916-917

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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp916-917 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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proposition that you were forbidden, as American minister, to preserve or protect the public peace?

Mr. Stevens. Not at all; but just the opposite, because the language of the dispatch is explicit on that point.

The Chairman. And it was for that reason you considered his disavowal comported with the purpose of raising the flag ?

Mr. Stevens. Precisely. Everything I had done was in accordance with his dispatch. President Dole was familiar with international law, as well as Mr. Foster and myself, and never thought of asking more than Secretary Foster's dispatch allows.

The Chairman. How long did you remain there after Mr. Blount arrived?

Mr. Stevens. I think he arrived the 28th of March, and I left the 24th of May.

The Chairman. Did Mr. Blount carry over with him the dispatch of Mr. Foster regarding the protectorate?

Mr. Stevens. No; Mr. Foster's dispatch came by telegram, and in due course of mail afterward.

The Chairman. So that Mr. Foster's dispatch, whatever it meant, had been received by you before Mr. Blount's arrival?

Mr. Stevens. Yes; I think thirty days before.

The Chairman. Did you think, from Mr. Foster's dispatch, that you should haul down the flag and order the troops to go on board ship?

Mr. Stevens. Not in the slightest.

The Chairman. Is there anything which you can state except what you have already stated, about the Japanese, and foreign interference— any turbulence or danger that would require you to keep that flag flying and keep the protectorate in authority?

Mr. Stevens. My judgment was for its retention until there was an order to the contrary. The same reason that caused me to raise it, in my mind, continued. I do not know of any other than those I have stated.

The Chairman. You have stated all the reasons that then induced you to put up the flag and all the reasons that induced you to maintain it and maintain the protectorate after you received Mr. Foster's dispatch?

Mr. Stevens. Yes; certainly. My documents explain why I would do that and not do otherwise when negotiations were pending.

The Chairman. In the course which you took in maintaining the protectorate and in maintaining the flag over Hawaiian soil, did you understand that you were violating in any sense any order of the United States Government given through the State Department?

Mr. Stevens. No. I stated in my dispatch the serious responsibility I was under; that there was a contingency I knew no other way to meet than the method in which I met it.

The Chairman. How long before you received that dispatch was it that Admiral Skerrett came?

Mr. Stevens. I can not recall.

The Chairman. But it was before you received that dispatch disavowing---

Mr. Stevens. I shall object to the term disavowal; I do not admit it was a disavowal.

The Chairman. I use the word disavowal.

Mr. Stevens. Admiral Skerrett might have arrived ten days or two weeks after. There might have been a day more or a day less, but

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it would not vary from several weeks between the arrival of Admiral Skerrett and the dispatch of Mr. Foster.

The Chairman. The flag was flying when Admiral Skerrett arrived.

Mr. Stevens. Yes.

The Chairman. Did Admiral Skerrett make any objection to it?

Mr. Stevens. Not the slightest.

The Chairman. Did he ever suggest to you that it was an improper attitude for the Government of the United States to maintain toward Hawaii?

Mr. Stevens. Not the slightest.

The Chairman. Or that he would refuse to maintain it with his troops on shore?

Mr. Stevens. Not the slightest.

The Chairman. Did you have conferences with Admiral Skerrett?

Mr. Stevens. Not on that specific point.

The Chairman. Were you in association with him?

Mr. Stevens. Yes; constantly.

The Chairman. Did you converse about Hawaiian affairs.

Mr. Stevens. I think after Admiral Skerrett had been there a certain length of time he said he would rather a portion of the troops would be on board ship. We conferred with the Provisional Government, and we reduced the number all around.

The Chairman. The number was reduced under Admiral Skerrett's suggestion and order, and with your assent?

Mr. Stevens. Yes.

The Chairman. Where was Capt. Wiltse?

Mr. Stevens. He had gone home. He remained thirty days after his time had expired.

The Chairman. He remained after the flag was raised?

Mr. Stevens. Yes.

The Chairman. But Admiral Skerrett reduced the force on shore?

Mr. Stevens. After conference with me and the Provisional Government. We thought it was safe to do it.

The Chairman. That was while the flag was up?

Mr. Stevens. Yes.

The Chairman. Did Admiral Skerrett undertake to interfere with the existence of the protectorate?

Mr. Stevens. Not in the slightest. This was a mutual friendly arrangement all around; what the state of the case required—the reduction of the force.

The Chairman. Did Admiral Skerrett ever state to you before the arrival of Mr. Blount that he thought it his duty as the admiral in command to withdraw his entire force from the shore and haul down that flag?

Mr. Stevens. No; he never even spoke to me that it was bad policy to have it up—nothing of the kind. I think he had a captain who was there a while. I heard of his making that remark. But it was only a matter of chitchat. He did not agree with and could not get along with the missionary people, and he wanted to go with another class of people. I can not recall his name at this moment.

Senator Gray. Was he on Admiral Skerrett's ship?

Mr. Stevens. He was sent shortly up to Bering Sea.

Senator Gray. You might mention his name.

Mr. Stevens. I can not recall it.

The Chairman. He had formed and expressed an opinion, as you


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