University of Hawaii at Manoa Library

Home: The Annexation Of Hawaii: A Collection Of Document

Hawaii Organic Act: Congressional debates on Hawaii Organic Act

[ Previous Page ] -- [ View PDF ] -- [ View in MS Word ] -- [ Next Page ]

2400
either of these other Territories, where they are so greatly differ- 
entiated.   There are no two of them alike, and never have been. 
They each had their separate local government, conformable, as 
far as was possible, to the wishes and the necessities of the people; 
| that is all. 
Therefore, shall we not take into consideration the fact that 
Hawaii is more than 2,000 miles from the coast of the United 
States; that it is a maritime state: that much the larger part of 
all the property that is ever brought into litigation in Hawaii, ex- 
cluding the lands, comes from the sea; that the breadth of the 
maritime jurisdiction - not the admiralty merely, but the mari- 
time jurisdiction - is almost inconceivable; and that it requires a 
judge to possess qualifications for that position that are not ex- 
pected of a judge who resides, for instance, at Montgomery, Ala., 
or at Nashville. Tenn., or Raleigh, N. C.. or anywhere in any of 
the interior?   The judge in our interior States has nothing to do 
with admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, and he does not qualify 
himself for it. 
Now, it is a lifetime study for the best men in the United 
States to master admiralty and maritime law.   It is the most intri- 
cate, difficult branch of jurisprudence that we have to deal with, 
and that which concerns, which is a very important matter, for- 
eign people as much as it does American people.   The contro- 
versies are very seldom between American citizens; they are be- 
tween the citizens of the United States and foreign people.   A 
judge appointed for four years, who has got to go to Hawaii, 
must find out first of all something about the laws of that country. 
He must entertain jurisdiction of all criminal offenses committed 
tin Hawaii against the internal revenue, the postal system, the 
currency system, the tariff system, and all of that.   Then he must 
acquaint himself broadly, as broadly as the mind can be culti- 
vated, up to the proper pitch with all the great jurisdiction cover- 
ing maritime affairs.   That man is to hold his office for four years, 
and to be tumbled out by the next political Administration that 
comes along. 
Now, that is a travesty upon the real administration of justice. 
Ought we not to do better for those islands and for ourselves and 
our commerce, for the protection of the health of the coast and all 
that, than to send a judge there to be appointed for four years, 
who is trembling upon his seat all the time while he is presiding 
in his court for fear he may do something that is contrary to the 
political wishes of the administration that sent him there? 
What becomes of that most essential of all the elements of ju- 
dicial power, the independence of the judiciary?   If there is one 
point in the Federal system better than all the balance, it is the 
fact that the Federal judiciary are independent of the President. 
It is a department in our Government.   The executive, the legis- 
lative, and the judicial departments comprise our Government. 
That department ought to be as independent as the executive, or 
even more so; it ought to be as independent even as the great po- 
litical department called the Congress of the United States, the 
legislative department. 
I am for maintaining, Mr. President, the independence of the 
federal judiciary in Hawaii.   If that judge is appointed for four 
Bears or ten years, and can be removed at the beck and call of the 
politician who may be President of the United States, that man 
loses the great essential element of his office, its independence. 
That is my anxiety about this section of the bill. 
I hoped, and I hope yet, that in the report made by this commis- 
sion and in the bill predicated upon it there will be found a need 
for the exercise of the powers of the Government of the United 
States over the new possessions acquired from Spain.   It may in- 
volve tariff questions or it may not.  Yet I regard that as a mere 
question of policy.   But, Mr. President, in the exercise of the 
functions that are devolved upon us in the control of these new 
acquisitions it ought to be understood that it is the Government 
of the United States, panoplied with all its powers, that sets its foot 
upon one of these islands.   It ought not to go there grudgingly; 
it ought not to go there piecemeal and dole out its powers or its 
jurisdiction into the hands of local people. 
Now, here comes another idea which is opposed to the views 
that I have been presenting.   We all desire that the people in 
Hawaii and the people of Puerto Rico and the people of the Phil- 
ippines shall enjoy all of the necessary powers of self-government 
that are requisite to establish in those islands a government repub- 
lican in form.   That is the mandate of the Constitution.   We 
are all anxious that the powers of local self-government shall be 
conferred upon those people as far as it is safe to do it, and that 
they shall be cultivated into a higher condition than they are now, 
Both as to extending the system of government and as to the prac- 
ticing of the powers that we intrust into their hands. 
It would have been right to give to the governor of Hawaii on 
the plan that we predicated and reported to the Senate the power 
to appoint these circuit judges and the supreme court.   But the 
Senate has taken that power out of the hands of the governor, and 
instead of permitting it to be a power of local self-government it 
is a power to be exercised by the President of the United States, 
which, in that respect, may be called a foreign power; not essen-

tially foreign, but in that regard it is foreign, a power exercised 
very far from the place where the judge is to sit and hold his 
office.   However, the Senate has stricken out that provision and has 
given to the President of the United States the power to appoint 
the three judges of the supreme court and the circuit judges there. 
We have not as yet provided, I believe, and I doubt if we do pro- 
vide, for their payment out of the Treasury of the United States. 
Mr. CULLOM.   That is provided for.  
Mr. MORGAN.   It was put in? 
Mr. CULLOM.   That amendment was adopted. 
Mr. STEWART.   Will the Senator from Alabama yield to me 
a moment? 
Mr. MORGAN.   For a question? 
Mr. STEWART.   No; to make a suggestion.   I ask unanimous 
consent that this bill be voted upon at half past 13 o'clock to- 
morrow.   It is evident that we will not have a quorum here 
to-night to vote upon it.   After we reach an agreement to vote 
to-morrow, we can talk as long to-night as we please. 
Mr. MORGAN.   Mr. President, before I respond to that request 
of the Senator from Nevada I wish to say a word about this bill. 
Hawaii to-day is in the enjoyment of a very excellent government, 
and will be until we change the law there.   The laws of Hawaii 
were affirmed by Congress at the time of annexation, and there is 
no power to set those laws aside except the act of Congress.   The o 
President of the United States was required to administer those 
laws in such manner as he shall see proper, and through such 
agencies as he might select.   That is as far as he can go.   He can 
not set aside a law of Hawaii, nor can he disregard it; he must 
execute it   He can prescribe the manner of its execution and the 
officer by whom it is to be administered under our act. 
Now, that government has had the right all the time to have 
its legislature convene and to proceed with its legislative work, 
so it did not violate the Constitution and laws of the United States. 
It has proceeded in its judicial tribunals to exercise the full breadth 
of their power, and, as I observed yesterday, men have been hung 
in Hawaii under the Hawaiian laws and under processes that run 
in the name of the republic of Hawaii. 
That republic, although it is embosomed in the United States, 
is to-day in full vigor and power, and has but one master, and 
that is the President of the United States, who is required to exe- 
cute its laws and not to break them or to set them aside.   He has 
no power of that kind at all.   Hawaii is collecting her own-rev- 
enues from customs.   She is collecting her internal revenue from 
her tax laws.   That is the situation in which she is left. 
There has been an advice on the part of the Attorney-General 
of the United States that it would be unwise on the part of the 
Hawaiians to go on and legislate and provide appropriations, for 
instance, for the purpose of putting down the bubonic plague. 
Those people there have had to put their hands in their pockets to 
an amount of hundreds of thousands of dollars to supply the com- 
munity with the money necessary to suppress this terrible ravage, 
which did not originate in Hawaii, but which was imported there 
from China, and is now in Molokai, in Maui, and also in the island 
of Hawaii, and spreading through those islands, as it is to Aden, 
and to Lisbon and various other places in Portugal, and will be 
in San Francisco and in San Diego, no doubt, in a mouth's time. 
That power of legislative appropriation ought to be exercised 
by the government of Hawaii, the Attorney-General's suggestion 
or request to the contrary notwithstanding, for they have got a 
perfect right to pass valid laws in that legislature.   They have a 
right to the exercise of all their judicial functions and of all their 
tax gathering powers.   There is not a power that is wanting to 
the government of Hawaii except the power to hold intercourse 
with foreign countries and, in subordination to the will of the 
President, as to the manner in which laws shall be executed and 
the agents by whom it shall be done. 
If I had to give advice to the people of Hawaii, I would advise 
them to stand by what they have got for a hundred years rather 
than to put up with this bill as it stands to-day; and rather than 
see this bill pass I would rejoice to see it defeated, for the Sen- 
ate of the United States has not been willing at all to take any 
part, or very little, of what the Hawaiian Commission and the 
Committee on Foreign Relations have recommended, after the 
most studious and careful and impartial consideration of this sit- 
uation; and they have attempted to create for Hawaii a govern- 
ment that is applicable to Arizona or to New Mexico, or something 
similar, entirely inapplicable to Hawaii - a poor, miserable, crip- 
pled affair; not only so, but a government that we hand out to 
them in this dilapidated condition, in the most virulent outpour- 
ing of abuse and scandal and slander on the floor of the Senate. 
If I were a Hawaiian, Mr. President, or if I had my way about 
this bill, I would rather vote it down than vote for it and let 
Hawaii stand where she is.   She can always vindicate herself. 
Hawaii has not cost us a dollar since she has been in the Ameri- 
can Union, and she will never cost us a dollar.   She can stay there 
under her laws and make money.   Her people are already pros- 
perous; and their prosperity has been disturbed only by one thing, 
and that is, by a visitation from on high - that is all.   I would

Return to Top

Terms of Use  |  UH Mānoa  |  UH System  |  Ask Us
University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Library  |  2550 McCarthy Mall  |  Honolulu, Hawaii 96822 USA
808-956-7214 (Reference)  |  808-956-7203 (Circulation)  |  808-956-7205 (Administration)
808-956-5968 (fax)  |  library@hawaii.edu