614-615

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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp614-615 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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Mr. Spalding. Yes.

The Chairman. As a resting place, coaling station—place for resting ships?

Mr. Spalding. It has been a coaling station for the United States for a number of years.

The Chairman. As a place I have described, is it resorted to by vessels in numbers?

Mr. Spalding. Do you mean Pearl River harbor?

The Chairman. Honolulu?

Mr. Spalding. The Austrian war ship Donau came in there several years ago with her steering apparatus gone. She had to spend a few months there and thousands of dollars in temporary repairs. Vessels are coming all the time for the same purpose. It is the only place that I consider valuable in the North Pacific. The South Pacific is full of islands; the North Pacific has no islands practically. There are a few little spots in the North Pacific beside the Hawaiian group, but they are hardly inhabitable.

The Chairman. Then your zeal as an annexationist is built on the naval and commercial value of the islands to the United States.

Mr. Spalding. If it is not desirable for the United States to hold Pearl River, if it is not desirable for the United States to have that country as an outpost, it is not worth while for them to have anything to do with the country, because as an agricultural country, mineral country, and mercantile and manufacturing country it is of small value.

Senator Frye. How would the building of the Nicaragua canal increase the importance of those islands to the United States?

Mr. Spalding. It would make Honolulu just so much more important as a stopping place in crossing the Pacific Ocean.

Senator Frye. If the Nicaraguan canal were built, what, in your judgment, would be the result upon our country's interests to have the Hawaiian Islands go into the hands of the English Government?

Mr. Spalding. Since 1867 I have felt that it would be a very bad thing for the islands to go into the hands of Great Britain with or without the Nicaraguan canal. During the civil war we had the privateers up north among our whaling ships, and those privateers never could have gotten up there if one of our war ships had rendezvoused at Honolulu. The Hawaiian Islands are in a direct line between the British possessions of North America and the British possessions of Australia.

The Chairman. Without the annexation of Hawaii in connection with the Nicaraguan canal, but taking the conditions as they are, you think the construction of a cable to the United States between San Francisco and Honolulu would be of great importance?

Mr. Spalding. Yes. I tried to bring it about some years ago. We had a concession from the Hawaiian Government which we proposed to turn over to any company that might be formed under the auspices of the United States, but we could not get the aid of the United States in building the cable, and, of course, there was not enough business to attempt it without that.

The Chairman. What is the general character of the Portuguese who occupy Hawaii?

Mr. Spalding. The Portuguese who came there were mostly men brought out from the Madeira Islands for laboring on the plantations. So long as we paid them pretty good prices for their labor, of course, they remained. They were under agreement to remain with us for a term of years, three years I think, and at the expiration of their agreement

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a good many of them went to California, thinking that they could do better. They are not a people who are reliable as settlers; we can not depend upon their settling in the community.

The Chairman. You mean, remaining in the community?

Mr. Spalding. Remaining. They move about. If they think they can get a small addition in the way of wages they think it better for them to go. I was instrumental in erecting a Catholic church on my plantation, gave them the land and helped them put it up, because I had quite a number working for me. But I find that most of them have gone away after the expiration of their contracts.

The Chairman. As to their citizenship?

Mr. Spalding. I do not think they are very advantageous people as citizens.

The Chairman. Are they disadvantageous?

Mr. Spalding. Not if you have them in small numbers. If you have them in large numbers, yes; if you had too many of them, that would be disadvantageous.

The Chairman. Are they turbulent?

Mr. Spalding. They are apt to be quarrelsome, and not always reliable.

The Chairman. How do they got along with the native population?

Mr. Spalding. I do not think they have any trouble with the native population. They are a very saving people—in some respects a very hard working people—especially where they are working for themselves.

Senator Frye. They are pretty thrifty people?

Mr. Spalding. Pretty thrifty.

The Chairman. How about the Japanese. What kind of citizens do they become?

Mr. Spalding. We have not had them long enough to say. We do not expect citizens on the plantations to do as in the towns and cities.

The Chairman. But the Portuguese have the right as citizens to vote?

Mr. Spalding. Yes.

The Chairman. The Japanese have not the right?

Mr. Spalding. The Japanese and Chinese. The Japanese Government have claimed that right, but we have never allowed it. I say we; I speak of the country. I was not an official.

The Chairman. The Chinese—how do they demean themselves in that country?

Mr. Spalding. Fairly well.

The Chairman. Do they intermarry with the natives?

Mr. Spalding. They do not intermarry with the natives very much.

The Chairman. Now, taking the Portuguese, the Europeans, the Americans, and the Kanakas, with their present rights of suffrage regulated by the constitution of 1887, and suppose you were to continue that and have your Government republican in form, under a written constitution, would you consider that a safe form of government for that country?

Mr. Spalding. No; I should not consider that a republican form of government, with the suffrage as we have had it since 1887 (which was very liberal), a good form of government for that country, because there is not enough to the country. The country is not valuable enough; it is of no use to divide it up into small farms, because one farmer would have to sell to another farmer. I have known but one


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