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Hawaii Organic Act: Congressional debates on Hawaii Organic Act

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April 6, 1900
House
V.  33   (4)
P. 3865-3866
GOVERNMENT FOR HAWAII.
The committee resumed its session.
Mr. WILLIAMS of Mississippi. I ask unanimous Consent to 
address the committee.
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Mississippi asks unanimous 
consent to address the committee. Is there objection?
There was no objection.
Mr. WJLL1AMS of Mississippi. Mr. Chairman, there are two 
opinions as to the legal status of Territories of the United States. 
One is that under the Constitution every Territory is necessarily in 
process of formation for statehood. The other is that this view is a 
mere dictum of a court and is not law.
Now, let us take both sides of that proposition. If the announcement 
of the court be a decision, then the amendment of the gentleman 
from Connecticut [Mr. HILL] would place upon the statute books an 
unconstitutional pronouncement. If, upon the other hand, the 
contention of the other side is correct and the announcement of the 
court be mere obiter dictum and it be not true that a Territory is 
necessarily a country in process of formation for statehood, then 
the gentleman's amendment is unnecessary.
Now, why is it unnecessary? For two reasons: First, if Congress 
desires to prevent Hawaii from becoming a State it has a very easy 
method of preventing it. and that is simply never to vote to make 
Hawaii a State. And then there is another reason why it is un-
necessary. Even if this Congress could bind all successive Con-
gresses, as far as any Congress can possibly bind another, by an 
utterance to the effect that Hawaii should never become a State, 
that act of this Congress could be repealed by the very next Con-
gress, or the very next Congress after that, if that Congress chose. 
Therefore I think I agree with the gentleman who is chairman of 
the committee, without repeating the language or my old friend Mr. 
Walker, that this thing is "demnition nonsense," either because it 
is unconstitutional or else because it is unnecessary. [Applause.]
Mr. RIDGELY. Let us have the reading of the amendment 
again.
The amendment was again reported.
Mr. RIDGELY. I move to amend by striking out the last word of 
the amendment.
The CHAIRMAN. That motion is not in order, this being an 
amendment to an amendment. The question is on the amendment 
offered by the gentleman from Connecticut.
The amendment of Mr. HILL was rejected.
Mr. KNOX.   Mr. Chairman, I desire to offer an amendment.
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Massachusetts offers an 
amendment which the Clerk will report.
The Clerk read as follows:
In place of section 103 of the bill insert a new section, to be numbered 106, 
and to read as follows:
"SEC. 105. This act shall take effect sixty days from and after the date of the 
approval thereof, excepting: only as to section 62, relating to appropriations, 
which shall take effect upon such approval."
Mr. RIDGELY. Mr. Chairman, I will not take the full time 
apportioned to me, but I wish at this stage of our proceedings to 
call the attention of members here to the fact that while we are 
claiming that these new possessions are to give us an outlet for 
our labor element, we have by our action here refused the very 
conservative provision offered by the gentleman from Nevada 
[Mr. NEWLANDS], providing that the people in Hawaii employing labor 
shall gradually give preference to our people by requiring that at 
least 10 per cent of their employees shall be citizens, adding to this 
10 per cent each year until all employees are citizens, allowing 
them to take the colored people from this country to displace the 
Asiatics if they so desire.
In opposition to this, the chairman of this committee calls at-
tention to the fact that the peculiar conditions and kinds of work in 
that country may demand the employment of the Asiatics, who by 
the bill are denied the right of citizenship. I simply call attention to 
the fact that we, by our action here, are admitting that we at least 
hold it to be a matter of grave doubt whether we have any laborers 
that are adapted to the chief industries of our new possessions.
Another thing I earnestly condemn. We have just passed an 
amendment to this bill which directly destroys the postal savings 
bank that the government of Hawaii had established without 
offering anything in its place. Thus we drive all deposits to private 
banks, which too often fail. We are really carrying those people 
backward instead of forward in this, while we boast of our superior 
civilization.
I will not take up any more time now, but I will extend my re-
marks in the RECORD.

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