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Hawaii Organic Act: Congressional debates on Hawaii Organic Act

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Mr. CULLOM.   You may do that, and compel them to sell; but 
it seems to me there is no occasion for it. 
Mr. JONES of Arkansas.   Then there is no occasion for pre- 
venting any other corporations from holding any more than that 
Mr. CULLOM.   Let me say that most of the corporations exist- 
ing there have already acquired large tracts of land.   In the interest 
of the production of sugar, they have been compelled to expend 
very large amounts of money, and if they had not done so the 
sugar plantations which they have established would not have 
been made at all, because otherwise they could not do it.   I know 
the situation there.   The sugar lands and sugar cultivation begin 
at the foot of the hills, and they go up the hill as far as they can 
get water on the land - on the island of Hawaii, for instance. 
At one time they supposed that they had got as high up the hills 
as they could go. because they could not get water, but it turned 
out finally that they could erect pumping works, which cost hun- 
dreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars, and I do not know but 
that some of them cost millions of dollars, by which they throw 
the water up the hill say 500 feet more, and that makes an addi- 
tional amount of land which becomes good sugar land.   Such cor- 
porations exist there where they had to have water, and I do not 
think it would be fair to them to -- 
Mr. TILLMAN.   I agree with the Senator from Illinois that it 
would not be fair to try to take those vested rights away, but I do 
not see why we should limit it and prevent new capital from go- 
ing in and pumping water up other slopes elsewhere, unless the 
present occupants of the country want a monopoly of the growth 
and manufacture of sugar and desire to force all future enter- 
prises to submit to their dictation as to toll. 
Mr. CULLOM.   The House passed the bill, and it seems to me 
it is plain what was desired.   The Senate conferees believed that 
it was in the interest of the masses of the people, and finally 
agreed to the House amendment.   That is all I can say about it, 
and I think it will work to the advantage of the people out there, 
Stopping the abuse as well as we can under the general law. 
The remark of the Senator from South Dakota that the lands are 
all gone already, and so on, I do not think is exactly true. 
Mr. PETTIGREW.   It is practically true. 
Mr. CULLOM.   If it is true, as he says, this does not amount to 
Mr. TILLMAN.   If it had not been true, this provision would 
not have been put in by the House. 
Mr. CULLOM.   I suppose not. 
Mr. JONES of Arkansas.   It does seem to me that this sort of 
legislation is absolutely indefensible.   I do not see why you should 
Undertake to make a rule applicable to people who may enter into 
this business that is not applicable to those already engaged in it. 
Mr. CULLOM.   The  next is section 56.   There is a slight 
amendment in it. 
Mr. PETTUS.   Before the Senator passes from this section, I 
Wish to ask him a question.   I see an amendment in this section - 
Nor snail saloons for the sale of intoxicating drinks be allowed.
I do not believe in the idea of regulating the morals of other 
people until we get so that we do not have any such thing here. 
I do not see why the Congress of the United should prohibit it to 
other people. 
Mr. CULLOM.   If the Senator will allow me, 1 will read just 
what the amendment to that provision is.   The words "nor shall 
saloons for the sale of intoxicating drinks be allowed" are stricken 
out, and words inserted as follows: 
Nor shall spirituous or intoxicating liquors be sold except under such 
regulations and restrictions as the Territorial legislature shall provide.
Mr. PETTUS.   That does not appear in this copy. 
Mr. CULLOM.   It is in the conference report.   No amendment 
made by the conferees appears in the bill which the Senator has. 
Is that satisfactory to the Senator? 
Mr. PETTUS.   If that is to be the law, it is. 
Mr. CULLOM.   That is in the bill reported by the conferees. 
Sections 57 and 53 were not amended. 
Mr. SPOONER,   Will the Senator allow me?    There is an 
amendment marked here at the end of section 55 - 
No retrospective law shall be enacted. 
Mr. CULLOM.   That was stricken out. 
In section 59 the minority provision with respect to voting for 
representative was stricken out by the House and agreed to by 
the conferees.   The Senate had a provision in the bill which pro- 
vided for what we call minority representation.   They had it out 
there, and it being in Illinois, so far as I was concerned, I was 
willing that it should stay in the bill.   The House struck it out, 
and I was entirely satisfied to let it go.   I suppose the Senate is. 
Mr. TILLMAN.   Will the Senator tell us why he changed the 
mandatory provision in regard to the creation of counties?   It was 
"shall" in the Senate bill and is "may" in the conference report. 
Mr. JONES of Arkansas.   What section is that?

Mr. TILLMAN.   Section 56 in the conference report. 
Mr. CULLOM.   We have gone by that.   The conferees regarded 
the word "may" as all that was necessary. 
Mr. JONES of Arkansas.   The Senator stated that there was 
no change in section 56. 
Mr. CULLOM.   It is left in the discretion of the legislature to 
do as it thinks best. 
Mr. SPOONER.   I think that is an improvement. 
Mr. TILLMAN.   It depends upon whether they propose to have 
an oligarchy in Honolulu and to run the whole business and 
make everybody come over there, or allow the people to have 
some local self-government. 
Mr. CULLOM.   This is in the direction of local self-government 
in that respect.   The power remains in Congress to change it if it 
turns out not to be satisfactory.   If any portion of the people get 
possession of the government by appointment to office or other- 
wise and abuse the people, the power -will be in the hands of Con- 
gress to change it whenever it chooses. 
Section CO was amended by the House and subsequently amended 
by the conferees, so that the provision will read as I will read it. 
I think I had better read it from the substitute bill reported by 
the conferees, so that we may know exactly what it is.   The fifth 
subdivision of section 60, as agreed to by the conferees, reads as 
Fifth. Prior to such registration have paid on or before the 31st day of 
March next preceding the date of registration all taxes due by him to the 
That is the provision which was discussed by the Senator from 
South Dakota before I took the floor.   That is as it appears in the 
conference report 
Mr. BACON.   I think slight consideration will show that to be 
a very great injustice to the people of Hawaii, because the 31st 
day of March is already passed, and these people have not hereto- 
fore been recognized as having taken advantage of the conditions 
prescribed by the law; and with this remaining as it is, it will 
limit the voters in the next election to those who voted in the 
former election, which, I understand, is less than 3,000 people in 
the whole islands.   I may be mistaken about that, but if so, I hope 
the Senator from Illinois will point out in what way I am mis- 
taken, because if that is the truth it certainly ought not to be ap- 
proved by the Congress or made the law by the Congress.   We 
should not put in the organic law a provision in which there is a 
date fixed which absolutely and irrevocably determines that in 
the original organization of this Territory nobody shall vote ex- 
cept those who voted in the last election.   That is practically the 
effect of it.   If it is not the effect of it, I hope the Senator from 
Illinois will point it out. 
Mr. TILLMAN.   There is another phase of this question.   I 
think this is the most important matter in the whole bill.   The 
per capita taxes in Hawaii are $5 - $1 for poll tax and $2 for schools 
and $3 for roads.   It is in this bill, and the Senate provision, which 
they have left in, simply provides that those $5 must have been 
paid before the 31st day of March or no person can register for the 
next election.   I am speaking now about those who do not pay 
anything but the capitation taxes, the poor men.  Therefore we will 
limit the suffrage to those who have paid their poll taxes of $5 prior 
to the 31st day of March, just gone.   Under that provision as it 
stands, as the Senator from Georgia just pointed out, the suffrage 
will be limited to that extent that the electors in the next election 
will have it in their power to elect a legislature which may double 
or treble the poll tax, and these poor devils never will get the 
Mr. PETTIGREW.   That is unquestionably the purpose of the 
bill.   As the bill was first brought into the Senate it was clearly 
the purpose to limit the franchise simply to sugar planters and 
the men in their employ.   That provision we corrected in a meas- 
ure in the Senate.   But we left in this provision.   Now, the House 
corrected it by providing for a poll tax of $1, but the conferees on 
the part of the Senate appear to have insisted upon this provision, 
which disqualifies practically everyone from voting except those 
whom the sugar planters want to have vote.   Under this provi- 
sion a graduate of Yale or Harvard College, if he failed to pay the 
poll tax on the 31st day of last March, is disqualified from voting 
for members of the legislature, and then the next legislature can 
impose conditions which would shut him out forever.   It does not 
seem to me that this ought to be tolerated. 
There are other taxes.   The law provides that an annual tax of 
$1 shall be paid by every male inhabitant of the Territory between 
the ages of 20 and 60 years, unless exempted by law.   It also pro- 
vides that an annual tax of $3 for the support of public schools 
shall be paid by every male inhabitant of the Territory between 
the ages of 20 and 60 years, unless exempted by law. 
The next paragraph provides that an annual road tax of $3 shall 
be paid by every male inhabitant of this Territory between the 
ages of 20 and 60 years, unless exempted by law.

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