396-397

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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp396-397 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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exist and to continue to exist was conclusively settled, as the report so forcibly states, against the Queen and in favor of the Provisional Government, by the act of the administration of President Harrison recognizing such Provisional Government, by the negotiation by that administration with such Provisional Government of a treaty of annexation to the United States; by accrediting diplomatic representation by such administration and by the present administration to such Provisional Government; therefore, it incontrovertibly follows that the President of the United States had no authority to attempt to reopen such determined questions, and to endeavor by any means whatever to overthrow the Provisional Government or to restore the monarchy which it had displaced.

While it is true that a friendly power may rightfully tender its good offices of mediation or advice in cases such as that under present consideration, it is also true that the performance of such offices of mediation or advice ought not to be entered upon without the consent previously given by both the parties whom the action or decision of the friendly power may affect. Such consent was not given in the present instance. The Provisional Government never so consented; it was never requested to consent. It denied the jurisdiction of the present administration on every proper occasion. Therefore the proceedings by the President, which had for their result his request and monition to the Provisional Government to surrender its powers, to give up its existence and to submit to be displaced by the monarchy which it had overthrown, had no warrant in law, nor in any consent of one of the parties to be affected by such proceedings.

Fifth. The avowed opinion of the President of the United States, in substance, that it is the duty of this Government to make reparation to the Queen by endeavoring to reinstate her upon her throne by all constitutional methods, is a clear definition of the policy of the present administration to that end. The instructions to Messrs. Blount and Willis must be construed to be other and more ample forms of expression of that policy. No other presumption is permissible than that their actions at Honolulu were with intent to carry out that avowed policy. These considerations make immaterial any discussion, in this connection, of the personal intentions, circumspection, or good faith of these gentlemen in the performance of the task to which they had been plainly commanded by the present administration.

John Sherman.
Wm. P. Frye.
J. N. Dolph.
Cushman K. Davis.

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ADDITIONAL VIEWS SUBMITTED BY MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE.

The undersigned, members of the Committee on Foreign Relations, submit herewith the following views adverse to the report of the committee, upon the subject of the recent political revolution in Hawaii.

Agreeing as we do with the conclusions submitted by the chairman of the committee that no irregularities were committed either in the appointment of Special Commissioner Blount or in the instructions given him by the President, and without denying or conceding in any manner the correctness of the facts as claimed, or of the statements as made, in said report concerning other matters therein mentioned, we especially dissent from that portion thereof which declares that the only substantial irregularity in the conduct of Mr. Stevens, the late minister, was his declaration of a protectorate by the United States over Hawaii. We are of the opinion also that there are no valid reasons and no course of dealing in our past relations with those islands which justifies interference by the United States with the political internal affairs of Hawaii any more than with those of any other independent state or nation in this hemisphere. We can not concur, therefore, in so much of the foregoing report as exonerates the minister of the United States, Mr. Stevens, from active officious and unbecoming participation in the events which led to the revolution in the Sandwich Islands on the 14th, 16th, and 17th of January, 1893. His own admissions in his official correspondence with this Government, his conduct for months preceding the revolution, as well as the facts established by the evidence before the committee, clearly justify such a conclusion.

On the other hand, we are not inclined to censure Capt. Wiltse, commanding the United States war-ship Boston, or the officers of that vessel. Their position was one of extreme delicacy and difficulty, and we appreciate their anxiety to afford protection to the lives and property of American citizens. The force of United States marines of the Boston with their ordinary arms stationed at the American legation, and at the consulate in Honolulu, would have effectually represented the authority and power of the United States Government, and would have afforded whatever protection American interests might have required; and at the same time would have avoided the appearance of coercion or duress, either upon the people of Honolulu or the Queen in the controversy between them. This is our opinion, after a careful examination of all the facts and circumstances disclosed in the evidence. But, as we have observed, the position was a delicate and difficult one. Perhaps if we had been on the ground in the presence of the minister, under the influence of his advice and counsel, and of the environments and conditions surrounding Capt. Wiltse, his officers and men, we might have landed the forces as he did; but a less formidable array would have removed from the Queen the excuse for asserting that she and her government were overawed by the United States forces, to which she claims under protest to have surrendered,


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