758-759

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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp758-759 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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The Chairman. Any disturbance in commercial affairs?

Mr. Blount. None that I could see.

The Chairman. Any depression in financial matters?

Mr. Blount. Yes, there seemed to be; but not so much as in the United States or in other parts of the world.

The Chairman. Was that due to the political situation, or attributable to their commerce?

Mr. Blount. One would think it was because of the political condition of affairs, and another that it was the general depression throughout the world.

The Chairman. Did you form any opinion while you were there of the financial situation in Hawaii, as to whether it had inspired confidence in it among the people—confidence in their banking institutions?

Mr. Blount. I could not say that I have formed an opinion worth stating. I do not think there was any trouble about their banking institutions or money.

The Chairman. This revolution does not seem to have interfered with the credit of the banks?

Mr. Blount. No.

The Chairman. What is the circulating medium in Honolulu?

Mr. Blount. They have some silver that was issued during Kalakaua's reign, and gold, and our Treasury notes.

The Chairman. Our Treasury notes?

Mr. Blount. Yes.

Senator Gray. Our paper money?

Mr. Blount. Yes.

Senator Gray. Is it as common there as it is here?

Mr. Blount. Just the same.

Senator Butler. Do you mean our money, or issues of the Hawaiian Government?

Mr. Blount. Our money.

The Chairman. Have they any paper issues of their own?

Mr. Blount. None that I ever saw.

The Chairman. Neither of the banks or of the Government?

Mr. Blount. No.

The Chairman. Did there seem to be a proper supply for the needs of the people?

Mr. Blount. I never heard any complaint.

The Chairman. The price of sugar was depressed while you were there?

Mr. Blount. An advance—there was a depression and rise, which was very inspiriting to the people. You spoke about a currency. There was no complaint. You will see that there had been in the Legislature some fellow who introduced a bill and got up an excitement on loaning money on real estate, just as you have seen here. But it did not take any form that indicated any stringency.

The Chairman. When you arrived in Hawaii, did you communicate your instructions to Mr. Stevens?

Mr. Blount. I did not.

The Chairman. Did you at any time before you left there?

Mr. Blount. I published the instructions.

The Chairman. Mr. Stevens did not have any official notice of them until they were published ?

Mr. Blount. No.

The Chairman. Did you confer with him when you directed Admiral Skerrett to remove the troops and haul down the flag?

-p759-

Mr. Blount. I did not. I did not confer with anybody except Admiral Skerrett.

The Chairman. Your orders appear here. I believe they were issued by you directly as a commissioner of the United States?

Mr. Blount. Yes.

The Chairman. And in virtue of this letter of authority to which you have already alluded?

Mr. Blount. Yes.

Senator Dolph. Is your letter of authority printed in the report?

The Chairman. Yes.

Mr. Blount. My impression is that an order was made by the Secretary of the Navy, I am pretty sure there was, directing Admiral Skerrett to obey my orders. I do not know that that is in the printed report.

Senator Gray. Mr. Stevens was notified?

Mr. Blount. No.

Senator Dolph. Do you understand that Mr. Stevens was notified of the purpose and objects of Mr. Blount's commission?

Senator Gray. I think so. Let us see.

The Chairman. I think so. Senator Sherman. Did you communicate to Mr. Stevens the nature of the authority under which you were acting?

Mr. Blount. Mr. Stevens was informed by the Government itself. He had a communication which I think you will find there. I had no communication with Mr. Stevens at all with reference to my authority; the Government had undertaken to do that. My instructions were secret and I never gave them to anybody.

Senator Gray. I find on page 3 of this publication, document No. 2, letter from Department of State dated "Washington, March 11, 1893," which says:

"Department of State,
"Washington, March 11, 1893.
"Sir: With a view to obtaining the fullest possible information in regard to the condition of affairs in the Hawaiian Islands the President has determined to send to Honolulu, as his Special Commissioner, the honorable James H. Blount, lately chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs.
"Mr. Blount bears credential letters in that capacity, addressed to the President of the executive and advisory councils of the Provisional Government, and you are requested to facilitate his presentation.
"In all matters pertaining to the existing or other Government of the islands the authority of Mr. Blount is paramount. As regards the conduct of the usual business of the legation, you are requested to continue until further notice in the performance of your official functions, so far as they may not be inconsistent with the special powers confided to Mr. Blount. You are also requested to aid him in the fulfillment of his important mission by furnishing any desired assistance and information, and the archives of the legation should be freely accessible to him.
"Mr. Blount is fully instructed touching his relations to the commanding officer of the United States naval force in Hawaiian waters.
"I am, etc.,
"W. Q. Gresham."

That is signed by Mr. Gresham.

Mr. Blount. I understood that the Government communicated to Mr. Stevens what it wanted him to know.


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