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Hawaii Organic Act: Congressional debates on Hawaii Organic Act

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                             1991
culture has no jurisdiction whatever, and never has had, over the public lands of 
the United States.
Mr. TILLMAN.   I understand that.
Mr. CLARK of Wyoming. If the Senator will read my amendment, or have it 
read from the desk, he will find that it refers only to the public-land laws of 
Hawaii and an investigation into them, with certain recommendations to be 
made as to what laws of ours should be applied there; and it contemplates, not in 
words but in that report, the formation of some system of laws by which we 
can deal with those lands. It does not propose surveys.
Mr. TILLMAN. As I gather the meaning of the clause as it was in the bill, it 
provided for a kind of reconnoissance which would give us some definite 
information as to what kind of land the public domain there consists of.
Mr. CULLOM.   That was the meaning of the provision.
Mr. TILLMAN. And now the Senator from Wyoming is providing for a 
survey or reconnoissance by the Land Office here for an entirely different 
purpose.
Mr. CLARK of Wyoming. The amendment provides for one of the purposes, 
I will state to the Senator, that was provided by the committee bill. It leaves 
out some of the others, and is for one particular purpose.
Mr. TILLMAN. It seems to me that the disposition of these lands in the 
future might well be left to the Land Office here, and they might, therefore, 
investigate the land laws of Hawaii and provide some scheme by which those 
lands should be open for preemption or homesteads or whatever other method 
of disposition may be determined.
Mr. CLARK of Wyoming. Yes, sir; and that is exactly what my amendment 
proposes to do.
Mr. TILLMAN. I know, but I want the other information as to what those 
lands are fit for.
Mr. CLARK of Wyoming. That may neither be the Secretary of Agriculture 
nor any other person--
Mr. SPOONER. If the Senator from Wyoming will permit me, why not draw 
an amendment which will cover both?
Mr. TILLMAN. Let both do it. Let the Secretary of Agriculture, who deals 
with agriculture and is supposed to know something about farming, being a 
farmer himself, send over there and tell us what kind of lands those are and what 
kind of farm products they produce, and let the land laws governing the 
disposition of those lands be in charge of the Secretary of the Interior.
Mr. CLARK of Wyoming.   I have no objection to that.
Mr. SPOONER.   Mr. President--
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Chair is uncertain as to Who has the 
floor.
Mr. CULLOM.   I do not know; we all have it, apparently.
Mr. FORAKER.    Mr. President--
Mr. CULLOM.   I want to say a word about the amendment.
Mr. FORAKER. Allow me to suggest to the Senator, who wants 
information about agriculture and forestry, that this bill provides for a 
commissioner of agriculture as one of the officers of Hawaii in the government to 
be established there, and it seems to me we ought to be able to get from him all 
the information that it is necessary to have to enable us to know what those 
lands are worth or what they can be used for.
Mr. TILLMAN. The only trouble I have in this matter is in trusting 
everything to the Hawaiians. They are a very enlightened and educated 
people, so the Senator from Alabama [Mr. MORGAN] tells us; but still they are 
not thought worthy to manage their own affairs, and we have limitations as to 
property in voting there and other conditions which point to the creation or 
maintenance of an existing condition in the happy family over there. They do 
not want to be disturbed by outside interlopers. I think it is very well for the 
United States to have some say-so in this business and send somebody over 
there from here who will report back the facts. But this change does not 
propose to give us the facts. The Senator from Ohio tells us that this com-
missioner of agriculture of Hawaii will give us the facts here. Why, some of 
our people might want to emigrate over there and not have all these good 
things left in charge of the little coterie of capitalists who have gone over there 
and preempted and taken everything that is good in sight.
Mr. FORAKER. I have no objection to the Secretary of Agriculture being 
authorized by the bill to make investigation and report, but I supposed that we 
should rely upon the commissioner of agriculture to be appointed as a part of 
this governing affair, to give us all the information that the Senator wanted. I 
was only suggesting it to save time and avoid further amendment.
Mr. MORGAN. Mr. President, I think Senators have entirely mistaken the 
purport of the seventy-fifth section. No one has referred to what it ought to be 
or what it really is, except the remark of the Senator from South Carolina, that 
our people need information upon this question. There is a disposition among 
small farmers, laboring men, to emigrate to Hawaii, and they could do 
exceedingly well by going there and cultivating a small farm in coffee and make 
very large profits. It is quite a beauti-


ful industry and a very convenient one in every respect. It occurred to the 
commission that the situation in Hawaii was very difficult to be understood by 
a person who had never seen it and who had never seen an accurate and official 
report about it. So this provision was put in here for the purpose of enabling 
the Secretary of Agriculture to do what? "To examine the laws of Hawaii 
relating to public lands, agriculture, and forestry"-for there are laws relating 
to all of them-"the proceedings there-under and all matters relating to public 
lands, forests, agriculture, and public roads bearing upon the prosperity of the 
Territory, and to report thereon to the President of the United States, which 
duties shall be performed with all convenient speed." That is all of it. It is to 
get a report of a certain situation or state of facts there relating to agriculture, the 
laws upon the disposal of the public lands, forestry, and public roads.
Public roads is perhaps one of the most important of the elements of 
investigation that are presented here, for the reason that until you have built a 
road through one of those forests yon can not establish coffee plantations or any 
other kind of plantations, bananas or anything of that kind, all of which are very 
profitable, because you can not get your wagons and teams into the vicinity of the 
land. Hawaii herself has demonstrated the value of this by building the road 
which I referred to yesterday, from Hilo to the volcano of Kilauea, and various 
other public roads in Hawaii. As fast as the roads have been built, coffee 
plantations and other plantations of small area have been established on either 
side.
Now, why do we select the Secretary of Agriculture? Because agriculture is 
the only pursuit in Hawaii. Outside of fishing there is no other pursuit in 
Hawaii but agriculture, and none possible. There are no minerals there. There is 
not enough wood there to make it an object to run steam machinery, and agricul-
ture is the whole story in regard to the present and future prosperity of Hawaii.
I must confess that so far as I was personally concerned my attention was 
drawn to this subject and the necessity of having this report made by the 
Secretary of Agriculture because he is a man for whose ability and enterprise 
and industry and scientific knowledge I have the greatest possible respect. He 
would love to undertake a matter of this kind and have it carried through in a 
proper way; and when he made his report, Congress and the people also would 
understand exactly what the situation was.
Now, this is merely to get information. Can it make a matter of very great 
difference as to whether it is done by the Secretary of Agriculture or the 
Secretary of the Interior, except that the Secretary of Agriculture is to deal 
with the most important part of it? We are not undertaking to find out what 
changes ought to be made in the laws of Hawaii as to land, but to understand 
what they are, what the system is, how a man can go and make an entry, and 
the methods through which he can get possession.
Mr. TILLMAN. If the Senator from Alabama will permit me, can not that 
investigation be made right here on the spot by the Secretary of the Interior or 
the Commissioner of the General Land Office, and all the information be 
obtained that we can obtain in Hawaii? What we want is an investigation by 
trained farmers and agriculturists-men who are familiar with that business-as 
to the possibilities of those lands. The laws and the method of the disposition 
of the lands can be found out right here in Washington. If we just call on the 
Secretary of the Interior to report to Congress the present laws in regard to public 
lands in Hawaii and what change, if any, he suggests and the disposition of 
those lands, we can get it without a dollar being expended.
Mr. CLARK of Wyoming. If the Senator had ever been to Hawaii, he 
would know that nobody could ever suggest a sensible change in those laws 
unless he had gone there and investigated the matter..
Mr. TILLMAN. So I am confronted with a man who has been on the ground and 
says he knows something about it. I am willing always to yield to that kind of 
wisdom.
Mr. CLARK of Wyoming. I do not know anything about it, and that is the 
reason why I want the information.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Alabama is entitled to the 
floor.
Mr. MORGAN. I concur in the proposition that it is necessary, in order to have 
this investigation complete and really reliable, that an investigator should be 
appointed to go there and examine that country. It is not like any other country 
that I ever saw, and I do not believe it is like any other country in the world. It 
may be, but it is very peculiar. To group all the different items together is to 
constitute the picture that people want to see. They want to know, so far as 
they can ascertain it, what Hawaii is, from a careful investigation of what the 
lands are-that is to say, the elevation above the sea, which is an important matter, 
because you start at the level of the sea there and for 4 or 5 miles or for 6 or 7 miles 
out you have rice farms and sugar estates. Then, as you ascend on the mountain 
slopes you come to a coffee country. You can still go higher and you come to a 
corn and wheat country-a country that in the early settlement of California 
furnished flour

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