|Previous Page||Next Page|
The Chairman. But with that channel the fortifications there would be very powerful, and it would be very difficult for a ship to pass in?
Mr. Moore. A ship could not pass in.
The Chairman. Do you know any other position in the Sandwich Islands where there is such an opportunity for protecting a fleet or for a naval station as would be found in Pearl Harbor, of course, with that channel dredged deep enough for ships to go in?
Mr. Moore. I do not think there is any other to compare with it for a harbor.
Senator Butler. What is the distance of Pearl Harbor from Honolulu?
Mr. Moore. Ten miles by water; 5 miles from one bar to the other. Senator Butler. South?
Mr. Moore. Southwest.
The Chairman. So that the government that had Pearl Harbor, with a channel for ships to enter, and proper fortification for a naval establishment, ships undergoing repairs and otherwise, you would consider would have the naval control of the islands?
Mr. Moore. She would have naval control of the islands and could protect her vessels inside of that harbor.
The Chairman. And her depot of supplies?
Mr. Moore. And her depot of supplies. As I said before, with the long-range guns that we have to-day a vessel could lay outside and drop in shell; might reach the inside with shell, but not by direct firing.
The Chairman. What is the distance from Sidney to Honolulu, as navigators estimate it?
Mr. Moore. About 4,400 miles, and Auckland, a coal station, about 3,700 miles.
The Chairman. I will ask you this way: Is it twice as far from Sidney to Honolulu as it is from San Francisco to Honolulu?
Mr. Moore. Yes. It is 2,100 miles to San Francisco from Honolulu, 2,200 miles to San Diego, and 2,300 miles to the Straits of Fuca.
The Chairman. The distance from Hongkong would be the distance from Sidney to Honolulu?
Mr. Moore. Hongkong, Manila, and Shanghai are more—5,000 miles; Nagasaki, 4,000, and Yokohama, 3,400 miles.
The Chairman. Where in all these countries would a ship navigating the Pacific Ocean get a supply of coal while crossing that great body of water? Suppose the ship is at Honolulu, where there is no coal, what would be the nearest point at which she would derive her supply of coal?
Mr. Moore. San Francisco.
The Chairman. Which is 2,100 miles away. The next nearest point would be at the Straits of Fuca?
Mr. Moore. Yes; 2,300 miles away.
The Chairman. The next nearest coal mines would be Sidney?
Mr. Moore. New Zealand—Auckland.
Senator Frye. The Straits of Fuca would be about 500 miles farther than San Francisco?
Mr. Moore. Two hundred miles farther than San Francisco.
The Chairman. Would a power having a proper supply of coal in Pearl Harbor have a great advantage over any other power in the world for the protection of the Pacific Ocean, or carrying on naval operations with their ships and fleets in the Pacific Ocean?
Mr. Moore. Yes; decidedly so.
The Chairman. That would be the central place for a coal depot;
that, you would regard, as being important for steam navigation by war ships?
Mr. Moore. Very important, especially for offensive demonstrations toward any other country attacking the west coast of the United States.
The Chairman. If a ship were coming through the Mediterranean and through the Suez Canal and approaching the United State here [indicating on a mapj and should meet with a force that was well supplied with coal and well protected and well provisioned—a naval force of the United States at Honolulu—do you think the advantages would be very great in favor of the American ships as against any ships that might make an attack from the Mediterranean and Red seas?
Mr. Moore. I do not exactly understand.
The Chairman. I say, suppose a fleet were sailing through the Mediterranean and Red seas, Indian Ocean, to attack us here on this coast, and we had a proper supply of naval force and naval stores of every description at Pearl Harbor, do you think the advantages would be in favor of the United States for protecting herself against such an attack as I have mentioned?
Senator Butler. On the main land?
The Chairman. Yes; protecting our coasts.
Mr. Moore. Yes, I think the United States would have very great advantage in having possession of the supplies at that place. Even if the United States were in such a position that she was not able to defend her position there she could destroy all the coal and supplies, thus keeping them from the enemy.
The Chairman. I am not talking of defending. Suppose that the United States fleet were located at Pearl Harbor, with a proper inlet through the bar, fortifications, and proper supplies of coal and other naval stores, would her position in defense of the west coast be greatly strengthened, by such a fact as that?
Mr. Moore. It would.
Senator Butler. I understand you to say that as a strategic point, if the United States had possession of the Sandwich Islands, her position would not be weakened if she had to abandon them?
Mr. Moore. Her position would not be weakened, and she would weaken her enemy in case he had the advantage. I will put it another way—she would not strengthen her enemy by allowing him to get her coal. Before abandoning her position, she could destroy all the coal, so that the enemy would have nothing but the station.
Senator Butler. So that you would regard it either for offensive or defensive operations as a very strategic point?
Mr. Moore. I should.
The Chairman. That applies to ships coming around the Horn as well as to ships coming through the Mediterranean. There is no coal in Patagonia?
Mr. Moore. Yes, in Chili.
The Chairman. Plenty of it?
Mr. Moore. Plenty, but not of a good quality. That applies to vessels approaching the United States from any direction, but more particularly to those approaching from the Asiatic or Australian coasts.
The Chairman. Suppose the United States were to be successful in cutting a canal through Nicaragua, what position in a military or naval sense would these islands have in protecting that enterprise, that channel of communication; important or otherwise?
Mr. Moore. It would be important; in my opinion more important
S. Doc. 231, pt 6----46
|Previous Page||Next Page|