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Blount Report: Affairs in Hawaii

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as in favor of American, and that British importers would claim under their treaty, 
for British products, equality with American products, under the American reciproc- 
ity treaty. A long diplomatic correspondence followed, in which I was frequently 
consulted in, a friendly way by the Hawaiian minister, and was notified from time 
to time by Maj. Wodehouse of his proceedings. I have uniformly insisted that it 
would be a violation of the reciprocity treaty to allow the same privileges to British 
or any other products with those of the United States - privileges purchased by 
reciprocity advantages beyond the power of any other nation to concede. I have 
also insisted that it would amount to a violation of the sovereignty of this Kingdom 
for Great Britain to assume to dictate to the Hawaiian Government what differential 
rate of customs should he levied upon British goods as compared with those of other 
countries, taxation being an incident of sovereignty.
2. Finding that the British Government insisted upon its claim, the Hawaiian Gov- 
ernment gave one year's notice (under the seventeenth article), terminating the 
fourth, fifth, and sixth articles of the Anglo-Hawaii an treaty of 1851-'52. (This would 
take effect July 3, 1878.)
3. This was resented by the British Government as "unfriendly" action.
4. Mr. Henry A. P. Carter was sent as Hawaiian envoy to England to settle the 
dispute. Major Wodehouse, alarmed by threats of annexation to the United States 
rather than submit to the demands of Great Britain, accompanied Mr. Carter to San 
Francisco, where he applied for and received telegraphic leave from Lord Derby to 
proceed to England with Mr. Carter.
5. In London Lord Derby proposed to Mr. Carter that England would drop the 
whole matter if the Hawaiian Government would withdraw its denunciation of the 
fourth, fifth, and sixth articles, and would attach the free schedule of the American 
treaty to an agreement that none of the articles in that schedule should be taxed 
more than 10 per cent if British product rejected. (My dispatch No. 43 is full on this 
and subsequent points.)
6. The notice of discontinuance was withdrawn as to all but first paragraph of 
fourth article.
7. In legislative assembly of 1878, a large and noisy party of British sympathizers 
attacked the Government severely and threatened the reciprocity treaty so seriously 
that I wrote a note of warning and protest to the minister of foreign affairs (appears 
as inclosure No. 4 with my dispatch No. 43) which was subsequently approved 
by Mr. Evarts Secretary of State.
8. The Hawaiian treaty was amended substantially as suggested by Lord Derby 
(10 per cent ad valorem horizontal). It was supposed that this would end the mat- 
ter of the British Claims, but
9. About the beginning of the present year, Mr. Theo. H. Davies, acting British 
consul-general, a merchant doing large business here and one of the claimants, 
wrote (unofficially) to the minister of finance on behalf of the claimants, demand- 
ing a refund of duties paid under protest pending the termination of the first clause 
in the fourth article of the British treaty.
10. The minister of finance referred the claimants to the Hawaiian courts.
11. The British commissioner then made official demand for diplomatic(executive) 
12. The Hawaiian mininister informed Major Wodehouse that he would lay the 
matter before cabinet council.
The minister of foreign affairs informed Major Wodehouse that the action of the 
minister of finance was sustained by cabinet council, and that the claimants were 
remanded to the courts accordingly.
14. Major Wodehouse replied that he could not accept that form and would report 
to his Government for further instructions.
15. The Hawaiian minister wrote a brief note, simply acknowledging Major Wode- 
house's note without comment.
16. Major Wodehouse wrote a severe reply, complaining that the Hawaiian min- 
ister had omitted to say that he would give due consideration to Major Wodehouse's 
note, or words to that effect.
17. I am informed by a member of the cabinet that the minister (Mr. Green) will 
make a brief and dignified protest against the tone of Major Wodehouse's note, and 
will say (substantially) that, Major W. having been already fully notified that the 
matter had been considered by His Majesty's Government and the claimants referred 
to the courts, and he himself having notified the Hawaiian Government that he had 
referred the matter to the British secretary, then, in that case, there was nothing 
further to consider at present, and Major Wodehouse's complaint was without 
Here the matter rests.
This dispatch drew from Mr. Blaine, June 30, 1881, an explicit in- 
struction setting forth the views of this Government as to the impossi-

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