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Hawaii Organic Act: Congressional debates on Hawaii Organic Act

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April 5, 1900 
House v. 33  (4) p. 
3800-3813
GOVERNMENT FOR THE TERRITORY OF HAWAII.
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 bill (S. 222) to provide a government in the 
Territory of Hawaii, with Mr. MOODY of Massachusetts in the 
chair.
The CHAIRMAN. The House is in Committee of the. Whole for 
the consideration, under the five-minute rule, of the Senate bill 
which the Clerk will report to the committee.
The Clerk, under the order made yesterday, proceeded to read 
the substitute in the nature of an amendment, by sections.
The Clerk read as follows:
CITIZENSHIP.
SEC. 4. That all persons who were citizens of the Republic of Hawaii on 
August 12, 1898, are hereby declared to be citizens of the United States and 
citizens of the Territory of Hawaii.
And all citizens of the United States who were resident in the Hawaiian 
Islands on or since August 13, 1898. and all the citizens of the United States 
who shall hereafter reside in the Territory of Hawaii for one year shall be 
citizens of the Territory of Hawaii.
Mr. McRAE. Mr. Chairman, for the purpose of asking a question 
of the chairman of the committee, I move to strike out that 
section. I would like to know who were citizens of the republic of 
Hawaii at the time mentioned.
Mr. KNOX. The laws of the republic of Hawaii provided that all 
persons born or naturalized in Hawaii, under the republic of 
Hawaii, should be citizens of the republic of Hawaii. At that 
time they comprised the same persons whom we now make citizens 
- the English, Germans, Americans, native Hawaiians, and 
Portuguese - with the exception that there have been under the 
monarchy about 700 Chinese naturalized, about 350 of whom only 
remain, the rest having gone back; so that the only Asiatic citi-
zenship is composed of about 350 naturalized Chinese.
Mr. McRAE.   Do you adopt them as citizens?
Mr. KNOX. I will state, further, that in order to prevent further 
naturalization of Asiatics the constitution of Hawaii provided 
that they should naturalize citizens of nations which by their 
laws provided for the naturalization of Hawaiians. As there were 
no such nations, it excluded from that time the naturalization of 
Chinese.
Mr. McRAE. But that would put it in the power of foreign 
nations to naturalize people for our country, would it not?
Mr.KNOX. The moment this bill passes, of course that law of the 
republic of Hawaii ends and the laws of the United States 
extend.
Mr. McRAE.   Do you directly repeal that provision?
Mr. KNOX. All laws in contradistinction to the Constitution 
and laws of the United States are repealed by the bill.
Mr. McRAE. Dp you by this bill adopt the 350 naturalized 
Chinese who were in Hawaii at the time of the passage of the res-
olution annexing the islands?
Mr. KNOX.   Those 350, inasmuch as --
Mr. McRAE.   You adopt them as United States citizens?
Mr. KNOX. Inasmuch as we could not draw the line, we made a 
general provision making all citizens of the republic of Hawaii 
citizens of the United States, and that would include those 350 
Chinese.
Mr. McRAE. Is the anti-alien contract-labor law extended to 
Hawaii by this bill?
Mr. KNOX.   Yes; all the laws of the United States are so ex-
tended, and the law prohibiting these contracts and the penal pro-
vision is retained by this bill; but there is to be a subsequent; 
amendment further extending it so as to make it absolutely certain 
that we stamp out every vestige of contract labor.
Mr. McRAE.   I am not quite certain that that is done.
Mr. KNOX.   There is an amendment prepared which stamps out 
every vestige of that contract-labor system. Mr. McRAE.   At the 
proper time I should like to move a new paragraph in the bill 
which will beyond all question extend the anti-alien contract-labor 
law.
Mr. KNOX.   It will be an amendment to section 10.
The CHAIRMAN. Without objection, the formal amendment 
offered by the gentleman from Arkansas will be withdrawn.
Mr. ROBINSON of Indiana.   I move to strike out the last word.
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Indiana.


    Mr. ROBINSON of Indiana.   Mr. Chairman, at this time I 
think it would be proper for me to make a brief statement.
My judgment is that this is one of the most important bills that 
has been presented to the House since I have been a member. . The 
Committee on Territories have for days and weeks given careful 
attention and consideration to this bill. At the time of the 
introduction of the bill into the House a like bill was introduced 
into the Senate. Differences of opinion among the members of the 
committees have resulted in very many changes in the original bills 
introduced into the respective Houses and a remodeling and recasting 
of many of the sections. The Senate considered a bill of the import 
of the bill now before the House and the amendments to it for 
nine days. With the exception of three set speeches they 
considered the bill by sections. During that time they covered 108 
pages of the CONGRESSIONAL RECORD in the discussion of the amendments 
and sections of this bill.
We must now, perforce, in something like three or four hours, 
do all the work in consideration and debating of the bill that was 
done by the Senate in over a week. The committee have been 
careful, but differences of opinion have arisen. It was almost im-
possible to understand the industrial conditions of Hawaii, almost 
impossible to get information on the subject of its judicial and 
other matters. The result is there are differences of opinion now on 
various sections as to their meaning and interpretation.
The Senate, after mature deliberation, have passed a bill which to 
my mind is far less objectionable and more perfect than the 
provisions of this bill presented to the House. The misfortune is 
that many of the important sections involving the question of 
appointments by the Territorial governor or by the President, in-
volving the question of the establishment of courts and procedure, 
are at the end of this bill.
I might say that I feel that the chairman of the Committee on 
Territories, every member of that committee and every member of 
the House, want to do the very best they can for the people of 
Hawaii, and desire to send a bill to the Senate to consider and to 
the people of those islands to govern them that will be as nearly 
perfect as possible, because those people have troubles enough of 
their own. Now, if we proceed to the consideration of the sections 
of this bill and confine ourselves to the subject-matter involved, we 
may possibly complete the work in four hours. If we succeed in 
doing that, then my hope that we may be able to pass the bill 
without a division may be answered. There are sections though, at 
the end of the bill, which we should reach, very important, and 
amendments to them will be presented.
To the gentleman from Arkansas [Mr. MCRAE] I will say that the 
Senate amendment of Senator PETTIGREW to section 10 of this House 
bill should be adopted. I conversed with Senator NELSON and other 
Senators yesterday, and they favor that amendment; and if it 
should pass this House with that amendment I am assured that it 
will pass the Senate. That amendment will wipe out forever all 
vestige of the foreign labor contract system and destroy that 
system entirely. That comes early in the bill; and if the committee 
do not offer the proper amendment, which I believe they will, I shall 
offer the Senate provision upon that subject.
But it is due to the committee, due to the House, and due to the 
people of Hawaii that we should confine our discussion upon this 
subject to the provision of the bill, and I urge upon members to do 
that because of the limited time. If the discussion is limited to the 
provisions of this bill, we can do our duty, and in my judgment send 
a good bill to the Senate. We will thus avoid the unfortunate 
condition that comes, too often, unfortunately, when we legislate 
by conference.
[Here the hammer fell.]
Mr. KNOX. Mr. Chairman, I wish to say that 1 heartily second all 
that the gentleman from Indiana [Mr. ROBINSON] has said, and I hope 
that the discussion to-day will be confined to the material sections 
and the material amendments that are to be offered.
It is true, as the gentleman says, that there are important amend-
ments to be offered to the very last sections of this bill. I hope we 
shall not be obliged to make the point of order against irrelevant 
discussion. While we desire the freest discussion upon all 
important matters, it is of great importance that the discussion be 
confined to the material questions which are before the House. The 
CHAIRMAN. Without objection, the formal amendment offered by 
the gentleman from Indiana [Mr. ROBINSON] will be withdrawn, and 
the Clerk will read.
The Clerk read as follows:
APPLICATION Of THE LAWS OP THE UNITED STATES.
SEC. 6. That except as herein otherwise provided the Constitution and all the 
laws of the United States locally applicable shall have the same force and 
effect within the said Territory as elsewhere in the United States: Provided, 
That sections 1830 and 1890 of the Revised Statutes of the United States shall not 
apply to the Territory of Hawaii
Mr. DE ARMOND.   Mr. Chairman, I move to strike out the 
words "the Constitution and" on lines 24 and 25. The 
CHAIRMAN,   The Clerk will report the amendment.

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