790-791

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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp790-791 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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The Chairman. And that is the nearest point to Honolulu where coal can be obtained?

Mr. Jewell. I think so; yes.

The Chairman. What is the next nearest point?

Mr. Jewell. I do not know of any natural coal bed nearer than in Japan. I do not know any nearer place where they produce coal.

The Chairman. Have you ever used that Japan coal?

Mr. Jewell. Oh, yes; used it invariably out there on the station.

The Chairman. Is it a good coal?

Mr. Jewell. Very good coal.

The Chairman. Is it abundant?

Mr. Jewell. Quite so; yes.

The Chairman. Where do you take it on board ship?

Mr. Jewell. Anywhere; but Nagasaki was the port nearest the coal mines.

The Chairman. You can get it in sufficient quantities at any point to answer your purpose?

Mr. Jewell. Yes.

The Chairman. Now, the next nearest?

Mr. Jewell. There are coal mines on the Siberian (Kamchatkan) coast, or it may be in the northern island of the Japan group. There was a coal that I tried out there; I think an inferior coal, and not a very large supply. Of course, there are also Welsh coals, and others to be found in Hongkong.

The Chairman. In Souch America are there any coal mines, the product of which is good for steam navigation?

Mr. Jewell. I do not recall any at this time, until you get down in the Straits of Magellan.

The Chairman. How is that coal?

Mr. Jewell. It is a good deal like Nanaimo (Vancouver Island) coal.

The Chairman. Is it an inferior coal?

Mr. Jewell. Yes.

The Chairman. Hard to get out?

Mr. Jewell. Not too hard to get out; but it is not entirely carbonized. It is a lignite. It is very light, bulky, and burns up rapidly.

The Chairman. You have no knowledge of coals in South America north of the Straits of Magellan?

Mr. Jewell. No; I do not remember any coal mines.

The Chairman. Where do you get coal in Australia?

Mr. Jewell. I do not know.

The Chairman. Did you ever coal a ship at Sidney, Australia?

Mr. Jewell. No.

Senator Frye. They have coal mines there?

Mr. Jewell. Oh, yes.

The Chairman. Oh, yes. Suppose a fleet of war ships of a modern pattern, first-class war ships, were to sail from any European port, either through the Mediterranean or around the Cape of Good Hope, or around Cape Horn, for the purpose of attacking San Francisco—I will put that as the objective point—would they be able to bring from any European port coal enough to sustain them in their voyage to San Francisco and during a series of naval operations, which would include a siege, say often days, without the assistance of tenders?

Mr. Jewell. No; I think not.

The Chairman. They could not carry in their bunkers coal enough to include a naval operation of that much voyage and that much sea?

Mr. Jewell. No. There is a certain coal endurance which is assigned

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to these ships, certain number of miles, which is called the steaming radius of the vessel. I think, as a rule, that is exaggerated; at all events, a vessel would arrive on the ground empty. She would not have any coal left. I do not believe it would be possible for any vessel to arrive at San Francisco, under the circumstances which you have mentioned, without coaling in the meantime.

The Chairman. Then any foreign power that undertook to attack our Western coast and had possession of the Sandwich Islands, with a full supply of naval stores, wood, and coal at that point, would they have very much greater advantages than they would have in the absence of their occupation of that port?

Mr. Jewell. Oh, yes.

The Chairman. Now, reverse the matter. Suppose the United States were in possession of the Sandwich Islands and had the supplies that would naturally be placed in such a position as that, would not that greatly increase the power of the naval defense of the United States?

Mr. Jewell. I should say, decidedly, yes.

The Chairman. Then I take it that you would regard the possession of the Sandwich Islands, the occupation of the Sandwich Islands, or some place there, as being of great strategic advantage as against any foreign country, either Asiatic or European, upon our coast?

Mr. Jewell. I think it would; yes.

The Chairman. In a commercial sense what would be the advantage of the possession of the Sandwich Islands by the United States?

Mr. Jewell. It is immediately in the track of vessels bound from San Francisco to New Zealand and Australia and all the Southern Pacific islands; and it is not far from the direct track between San Francisco and Japan and China. In fact, the sailing route from San Francisco to Japan and China would be in the immediate neighborhood of the Sandwich Islands.

The Chairman. What advantage would that be to the commerce of the United States, or to the United States as a Government, to have these resting places there in the center of the Pacific Ocean?

Mr. Jewell. It would be an advantage to every steamship as a coaling point, and to other vessels for the purchase of supplies of various kinds, provisions, etc.

The Chairman. Is that very necessary or desirable in passing so vast an expanse of water as the Pacific Ocean?

Mr. Jewell. Very desirable, but, of course, not absolutely necessary— ships can carry them across. If it can be done, it is desirable that the supply should be obtained frequently.

The Chairman. If the Sandwich Islands were in possession of some great commercial nation, like the United States, capable of caring for them and securing neutrality and all the requirements of maritime law, navigation, etc., would such an occupation by the United States as I have indicated be of advantage to the commerce of the world?

Mr. Jewell. Of course, it is always desirable to have a stable government in such an important point in the trade route as the Sandwich Islands, and in that sense it would be, of course, an advantage to the commerce of the world.

The Chairman. It would be to the advantage of the commerce of the world that any stable and great power should have the occupation of those islands, rather than a weak and uncertain power.

Mr. Jewell. Yes.

The Chairman. Such as would be furnished by the native population of Hawaii?


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