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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp842-843 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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he would not occupy any different position there from what he would in the States; the Japanese are a restless, turbulent class of people; they are very tenacious of what they consider to be their rights; very prompt to take part in strikes. There is a plantation near Honolulu, at Ewa, where they seem to be constantly having trouble with their laborers. The Japanese would at a fancied slight quit work and come over to Honolulu. Another point was, the Japanese Government was very anxious that their citizens should have the right to vote. There was an impression, at least that Government contended that there was an agreement, when the first contract laws were passed, that their people should have the right to vote. Of course, the laborers come there under contract, I forget now the length of time, but it could not have been more than five years; I could not see how they should have the right to vote for five years. They were looked out for by the commissioners; their rights were protected by the Japanese commissioners; although contract laborers, they are in no sense slaves; they come there under a contract for a certain length of time, and the Japanese Government sees that the contract is kept in its entirety. And moreover, they have money kept for them until their time is up.

Senator Gray. They see that the contract is kept on their part aud on the part of the contractor, too?

Mr. Swinburne. Yes.

Senator Gray. Suppose the contract should be violated?

Mr. Swinburne. I am not sufficiently posted to give any details; but it seems to me that they say to the laborer that he is to keep his contract; that the contract should be kept so loug as both parties observe its terms.

The Chairman. I desire to get from you a further explanation upon the hypothesis of the facts which I read to you from Mr. Willis' report. Do you mean to say that in a community situated as that was, the evidence of official power is essential to the preservation of order, peace, and quiet?

Mr. Swinburne. I should say so.

The Chairman. It would not be safe to trust the city and people in the hands of these different factions, unless they were convinced that power, force, would be used to repress any mob violence?

Mr. Swinburne. I do not think it would be.

Senator Gray. You mean force outside of themselves?

Mr. Swinburne. Mr. Chairman, do you mean force outside of what the Government would have?

The Chairman. I mean force.

Mr. Swinburne. I do not think it would be possible.

The Chairman. In other words, there would have to be a force in Hawaii to keep these factions in check?

Mr. Swinburne. Yes.

The Chairman. Is not that a peculiar situation, and different from that in other countries? Do you know where such a condition of affairs exists or is likely to exist?

Mr. Swinburne. Well----

The Chairman. How is it in Panama?

Mr. Swinburne. Of course, in all the South American republics that I know of there is always a large standing army, and it is the army that controls politics.

The Chairman. Armies organized for the purpose of securing domestic peace and order rather than to protect against foreign enemies?

Mr. Swinburne. Yes; I think so.


The Chairman. That was really the function of the military organization in Hawaii?

Mr. Swinburne. Yes.

The Chairman. Had no reference to foreign war, offensive or defensive?

Mr. Swinburne. It could not do more than make an honorable stand against any foreign power whatever.

The Chairman. So that the military organization in Hawaii was simply intended for the preservation of the internal peace?

Mr. Swinburne. That is the way I understood it.

The Chairman. Now, was it for the purpose of assisting in that line of conduct, or was it for the purpose of making an assault upon any government or of participating in any political agitation or aiding any political party, that you went on shore with those troops in Honolulu?

Mr. Swinburne. My idea always has been, and was at the time, that we landed simply for the protection of American property and interests and lives; that in the event of an outbreak, any demonstration against the Queen, or any attempt to overthrow her power, there would be a good deal of lawlessness. That is a seaport town and is full of the ordinary irresponsible classes to be found in any seaport town; and at such a time as that, it would give the chance for lawless people, white or native, or whatever they might be, to plunder and fire property, probably do damage of any kind. That was my reason for desiring to be down near the wharf.

Senator Gray. And you were there, as I understand, under your orders to preserve order?

Mr. Swinburne. To preserve order, to protect the property and lives of Americans.

Senator Gray. And if a crowd of people, disorderly or otherwise, should have attempted to arrest or maltreat Mr. Damon, Mr. Dole, or Mr. Carter on that day, you would have protected them?

Mr. Swinburne. It would have depended upon what they were doing.

Senator Gray. Suppose they were walking up to the Government building, as they were doing that morning, and they were set upon, would you have protected them?

Mr. Swinburne. If they were going to the Government building?

Senator Gray. Yes.

Mr. Swinburne. I should think I would have been called upon to protect them.

Senator Gray. I think so.

Mr. Swinburne. They were entitled to the liberty of the streets, but if they were organized as a force----

Senator Gray. I say if they were going up to the Government building, as they were on that day, and were set upon?

Mr. Swinburne. And if I had been informed, as I was, that this party was going in to take the Government building?

Senator Gray. Would you have allowed them to be maltreated or set upon?

Mr. Swinburne. That is a difficult question to answer.

Senator Gray. I sympathize with you in it.

Mr. Swinburne. That would be difficult to answer.

Senator Gray. I think so.

Mr. Swinburne. I am satisfied that Mr. Carter knew exactly how I stood in the matter when he went into the building; that is, I let him

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