1148-1149

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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp1148-1149 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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any question raised as to what disposition was made of the money and so on. The men who were in the Provisional Government were recognized as as good men as were in the islands.

The Chairman. Was there an established police force in the islands?

Mr. Ludlow. Yes; rather an inefficient police force; never had a call for one while I was there. There were some scraps down in the lower part of the town among the sailors; but I never knew of a blow being struck except by two lawyers, who got into some dispute over some politics, when one struck the other over the face. That thing is all exaggerated about people being in a tremble. Ladies are traveling around in their carriages; and there is more exaggeration about fear there than any place I ever saw.

The Chairman. You saw no evidence at all of intense public anxiety?

Mr. Ludlow. No.

The Chairman. Did you have an opportunity to form an opinion of Mr. Dole and his cabinet in respect to their ability as men to conduct public affairs, and the manner in which they demeaned themselves in their positions?

Mr. Ludlow. I have met them all, and consider them all first-rate men-dignified, quiet, and little talk among them. They were inclined all the time to keep these people from talking. A few days after Mr. Blount arrived, and got the American flag down from off the Government building, he asked me what I thought of the state of public opinion; whether it was any quieter after the flag came down than before. I told him there was a change. I told him that it seemed to put the responsibility where it belonged, and the people seemed to go on about their business; there was not so much talk about it as there had been; they simply accepted the thing, while formerly, while our flag was flying, it made us responsible for everything that took place. We were responsible, in a measure. I was very much surprised to see that flag up there.

The Chairman. Did the Provisional Government make any habitual display of soldiery?

Mr. Ludlow. Oh, no. They were recruiting. I do not think at any time up to the time I left there they had to exceed a hundred men. And there was nobody who could drill them or get them in shape. They had to send to Cleveland, Ohio, to get uniforms.

The Chairman. Were they kept in barracks?

Mr. Ludlow. Yes; they had two barracks, one was the Government building, that the Provisional Government occupied, south of it; then there was another old barracks, the artillery barracks, north of the Queen's palace. There may have been other posts. They had a review ground just opposite the Government building. I have seen them drill there.

The Chairman. What is your opinion of the advantage that the Hawaiian group of islands would be to the United States as a military base in time of war?

Mr. Ludlow. As a military base for a country like this it is too far away-2,000 and odd miles. If it were Great Britain, it would be another thing. But with a country like this, with our ideas of a standing army and a navy, an outpost 2,000 miles away would not be the thing.

The Chairman. Would that be the case with respect to Bermuda, if we owned that?

Mr. Ludlow. Bermuda is nearer, a day and a half sail of the port of New York; two days' sail, certainly.

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The Chairman. If you were stationed with a fleet at Honolulu, and the American coast were to be assailed by any great European power with steamships-and they would have to use that class of vessels to make anything like an effective assault-would you not consider that you had an advantage over an advancing or attacking power by having that position?

Mr. Ludlow. No. The Pacific is a very large ocean. You can not keep the track of your enemy on the ocean as you can on land; they could pass you, get in behind you, and you would never know it in the world.

The Chairman. In a naval engagement between the United States and any maritime power, say Great Britain, would it not be their first attempt to take those islands?

Mr. Ludlow. I think there is a treaty between France and Great Britain by which they will never acquire a foot of Hawaiian territory.

The Chairman. That is for civil administration. But in the event of war that would scarcely avail much in a country that wanted to go and establish itself in a military position?

Mr. Ludlow. Great Britain has a better place than that on our frontier.

The Chairman. Where is that?

Mr. Ludlow. Victoria. They have everything they want there.

The Chairman. Victoria, if I understand the geography, is open to a land attack by the United States.

Mr. Ludlow. Yes, but you have to embark your troops; it is an island.

The Chairman. Hardly.

Mr. Ludlow. Vancouvers Island.

The Chairman. You can get plenty of crossings so as to reach Vancouvers Island.

Mr. Ludlow. They keep a pretty good squadron there all the time.

The Chairman. You seem to think, though, in the event of a war with the United States, Great Britain would find it to her advantage, if she saw proper to do so, felt authorized to do so, to seize upon those islands for the purpose of establishing there a base of supplies to recruit her ships, and furnish them with coal and provisions and whatever she needed.

Mr. Ludlow. Undoubtedly they would if they thought it was to their advantage. I never knew Great Britain to hesitate with a question of that kind.

The Chairman. Did you examine Pearl Harbor while you were out there?

Mr. Ludlow. No; nothing more than the surveys. I kept pretty close to the ship. I did not know what would turn up, and if I was to put more men on shore I wanted to be there.

The Chairman. What would be your opinion, with the use of modern guns of high power, as to the ability of any power to control Honolulu by erecting fortifications upon the high lands around the bay and back of the bay to protect that harbor against the invasion of a fleet coming from the open ocean?

Mr. Ludlow. A fleet could shell the place to pieces. You could send a fleet there and could certainly destroy the place.

The Chairman. Could guns be placed around the heights surrounding the bay of Honolulu in such positions as to prevent a fleet coming near enough to Honolulu to shell it and destroy it?

Mr. Ludlow. No. Are you familiar with the harbor?


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