602-603

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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp602-603 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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Mr. Spalding. Yes. These men had armed themselves for mutual protection in the event of its becoming necessary.

The Chairman. The result was that the King granted the constitution of 1887?

Mr. Spalding. Yes.

The Chairman. And it was proclaimed?

Mr. Spalding. Yes.

The Chairman. Then the King went on to act under that constitution.

Mr. Spalding. Yes.

The Chairman. Of course, under very restricted power?

Mr. Spalding. The main improvement was this. Under the constitution of 1887 the House of Nobles was abolished and made elective and the King's ministers were made responsible for the Government.

Senator Frye. They were the Government?

Mr. Spalding. They were the Government—the King could do no act without the ministry.

The Chairman. No legislative act?

Mr. Spalding. No legislative act.

The Chairman. Could not pass any law?

Mr. Spalding. No. Of course it reduced him, you can see, to a figurehead. The only thing left to him, and which afterward proved a very great trouble, was the veto.

The Chairman. The veto was left to the monarch. Then he had the right to appoint his ministers?

Mr. Spalding. No. He could not appoint his ministers without the consent of the Legislature, of these two Houses. That was the very thing. And he could not discharge his ministry. He had been in the habit of discharging his cabinet one day and appointing a new one the next. Under the new constitution he could discharge his cabinet by the passage through the Legislature of a vote of want of confidence; and he could not appoint a Cabinet without the consent of the Legislature— the cabinet must be approved by the Legislature. It made quite a difference in that way.

The Chairman. You are familiar with the Hawaiian legislation and Hawaiian affairs up to the time you made your last visit in January, 1893?

Mr. Spalding. In a general way; not very minutely.

The Chairman. You knew the state of public opinion?

Mr. Spalding. I knew how there came to be "two Richmonds in the field." At the time of the constitution of 1887, the first election held under that constitution was without a dissenting vote, almost, and every single member—I do not know of any exceptions—was elected as a candidate or as a member of what was called the reform party. And even the members, natives and others, who had been in the previous legislatures, as you might say creatures of the King to carry out his wishes, voted the reform ticket. I remember that in my district there was not a dissenting voice—every vote was cast in the one line. After a few years this party, known as the reform party, became partially broken up, and some of the members of the reform party who wanted to get into office themselves, started another party, which they called the national reform party. That was the beginning of what has since resolved itself into the two parties; one in favor of the Crown or Sovereign, the other in favor of the people.

The Chairman. Which is the reform party?

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Mr. Spalding. That which is represented by the Provisional Government is the reform party; the national reform party is represented by the royalists. We had two or three other names to these parties, but these two parties were the original ones.

The Chairman. When did you last leave Hawaii—before the month of January, 1893?

Mr. Spalding. I had been there the previous June or July, I think.

The Chairman. You left in July?

Mr. Spalding. I think so.

The Chairman. Had you made a considerable stay during that visit to Hawaii?

Mr. Spalding. I had been there several months.

The Chairman. Looking after your personal interests?

Mr. Spalding. Yes.

The Chairman. After you left there did you know of any concert of action, conspiracy, open or secret society, organized or projected for changing the Government from a monarchy to any other form of government?

Mr. Spalding. No.

The Chairman. Or of dethroning the Queen?

Mr. Spalding. No, I did not.

The Chairman. Or of forcing her to accept a particular cabinet?

Mr. Spalding. No.

The Chairman. Did you know of any political movement that might be called in any sense a movement in antagonism to the Government of Hawaii at that time—I mean when you were there?

Mr. Spalding. I did not know of any, and I do not think there was any.

The Chairman. Had you reasons for knowing there was any?

Mr. Spalding. I have not seen the signs of any.

The Chairman. Have you made inquiry?

Mr. Spalding. I have inquired of some of my friends in Honolulu. I was on my plantation most of the time. Of course, I heard of the rumor that word had been received from Washington that annexation might possibly be agreed to or brought about, and I did not believe that any such intelligence had come from Washington, because I had kept a pretty good run of matters here for many years. I differed with my friends there in that respect. Of course, a good many private opinions were to the effect that it would be a very easy matter to annex the country to the United States. I always maintained the ground that it would be a very easy matter to annex the country to the United States so soon as the United States would give us any reason for believing that it would be agreeable on this side. I knew it would not take very much to bring it about if that were so, and I so stated, even last January, before this affair tood place. I was told by one of the present royalists there that $100,000 would be sufficient to upset the monarchy in case annexation could be brought about.

The Chairman. Have you any objection to giving the name?

Mr. Spalding. No; that was a Frenchman, Dr. Trouseau. That was his opinion, and I thought the money could be raised; I would be willing to give a reasonable sum myself toward it. But I would not waste any money, and I have not wasted any money on this proposition because I never saw the time that the United States had given us a sufficient indication that the islands would be accepted. I had never seen any.


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