388-389

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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp388-389 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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The control given to Mr. Trist over the military operations in Mexico, when war was flagrant, was far greater than that which was confided to Mr. Blount. The secret orders given to the commanders of the Army and of the Navy on that occasion are set out in the appendix to this report.

When Mr. Willis arrived in Honolulu he was received by the Provisional Government, to which he was accredited, and an interchange of the usual courtesies was had between them. He carried instructions, as minister of the United States, which did not concern the Government of Hawaii until they had been attended with a certain result which he endeavored to bring about. That result was that Liliuokalani should agree that, in the event of her restoration to the throne, not by the action of the President of the United States, but in any other event, or by any agreement, she would bind herself to grant full and free amnesty to all persons who had been engaged in opposition to her alleged authority. When that agreement had been obtained Mr. Willis was instructed to submit it to the Provisional Government and ascertain whether they would agree to restore the Queen to the throne under those circumstances and upon those conditions. If this was intervention, it was in the interest of Americans in Hawaii. It was an exaction upon Liliuokalani which would forbid, under the penalty of war, that should she acquire the throne by whatever means, that she should openly disavow any purpose to inflict any pains and penalties upon those who had supported the Provisional Government. Liliuokalani, after several efforts on the part of Mr. Willis to obtain her consent to this proposition, finally signed it without the assent of her ministers, and it was attested by Mr. Carter, who was a personal and political friend. Her declaration or agreement thus signed and delivered to Mr. Willis was by him presented to the President of the Provisional Government (who was also minister of foreign affairs), and the question whether or not it would be accepted by the Government of Hawaii was submitted to him. Whereupon the President of the Provisional Government declined to accept the proposition; declined to yield the power which had been vested in him as the chief executive of Hawaii; and nothing more was done either to induce him, or to compel him, to consent to, or to assist in, the restoration of Liliuokalani to the throne or the restoration of the Monarchy.

If, in this course of proceeding, the President of the United States had intended to compel obedience to what is termed his "decision" in the matter by using the force of the United States to assist the Queen in being enthroned, that would have been an act of war, entirely beyond his power, and would not have received the sanction of any considerable part of the American people, and would have no warrant in international law. But such was not the intention of the President, as is shown by contemporaneous acts, by his declarations, and by his subsequent treatment of the subject. Therefore, the question between the United States and Hawaii touching the propriety of an intervention in the domestic affairs of Hawaii to the extent of gaining the final decision and agreement of both parties upon these propositions is one that is strictly within the accepted right or authority of a sovereign to tender his good offices to reconcile the conflicts of two or more factions, or parties, that may be opposed to each other within any country. The tender of good offices has often been voluntarily made in the interest of humanity, of peace, of law, and of order, or at the suggestion of one of two belligerent powers actually engaged in war. Sometimes it has

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been made at the suggestion of that party in a government, engaged in actual hostilities, which had the evident power to crush its opponent by prosecuting the war to extremities. In such cases the intervention has often been accepted as a merciful interposition, and it has been considered an honor by other governments that they should be requested, under such circumstances, to exercise their good offices in favor of procuring peace through a submission to inevitable results. When the tender of good offices is made at the request of both of the contending parties it is difficult to conceive how any sovereign of a foreign country could refuse to act in such matter.

In the public act by which the Provisional Government of Hawaii was established there was a distinct declaration that that Government was to continue until Hawaii was annexed to the United States. That declaration, apart from every other consideration, would have justified the United States in an interference for the protection of the Provisional Government which would not have been tolerated under other circumstances. That declaration created an intimacy of relationship between the United States and the recognized Government of Hawaii which is entirely exceptional, and which placed within the reach and control of the United States very largely, if not entirely, the disposal of those questions collateral to that of annexation which might have interfered with the peaceful and appropriate solution of any difficulty which might arise in its execution. So that the Provisional Government of Hawaii, having thus thrown itself into the arms of the United States in the first declaration of its existence, can not justly complain that the United States should scrutinize, under the authority thus given, all its pretensions of right thus to dispose of an entire country and people. And Liliuokalani, having reference to the same project of annexation, of which she was fully cognizant, made complaint that the United States had assisted in driving her from her throne by bringing its troops on shore in military array at a time when there was no necessity for it, distinctly announced at the moment of her final and avowed abdication that she would abdicate provisionally and would await the decision of the United States as to whether that abdication and the destruction of the Kingdom and the annexation of Hawaii to the United States should become completed facts. Under such circumstances the President of the United States, believing that the information then in possession of the Government was not sufficient to justify summary annexation, could not have done justice to himself, to his country, to the people of Hawaii, to the Provisional Government, or to Liliuokalani, without having made an effort to use his good offices for the purpose of ascertaining whether it was practicable that the Queen should be restored to her authority, leaving the question to be determined by the people interested in Hawaii whether such restoration would be acceptable to them or not. If Liliuokalani had been restored to her throne by the consent of the membership of the Provisional Government, upon the terms and conditions of the proposition which she signed and delivered to Mr. Willis, the President of the United States would not have been in any sense responsible for her restoration, would not have espoused the monarchy, nor would he have done anything that was contradictory of American sentiment, opinion, or policy. He would only have been the mutual friend, accepted, really, by both parties, whose intervention would have secured, with their consent, the final solution of that question. In the absence of such committal on his part to the claims of Liliuokalani or resistance on his part to the


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