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Hawaii Organic Act: Congressional debates on Hawaii Organic Act

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April 4,  1900
v. 33  (4)
p. 3746-3752
On motion of Mr. KNOX, the House resolved itself into Com-
mittee of the Whole House on the state of the Union, and resumed 
consideration of the hill (S. 222) to provide a government in the 
Territory of Hawaii, with Mr. MOODY in the chair.
Mr. McALEER. I yield thirty minutes to the gentleman from 
Ohio [Mr. McDOWELL].
Mr. McDOWELL. Mr. Chairman, two years ago, when the 
proposition of annexing the Hawaiian Islands to the United States 
was before Congress, I was opposed to annexation for what, in my 
judgment, seemed very good reasons.
First, annexation was desired by a very small proportion of the 
inhabitants of these islands, and these few desired it for selfish 
and mercenary purposes. It was the "Dole oligarchy" or "family 
compact" that had usurped all power to itself and now desired to be 
perpetuated in power under the protection of the United States.
Second. I believed, as 1 now believe, that by making these is-
lands a part of the United States we bring the cheap Asiatic 
laborer into direct competition with the American laborer. To 
bring under our own flag 40.000 Japanese contract laborers and 
25,000 Chinese contract laborers means to limit to a considerable 
extent the opportunities of our own American laborers.
Later developments and conditions confirm very strongly my 
first views on this subject.
But annexation is an accomplished fact, and we are now con-
fronted with the problem to provide a good Territorial form of 
government for the islands. I am gratified to say that it seemed to 
be the unanimous idea of the Committee on Territories, of 
which committee I have the honor to be a member, to give the 
Hawaiian Islands a government similar to that given to other 
acquired Territories of the United States. To my knowledge no 
member of the committee even suggested any discrimination in 
the commercial intercourse between the United States and the 
islands, or "taxation without representation." However, it has 
been intimated that some imperialistic amendments may be pro-
posed to the bill while it is under consideration in the House.
The annexation resolution was approved July 7, 1898. As pro-
vided by the joint resolution annexing the islands, the President 
appointed five commissioners to recommend to Congress such leg-
islation concerning the Hawaiian Islands as they might deem nec-
essary and proper. The Hawaiian commission consisted of Senators 
JOHN T. MORGAN and SHELBY M. CULLOM and Representative ROBERT R. 
HITT, of the United States, and Sanford B. Dole and W. F. Frear, the 
two latter being residents of the Hawaiian Islands. The 
commissioners met at Honolulu August 18, 1898, and at the 
beginning of the last session of the Fifty-fifth Congress the 
President of the United States transmitted their report to 
Among things recommended in this report was "A bill to provide 
a government for the Territory of Hawaii." A reading of the bill 
recommended by the commission would lead any patriotic 
American to declare that it was not the product of the brain of 
any American statesman or legislator. My first impression was 
that the Hawaiian members of the commission had hypnotized 
our own distinguished members of the commission.  The more I 
studied the bill the more confirmed was my conclusion in the 
matter, I had heard that the members of the "Dole family compact" 
were skilled in the arts of diplomacy and strategy; that they 
easily controlled, for their own selfish purposes, the kindly, 
friendly, liberal, affectionate, and confiding native Hawaiians. 
Yet I had confidence that our own able members of the Hawaiian 
commission would be able to withstand their wiles and cunning.

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