University of Hawaii at Manoa Library

Home: The Annexation Of Hawaii: A Collection Of Document

Hawaii Organic Act: Congressional debates on Hawaii Organic Act

[ Previous Page ] -- [ View PDF ] -- [ View in MS Word ] -- [ Next Page ]

of $1,000 or the receipt of an Income of $600 for the year preceding registration.   
This requirement of property ownership la somewhat less than that of the 
constitution of the republic of Hawaii, which, by article 76. is made the 
ownership of real estate, above incumbrances, of the value of $1,500, or of personal 
property of the value of $3,000 above incumbrances, or the receipt of a money 
income of $600 for the year preceding registration.
The CHAIRMAN.   The time of the gentleman has expired. Mr. 
CAPRON.   Mr. Chairman, I ask that the gentleman's time be 
extended for ten minutes. The CHAIRMAN.   The gentleman from 
Rhode Island asks that the time of the gentleman from Connecticut 
be extended for ten minutes?   Is there objection?   [After a pause.]   
The Chair hears none. Mr. FITZGERALD of Massachusetts.   Will the 
gentleman answer a question? Mr. HILL.   I will answer the 
gentleman. Mr. FITZGERALD of Massachusetts.   Does the 
gentleman believe in taxation without representation? Mr. HILL.   
There are 100,000 people in the Hawaiian Islands; there are 300,000 
in the District of Columbia that are taxed without representation.   
There are 100,000 in the Territory of Alaska to-day that are taxed 
without representation. Mr. FITZGERALD of Massachusetts.   But 
does the gentleman believe in that principle? Mr. HILL.   I believe 
the best government on earth to-day is that of the city of 
Washington in the District of Columbia. Mr. FITZGERALD of 
Massachusetts.   But does the gentleman believe in the principle of 
taxation without representation? Mr. DRIGGS.   I would like to ask 
the gentleman a question. Mr. HILL.   I have but ten minutes.   The 
people of Hawaii do not ask tor this.   They ask for a restricted 
suffrage and wish to be controlled and governed by the educated and 
intelligent portion of the people of the islands of Hawaii. The report 
further says:
The question of a property qualification of any kind for a voter or member of the 
senate is an important one and is calculated to excite antagonism in the United 
States, but such a qualification has long prevailed in Hawaii, and, as far as can 
be ascertained, meets the approval of the people.
Now, Mr. Chairman, what else did we do?   After annexing 
Hawaii we sent an able and distinguished commission to those 
islands.   They went there and examined the conditions, a commission 
of which the gentleman the chairman of the Committee on Foreign 
Affairs was a member, and came back and reported in favor of this 
restricted suffrage, by which the Caucasian race should have and 
continue in the unrestricted control of those islands.   This 
committee has utterly ignored the recommendation of that 
commission which we sent to investigate the matter. That is not 
all; that restriction was so severe that out of 14,000 eligible voters, 
under the terms of this bill, the republic of Hawaii itself only allowed 
3,800 to be registered - less than one-quarter - and it was absolutely 
necessary that they should do it, or else the Kanaka control would 
sweep them out of the island.   Now, Mr. Chairman, that is not all.   
Mr. MONDELL.   Will the gentleman yield for a question?   Mr. 
HILL.   I can not now, perhaps I will later.   Not only did the 
commission report in favor of this, but this very committee which 
now brings in this bill brought in a bill last year in favor of a 
restricted representation. Mr. LITTLEFIELD.   And with a property 
qualification. Mr. HILL.   Yes; with a property qualification; but 
that is a matter of no importance, because it was not put there for the 
purpose of a property qualification, but as the best method of preventing 
the Kanaka control of these islands.   It was put there because there 
was a population there which the gentleman himself [Mr. 
LITTLEFIELD] likened to the tribes of Africa yesterday, which was unjust, 
when the question was up on the saloon amendment.   It was this 
Kanaka control that they desired to prevent.   Not only did the 
committees of both Houses last year make this recommendation, but 
the chairman of that commission, representing the chairman of the 
committee in the Senate, this year brought in a similar bill, and it 
was only for the first time since this question has been considered 
that this committee now brings in a bill sweeping away all 
restrictions and admitting to suffrage everyone in these islands who 
can read. Now, what is the nationality of these people?   I want to 
give it to you.   There is a total population of 109,000, according to 
the census of 1890.   There are of voters about 8,000 Americans, Ger-
mans, French, and English; about 3,000 Portuguese, and, according to 
the statement of the gentleman from Michigan, there are 9,000 
Kanaka votes, so that according to his own statement on the question 
of elections the American, German, French, and English voters will be 
simply buried under a vote of 4 to 1.     The amendment I have 
offered proposes a commissioner appointed by the governor of the 
islands, who himself is appointed by the President of the United 
States, and makes a business proposition of what this bill, as it now 
stands, makes apolitical proposition, and it is the political feature of 
it that I object to. Mr, Chairman, I do not believe that the people of 
the United

States are yet ready to take the first step toward statehood for these 
insular possessions.   It may be said that it makes no difference in this 
respect whether this man is elected by the people of Hawaii or 
whether he is appointed by the appointee of the President of the 
United States.   The sentiment is there that if you make the islands 
of Hawaii a full-fledged Territory, but one more step, and that a short 
one, is necessary to be taken under the political exigencies that 
might arise with either party, Republican or Democratic, that would 
thereby get control and help to maintain control of the United States 
Senate, if this island and Puerto Rico should be swept in as States in 
the Union.   I for one am utterly opposed to taking the first step 
until we have more and better knowledge as to the characteristics 
and the peculiar traits and the capacity of these people than we possess 
to-day. Now. am I right about that?   I want to call attention for just 
a moment to the report made by this committee last year.   It was 
not a unanimous report; the report this year is unanimous.   Now, why 
was it not unanimous last year?   Because the Democratic members 
on that committee said last year:
We can not agree to the majority report of the committee for the reason that it 
indicates an intention on their part to make a new departure from our well-
established custom of governing Territories.   We believe that the newly acquired 
Territories should be governed as other Territories of the United States have 
been governed from the foundation of our Government, with a view that they 
may be ultimately admitted into the Union of States.
This year that objection is all swept away; Democrats and Re-
publicans alike on that committee come up here and ask for the 
admission of Hawaii as a Territory of this Union. Gentlemen, I 
want you to recall an incident which occurred here in this 
Chamber yesterday afternoon.   To the proposition granting 
unrestricted suffrage to the Kanakas and the foreigners in Hawaii no 
opposition was made on the other side of the House; but the moment 
the question of the qualifications of voters comes up, the Mississippi 
plan, the plan of the Southern States, of restricting votes under in 
unrestricted representation, is again endeavored to be fastened upon 
this bill. That is the proposition.   I did not vote with my friend 
from Mississippi.   I do not criticise his action.   I did not so vote, 
because I would not attempt by a device to take away that which I 
was willing to grant by law.   I would not vote for unrestricted, 
uneducated, unintelligent suffrage and then attempt to take it away 
by a device.   I refused on that ground to vote for the proposition.   1 
have no criticism to make upon the action of other gentlemen. I 
refused on the same ground to vote for the proposition of the 
committee.   I have no criticism to make upon the action of the 
gentlemen on the other side of the House.   Perhaps I would do as 
they do, if I were in similar circumstances.   I am not prepared to 
discuss that question; but as a New Englander who believes in a fair 
suffrage, an honest suffrage, an intelligent suffrage, I stand here now 
to say that neither in Puerto Rico, nor in the Philippines, nor in 
Hawaii, nor anywhere else, will I vote to put a Representative upon 
the floor of this House who is not elected by a constituency that 
knows what it is doing.    [Applause.] The CHAIRMAN.   The time 
of the gentleman has expired. Mr. HILL.   I will take further time 
on the other amendment. Mr. HITT.   Mr. Chairman, the section 
giving Hawaii a Delegate in Congress, which is objected to. is one 
for the insertion of which in the bill reported by the commission 1 am 
in part responsible, as I was the sole person on the Hawaiian 
commission representing or in any way related to the House of 
Representatives. I asked on behalf of the House, as I believed its 
interests and the interests of Hawaii required that such a provision 
be inserted. The country we were providing for was of enormous 
wealth, of great energy, of contending interests, for which Congress 
would have to legislate. I desired that in the case of this Territory, 
as in all instances that have preceded, we should have upon the 
floor of this House a representative man who was responsible, a man 
who could speak for those people, who could be questioned at any 
instant on aught that concerned them, a man who could be held 
accountable by the House, and who, if he stated aught that his 
constituents disapproved, could be visited by the reprobation of his 
own constituency - that public scorn which is the most dreaded 
punishment of public men.   If Hawaii is denied a Delegate on the 
floor, we are certain to have here instead abundant delegates in the 
lobby, paid by private interests in that Territory to secure favors in 
legislation, as we have often seen in our experience here in other 
matters.   [Applause.] Mr. HILL.   I should like to ask the gentleman 
a question at his convenience. Mr. HITT.   I have only five minutes, 
and then I will yield the floor to anyone else who wants to talk. Mr. 
HILL.   I will seek an opportunity to ask my question before the 
gentleman sits down. Mr. HITT.   We know that when a person is 
here representing special interests he is selected for experience, 
ability, adroitness,

Return to Top

Terms of Use  |  UH Mānoa  |  UH System  |  Ask Us
University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Library  |  2550 McCarthy Mall  |  Honolulu, Hawaii 96822 USA
808-956-7214 (Reference)  |  808-956-7203 (Circulation)  |  808-956-7205 (Administration)
808-956-5968 (fax)  |