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Hawaii Organic Act: Congressional debates on Hawaii Organic Act

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3723
for the maintenance of a safe and stable government, arid I do not 
pretend to say that a thirty days' sojourn in the islands better 
qualifies me to judge on this point than those who have thorough 
personal knowledge of the conditions.   I am, however, on general 
principles, opposed to a proposition to deprive those who are able to 
read and write and therefore inform themselves, and who have had a 
reasonable training by participation in or by actual contact for a 
considerable length of time with the institutions of self-
government, of the right to exercise the elective franchise for the 
reason that they are not the possessors of real estate. It is pointed out 
by those who desire to restrict the franchise in Hawaii that the number 
of Caucasians in the islands is but a fraction of the entire population, 
as though upon our race rested the entire responsibility of 
government there: and those Who hold this view seem to regard the 
less than 10,000 native and foreign born of American, English, 
French, and Scandinavian parentage as the saving remnant, the 
leaven which must be depended upon entirely to leaven the whole 
lump of Hawaiian citizenship. I should feel much discouraged about 
the future of the newborn Territory did I share in the views of those 
who imagine that its future political weal depended entirely upon 
this restricted contingent of her citizenship, though I am willing to 
admit that undoubtedly the great proportion of her leaders in all 
matters, for the immediate future at least, will come from these latter 
classes, and for the comfort of those whose faith in the future of the 
islands is pinned solely to its Anglo-Saxon citizenship, I wish to bear 
testimony to their high character and intelligence. Almost without 
exception, they are people of education and refinement, of industry 
and force, of energy and of high ideals, and I think 1 can also safely 
say, generally, or earnest piety.   The new Territory of Hawaii seems 
never to have been the haven of those "who left their country for 
their country's good."   The foundation of this portion of the 
citizenship was the families of the first missionaries, from which has 
sprung and to which has been added traders, planters, professional 
men, and latterly a liberal sprinkling of stalwart young Americans, 
rich only in honest character and ambition, who have sought these 
shores to establish homes and build up communities. Such is the 
character of the men whom we all will admit are the first line of 
defense, the strongest bulwark of the Territory. While all this is 
true, those who fail to appreciate the sterling qualities of the 18,000 
representatives of the Latin race who came to these shores first as 
contract laborers but a few years ago from the Azores mistake 
greatly the character of the people upon whom they pass judgment.   
I know no people who in the same length of time have so much 
improved their conditions as have these Portuguese, and I give 
more credit for this to their good qualities than to any advantageous 
conditions which have surrounded them. They are the best 
gardeners and small farmers in the islands, and their little farms are 
scattered over every island from Hawaii to Niihau.   They are 
mechanics in the towns, the machinists, engineers, and teamsters on 
the plantations.   Their little homes each with its garden spot, 
luxuriant with its well-tilled profusion of the products of this 
favored clime, are models, and their youth eagerly seek the 
advantages of the splendid school system there established.   A 
people who seek education, till the soil, learn trades, and have good 
homes can be depended upon anywhere to maintain the institutions 
of free government. But, Mr. Chairman, the new Territory which 
we shall create will not have to depend, for the maintenance of the 
institutions which by this legislation we perpetuate, rather than 
establish, by any means wholly upon aliens to her soil or their 
descendants. Her native sons of the aboriginal blood will furnish the 
majority and by no means the least desirable element of her 
electorate. These people who have been so loyal in their devotion to 
the government of their fathers are and will be no less loyal to the 
great Republic whose honored citizens they now become.   It is but, 
natural and in fact commendable in them that they clung tenaciously 
to the monarchy, even when it had become but a shadow of the 
authority of their race over the land of their birth and affections. Let 
us remember that though barbarians they were not savages when the 
first white man's bark approached their shores.   The ruins of their 
temples and the water courses hewed from solid rock are still 
eloquent reminders of their skill and industry. When the 
Caucasians first sighted these isles of enchantment, their kuleanas, 
or homesteads, in a high state of cultivation dotted the lowlands and 
extended high up the hillsides, made verdant by ingenious and 
laborious irrigation, and their cunning handicraft fashioned from the 
woods and fibers of the land cloths and utensils of utility and beauty; 
endowed by nature with splendid build and form, kindly and 
generous to a fault, courageous and, under proper incentive, 
industrious, always venturesome and seldom vicious, they 
possessed, even as a primitive people, many of the

virtues which other races have only attained after centuries of 
civilization and have now comparatively few of the vices that 
ordinarily characterize a primitive people's contact with civilization. 
Thanks to a good school system and a laudable ambition to 
secure an education, illiteracy is rare among them and many 
members of the race have distinguished themselves in business 
affairs, statesmanship, and in the professions.   Their young men and 
young women will compare favorably with the young men and 
young women of any race in ability and aptitude to learn, and of their 
grace and charm of manner our race may well take lessons. In working 
out the future destiny of their country they will perform an 
important and honored part; if I mistake not, a more important 
part than they performed even under their native monarchy. The 
committee very wisely, in my opinion, amended the original bill by 
providing for the appointment of the judges of the supreme court 
by the President of the United States instead of by the governor of 
the Territory, as provided in the original bill; and I am of the opinion 
that the committee would have done well to have also provided for 
the appointment of the judges of the circuit court by the President 
of the United States, providing, as in the case of the judges of the 
supreme court, that such judges should be citizens of Hawaii. I 
know of no reason why we should depart from the established 
custom in other Territories in this respect; in fact, I believe there are 
even stronger reasons why the judiciary of this new Territory should 
be appointed by the President than exist in connection with the 
appointments of this character on the mainland.   I am an ardent 
believer in home rule, and I think under all circumstances men 
appointed to these positions should be citizens of the Territory, but I 
fear the centralization of authority which might result in leaving 
those appointments in the hands of the governor. It is with 
somewhat of reluctance that I call attention to one amendment 
made by the committee in the bill, which I understand was given 
careful consideration, but which I believe is neither wise nor 
necessary.   I refer to the proviso in section 73 which provides for 
the reference to the Secretary of the Interior of all transactions 
under the public-land laws, with the power to confirm, reverse, 
modify, suspend, or annul. From a somewhat careful though, I admit, 
hurried investigation of the Hawaiian land laws and their workings, I 
am of the opinion that the present land laws of the Territory are 
better adapted to the conditions there and to accomplish the actual 
settlement, cultivation, and improvement of their public domain 
than are the land laws of the United States to-day, under the 
conditions existing, to bring about the same results here.   I 
believe these land laws have been honestly and, in the main, wisely 
and intelligently administered, and in my opinion a people who had 
the wisdom to enact wise laws and who have satisfactorily 
administered them should be trusted to continue the 
administration of those laws, unhampered by a supervisory 
authority 5,000 miles distant, which can not, in the very nature of 
things,  judge accurately of the equities or give proper weight to 
the testimony in real-estate transactions under laws and conditions 
essentially dissimilar from those existing here. This legislation marks 
the beginning of Territorial government for insular possessions and 
is not necessarily a criterion for legislation for other territory, and in 
view of the much discussed question of a tariff for Puerto Rico it 
may not be out of the way in this connection to again call 
attention to the fact that nearly two years ago Congress legislated 
for these islands over which our sovereignty unquestionably 
extended and provided that its people should pay on goods shipped to 
our ports not 15 per cent or 25 per cent but 100 per cent of our tariff 
rates, and that our merchandise going there should pay the full rate 
of the Hawaiian duty, a rate which is absolutely prohibitory on many 
classes of our goods, and these rates are still in force and will be until 
this bill becomes law. If the question is a constitutional one, how is 
it it did not apply to Hawaii as well as to Puerto Rico, if one of 
policy, and it be claimed that the tariff rate proposed for Puerto Rico 
is an injustice? Can it be said we owe more to Puerto Rico than to 
the people of these fair isles, the only people who have 
voluntarily brought their territory under the flag in all our history?   
This legislation meets the hopes and expectations, I believe, of 
those for whom it is to be enacted, and in my opinion is admirably 
suited for them. They deserve the most generous treatment at our 
hands, for they became freely, voluntarily, and gladly part of us and 
our territory. Every American citizen should rejoice that our flag 
waves over these beautiful islands; that here, at the meeting 
place of the thronging trade and commerce of the Pacific, where 
the Orient first meets the Occident, shall be seen of all men an 
object lesson of that peace, progress, and liberty which ever abides 
beneath the starry banner of the free.   [Applause.]

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