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Hawaii Organic Act: Congressional debates on Hawaii Organic Act

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2256
These deposits bear interest at 4 1/2 per cent per 
annum, and interest is credited to the several 
accounts on the 31st day of December of each year, 
and is a charge on the current revenues of the 
Government.
The present cash reserve to meet the demands is $112,409.23, of which 
$105,000 is our special deposit at the treasury.
There was a reserve that we found in the treasury for the 
purpose of paying this. The law of Hawaii required these postal 
savings banks to keep always a certain amount in reserve.
Mr. BUTLER.   Ten per cent.
Mr. MORGAN. Ten per cent was required to be kept in reserve.
The surplus over the requirement of the cash minimum reserve of $50,000 
has been used by the government for public works and permanent 
improvements.
	During the twelve years of its existence every call by depositors has 
been promptly met, and the general confidence and usefulness to the 
community has been shown in its use by all nationalities.
The foregoing shows the gross public debt on August 12, 1898 - 
That is, the general debt of Hawaii - 
to be $4,603,747.34    On the same date there was cash in treasury to the credit of 
the following accounts, certified to by the register of -  Public 
accounts...............................................................           $546,739.04
Cash on hand in the Hawaiian treasury on August 12, 1898. 
Current account, balance ..............................................           $284,014.51
Loan fund account, balance.............................................             38,370.17
Total..................................................................            322,384.68
Special deposits. Land sales...........................................            $66,026.23
Road tax ..............................................................             53,270.83
School tax.............................................................                 54.30
Hawaiian Postal Savings Bank...........................................            105,000.00
Total..................................................................            224,354.36
I hereby certify that the above is a true and correct statement as of above
date.
			
			
	W. G. ASHLEY,
Registrar of Public Accounts.
That was the report which the minister of finance made to the 
commission.
Mr. SPOONER. Will the Senator kindly read the aggregate 
amount of the postal savings bank indebtedness? I did not catch it. I 
thought he said about $900,000.
Mr. MORGAN. Nine hundred and fourteen thousand and forty-
seven dollars and thirty-four cents. That does not take into ac-
count the credits it is entitled to, about $700,000.
Mr. CULLOM.   Seven hundred thousand dollars.
Mr. MORGAN. Yes. Now, while we were there the winding up 
of that bank was quite a puzzle, quite a difficulty, for the reason 
that the Government had no right to call in these certificates of 
deposit, and the people were hanging onto them. There was but 
one way to stop them at all, and that was to cut off the interest on 
these deposits after a certain date and force the people to bring 
them in for payment, for redemption. The bill, as you will notice 
here, has made an ample provision, I think, and a correct provision, 
for paying these outstanding certificates taken up and redeemed.
Now, an arrangement was proposed there for the purpose of 
getting the banks to take over the whole establishment, the assets, 
and to give the banks or some bank, an incorporated 
establishment there, a savings bank, the same rights and 
privileges that the government of Hawaii had under this law. 
They seemed to be figuring with a view of bringing that about, 
but I have not any idea that any money has been received into that 
postal savings bank since annexation, although it may have been 
done. I can not say it has not been done, but that was not the 
intention of the Government at the time we were there. They 
looked to the fact that the act of Congress would necessarily 
involve a winding up of the postal savings bank system.
That was a part of the act of annexation, a necessary part of it, 
and therefore they were preparing for it and they expected and 
hoped to be able when they got legislative powers to confer upon 
some bank - the bank was named, but I forget what bank it was -  
some very excellent institution there that the people would be 
willing to have the assets turned over to, with the consent of the 
United States, and let them assume the redemption of the out-
standing certificates, they being, of course, refunded by the United 
States as the certificates might be called in; in other words, that 
the certificates would go into the bank, the Government of the 
United States would pay the debt under the act of annexation, and 
that would give to the bank a fund upon which it could carry the 
system. It was intended to transfer it to a bank instead of to the 
local government.
Mr. MASON. Will the Senator from Alabama allow me just a 
moment? It was the whole plan and scope of the commission to 
wind up the savings-bank system?
Mr. MORGAN. That is it. We felt that it was, of course, our duty 
to do it. As the Senator from Iowa has suggested, after the repeal of 
all of the laws of Hawaii in this act this postal bank goes by the 
board unless we reenact it as a system of the Government of the 
United States.


Mr. MASON. But does not the Senator in his bill reserve some of 
the laws? Section 0 provides:
That the laws of Hawaii not inconsistent with the Constitution or laws of 
the United States or the provisions of this act shall continue in force, subject to 
repeal or amendment by the legislature of Hawaii or the Congress of the 
United States.
Mr. MORGAN.   But the provisions of this act -  - 
Mr. BUTLER. On page 89 a whole lot more of them are 
continued in force.
Mr. MORGAN. A great many laws are continued in force, but 
none inconsistent with the provisions of the act we are passing 
now.
Mr. MASON. This act is not inconsistent, because it does not 
touch the question. An act to be inconsistent with another act 
must touch a question upon which the original act was passed.
Mr. MORGAN. We wish to make this act consistent with itself. 
It is proper now to take up the bill that was offered by the Senator 
from Illinois and put it on the pending bill as two additional 
sections. That will complete the system, so far as this postal 
savings bank is concerned.
Mr. BUTLER.   Wiping it out.
Mr. MORGAN.   Wiping it out, of course.
Mr. MASON. I will call the Senator's attention, if he will permit 
me, to page 39 of the new print, line 22, section 84:
That the laws of Hawaii relative to the judicial department, including civil 
and criminal procedure, except as amended by this act, are continued in 
force, subject to modification by Congress or the legislature.
Mr. MORGAN.   Yes.
Mr. MASON.   That section provides further:
The provisions of said laws or any laws of the republic of Hawaii which 
require juries to be composed of aliens or foreigners only, or to be 
constituted by impaneling natives of Hawaii only, in civil and criminal cases 
specified in said laws, are repealed, and all juries shall hereafter be 
constituted without reference to the race or place of nativity of the jurors.
And so on.   Here is the closing clause of the section:
No plaintiff 9r defendant in any suit or proceeding in a court of the 
Territory of Hawaii shall be entitled to a trial by a jury impaneled exclusively 
from persons of any race.
That does not apply; I beg the Senator's pardon. What I wanted 
to call your attention to was the main part of what I have read, 
section 84, entitled "Laws continued in force." What the Senator 
from North Carolina contends, as I understand him, and I think he 
is right, is that there is nothing in the amendment that is 
inconsistent with the present laws of the United States or with the 
Constitution of the United States to allow the people of that 
Territory to have their Territorial law, if you please to call it so, 
even though they deposit in the post-office of the United States.
Mr. MORGAN. The only thing that is inconsistent with the 
retention of the postal savings bank system in Hawaii is the part 
of the act of annexation in which we assume the payment and 
extinguishment of all its outstanding obligations; that is all.
Mr. BUTLER.   Then, if the Senator will pardon me -  - 
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. Does the Senator from 
Alabama yield to the Senator from North Carolina?
Mr. MORGAN.   Certainly.
Mr. BUTLER. Then there can be no inconsistency in so amending 
it or failing to carry out any part of it, especially when it meets 
with the approval of the people of Hawaii. Nobody can complain 
if we do not pay that debt when the very people to whom it is owed 
do not want us to pay it. If we were to-morrow to pass a law 
offering to pay to every depositor who wanted us to pay, you 
could not find one in the kingdom who would ask you to pay it.
Mr. MORGAN.   I wish to be entirely frank about the matter -  - 
Mr. BUTLER, Indeed we could reduce the interest to 2 per 
cent, as I think we should do and will do, and as the bill which 
the Committee on Post-Offices and Post-Roads has recommended 
fixes the rate of interest, and I am satisfied every person in the 
kingdom would still want to continue the system, and they would 
not let us pay unless we forced them to receive it.
Mr. MORGAN. I wish to be entirely frank about this matter. I 
will say that I believe the authorities in Hawaii - I have had no 
opportunity to consult with the people about it - would have been 
very glad to have retained this postal savings bank system, a sys-
tem that has worked well, as Mr. Damon's report shows. You can see 
from the number of depositors and the character of the depositors 
that it is very popular. There are 7,091 Chinese who were 
depositors; 1,291 Hawaiians were depositors: 602 Americans, 526 
British, 829 Germans, and then of sundry nationalities, 221. It is 
very popular there. But the commission felt constrained by the 
statute under which they were acting to wind up that institution, 
because Congress had so declared.
Now, the question is, Shall it be reinstated; and if so, when 
reinstated is it an institution of Hawaii or is it an institution of 
the United States? Of course it is an institution of the United 
States. It is a fragmentary law applying to a single Territory, 
establishing in that Territory a postal savings bank.
I do not know that I have any special objection to having that

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