Last year on this date, January 17th, I posted an article on the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy. It remains the most viewed article on the umiverse. But the purpose of the overthrow was annexation, so this year I’m focusing on the secret debate of the US Senate over annexation – one of the least studied and, in my view, most fascinating primary sources in the history shared between the US and Hawaiʻi.
On May 31, 1898, the US Senate went into a closed session to discuss, among other things, the annexation of Hawaiʻi. The “overthrow” of January 17th, 1893 was, in many ways, a non-event and its reality depended entirely on the United States’ desire to follow through with annexation, which was the purpose of the overthrow. The discussion of a joint resolution, the Newlands Resolution, occured because a treaty of annexation had already been voted down. In these debates, sometimes between the lines, we find that the Senate was enabling the President to “act” on annexation – a fact that shows that what was occuring was occupation, rather than annexation. I referred to this debate in my presentation at TEDx Mānoa in October, 2012. Here I present the full transcript (itʻs long) of the secret session. My source is the Hawaiian Journal of Law and Politics, vol. 1, (2004):
SENATE SECRET DEBATE ON SEIZURE OF THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS
TUESDAY, May 31, 1898.
The VICE-PRESIDENT. The morning business appears to be closed.
Mr. ALLISON. I move that the Senate proceed to the consideration of
the revenue bill.
The VICE-PRESIDENT. The Senator from Iowa asks the Senate to
proceed to the consideration of House bill 10100, to provide ways and
means to meet war expenditures. Is there objection?
There being no objection, the Senate, as in Committee of the Whole,
resumed the consideration of the bill (H.R. 10100) to provide ways and
means to meet war expenditures.
Mr. LODGE. Mr. President, as I have no desire to speak behind closed
doors this morning, I shall not call up the amendment which I offered on
Friday last. I had intended to use the subject of that amendment merely
as an illustration of an argument which I desire to make. I shall dispense
with the illustration, if it is to condemn me to a secret legislative session,
and make the argument, which contains nothing, so far as I am aware,
that would require closed doors even under the narrowest construction of
My service in Congress, Mr. President, has not been very long, but I
have served now some eleven years in both branches of Congress, and in
that time I have been able to observe and understand, I think, the rule and
power of a minority.
In the Fifty-first Congress I had the honor to be a very obscure member
of the party which, under bold and admirable leadership, reformed the
House rules. The House of Representatives had then fallen into a
condition where it was unable practically to do business, and that reform
of the rules, one of the greatest reforms in our system of parliamentary
government that has been seen, principle that in this country the majority
ought to rule, and that an American House of Representatives which was
unable to do business, except at the will of a minority, was a travesty on
American Government: that is, the proposition was that a majority ought
to have a right to act upon any question they desired, whether favorable
or unfavorable. That reform, as I have said, was carried out. It made a
great stir and excitement at the time. After the storm had passed, the
wisdom of it was fully seen. It was approved by the courts and by the
But it seems, Mr. President, that systems are stronger than reforms and
than man. The new system contains the old principle. The minority has
been changed, but it is still the minority that rules. It is now a minority
selected by a majority at the start, instead of a fortuitous group, but the
principle of minority rule is unchanged. In this body, where there has
never been any change in the rules, it is also well known that unless
under exceptional circumstances, unless there is a great popular demand
or a very overwhelming majority, a determined minority can prevent
action on a given matter of legislation.
Mr. President, if we assume for a moment that there is a measure which
has been twice urged by the President in a message, that the
Administration is known to desire it, and a majority in both Houses
desire it also, and if under those circumstances we are unable to have a
vote upon that measure in either House, nothing remains to the members
of a helpless majority but to utter their protest. Even that privilege has
been taken away elsewhere. But here in the Senate it is still possible for
a member of the helpless majority to say at least what he thinks ought to
be done, and to call the attention of the country, so far as one feeble
voice may be able to do so, to the situation that exists. If such a situation
as I have described exists, then it is desirable that the country at this
period of war should know it. It is for this reason that I have taken the
Some senators were prompt to criticise me for the amendment I
introduced, apparently with the idea that I intended to block and to
obstruct the war-revenue bill now before the Senate. Mr. President, I
have never, to my knowledge, attempted to obstruct legislation in this
body. I have no intention of trying to obstruct this great bill now, either
by amendment or by speech, but I do think that the situation is such as to
deserve a few moments of discussion. I believe that we ought to pass not
only the war-revenue bill as a war measure, but every other war measure
that the Administration desires, every other measure which it regards as a
military necessity. I for one am not ready to vote to adjourn until all the
measures necessary for the prosecution of the war or thought necessary
by the Administration have been acted upon by Congress.
The President of the United States is charged with the great
responsibility of war. In his hands are the war powers of the
Constitution. If a helpless majority in the two Houses of Congress are
unable to give him in certain directions the legislation he needs, he can
employ the war powers. If he does employ them, he will be justified and
applauded by the entire country. But, Mr. President, such action will
elevate the executive power still higher in the public mind. It will lower
the legislative power in the public mind. This has been a deplorable
tendency of late years. It is one that I certainly do not desire to see
accentuated, and yet if Congress does not perform its whole duty, that is
the position in which it is likely to find itself, and it is to its own prestige
and its own standing that it will administer the blow.
The President is charged with the conduct of the war. The glory falls to
him of successful war and triumphant peace, and on him rests also the
heavy responsibility. If disaster comes, whether he be innocent or not of
the disaster, whether it is owing to his plans being mistaken or not, it is
on him it will fall, and therefore he has the right to ask of Congress the
prompt support of every measure which is his judgment and that of his
advisers is necessary to the conduct of the war, and until he receives
from Congress every aid he can fairly demand, Congress should not
adjourn. Until the Administration is ready to say, and does say, that the
President does not desire the further presence of Congress in session, it
seems to me it is our plain duty to stay here, in order to pass the
measures he may desire and give him all the assistance he needs. When
he has received all the measures he thinks the military necessity of the
times may demand, when he feels that there is no longer need of the
presence of Congress, he can signify it to us.
Mr. President, far more important to my mind than the amendment which
I have not been able to use as an illustration is the question of
adjournment. I for one, anxious as I personally am to leave Washington
and return to my home, will never give a vote for adjournment, and I am
against the policy that seeks to hasten an adjournment, until the President
has received every measure he asks and until in his judgment it is fitting
and proper that Congress should retire.
Mr. President, the existing conditions which have led me to make this
statement, which would have led me, could I have had the freedom to do
so, to discuss the amendment I offered Friday, I desire very briefly to
describe. At the end of April the President ordered the Asiatic squadron
to attack the Spanish fleet, to capture and destroy it.
Mr. TURPIE. I ask the honorable Senator from Massachusetts whether
he means to discuss the subject-matter of his amendment?
Mr. LODGE. I have already stated that I did not, and I have not alluded
to it. I do not think Admiral Dewey’s victory, about which I am about to
speak, is a subject for executive session.
Mr. TURPIE. No; but—
Mr. LODGE. I have not mentioned the Hawaiian Islands, and I do not
propose to do so, if that is what the Senator means.
Mr. TURPIE. That is what I mean. Under that construction of the—
Mr. LODGE. I stated at the beginning that I did not intend to allude to
the subject-matter of my amendment. I do not intend to discuss it, but I
propose to discuss the general aspect of the war, and that I think I have a
right to do.
Mr. WHITE. I desire to refer the distinguished Senator from
Massachusetts to the proposition that some time ago, when the general
subject-matter of the war was to be discussed, we were remanded to the
executive-session provision of the rules; and what is fair for one is fair
for another. There may be an omission of a name, and yet the whole
subject may be discussed. I am perfectly willing to discuss the Hawaiian
question in the open, and have tried to do so very often. Having been
denied that right, those of us who have certain views upon the topic will
insist that anything relating to that subject shall be discussed in secret
session, unless we are allowed throughout to debate the matter in the
open, a debate from which we have never in any way shrunk and which
has been forced into privacy by the vote of the Senate.
Mr. LODGE. I thought I explained when I began that I had desired to
use the subject-matter of my amendment as an illustration of the
argument I was about to make. I understood that if I did we would be
put into secret legislative session. The argument that I desired to make
seemed to me important. The Hawaiian matter I wanted to use simply as
an illustration. I do not propose to discuss the matter of Hawaiian
annexation. I do not propose to make any argument upon it. I propose
simply to discuss the existing military situation, not future events, but
past events, and where those past events have left us. I have not yet said
one word that has gone in the least diplomatic or international question.
I do not intend to do so if I can possibly avoid it.
The name of Hawaii would not have crossed my lips if Senators on the
other side had not asked the questions. I did not intend to allude to the
islands. The subject of Admiral Dewey’s victory and the necessity of
supporting him are open questions. That is the past. He is in Manila.
That is a fair subject for public discussion, and that is all I had started to
speak of. I do not know why Senators start in alarm when I mentioned
the Asiatic squadron. That is far remote from Hawaii.
Mr. WHITE. I wish to correct the Senator from Massachusetts if he
thinks that I started in alarm at anything he said today or may say at any
Mr. LODGE. I am glad the Senator is so full of courage.
Mr. WHITE. It would not require very much courage to make that
Mr. LODGE. No; I think not. The Senator, I am sorry to see, seems
annoyed, but I did not intend to be annoying.
I was beginning to speak of the Asiatic Squadron. At the end of April
that squadron was sent with orders to capture and destroy the Spanish
fleet. How that order was obeyed the world knows. Admiral Dewey
descended on Manila and swept the Spanish fleet out of existence. As
brilliant in conception as Aboukir and even more complete in its
execution and results, that victory is one of the greatest naval actions of
the century. We have to go back as far as Trafalgar to find one equally
perfect in execution, more vast in its results. There he was sent by the
orders of the President to make this attack; a wise attack, Mr. President,
for it is not alone necessary in war to defend; it is also necessary, if we
would have peace, to attack. The attack on Spain’s most valuable
possession was the quickest road to a victorious peace. There, then, was
the American admiral, with his victorious fleet, and Manila helpless
under his guns. It is all-important to support him.
If, Mr. President, anything should befall Admiral Dewey, if any adverse
fortune should come to him and to his fleet after their great victory, the
American people would never forgive the Administration or the
Congress under whom it happened. They would feel as the English
people felt after the death of Gordon because no relief came to him at
Khartoum. The President of the United States has sent a war ship, the
Charleston, to Manila. He has sent 2,500 men. Seven thousand more
are even now getting ready. They will go in a few days. They will be
followed by the great armored ship, the Monterey. One of the best of
American generals has been appointed to command. All these things are
wise, prudent, and pave the way to peace, triumphant peace, for the
However, Mr. President, I may stand alone in my conception, but I
believe, and I have believed from the beginning, that Admiral Dewey
and his fleet were in a real and especial danger despite the distance from
Spain, and that the President was wholly justified in his strong and
admirable policy of supporting him.
Mr. TURPIE. Mr. President, I have listened to these remarks for some
time, if the honorable Senator will allow me, and I do not think they are
such remarks as ought to be made public. I move that the Senate proceed
to the consideration of this subject in secret legislative session.
The VICE-PRESIDENT. Is the motion seconded?
Mr. COCKRELL. I second the motion.
The Vice-PRESIDENT. According to Rule XXXV, the Chair is obliged
to direct that the galleries be cleared and the doors closed.
The Senate thereupon proceeded to deliberate with closed doors.
At the expiration of five minutes, the Reporter was recalled.
Mr. GRAY. Mr. President—
Mr. LODGE. Before the Senator from Delaware proceeds, the little
statement I made was not taken down.
Mr. GRAY. Make it again.
Mr. LODGE. I will make it over again if it is desired. It was simply to
the effect that I had not intended to discuss anything that could by any
stretch of the imagination be supposed to be the subject of secret
legislative session; that I was engaged in explaining why I had felt that it
was so important to give every support to Admiral Dewey; that the
reason why I felt so was because there was a great and powerful interest
in Europe directly interested in having Manila wrested from him and his
fleet destroyed; that that was the great interest of the Spanish bonds and
the Spanish loan, chiefly held by the bankers of Paris, and that though
they would advance money to Spain for no other purpose they would
advance money to Spain for that purpose. That was the reason it seemed
to me why he needed special support. That was the extent of my
argument, except that I was going to add I thought the Administration
was doing everything in its power to support him.
Mr. GRAY. Mr. President, the propriety of the rule which the Chair has
just administered in closing the doors in order that we might consider
whether the discussion which the Senator from Massachusetts was
indulging in ought to be made in public or with closed doors was never
more apparent, it seems to me, than it is today. That rule has been there
time out of mind no doubt, but I do not think that any of us who are
members of the Senate now, unless perhaps the senior Senator from
Vermont (Mr. MORRILL), has ever sat in this body to perform the high
function of a Senator while war was flagrant. If there is a time it seems
to me it is now when there should be the greatest care in discretion by
men in public place, men who occupy seats in this body or the other,
when discretion should be had with caution and should be indulged in
with that circumspection which will prevent its ever being used by the
common enemy of the country, giving aid and comfort, no matter how
small, to those who are seeking to thwart the policy of the United States
or inflict injury upon it.
Of course it is impossible to anticipate just where the remarks of any
Senator, and of the Senator from Massachusetts in this case, would lead;
but certainly at the time when the Senator from Indiana interrupted him
he was discussing a most interesting phase of the war. He was indulging
in a discussion which I should be very glad to hear. He was speaking of
matters of the utmost importance, of matters which we should all
consider, and which should be addressed to our judgment in molding and
deciding upon our conduct. But nevertheless they were matters that
concern the policy of the Government in carrying on the war.
He was discussing the weakness or the strength of the U.S. in regard to
one great theatre of war, the Asiatic waters, and as I understood the
Senator from Mass. he was pointing out certain reasons why the U.S.
were weak in their present position, or at least needed strengthening by
some policy not yet fully developed by the Senator. In that case it seems
to me that so far as I could judge the trend of his remarks they ought to
be pursued, and certainly no harm can come from their being pursued, in
the secrecy of this legislative session.
Mr. LODGE. The Senator will pardon me. He very naturally
misunderstood me, because of course I had not an opportunity to say
what I was going to say, having been cut off in this way. I was not going
to say that we were to disclose any weakness there—not at all. I was
simply going to exhibit reasons why in my mind justify the vigorous
measures of the administration in the support they were giving to
Admiral Dewey, that was all.
Mr. GRAY. I think reasons pro or con for any military policy are much
more safely discussed behind closed doors than in public.
Mr. LODGE. These are not military reasons, I will say to the Senator,
they are purely political reasons.
Mr. GRAY. I do not understand the difference between political and
military reasons while war is flagrant. They all tend in the same
direction. Of course the Senator from Mass. is a patriotic Senator, we all
know that, and what he is seeking to do, if it be to point out to the
administration and to those who are vested with authority here certain
phases of the contest that deserve consideration, certainly it is important
for us to hear him, but it is not important that it should be addressed to
the ears of the enemy; and we had better take the chances of sitting
behind closed doors, even if the Senator does not seem to agree with me
that it is so important, than to run the risk of engaging in a discussion the
propriety of which is doubtful.
Mr. LODGE. Mr. President, I have no intention, I had not the least
intention of saying anything that could give the slightest information to
the enemy, because I do not know anything that would give them any
information. I was referring to nothing that was not matter of public
notoriety in the newspapers, and far from making suggestions to the
Administration, I think their policy in regard to the manner in which they
are supporting Admiral Dewey is wholly admirable. Far from making
suggestions, I am well aware they can carry it out a great deal better than
I can or than any suggestion I could make. The point of my argument
has already been made and is in public print now. I was simply
endeavoring to back it up by what I thought was a description of the
Mr. HALE. Mr. President, it seems to me the whole situation is in a
nutshell. The Committee on Finance has reported a revenue measure to
endow the President and the Administration with the power to conduct
the war. But the bill is entirely in the line of taxation. I think it is a
matter of congratulation that the deliberations of the committee have
comprehended consultations of both parties upon the committee. It has
been felt that a patriotic duty rested upon us, Democrats and Republicans
alike. Unlike previous revenue bills where the party in power has
matured a bill and then reported its consideration to the other side and
where the bill has been put through by party pressure on each side, here
everybody on the committee, as I understand, has been consulted, has
been present at every meeting, and has contributed to the final result.
That there are differences has been shown from the beginning, but the
differences have been frankly stated to the Senate, and votes have been
taken and will be taken that will decide which policy shall settle the
result in raising revenue.
Mr. President, up to a very short time ago there was a manifestation of
restraint and of carefulness and prudence in not obtruding anything
except the actual fines raised by the bill. What should be taxed and how
much, whether a tax should be imposed upon corporations and to what
extent, how much if any legacy and succession tax should be imposed,
whether revenue should be raised by the seigniorage coined, or by a loan,
or by greenbacks—all of those things pertain to the essential quality of
the bill, a revenue raising measure; and we have proceeded in a calm and
deliberate way, with the opportunity for debate upon both sides, not
obtruding upon the bill any thing that raised a question as to the conduct
of the war. It has been to me a manifestation greatly to the credit of the
Senate that we have proceeded in this way, and never until the Senator
from Massachusetts (Mr. LODGE), perhaps the Senator from Alabama
(Mr. MORGAN) brought upon this bill the attempted discussion of
matters outside of the distinctive purpose of the bill has anything else
been brought before us.
It does not seem to me that it is a question what the Senator from
Massachusetts was going to say about Admiral Dewey, whether he was
to censure the Administration or not. It may seem essential to him, but it
does not seem essential to me.
Mr. LODGE. Why does the Senator say that I was going to censure the
Administration when just a moment ago I said I thought the conduct of
the Administration in the whole business was admirable?
Mr. HALE. The Senator said that, but I do not think upon this bill it is
an essential question that the Senator from Massachusetts should discuss
the war question and should praise or censure the Administration. We
ought to proceed and discuss the bill and the matters pertaining to it that
clearly, in the eye of everybody, are open matters before the Senate and
Surely, Mr. President, to-day when war is not simply threatened but is
upon us, it would seem as if it would appeal to every Senator that any
discussion of our resources or of our dangers or of rocks ahead upon
Admiral Dewey, or Admiral Sampson, or Commodore Schley or any of
the naval forces or the land forces should be either left silent and
untouched to the discretion of the Administration, or if we would wish to
confer and consult and discuss upon those matters we should then in this
time of war do it in secret session.
So I do not think that the answer of the Senator from Massachusetts that
he was only going on with reference to Admiral Dewey in a guarded way
is any answer to the proposition that we should go on, if at all, in secret
session. When he or any Senator departs from the purposes of the bill as
brought to us by the committee, opening up absolute and complete
discussion, no matter what it is, with reference to the war, we should
either let it alone or go into secret session and discuss it there and
determine what we should do.
It is an infirmity of this Govt., Mr. President, absolutely without avail
and without remedy, that we have not the power of conducting war by
any constituted tribunal that can proceed with that safety and security
which secrecy requires and insures. The last place in which to discuss
what shall be done about war, which goes on the wing of the lightning to
every part of the globe, is the Senate.
I hope that now and hereafter when this body does as it has a right to do,
confers and considers and discusses for we are a co-ordinate branch of
the Govt., any measures in relation to a war that is upon us we shall
come in here and sit as a board of directors do upon corporation interests,
and in the secrecy of the session that the laws and the Constitution
guarantee to use consider the grave subjects of war.
Mr. STEWART. Mr. President, I am not able to comprehend any
possible secrets involved in the discussion of the annexation of the
Sandwich Islands. It is a question that has been discussed by the
American people for the last fifty years. There is no new question
connected with it which is not directly or indirectly connected with the
pending revenue bill. If we are to retain the Philippine Islands, to send a
large army there, we must have money for that purpose. “I supposed that
we were providing means for sending our forces to the Philippine
Islands, that that is a part of the revenue to be raised by this bill, and that
the extent of the appropriation will depend very largely upon the
purposes of the Govt. with regard to the occupation of those islands.”
Mr. WHITE. Will my friend permit me to ask him a question?
Mr. STEWART. Certainly.
Mr. WHITE. The Senator will no doubt recollect that some time ago the
Senator from South Dakota [Mr. PETTIGREW] had before the Senate a
resolution which he wished to discuss regarding annexation and several
members of the Senate, including myself, spoke in favor of having an
open discussion on both sides, everybody participating. Yet it was voted
down, and if my memory serves me right my friend from Nevada voted
in favor of going into executive session upon that proposition. Whether I
am mistaken in that or not, he certainly will agree with me that we
should have an exparte discussion of it in public, but that if it is to be
discussed at all in public it ought to be with reference to all parties
interested and all phases of the question.
Mr. STEWART. Most undoubtedly, but that was a question of ratifying
a treaty, and whether I voted that way or not, I do not remember.
Mr. WHITE. You voted that way.
Mr. STEWART. I did not see any particular reason for changing the rule
in regard to that.
Mr. WHITE. And the Senator voted the same way on the resolution
submitted by the Senator from South Dakota (Mr. PETTIGREW).
Mr. STEWART. This is a question which is entirely germane; it is a
question of the appropriation and occupation of the Philippine Islands. It
will take very largely more money if the purpose of the Administration is
carried out as indicated by the President’s order already made, and
preparations are made to occupy those islands. It has become now a
military necessity and the Administration so regards it and believes that
those islands should be occupied.
There is nothing in the question of a secret character. The world knows
as well as we do how the Hawaiian Islands are situated; they understand
that it is necessary to have a coaling and resting place between the
United States and the Philippine Islands. There is no coaling station
there at all. We have, however, a contract for a coaling station, but we
do not know that we shall be able to get into it. Pearl Harbor cannot be
entered with ships, and there is no place for us to enter and coal without
further action. It would require an appropriation, which we shall never
be able to obtain, to dredge out the mouth of Pearl Harbor so as to get
entrance by ships. There is absolutely no landing place there. Either we
must have the Sandwich Islands or the Administration must recall
It would be preposterous; it would be monstrous to keep him there, and
allow effective communication with him to be cut off. The question is
now involved whether we shall sustain him at the Philippine Islands, or
whether he shall be recalled and the expedition abandoned, or shall we
hold the islands?
It is stated in the public press that we may be under the military necessity
of taking the Hawaiian Islands. That will be placing the Administration
in a very embarrassing situation. If neither House of Congress will take
permanent action and it becomes a military necessity for the President to
act without the sanction of Congress, it will be the gravest subject which
has been presented in this Congress for a long time. It would be
humiliating indeed, pending this war, to be compelled to call back
Admiral Dewey; and the world would laugh at us if we should pursue
such a course. I say we should not give up those islands if the people
will not tolerate giving them up at this time. Whatever may be the
disposition after the war, whatever action we may come to take, the
American people would not now consent, nor would any of us consent to
the giving up of the Philippine Islands until the war is closed.
Mr. WOLCOTT. I rise to a parliamentary inquiry.
The VICE-PRESIDENT. The Senator from Colorado will state his
Mr. WOLCOTT. As I understand the rules of the Senate, what is now
under discussion is the motion to continue in secret legislative session,
and the question is, whether or not we shall continue in secret legislative
session, or whether we shall go into open session? I ask if I am correctly
Mr. CULLOM. Before the answer is made, I wish to ask if the Senator
from Mass. did not close his remarks when the secret legislative session
Mr. STEWART. I only yielded the floor for a parliamentary inquiry.
Mr. CULLOM. I only asked a question for information.
Mr. STEWART. I did not yield the floor for a discussion.
Mr. CULLOM. I understand that I am not discussing the question.
The VICE-PRESIDENT. The Chair understands the question is, Shall
the discussion begun by the Senator from Mass. be proceeded with
behind closed doors?
Mr. STEWART. I apprehend that my remarks are relevant to that
motion. I am trying to make them relevant. I was showing that the
question was connected with the preparations to take possession of the
Philippines. Are we to quit now? If so, it will not cost so much money.
The operations which are to be conducted on the Pacific Coast will have
very much to do with the amount of money necessary to be raised. It
seems to me that it is not only germane, but it is a necessary part of this
bill to know the probable amount of money we shall require; and as the
Senator from Mass. has raised a proposition which goes to the very
essence of this revenue bill, I hope he may be able to talk in public,
because it cannot possibly injure the cause of the Government of the
United States, for I suppose there is hardly anybody in any part of the
world who does not know that the Hawaiian Islands would be a
convenient place for us to stop on our way to the Philippine Islands to
recoal, recruit, and resupply ourselves. I hardly think there is any body
ignorant enough to know that. If so, they are people too trifling to be
affected by the information, and they are of such a character that they
could not avail themselves of the information when given them if they do
not know it now. Consequently I hope there may be an open session.
Mr. WOLCOTT. I should like to ask the Senator, in whose remarks I
was very much interested, wherein would there be any disadvantage in
discussing this question behind closed doors if it is a question that
pertains to the wisdom or unwisdom of passing this bill? Inasmuch as
those who are to pass upon it are not shut out, but shut in, and we are in
here who are going to vote upon the question, where is the disadvantage
of discussing it behind closed doors?
Mr. STEWART. I am very glad to answer that question, because I think
that as we move on under present conditions, we are moved on a good
deal by the pulse of the people. They are our mentors, they are the force
behind us; and we are moving on with them, and consulting them. I
think wherever we can do so, we should take them into our confidence.
When we do so, it makes them feel stronger and better, and we are more
likely to succeed. I should like to have the American people taken into
our confidence with regard to this movement on the Pacific. If they are
opposed to our taking possession of the islands and sending troops to
there, we shall hear from them very soon. If they are in favor of it, there
will be expressions of opinion in that way.
I should like to have the speech of the Senator from Mass. made in
public, so that the American people can read it and we will then
understand how they view it, for everybody knows more than anybody.
Mr. HALE. Does the Senator think it would be a sensible thing for the
President and his advisers to take the public into their confidence about
every movement they may see fit to make? Does he think that would be
Mr. STEWART. There are some movements which should be kept
secret, but this is not one of that kind.
Mr. CHANDLER. Will the Senator yield to me?
Mr. STEWART. Certainly; I am done.
Mr. CHANDLER. I should like to ask the Senator a question, if he is
done. I ask the Senator whether there may not be some information as
well as facts and movements which it would not be advisable to make
public? For illustration, suppose one Senator advocates the taking and
retaining permanent possession of the Philippine Islands—as I should
judge the Senator from Mass. (Mr. Lodge) would, for his remarks seem
to lead up somewhere in that direction—then suppose some other
Senator very much opposed to the annexation of the Philippine Islands
should get up and ventilate his views to the contrary would it not be, on
the whole, injurious to the country and to our prosecution of the war to
have that kind of open debate take place?
Mr. HALE. Whatever the result might be.
Mr. CHANDLER. Yes.
Mr. MORGAN. Mr. President, as I understand the situation, though I
was not in the Chamber at the time the Senator from Mass. (Mr.
LODGE) was arrested in his remarks, he was discussing the whole tax
bill, and in the course of his remarks he made some observations upon
some topic that the Senator from Indiana (Mr. TURPIE) thought were
improper to be made in public, and thereupon a motion was made and
seconded, which, under our rules, carried us into secret legislative
Now, upon what proposition are we in secret legislative session? Is it
upon the whole bill or is it upon the remarks of the Senator from Mass.?
If the Senator from Mass. was proceeding out of order, he ought to have
taken his seat when a suggestion of that kind was made. If he was
proceeding upon a topic, or in the course of his remarks used
observations which were calculated to prejudice the general welfare of
the United States, then the Senator from Indiana had the right to move to
go into secret legislative session.
The Senator from Mass. has said here in this session that he had already
stated to the public what he desired to say. I want to know whether, if
the vote is taken upon the proposition that is now before the Senate, we
are in secret session upon the entire bill, or whether we are in secret
session upon the remarks of the Senator from Mass.?
Mr. HALE. On the remarks of the Senator from Mass. undoubtedly.
Mr. MORGAN. Very good. The Senator from Mass. left the floor but I
do not know whether he intends to resume it or not. He has gotten into
the Record all the remarks that he says he desired to make upon a
particular subject that was under discussion at the moment, and, of
course, we have nothing to do but to go back into open legislative
session. We cannot, unless we intend to debate all of this bill in secret
legislative session, now remains longer in secret legislative session upon
any proposition that is before the Senate.
Mr. President, I wish to say that nothing would suit me so well, nor do I
believe anything would be more beneficial to this country, than for this
Senate to discuss all of this bill in secret legislative session.
I do not like the spirit which prompted the motion, not from the Senator
from Ind., but the spirit which has been referred to, which, in connection
with the subject referred to by the Senator from Colo., seemed to
anticipate that the question of the annexation of Hawaii was to be
brought under debate, and yet nothing has been said on that subject, or
intimated on the floor of the Senate, but the Committee on Finance have
met and have determined upon the amendment which the Senator from
Mass. the other day had printed and upon the amendment which I had
printed, that whenever those amendments, or subjects germane to those
amendments, come under discussion, we should go into secret legislative
If there is any thing connected with the public welfare which prevents the
discussion of those questions, which have already been discussed ad
nauseam in public through the newspapers and everywhere else, then, of
course, we ought to go into secret legislative session, but if this is a
filibuster against the passage of a resolution or amendment of
annexation, then, Mr. President, it is not worthy of the occasion. If the
purpose is here by the committee to choke a man down in his freedom of
speech because in his opinion it is germane and proper that he should
speak of the situation of the Hawaiian Islands with reference to the war,
with reference to this bill of taxation, with reference to the future that
may come out of this, then, of course, close the doors, but do not
reproach a Senator who, in good faith and in perfect honesty and
sincerity of purpose, wants to bring to the attention of his colleagues
those facts in the case and those provisions of law which, many of them
decided by the Supreme Court of the U.S., appear to have been entirely
ignored by this learned Committee on Finance—do not reproach a
Senator for doing that.
This plan was made up in advance that the Senator from Mass. and
myself should be choked down by a proceeding of this kind whenever we
dared to mention anything in connection with Hawaii or that could by the
remotest inference be brought into that category.
I am here delighted, Mr. President, with the opportunity now, if I am
permitted to do so, of entering into the discussion not of the propriety of
the annexation of Hawaii as a measure of national policy, but of entering
into the discussion as to the necessity of annexing Hawaii or taking it
under military control while the war is going on.
The Senator from Mass. proposed the broad proposition, which has been
reported by the Committee on Foreign Relations here, to annex Hawaii,
the same proposition that is now pending in the House of
Representatives. The amendment which I proposed did not mention
Hawaii, nor did it mention any other island or place in the world. It
merely provided for what should be the powers of the President of the
United States in the conduct of this war when he was in countries that are
extra-territorial, and a more important question cannot possibly arise for
this Senate to determine than that, nor is there any question more
intimately connected with the purview and purpose of the bill of taxation
that is now pending before this body.
I do not intend at this moment of time to discuss the amendment which I
have had the honor to offer here, or the purport of it or the subject of it,
but at the proper time I will discuss it. I should very much prefer to have
the opportunity of discussing that question in secret session with a
reporter here to take down my remarks, and for the Senate afterwards to
determine whether they shall be printed or not. I should very much
prefer that personally. But while I prefer that, Mr. President, I have not
lost my respect for my own liberty of speech, and I do not think that I am
in any sense disposed to allow the committee to pass upon me before I
utter any remark, and to say that when I get up in the Senate the doors
shall be closed upon me. That is a reproach that I am not amenable to;
that is a liberty that no committee can take with me without an effort on
my part at least to defend myself and to protest against what I conceive
to be a wrong.
I am as considerate about the welfare of this country as any gentleman on
that committee, I am as urgent in favor of the passage of the bill to
provide for revenue for conducting this war as any gentleman on that
committee. I will take far less time than any of them in the discussion of
the bill, and yet I conceive that my rights are quite equal to any of them
on this floor. I may not have the wisdom to give good advice to the
Senate, but I have a conscience which responds, sir, to my convictions,
and a tongue that is not afraid to utter them in any place.
I regard this movement as being extremely unfortunate. Suppose these
doors remain closed, and we take up the whole subject of the annexation
of Hawaii, if you please, the subject of the disposition that is to be made
of the Island of Cuba, when we have occupied it, and of the Philippines
and Puerto Rico—suppose we take up these questions here in this secret
session, how much time will be saved in the passage of this bill? Why,
sir, if the doors were to remain open a sense of duty and propriety on the
part of any Senator in discussing this bill would admonish him that he
ought not to touch upon any feature of this question that is not germane
to the bill, or that he does not believe is germane to it. Does one who
desires the annexation of Hawaii as a war measure—one to which your
President is bound to resort with the consent of Congress or without it—
does one who proposes that, in the handling of it before the Senate, in the
discussion of it here, put himself in a position of antagonism to the
committee or of antagonism to the bill, or of antagonism to the war? By
no means, sir. Those men are the friends of the Government of the
United States who cast their eyes a little to the front, who forget the
elections in November, and legislate for the good of this country without
reference to who shall be returned to Congress at that time.
But, sir, this bill before us today—while I would not say that of it in open
session perhaps—is web and woof a political bill. It is nothing else but a
political bill. The parties are divided politically on almost every feature
of it; and the discussion, so far as it has gone now, has been a political
discussion. The silver question has been handled at large by everybody
who is concerned in the debate—I have had nothing to do with it–; the
income tax has been discussed freely and fully; and the powers of
income taxation have been discussed; the duty of corporations to pay
some part of the expenses in the conducting of this war for the support of
the Government has been very largely and intricately discussed; and in
the discussion and in the votes this Senate has divided itself upon party
lines. This is a party bill, and intended for politics, and not for the good
of the country. I am sorry to say it, sir, but it is true. I am saying it to
my colleagues in the Senate, not to the world unless the distinguished
reporter of the Senate happens to be present and gives my remarks out to
the world, which I presume will be done, not with my consent though,
but with my reprobation and utter disgust, for the man who will leave
this Chamber and go out and make a report of the language used by a
Senator in this secret legislative session is a scoundrel, to begin with,
because he is a man in whom you cannot repose any trust; and he is
bound to be.
Here we are with a speech broken in the middle, and the question before
the Senate is whether these doors shall remain closed or whether they
shall be opened; and having signified my desire or my preference that
they shall remain closed, I insist that they shall be closed on the whole
bill. If we are in earnest here about refusing to discuss questions which
might affect the situation of this country in a war with Spain, this bill
touches it at every feature. You cannot discuss one feature of this bill in
the open that is not directly connected with the subject of the conduct of
the war with Spain—not one.
Now that we have got the doors closed on it, let us stay here and dispose
of this bill. I shall vote to keep these doors closed if the question is
settled, as I think it is bound to be, that is to say, that the bill shall be
considered in secret session—not the remarks of the Senator from
Massachusetts, for he has left the floor, and has not persisted in a
discussion of the question he had in his mind and on his tongue at the
time the doors were closed on him. Let us discuss the whole bill here
now in secret session. We shall get through with it quicker, we shall
have freedom of speech, and Senators will have an opportunity of
expressing themselves upon any feature of this whole subject. There will
not be half the delay there would be if we had an open discussion about
Hawaii or any other thing connected with this subject.
I call for a distinct statement of the question before the Senate, whether
or not we shall remain in secret session to discuss the bill, or whether
there is some other topic before us that we have got to discuss in secret
Mr. MORRILL. Mr. President., in relation to the point suggested by the
Senator from Ala. (Mr. MORGAN), I wish to say that, so far as I know
anything about it, there has been no vote in the Committee on Finance in
relation to the matter.
Mr. MORGAN. If the Senator will allow me a second, the honorable
Senator from Iowa (Mr. ALLISON) told me he was instructed by the
committee to move to close the doors both upon the Senator from Mass.
(Mr. LODGE) and myself whenever we came to discuss our respective
Mr. MORRILL. Various topics were discussed by the committee, but no
action was had in my presence.
Mr. President, it is obvious that the United States cannot have a war
without it being a great war, and if it is to be conducted with success, it
must be conducted by the Executive Department. It cannot be conducted
by a town meeting, nor can it be conducted by a committee of safety. I
regret to have seen some intimation which looked as though we might
ere long appoint a committee on the conduct of war.
Mr. President., of course we all have our difference of opinion to what
ought to be done or what should be done with countries we may conquer.
Some of us would be averse to ever retaining any of these dependencies
of foreign islands; and yet, I take it, there is none of us who would be
averse to retaining them as a pledge for such a sum of money as we may
demand from Spain whenever we close the war. I certainly would not be
willing to surrender anything we conquer unless we should get
something in the recompense for our losses and for the expenses of this
In relation to the matter submitted by the Senator from Nev. (Mr.
STEWART) about Hawaii, I will say that we now have Pearl Harbor. To
be sure we cannot enter it with ships drawing any considerable amount of
water, but we can approach it and land any amount of coal, and take that
coal and put it on board any of our ships, only it will require a little more
labor, and we can do that without any further treaty with Hawaii or
without any apprehension of interference on the part of foreign
I had hoped, Mr. President, that we should get through with this bill
without running into a political debate. I want very much a debate in
open session in order that I many put on record some of my views in
relation to the annexation of Hawaii. The Senator from Ala. has already
placed his views before us in various reports, and we know how able and
how well put they are; but there has not been any speech by any Senator
opposed to the annexation of Hawaii which has ever been put upon
record; and my impression is that our people before any action is taken
should hear both sides of that question.
I hope we shall continue the discussion of the revenue measure in open
session. I do not think this measure has been considered as a political
question at all. My impression is—while, of course men have party
views, and they believe their own views are right and those of others are
wrong—when we have met together there has been a give and take about
the matter. So I think the members of the Senate never have been in
better mood than they are now in relation to doing exactly what is right
and what will best promote the success of our arms during the conflict
which is before us. I do not know anything about what the Senator from
Mass. (Mr. LODGE) has said; and therefore I say nothing regarding his
remarks; but I hope that we shall return to open session and make some
progress as desired by the committee in charge of the bill.
Mr. PETTIGREW. Mr. President, some months ago I introduced a
resolution, not with regard to the annexation of Hawaii, but a resolution
with regard to the policy of this Government in acquiring distant country,
which would require a navy to defend it, and the Senate decided that that
subject should be discussed in secret session.
I feel as I felt then, that the decision was wrong, and I think now that if
this question should be discussed at all, it should be discussed in open
session. For my part, I would rather discuss it in open session. I do not
shrink from the debate in open session upon the policy of the
Government in respect of acquiring distant colonies, as I believe the
American people should be taken into our confidence before any decisive
act is done in this direction.
I am willing to discuss the question even of the war—necessity of
Hawaii in open session, and I calculate we would have much the best of
the argument, for Hawaii is not on the line of the Philippine Islands and
no ship goes there unless it sails out of its way to go there. We own the
harbor of Unalaska and the island of Kista, both on the track of
commerce on the road to the Philippine Islands and by a route at least
500 miles shorter than the route by Honolulu. Yet no one clamors that
we shall place coal at these points where there are harbors to
accommodate every ship in our navy. No one insists that we shall fortify
them as a war measure in order to protect our recent possessions in the
Philippines. However, there is a clamor for islands not on the route, 500
miles out of the way which we do not own, and it is said that we must
take possession of them as a war measure. I am willing to discuss this
question before the American people, for these statements cannot be
again said or disputed. The world is a globe and not a plain surface, and
therefore the straight line from our port, either at Puget Sound or San
Francisco, to Manila does not come within thousands of miles or more
than a thousand miles of Honolulu, but does come within 200 miles of
Unalaska. I therefore hope the discussion will be continued in open
session, so that these questions may be laid before the American people.
Not only the American people it seems need to study geography on the
subject but the Senate itself, judging from the remarks made in regard to
the war necessity of acquiring Hawaii.
Mr. CULLOM. Would not the Senator be willing to consider those
questions on a separate measure?
Mr. PETTIGREW. I did not bring this debate here. I introduced an
amendment to abrogate the Hawaiian treaty after the amendment had
been introduced to acquire those islands.
Mr. CULLOM. I am aware of that.
Mr. PETTIGREW. And my amendment is more germane to the subject,
because if that treaty were abrogated it would save $10,000,000 a year
which could be used for the purpose of furthering the interests of the war.
Mr. CULLOM. I did not say the Senator had brought the matter here.
My question was whether he did not think it better to consider those
measures separate from the revenue bill?
Mr. PETTIGREW. I certainly do think so. I would not have brought the
question here myself, if it had not been brought here by others, and
neither shall I press my amendment if the others are abandoned. I am
willing to discuss the proposition, and I hope we shall be able to discuss
it in open session. How many ships of war and how many fortifications
would $10,000,000 a year build, which sum we now throw away in the
interest of a few sugar planters and adventurers.
Mr. CHANDLER. Mr. President, I should be very glad to hear I think in
open session the remarks of the Senator from Mass. (Mr. LODGE). So
far as I know he did not intend himself to say anything which I should
think it would do any injury to the country or embarrass the prosecution
of the war to have said. I am not so certain that what Senators might
have said in reply to him would not have been injurious to the country. I
voted on the occasion to which the Senator from South Dakota alludes,
when he has been discussing a general resolution as to the acquisition of
territory which might require a navy to protect, that that discussion
should proceed in secret session, because I did not see how he could
proceed far with his discussion without reaching the Sandwich Islands,
and I do not see how the Senator from Mass. could have considered at
length the question of reinforcing Admiral Dewey without reaching by
the way the Hawaiian Islands.
I am convinced by the statement of the Senator from Maine, with whom I
am happy to agree on this occasion, that all questions of this kind ought
to be discussed in secret session. I do not understand that the Committee
on Finance, who I am informed have considered this subject have
intended to insist upon a secret session on any portion of the bill except
this particular part of it, that is to say this Hawaiian amendment, if that is
insisted upon. Mr. President, I do not think that should be discussed in
open session, but while we are in secret session I take occasion to say
that I think the subject ought to be discussed by the Senate at no very
distant day. The amendment which the Senator from Mass. proposes
contains a proposition for the annexation of the islands which has already
been reported favorably by the Committee on Foreign Relations. That
report was made on the 16th day of March, and Report No. 681, made by
the Senator from Minn., the chairman of the Committee (Mr. DAVIS),
who has adorned that report with all the learning and eloquence and force
which he always gives to the performance of every public duty of that
kind, states the reasons why we should acquire the Sandwich Islands.
That is a living question. It is more important in my judgment to have it
decided than that we should pass the war revenue bill. Our armies are
already on the way to the Philippine Islands. They are not going to
Unalaska or any of the other Alaskan islands, as suggested by the
Senator from South Dakota. They are going on the regular track, the
steamship line to Manila. They cannot go without stopping to coal at
Honolulu, and perhaps while we are now considering this subject several
thousand troops of the U.S. are landing at Honolulu or are in the harbor
of Honolulu seeking the opportunity to land.
The Senator from Massachusetts (Mr. LODGE) tells me that the Navy
has 12,000 tons of coal in that harbor. How do our ships go in there? Do
they go into a port which we control, which we will protect by the power
of the United States, or do they go into a neutral port; and if Hawaii is
neutral its neutrality must be respected by the United States as much as
the neutrality of Haiti or any of the smaller powers of the globe. How
are our fleets and ships and transports going to Hawaii? If the neutrality
of Hawaii is respected there should not be a ton of coal allowed by the
government of Hawaii to be taken from our coal piles there and put upon
our ships. I say this is a present question, right off now. It is a question
of importance. It is one which creates anxiety to the Executive. After
the 7,000 troops which have already started shall have reached part way
on their journey, 10,000 more are going, as is a military governor, and
they are all going to stop at Hawaii. Shall they stay cooped up on the
war ships and transports or shall they get off upon those islands. It is a
question that ought to be met. It is a question, I take occasion to say,
which, while I am not at liberty to speak of the House of Representatives,
the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate should immediately
bring before the Senate, and in my belief they should bring it before the
Senate before the passage of the war revenue bill, rather than wait to let
it drag its slow length a week or two more.
If our ships go into Hawaii and our troops get off of those ships and
stretch themselves and if we take that coal upon board, the neutrality of
Hawaii is destroyed. She is subject as a matter of fact and subject as a
matter of international law to be captured by Spain for that act. If I am
wrong I should like to have any of the distinguished international
lawyers whom I have heard discourse in this body so much in years past
tell me that I am mistaken.
Mr. CAFFREY rose.
Mr. CHANDLER. I see one of them has already risen.
Mr. CAFFREY. We own a coaling station in the Hawaiian Islands.
Would we violate neutrality in time of war if we coaled there?
Mr. CHANDLER. I was about to allude to that fact. If the coal had been
in there, if this Government and Congress had done what the junior
Senator from Maine has often urged upon his body, if it had taken
possession of Pearl Harbor, if it had dug out the channel of Pearl Harbor
so that the ships could get into it, then there would have been some sense
in talking about Pearl Harbor. No, it would not destroy the neutrality of
Hawaii if we went into a harbor which we possessed by previously made
Mr. President, the coaling station is there only in name and not in fact,
because the coal is not there and the ships cannot get into it, and we are
going right straight to Hawaii with all our ships and all our sailors and all
our troops on the assumption that it is a friendly power, not a neutral but
a friendly power, in alliance with us for the purposes of our war with
Mr. BACON. Will the Senator from New Hampshire permit me to ask
him a question? He spoke of the liability of the Hawaiian Islands to be
captured by Spain as a penalty for violation of the neutrality laws. I
desire to ask the Senator from New Hampshire whether he regards that as
a practical or possible contingency?
Mr. CHANDLER. I do not regard it as a wise thing for us to subject
Hawaii justly and according to the rules of international law to capture
by Spain and simply say to the world “Well, we have destroyed the
neutrality of Hawaii, but no Spanish ship can get there.” The Senator
from Georgia will see that his case is gone the moment he admits that—
Mr. BACON. No.
Mr. CHANDLER. The moment he admits that we have destroyed the
neutrality of Hawaii, as we are already perhaps destroying it this very
day by our ships of war and our soldiers.
Mr. BACON. I do not admit that. I think the suggestion of the Senator
from Vermont fully answers that proposition, that we have a treaty by
which we can utilize Pearl Harbor without the destruction of neutrality;
and while our ships cannot get in there, it is entirely practicable, by
lighters and otherwise, to put coal in there and take it out for our ships.
Mr. CHANDLER. I admit that, I say to the Senator from Ga. as I said to
the Senator from La., if the coal was there and there was a channel. I am
dealing with facts as they are with reference to the 20,000 troops who are
going there. I want to say that if Hawaii’s neutrality is violated, when
this war is over Hawaii will be liable, according to the principles which
we asserted in connection with the Geneva Award, to pay to Spain every
dollar of the damage done to her by the ships which took on coal and
received friendly treatment in the harbor of Honolulu.
Mr. TILLMAN. Will the Senator from N.H. allow me to ask him a
Mr. CHANDLER. Certainly.
Mr. TILLMAN. Is there any usage in international law which requires a
country to declare its neutrality? Cannot Hawaii allow us to coal and
allow Spain to coal and not subject herself to any consequences! Has not
Hawaii actually declared neutrality in this war? Is not Hawaii lying there
praying to the U.S. please “come and swallow me and pay the
$4,000,000 you promised.”
Mr. CHANDLER. I do not see the pertinence of the remarks of the
Senator from S.C.
Mr. TILLMAN. The latter part may not be pertinent, but you do not
deny the first.
Mr. CHANDLER. Undoubtedly Hawaii wants to be annexed to the U.S.
We have a treaty—
Mr. TILLMAN. Which could not pass the Senate.
Mr. CHANDLER. But until she is annexed she is a neutral power and
she must preserve her neutrality or else she subjects herself to the
penalties which may come to a nation that does not observe the law of
Mr. SEWELL. Will the Senator allow me to ask him a question? Is it
not a fact that Hawaii has not declared neutrality up to this period?
Mr. CHANDLER. She has not.
Mr. SEWELL. And if we go there and coal, that act will probably
require her to give coal to Spain. Is it not also the fact that we have got
to coal there, we must coal there, and if we were prevented, we would
have to take the island by force of arms today in order to save our fleet
and our people. It is more a necessity than the Philippine Islands to this
country. Personally, while I will support the administration in anything
it does, I have been opposed to the Philippine Islands. I should have
been very glad if Dewey had gone over and gone on to the Hawaiian
Islands and raised the flag there, instead of staying in a country that will
inevitably require us to send there a large number of men and a very
large fleet and in the end get us into complications which we should
desire very much to avoid. But the main fact stares us in the face today
that we cannot get to the Philippine Islands without coaling at the
Hawaiian Islands, and we must coal there no matter what it costs the
Mr. TILLMAN. If the Senator from N.H. will permit me, is there
anything to prevent the President ordering Dewey to let go of Manila and
come away now.
Mr. SEWELL. I do not know of any reason—
Mr. TILLMAN. Nobody here wants to. God knows I do not. I want to
take them and hold them until the war is over and we get an indemnity or
else continue to hold them.
Mr. FORAKER. Will the Senator from N.H. allow me to ask him a
question? The question I desire to ask is whether or not the 12,000 tons
of coal spoken are in Pearl Harbor or Honolulu.
Mr. CHANDLER. They are at Honolulu.
Mr. FORAKER. They are at Honolulu. So by going into Pearl Harbor,
if that were possible, we could not get any coal upon the facts as they
now stand. It does not obviate the necessity for violating neutrality to
say we have 12,000 tons of coal at Honolulu, for that is a harbor in which
we have to right to enter in time of war for that purpose.
Mr. CHANDLER. I have already stated that if we have the coal there, as
we have wisely provided by the forethought of the Secretary of the Navy,
Hawaii, if she remains neutral, has no business to let our ships take it to
go on to Manila with on an expedition hostile to Spain. She would have
a perfect right to allow the coal to be taken by our ships if they would do
as the Senator from South Carolina suggests might be done, turn about
from the Sandwich Islands and come home again, but she renders herself
liable to Spain. She is making war in our behalf against Spain when she
allows the coal to be taken by our ships that are now upon the waters.
Mr. TILLMAN. Does not the Senator from New Hampshire think we
can defend her from any consequences after the war is over?
Mr. CHANDLER. If we do we ought to say so now. I am not
contending that the passage of this resolution or the ratification of the
treaty is the only thing we can do. We might make a temporary treaty.
We might take military possession of the islands, notifying the Hawaiian
government that we should protect her from any of the consequences of
that act. We might do that, but I say it is cowardly on our part, cowardly
treatment of the little republic, to leave her in the condition in which she
now finds herself while we are pottering away as to whether or not we
will put a stamp tax or a beer tax or a corporation tax upon the people of
this country to pay the expense of this war, which expense could easily
be paid by borrowing money I say it is unworthy of the United States to
leave this question in doubt; and in closing I take occasion—
Mr. DANIEL. How is Hawaii suffering in any way?
Mr. CHANDLER. Hawaii from that time forward becomes an enemy of
Spain, subject for a hundred years to just Spanish attack, because of our
act. I say I do not undertake to demand that we shall annex the islands,
although I think that is the proper course, but I do say that the President
of the United States with the Senate, which is composed of his
constitutional adviser, ought to know what we think he ought to do, and
we ought not to stand here saying it is a little petty question, that it makes
no difference. I know General Merritt is likely to take possession of the
islands when he gets there. I know that if the distinguished soldier, the
Senator from New Jersey (Mr. SEWELL), who says he has been against
the acquisition of the Philippine Islands up to this time, were major
general in command of the forces going to the Philippine Islands, to be
its military governor, he would take possession in the name of the United
States of the Hawaiian Islands when this troops got there and put the
United States flag upon those islands.
Mr. TILLMAN. Will the Senator allow me.
Mr. CHANDLER. I would rather finish and let the Senator from South
Carolina take the floor.
Mr. TILLMAN. It is only a question relevant to the point the Senator is
now making. Do you not believe that the expedition which left San
Francisco several days ago has already seized or will, when it reaches
Honolulu, seize the islands?
Mr. CHANDLER. I do not believe that you can keep those soldiers on
board their ships. I think they will get off and stretch—
Mr. TILLMAN. Will they not get off by permission of their officers?
Mr. CHANDLER. By permission of their officers and stretch their legs
upon Hawaiian territory and probably do it with the permission of the
Hawaiian government, but I say that within a week from this time the
United States by its act will have destroyed the neutrality of the
Hawaiian Islands, and it belongs to us, the Senate and the President of
the United States and the House of Representatives, to take up at once
the question of what protection we will give Hawaii for this position of
hostility to Spain in which it is proposed to force her. It is not a petty
question and it is not a future question. It is an immediate question.
Mr. ELKINS. Mr. President, I think if we had allowed the Senator from
Massachusetts (Mr. LODGE) to proceed we would have been on the
revenue bill now. That is the practical way to look at it. I do not think
any harm would have been done, especially when so able and self
restrained a Senator speaks to the country and the Senate. All this is for
nothing. It is not practical. I am for the Hawaiian Islands. I am willing
to discuss the matter in the Senate with closed or open doors, but we are
getting so tender about how we shall speak here and such solicitude is
manifested that I think we are violating the traditions of the Senate. I for
one wanted to get to the Senate in order to be in one place where I could
talk as long as I pleased and about anything I pleased.
Mr. FRYE. The Senator has got there.
Mr. ELKINS. I am here now, but it took a long time.
But it seems that rules are sometimes invoked which new members
cannot quite understand. I do not for my part. We are pressed to go on
with business, and that is given as a reason why we should not talk.
I think this motion emanated from the Senator from Ind. (Mr. TURPIE),
who is a member of the committee. Where is the line is to be drawn
when Senators say “do not criticise the war”; that we are not to have
freedom of discussion about the war or to say anything about the results
of the war? Let us see how this debate was opened by the Senator from
The policy of this administration with respect to the war remains yet in
the mystery of abeyance.
I do not know what that means.
The mystery of abeyance!
That is in the speech of the Senator from Ind. The Senator then went on
and said that the Senator from Minn., chairman of the Committee on
Foreign Relations, had promised that Cuba should be recognized, and he
wanted to have it recognized right then and there. I do not want to do the
Senator from Ind. any injustice; that is far from me, but he would not
allow the Senator from Maine who is agreeing with him now to interrupt
him or talk about Cuba. He wanted himself to talk about Cuba.
Mr. TURPIE. Mr. President, that promise must be kept. It must be kept
to the hope, not only to the ear. It must be kept in deed, in verity, in
truth, in fact. Intervention has come. It is now flagrant. Where is the
promise? Where is the recognition of independence? Where is the sign
of its coming?
The Senator from Maine (Mr. HALE) said: Where is the Cuban
That was discussing the results of the war. Which is the more flagrant,
which is the more violative of the rule now invoked here in the Senate, a
discussion of the Hawaiian question or of the Cuban question.
Mr. MORGAN. Was that on this bill?
Mr. ELKINS. It was on the 18th of May. Yes, sir, it was on the revenue
bill. It attracted my attention, but inasmuch as I know nothing about the
rules of the Senate and am always guided or led or controlled by the
Committee on Finance or any other committee having charge of a bill I
kept still. But that is not all.
If we go down there and take possession of Cuba and hold it for future
disposition, we take it as conquerors subject to the debt charged upon the
What is the limit of discussion? That is bad law, to begin with. It is very
offensive from that standpoint. We are going to take the Island of Cuba,
I will tell the Senator from Ind., and not pay any debts to anybody or for
anybody, not to the Cuban Junta in New York either, and we are going to
keep the island, I hope we will, and I wish I had an opportunity of saying
this in open session.
Mr. GEAR. We said we would not keep it.
Mr. ELKINS. I know we did, but we did not mean it—not one of us.
Two or three meant it.
Mr. GEAR. It was a lie.
Mr. ELKINS. I do not know whether the Senate understands such
Let us go a little further with the Senator from Ind., inasmuch as he made
this motion. I do not think my friend, the Senator from Mass. has
crucified all the rules of the Senate at one stroke.
Mr. President, we shall put our trust in the God of battles, that out of this
feebleness, this delay and infirmity.
What feebleness and what delay? Does he mean the administration in
the conduct of war? Does he mean the administration in the conduct of
the war? I do not know that my friend the Senator from Mass. was
criticising the administration. Some people were afraid he would. I saw
him at the White House in earnest conversation with the President. I do
not think he meant to criticise the administration. But I have never
known nor could understand—
Mr. LODGE. On the contrary, I said its policy was entirely admirable.
Mr. ELKINS. The Senator from Ind. proceeded: His omnipotent hand
will work great gain to the cause of liberty.
These are results. He wants to take the Omnipotent into partnership with
the Senator and the Senate.
A larger room for the feet of freeman, a manifest and final delivery from
the system of monarchical oppression and despotism wherever it obtains,
and especially in the heretofore Spanish islands of the Mediterranean of
That is the Philippines.
Mr. TILLMAN. The Mediterranean of the West!
Mr. DAVIS. The Gulf of Mexico.
Mr. ELKINS. The Gulf of Mexico, perhaps.
I have not misrepresented the Senator at all because I have read his
language. Why should the distinguished Senator from Ind. have this
wide liberty and the members of the committee—and he is one of the
members—to say what they pleases and then move a secret session when
another Senator arises in his place and offers some criticisms and some
expressions of opinion about the war and about the results of the war and
about the Philippines and about the Sandwich Islands. I cannot
understand it. Why was freedom of the widest latitude granted to the one
Senator and why should it be denied to another?
I favor going on with the bill and I want to go on with it, but it is just as
well that we should understand where we are and what we are doing and
what are the rules that govern the discussion of public measures, here,
especially revenue bills. I know the impatience of the overworked and
hard-worked committee, but let us have the facts stated just as they are.
The distinguished Senator from Indiana is on the committee. Now if that
is not just as broad a discussion, perhaps broader than my friend the
Senator from Massachusetts would have indulged in, then I am mistaken.
I hope we will go on with the bill. I hope we will simply on the motion
of someone who understands the rules and knows what to do go out of
secret session and proceed with the bill, because I want to discuss the
I want something to say on this subject, and I am just as earnest and as
frantic for Hawaii and the Philippines and Cuba and Puerto Rico as the
Senator from Indiana and the Senator from Mass.
Mr. PETTIGREW. Mr. President, I just wish to call attention to one fact
in reply to the Senator from New Hampshire (Mr. CHANDLER). The
distance from San Francisco to Honolulu is 2100 miles. The distance
from San Francisco to Unalaska is 2100 miles. The distance from
Unalaska to Manila is 4160 miles and from Honolulu to Manila it is 4917
miles. Now, we have a splendid harbor at Unalaska. Every ship can go
there and coal in our own territory in a harbor that will hold all the
vessels of our Navy, and they can sail right in. Why are there not ten
thousand to twelve thousand tons of coal there eight hundred miles
nearer Manila than at Honolulu in a foreign territory? Why bring Hawaii
into this complication? Why embarrass that feeble republic, or
monarchy, or oligarchy, or whatever it is, with our presence? Why sail
eight hundred miles out of the way in order to relieve Dewey?
Why did we not sail straight there, coal in our own territory, sending our
coal vessels to Unalaska in advance to meet our fleet and save time two
or three days perhaps, precious time, in the relief of our ships in Manila.
For no other reason under heaven than to stimulate the prospects of
annexing the sugar plantations of Hawaii are we trifled with and our
interests jeopardized and our ships turned from their course.
Mr. ALLISON. Mr. President, one word.
Certainly no one knows better than I do, unless it is the Senior Senator
from Vermont (Mr. MORRILL), the absolute latitude of debate in this
Chamber, and certainly no committee and no Senator would undertake a
censorship over the Senate as respects the liberty of debate.
Now, in regard to the matter in hand, I perhaps ought to say a word or
two as a member of the Committee on Finance. It was no part of the
purpose of that committee to undertake to regulate the business of the
Senate as to whether this or that or the other topic should be taken up for
debate and consideration and action; but the Committee on Finance was
charged with the important duty of dealing with the bill that came to us
from the House of Representatives, one of magnitude and importance
and absolutely essential and necessary to the conduct of the war.
Senators, the bill came to us and since it has been under debate in the
Senate we have added or have had added to our expenditures
When the Senator from Mass. introduced the amendment the other day I
became satisfied, from what came to me from others, that if we were to
include in the consideration of this bill the great question (because I
agree with the Senator from New Hampshire that it is a great question) of
the peaceable annexation of Hawaii as a part of the bill it would lead to
long debate, how long I do not know, and no man can tell. That is a
subject which ought to be considered by the Senate, and I have no doubt
that it will be considered. If it be true, as the Senator from Mass., has
said that a large majority of this body is in favor of annexing those
islands certainly the body will sustain itself.
But, Mr. President, we cannot do everything at the same moment. Here
is a bill of large detail, involving certainly $150,000,000 of taxation or
about that sum, and it may amount to much more. It came to us on the
second day of May. The Committee on Finance reported it back on the
12th day of May. It is now the 31st day of May. It does involve all the
expenditures and everything connected with this war, and it is necessary
that the bill shall pass at an early day. It may be necessary that other
measures shall pass at an early day but this bill involves largely increased
taxation; it involves a taxation upon objects and subjects which in the
nature of things it will be impossible to make it attach for from thirty to
sixty days. We double the tax upon malt liquors; we double the tax upon
tobacco; and we largely increase the taxation upon many other things. It
seems to be the sentiment of the Senate that we cannot attach this
taxation to the property that is in the hands of one hundred thousand or a
million people in the United States. Therefore, having taken up the bill it
seemed to the committee, as it seems to me, that it is important that we
should take this measure in hand and deal with it, because it matters not
after all, in the by and large of this discussion and the conclusion of this
bill, whether it is $25,000,000 less or $25,000,000 more than
$150,000,000 raised by taxation. It is as certain as noon-day, and it is
apparent to every Senator upon this floor, that in some way and by some
other methods we must raise two or three hundred million dollars for the
fiscal year just approaching.
In raising this money and carrying on the war it is necessary that time
shall be given after this legislation is placed here, and therefore it
becomes of supreme importance, in my judgment, that we shall consider
this bill now that we have it here before we consider any other measure,
and that other measures should not be attached to this bill in order to
force those measures upon the bill, or else that we shall not raise the
money necessary to carry on the operations of the war.
Therefore, Mr. President, it was the conclusion of those who were
present on yesterday in the committee, knowing as we knew and
knowing as every Senator knows that a debate on the annexation of
Hawaii will take two or three weeks, or a week at least speaking.
Mr. WHITE and OTHERS. It will take a great deal more time.
Mr. ALLISON. Senators all about me say it will take a great deal more
time. In view of that fact, inasmuch as those who were opposed to the
annexation of Hawaii had had no opportunity of public debate, and that
there must be a large opportunity of public debate for those who were
opposed to the annexation, we considered that it was wiser and better
that we should submit to the Senate the question whether we are to delay
this bill until all the questions that are to arise out of the war shall be
attached and placed upon it. I know, as Senators in this chamber know,
that if we give our attention to the consideration of the tax features and to
the revenue features of the bill, which relate to the borrowing of money
or to the issuing of money, on Thursday of this week, if not on
Wednesday, by giving assiduous attention to it, we can intelligently
consider it and pass it from our desks here to the other House, and then
the majority of the Senate can take up any other question that it chooses
to take up and deal with it intelligently and separately. If the exigency is
as the Senator from N.H. says, in the nature of things, the majority will
take up this question and deal with it, but why shall we place upon this
revenue measure all these outside, collateral, and incidental questions?
They may be war measures, if you please, but why shall they be
considered now, in connection with the pending bill, when its early
passage is of supreme importance that if the bill shall pass within a week,
it cannot go into full force and execution for sixty days after its passage,
and in the meantime the revenues of our Government are being lost day
by day to the extent of perhaps a million dollars a day because of the
It is for these reasons, Mr. President, that the Committee on Finance, not
a part of the committee but the whole committee, believe that it is wise,
if possible and if practicable, as respects the good sense of Senators,
without limiting debate and without curtailing the freedom of debate, that
we should deal with revenue questions only upon this bill, and not upon
all collateral questions that are connected with it as respects the war.
Certainly it is the farthest from me, as I believe it is the farthest from any
Senator upon the Committee on Finance, to curtail in the slightest degree
the independence of any Senator, and least of all the independence of the
distinguished Senator from Alabama (Mr. MORGAN), who is familiar
with all these topics, by and large, and who can discuss them intelligently
and for the information of the Senate.
Now, we are in executive session. I was not here when that occurred,
and therefore I do not know the occasion of it especially. But as we are
in secret session I hope that we can have some understanding that this
bill should go on and be debated as respects its details as Senators may
wish to debate it, and debate it as respects amendments that any Senator
wishes to offer, and that we shall see to it that the bill shall be finished in
two or three days. Then Senators will have an opportunity of bringing
forward the important questions which they say are so exigent now, and
which were reported from the Committee on Foreign Relations nearly
three weeks before this bill came to the Senate, and which were in the
Senate for twelve days when we were considering it, and yet there was
no opportunity to consider that question.
Mr. DAVIS. My friend must understand very well that these resolutions
were not considered because of the pendency of appropriate bills.
Mr. ALLISON. Very well.
Mr. DAVIS. Entirely so.
Mr. ALLISON. Very well; I am not criticising any committee. I am
very glad to have the Senator make that suggestion because it is very
Mr. DAVIS. It is the fact.
Mr. ALLISON. But what I only plead for now is that we shall get this
bill out of the way, and I promise the Senator from Mass. that I shall
throw no obstacle in his way for a full consideration of any measure that
the Senate shall decide to take up or consider. But surely the means
whereby the war shall be carried on should be provided. Surely when
appropriations of money for the purpose of carrying on the Government
are proper and are ready to be brought before the Senate, they should be
considered. It seems to me, therefore, Mr. President, that we should have
some understanding, a friendly understanding, not a hostile
understanding, not seeking here and there to impede this or that measure,
but an understanding that we shall deal with the question that we have in
hand until it is disposed of, and then take up the other questions that are
important, if the Senate shall so decide.
Mr. MORGAN. Mr. President, this side, at least the friends of
annexation of Hawaii, have been notified that certain gentlemen in the
Senate and certain gentlemen in the House intended to institute what we
claim to be a filibuster to prevent the consideration of that measure at
this session of Congress. I have been informed by a distinguished
Republican in this Chamber, who is a man of great influence and power,
that as soon as this revenue bill was passed and they had fixed up the
appropriation bills, Congress would adjourn, which meant, of course,
that there was to be no no day given for the consideration of any measure
relating to Hawaii. I received that information with great regret, not
because of my anxiety for the annexation of Hawaii as a measure of civil
policy but because of my conviction that it is an indispensable element in
the conduct of the war as it is now progressing. So those of us, the
Senator from Massachusetts (Mr. LODGE) and others, who desire the
annexation of Hawaii, thought it was proper to bring this subject to the
consideration of the Senate upon this bill because it was connected with
the subject of taxation.
As the Senator from Nevada (Mr. STEWART) suggested the amount of
taxation upon the people of the United States will be greatly enhanced if
we are compelled to conduct the war in the Philippines without including
Honolulu or Hawaii within the limits of our national power, either civil
or military. Other considerations have arisen to my mind in that
connection, some of which are as follows: If we succeed in the
Philippines in holding that country we have got to do it at a great expense
of life and health in that moist, hot climate, where the bubonic plague
prevails, where cholera prevails, where yellow fever prevails, where
small pox prevails, and all the terrible diseases to which humanity is
incident prevail. Many of the noble gentlemen who have gone out
bearing our flag in that country must come back home in a state of
terrible distress on account of their health.
Now, Mr. President, I would not refuse to these men a stopping place on
the salubrious islands of Hawaii. I would as soon shut the door upon my
children and tell them they had to starve to death or perish in the streets.
Claims of humanity towards those soldiers, claims of national duty,
require us to consider this question. The President of the United States, I
am informed, has got his mind made up that as a matter of military
necessity he is obliged to take those islands and intends to do it. I
applaud him for his humanity, and his courage, and for his feeling of
responsibility for the lives of our soldiers who have gone to the
The question of economy of sending small ships to Honolulu with coal,
sailing ships and other craft, piling up resources of coal, refreshments,
supplies, medicines, and what not in Honolulu, is a question that I think
would address itself to the intelligence of this great Committee on
Finance, and that they would see at once, and ought to have seen before
now, that it was a proper thing to include some measure of power and
authority in favor of the President of the United States to take those
islands by annexation or to take them by military force, and that that
would be included in the item of expenses of the conduct of the war; and
a very great item it is.
Here then are the two features, economy in expenditures, and humanity
and duty towards our soldiers. No man can blind his eyes to these
considerations, or if he can, he need not suppose that there is a twenty
year old person in the United States fool enough not to see it.
Therefore, a duty rests upon us to act upon this matter. I consider that
there is no sanctity in the particular political garment that this committee
has cut out for us to act upon which prevents us from making reasonable
suggestions in respect of including within the purview of that bill
something that is so important and so indispensable. I will not stop to
argue this question. We have had here this evening a full example and
demonstration of the unwisdom of undertaking to break in by arbitrary
rules and take off the floor by closing the doors, men who never intended
to discuss the question of the annexation of Hawaii as a civil proposition,
who never intended to refer to it at all in any other way than as a part of
the military necessity connected with the conduct of the war. Hawaii
was not mentioned by the Senator from Mass. (Mr. LODGE). The
argument about Hawaii has been thrust in here by gentlemen who want
to prevent the annexation, and who have pledged themselves to this
country privately and publicly that they will prevent it if they can live
long enough to do it; it makes no difference what the results may be.
That is a general and a special filibuster against which, Mr. President, I
feel that I have got the right to make resistance if I can do it.
Now, about the consumption of time, we see that this question has been
forced up by shutting these doors upon the Senator from Mass., who
never intended to make any such observation and did not intend to
provoke anybody to bring it in here. But suppose he had intended to
discuss the Hawaiian question, are the gentlemen who oppose Hawaii so
intensely patriotic that they cannot hear the question suggested without
rising and taking the time that is necessary to pass a tax bill in discussing
that side issue?
We shrink from the question because we are afraid of provoking them
into debate. That is all of it. The majority of this body is in favor of the
annexation of Hawaii or else gentlemen have changed their opinions very
much in a very recent period of time. But the Senator from Mass. did not
bring up the question. He never intended to bring it up as a question of
civil policy but only as a matter relating to the necessities of the war; and
I do not know that he ever would have mentioned it.
So far as I am concerned, I am under the same condemnation and
prejudgment as the Senator from Mass. because I have had the temerity
to offer an amendment to this bill that I can demonstrate by the Supreme
Court reports of the United States is absolutely necessary as a part of the
measure. Because I had the temerity to bring forward an amendment of
that kind and suggested that at some time in the consideration of the bill I
would offer it, the decree was already prearranged against me that I was
required also to take my seat and the Senator from Ark. (Mr. JONES)
and the Senator from Indiana (Mr. TURPIE), who seem to sit in
judgment upon matters of this kind, decided that I was to be put down
whenever the question was brought up.
Now, Mr. President, I do not take those rebuffs just quite in the Christian
spirit of some of the meek minded and sweet souled men who are around
me. I have got quite too much of old Adam in me for that.
In 1895 the Committee on Foreign Relations made the following report:
The Committee on Foreign Relations (through Mr. Davis) to whom was
referred the bill (S. 1309) to provide by treaty or otherwise, recommend
the passage of said bill with the following amendments. That bill went
on the Calendar and here it is.
That whenever the United States shall acquire dominion over any foreign
country of place, by treaty of annexation or otherwise, the President of
the United States, may appoint a governor for the same and legislative
council, to consist of any number of persons not less than three nor more
than twenty-five, whose acts shall be subject to revision or repeal by
Congress; and, unless the treaty of annexation or cession shall otherwise
provide, said governor and council shall constitute and conduct a
provisional government for such country of place until Congress shall
otherwise provide by law.
What is the origin of that bill? Not the contemplation of the annexation
of Hawaii but to take care of the island of Navassa, which belonged to
citizens of Maryland, and which my friend from Maryland (Mr.
GORMAN) has very long engaged here in trying to have brought within
the protection of the United States, and also to take care of the Midway
Islands which have been duly and solemnly annexed to the United States
by the raising of our flag under the order of Mr. Bayard. That is the
second event in which it has occurred, and those islands belong to us.
The President of the United States has no authority to extent the civil
jurisdiction of the United States over those islands. The circuit court of
the United States for Maryland by some stretch of authority I do not
know what—I am not complaining of it; I think it was right to do it—
found a way to punish some people for murder committed on the Island
of Navassa as a part of the territory of the United States. Where is the
island of Navassa? South of Jamaica; south of Puerto Rico. How did we
get any right to the Island of Navassa? Some enterprising citizens of
Maryland went out there and found a valuable deposit of guano, and
thereupon they established a guano shipping factory and took several
hundred laborers upon that island or those islands; it is one island I
believe. Thereupon we passed an act of Congress authorizing those
people to occupy and hold that island, provided they would consent that
all of the guano taken from it should be shipped to the United States and
none of it to foreign countries. They consented. In virtue of that
assumption of sovereignty we sent our marshals down there, or some
captain of a ship caught up some people who had been engaged in
murder and brought them to Baltimore and they were tried and
condemned and executed under the laws of the United States. Yet the
President of the United States has no power to-day and never had any
power to extend the civil laws of the United States or any other laws of
the United States of the Island of Navassa.
My amendment was intended to cover cases like that. We are not
looking forward to Hawaii or to the Philippines or to Cuba or to Puerto
Rico. Supposed we had it here now and that those islands should pass
within the jurisdiction of the United States, how happy would be the
United States to know that their President had the right and the power
with the consent of Congress, to appoint a governor there, and that he
might assemble around him a legislative council to consist of not less
than three nor more than twenty-five to pass laws for that portion of the
territory that we were occupying?
In the amendment that I had the temerity to offer here I did not go quite
so far. I confined the jurisdiction and powers of the President of the
United States to the existence of a state of war; by which I meant, of
course, until peace should be concluded and proclaimed; for you all
remember that a state of war existed in my section of country in
Alabama, very long after the armies had been surrendered and disbanded,
and we were kept under the regimen of war there for years. It was a
necessary thing to be done; but it was done by an act of Congress. It was
not done by the President of the United States in virtue of his office. I
have got the decisions of the Supreme Court of the U.S. here to show that
he could not do it.
Now, you have got revenues coming from the Philippines, containing
8,000,000 people, with a large trade in sugar, Manila hemp, fruits, and
various other important matters in commerce; you have got Admiral
Dewey down there in charge of the bay, and he has established a
blockade. Do you not want to know something about what is to become
of those revenues? Do you not want to make some provision by which
the President of the U.S. would be authorized by Congress, and not by
the laws of nations—for he has to get his authority from one or the
other—authorized by Congress to do certain things which are required to
be done in order to handle that country there, even while we are in
occupation of it?
What money paid for the Soldiers Home out there—that beautiful park?
Revenues collected by General Scott while he was in the military
command in Mexico. After that war was over a fund was left in our
military treasury, which had to be disposed of, and we took it and we
applied it to the purchase of this beautiful tract of land out here. That
was Mexican money, won by war. It was taken in hand by Congress and
put into that beautiful park. We shall have possibly something like that
in the Philippines, and probably we shall have a good deal of it, for the
income of the government at Manila from importations alone is over
$13,000,000 a year—a large sum to neglect, too large a sum to pass over
in the sweet innocence of that committee that never thought about it, and
now refuse to think about it. It is a large sum.
When you get to Cuba what are you going to do, sir? We have been
receiving from Cuba $90,000,000 a year of her productions. It may not
be two years until she will get back to the point of production, when she
can again supply us with $90,000,000, after we get possession and
restore peace and order and that country is open to the migration of our
people, who will go there in swarms. What provision do you propose to
make in regard to that? None. You propose to leave it entirely in the
discretion of the President. If you do, his discretion is not broad enough,
for there are certain things which the Supreme Court of the United States
has decided he cannot do as commander in chief of the Army and Navy,
which are absolutely essential to be done. I am not going to point them
out just now, but I am going to do so in the open Senate. If you want to
close the doors upon me, then, all right, but I am going to debate that
question in the open Senate on the tax bill because it is a necessary part
There is another feature in this amendment of mine. When we get down
into Cuba we have got to use money in paying our troops, and in the
Philippines and in Puerto Rico, and if Hawaii should come in also as part
of our military possessions, we shall have to use money there to do that.
What kind of money are you going to use? You pay your soldiers who
are down there in the gold or in the silver or in the legal tender paper of
the United States. They are obliged to have money although they may be
six or seven thousand miles away from home. They will need it worse
than they do now. What are they going to do with it? You must have
some power, which has authority from the Congress of the United States,
to declare what shall be a legal tender for public and private debts,
contracts, and receipts. Are you going to put your soldiers down there at
the mercy of sharpers, tricksters, tradesmen, and Jews who want to shave
them to the bone upon their pay without the Congress of the United
States making the slightest effort to protect them?
We have not had a foreign war heretofore, except in Mexico, and we
have not made provision by law for these things. After the Mexican war
was over, through lawsuits and litigations which came to the Supreme
Court of the United States, it was developed that the Congress of the
United States had been extremely derelict in its duty in not making
provision for these things. I propose now to make provision in advance,
and I trust I am not trenching too much upon this political machine that is
here today in this bill, made for the November elections, when I
undertake to try to protect the soldiery, their lives, their health, and their
finances, and also to protect the Govmt. of the United States not merely
in the collection of revenues in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines,
but also in the regulation of trade between those countries and this.
There is more than that in the amendment. When we get to Cuba, we
find there three governments an autonomous government at present
under the Spanish Crown. Suppose they declare their independence, like
the Gomez part has done, then you have got the autonomous party there,
regularly organized, with laws and institutions of every kind, occupying
one end of the island, and the government of Maso, the republic,
occupying the other, and the Govmt. of the United States comes in with
what? Supreme military power. Anything else? There is nothing that
Congress has given to them. We go there and we exert supreme military
power over either or both of the two governments that we find there. Mr.
Prest., is it not the duty of the Congress of the United States to say that
the President of the United States when he occupies Cuba, for the
purpose of protecting the peace, the lives, and property of the Cubans—
for that is what my amendment says—may appoint a governor of Cuba,
civil or military, that he may do the same thing in Puerto Rico, in the
Philippines, and in Hawaii, if that should be taken by him as a military
necessity in the course of the progress of this war.
Can we discharge our duty to ourselves and keep posterity from holding
up a picture before us that would disgust us now if we could only look at
it in its outlines? Can we excuse ourselves from going a little further,
perhaps, than this committee has gone, and putting something in this bill
besides taxation of the people of the United States? We must provide for
taxing the people of Puerto Rico, of Cuba, of the Philippines, of Hawaii,
and if Hawaii shall come in as a military possession.
Mr. ALLEN. I should like to ask the Senator whether the President of
the United States has any authority to appoint a military governor
Mr. MORGAN. I do not think he has.
Mr. ALLEN. Would not that be the natural result of taking possession of
Mr. MORGAN. No, Mr. Prest., there are no natural results.
Mr. ALLEN. There I differ with the Senator.
Mr. MORGAN. The only results that are possible in this country are
results that come from law, because this is a law-abiding country, and
nothing in the nature of power exists in the United States which has not
got the sanction of law.
Mr. MONEY. Will the Senator permit me to ask him a question?
Mr. MORGAN. Yes.
Mr. MONEY. Has not the President, as commander in chief of the Army
and Navy of the United States, the right to appoint a military governor in
a town or city which has been conquered? Is not that the usage of the
Army of the United States?
Mr. MORGAN. Oh, yes, that is the usage.
Mr. MONEY. But is it not right?
Mr. MORGAN. No. That does not make it right. What the armies of
the United States have found it necessary to do in times of emergency,
they have done, but that does not create a right, nor does it create a
precedent, nor does it fix any feature of law, national or international.
No, sir, there is but one source which you can refer to at all for the
authority of the Commander in Chief of the United States Army, or any
of his subordinates to create law in any country that is in military
occupancy, except the laws of nations.
Mr. MONEY. If the Senator will permit me, when the city of Mexico
surrendered to the Army of the United States, Major General Quitman, of
Missi., was appointed military governor. It was impossible to have the
action of the President of the United States for weeks, and there was a
necessity of having a military governor, and he was appointed. So it was
with other cities which came into our hands.
Mr. MORGAN. They tried to establish an admiralty court in California,
and the Supreme Court decided that they could not do it. General
Kearney established a code of laws, with two hundred and ninety-odd
sections in it, in New Mexico, and I think followed it up in California.
General Quitman established a different code in the City of Mexico when
he was military governor there. Commander Sloan established a
different code, he being commander-in-chief of the Navy, but all these
things trace their authority back to what? To the laws of nations.
The laws of nations tolerate the despotic powers of this earth in
establishing in a conquered country what they please, but the laws of the
United States do not do that; and the Constitution of the United States is
as obligatory upon the President of the United States in the establishment
and creation of laws and courts and judicial establishments in a foreign
country as it is here at home. It is the duty of Congress to provide for
such a contingency, and if we do not do it, it is because we are either
delinquents or cowards.
Mr. ALLEN. But that was not the question I put to the Senator. The
question was this: That, having the power to conquer or having
conquered, is it not an incidental power of the commander-in-chief to
place a military governor over the conquered territory until a civil
government may be established?
Mr. MORGAN. Yes, to put a civil government there until some other is
Mr. ALLEN. No; that is not a logical sequence.
Mr. MORGAN. They are both true.
Mr. ALLEN. But the appointment of a military governor is the means of
accomplishing the object of the expedition.
Mr. MORGAN. And the appointment of a civil governor is just as legal
as that of a military governor. Both derive their authority under the law
of nations—remember that.
Mr. ALLEN. That is what I think.
Mr. MORGAN. Yes, that is right; but the question is, Shall the President
and the Army of the United States be governed by the laws of nations in
those countries, that we are going out, with our splendid banners, to
relieve with rejoicing and in the midst of arms, from the iniquities and
oppressions which Spain has put upon them—shall they go out under the
laws of nations or shall the Congress of the United States give to them
the powers and define their limits as they go?
Mr. SPOONER. Will the Senator allow me a moment?
Mr. MORGAN. I will.
Mr. SPOONER. I do not rise to interrupt the Senator or to debate with
him, but I did not hear his answer to the question put to him by the
Senator from Neb. (Mr. ALLEN), if such appointments are within the
power of the President.
Mr. MORGAN. I will say that under the laws of nations the conqueror
has the right to prescribe a military or a civil governor to be conquered;
and there is no restraint upon him except his own will.
Mr. SPOONER. The Senator does not deny the power of the President
to appoint a military governor at the Philippines?
Mr. MORGAN. I do not, but I say the President of the United States has
not got in his exclusive control and grasp one shred of prerogative
power—not one shred. When we left Great Britain we took all the
prerogatives of the crown and divided them up amongst different
tribunals here, legislative and otherwise. The President of the Untied
States has got no shred of prerogative. All such powers belong to him as
Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, and those powers the
Supreme Court say are limited to the function of making war. He cannot
even make peace.
Mr. BACON. Will the Senator permit me?
Mr. MORGAN. Yes.
Mr. BACON. I desire to know under what constitutional power the
Senator places the alleged power, which he says today he applauds in the
President of the United States to seize the territory of a neutral nation if it
becomes a military necessity—a neutral nation, not a nation with which
we are at war—
Mr. MORGAN. I understand.
Mr. BACON. Seeing that the Executive only has such powers as are
given in the Constitution, I want to know under what clause of the
Constitution the Senator finds the power to seize the territory of a neutral
nation, one with which we are not at war?
Mr. MORGAN. I will bring that question up, and will give a sound
answer on it from the decisions of the Supreme Court, but just now I am
on the skirmish line. I am not fighting any legal battles before the
Senate. I am trying to excuse and exonerate myself from the necessity of
having to intrude upon the committee some ideas they never have
thought about, and which are absolutely necessary for properly providing
for the situation and which belong to this bill. That is what I am trying to
Mr. ALLEN. I do not desire to interrupt the Senator needlessly, but I
want to understand his position. I infer the Senator means that Congress
shall legislate and establish a civil government over territory before it is
conquered and that that legislation may be carried into execution when
the country is reduced by force of our arms?
Mr. MORGAN. What I mean is, the President having no prerogative
powers, but deriving his powers from the law, that Congress shall enact a
law to enable him to do it, and not leave it to his unbridled will and
Mr. ALLEN. Would it not be just as wise, then, to provide a code of
laws for the government of a neutral territory in anticipation that within
five or six months we might declare war against that power and reduce
Mr. MORGAN. I am not discussing the wisdom of that.
Mr. ALLEN. Would it not be exceptional because we have never before
had a foreign war like this, or anything approximating to it. All I am
contending for at this time, and all I intend to contend for at any time, is
that the President of the United States shall have the powers conferred
upon him by Congress full and ample, but that he shall understand that
they come from Congress and do not come from his prerogative, or
whatever his powers may be merely as the fighting agent of the United
States, the Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy of the United
Mr. ALLEN. That would arise from his constitutional powers as
Commander-in-Chief of the Army and the Navy.
Mr. MORGAN. No; his constitutional powers as Commander-in-Chief
of the Army and the Navy are not defined in that instrument. When he is
in foreign countries he draws his powers from the laws of nations, but
when he is at home fighting rebels or Indians, or the like of that, he
draws them from the laws of the United States, for the enabling power
comes from Congress, and without it he cannot turn a wheel.
These things, Mr. President, are not new except that we have not thought
about considering them. They are all here in the Supreme Court Reports,
and I will read them to the Senate, and I will convince the Senate that I
am right about it, and that the necessity is absolutely imperious and
unavoidable upon our part not to lay our duty down and to leave the
President in a strait, where he will have a thousand difficulties to contend
with. We are obliged to provide something of this kind, and the
Committee on Foreign Relations so thought years ago, and in 1893,
reported a bill for it. If that bill were a law today, there would be no
trouble in the case. We have neglected our duty, and now we have come
to appoint where it is necessary that we should perform it, and I want to
perform it understandingly. It may break up the little political
gerrymander that is fixed up in this bill, and that is to be fixed up for the
November elections, I want us to do our duty, notwithstanding the
committee’s great efforts to confine us to the particular issues contained
in this bill.
Mr. President, Congress seems to be afraid of everything and everybody.
The House of Representatives seems to be afraid of somebody whom I
do not dare to mention, because it would be unparliamentary. They sit
there and shiver in apprehension and alarm until they want to keep out of
sight of the world and of the people. The people will keep a great many
of them out of sight, I am afraid. And the Senate of the United States is
alarmed to death at a decision of the Supreme Court of the United States
that stood for months affirming a hundred years of decisions and then, by
the change of the opinion of a single man on the bench took the other
turn, and we are in such a state of alarm about it that we cannot consider
that there is any possibility of that decision being reversed, and the
Senate will not stop to consider whether that decision covers the case
presented in this bill or not. We are so scared that we will not stop even
to look back to find out whether we are on safe ground. The decision of
the Supreme Court—I do not say properly construed, but when looked at
and read by the simplest minded man who can read an opinion and
understand it—does not cover numbers of things that are shut out in this
bill and numbers of things that are included in it. We are in a state of
alarm; we run off from our duty and refuse to consider it, and allow the
country to go–, well, to the devil. That is exactly where we are drifting
by reason of fear and alarm. It seems as if we are afraid to land a soldier
in the Island of Cuba lest some Spaniard should come along and eat him
up before he could get behind a tree, or bush, or something. Alarm
attends everything. It is all inaction; it is all supineness; all dread. If the
Spanish had the enterprise that they ought to have, they would come here
and lick us before we could get waked up and understand that we had
manhood enough to defend our country and take care of our lives.
I am not reproaching any person about this any more than I am myself,
and I include myself in the category with my brethren here. That is the
situation of all of us. The Republican party, when they came to pass the
Dingley bill, were so alarmed at the people that they would not repeal
those thirteen sections in the Wilson law, but they repealed every other
section of the Wilson law but those thirteen, which cover the income tax,
and left them standing, and they are the law today so far as Congress can
I propose to get out of this shuddering attitude and that we should, like a
band of good, honest, square Americans, come up to our duty and
consider any question that any Senator presents here in good faith, and
see whether or not the arguments he has got to produce are worthy of
consideration. There is not any breakneck haste about this bill any way.
We are not suffering for money, so far as I have been able to hear, and
we are liable to get any amount. If you put your printing press to work
and print greenbacks to the amount of $500,000,000, you will have as
much money in this country as you can pack on miles, and it will be as
good as any that is here now. There is no trouble about money.
Here is a controversy which the national banks are making for the
purpose of controlling $500,000,000 in the form of bonds, and another
$100,000,000 in the shape of interest-bearing Treasury notes, which they
know will go into that sink—every one of them. They are playing for
that; that is the game they are playing, and the committee is helping them
out all it knows how. There is nothing left undone here to help the
national banks get the control of this money, and then using it for the
purposes of getting out of the people interest and usury to the amount of
at least from 8 to 16 per cent. Per annum, when we could just as well put
out the money to the people and pay the soldiers with it, without paying
any interest at all.
These things are not misunderstood by the people of the United States.
They are perfectly aware of the condition; and when I speak of it in the
Senate, I only speak what all the country knows. The country is
perfectly aware of it. This little game of hide and seek, that is going on
amongst the politicians, leaders and rules, the chairmen of Congressional
committees and the chairmen of the political committees—this little
game of hide and seek, playing around here for advantage, is something
that the people do not misunderstand. Then gentlemen get alarmed about
our bringing in something that is really of value. I am not myself very
much stirred up about it. I intend to pursue on this bill the course I
esteem to be right. I am for every Democratic measure on this bill, and I
know them as well as I know my right hand from my left. They all meet
my approval—every one of them—and I intend to vote for them. When
it comes to a political question, and they are all voted down, as I know
they will be, and you know it, too—for every one of them will be voted
down—when it comes to the proposition of taking the House bill in the
shape that the Republican majority on that committee ask us to take it, or
the Republicans on that committee want us to take it, then the question
will be about voting for it. I do not intend to cast a vote while this war is
going on that denies to the party in power the right to conduct it, even to
the extent of supplying the finances of it—that being the bottom fact in
the whole case. There is no use of providing soldiers if you do not
So far as the annexation of Hawaii is concerned, those who want to
oppose it have a perfect right to do so. I understand the Senator from
Cal. (Mr. WHITE) who is the chairman of the Democratic Congressional
committee, and the Senator from Ark. (Mr. JONES), who is the chairman
of the National Democratic committee, are both opposed to the
annexation of Hawaii. Whether you take it as a war measure or take it
otherwise, they are utterly opposed to it. I do not expect to correct their
opinions nor to reproach them for holding them. I only say to those two
gentlemen, who occupy the most distinguished positions in the
Democratic party, that they cannot make that opposition Democratic.
They cannot do that, and then go back to the old Marcy platform on these
questions. They must stand on stronger ground than they did when they
stood by Grover Cleveland when he tried to keep Liliuokalani on the
When you object to the Democracy of those who are in favor of the
annexation of Hawaii on this side of the Chamber, we have as much
claim to Democracy as any of the balance of you, and we will assert it
whenever you put up a man for the Presidency of the United States who
says he is against all progress, against all justice, against all treaty
obligations, and against doing those things which are necessary for
carrying on this war. When you come to put him in the Presidential chair
you will find yourselves mistaken and encounter a power you do not
dream of. There are men still alive in this world who have the old
Jackson stock in them, and plenty of it, and the Marcy stock, too.
Mr. CHANDLER. May I ask the Senator whether he is talking to the
Republican party or to the Democratic party?
Mr. MORGAN. I certainly am not talking to the Senator from N.H., for
of late I do not know whether he is a Democrat or a Republican.
Mr. CHANDLER. Because I do not know myself. [Laughter.]
Mr. MORGAN. I am satisfied you do not, and the misfortune is that the
Senator from N.H. will not live to be old enough to find himself out, or if
he should ever do that, he would be as old as Methuselah.
Mr. CHANDLER. But I do want to find out what the Senator from Ala.
means when he is taking so eloquently.
Mr. MORGAN. There is nobody but the Senator from N.H. in the
Senate who misunderstands me—nobody else. These gentlemen I have
been talking to do not misunderstand me. The people are not going to
misunderstand me, and I do not feel like I was putting myself out of
harness or in any particular predicament by telling the truth about these
things as I go along here—the truth no Democrat was ever afraid of in
the affairs of this Govt. and in the reference to the men who manage
Now I have got through with what I had to say on this subject for the
afternoon, but I am going to discuss it and in discussing it if I mention
the name of the Hawaiian Islands I hope the chairman of the committee
or the Senator in charge of the bill will not lock the doors on me because
of that fact. It will not be intentional and I might accidentally stumble on
Mr. STEWART. Mr. President, I regret that the Senator from Iowa
suggested that this bill was not intended as a subject for general debate.
If it had been a bill for speedy action it would have been an ordinary
revenue bill. In the history of this Govt. previous to the civil war and
during that time the method of raising money for like emergencies was to
issue short time Treasury notes.
Mr. ALLISON. I will say, in order to save the Senator any further time
on that question, that what I said was quite to the contrary, that it was a
subject of the wildest debate.
Mr. STEWART. I think the putting into this bill of the whole money
question was unfortunate. You could raise money as you have in all time
past, by Treasury notes drawing interest. It gave an abundance in the
Mexican war, and in the war of 1812 there was no trouble. But here is
something else wanted. There is a contest whether it shall be bank or
Govt. money, and they must under any and all circumstances have a
large issue of three per cent bonds to be taken by the banks, and the
banks are here asking for this thing. The whole money question is
involved in this. If you put out these bonds and strengthen the banks,
then of course that gives the gold power an additional weapon. That is
what they are fighting for. Every recommendation coming from the bank
party from Gage up and down—true, it is but a little ways down—has
advocated bonds, bonds, bonds. We have heard nothing else but bonds
to be taken by the banks. That is what this for. Nobody believes that this
is a mere war measure to raise revenue, because if it were it would have
done it in the regular way. The majority of the committee have adopted
the principles of the war measure of thirty years ago.
Then there is another peculiarity of which I hardly want to speak in
public. We are called copperheads and traitors because we do not like
the bond issue, and particularly the majority of the committee are called
all sorts of names too horrible to mention for suggesting greenbacks.
The Republican prayers are full of it, loaded down—copperheads,
traitors, sneaks, and such terms.
Mr. HAWLEY. It is the first time I have ever heard such an expression
Mr. STEWART. In the papers?
Mr. HAWLEY. Yes, and I am somewhat of a newspaper man.
Mr. STEWART. I saw them this morning. I refer you to the
Indianapolis Journal, quoting from a whole lot of other papers the same
kind of language.
That reminds me of what the Republican party said of the Democrats
because they opposed greenbacks, because they opposed the exercise of
the power of the Govt. to issue greenbacks. They were denounced in
every possible way as we are now denounced, but, presto, change.
Mr. ALLEN. The language referred to was used in an editorial this
morning in the Post, copied from some other paper.
Mr. STEWART. In the Post and several other papers. Such papers are
sent to me from all points. For opposing greenbacks the Republicans for
twenty years denounced the Democrats as copperheads, and after the war
the Democrats took another step, that they could not issue legal tender
money, that the Government of the U.S. had no such power in time of
peace, and the Republican press went for them terrifically and said that it
was treason, because the time would come when they would want them
again and it was treason to deny to the Government this authority, and
the Republican party went so far—I was a member of it at the time and
know it—as to pack the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court had
decided that the power did not exist to issue legal tender money in time
of peace. There were two vacancies and two men were appointed who
notoriously were in favor of that power of the Government. Their views
were well known in this Chamber. I am glad it is in secret session. The
Democrats said they packing the court. They replied they would pack
the court, that they had a right to do it to save the Government, to save
the power to the Government; that if the Government was deprived of the
power to issue legal tender money it was something with which the
Government could not dispense and exist. They did not deny the charge.
They said the exigency warranted it, that the President had a right to pick
out men of known views. He took two lawyers, Bradley and Strong.
That charge was made.
From 1862 to 1882, when Judge Gray rendered the last decision, the
Republican press denounced Democrats who questioned it. Now this
committee is arraigned by the same press for proposing to exercise a
function which the Supreme Court said the Government had a right to
exercise and which the Republican party contended for here was
essential to the existence of the Government.
Mr. WOLCOTT. I rise to a parliamentary inquiry. I have been away for
a time. I desire to ask what is the question before the Senate.
Mr. STEWART. I am discussing the question.
Mr. WOLCOTT. I ask for information.
The Presiding Officer (Mr. GALLINGER in the chair). The Senator
from Nevada will suspend. The chair will state that the parliamentary
question is, Shall the discussion which is being carried on by the Senator
from Massachusetts (Mr. LODGE) be proceeded with behind closed
doors. That is the only question.
Mr. WOLCOTT. Thank you.
Mr. STEWART. I will excuse my friend, the Senator from Colorado,
because his mind does not generally follow closely enough so that he can
understand the bearing of a legal argument. With his loose ideas he of
course gets bewildered.
Mr. LINDSEY. Mr. President—
The Presiding Officer (Mr. GALLINGER in the chair). Does the Senator
from Nevada yield to the Senator from Kentucky?
Mr. STEWART. No. I am replying to arguments which were made here
that this is a bill not to create discussion but purely to raise revenue. I
say it is a bill to transfer this Government to the banks. It is a bill to get
out bonds which could not be got out in any other way. They dare not
attempt it in any other way. They are taking advantage of the war. The
first thing is the issue of bonds. We have heard of this for years. We say
why not raise money as we have done in every other war? At all times
previous to 1860 it was raised by Treasury notes, payable in one or two
years, receivable for Government dues, and drawing interest. During the
war the first thing we did was to put out greenbacks. We say why not
follow the established precedent? Why start in on this new departure to
get bonds out before you require them and open the whole question, and
I tell my friends that if they want to cut people off in this way and take a
man off the floor there is enough questionable material in the bill that
I do not take any stock in discussions to stop legitimate amendments. I
do not take any stock in any of the threats that if Hawaii is to be
considered there will be filibustering. I give the gentlemen notice that
filibustering can occur, not filibustering, but legitimate argument. The
money question is a big one and involves a great deal of argument.
There may be a large amount of legitimate argument made and probably
there will be more made than otherwise if we did not hear the threats of
filibustering. They say that you shall not discuss at all the question of
having this way-station, because if you do somebody will filibuster. Is
that the way you are going to get bills through?
My friend the Senator from Ala. (Mr. MORGAN) does not filibuster, but
he has a capacity for argument in extenso, and he does not talk nonsense.
He talks sense all the time. He illuminates a question. He may have
some remarks to make, and he will have some remarks to make if you
have no other game than that of talk. He can talk with argument and that
beats talking without argument which his opponents must necessarily be
driven to if they attempt to filibuster against the annexation of the
Sandwich Islands in this emergency.
We had better go on without threats. We had better go on without the
pretense that here is a bill which has no debatable matter in it, a bill that
patriotism ought to put through. I say it is a bill the banking green wants.
The mode of raising money is unusual and never was resorted to before
in the history of the Govt. under like circumstances. Every time we have
got into war Treasury notes were issued, starting with Madison, and
during the war they were resorted to first and bonds were the last resort.
They kept them out. There were very few long time bonds out when the
war closed. The bonding scheme was invented since the war. It was
invented to improve the credit of the Government; to get it bonded so
that it could not pay. Look at how the bond scheme has operated. In the
five years preceding the repeal of the purchasing clause of the Sherman
$112,000,000 was paid off annually. At the same rate the whole debt
would have been paid six months ago. But they started in with this nonpartisan
scheme to strengthen the public credit, to bring prosperity in a
moment. You have passed it. You have added $60,000,000 a year to the
public debt since, making more grievous taxation. Now you have nearly
$900,000,000. That is the way you raise revenue and strengthen the
public credit. You put into all of your legislation some game of that kind
to rob the people, and if Senators can be taken off the floor on the ground
that if they talk they are going to prolong debate, I merely make these
suggestions to show that there are elements of debate sufficiently
involved in the bill.
I hope the doors will be opened and that the Senator from Mass. will
conclude his speech. It is a shorter road to the final result than any other
you can adopt, and I give you notice of that right now.
Mr. WHITE. Mr. President, those of us who are opposed to the
annexation of the Hawaiian Islands are not opposed to an open debate
upon that topic; in fact we have courted it from the beginning, but we
object to an ex parte debate participated in by the other side. Perhaps we
would not be so liberal if we constituted the ex parte element. However
that may be, it is the fair thing, if we are to discuss it at all to discuss it in
open session or in secret session exclusively. Those of us who are
opposed to annexation as I have remarked prefer discussing it in the
open. We think there are a great many fallacious notions prevailing
about the subject which could be readily cleared up by open discussion.
We cannot be driven very much. We have not heretofore responded to
anybody’s lash and we do not propose to do so here. The comments of
my friend, the Senator from Alabama, in reference to myself of course
will be respectfully considered, as I have regard for his opinions upon
any subject, as I ought to have, but I certainly will express my own views
and intend to adhere to them until I am shown that I am wrong, and I will
not be deterred from expressing them by any remarks he made with
reference to them outside of the actual argument which may be suggested
showing that I am wrong.
Now, so far as the pending bill is concerned, those of us who are opposed
to annexation have not filibustered. We have not attempted to impede its
passage at all. We have endeavored to disentangle it from everything
outside of the matters legitimately and properly appertaining to it, and in
the Finance Committee there has been no dissent as to the policy to be
pursued in this regard. On the contrary it has been understood by the
members of the committee that Congress was here mainly because of the
necessities of the war and that the probabilities are we would have been
at our homes to-day had not war come upon us. We are endeavoring to
pass this bill to obtain the revenues necessary for the Government, and
those who are attaching other measures to it are to blame if the revenue
bill does not pass.
Another thing. It must be remembered that the appropriation bills are in
a very sad condition. People in my State, in certain portions of it
especially, are agitated about the non-appearance of the sundry civil bill
which has been in conference for a long time because the distinguished
chairman of the Committee on Appropriations has had a great deal to do,
more than anybody else, I may say, in connection with the present
revenue bill, and he could not do two things at one time and a thousand
things all at once. So in regard to the Indian appropriation bill. It is also
in conference. These are great leading measures.
As to the schemes of annexation, whether they be of the 1,200 Philippine
Islands and of the seven millions of oriental combination products
contained there or regarding islands in the West Indies, I know not, but
one thing we are certain of: When we reach out and annex 1,200 islands
upon the shores of China, tenanted by six or seven million barbarians, six
thousand and odd miles from our coast, we will think about it a little, I
imagine, and discuss it, I trust. When we talk about annexing an island
in the Caribbean Sea or in the Atlantic Ocean or elsewhere tenanted by
non-assimilative races, people who have no knowledge of our institutions
or capacity of acquiring any knowledge, I hope we will think a little bit
about it. It seems to me it is worth considering a little. It should not be
put as a rider upon a bill nor passed during the heat of summer. The
Hawaiian question is only one of those foreign questions now before. It
must be solved in the light of the experiences and obligations imposed
upon us by the present war. What will they be? Who knows? I do not.
Does any Senator know? I imagine not.
Mr. President, therefore I think it is not unreasonable if some of us
believe that this great question of annexation of territory ought to be
postponed until the war is over and we know what we have on hand.
This talk about foreign interference with us because we shall want to
coal, if we do so, at Honolulu has nothing to support it. The charge made
in the report of the Committee on Foreign Relations regarding Japan was
absolutely without foundation. I have investigated the matter myself
sufficiently to make me feel absolutely confident of this assertion, and I
defy anybody to produce any proof that France or Germany or any other
power is protesting against our getting coal at Honolulu. It is a mere
announcement of those who are trying to get up a scare in order to make
men do that which under ordinary conditions they would not do.
We will, I suppose, go on with this war as we see fit. We are not asking
Spain’s permission to coal in Honolulu, and the Senator from N.H. (Mr.
CHANDLER) who is afraid that Spain may feel hard towards the
Hawaiian govt. if we coal at Honolulu certainly feel more towards Spain
in that regard than in other. We are not asking anything of Spain. If we
do something in the Hawaiian Islands which Spain does not like and
Spain makes a fuss about it, we will chase her around the Hawaiian
Islands as we are trying to chase her in other places, and with more
success I hope than we have done recently.
Mr. CULLOM. We have got them in a pen.
Mr. WHITE. If it be true that they are penned up we will endeavor to
apply the Cervera trick, so-called, upon them in Honolulu. Certainly at
all events we do not intend to and we will not consult Spain about
anything. I think we have severed diplomatic relations with Spain,
although the President informed us that Spain had no reason to feel
aggrieved at what we had done, and he was no doubt right about that
matter. Still we did sever diplomatic relations with her and we are not
consulting her in any regard, and my friend, the Senator from N.H. is the
last man to consult Spain, unless he changes tactics entirely, and
whatever may be said about him in connection with other subjects, I do
not think there will be any alteration of his course in this regard. He is
always very consistent.
Mr. CHANDLER. What I said was that if we destroyed the neutrality of
Hawaii Spain would have a claim against Hawaii which she could
enforce according to the principles of the Geneva Award and make
Hawaii, if she were able to do it, pay for every dollar’s worth of damage
done to the ships of property of Spain by the fleet that may go out of
Mr. WHITE. I do not think my friend, the Senator from N.H. is very
much disturbed about that. As far as the Geneva Award is concerned
that was decided upon agreed principles laid down in certain rules which
I believe that all of the writers upon international jurisprudence agree
were not the rules of international law, but we won our case for, I believe
the first and only time in history, by outwitting Great Britain—
Mr. CHANDLER. Will the Senator allow me to ask him a question?
First, whether he is willing to have the Navy and Army of the U.S.
violate the neutrality of Hawaii?
Mr. WHITE. I am not, as everybody knows, a soldier, nor am I familiar
with military affairs, but if I were conducting this Govt. and fighting
Spain I would proceed so far as Spain was concerned just as I saw fit. I
would get the better of her in any way I deemed proper, without
trenching upon the rights of other people. So far as the Hawaiian Islands
are concerned, we talk about a coaling station. We have had one, and
because we have not improved it we are told that we ought to go and
annex the islands. There is an argument for you! Then why have we
not, if we need a coaling station in the Hawaiian Islands now, if we have
needed it so badly as the Senator states, had a treaty to give us one in
Honolulu Harbor before the war began? Mr. Dole would be very willing
to enter into any kind of treaty with us. But the matter has been held up
for the purpose of attempting to create a necessity, and we are asked in
the presence of necessity to do that which a sane man under ordinary
circumstances would not think of doing, this to establish a precedent in
order to enable our speculative friends in various parts of the world to
argue that we ought to annex all the barbarian tribes we may conquer in
Mr. WILSON. The Senator states that the matter has been held up. Will
he be kind enough to say where?
Mr. WHITE. Certainly. I mean if the Administration desires to establish
a coaling station at Honolulu it would be easy to negotiate a treaty to do
Mr. WILSON. It was held up in the United States Senate.
Mr. WHITE. It has been rather dormant here, very dormant, I agree with
the Senator. There is a very singular feature about the matter referred to,
called to my attention by the Senator from Washington, and it is this:
This treaty was not called up until the middle of January. Then it was
dropped, and now it is brought up at this time, and we are told that
conditions are so exigent that we must tack it on to a war measure. We
have certainly become remarkably anxious and excited about it.
Mr. WILSON. Interrupting the honorable Senator again I will say that
personally I am entirely in favor of the annexation of the Hawaiian
Mr. WHITE. I regret to say that I know that.
Mr. WILSON. All my people are in favor of the annexation of the
Hawaiian Islands, but I do not think myself that it is advisable to tack it
on to this war measure. I want to see this bill passed as speedily as
possible. We are not going to change a single vote by prolonging this
discussion. We could vote on it to-morrow and pass the bill and give the
Government, that we continue to complain of every day for forcing the
war, money and men to carry it on. That is what we ought to do and
what the people of the United States hope we will do.
Mr. WHITE. And what the Committee on Finance is trying to do, as I
Mr. WILSON. I am trying to aid the committee as far as my one vote
will go in that direction.
Mr. WHITE. Another thing. When we are told that it is necessary to
legislate regarding the various acquisitions that we are to make, I think
we are told that we are opening a question involving this entire
international subject and which is entirely outside of the scope of the
revenue measure before the Senate. I hope that we will go on and
consider the revenue bill and dispose of it and dispose of the other urgent
matters that are before us and await the result of the conflict now going
on, and settle upon some policy consistent with the occasion and which
patriotism and duty to our country require us to determine wisely.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is, Shall the discussion which
is being carried on by the junior Senator from Massachusetts be
proceeded with behind closed doors? [Putting the question.] The ayes
appear to have it. The ayes have it, and the Senator from Massachusetts
Mr. LODGE. Mr. President, if I had been permitted to continue I could
have finished in ten minutes. I have really made the argument which I
desire to make. If it had not been that it would have precipitated a
protracted debate, I should have argued then what has been argued ably
since we came into secret legislative session, that at this moment the
Administration was compelled to violate the neutrality of those islands,
that protests from foreign representatives had already been received, and
complications with other powers were threatened, that the annexation or
some action in regard to those islands had become a military necessity.
Mr. MORGAN. May I ask the Senator how he acquired the knowledge
of the fact that protests of foreign governments have been interposed?
Mr. LODGE. I was so informed.
Mr. WHITE. I should like to know by what governments.
Mr. LODGE. I was advised on what I regard as good authority. I was
not shown the papers. I was told that we were threatened with foreign
complications and that protests had been received from the German and
French consuls. So I was informed.
Mr. GEAR. Has Hawaii declared neutrality yet?
Mr. LODGE. That has absolutely nothing to do with it. She is bound to
be neutral whether she declares it or not.
Mr. WHITE. I simply desire to say that I think I have been quite directly
informed that nothing of that kind has been sent in by Germany.
Mr. LODGE. I may be mistaken. I thought my authority was good.
At all events it was that view that I should have used the Hawaiian
Islands as an illustration of the argument I desired to make, which I did
make, that I thought Congress should not to be in a hurry to adjourn until
all measures for the prosecution of the war were disposed of. I should
have continued only about five minutes longer. I have no intention of
delaying this bill either by amendment or argument, as I stated in the
beginning. I have said all I really desired to say, and I have nothing
further to add. I move, if agreeable to the Senate, that we go into open
Mr. HOAR. I think the Senate should rescind or reconsider the vote just
passed without division.
Mr. ALDRICH. No, that was the rule. We can now return to open
legislative session and go on with the bill.
Mr. HOAR. I am not quite sure of that. I should like to ask the Chair to
state the parliamentary position.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Chair will state that the question
before the Senate, if the Senate should go into open legislative session, is
the amendment submitted by the Senator from Minnesota [Mr.
NELSON] to the amendment of the Senator from Maryland [Mr.
GORMAN] to the bill.
Mr. HOAR. What has the Senate voted?
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senate has voted that the discussion
which the Senator from Mass. [Mr. LODGE] was participating in, which
was a mere speech, should be continued behind closed doors.
Mr. HOAR. Was not the revenue bill up?
Mr. LODGE. It was.
Mr. HOAR. As I understand the parliamentary position, the revenue bill
was before the Senate, and my colleague proposed to discuss it. In the
course of that discussion he alluded to a certain topic. Thereupon, one
Senator moved and another joined with him in insisting that the
discussion should proceed with closed doors. Now, that settles the
question upon the pending bill. The Senate does not take notice of
particular arguments on particular topics. The Senate has voted that the
discussion on the revenue bill should proceed with closed doors, and if
we go back to open legislative session we go back not at liberty to take
up that subject, but only to proceed to other matters in open session.
Mr. COCKRELL. Oh, no.
Mr. HOAR. Now, in order to get rid of that we must rescind it. My
colleague states that he does not propose to continue his speech or to
continue further the discussion of that particular topic. If any other
Senator should propose to do that, the suggestion would be made here—
Mr. GRAY. Do we not rescind it when we vote to open the doors?
Mr. HOAR. No, that does not rescind it; that goes back to other
Mr. ALDRICH. No such motion as has been suggested by the Senator
from Mass. was adopted by the Senate.
Mr. HOAR. It is not a motion. It is a suggestion simply.
Mr. ALDRICH. No such motion has been adopted by the Senate.
Mr. HOAR. Yes it has.
Mr. ALDRICH. I beg the Senator’s pardon.
Mr. HOAR. What was the motion just passed within five minutes?
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Chair will state, if given permission,
that he put the question to the Senate shall the discussion which was
being carried on by the Senator from Mass. [Mr. LODGE] be proceeded
with behind closed doors.
Mr. ALDRICH. That is, the speech of the Senator from Mass., and it has
nothing to do with the revenue bill.
Mr. HOAR. There is nothing in the rule of the Senate which makes it in
order to vote that a particular speech shall go on behind closed doors. It
is the pending business which that vote related to.
Mr. SPOONER. If the Senator will pardon me a moment, the Senator’s
colleague had introduced as an amendment to the revenue bill what were
resolutions proposing to annex Hawaii.
Mr. HOAR. Certainly, to the revenue bill pending.
Mr. SPOONER. And he was proceeding it was thought to discuss that
proposition, and it was that proposition—
Mr. TILLMAN. The amendment of the Senator from Mass. [Mr.
LODGE] was not up particularly for discussion.
Mr. LODGE. The amendment was not up, and I did not have it read.
Mr. SPOONER. What was up?
Mr. HOAR. The revenue bill.
Mr. GRAY. The Senator was up.
Mr. LODGE. I was up.
Mr. HOAR. It is not very important, if Senators think otherwise, that the
business shall go on correctly, except as a matter of precedent. There is
no such thing as a vote in the Senate that a particular speech shall go on
behind closed doors. The vote relates to the ordinary question to which
the particular speech relates, and it has been voted that the revenue bill,
which was the pending subject, shall go on and proceed behind closed
doors. That vote should be the mere going back into open session. It
allows us to go back only for other business and not for that.
Mr. CHANDLER. I ask that the rule may be read.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Chair will cause Rule 35 to be read
from the desk.
The SECRETARY read as follows:
Session with Close Doors. On a motion made and seconded to close the
doors of the Senate, on the discussion of any business which may, in the
opinion of a Senator, require secrecy, the Presiding Officer shall direct
the galleries to be cleared; and during the discussion of such motion the
doors shall remain closed.
Mr. HOAR. That is the business now, the business was the revenue bill.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Chair is very clearly of the opinion
that if the Senate votes to proceed to the consideration of business in
open session, it is entirely competent to do so, and it vacates the former
motion. The motion is made that the Senate proceed to the consideration
of the revenue bill in open session.
The motion was agreed to, and at 4 o’clock and 45 minutes from, after 2
hours and 53 minutes spent with closed doors, the doors were reopened.