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Hawaii Organic Act: Congressional debates on Hawaii Organic Act

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But it was stated, possibly while the Senator from West Virginia 
was not in the Chamber, that at the time of the deposition of the 
Queen every particle of her personal property, even to her tableware 
and kitchen furniture, was taken from her; that she was absolutely 
turned out without anything whatever. Mr SCOTT.   I am much 
obliged to the Senator. Mr. MORGAN.   That statement is not 
correct. Mr. BACON.   I am only saying that that is the statement 
of the Senator from Wyoming [Mr. CLARK] .   I have no knowledge 
of the matter myself.   I think the amendment puts the matter in an 
entirely different position before the Senate from what it would be 
otherwise.   It does not recognize any legal claim, and nothing is 
said therein upon which any claim can be based in the future if 
we should fail to pass the amendment or if we should pass it. Mr. 
PL ATT of Connecticut.   Mr. President, it seems to me most 
unfortunate that this amendment has been proposed to this bill. I 
can not think the object that the Senator from Wyoming had in 
view was to raise again in the Senate the question of whether this 
Government has dealt unfairly with the Queen.   We had that 
discussion years ago, and it is entirely out of place, as it seems to 
me, to revive it now. I do not think, from hearing all that has been 
said, that there is any occasion now for this Government to 
appropriate $250,000 for the Queen of the Sandwich Islands.   I do 
not see upon what ground it is based, except upon the ground that 
we took away From her her lands.                                         . Mr. 
President, the revolution in the Sandwich Islands is an ac-
complished fact, and was an accomplished fact years ago.   The 
Queen had no interest in the lauds, except that as Queen she derived 
a revenue from them for the support of the royal household. Under 
every principle of law and under every principle of right when a 
government changes, the interest of the former monarch, the interest 
of the former government, in any of the lands passes to the new 
government.   The right to these lands is in the people of Hawaii to-
day, and not in the former Queen.   If we pass this amendment, we 
propose to take from the people of Hawaii that which rightfully 
belongs to them - $250,000 of the revenues to be derived from their 
lands - and appropriate it to the uses of the Queen.   That is all 
there is about it. I think, Mr. President, that the United States ought 
to hesitate, and hesitate long, before it does such a thing.   At least a 
proposition of this sort ought to come before the Senate as an 
independent proposition, be referred to a committee, reported 
upon, and discussed; so that if anything of this character is to be 
done it should be done with our eyes open. This is not a donation.   
Even if it were put upon that ground, I see no reason why we 
should make it.   There is a kind of sympathy in the breast of 
everyone and a kind of sentimentalism which, when there is any 
proposition to pay any money to anyone, at first blush inclines 
Senators to favor it.   But I see no reason why the United States 
should donate $250,000 to the former Queen. I see still less reason, if 
there be any, why we should take $250,000 from the people of  
Hawaii and give it to the Queen.   That is an arbitrary proceeding 
that can not be justified for a moment. This amendment, as 
originally introduced and even as proposed to be amended by the 
Senator from Georgia [Mr. BACON], counts upon some interest of the 
Queen, some right of hers, some property of hers, which has been 
taken away from her either by the people of Hawaii or by the 
United States,   If we pass this amendment it can in no sense be said 
to be a donation to her which we, out of the goodness of our hearts, 
take from the Treasury of the United States and transfer to her 
pocket.   It is a recognition of a right, and the arbitrary enforcement 
of that right upon the people of Hawaii; and we should not enact any 
such legislation.   Mr. CLARK of Wyoming.   Mr. President, I 
thank the Senator from Connecticut [Mr. PLATT] most sincerely for 
his rebuke. Mr. PLATT of Connecticut.   There was no rebuke about 
it. Mr. CLARK of Wyoming.  But so long as I shall remain in the 
Senate I shall reserve the right to offer any and every amendment 
which I think is proper to any and every bill which comes before the 
Senate.   I do not want to transgress the privileges of the Senate; I 
do not want to transgress the rules of the Senate; but I do want to 
see justice done, and I think that is one of the things which the 
Senate of the United States sits for. The Senator from Connecticut 
says there is no legal right in the matter which is involved in the 
amendment which has been proposed by myself arid amended by 
the Senator from Georgia.   I grant it, because in the politics of the 
world might means right, and the nation that is strong enough to 
throttle a smaller nation never has to answer in any court of 
justice for its action, and it may go "unwhipped of justice" for all 
its ill deeds.   But that does not alter the fact that a great nation can 
afford to be generous and just and honest. There is no legal claim.   
The minute that the republic of Hawaii in its might, aided - I repeat 
it again - by the Government of the United States, made a 
revolution and took over the Crown

lands, that minute all legal right ceased.   But the Senator from 
Connecticut, and every other Senator, knows that there is some-
thing besides legal rights in this world.   There is a moral obligation 
that rests upon every government to treat its subjects and the 
subjects of other governments in a moral and in an equitable way. 
Notwithstanding what has been said by the Senator from Con-
necticut, at the time of her overthrow the Queen of those islands 
had $50,000 annual profit - constitutional profit - from the Crown 
lands of those islands.   The republic took them over. and. as has 
been said, it not only took the Crown lands over, but it made 
such a confiscation as has never been made by a revolution, not 
even the French Revolution.   It took every article of personal ap-
parel; it took every article in the kitchen; it took every article in 
the palace; it took every article everywhere; arrested the deposed 
monarch upon the streets and kept her in close confinement in a 
government building for months and months, without allowing 
her to visit her home.   I am not specially interested in the indi-
vidual.   I am simply interested in seeing that this Government 
does justice.   I am simply interested that we do at least equity. Mr. 
KYLE.   May I ask the Senator a question? Mr. CLARK of 
Wyoming.   Certainly. Mr. KYLE.   I ask the Senator if the Queen 
was the only one dispossessed of rights at the time of the 
overthrow of the monarchy? Mr. CLARK of Wyoming.   She was, 
so far as I know.   I do not know of any others. Mr. KYLE.   Were 
there not a great many others? Mr. CLARK of Wyoming.   There 
may have been. Mr. KYLE.   Then it might be right to include 
them all in the bill. Mr. CLARK of Wyoming.   I do not think 
there were any others - there were no others. Mr. PLATT of 
Connecticut.   Mr. President -- The PRESIDENT pro tempore.   
Does the Senator from Wyoming yield? Mr. CLARK of Wyoming.   
Certainly. Mr. PLATT of Connecticut.   Is it not the truth that 
all this property which is said to have been confiscated was 
afterwards turned over to the princess by the government of 
Hawaii? Mr. CLARK of Wyoming.   No; that is not true. Mr. 
PLATT of Connecticut.   I so understood. Mr. CLARK of 
Wyoming.   Part of it was, but the most of it was sold at auction 
or in some other way, and went into the coffers of the government. 
So it seems, Mr. President, not only an act of justice - as the 
Senator from Connecticut very well says, legally there is no 
claim - but morally and equitably, and under all the laws that 
ought to govern a body of this kind, something ought to be done to 
correct what was done, at least with our connivance, if not with 
our concurrence. The PRESIDENT pro tempore.   The amendment 
as modified will be stated. The SECRETARY.   It is proposed to add to 
section 101 the following:
And the sum of $250,000 is hereby appropriated, out of any money in the 
Treasury not otherwise appropriated, to be paid Liliuokalani, late Queen of the 
Hawaiian Islands, in full settlement of any claim for any interest, legal or 
equitable, she may now have or may have had in said Crown lauds or the 
usufruct of the same, and in full settlement of any and every claim she may 
now have or may have had against the United States and against the Ha-
waiian government on any account whatsoever: And provided further. That 
said sum of $250,000 shall, to that amount, be a charge upon the revenues of 
said lands, and shall be repaid to the United States from the revenues of said 
lands in live equal annual payments.
Mr. MORGAN.   That proviso ought not to be in there. Mr. 
CULLOM.   No. Mr. MORGAN.   When those lands were taken 
over by the republic they were leased and they were converted into 
the public domain, and are now subject to homestead entry.   
Under the laws of Hawaii persons are now proceeding to take 
them up.   It will leave the lien of the government upon them; and, 
of course, the government of Hawaii, instead of letting those lands 
go into private ownership, must keep them and lease them for a 
long time, indefinitely, according to this bill. We have got to keep 
them and hold them in trust, in order that this woman shall get the 
advantage of the income from them, if the Government of the 
United States is to be reimbursed for paying this $250,000.   If we do 
anything for her benefit at all, it ought to be a benevolence, and it 
ought to be an act of recognition that there is some duty or some 
privilege resting upon us to reinstate her, so far as her private 
fortunes are concerned, for anything she might have lost by virtue 
of the abdication of her crown; for the fact of the business is that 
she did abdicate her crown, Mr. President. That proviso ought not 
to go into this bill; it ought to be stricken out.   I hope it will be 
withdrawn.   It is not necessary at all that the Government of the 
United States should be reimbursed this sum of money.   It only 
takes the amount out of the

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