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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp722-723 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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in keeping any other country from having a base of supplies at that point, or any other way.

The Chairman. The necessity for a base of supplies at Honolulu seems to depend upon the fact that it is a long distance to coal on the Asiatic coast or coast of New Zealand. Suppose that a fleet coaling at Sidney, Australia, or anywhere upon these British islands, and sailing such a distance as they would have to go to get to Honolulu; it would necessarily be slow in its movements, because it would consume a great deal of coal?

Mr. Moore. They would have to be economical in the use of coal; but as many of the vessels are built to-day they could carry coal enough to make this trip between these two points without stopping at any place—any midway place—to coal. But they would reach the coast of the United States with bunkers comparatively empty, which would take from their efficiency.

Senator Butler. I would like to ask you a question in regard to Pearl Harbor. Is it a large rendezvous? Taking the description you have given of its extent, how many ships would it hold?

Mr. Moore. It is large enough to take all the war vessels Great Britain has today, which runs into the hundreds.

Senator Butler. And give them protection within the harbor?

Mr. Moore. Yes.

Senator Butler. They could rendezvous there in still water?

Mr. Moore. Yes.

The Chairman. You mean whatever degree of security a fortification would be provided by the ships for their own safety?

Mr. Moore. Yes. I do not mean that if Pearl Harbor were filled with vessels they would be beyond the reach of the guns of to-day.

Senator Butler. That is not what I meant to say. Would they have what you officers call sea room?

Mr. Moore. Sea room; yes, plenty of it.

Senator Butler. Enough for more than a hundred vessels inside the bar?

Mr. Moore. Yes.

Senator Butler. Do you remember what water is on the bar crossing the harbor?

The Chairman. Only a few feet, 7 or 8.

Mr. Moore. I think more than that; about 12 feet. I am under the impression that that bar can be dredged with a hydraulic dredge, the same as Honolulu. We have a depth of 30 feet at Honolulu, and I have no reason to believe but that the bar at Pearl Harbor is of the same coral sand.

The Chairman. I have been trying to lead you up to this proposition, that Pearl Harbor, with the advantages that you have described and its location, nearly in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, is a strategic point for our country.

Mr. Moore. I regard it as a strategic point in defense of our west coast.

The Chairman. That if it were in the possession of any naval power it would cripple us?

Mr. Moore. It would enable them to throw a fleet on our coast of whatever number of vessels they might have, fully equipped with provisions and coal.

The Chairman. And we could have no point to anticipate them except the open sea and on the coast?

Mr. Moore. None. There is one question that the Senator asked


me a while ago. I would like to add that the harbor of Honolulu is one that could be very fairly defended.

The Chairman. From the hill back of it?

Mr. Moore. From the hills back of it, and the reef in front as well. I have just received a chart of Honolulu.

The Chairman. Does the water break deep over that reef?

Mr. Moore. No; very shallow.

The Chairman. You can build forts on the reef?

Mr. Moore. Yes; breakwater fortifications on that reef, and be about a mile in front of the moorings of the vessels.

Senator Butler. That would be to protect the harbor?

Mr. Moore. Yes; against any vessels from the outside.

The Chairman. What you speak of there is the Punchbowl?

Mr. Moore. Punchbowl and Diamond Head are both commanding points. Punchbowl back of the town.

The Chairman. That is the one with the crater?

Mr. Moore. Yes; both are extinct craters.

Senator Butler. You mean to have heavy guns on those hills?

Mr. Moore. Yes. They would be able to fire a long distance, and you could command a view within the range of the guns.

The Chairman. And you could establish heavy batteries looking out to sea?

Mr. Moore. Yes; on the reef.

Senator Butler. But you could command a sweep of the sea?

Mr. Moore. From both you could command a sweep of the sea of at least 90 degrees, and that commands completely the only approach from seaward to the harbor of Honolulu. Diamond Head commands 190 degrees.

Senator Butler. I would like to have down your statement in regard to the question I asked you a while ago. As to the expenditure of $100,000,000 to fortify and make a station of Pearl Harbor. Do you think that would be an extravagant estimate?

Mr. Moore. I think $100,000,000 would be very extravagant. I can not see where anything like that could be expended. In fact I think one-tenth that amount would be extravagant.


Lieutenant, U. S. Navy.


The Chairman. Were you connected with the U. S. S. Boston in January, 1893?

Mr. Hobbs. I was.

The Chairman. What was your office on that ship.

Mr. Hobbs. Paymaster.

The Chairman. You went with the ship on the little cruise down to Hilo and Lahaina?

Mr. Hobbs. Yes.

The Chairman. Were you acquainted with the islands before the ship left?

Mr. Hobbs. Yes; I was on the islands in 1874, when Kalakaua was first made King. I was on the Tuscarora, under command of Admiral Belknap; that is, he is now.

The Chairman. What stay did you make there in 1874?

Mr. Hobbs. I was there on that cruise on three different occasions.

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