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Hawaii Organic Act: Congressional debates on Hawaii Organic Act

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about, but I suppose there is an indebtedness accumulating there 
which has to be paid by the Government.
Mr. MASON. Just a moment. There is no possible claim that the 
Government of the United States would be bound by any new 
deposits after the passage of the act of annexation.
Mr. CULLOM.   Yes.
Mr. MASON.   They might deposit $40,000,000.
Mr. MORGAN.   All their laws were continued in force.
Mr. MASON.   Yon only agreed -  - 
Mr. CULLOM.   Oh, no.
Mr. MASON.   If I do not interrupt you -  - 
Mr. CULLOM.   Not at all.
Mr. MASON. As I understand, we only agreed when we voted for 
annexation -  - 
Mr. CULLOM. I will read this provision of the statute, if the 
Senator from Iowa will allow me.
Mr. ALLISON. I will yield to both Senators to elucidate this 
question.
Mr. CULLOM.   It is as follows:
The public debt of the republic of Hawaii, lawfully existing at the date of 
the passage of this joint resolution -  - 
Mr. MASON.   That is the point I made - the date of the passage.
Mr. CULLOM (reading) - 
including the amounts due to depositors in the Hawaiian Postal Savings 
Bank, is hereby assumed by the Government of the United States; but the 
liability of the United States in this regard shall in no case exceed $4,000,000. 80 
long, however, as the existing government and the present commercial 
relations of the Hawaiian Islands are continued as hereinbefore provided said 
government shall continue to pay the interest on said debt.
Including the postal savings debt.
Mr. MASON. Certainly; that no deposit shall be made after 
annexation.
Mr. ALLISON. That is immaterial for the purpose I have in 
view. I do not wish to make any point on that. Now I will ask the 
Senator from Illinois, who I supposed had charge to this bill -  his 
colleague did not seem to think he has.
Mr. MASON.   He has.
Mr. ALLISON.   If he had, he made some criticism.
Mr. MASON.   He did not.
Mr. ALLISON. I should like to ask the Senator from Illinois 
how much of the government of Hawaii will be left after this bill 
passes?
Mr. CULLOM.   Does the Senator mean the laws?
Mr. ALLISON. No; I do not mean the laws. They have a 
government there now, and we propose here, if I understand this 
bill, to change in some ways the form of that government and to 
make it a Territory of the United States.
Mr. CULLOM.   Let me read a section to the Senator.
Mr. ALLISON.   I only want -  - 
Mr. CULLOM.   It is a short section.
Mr. ALLISON.   Very well.
Mr. CULLOM.   Section 8 provides:
That the offices of President, minister of foreign affairs, minister of the 
interior, minister of finance, minister of public instruction, auditor-general, 
deputy auditor-general, surveyor-general, marshal, and deputy marshal of 
the republic of Hawaii are hereby abolished.
That much of it goes out.
Mr. ALLISON. That is enough for my purpose, if the Senator will 
allow me.
Mr. CULLOM.   And a good deal more, in one way and another.
Mr. ALLISON. As I understand these provisions, we propose to 
annex Hawaii as a Territory of the United States and extend our 
Constitution and laws over that Territory.
Mr. MORGAN.   We have already done that.
Mr. ALLISON.   Yes.
Mr. MASON.   That has already been done.
Mr. ALLISON. That has been done. Now the Senator from 
North Carolina proposes that we shall continue the savings banks of 
Hawaii. I want to submit to him that that is an impossibility. The 
effect of what he proposes is that the United States Government 
shall establish a savings bank in one of its Territories, and 
whatever savings deposits there may be in that Territory, of 
course, if it is a postal savings bank, must go into the postal sys-tem 
in some form and the Post-Office Department is to be responsible.
Now, Mr. President, I submit that it is an impossibility. In the 
first place, you can not amend this law in any way so as to do it 
unless yon establish a postal savings bank system for Hawaii 
alone, this Territory of ours which we are legislating for. Then I 
submit further that if that would be possible it would be a manifest 
injustice for the Government of the United States, which Is about to 
transfer its own public debt to an interest-bearing debt of 2 per 
cent, to pay 4 1/2 per cent to the depositors in the post-office service 
in Hawaii. So, not perhaps fully sympathizing with and realizing 
the great importance of this universal postal system for all the 
United States, I submit now that it is better for us to await the 
report of the Senator from North Carolina and his Post-Office 
Committee, and get a general system, and when we get it all 
perfected and all in good play and shape we shall extend it, of 
coarse, to Hawaii.


Mr. MORGAN. Mr. President, when the commission got to 
Hawaii they found themselves confronted with a proposition of 
law enacted by Congress that the postal savings debt should be 
paid, and paid first. Naturally, therefore, the commission 
concluded that that establishment was to be wound up; and so 
in making a report of their bill for the purposes of carrying into 
effect what we thought was proper in changing the government of 
Hawaii, two bills were reported hero, one for the repeal and winding 
up of the savings-bank system in Hawaii, and the other for 
regulating the currency between the two countries. One of those 
bills went to the Committee on Finance, the one relating to the 
currency. They were put in separate bills because they were not 
supposed to be actually necessary to the reinstatement of a new 
government or a Territorial government in Hawaii. I do not 
know to what committee the other bill went.
Mr. CULLOM. I think both bills went to the Committee on 
Foreign Relations during the last session, but no action was taken 
there on either.
Mr. MORGAN. The bill relating to the postal savings bank 
went to the Committee on Post-Offices and Post Roads of the Senate 
in December, 1898. It was expected, of course, that these three 
bills - the one for establishing the government, the one for 
regulating the coinage, and the other regulating the postal system 
and the winding up of the savings bank - would be reported either 
simultaneously, or pretty nearly so, and acted upon in the Senate 
according to their merit and according to the precedence they 
were entitled to.
Now, what we ought to do to carry out the intention of 
Congress as expressed in the act of annexation, is to take up the 
bill of the Committee on Post-Offices and Post-Roads and make it 
a part of this bill for the government. I will read it. It is very 
short:
That the laws of Hawaii relating to the establishment and conduct of any 
postal savings bank or institution are hereby abolished. And the Secretary of 
the Treasury, in the execution of the agreement of the United States as 
expressed in an act entitled "A joint resolution to provide for annexing the 
Hawaiian Islands to the United States," approved July 7, 1898, shall pay the 
amounts on deposit in Hawaiian postal savings banks to the persons entitled 
thereto, according to their respective rights, and he shall make all needful 
orders, rules, and regulations for paying such persons and for notifying such 
persons to present their demands for payment, be much money as is necesSary to 
pay said demands is hereby appropriated, out of any money in the Treasury 
not otherwise appropriated, to be available on and after the 1st day of July, 
1899 - 
It would be now the 1st day of July, 1900 - 
when such payments shall begin, and none of said demands shall bear 
interest after said date, and no deposit shall be made in said lank after said 
date. Said demands of such persons shall be certified to by the chief executive 
of Hawaii as being genuine and due to the persons presenting the same, and 
his certificate shall be scaled with the official seal of the Territory and 
countersigned by its secretary, and shall be approved by the Secretary of the 
Interior, who shall draw his warrant for the amount due upon the Treasurer of 
the United States, and when the same are so paid no further liabilities shall 
exist in respect of the same against the Government of to United States or of 
Hawaii.
SEC. 2. That any money of the Hawaiian Postal Savings Bank that shall 
remain unpaid to the persons entitled thereto on the 1st day of July, 1899, and 
any assets of said bank, shall be turned over by the government of Hawaii to 
the Treasurer of the United States, and the Secretary of the Treasury shall 
cause an account to be stated as of said date, between such government of 
Hawaii and the United States in respect to said Hawaiian Postal Savings 
Bank.
Mr. MASON. Will the Senator from Alabama yield to me for a 
moment?
Mr. MORGAN.   Certainly.
Mr. MASON.   That is simply to wind up the savings bank.
Mr. MORGAN. That is exactly what it does. The commission 
were compelled to make a provision of that kind, because the 
Government of the United States has assumed the whole of the 
outstanding debt of the postal savings bank.
Mr. MASON. Will the Senator from Alabama yield to me for a 
moment?
Mr. MORGAN.   Certainly.
Mr. MASON. But you do not assume any debt beyond the date 
of annexation?
Mr. MORGAN. No; we do not. We could not do that. Now, I will 
read the report of Mr. Damon, who was the minister of finance of 
Hawaii, in which he says:
HAWAIIAN POSTAL SAVINGS BANK.
This institution was established, by act of the legislature in 1884, to 
encourage the deposit of small Ravings at interest, with the security of the 
government for repayment thereof, and was opened for business July 1, 
1886, with His Majesty Kalakaua as the first depositor.
On the 12th day of August, 1893, the amount due to 10,555 depositors, classified 
by nationalities as follows: 
Americans..............................................................          602
British................................................................          526
Germans ...............................................................          329
Hawaiians..............................................................        1,291
Portuguese.............................................................          495
Sundry nationalities...................................................          221
Chinese under the board of immigration.................................        7,091
Total .................................................................       10,555
Amounted to............................................................     $836,297.34
And to 68 special depositors for sums exceeding $500, the sum of.......       77,750.00
A total of.............................................................      914,047.34

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