to Mr. Evarts.
Honolulu, Hawaiian Islands, May 31, 1877. (Received July 6.)
Sir: I have the honor to inclose herewith two official printed copies of a proclamation of neutrality on the part of this kingdom in regard to the war existing or impending in Europe. It was published in the Hawaiian Gazette of yesterday, May 30. A copy in manuscript was forwarded to me by the minister of foreign affairs on the 26th instant, with a request for my opinion on the proclamation.
In my reply, under date of the 28th instant, I said to Minister Garter that the measure proposed seemed to me legal, wise, and judicious, and I suggested that, in view of the fact of the large number of vessels sailing under the Hawaiian flag and register, this government should take the present occasion to again proclaim its adhesion to the humane [Page 299]and enlightened principles and rules of war and neutrality agreed to by the convention of July 22, 1854, between the United States and Russia; that His late Majesty Kamehameha IV, by advice and consent of his cabinet and council, adopted said rules on the 26th March, 1855, but that no action had since been taken by this government to make those principles and rules permanent and immutable by a convention.
The publication of the King’s proclamation was no doubt hastened by the fact of the arrival here, since the 29th instant, of the Russian admiral Pouzino, with three ships of war under his command, and others are expected to follow. They are from San Francisco, and to sail in a few days for the Occident.
Admiral Pouzino called upon me yesterday and I shall return his visit to-morrow.
With great respect, &c.,