1130-1131

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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp1130-1131 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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free storage, and remission of all dues upon any goods which were transported to Honolulu for the use of our company. Just prior to the time I made my application Mr. Spreckles was engaged in the same thing. His subsidy was about to run out, and I was told that it cost him considerable money to get his subsidy through. I waited until he got his subsidy through, and I worked mine through on the proposition that what is good for the goose is good for the gander. So soon as the natives learned that I had no money-I was approached by some of them----

The Chairman. You speak of native members of the Legislature?

Mr. Simpson. Some of the native members.

The Chairman. Did you concede anything to them on that score? use any money?

Mr. Simpson. Not the slightest. All the money that was spent was on a prospectus in the American language and the Kanaka language.

The Chairman. Which cabinet signed your concession?

Mr. Simpson. It was known as the Wilcox-Jones cabinet. It consisted of Wilcox, P. C. Jones, and the minister of foreign affairs, a native, but in sympathy with the American movement. The Legislature granted my subsidy with not more than 3 votes against it, whereas Mr. Spreckels's subsidy carried quite a number of votes against it, from the fact that he did not see them all in the proper spirit. Before I went to the Hawaiian Islands the impression I had always had was that Mr. Spreckles controlled things down there. After I had been there a while I found that to be untrue. There were six business houses there, and they practically do all the business in the islands, with the exception of what local retail trade there is done outside of Honolulu. These six houses are either owners, part owners, managers, or agents for all of the sugar plantations and some of the other plantations in the islands. They practically control the entire business of the islands.

The Chairman. In that industry?

Mr. Simpson. Commercially.

The Chairman. You speak that broadly.

Mr. Simpson. I speak that quite broadly. They buy in the round lot for their own sailing vessels. They buy and sell the sugar and rice, and they supply the plantations with whatever they need and operate them, acting for resident and nonresident owners. I do not know that I can better explain my ideas of the situation politically as it stood than by giving you a small extract of an interview which was published in the Portland (Oregon) Telegram, January 15, 1893.

The Chairman. That was while the revolution was going on?

Mr. Simpson. While it was going on and before I returned to the islands, and prior to any information being received in this country.

"POLITICAL MATTERS.
"The Legislature of the Hawaiian Kingdom is composed of representatives and nobles, elected by the people, the representatives being in the same relative standing as our Representatives and the nobles taking the place of our Senators. They all sit together as a body of the whole, and it is a very interesting proceeding to see and hear them transact business, as all speeches delivered by natives and in the native language are immediately interpreted and repeated in English, and everything said by members who speak the English language is likewise interpreted into the native speech. The cabinet of the country
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is appointed by the Queen, under the advisement of the leader of the party voting a 'lack of confidence' in the previous cabinet.
"ANNEXATION QUESTION.
"A great deal is heard there in reference to annexation to the United States. This agitation doubtless originates from the fact that prior to the passage of the McKinley bill Hawaiian sugar entered the ports of the United States free, while sugars from all other countries paid a duty. The McKinley bill placed the Hawaiian product on an equal basis with that of all other countries, and the American Government pays 2 cents per pound on its homegrown sugar. This the plantation owners of the Hawaiian Islands believe to be an injustice, and with good reason, as of the $36,000,000 assessed valuation of the property in the country American citizens own $22,000,000, or nearly two-thirds of the taxable property in the Kingdom. There is a great difference of opinion even among the American residents of the islands as to whether annexation would be the best method out of the difficulty or not.
"Among other remedies they mention for placing them on their former footing is for the United States Government to cease the payment of a bounty on sugar grown in this country; or it to place a duty of 1 cent per pound on all other foreign sugars, admitting the Hawaiian product free, and the payment of a bounty of 1 cent per pound by this Government to the Hawaiian sugar planters. Of the foreign population of the Hawaiian Islands, after the Portuguese, the Americans predominate, with the Germans and English about evenly divided. The Germans as a rule take sides with the Americans in all commercial undertakings, while the English of course oppose the annexation of the island to the United States, and in support of their position argue that the natives would lose their identity in becoming suffragists of the American Government."

Now the data that I looked up, prior to the time that the company was organized, begun with the commercial beginning of the islands and extends up to the present time. It is historical, and shows the connected commercial workings of the islands from the time Capt. Cook landed there in 1778.

The Chairman. Before you go into that I would like to ask you something more about the political situation in Hawaii at the time you were there. What time did you leave the islands to go away?

Mr. Simpson. It was a few days before Christmas. I do not remember the date of the month. It was a few days before Christmas, 1892.

The Chairman. Was the subject of annexation, of which you spoke, a matter of much conversation among the people there at that time?

Mr. Simpson. It was.

Senator Sherman. A few days before Christmas, 1892, you left the islands?

Mr. Simpson. Yes.

The Chairman. That was the only visit you made to Hawaii?

Mr. Simpson. That was all. My visit was made for purely commercial enterprises. The only interest I had in getting acquainted with the people was to further the interests of my corporation. The people, as nearly as I can remember now, were in this condition: The Legislature had been in session a number of months longer than its ordinary term. The white members, composed principally of the wealthy citizens in the islands, were sacrificing their business and remaining


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