Mr. Merrill to Mr. Bayard.
Honolulu, October 22, 1887. (Received November 9.)
Sir: Referring to the supplementary convention mentioned in your unnumbered dispatch of the 26th ultimo, I have the honor to advise [Page 835] you that I am informed that the supplementary convention, as amended by the Senate, has been ratified by His Majesty the King, and that Mr. Carter, the Hawaiian minister at Washington, was so advised per mail by the steamer touching at this port last night en route from Australia to San Francisco.
On learning, through the press of this city, that His Majesty’s Government was disposed to consider favorably the amended supplementary convention, the British commissioner resident here addressed a note to the Hawaiian minister of foreign affairs, and after reciting that England and France by the treaty of November 28, 1843, had guarantied the independence of Hawaii, he makes the following statement:
But the acquisition by the United States of a harbor or preferential concession in any part of the Hawaiian Kingdom would, in the opinion of Her Majesty’s Government, infallibly lead to the loss of its independence and the extinction of the Hawaiian nationality.
In reply to this note, the Hawaiian minister of foreign affairs stated in substance that the United States being a new and friendly power, with which this country is necessarily intimately connected commercially, and having granted the original treaty of reciprocity at a loss to its revenue to the great advantage of Hawaii, it would seem that, consulting the best interests of the people of Hawaii, and for the purpose of continuing intimate commercial relations, it was a proper and patriotic policy for His Majesty’s ministers to advise the ratification of the supplementary convention as amended while it did not appear that the autonomy of Hawaii was invaded.
The British commissioner replied to the minister of foreign affairs, intimating his dissatisfaction and objecting at length to a preferential concession to the United States.
To this last note of the British commissioner the minister of foreign affairs will reply the coming week.
As yet, the commissioner is not aware that His Majesty the King has ratified the supplementary convention.
At intervals during the past few weeks, the Bulletin and Gazette, daily newspapers published in this city, have been engaged in a controversy concerning the Senate amendment, coupled with a discussion of the independence of Hawaii.
I have, etc.,