No. 608.
Mr. Merrill to Mr. Bayard.

No. 153.]

Sir: I have the honor to inform you that on the 3d instant the Hawaiian legislature convened in Aliiolani Hall, Honolulu, and was opened by His Majesty in person.

On this occasion the King was accompanied by Her Majesty the Queen, Her Royal Highness Princess Liliuokalani, and Her Royal Highness Princess Kaiulaui.

I inclose a newspaper account of the opening ceremonies, also a copy of the speech of His Majesty the King in formally opening the session, and the reply thereto as reported to and adopted by the legislature.

[Page 836]

One of the principal points of interest in the speech and reply is the reference to a renewal of the treaty of reciprocity with the United States, which has been received throughout the community with very much favor.

Relative to the extension of the treaty I inclose a copy of an editorial article entitled “The Legislation,” published on the 4th instant, in the Daily Hawaiian Gazette.

The legislature organized promptly by the election of Hon. Samuel G. Wilder, of Honolulu, as presiding officer, and the usual complement of officers.

It is generally believed that the legislature is composed of members disposed to transact business promptly, and, if possible, avoid a protracted session.

I have, etc.,

Geo. W. Merrill.
[Inclosure 1 in No. 153.]

Nobles and representatives:

You have been called together in extraordinary session at the earliest practicable moment after your election under the new constitution, in order that you may revise and amend certain acts which have been found to be inoperative, unconstitutional, or conflicting in their terms. Amongst these are the opium bill and the act to organize the military forces of the Kingdom; also the law relating to notaries public and that relating to corporations.

Another reason is that you may consider the advisability of changing the method of administration of certain departments of the public service which do not now secure to the country the efficiency which is desirable.

The circumstances connected with the negotiation of the loan in London, which seems not to have been effected strictly in accordance with the loan act of 1886, will probably also necessitate some amendments thereto. A somewhat different distribution of the amounts appropriated for the objects named in that act may also be necessary, some of them being insufficient, whilst others are larger than required.

I also commend to your consideration the revision of the law regulating the police department in such a manner as to insure more efficient results and a more responsible administration.

My ministers will also propose to you some amendments to the appropriation bill of 1886, which seems to have been drawn up without due regard to the probable revenue, and you will see the necessity of curtailing salaries and other expenditures wherever practicable, as well as of abolishing all unnecessary offices, in order that the proper relation between the receipts and expenditures of the treasury may be preserved.

I take great pleasure in informing you that the treaty of reciprocity with the United States of America has been definitely extended for seven years upon the same terms as those in the original treaty, with the addition of a clause granting to national vessels of the United States the exclusive privilege of entering Pearl River Harbor and establishing there a coaling and repair station. This has been done after mature deliberation, and the interchange between my Government and that of the United States of an interpretation of the said clause whereby it is agreed and understood that it does not cede any territory, or part with or impair any right of sovereignty or jurisdiction on the part of the Hawaiian Kingdom, and that such exclusive privilege is coterminous with the treaty.

I regard this as one of the most important events of my reign, and I sincerely believe that it will re-establish the commercial progress and prosperity which began with the reciprocity treaty.

Nobles and representatives, I now declare the legislature of the Kingdom opened.

[Inclosure 2 in No. 153.]

reply to his majesty’s speech.

Noble Dole, from the special committee of three, presented the following reply to His Majesty’s speech:

Your Majesty, sire: We, the nobles and representatives of the Kingdom, have listened with pleasure to the sentiments which fell from Your Majesty’s lips in the [Page 837] speech from the throne on the opening of the legislature, and we beg to assure Your Majesty that the opium bill, the act to organize the military forces of the Kingdom, the law relating to notaries public and to corporations and other matters to which Your Majesty calls our attention, shall receive our careful consideration and action.

The circumstances connected with the negotiation of the loan in Loudon shall be thoroughly investigated, and our decision be such as shall in the premises appear right and equitable and in strict conformity with the provision of the statutes. It shall also be our duty, in compliance with suggestions from the throne, to make such revisions and amendments in the law regulating the police department, and also in the appropriation bill of 1886, as shall secure a more responsible administration and a suitable regard for the national revenue.

Your Majesty may rest assured that the matter of an economical administration of the public service shall always be kept in mind in our deliberations and that our conclusions shall be such as an unselfish patriotism may dictate.

We desire to congratulate Your Majesty upon the successful issue of the negotiations of Your Majesty’s Government with the United States of America, which have resulted in the definite renewal of the treaty of reciprocity for a period of seven years, and we take pleasure in expressing on this occasion our approval of the granting to the United States Government the exclusive privilege of entering Pearl River Harbor and establishing there a coaling and repairing station, it being a necessary condition for the securing of this valuable concession, while guarantying to the country a renewal of commercial prosperity. We feel great satisfaction in the assurance that it is without prejudice to Hawaiian jurisdiction, and we agree with Your Majesty that this event will ever be regarded as one of the most important of those which have signalized Your Majesty’s reign.

The report was signed by the three members of the committee, George H. Dole, Dr. J. Wight, and A. P. Kalaukoa.

On motion of Representative C. Brown the reply was adopted and ordered to be engrossed.