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Hawaii Organic Act: Congressional debates on Hawaii Organic Act

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The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Secretary will read the amendment of the 
The SECRETARY. In section 81, on page 80, line 18, after the word "office," strike 
out the words "during good behavior " and insert " for a term of nine years."
Mr. PLATT of Connecticut. I wish to amend this section 81. In the first line of the 
section, line 22, on page 85,1 move to strike out "governor " and insert "President," 
and to strike out" of the Territory of Hawaii," in lines 28 and 24; to insert a semicolon 
after "circuit courts," in line 25, and after "courts" to insert "and the governor shall 
nominate and, by and with the advice and consent of the senate of the Territory of 
Hawaii, appoint;" in line 11, on page 30, after the word " may," to insert " by and 
with the advice and consent of the senate of the Territory or Hawaii."
Now, I propose to strike out, in line 10, including the proposed amendment, the 
Except the chief justice and justices of the supreme court, who shall hold 
office during good behavior for a term of nine years, and the judges of the 
circuit courts, whose terms of office shall be six years.
That will leave the section so that the President "shall nominate and, by and 
with the advice and consent of the senate of the Territory of Hawaii, appoint the 
chief justice and the justices of the supreme court and the judges of the circuit 
courts;" and the governor of the Territory, by and with the advice and consent of the 
senate of the Territory, shall appoint the other officers mentioned in the section; 
and then all the officers to hold office for four years, or until their successors are 
appointed and qualified, unless sooner removed, and the removal of all officers, except 
the chief justice and justices of the supreme court and judges of the circuit courts, 
shall be by the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the senate of the 
Territory of Hawaii.
Mr. President, I do not wish to take time about this, but it does seem to me that we 
ought not to depart so widely, as we do in this bill, from the universal practice which 
Congress has adopted with regard to the appointment of Territorial officers. I want 
this bill to pass and to pass as speedily as it can. I want to give to the people of 
the Territory of Hawaii all the powers and privileges which we have ever given to 
any Territory that has been incorporated or created by Congress. But, Mr. President, I 
see no reason for giving to the Territory and its governor the extraordinary powers 
which are conferred upon him in this bill. I know that this Territory is peculiar. I 
know that we have there a very small white population compared with the inhabitants 
of the Territory. Of course I can not give the exact figures of the different races 
and nationalities in the Territory, but, as I remember, all the white people there 
are less than 2,000, except Portuguese.
Mr. TELLER.   There are more than that.
Mr. CULLOM. There are between four and five thousand- 2,500 British and 
1,500 Germans, perhaps.
Mr. PLATT of Connecticut. I had in mind the voting population.
Mr. CULLOM.   Yes.
Mr. PLATT of Connecticut. However that may be, the white population, 
exclusive of the Portuguese, is very small compared with the rest of the population of 
the islands; and whether the British and Germans are going to become American citizens 
we do not know. The probability is that they will not. So we have there what may 
be called a governing population, or a population which we may think it advisable to 
constitute the governing population, consisting of some 4,000.
I do not complain of the bill, Mr. President, in that it proposes, and deliberately 
proposes, to put the. government of those islands practically into the hands of those 
4,000 people. I know that the Senator from South Carolina [Mr. TILLMAN] will ask me 
how it is that I reconcile the fact that I am in favor of a property qualification there 
which shall put the government of the islands into the hands of those 4,000 people, 
but I do not think that question arises here.
The question about the rights of the blacks to vote is not a new question. We are 
not determining now whether, if it were a new question, we should extend 
suffrage to the black population of this country. We did do that; and the difference 
which exists now between Senators from different sections of the country is only 
whether, having done it, what we have done shall be carried out in good faith. We are 
not considering the question as to what we should do if it were a new question. So I 
say that I do not complain of this bill because it proposes in its provisions to commit 
the government of those islands practically to the 4,000 Americans who reside 
there. They have always been the class which were the governing power under 
the King, to be sure. They have-been the class which redeemed the islands from 
savagery and barbarism, and made them what they are-Americanized the islands 
and set up American institutions there, and, at last, an American Government 
there; and though it seems arbitrary, and though it seems to contradict to some 
extent the principles upon which our free Government is established here, I do not 
complain of the bill on that account. I do not complain of

the provision which requires that persons, in order to vote for senators, shall have 
a property qualification of a thousand dollars, I believe, or $600 income. I may not get 
the figures exactly right.
Mr. CULLOM.   That is right.
Mr. PLATT of Connecticut. The purpose of it is to perpetuate that government in 
the hands of the American citizenship of the islands. While, as I say, it seems a little 
at variance with what we have heretofore done, I do not complain of the bill on that ac-
Mr. TILLMAN.   Will the Senator allow me?
The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. CLAY in the chair). Does the Senator from 
Connecticut yield?
Mr. PLATT of Connecticut. I will if the Senator does not disconcert me in what I 
was about to say.
Mr. TILLMAN. I would just remark right there that the Senator possibly 
misunderstands my position. I do not object to having the government of the Hawaiian 
Islands remain in the possession of the white people there, because I believe in white 
supremacy; and I believe that white supremacy in the Hawaiian Islands is 
necessary to good government, just as I believe that white supremacy in South 
Carolina is necessary for good government in that State. If the white people of South 
Carolina have been compelled to do things in the maintenance of that which the 
Senator from Connecticut has objected to in the past, and which possibly he still 
objects to, I simply want him to reconcile the two positions-his past position and his 
present position. If he has arrived at that point where he is willing to concede that the 
enfranchisement of the ignorant blacks was a blunder and a crimp, and that the 
Southern white people have been forced to relieve themselves of that by such means as 
they have had to adopt, then we are not apart at all, but agreed as to the future policy 
which must obtain not only in Hawaii, but also in the United States.
Mr. PLATT of Connecticut. Mr. President, I do not think that I should be 
diverted from what I have to say about Hawaii to go back and discuss the 
propriety or the necessity of conferring suffrage upon the black people of the 
South at the time it was done.
Mr. TILLMAN. I am not discussing that, and I am not asking the 
Senator to discuss it, Mr. President. I am simply trying to have him reconcile 
his present attitude with his past attitude, or to acknowledge that he was 
wrong once and has got right.
Mr. PLATT of Connecticut. 1 do not need to do either, Mr. President.
Mr. TILLMAN.   I think the Senator does.
Mr. PLATT of Connecticut. It seemed to be, and I believe was, a necessity 
at the time of reconstruction that we should enfranchise the black 
population and give thorn an opportunity to vote. Having done that, having 
conferred the right of suffrage upon them, we insist that it should not be 
taken away.
Now we come back to the question of Hawaii--
Mr. TILLMAN. Right there, if the Senator will permit me. Does he 
object to the franchise being taken away from the blacks under constitutional 
Mr. PLATT of Connecticut. I am afraid you propose to take it away by 
unconstitutional methods.
Mr. TILLMAN. Do you object to the white people of the South having the 
same rights to govern their affairs and maintain their civilization that you 
insist the white population in Hawaii shall have?
Mr. PLATT of Connecticut. I insist that the white people of the South 
shall observe the privileges we have conferred upon the black people of the 
South, and which one of the constitutional amendments insists that they 
shall observe. But I beg the Senator's pardon. I will discuss this question 
with him at some other time, and it will take a good while to discuss the 
question the Senator is now raising.
Mr. TILLMAN. My friend, if you had not brought my name into the 
discussion and said that I would object to the attitude you had taken, I 
certainly would not have interrupted you. But I thought you were 
challenging mo to discuss this question, and I am ready to meet you here 
or anywhere else on the question as to whether the Southern white people 
shall have the same rights you are giving to the white people in Hawaii.
Mr. PLATT of Connecticut. We are dealing with a new question; we are 
dealing with the question in the new possessions which we have acquired 
outside of what has hitherto been our boundaries, in the islands of the sea, 
as to what kind of government we shall provide for those possessions. It is a 
new departure in our history. We all know that the decision of that 
question requires the closest and most careful thought and examination.
Mr. TILLMAN.   Mr. President--
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Does the Senator from Connecticut yield to the Senator 
from South Carolina?
Mr. PLATT of Connecticut.. Yes.
Mr. TILLMAN. I hope the Senator from Connecticut will not confuse the 
Hawaiian question with the Philippine question, because they are entirely different. 
The Hawaiian people were

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