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Hawaii Organic Act: Congressional debates on Hawaii Organic Act

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1923

Mr. MORGAN.   I thought he was chief justice.

Mr. CULLOM. No; Judge Judd was chief justice and recently resigned. Judge 
Frear may be chief justice now, perhaps, since I understand the chief justice 
tendered his resignation on account of ill health.

Mr. President, this goes upon all fours with what is talked here all the time, 
that these governments must be set up, so far as the United States has anything 
to do with them, as nearly as we can on a basis which will result in 
conserving the best interests of the people of that country as well as the United 
States generally. Hence, if it is thought best to impose a property qualification 
it is on the-ground that the natives are not trained in civil government 
sufficiently to be trusted entirely with the control of the legislative 
department of the government. That is all I desire to say on that branch of the 
subject.

Mr. T1LLMAN. Before the Senator leaves that part, I suppose the idea that the 
small minority of white people in Hawaii must be protected in their property 
and in their civilization against the ignorance of the majority of colored people 
meets his hearty ap-proval?

Mr. CULLOM. The Senator need not suppose anything about it. I do my own 
supposing.

Mr. TILLMAN. I thought that was a fair interpretation of the bill which the 
Senator has presented here and which he is advo-cating.

Mr. CULLOM. I can not prevent the Senator's placing his own interpretation 
upon it. I will answer the Senator by saying I should be sorry to see any 
condition occur as the result of the passage of any act relating to that Territory 
which would result in confusion and the destruction of property and breaking 
down the great business interest of that country, which is as prosperous to-day as 
any Territory or section of this country.

Mr. TILLMAN. In other words, the Senator would object, and he is 
endeavoring to object, by legislation, to having igno-rance and vice control 
intelligence and property.

Mr. CULLOM. I do not say that 1 want ignorance or vice to control, or that I 
believe in it. What I do say is that the commission and the Committee on Foreign 
Relations took into consideration everything they could think of connected with 
this subject, and the majority of the commission and the majority of the 
Committee on Foreign Relations believed that the provisions of this bill were 
necessary in the interest of the prosperity and the welfare of that people.

Mr. TILLMAN. I hope the Senator does not understand that I am arguing in 
favor of ignorance and vice controlling the white people over there.

Mr. CULLOM.   I do not say I understand anything of the sort.

Mr. MONEY. If the Senator from South Carolina will permit me, the Senator 
from Illinois, on behalf of the committee, sub-mits the bill here which presents 
the best thought of the Commit-tee on Foreign Relations as to the proper 
government to be provided for this new Territory. The report of the 
subcommittee {has been read. The Senator has presented here a bill which, in 
the opinion of the committee, is necessary in its provisions to se-cure good 
government and order in those islands, and to attain that there is a necessity 
of making certain restrictions on account of the small number of white people.
Now, the Senator from Connecticut says there are seventeen hundred 
Anglo-Saxons. There are seventeen hundred white people, but a large number of 
them are Germans and French, as well as English and American; Anglo-Saxons 
from America as well as from England. But the white people were so 
outnumbered, as the Senator read from the statistics, that the committee did 
not think it was safe that the affairs of that Territory should be turned over to a 
body of voters who for any reason could take control and who would, as he 
read there, on account of racial prejudice, speedily unite to overthrow what 
was really the intelligent and dominating influence there even under the 
monarchy. It was the white influence that dominated then. Everybody will 
recollect that in the time of Kalakaua it was American interests for Kalakaua 
against the English interests, which advocated the election of Queen Emma to 
the throne. Since then American influence has been dominant. It led to the 
treaty and finally to the act of annexation.
So I take it the Senator from Illinois has presented here what the committee 
believe to be the very best thing to be done for these islands, and if these 
restrictions were not necessary they would not be put in the bill But something 
had to be done under the peculiar circumstances surrounding that country, this 
small body of white men owning the land and the large number of natives-
about 9,000-who have divested themselves of all they had, and 2,091 
Portuguese voters, really not Portuguese but a mixed race from the Madeira 
Islands, hardly equal to the natives in character. So it was necessary that this 
provision should be put in.

Mr. TILLMAN. I will only interject right here the remark that I should 
like to have the Senator from Illinois give us some
information as to how far it applies.   The fifteenth amendment to the 
Constitution reads:
The right of citizens of the United States to rote shall not be denied or 
obridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or 
previous condition of servitude.
It looks to me like that is a very sweeping provision and covers all these 
people.

Mr. CULLOM.   Does the Senator want to ask a question?

Mr. TILLMAN. Yes, sir. I should like to know whether this article applies to 
those Kanakas and others who are now being die-criminated against?

Mr. CULLOM. There is no discrimination in this bill against any race of 
people. It simply provides a property qualification in addition to the 
intelligence qualification which there is in the bill also.

Mr. PLATT of Connecticut. That applies to all races and all colors.

Mr. CULLOM.   To all colors and all conditions.
Section 10 provides that all obligations, contracts, rights of action, suits at 
law and in equity, prosecutions, and judgments existing prior to the taking 
effect of this act shall continue to be as effectual as if the act had not been 
passed, etc.
I assume that Congress can not invalidate contracts, but Con-gress can 
prohibit the penal enforcement of labor contracts, and I certainly am in favor 
of doing so; but I think the extension of our labor laws over the Territory will 
prohibit any criminal pros-ecutions or penal proceedings for the enforcement of 
labor con-tracts that exist in that island to-day. The law of Hawaii per-mitting 
the securing of labor under contract has been in force in that island for forty or 
fifty years and arose from the shipping of men on the whaling ships going 
into Hawaiian ports, enabling masters to secure sailors for a definite period, to 
whom they paid an advance in view of a contract for service to be rendered. As 
we all know, sailors throughout the world are under similar restrictions to-day, 
and a master of a ship may resort to the law to compel fulfillment of seamen's 
contracts, even to the extent of imprisonment or other punishment. When the 
labor laws are extended over the Territory, of course there will be no further right 
to make contracts to bring in laborers by sugar planters or any-body else.

Mr. PLATT of Connecticut. I should like to ask one question for 
information. We commit the subject of making laws to the legislature of the 
Territory of Hawaii. Of course all our laws prohibiting the importation of 
alien laborers under contract will be enforced there, but will they have the 
right to continue their laws respecting laborers?

Mr. CULLOM. Certainly not. If our labor laws are extended over that 
Territory, they will prohibit bringing in labor under contract.

Mr. PLATT of Connecticut. But will that prohibit the passing of laws by their 
legislature after the laborers are there?

Mr. CULLOM. I should think so. If it does not, it ought to; I will say that. I 
think it does.

Mr. FORAKER. I understand section 5 of the bill contains the provision 
the Senator from Connecticut inquires about. That section extends and applies 
to Hawaii all the laws of the United States not locally inapplicable.

Mr. PLATT of Connecticut. Exactly; but there has been a great deal of 
talk here as to their laws regarding laborers after they get there, by which, if 
they refuse to labor, they may be punished.

Mr. CULLOM. What is the law of our country on that subject, now in 
force?

Mr. PLATT of Connecticut. We have no such laws. We have no laws 
relating to it, I understand. What I want to inquire about is whether there is 
anything which prohibits the Hawaiian legislature from making laws with 
reference to contracts which may be entered into in Hawaii between the 
laborer and his employer containing provisions which we would not think 
were in accordance with the spirit of our institutions?

Mr. FORAKER. Every law of that island in force now is re-pealed by this 
proposed act in so far as it may be inconsistent with the laws or Constitution of 
the United States. I suppose that will answer the Senator.

Mr. SPOONER.   Not locally inapplicable.

Mr. FORAKER.   I think there is still another provision.

Mr. CULLOM.   I think the bill as it is will cover that question.

Mr. PLATT of Connecticut.   It ought to, if it does not.

Mr. CULLOM. If it does not, it certainly ought to do so; and I shall be 
favorable to any amendment that will make it absolutely certain, if it is doubtful, 
that no such contracts shall be made as now exist

Mr. TELLER. The Senator says he thinks the bill will do that. I hare been 
over the bill with all the care I could bestow upon it. That is one of the things I 
want to inquire about. If he will in-dicate that provision, it will relieve me.

Mr. CULLOM.   I had the impression that when we extended

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