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PUBLISHED WEEKLY, AT HONOLULU, OAIIU, SANDWICH ISLANDS.
1 - -
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, 1840.
I. J. JAUVES, Editor.
Vol. l.-IVo. 13.
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fo the Editor.
Sir, The writer over the signature of
fY Resident" in your last paper, says that
iny interpretation of "Laplace's Treaty ,"
Ijiliices the rrench nation in no enviable
Ji;rlit; Inasmuch as the subjects of his
JIawaiian Majesty are guaranteed no rights
W privileges in France ' at all commen
surate with those granted to French
Subjects here ; and that such exclusive
HMiclits no magnanimous or generous na
ion would require, &c.
see nothing in the treaty which affects
lie character for magnanimity or gener-
ity of the French toward this people.
ii tuo present condition of the commerce
uid productions of this country, the privil
eges granted here to the French may
crimps be more valuable than those con
crred on Ilawaiiaus in France; yet who
pall say that the latter are not as valuable
ii the abstract, or that at no remote period
Jliey may not become so, their importance
increasing in proportion as this country
levelopcs its resources.
France places this nation, scnii-bai-arous
as it is, on the footing of the most
livilized and the most favored ! yet A
vesiuL wi Hiicmpis 10 maue u appear mat
lie privilege is of no' value! The same
ommcrcial benefits granted by this peo
le to the French are also by existing
reaties or understandings "ranted to
llngland and the United States, yet ac
cording to "A Resident," it would not be
lagnanimous or generous in those nations
o avnil themselves of the same, because,
ieiare great and powerful and this is
eak and powerless: on this point we shall
ee what time will develope.
I am asked to explain how Sandwich
Mand produce can be prohibited in
ranee, when French produce and mer
: hadiscs are here at a duty of only five
r cent, &c.
I answer, because the TiiAvty, the Law
fthe two countries declares that such
hall be. the rase why the contracting
Sirties made the treaty; what particular
lotivcs, induccaients or influences gov
erned his Hawaiian Majesty in allixing
his signature to it, cannot be expected of
mo to explain.
"What moves the grand machine,
Nor stirs my curiosity nor spleen;
Secrets of State, no more I wish to know,
Thau secret movements of a puppet show."
My not having been in His Majesty's
councils or confidence, will I trust be a
sufficient reason for not being able to
gratify "A Resident" on 'the points allud
Allow me to say that "reciprocity" in
commercial contracts among nations, is
not nor ever has been considered necessary
or essential to justice in forming them.
The republic of the United States indeed
has ever been willing to act upon that
principle not because slie thinks it mag
nanimous, generous or just, but from mat
ters of policy, under 'belief that the in
dustry, commercial enterprise and genius
possessed by her sons will enable them
to compete successfully with any people,
when placed on a footing of equality in
rights and privileges'.
Because France chooses not to grant
this people the same commercial privi
leges claimed for and allowed to her own
subjects is she, that great and glorious
nation, to be branded with the vile epithet
of "JtOBBKR"? Sir, the blood of in
dignation mantled into niv cheeks "as I
I commend "A Resident" to a more
proper and prudent use of invective.
The admonition "to beware how I"
show up "La Belle-France" is quite super
erogatory. That nation which by the
brillancy of its genius, the light of its
science, and its valorous heroism has
raised , itself to be the fust, or among
the 'first countries of the globe in every
thing appertaining to civilization, requires
neither encomium or defence from my hum
ble pen needs no ''showing im" even in
this remote corner of the world.
There is the history of France it is
before the world. That there are dark
pages in it, is little to be doubted with
such can every countrv be charged and
such will be the case as long as human
nature remains unchanged.
Note. Since the above was written, a
conversation with the French Consul has,
been held, relative to the proper const ruc
tion or interpretation of Article (ith of the
Treaty and I am authorized to say, that
ho does not question the right of t his govern
ment to levy und collect any duty it pleases
on all French merchandise and product ions,
( I Vim and lirrtndiqs execpUd,) provided the
like duties arc levied and collected on the
merchandise and productions of other coun
tries: Such was the understanding of him
selfand Capt. Laplace, at the time the Treaty
was made. . And if the public have received
a contrary impression they ate in error.
August 31st. A Merchant.
For the Polynesian.
Mr. Editor, -Sir, In your journal of the
22nd inst. there is a communication from
"A Merchant," containing the "Laplace
Treaty," with some remarks. And in your
paper of the 29th, an answer by "A Resi
dent." We agree with a inel chant that there is no
obscurity in the meaning of the Treaty. It
grants no reciprocal commercial advantages
whatever No reciprocity beyond personal
protection, mutually extended to the subjects
of each government, w hilst they may be so
journing in the dominions of the other.
This interpretation of the Treaty is not
only obvious upon its face, but confirmed by
circumstances as the following brief sketch
of the French protective policy will show.
The total amount of impost, viz. entrance
duties, commission, &c. on French colonial
sugar is 1G2 per cent upon the prime cost in
the colonics. This enormous duty is laid
to protect the beet sugar manufacturers, the.
primitive cost of whose sugar is about G6 per
cent, more than the colonial. Upon this there
is a duty of about 20 per cent., but still en
abling the beet manufacturer to undersell
the colonial dealers' by a heavy per centage.
The French 'Chambers of Commerce estab
lished in the different cities of Toulon, Mar-
seills, Bordeaux, &.c, have for many years!
used all their influence with tho French
Legislature to get the colonial and native
sugar put upon the same footing, but with
Forty three rail-roads have been discon
tinued for want of iron, the duty upon which
is 200 per cent.
The same duty is also levied upon coal.
This indeed seems singular, as the country
is said to be unprovided with a sufficient
supply of tho two latter indispensable arti
cles to meet the demand. Says a writer,
"We find recently, by a comparison of the
French commercial returns for 1836 and
1337, that the commercial intercourse of
France has remained stationary with Belgi
um; diminished 7 per cent, with England;
17 per cent, with Switzerland; 23 per cent',
with Spain; and 27 per cent, with Germany."
This diminution of trade is doubtless chiefly
if not wholly owing to the high, tariff imposed
on foreign merchandise by. the French, gov
ernment. With the above facts before us,
is there a probability, or we might say a pos
sibility that the French government would
authorize any of its agents to. negotiate, a
commercial treaty granting immunities to a
foreign government far greater than those
which had been pcrseveringly prayed for by
its own subjects, for years in succession, but
had been us steadily withheld. Wc think
not, and if any of its agents has negotiated
such a trcatv. he has doubtless exceeded his
powers, and the treaty would only be remit
ted to France for rejection.
The communication of "A Resident"
seems to be chiefly made up of inferences
drawn from "A Merchant's" interpretation.
VVe think the inferences are correct. The
treaty to a reflecting mind carries its own con
demnation along with it. No person of even
the most ordinary degree of intelligence, and
the most limited observation, need be told
of the existence of that principle in human
nature, which leads all individuals, collec
tive bodies, and governments, when acting
freely, to seek the adv ancement of their own
best interests. When we see u treaty then
make its appearance negotiated by two sov
ereign powers, by the conditions of which,
one, and that the weaker of the two, yields
up rights, either ostensibly or virtually, which
are the exclusive prerogatives of independ
ent governments, without any equivalent,
the conclusion irresistably forces itself upon
us, that it is the offspring of fear on tho part
of the weaker power; that it is only a choice
of evils, the evil of yielding assent, great as
it may be, being considered inferior fo that
Soe Ficnc h colonial dntica and Onnan commercial
league, in the I'oicjjui Quditeily He view ioi Jan. ISM.
which would result from a refusal. These
remarks apply to the Treaty in question. It
yields important rights for which it receives
no equivalent at all commensurate with the
value of its concessions. In short, it may
be said to grant every thing und receive
nothing. By it the government of the Sand
wich Islands has virtually put it out of its
power to enact revenue laws for its own
inaiiitaincnce and the. good of the country.
A right, so essential to the existence of inde
pendent governments, that, without it, they
cannot be considered as really independent.
It can adopt no protective policy to encour
age the industry of its own subjects, as near
ly all iudependant nations do, and none more
exclusively so than the French.
By the fourth Article also, which grants
to Frenchmen who are obnoxious to the ac
tion of the civ il or criminal law, trial only by
a foreign jury, chosen by the French Con
sul, the government has been shorn of the
power to execute impartially and alike upon
foreigner and nativo its civil and criminal
Sir Stephen Lushington, Judge of the
British Admiralty Court, in a speech in the
British Legislature, on the 19th of March,
1339, says, "That he had never yet heard
that the natives of a nation dwelling in
another nation, could claim freedom from
the laws of the land, and never that one State
should say to another, I will have a com
mercial treaty for my own advantage; you
shall not exercise the great and important
right of all States to make treaties of com
merce according to your notions of ad
vantage." Of this speech a writer says,
"The importance and conclusive character
of Sir Stephen Lushington's speech, together
with the fact of his being now on the bench,
advised by that great international judge,
Lord Stowcll, which gives to it a weight and
influence of the mos'l decided description,
will render useless any abbreviation of the
addresses of the subsequent speakers."
Lord Puhnerston also said on the same oc
casion, "That it was not fitting to a country,
by force of arms, to compel another to con
clude a treaty of commerce."
We agree with the British statesmen in
their remarks, localise they arc tho dictates
of common sense, and (however widely na
tions may'havc deviated from them in prac
tice) from time immemorial have been ac
knowledged as rules of equity proper to be
adopted in international intercourse.
It may be asked in what manner the pow
er of the Sandwich . Islands government to
enact revenue laws has been abridged by.
the Treaty? We answer, that French mer
chandises by Article Cth cannot be prohibit
ed at all, however much the interests of the
nation may require it, and 5 per cent is the
highest duty which can be levied. Great
Britain and the United States have treaties
placing them upon the footing of the most
favored, nations; and is it to be supposed
that other powerful nations, should they en
gage, io commerce with the Sandwich Islands,
will accept less favorable terms? Certain
ly not. The power of prohibition thus be
ing taken away from the government, and 5
per cent, being the maximum duty which
may bo levied upon foreign ' merchandises,
and this in so limited a commerce as that of
these islands must be for many years to come,
being hardly adequate to defray" custom
New York Mcicury and Journal of Commerce