1150-1151

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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp1150-1151 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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The Chairman. I could not say that I am familiar.

Mr. Ludlow. There is a reef that runs around the island, and wherever there is a stream of fresh water coming down from the hill it cuts a channel-the coral will not grow, and that has left that little pocket in there. It is very small.

The Chairman. How many ships of war could harbor there?

Mr. Ludlow. There is not room enough for a ship to swing at anchor.

The Chairman. How far from the line of the bay are the elevations that surround Honolulu?

Mr. Ludlow. The first one is the hill called the Punch Bowl, an extinct volcano, that lies behind the town a mile and a quarter or a mile and a half from the water. It runs down to a flat plain on the edge of the water with this coral reef.

The Chairman. Could not guns be placed on the hills in such position and with such range as would enable those maintaining them there to keep a fleet off?

Mr. Ludlow. If the fleet fired to destroy the town, they would not pay much attention to the batteries up there. And it would not be a difficult matter to hit the town.

The Chairman. I suppose, therefore, you think that men-of-war that might be in the bay for repairs and for provisions or coal would not be made secure by fortifications around the harbor?

Mr. Ludlow. No; not for Honolulu. It would be a very great expense building forts outside. I do not think it could be done; it would not be practicable.

The Chairman. How would it be in Pearl Harbor?

Mr. Ludlow. There you have different conditions. The harbor is very deep inside and it runs a good ways back. I think it must run 5 or 6 miles back in toward the center of the island.

The Chairman. It also has tongues of land running out into it?

Mr. Ludlow. Yes-side bays. But most of it is quite deep, and that, with the range of modern artillery on board ship, make it pretty warm for anybody inside there.

The Chairman. It is what the naval officers would call a well-sheltered place?

Mr. Ludlow. Yes. There is a good deal of work to be done to make it available. My recollection is that something like a quarter to a half mile of excavations would be necessary. Whether that is sand or coral we do not know; there have not been any borings.

The Chairman. Suppose it is coral. Is that difficult to excavate under water?

Mr. Ludlow. No; not nowadays, with modern dredging.

The Chairman. And once excavated, it is easy to keep it open?

Mr. Ludlow. You can keep it open very readily, I think, as soon as they get the mouth of Honolulu Harbor cleared out. This plant belongs to the Government, and they are going to send it down to Pearl Harbor; that was the intention when I left there-to see if they can not deepen the mouth of it. There is one thing to be said about it, it would make another port there for the people of Honolulu and would throw out some of those who are in business, because it would make a better harbor than at Honolulu.

The Chairman. If you were putting the steamer Boston to sea for a voyage into the Pacific Ocean and back around Cape Horn, could you carry coal enough on the Boston to reach Australia and back to the mouth of the Chesapeake?

Mr. Ludlow. No.

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The Chairman. How far would you be able to steam with the coal you could carry on the Boston?

Mr. Ludlow. I never served on the Boston; I could only give you my impression. I do not think her steaming radius is over 3,500 miles. She is one of the old type of ships.

The Chairman. Take the best of modern ships-cruisers which have large capacity for carrying coal, and built purposely for that. What is the steaming radius of those ships?

Mr. Ludlow. Probably the steaming radius of the Columbia is the largest. My impression is that at her most economical speed she has something like 10,000 miles. The Philadelphia has probably 6,000 miles, and the San Francisco has probably 5,000.

The Chairman. That means 5,000 miles out and back?

Mr. Ludlow. Five thousand miles alone.

The Chairman. You could not take either of those ships from the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay around to San Francisco, and when you arrived there have them in fighting condition?

Mr. Ludlow. No; you would have to stop on the way.

The Chairman. Where would you stop?

Mr. Ludlow. In time of peace?

The Chairman. Any time.

Mr. Ludlow. We have any number of stations-a dozen or more coaling commercial stations all through the West Indies; Pernambuco, Brazil; Bahia, Rio Janeiro, Montevideo, and Sandy Point, Straits of Magellan, and Callao; and also Panama and Valparaiso.

The Chairman. At Valparaiso you would find coal?

Mr. Ludlow. Yes; and at Callao.

The Chairman. In time of war you could not obtain coal supplies for the naval vessels?

Mr. Ludlow. I believe coal is contraband.

The Chairman. So that in time of war if you wanted to carry coal for the best cruiser you have from Chesapeake Bay to San Francisco, you would not find her in fighting trim when you got to San Francisco?

Mr. Ludlow. No.

The Chairman. Do you not think that under such circumstances it would be of advantage to the United States to have at some point in the Pacific, away from our coast, places where we have the right of control, and places where we could protect our coal supplies?

Mr. Ludlow. I see what you are leading up to. We could not reach Honolulu.

The Chairman. We could reach Samoa, could we not?

Mr. Ludlow. No.

The Chairman. Suppose we were already at Samoa and at Honolulu and had our supplies, and we had to combat with the ships that would come from the Mediterranean and around the Horn for the purpose of attacking the coast of California, which country would have the advantage in a military sense in such an arrangement as that?

Mr. Ludlow. Samoa would have to be counted out. It is over 6,000 miles from there, and we are 2,000 miles from Honolulu.

The Chairman. My question is that we are already in possession of Samoa and Honolulu, and we have sufficient coal there to supply any emergency whatever. Then the question would be, having the right to coal your ships at those points, and protecting them and protecting your depot of supplies, would you have an advantage over a maritime power that had to cross the Atlantic and come around the Horn, or


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