University of Hawaii at Manoa Library

Home: The Annexation Of Hawaii: A Collection Of Document

Hawaii Organic Act: Congressional debates on Hawaii Organic Act

[ Previous Page ] -- [ View PDF ] -- [ View in MS Word ] -- [ Next Page ]

1921

votes. Ordinarily it was about that many, and it has been about the same under the 
republic.

Mr. CLAY.   Mr. President--

Mr. SPOONER. Has the Senator any estimate of the number of people who would 
be voters under the provisions of this bill, if passed?

Mr. CULLOM. I have no doubt myself that if those who were entitled to vote 
should register and vote under this bill there owould be anywhere from 10,000 to 15,000 
voters.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Does the Senator from Illinois yield to the Senator 
from Georgia [Mr. CLAY]?

Mr. CULLOM.   I do.

Mr. CLAY. The Senator has already answered the question I intended to ask.

Mr. CULLOM. My views on the question are partially on the information which 
has been furnished me. I am reading now from the paper of the attorney-general:
My views on the questions are partially based on the facts of this registration 
above given, which shows that the native and Portuguese vote is largely in excess of 
the " foreign " vote.
When he says "foreign vote " he means as against the natives of the islands.
This foreign vote included Americans. British, and Germans, but it may be 
considerably reduced, because the British generally and the Germans to a large 
extent will not become American citizens.
They seem to be unwilling to identify themselves with the United States to the extent 
of becoming American citizens.
The number of Anglo-Saxon voters may therefore be decreased, while, on the 
other hand, the Portuguese male inhabitants who can read and write are largely 
increasing.
That would give an indication that the vote would be other than that given in the 
estimate I read a while ago.
Under manhood suffrage with educational qualifications only, you will see that the 
native voters (9,551) will largely outnumber the white or Anglo-Saxon voters (1,770), 
and the Portuguese voters outnumber the Anglo-Saxon voters.
The Portuguese number some 15,000, while the Americans, Ger-mans, and English 
number between six and seven thousand.
Unless some means are adopted to control the native vote the Territorial 
legislature would probably pass quickly into the hands of the natives, and the only 
check upon their acts would be the veto of the governor. There is no reason to 
believe that a single white person or American should be able to obtain a seat in 
either branch of the legislature if the natives combined, as they might, on racial 
grounds. Even the Portuguese, as against the Anglo-Saxon, could exclude the latter 
from taking any part in legislation.
Under the monarchy the upper house was composed of nobles appointed for life.
That is the way the senate would be established.
Under the new constitution of 1887, forced upon the king by the whites, and 
after the overthrow of the monarchy in 1893, a property qualification was imposed by 
the Republicans upon the electors for senators. This created a distinct class of 
conservative men, who held in check the lower house. Without this property 
qualification, the thrifty-those who had built up the country by their labor and 
capital, those who were properly regarded as the intelligent part of the community-
would have been largely without representation.

Mr. TILLMAN.   I understand, if the Senator will allow me--

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Does the Senator from Illinois yield?

Mr. CULLOM. I want to say further-and then I will yield to the Senator-that 
what I have been stating is not my view, but the view of the ex-attorney-general of Hawaii.

Mr. TILLMAN. Was that the attorney-general under the re-public?

Mr. CULLOM. Under the republic; yes, sir. He has resigned his office since the 
commission was in Hawaii, a year and a half ago.

Mr. TILLMAN.   Is he an American?

Mr. CULLOM. No, sir; he is a native of one of the Hawaiian Islands, and his 
grandfather lived there before him, I think.

Mr. TILLMAN. I understand the Senator to say these are not his views, but yet he 
has adopted them in the bill he has presented.

Mr. CULLOM. No; I have not fully. I am giving the views, however, of a man 
who is familiar with the subject, so that the Senate may understand the whole case as 
it appears to a man who has identified himself with the islands and is now living in 
Honolulu. He was born on one of the other islands and is thoroughly interested in the 
prosperity of those people.

Mr. SPOONER. Mr. President, if it will not disturb the Senator, I should like to ask 
another question.

Mr. CULLOM.   Certainly.

Mr. SPOONER. Is the Senator able to afford any estimate of the number of 
natives who would have the right to vote upon a fixed educational test?

Mr. CULLOM. Nearly all of them who are of age. The fact is that the native 
Hawaiians, except the very old, are able to speak, read, and even write the English 
language, and substantially all of them speak, read, and write the Hawaiian language.

Mr. MONEY. If the Senator will allow me, I will say, in response to the Senator 
from Wisconsin, that they have had a compulsory system of education there for 
many years. Everybody there was compelled to attend school.

Mr. SPOONER. I was aware of that; but I wish to know how many people 
who are capable so far as education is concerned would be disfranchised 
because of the want of property?

Mr. CULLOM.   It would disfranchise a great many.

Mr. TILLMAN. Now, will the Senator permit me to ask him how many 
would be voters or eligible to vote for senators under the property qualification? 
Has he any data upon that point?

Mr. CULLOM.  I have not. Does the Senator mean as to the natives?

Mr. TILLMAN. I simply want to know how many voters there would be who 
would have the property qualification necessary to vote for senators, and I would 
like to know what their nativity is?

Mr. CULLOM. So far as their nativity is concerned, I do not suppose I could 
very well answer the question.

Mr. TILLMAN.   Or their nationality, I should have said.

Mr. CULLOM. Before we get through with this subject I shall furnish 
statistics on that point to the Senator or to the Senate, if that be agreeable.
The attorney-general proceeds as follows:
My own experience, as well as that of others who took part in public affairs, 
convinces me and them that with an excessively largo native vote with-out property 
qualifications, the government of the islands would be in the control of the 
natives, to the great detriment of the interests of the whites and of the Territory.
The danger to be apprehended from the native voter: (1) They can cast about 4 
votes to the Anglo-Saxon 1, and, under the new provisions of the bill regarding 
citizenship, may cast even a larger vote in proportion.
That is under the educational qualification.

Mr. PLATT of Connecticut.   Natives?

Mr. CULLOM. Yes; natives. I may say this is not appropriate here, because 
the attorney-general is referring to the bill pending  in the House of 
Representatives.
The statement continues:
This enormous power is of itself liable to great abase. A party of Polynesians 
dominating over the Americans by 8,000 votes to 1,500 or less will not hesitate to use 
that power.
(2) The native has lived for one generation under the American system of 
jurisprudence and American institutions owing to the strong influence of the 
Americans who have resided in the islands, the most of whom are known as 
"missionaries." But the native is only one generation removed from serfdom, the 
despotic rule of the king and chiefs. He had little education or training in the 
practice of self-government. More than all, he has not acquired the habit of self-
government, which is the safety and staying power of the Anglo-Saxon. If 
Polynesians, recently " civilized," were now capable of self-rule, they would stand 
as the most remarkable example in history of the rapid rise of a people, and 
utterly distance the Anglo-Saxon in the rapidity of their development of political wisdom.
(3) The natives yet remain " children of the Tropics," and have hardly parted 
with the economic ideas which the race has held for over a thousand years. They 
have had few wants, and a little labor supplied their wants.
I desire to say that so far as the natives are concerned they are a kindly, 
affectionate, docile, listless class of people, not desiring to give any trouble to 
anybody or to have any themselves, but wishing to be let alone; and if they could 
get rid of the demagogues they would always support the Government in its best 
interests.

Mr. President, I shall not take up the time of the Senate by reading further 
from this paper, but the end of it is that the substantial people there, who have 
been intimately identified with the government in its struggle for  independence, 
in the effort to get rid of the monarchy, and to assist in the establishment of 
good government, believe that some property qualification ought to be provided 
for in the bill, so that, as an experiment, if you please, they would feel that 
they were safe in not having their statutes overturned and their government and 
the prosperity of their people destroyed.

Mr. TELLER. I wish to ask the Senator from Illinois a question.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Does the Senator from Illinois yield to the Senator 
from Colorado?

Mr. CULLOM.   Certainly.

Mr. TELLER. Perhaps the Senator stated it at a time when I was not in the 
Chamber. Has there been a property qualification imposed there heretofore?

Mr. CULLOM.   Yes, sir.

Mr. PLATT of Connecticut.   Under the republic.

Mr. CULLOM. Under the republic. Under the monarchy, as I ought to have stated 
in the first place, the body equivalent to the senate was a council appointed by the 
monarch, so that it did not make much difference what the house did.

Mr. TELLER.   The house was elected?

Mr. CULLOM. The lower house was elected. I think there was a property 
qualification for house members, but none for the voters, and that existed under the 
republic as it is now.

Mr. TILLMAN. As a matter of fact, was not the monarchy which instituted that 
property qualification under duress and was it not forced by the revolutionary party, 
led by Mr. Dole and others, to put that very provision in the decree?

Mr. CULLOM. I do not care to go into a discussion as to how the republic came to 
be established.

Mr. TILLMAN.   I am not talking about the republic.   I am

Return to Top

Terms of Use  |  UH Mānoa  |  UH System  |  Ask Us
University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Library  |  2550 McCarthy Mall  |  Honolulu, Hawaii 96822 USA
808-956-7214 (Reference)  |  808-956-7203 (Circulation)  |  808-956-7205 (Administration)
808-956-5968 (fax)  |  library@hawaii.edu