Mr. Willis to Mr. Gresham.

No. 47.]

Sir: By section 18 of act 69, “An act to provide for a constitutional convention,” the following oath is required of the voter:

I, —— —— aged —— years, a native of ——, residing at ——, in said district, do solemnly swear in the presence of Almighty God that I will support and bear true allegiance to the Provisional Government of the Hawaiian Islands, and will oppose any attempt to reestablish monarchial government in any form in the Hawaiian Islands.

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There appearing to be some misunderstanding as to the effect of the oath, Hon. W. O. Smith, attorney-general, makes the following “authoritative statement on the subject:”

The word “oppose” in the form of the oath relates to the duties of those taking it, as voters and as delegates; the former binding themselves in voting for delegates to vote only for such persons as are opposed to a reestablishment of the monarchy; and the latter as members of the convention binding themselves to work in the convention against the introduction of any provision in the new constitution tending to a reestablishment of the monarchy. The word “resist” was in the first draft of the oath, and was stricken out as possibly misleading.

Inquiry having been made of me by citizens of the United States residing here, as to their status, should they take the above oath, I respectfully ask an instruction on this point.

It may be proper to call your attention to previous correspondence on this subject, to be found on p. 346 of “Foreign Relations of the United States, 1882” (case of Mr. Peter Cushman Jones), and p. 833, part 1, “Foreign Relations of the United States, 1888,” being the decisions of Secretary Frelinghuysen and Secretary Bayard.

The period of registration closes on the 27th instant.

I have, etc.,

Albert S. Willis.

U. S. Dispatch Agent, San Francisco, Cal.:

Forward following by first steamer to Albert S. Willis, U. S. minister, Honolulu:

Your dispatch No. 47 received.

This Government does not hold to the doctrine of perpetual allegiance, and an American citizen who voluntarily takes an oath to support and bear true allegiance to a foreign power, contemplating participation in its affairs probably, abandons his right to claim protection from the United States.