Mr. Daggett to Mr. Frelinghuysen.
Honolulu , March 15, 1884. (Received March 31.)
Sir: I have the honor to inform you that the Hawaiian minister of foreign affairs has at length been enabled to make such changes and concessions in relation to the granting of special contracts for the transportation of Chinese laborers to these islands as will harmonize substantially with the interpretation of the treaty of 1849 which I was instructed to present to His Majesty’s Government.
Following the receipt of your dispatch of February 2, 1884 (No. 47), I resumed my correspondence on the subject with His Majesty’s minister of foreign affairs, and, with an emphasis warranted by more definite instructions, again advised his excellency of your interpretation of Article VI of the treaty of 1849, and asked His Majesty’s Government to take such measures as might be necessary to relieve American steamships carrying the United States mails of the discrimination against them involved in the continuance of existing or the making of future contracts according to particular lines of steamships the exclusive privilege of bringing Chinese laborers or passengers to the Hawaiian Islands. A copy of this letter, bearing date of March 5, 1884, I have the honor to inclose herewith.
On the 13th instant I was favored with a reply from the minister of foreign affairs, a copy of which I also inclose. His excellency conveys the information that no steamship company holds or has lately held any authorization to transport Chinese laborers to the Hawaiian Islands. This will occasion no surprise when it is remembered that the contract with the Pacific Mail Steamship Company, by previous notification of the Hawaiian Government, ceased on the 1st of January last, and that the Oceanic Steamship Company, or Mr. Spreckels, to whom the privilege was to have been transferred, is still without steamers to perform the service.
Without fully abandoning its position respecting its right, under its treaty covenants with the United States, to make exclusive contracts for the transportation to these islands of limited numbers and specified classes of Chinese immigrants, the Hawaiian Government has met the emergency with an order, followed with corresponding instructions to its representatives abroad, to the effect that Chinese immigrants in excess of twenty-five in any one vessel will not be admitted hereafter into the Hawaiian Kingdom, and his excellency gives assurance that, pending the consideration of the subject of Chinese immigration by the next Legislative Assembly, “no permits are or will be issued to any steamer lines giving them any exclusive privilege in regard to the transportation of Chinese immigrant laborers from Hong-Kong or elsewhere to this Kingdom.”
As the enforcement of these regulations in good faith will put an end to Chinese immigration, as well as to the discrimination complained of in connection with it, I shall be pleased to be confirmed in the judgment that a further discussion of the subject at this time is unnecessary.
Very respectfully, &c.,