the United Nations. But understandably the Micronesians are not convinced that further seizures of land are not imminent, and their elected Congress has passed a strong resolution (vetoed by the High Commissioner) to the effect that Micronesians must be consulted before any further military installations are constructed.
Although many Micronesians, especially among the young, are bitterly opposed to military bases of any kind, on any terms, it seems likely that a majority of influential Micronesians will voluntarily accept bases if the price is right. They realize that American interest in the Territory stems largely from considerations of strategy and that bases must bring a greater measure of wealth and opportunity than anything else in prospect. But no one is happy about it, and Micronesians who favor bases are determined to drive the hardest possible bargain. Judging from the precedent set in Kwajalein after extended litigation, the price will start at $1,000 an acre for occupied land-possibly somewhat less for "public lands" now held in trust.
Indeed, this determination to obtain the best possible terms is at the heart of the movement-such as it is-for independence. Even among Micronesians who realize that independence is not economically feasible, some assert that "only if we are independent will we be able to negotiate with you Americans as equals. Basically, our real estate is all you want and all we have to sell [read 'lease'] and we're determined to get a fair price for it."
Actually most Micronesians don't know what future status they want. The Congress of Micronesia has appointed six of its most able members to a Status Commission to explore the alternatives, to inform the people on the range of possibilities and ultimately to define the options on which Micronesia may conduct a plebiscite, originally requested for 1972, but now almost certainly at a somewhat later date. On the American side, President Johnson asked the Congress to establish a parallel commission. The Senate complied, but the House refused, partly out of personal pique on the part of Wayne N. Aspinall, Chairman of the House Interior Committee, partly out of a feeling that a plebiscite would be premature and partly out of the belief of some Committee members that they themselves constituted the appropriate body to make recommendations. Though one can argue that we ought to improve our performance as Administering Authority before the Micronesians are asked to make the critical decision, it is almost certain that we will not be able to better our administrative record as fast as the mood of self-assertiveness will rise among the Micronesians. Therefore a delay is not necessarily to our advantage.
A widespread view in Washington, especially in the Defense Department, is that independence is not a realistic option and that it would therefore be dishonest to offer it. The State Department rightly points out that we are legally obliged by treaty with the United Nations to offer the alternative of independence, and that the U.N. will insist upon it, however impractical.
One of the problems of the Micronesian Status Commission is to reduce and simplify the possible alternatives to manageable proportions without closing out options on which the people are entitled to a choice. In order to obtain a substantial majority, it would be desirable to reduce the alternatives to two; three would be the maximum. The most likely three are: continuation of the Trusteeship Agreement, free association with the United States, and independence. Some Micronesians feel that the first alternative could be dropped simply by waiting until there was an evident consensus that some new arrangement was desired. Since the majority of Micronesians still follow the counsel if not the orders of their chiefs, the number of people who will actually make the decision is likely to be relatively small. Most Micronesians today, even among the well educated, agree that they simply do not know enough about what the alternatives mean to make an intelligent decision. Nevertheless, there is already an unspoken assumption among Micronesians as well as Americans that the islanders will opt for association with the United States. One of the critical questions which has not yet been faced is whether the terms of that association will be fully defined before or after the plebiscite. Almost certainly, the Micronesians will insist that they be spelled out in advance.
If we believe that independence is either impracticable or contrary to our national interest or both, then there are things we can and should be doing to encourage the outcome we want:
We should assure the Micronesians now that we will not confiscate land or establish military bases in the islands without full consultation and fair compensation. Pending a more permanent status, it would be understood that this was a matter of policy not of right, and that its continuance was subject to their negotiating in good faith and without intolerable delay, should the occasion arise. On our part, every effort should be made, if bases are deemed necessary, to use public lands which will involve a minimum displacement of people, Meanwhile, a little more candor on the part of the military as to what they are, or are not, up to would not endanger our security and would do much to improve the climate of opinion in Micronesia.
Until the future status of the Trust Territory is determined, its administration should be taken out of the Department of the Interior and placed directly in the White House. For more than two decades, Micronesia has been everybody's stepchild. The Departments of Interior, Defense and State bicker over their conflicting interests, but nothing gets resolved. Micronesia has no constituency and each Secretary has bigger fish to fry. Washington has no agreed policy with respect to Micronesia and it will take a great deal of head-knocking to get one even within the Executive Branch. This will be only the beginning, for then the President must obtain the support of Congress, the acquiescence of the United Nations and the approval of the Micronesians. For the next few years, the subject of Micronesia, with all its colonial and strategic overtones, is going to be too important a matter to be treated like a poor sister to the Virgin Islands.
To encourage the Micronesians to tax themselves, to encourage a sense of unity among diverse island peoples and to remove the Micronesian Congress' sense of impotence, the United States should agree to provide $3 for every $1 collected in taxes by the Micronesian Congress-the whole to be appropriated as the Micronesian Congress sees fit after due consultation and coördination with the Administering Authority. The entire sum would still be only a small fraction of what is being spent, but as it is now, 95 percent of the funds available are those appropriated by the U.S. Congress, which has shown no inclination to let a penny out of its ultimate control. This, combined with the power of the High Commissioner to veto any legislation passed by the Congress of Micronesia, is an invitation to irresponsibility and precludes any genuine experience in the appropriation of funds and the administration of projects. Many Micronesians wonder whether they are participating in a shadow play and whether the whole exercise of ostensible self-government is not a mockery. The Congress of Micronesia is composed of shrewd and able men and if they are not given something to do commensurate with their talents they are going to cause us a lot of trouble. Moreover, if Micronesia is to emerge as an entity bigger than the collection of disparate linguistic and cultural groups out of which it has been created, Micronesians must learn to look to their central government confident of some return. As it is now, for most Micronesians, their Municipal Councils and District Legislatures are more important bodies than the Congress, and they collect more taxes.
Remove all barriers to the entry of Micronesian products to the United States. It is absurdly anachronistic to treat Micronesia as a foreign country when we are providing not only regular Congressional appropriations but also poverty funds under the domestic Office of Economic Opportunity and emergency disaster funds (for typhoon damage). Although removal of duties would not be of great economic importance immediately, by the same token it would not hurt domestic producers, and the act would have a significance beyond the dollars involved. For example, it is inexcusable for us to apply a 35 percent duty on canned fish, one of the very few industries that Micronesia may be capable of achieving-the more so when other countries are prohibited from investing in Micronesia.
Let us at least explore further the possibility of admitting foreign capital. Theoretically, under the "most-favored-nation" clause of our treaty with the United Nations, if we let one country in, we must let in all, including the Soviet Union and Communist China. But many knowledgeable observers believe that a way around this requirement could be found. So far, only Japan has shown a keen interest. One obstacle to its admission has been Japan's stubborn refusal to pay $5 million in cash against Micronesians' war-damage claims. After negotiating for fifteen years, while the Micronesians and the United Nations became increasingly impatient, we now appear to be near a settlement-on Japanese terms. With that out of the way, we should announce that proposals for investment will be considered on their individual merits, that approval must be obtained from the Micronesian Congress as well as the Administering Authority, and that stiff conditions will be laid down with respect to length of leases, the training of Micronesians and the admission of Micronesian capital to the venture. The most likely investment is in fisheries, which Micronesia particularly needs, and since the Japanese are already doing by far the greater part of the fishing in their waters, Micronesians ought to get some advantage from it. Imposing the three-mile limit, when it can be enforced, is no disadvantage to Japanese fishing boats, though it is sufficiently inconvenient that the Japanese have sometimes sabotaged their own ships as a means of obtaining entry into Micronesian ports for fresh food and water.
Perhaps the most important thing we can do at this stage is to give the Micronesians a greater sense of participation in their own affairs. The concern uppermost in the minds of their leaders is that we are irreparably affecting their society-almost unthinkingly and often without consulting them. They feel overwhelmed by the impact of America and Americans. Their poignant hope of preserving their culture while achieving the good things of the modern world will not be realized; they know that the outcome will be a fluid and unsatisfactory compromise, but they would like to feel that they have some control over their own destiny.
Possibly the best and worst that any colonial power has done, or is able to do, is to give its subject peoples the gift of what it most cherishes- whether it be British justice or French culture or American conceptions of democracy and individualism. When it has done less than this, it has generally become quite simply exploitative. We have not exploited the Micronesians and we have not imposed our democratic institutions on them; they have been sought after. But in subtler ways we are doing what all colonial powers have done-assumed that we knew what was best for our wards, without much regard for their own preferences. Micronesia is particularly vulnerable because it is so small and fragmented and its culture has bent to so many winds in the past.
When we left the Micronesians largely to their own devices, we were accused of following a "zoo" philosophy, of romanticizing a primitive state of nature which was already gone. Now that we have finally plunged into the tasks of development, we are accused of being too aggressive in pursuit of progress. It is a harsh dilemma and an administrator can fairly say that if he consulted the Micronesians at every step, nothing would get done. By American standards, Micronesians like to take ample time to ponder a decision and their tradition of operating by consensus (where they do not simply take the orders of a chief) is time-consuming and means that action can easily be blocked.
Nevertheless, there are things that could be done, especially at the highest level-that of the Micronesian Congress, composed of the most Westernized element in the population-to improve consultation and joint planning. Committees of the Micronesian Congress should sit regularly with the Commissioners (department heads) and their staffs. Instead of submitting only the budget to Congress, the plans on which the budget is based should be submitted well before the proposed budget is forwarded to Washington. School curricula, which are generally patterned directly on the American model, are of particular concern to Micronesians, and their views deserve to be taken more fully into account.
If development is thereby slowed down somewhat, the price will be well worth it in terms of improved relationships and a lessening of Micronesian fears that they have no alternative between abysmal poverty in independence and being steamrollered into something they do not want to be by a well- meaning but heavy-handed America. We are entering a critical time in our relationship with the Micronesians. These gracious and friendly people deserve our very best and, as the world's most articulate anti- colonialists, we have a special obligation to ourselves to improve on past standards in the field of colonial administration. After years of appalling neglect, we are now doing a responsible but uninspired job. The Micronesians and their incomparably beautiful islands would be an ornament to the United States. If we have selfish reasons for hoping they will freely elect to continue their association with us in dignity and self- government, so much the better for the Micronesians, who have no viable alternative.
[i] The Judiciary is independent of the High Commissioner to the extent that the Chief Justice and the two Associate Justices (all Americans) are appointed by and responsible to the Secretary of the Interior. Judges of the lower courts are Micronesians and in murder cases two Micronesians sit with the Chief Justice or the Associate Justice.
[ii] Robert R. Nathan Associates, Inc., "Economic Development Plan for Micronesia." Summary Report, Washington, D.C., April 1967, p. 3.