768-769

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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp768-769 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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Senator Dolph. Did you have any talk with the President when you called Sunday morning to pay your respects?

Mr. Blount. The Secretary of the Interior and I were in there to pay my respects. It was Sunday morning, and we did not stay long.

Senator Dolph. Did the Secretary of State or his private secretary read over the instructions'?

Mr. Blount. The private secretary, I think, read them.

Senator Dolph. Did the private secretary retire during your conversation with Mr. Gresham?

Mr. Blount. Oh, yes; he was not present at the conversation.

Senator Dolph. No one was present at your conversation with the Secretary of State about your duties in Hawaii ?

Mr. Blount. No.

Senator Dolph. You can not tell whether you were with him a half hour?

Mr. Blount. I do not recollect. The paper was read. That was the main thing—reading over that paper and looking at it. Very little was said.

The Chairman. I would like to ask a question on a matter some of you gentlemen may wish to interrogate Mr. Blount about. I find in a paper that has been printed by the House, Executive Document 13, which seems to be some additional correspondence not published before that time, at least in compliance with any request of the House or Senate, a telegram of Mr. Foster to Mr. Stevens. It is on page 31 of this document which I hold in my hand.

"Department of State,
"Washington, February 14, 1893.
"Your telegram of the 1st instant has been received, with coincident report from commander of the Boston. Press telegrams from San Francisco give full details of events of 1st instant, with text of your proclamation. The latter, in announcing assumption of protection of the Hawaiian Islands in the name of the United States, would seem to be tantamount to the assumption of a protectorate over those islands on behalf of the United States, with all the rights and obligations which the term implies. It is not thought, however, that the request of the Provisional Government for protection, or your action in compliance therewith, contemplated more than the cooperation of the moral and material forces of the United States to strengthen the authority of the Provisional Government, by according to it adequate protection for life and property during the negotiations instituted here, and without interfering with the execution of public affairs. Such cooperation was and is within your standing instructions and those of the naval commanders in Hawaiian waters.
"So far as your course accords to the de facto sovereign Government the material cooperation of the United States for the maintenance of good order and protection of life and property from apprehended disorders, it is commended; but so far as it may appear to overstep that limit by setting the authority of the United States above that of the Hawaiian Government in the capacity of protector, or to impair the independent sovereignty of that Government by substituting the flag and power of the United States, it is disavowed.
"Instructions will be sent to naval commanders, confirming and renewing those heretofore given them, under which they are authorized and directed to cooperate with yon in case of need. Your own instructions
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are likewise renewed and you are accordingly authorized to arrange with the commanding officer for the continued presence on shore of such marine force as may be practicable and requisite for the security of the lives and property interests of American citizens and the repression of lawlessness threatening them whenever in your judgment it shall be necessary so to do, or when such cooperation may be sought for good cause by the Government of the Hawaiian Islands, being, however, always careful to distinguish between these functions of voluntary or accorded protection and the assumption of a protectorate over the Government of the Hawaiian Islands, which the United States have recognized as sovereign and with which they treat on terms of sovereign equality.
"John W. Foster"

Senator Gray. That has been printed before.

The Chairman. That is addressed to Minister Stevens. I wish to inquire whether you had knowledge of the existence of this telegraphic dispatch before you went away?

Mr. Blount. I was going to say in response to the Senator that I expressed to the President the desire not to go off until I knew what was in the State Department in the way of information, and the Secretary of State had collected all the documents; they had all been sent to the Senate, and they were given to me in confidence. I took them and read them on the way from San Francisco to Honolulu, as much as I could with seasickness. I never looked at them in Washington.

The Chairman. The documents?

Mr. Blount. Yes.

The Chairman. Was the one I have just read amongst them?

Mr. Blount. Yes, given to me confidentially.

Senator Dolph. When you left for Hawaii you took your instructions?

Mr. Blount. Yes.

Senator Dolph. Which you considered private?

Mr. Blount. Yes.

Senator Dolph. And the communication to Admiral Skerrett which has been read ?

Mr. Blount. Yes.

Senator Dolph. And an official communication to the Provisional Government?

Mr. Blount. Yes.

Senator Dolph. And a letter to Minister Stevens?

Mr. Blount. Yes—no, I did not deliver the letter; the letter was sent to Minister Stevens.

Senator Dolph. You did not yourself carry him any communication?

Mr. Blount. No; I had a copy. Now, I believe I did hand that paper to Mr. Stevens on shipboard. I could not say positively about that.

Senator Dolph. It is immaterial.

Mr. Blount. Yes.

Senator Dolph. Now, under your instructions and the letter of the Secretary of the Navy to Admiral Skerrett, you were placed in supreme command of the naval forces in Hawaii, so far as any relation of our Government to the islands was concerned, were you not?

Mr. Blount. Well, that language might import more than I would be willing to admit. Without defining in general terms 1 felt from the instructions of the Secretary of the Navy to Admiral Skerrett that

S. Doc. 231, pt 6----19


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