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Blount Report: Affairs in Hawaii

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378	HAWAIIAN  ISLANDS.
and the building of necessary roads and bridges, the Government as- 
sumption of the "crown lands," and the conversion of them into small 
homesteads for raising the crops already specified, would speedily 
stimulate general prosperity and increase the American and European 
families and freeholders, and aid to constitute a large number of re- 
sponsible voters, thus giving stability to legislation and government. 
There are nearly 900,000 acres of "crown lands," and these, in the 
main, are among the moat valuable of the islands. The rent paid tor 
them goes to the sovereign, and the amount of the income received is 
no doubt much less than it would be if these lands were owned and 
managed by private individuals. There have long been more or less 
abuses in the leasing of these lands, and it is well understood that the 
leases have been prolific sources of political favoritism and corruption. 
Well handled and sold at fitting opportunities, the proceeds of the 
crown lands would pay the national debt, provide adequate pensions 
for the two or three royalties, in case monarchy should be abolished, 
and yet leave a balance of considerable amount for a permanent school 
fund.
COMMERCIAL  AND NAVAL  IMPORTANCE  OF  THE  ISLANDS.
The value of the Hawaiian Islands to the United States for commer- 
cial and naval purposes has been well understood by American states- 
men for more than half a century. The examination of the Hawaiian 
harbors and a careful consideration of their capabilities of defense, 
twenty years since, by Gen. Schofield and naval officers, whose opinions 
are on record in the Washington departments, plainly indicate how 
important these islands and harbors are to the future American com- 
merce of the Pacific. Even to a nonexpert the great value and the easy 
defensibility of the harbors of Pearl City and of Honolulu are unmistak- 
ably obvious. Only six miles from each other, with narrow entrances 
backed by a continuous wall of mountains, each terminus of this natu- 
ral barrier reaching to the sea, at relatively small expense these harbors 
can be impregnably fortified against all attack by sea and land. The 
harbor of Honolulu can now be entered by ships drawing 30 feet of water. 
But Pearl Harbor is larger and much preferable for naval purposes. It 
is only necessary to deepen the entrance by removing the bar of coral 
formation.  This coral obstruction can be removed with comparative 
ease, and the expense would not be large. Opinions of practical men 
here, who have had to do with these coral formations, as well as my 
personal observation, as to how easily it can be broken up by pick and 
crow-bar, go to show how readily it can be removed by modern explo- 
sives and the improved mechanical agencies.
With a large island between it and the sea, a capacious, safe, and 
beautiful harbor is secured for American commercial and military 
marine just where the future greatness and the necessities of the United 
States imperatively require. Only those who have carefully examined 
the vast resources of the American Pacific States, and considered that 
nearly two-fifths of the immense area of the United States, through the 
transcontinental railways and by rivers and sounds, outlet on the Pa- 
cific, and have studied the data surely pointing to the vast future com- 
merce of this western world, can adequately appreciate the importance 
of these harbors to the American nation, and the necessity of securing 
them against foreign rivals. If we neglect them the present occupants 
must suffer, and their necessities will force them in directions unfriendly 
to American interests. Circumstances are pressing, and no time should

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