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Hawaii Organic Act: Congressional debates on Hawaii Organic Act

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willing we are to take charge of them, and we are to govern them, 
assimilate them, their government, their commerce, their laws, 
their institutions, and all. 
Mr. President, I do not deem it my duty to stand here and offer 
amendments to this bill.   I believe it is the duty of the Senator 
to withdraw the bill, or of the committee which has passed upon 
. this bill to present it in the form it should be.   I shall not offer 
an amendment to it.   If it were so drawn, Mr. President, that 
you could drive an ox team through it, I would not offer an 
amendment to cure its defects; it is that broad in some respects. 
But, Mr. President, it is offered to accomplish a purpose - that 
is, to take those people, all the driftwood, the wash of the future, 
into the citizenship of the United States.   There is not a people 
upon the known globe morally and physically so inferior, so tur- 
bulent, and so unfitted for American citizenship that you do not 
propose to admit through the gates of Hawaii.   You do not care 
about its effect upon the American home; that signifies nothing. 
It may debase the scholarship of this country; it may, as it will, 
debase the citizenship of the laboring man for these people to 
come here in daily contact with him as a laborer and reduce the 
scale of living of his wife and children; but you care nothing for 
that; that signifies nothing.   If you can extend your commerce, 
reap the rewards of the labors of those people, and reduce the 
condition of the laboring man in the United States, you will have 
served your purpose. 
And all this, is to be done, Mr. President, in the name of patri- 
otism and of the Divinity.   It reminds me of a story that was told 
at one time about a section of this country - I shall not locate it - 
where a great scandal occurred in consequence of the misappro- 
priation of public money, a scandal that shook the very founda- 
tions of the nation at the time.   It was said that the chief in those 
scandals, the man who disbursed the Government funds, was a 
regular attendant at prayer meeting, and when his associates were 
gathered around him at a Thursday evening prayer meeting, he 
always opened the services by saying, "In the name of God, let us 
rob somebody."   [Laughter.]   So it is every time that we seek 
to despoil a weak people of their property or of their institutions, 
we are doing it in the name of the lowly Nazarene. 
Mr. SPOONER.   Mr. President, we all take the same oath 
when we become members of this body.   Each Senator deter- 
mines for himself what the obligation of that oath is and what 
duty rests upon him flowing from it.   I confess I can not under- 
stand the principle upon which the Senator from Nebraska acts 
about this bill or any other bill that is presented for the consid- 
eration of the Senate when he says if he saw defects in it, if he 
saw objectionable provisions in it, he would not offer any amend- 
ment.   The Senator, I believe, voted against the annexation of 
Mr. ALLEN.   I did. 
Mr. SPOONER.   So did I, Mr. President, or I was paired against 
it; but Hawaii was annexed; the Congress of the United States 
made it a part of the United States, and we are now engaged in 
framing for it a government as a part of the United States.   I 
can not reconcile it with my duty as a Senator to neglect it or to 
be indifferent to the provisions of the bill. 
Mr. ALLEN.   Will the Senator permit me? 
The PRESIDING OFFICER.   Will the Senator from Wiscon- 
sin yield to the Senator from Nebraska? 
Mr. SPOONER.   Certainly. 
Mr. ALLEN.   I utterly repudiate the power of Congress to an- 
nex the Hawaiian Islands by a joint resolution such as passed the 
Senate.   It is ipso facto null and void. 
Mr. SPOONER.   I had my questions about that.   I have my 
conviction about it now. 
Mr. ALLEN.   My constitutional conviction is clear. 
Mr. SPOONER.   But that is a political question, not subject to 
review by the courts. 
Mr. ALLEN.   I beg the Senator's pardon. 
Mr. SPOONER. . I grant it. 
Mr. ALLEN.   The Senator ought to.  It could be made the sub- 
ject of review by the courts.   It could be very easily made the 
subject of review by quo warranto or some other process. 
Mr. SPOONER.   Quo warranto?   How? 
Mr. ALLEN.   I am not going into the details of it.   Suppose a 
citizen of the Hawaiian Islands should be arrested.   Could not 
that be raised by a question of habeas corpus? 
Mr. SPOONER.   Of course not. 
Mr. ALLEN.   Of course not?   Of course it could.   But I want 
to say to the Senator - he seems to be delegated to take charge of 
me on almost all occasions -- 
Mr. SPOONER.   I beg the Senator's pardon.   That is not true. 
I decline that responsibility. 
Mr. ALLEN.   It will take lots of the Senator's time if he dis- 
charges his duty fully.   But what I want to say, and then I will 
quit, is that I have no respect whatever for the judgment of the 
Senate in passing a joint resolution to annex the Hawaiian Islands, 
and I discharge my full constitutional duty, in the light of my

responsibility to God and to my country, when I vote against 
every measure of this kind. 
Mr. HOAR.   I rise merely to ask the Senator from Colorado 
[Mr. TELLER] a question.   I do not wish to take the floor. 
Mr. TELLER.   I will wait until the Senator from Massachu- 
setts gets through. 
Mr. HOAR.   I thought the Senator was through. 
Mr, SPOONER.   I yield to the Senator from Massachusetts. 
Mr. HOAR.   I beg pardon.   I thought the Senator had con- 
cluded.   I merely wish to ask a question. 
Mr. SPOONER.   The Hawaiian Islands were annexed to the 
United States by a joint resolution passed by Congress.   I reas- 
sert, although my distinguished legal friend the Senator from Ne- 
braska is absent, that that was a political question and it will 
never be reviewed by the Supreme Court or any other judicial 
tribunal.   That is too well settled to admit of any doubt except 
perhaps in Nebraska. 
1 think the Senator from Nebraska is mistaken, and I think the 
suggestion made by the Senator from Massachusetts is not with- 
out question.   Section 5 says:
That except as heroin otherwise provided, the Constitution and all the 
laws of the United States-
That has been amended so as to read "not locally inapplicable" -
shall have the same force and effect within the said Territory as elsewhere 
in the United States.
That is the language which has been employed always in legis- 
lation for the erection of Territories and the government of Terri- 
tories.   But that is not all. 
Mr. HOAR.   I want to ask my honorable friend a question. 
The laws of the United States, unless they are locally inapplica- 
ble, like laws establishing light-houses or other laws having a local 
significance alone, are extended to Hawaii.   Now, what meaning 
can section 6 have, that being the case, if the Senator be right? 
Will he state, for instance, a law of Hawaii on any general sub- 
ject of legislation which would be inconsistent with the laws of the 
United States? 
Mr. SPOONER.   I suppose there are a great many. 
Mr. HOAR.   Suggest one as an example. 
Mr. SPOONER.   I am not familiar with the laws of Hawaii. 
Mr. HOAR.   Suppose you were applying this to Wisconsin. 
Mr. SPOONER.   We are not proposing here to provide in every 
possible detail laws for Hawaii. 
Mr. HOAR.   But there are laws of the United States Territories 
as to marriage, divorce, crimes, misdemeanors, and all those 
things.   Now, all the laws of the United States are to go over the 
Mr. SPOONER.   Hawaii was a republic. 
Mr. HOAR.   Now, they have saved some by Section 6.   What 
have they saved? 
Mr. SPOONER.   I will tell the Senator what I think they have 
saved.   Hawaii was a republic.   It was an independent govern- 
ment.   They had a system of laws of their own enactment.  When 
Hawaii became a part of the United States by the passage of the 
annexation resolution those laws remained in force, except so far 
as they were modified for the time being by direction of the Presi- 
dent of the United States.   Otherwise it would have been anarchy. 
Mr. MORGAN.   Will the Senator from Wisconsin allow me? 
Mr. SPOONER.   Yes. 
Mr. MORGAN.   I desire to make a correction of his proposi- 
tion.   All the laws of Hawaii, by the act of annexation, except so 
far as they conflict with the Constitution of the United States,  
were continued in force by an act of Congress just as they are to- 
day and have been all the time since the annexation, and they 
will remain in force until an act of Congress shall change it, if it 
is a hundred years. 
Mr. CULLOM.   Unless the legislature repeals them. 
Mr. MORGAN.   Unless they are repealed by their own legis- 
lature.   That included the whole system of government in Ha- 
waii, including the republic by name and by organization and 
everything relating to it, excepting the laws connecting that re- 
public with foreign nations.   So the laws in Hawaii in force 
to-day are expressly kept there in force by an act of Congress, and 
the President has no power in regard to them except to designate 
the people who are to execute them. 
Mr. SPOONER.   And to direct the manner in which they are 
to be executed? 
Mr. MORGAN.   And to direct the manner in which they are to 
be executed. 
Mr. SPOONER.   Certain laws are repealed expressly by this 
bill, and that is what is meant by this exception: 
That, except as herein otherwise provided, the Constitution and laws of 
the United States not locally inapplicable shall have the same force and 
effect within the said Territory as elsewhere in the United States.
Now, section 6 reads:                                          
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, sub- 
ject to repeal or amendment by the legislature of Hawaii or the Congress of 
the United States.

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