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Blount Report: Affairs in Hawaii

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United States Government should, with England and Germany, guarantee the neu- 
trality and equal accessibility of the islands and their harbors to the ships of all 
nations without preference.
To this communication Mr. Bayard replied:
Washington, February 15, 1888.
DEAR SIR LIONEL: After reading the memorandum of Lord. Salisbury in relation 
to the Sandwich Islands, it does not occur to me that I can add anything to what I 
stated to you orally in our interview on the 23d of December last, when you first 
sent it to me.
I was glad to find that you quite understood and had conveyed to your Govern- 
ment the only significance and meaning of the Pearl Harbor concession by the 
Hawaiian Government, as provided in the late treaty of that Government with the 
United States, and that it contained nothing to impair the political sovereignty of 
The existing treaties of the United States and Hawaii create, as you are aware, 
special and important reciprocities, to which the present material prosperity of 
Hawaii may be said to owe its existence, and by one of the articles the cession of 
any part of the Hawaiian territory to any other government without the consent of 
the United States is inhibited.
In view of such existing arrangements it does not seem needful for the United 
States to join with other governments in their guaranties to secure the neutrality of 
Hawaiian territory, nor to provide for that equal accessibility of all nations to those 
ports which now exists. 
I am, etc.,
The chief and immediate motive of Great Britain in this correspond- 
ence is not evident; but it is obviously to be discovered in certain closely 
anterior events, sufficiently well known at the time. But a little while 
before an understanding had been reached between England and Ger- 
many relative to a division of a great area of the Pacific Ocean; the 
attitude then lately assumed by this Government respecting Samoan 
affairs had perhaps been the cause of some surprise and, it may be, a 
little apprehension in this direction on the part of Her Majesty's 
Government, and the frankness with which we shall see the British 
consul-general in Hawaii cautioning the King's Government against 
any exclusive concession of a naval station to any foreign power is no 
less useful a hint of the design of Sir Lionel West. The causes, then, 
of this step were complicated; jealousy of the United States led to the 
inclusion of this Government in a project for an agreement prompted 
by jealousy of Germany, and France was relegated to the convention of 
1843 by force of more pressing circumstances.
While Mr. Bayard, in February, 1888, was writing his answer to Sir 
Lionel, the British commissioner at Honolulu, formally protested against 
the grant to the United States of the exclusive use of Pearl River Har- 
bor as a coaling and repair station, by Article II of the supplementary 
convention extending our reciprocity treaty, and argued that the 
Hawaiian Government was estopped from this action by the provisions 
of Article II of the King's treaty with Great Britain, granting to vessels 
of war liberty of entry to all harbors to which such ships of other 
nations "are or may be permitted to come." And he said:
Under instructions from Her Majesty's Government I have already pointed out to 
the Government of His Hawaiian Majesty that the acquisition by a foreign power 
of a harbor, or preferential concession in the Hawaiian Islands, would infallibly 
lead to the loss of the independence of the islands; but this consideration has not 
prevented His Hawaiian Majesty's Government from proceeding to the ratification 
of the supplementary convention with the United States, and although Her Maj- 
esty's Government are informed that by an exchange of notes between the Hawaiian 
minister at Washington and Mr. Bayard it is declared that the article in question

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