636-637

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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp636-637 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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The Chairman. I was asking you about the food supply. Do you state that it is sufficient; that is, that the native production is sufficient to sustain the population?

Mr. Alexander. Yes. We import a good deal----

The Chairman. I do not mean what you import; I mean what is the capacity of the country for producing a sufficiency of food for the nurture and comfort of man?

Mr. Alexander. Nobody there goes hungry. The resources of the country are only begun to be developed, in my opinion.

The Chairman. Do they have meat as well as farinaceous food?

Mr. Alexander. Yes.

The Chairman. What description of animals; what do you use as meat?

Mr. Alexander. Cattle and sheep.

The Chairman. How about hogs?

Mr. Alexander. They were there before the island was discovered; they had hogs, fowls, and dogs.

The Chairman. The forests in Hawaii, I suppose, furnish sustenance for the hogs—fern and roots?

Mr. Alexander. We have wild hogs and hunt them. Some wild boars are pretty dangerous. But most of the hogs are fed, kept up.

The Chairman. On what?

Mr. Alexander. On vegetables and scrapings of taro, etc.

The Chairman. Can you take a hog and fatten him on taro?

Mr. Alexander. Yes.

The Chairman. And on other like productions of the forests there?

Mr. Alexander. Certainly----

The Chairman. Wild roots, bulbs, arrowroot. Do they eat that?

Mr. Alexander. Yes. But the arrowroot is too expensive.

The Chairman. I do not mean that. If the hog finds it in the woods, would he eat it?

Mr. Alexander. Oh yes.

The Chairman. Where are the cattle grazed?

Mr. Alexander. On the lands that are not so rich—the interior lands, generally.

Senator Gray. Do you have fine, choice stock there?

Mr. Alexander. Yes; we have imported a great many from Australia and the United States.

The Chairman. Have you grazing for them?

Mr. Alexander. The grazing has been overdone by cattle, and much of it ought to be cultivated, and will be.

The Chairman. Does the grazing produce good beef and milk?

Mr. Alexander. Yes.

The Chairman. And poultry—is that an important element in human support in Hawaii?

Mr. Alexander. Well, they had poultry in the islands before they were discovered.

The Chairman. Do they have poultry in any abundance?

Mr. Alexander. I think so—about as in this country.

The Chairman. What grains do they raise in Hawaii?

Mr. Alexander. Rice the principal grain.

The Chairman. Do the Hawaiians feed their poultry on rice?

Mr. Alexander. Sometimes rice and maize, Indian corn.

Senator Gray. Do they raise good crops?

Mr. Alexander. Beginning to. All those things were neglected

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through the sugar craze. When sugar was paying so well they neglected raising these other things.

The Chairman. What I want to know is, whether they sustain the population of the country?

Mr. Alexander. Corn? I know a district where a good deal of land has been cut up under the homestead laws of the last two or three years and where they have raised a good deal of corn. It is the district of Kula. It is interesting to see it.

The Chairman. Good corn crops?

Mr. Alexander. Yes. We can raise wheat. In one district we have produced 25,000 bushels in a year. But they found out they could raise wheat in California, and they changed the production in the other direction. We now import our flour.

The Chairman. You do not import your wheat?

Mr. Alexander. Yes, for our poultry. All our oats we could raise.

The Chairman. How about sweet potatoes?

Mr. Alexander. They always had potatoes. The natives live on them to some extent in some districts.

The Chairman. It is a valuable crop in Hawaii?

Mr. Alexander. It is part of the crops, part of the food of the country. They do not export it.

The Chairman. I am speaking of the capacity. You could make enough Irish potatoes on the ground if you had a market for them?

Mr. Alexander. Yes.

The Chairman. How about peas and beans?

Mr. Alexander. We have a good crop there.

The Chairman. Do the natives like them?

Mr. Alexander The natives do not consume any of them; mostly foreigners raise them.

The Chairman. Sugar cane is a native growth?

Mr. Alexander. Yes.

The Chairman. Have the natives different methods of their own of manufacturing different articles of diet out of the sugar cane?

Mr. Alexander. They never manufacture sugar.

The Chairman. I do not mean sugar—syrups. Do they make them themselves?

Mr. Alexander. I do not think they do.

The Chairman. They could make any quantity they desired, could they not?

Mr. Alexander. They could.

The Chairman. But the capability of the country is great in the production of sugar cane?

Mr. Alexander. Yes; it surpasses any other country in the world. I would not dare to say how much they raise to the acre.

The Chairman. Now we come to taro, as you call it. That is a succulent root?

Mr. Alexander. Yes.

The Chairman. To what dimensions does it grow—the average taro bulb or root?

Mr. Alexander. From 2 to 5 pounds, we call them; sometimes more.

The Chairman. How long do they grow before maturing?

Mr. Alexander. Over a year.

The Chairman. Is there any season of the year at which you have to plant taro?

Mr. Alexander. Any season, I think.


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