No. 355.
Mr. Peirce to Mr. Fish.

No. 278.]

Sir: The Legislative Assembly was to-day prorogued by the King in person, with much ceremony and parade.

Rumors were rife that the disaffected Hawaiians would attempt to create another riot on the occasion; but everything went off peacefully, owing probably to the vigorous preparations made by the government to suppress lawlessness, had any been shown by the populace.

Three seditious persons were arrested last night by the police, which damped the ardor of the others of like character.

Inclosed herewith is a printed copy of His Majesty’s speech to the Assembly. I respectfully call your attention to passages therein that I have marked.

I also inclose copy of the telegraph bill, which is now a law of the kingdom.

I have, &c.,

[Inclosure 1 in No. 278.]

King Kalakaua’s speech to the Assembly.

Nobles and Representatives: After a protracted session, I congratulate you upon the termination of your labors. I trust and believe that the constitutional amendments which you have passed will result in good, and that the extension of the suffrage will be duly appreciated by the country.

Your appropriations for preserving the health of the people, for immigration, and for public improvements have been very liberal, and fully equal to meet the necessities to which I drew your attention upon your being called together. It will be my duty and that of my government to see that the several sums are judiciously and economically expended. For your liberality toward myself and family I thank you.

My relations with the great nations of the world continue to be of the most gratifying character, and I have received letters during the sitting of the house from the Sovereign of Great Britain, the President of the United States, the President of the French Republic, the Emperor of Germany, the Emperor of Russia, the King of the Netherlands, the King of Denmark, the King of Sweden and Norway, the King of Italy, and the King of Belgium, recognizing my election to the throne, and assuring me of their friendship and good-will.

A number of new laws and amendments to laws have been carefully considered by you, and those enacted, I trust, will promote the welfare of our beloved country.

The acts which you have passed to aid the introduction of electric telegraphs and for the encouragement of steam-navigation with foreign countries show that my people are prepared to take advantage of all the improved methods of communication with neighboring countries.

The act to facilitate the negotiation of treaties of reciprocity proves that you fully appreciate the advantages of such a treaty, more particularly with our near neighbor the United States, and no efforts on my part, or on that of my government, shall be wanting to bring about so desirable a result.

The law which you have passed to authorize a national loan, and to define to what uses such loan shall be applied, is in accordance with the views which I expressed to you in my message of the 22d of June, and I shall carefully watch its working by the board which you empowered me to constitute, in the hope that it may fully realize the benefits anticipated from it in the increase of the population and products, and therefore in the prosperity of my kingdom.

Nobles and Representatives: On returning to your homes and to your constituents, [Page 581] you will still have the opportunity to continue the good work of the session, in instructing the people in all that tends to preserve their health and comfort, and to increase their means and their knowledge; and I trust that you will apprise them of my constant solicitude for their welfare, and assure them that each man who takes good care of himself and family, with due regard to the rights of his neighbor, is adding to the strength of my kingdom and assisting in the perpetuation of our race.

I now declare this Legislative Assembly of the kingdom prorogued.

[Inclosure 2 in No. 278.]

the telegraph bill.

The following is the bill for the encouragement of electric telegraphy, in the amended shape in which it passed the legislature, and was approved by His Majesty, August 1, 1874:

AN ACT for the encouragement and aid of any company now incorporated, or that may he hereafter incorporated, for the transmission of intelligence by electricity.

Be it enacted by the King and the Legislative Assembly of the Hawaiian Islands in the Legislature of the kingdom assembled:

  • Section 1. The ministry of the interior is hereby authorized and empowered to permit and allow any company now incorporated in any foreign country, or that may be hereafter incorporated in this kingdom or any foreign country, for the transmission of intelligence by electricity, to construct lines of telegraph upon and along the highways and public roads and across the lands and waters of this kingdom, by the appropriation of any trees growing by nature, or by the erection of the necessary fixtures, including posts, piers, abutments, or bridges for sustaining the cords or wires of said lines, provided the same shall not be so constructed as to incommode the public use of the said road or highway, or injuriously interrupt the navigation of said waters.
  • Section 2. The minister of the interior is hereby authorized to take up and set apart for the use of such telegraph company or companies, sufficient land and premises for telegraph stations and other needful uses in operating said telegraph line or lines, and to grant every facility for the landing of subaqueous cables, telegraph cord or wires, instruments, apparatus, and all and every article, goods, wares, and merchandise appertaining to the landing of such telegraphic line or lines, and the transmission of intelligence by electricity, and such articles and merchandise shall be exempt from duties, and the vessel or vessels chartered, or otherwise specially engaged in the lay-ingor maintenance of a telegraph line or lines, shall be exempt from all port charges except pilotage.
  • Section 3. If any person over whose lands said line or lines shall, pass, upon which posts, piers, or abutments shall be placed, or standing trees appropriated, or such person’s lands shall be taken for public use by the minister of the interior for necessary stations and other-needful uses in operating said telegraphic lines, shall consider himself aggrieved or damaged thereby, upon sworn application to the minister of the interior, the said minister shall appoint three disinterested persons, who shall be sworn before entering upon the duties of their office, and any one of whom shall have power to administer oaths, to act as commissioners to ascertain and determine upon the compensation to be made to the owner or owners, person or persons interested, for the taking or injuriously affecting such real property as may be required for such telegraph line or lines.
  • Section 4. The said commissioners, or a majority of them, shall determine upon the compensation proper to be made to each of the parties claimant and interested, and upon filing of the certificate of their finding and appraisement with the minister of the interior, the said minister is hereby authorized to pay to such owner or owners or persons interested the sum of money to which he may become entitled by reason of such appraisement; such sum of money to be drawn upon any funds in the treasury not otherwise appropriated.
  • Section 5. The minister of the interior, on receiving the certificate of appraisement, may pay to the commissioners such reasonable compensation as he may determine upon, and shall have the power to fill any vacancy in their number from death or otherwise.
  • Section 6. Any person who shall unlawfully and intentionally injure, molest, or destroy any of the said lines, posts, piers, or abutments, or the material or property belonging thereto, shall, on conviction thereof, be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and be punished by a tine not exceeding five hundred dollars, or imprisonment at hard labor not exceeding one year, or both, at the discretion of the court before which the conviction shall be had.
  • Section 7. This act shall take effect and become a law from and after the date of its approval.