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tM-PACIFIC COMMERCIAI ADVERTISER, OCTOBER 28, 1884.
THIRD ANNUAL MEETING OF THE PLANTERS' LABOR AND SUPPLY COMPANY. (Continued from page 7) " SIXTH DAY'S PROCEEDINGS. The meeting was called to order by the President at 10 o'clock a.m. Min utes of previous meeting read and ap proved. Mr. Davies, from the committee appointed to wait upon the Govern ment in relation to the question of labor, said that no answer had, as yet, been received, and that he hardly expected one immediately. He thought, indeed, the Government ought not to answer the question in legard to admitting more Chinese without aue deliberation. The plant ers had asked the Government to change its policy, and that was a matter that required grave delibera tion. Mr. J. M. Horner referred to the question he had asked the other day. If Japanese immigration could not be carried on, and the Chinese were -not permitted to come, what then ? He would say, in reply, that he knew of three plantations that would agree to plant less cane this winter, and thus have need of fewer men to take the crop off; . and. he thought if the planters generally , would adopt this plan it would at least partially solve the difficulty of expensive labor. Mr. Lydgate thought this plan was hardly practicable. Many planta tions had made contracts to plant a certain number of acres of cane, and they could not probably re-arrange those contracts. Mr. K. M. Walsh referred to the letter signed Whitemaii," published in this (Monday) morning's. Dally Advertiser. It purported to be -written by u working man. He did not believe such a man wrote it. It was u slur upon the planters to say ttiat tiiey would not employ white men decent wajjes. The writer of that letter, if he understood cane planting, could gel $40 per month on Paia Plantation any time. The trouble was that many white men wanted something to do, but do not went to work. ; Mr. E. M. Horner endorsed Mr. Walsh's remaik. He had found that in many cases the white men whom they hired were not worth more than a Chinaman. If good i "American farm labor" offered itself j it would be well paid. i Mr. T. H. Davies spoke of a ship load of white labor that was brought here by Mr. Hart, the shipping master. Some of hesft men had turned out well, and- received good ! wages. It is not true that white men cannot get work at decent wages. If they will keep sober, they can do well. Mr. Davies also read an extract from the London Times, showing that the beet-root industry in Ger many cannot live at present prices any more than the sugarcane. j Mr. Ed. Xiycan was invited to speak on the subject -of fruit-tree and j grape-vine culture. He gave some interesting facts, which we will give our readers at an early date. " Mr. Lydgate reported that a few of the members visited Mr-Jaeger's place on Saturday, notwithstanding the rain, and examined the varieties of cane growing there. They were much interested with what Mr." Jaeger was doing, and, on motion, the Trustees were authorized to place such a sum of money in Mr. Jaeger's hands as might be needed to enable him to have valuable seeds gathered in and about Honolulu for distribution amongst those planters who might want -them. Mr. Macfte spoke of the meeting of the Hawaiian Agricultural Society last Thursday evening, and f his dis appointment at seeing so few planters there. He thought every planter should be a member of that society. The annual fee was but $5.00, and he was sure the society was doing a great deal of work immediately interesting to the planter. Mr. J. M. Horner asked for infor mation in regard to seed cane. He had been obliged to re-plant in some cases, and he could not tell why it was the first seed failed. A number of members gave their experience in the matter. During the discussion, the President announced that a reply had been received from the Minister of Foreign Affairs in answer to the company's request for more Chinese labor. - The following is a copy of the letter - ; f . ; . , ; addressed to the' Minister of Foreign Affairs : Honolulu, October 24, 18S4. To His Excellency Walter M. Gibson, Premier. Sir We have the honor to ac knowledge receipt of Your Excel lency's letter dated Oct. 22d, which we have placed before the Planters' Labor and Supply Co., and wo are authorized to transmit to Your Ex cellency, as requested, an approxi mate estimate of the number of laborers required during the next twelve months. Your Excellency informs us that a conditional immigration of 6000 Japa nese may be expected during 1885, but you further state that the Gov ernment cannot rely on the fulfill ment of the conditions attached to said immigration, and from the ver bal communication made by Your Excellency to the committee, we learn that there is no present prospect of the condition being complied with, namely the receipt of suf ficient funds outside of the ordinary revenue of the country. . . We therefore find that the only pro vision on which planters can abso- i lutely depend is the first lot of 600 i laborers. The Planters' Company fully appre ciate the reluctance of His Majesty's Government to remove the restric tions at present operating against Chinese immigration, and they real ize the necessity of the careful de liberation which Your Excellency justly states should be made before undertaking to remove these restric tions in the event of the necessity for such removal being shown. The Company therefore note with gratifi cation the intimation that in the event of the necessity being shown, His Majesty's Government is pre pared to consider the question of such removal. We believe that the statement made by the committee yesterday, must have convinced Your Excellen cy that the very gravest necessity exists for the partial or temporary re moval of the Chinese embargo, inas much as without a measure of relief of considerable extent and early ap plication, the' planting for the com ing season must be seriously crippled. The Company have authorized this Committee to present to the Govern ment a statement showing the ex treme necessity which they feel exists j for an early modification of the Chi nese restrictions. : Within two months the grinding' seaison will commence, and will re quire more than our present available labor for the following six months. Within the same time clearing and ploughing for the planting of 1885 will commence, and for this there is no provision without encroaching en the labor required for taking off the present crop. It is estimated that beyond the 600 Japanese expected to arrive here in November or December, 4000 men will be needed within the next twelve months, of whom 2000 should arrive here before the end of January ; and we beg to state that an immediate issuance of permits for, say two thous and of Chinese to come here, would probably be sufficient to prevent a labor panic during the time neces sarily required for the proper settle ment of other Japanese schemes. In the event of satisfactory terms being arranged for a continuance of Japanese immigration, it is possible that this single suspension of Chinese restrictions might be sufficient for one year. We beg to ask that your Excellency will take into consideration the very serious statement we have the honor to present, and that we may receive as early announcement as may be convenient of the steps which His Majesty's Government can adopt for the relief of an interest so closely connected with the prosperity and well-being of this nation. We have the honor to be, Sir, Your Excellency's obedient, humble ser vants, (Signed) Jona. Austin, President. Jno. M. Horner. A. Unna. Tiieo. H. Davies. Mr. Davies read the reply, which was as follows : Dep't of Foreign Affairs, Honolulu, Oct. 27, 18S4. J Messrs. Jona. Austin, President, and Jno. M. . Horner, A. Unna and Theo. H. Davies, representing the Planters' Labor and Supply Company. GENTiiEMEN I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your letter of 24th inst., in which you inform me that, in addition to the 600 Japanese expected next month, the planta tions need 4000 men wtihin the next twelve months, of whom 2000 should arrive here before the end of January, and that an immediate issuance of permits for, say two thousand Chi nese, would probably be sufficient to prevent a labor panic during the time required for making other arrange ments, and asking me for an early announcement of the steps which the Government can take for the relief of the planters in the matter of labor. " From rny conversation with you on Friday last I gathered that yon only see one remedy for the difficulty in what the planters appear to be placed, viz: The invitation by the Government of 2000 volantary Immi grants from China, in addition to those who are ent tied to come under the existing regulations; . also that you wish the Government to take that course. ' , In reply, I have to say that His Majesty's Government has, after careful deliberation, decided that it cannot take the serious step which you urge. ' The anxiety manifested by many members of the Planters' Labor and Supply Company, and so forcibly "expressed in your letter, ren ders it my duty, to state to you the reasons which lead the Government to this decision. I will deal first with the argument set forth in your communication. You say that 2000 men are wanted before the end of January, and ex press the opinion that leave for 2000 Chinese coolies to come here imme diately would probably be sufficient to t prevent a labor panic. You also erroneously infer that "the only pro vision" (for the supply of labor) on which the planters absolutely de pend is the first lot of 600 (Japanese) laborers. I think the planters who desire re laxation .of the restrictions on Chi nese immigrantion are "reckoning without their host," in supposing that such a course would result in the introduction here of any con siderable number of Chinese "before the end of January;" and, judging by the past, it would appear to be very doubtful whether, if even the number spoken of should come, the planters would secure the service they need on their arrival. In July, 1883, in consequence of representations similar to those now made by you, and at a time when the Government was still in suspense as to the prospect of immigration from Japan, permission was given to the Pacific Mail S. S. Co. and the Occidental and Oriental S. S. Co. to introduce Chinese laborers to the ex tent of 600 every three months. Not withstanding the interest these cor porations had in the profits of trans portation, six months elapsed before they were able to bring the first im migrants obtained in consequence of this permission; and when, in March and April last, a large number of Chinese arrived in rapid succession by their boats, after the permission had been withdrawn, the Govern ment felt constrained to admit them in consequence of the circumstantial statements made by the agents of these companies, that laborers could only be successfully recruited during the earlier months of the year, that a large number of traveling agents are required to get them together, and that the men then arriving had really been secured in pursuance of the original permission, and could not be earlier shipped. See the ap pendix to my report to he Legisla ture, as Minister of Foreign Affairs, 1884, p. 105. The most, therefore, that could be expected from the re laxation of existing rules would be the arrival of immigrants in March and April next, with probability of even further delay. The experience of last year has fur ther shown that the admission of be tween 2000 and 3000 Chinese was of no immediate benefit to planters. Although detained by the Govern ment for some days, first for neces sary quarantine, and afterwards for the production of assurances that they would not become vagrants, none of these immigrants would enter into engagements to work for plant ers, and it was only after some time and after the arrival of a number of Portuguese immigrants, that the labor market was affected by7 their presence. It appears, therefore, doubt ful whether the admission" of 2000 Chinese would give to the plantations an increased service of 2000 laborers or anything like that number. On the other hand, it appears to be certain that, with proper effort, the number of laborers you speak of as being needed may be obtained from Japan, and that too, more promptly than from any other source. I have already stated that your inference in respect to theproportion and progress of this immigration is an erroneous one. In my former letter I gave you the assurance that as many Japa nese will be brought here as the means at the disposal of the Govern ment will allow. It may fairly be asaumed that, without uuy pecuniary assistance from the planters, two or more shipments in addition to the one now expected, 'could be brought in during 18S5. To the number thus obtained must be added at least one shipload of Portuguese immigrants (a large number having been left be hind by the S. S. 'Bordeaux); also the returning Chinese. The latter, judg ing from the demand for passports here and at Hongkong, will probably exceed 1000 in number during the year. Now with the active co-operation of the planters, who can no doubt readily provide a considerable credit to be drawn against for this purpose, and by using the cable to promote dispatch, I think that all the requirements you set forth can be met more certainly and much more promptly from . Japan than from any other source. Our Commissioner of Immigration, Mr. Irwin, will be here shortly, and aided by his knowledge of the details of the subject; Ihe Gov- ernment will be ready to concert any measures in which the j desire to co-operate in the manner I have indicated. While thus explaining why the Government is not convinced that the step you ask it to take is the neces sary or proper one under th circum stances disclosed, I must frankly saj ! that it is the nature of the . step itself, as a matter of national poli cy, which obliges the Govern ment to abstain from the action 3'ou propose. It 'is unnecessary for me to enter into the reasons ; which render the further iullux of Chinese coolies injur'ous to"' the welfare of the country. These are I well known to you, more especially that which arises from the present disproportion of the sexes in the country. I believe that whilst asking for the admission of Chinese laborers as a means of present relief to them selves, a majority of the planters ac knowledge that it is a course which only what they deem a great exi gency could justify. Indeed, in a communication I received from a committee of the Planters Labor and Supply Company last year, a com mittee of "which two of you, gentle men, formed a part, the opinion of the planters, on even tho narrower question of the Chinese viewed as laborers, was expressed in a distinct manner as opposed to an "unregu lated addition to the present floating Chinese population." The Chinese Government is either unwilling to permit this country to regulate immigration from its terri tory, or is too much absorbed by more important cares to give the necessary attention to our requests, though en dorsed by their able representative at Washington. The immigration which the Government could open tho door to must, therefore, be one entirely " unregulated," and to secure by its means 2000 Chinese laborers for sugar plantations, very many thousands in all would have to bo let in, which would be a national disaster, the effects of which could not be measured beforehand. In this connection, I may remind you that the Japanese, who are about to be brought here, can all be relied upon as additions to the supply of labor for sugar plantations, with the exception of the few who may pass into domestic service. While abstaining from entering more fully into the general objections to the further admission of unregu lated Chinese immigration, I wish to draw your attention to two aspects under which change of policy in re gard to it would, even if only tem porary, appear to be a grave national mistake. First: That policy ha3 already twice received the emphatic approval of great and friendly Powers which take a deep interest in the welfare of this Kingdom. I desire, in this con nection, to draw your attention to tho correspondence with the representa tives of the Governinentsof the United States of America, Great Britain,' France, and Portugal, which was published in the Apeudix to my Re port laid before the Legislature ; and I especially ask you to note that the Impression at one time formed that the Government was disposed to re cede from that policy was the cause of evident dissatisfaction, to these Gov ernments. Second: To i-rmit tho influx of Chinese, which you now ask for, would be highly offensive to, and tantamount to a breach of faith with, the Japanese Government, which has so generously listened to our appeal for immigration, whilst refusing that boon to many important States with which it lias long had treaty rela tions. One of the main reasons given to the Japanese Government for our urgency, was the policy which had been adopted in regard to Chi nese immigration. We appealed to that Government to assist us in maintaining that policy by no longer postponing a concession which, it had been stated, could not be granted till after the revision of the treaties between Japan and the Western Powers. We have reason to know that this appeal had much effect in bringing the negotiation to Its fortu nate issue. We cannot, therefore, after the generous treatment ac corded to this country by the Japa nese Government, after it has gone out of its way to oblige us, now be fore the first Japanese laborer has been landed here and with the highly sat isfactory report of our Commissioner before, us honorably' open the door to a competing host of Chinese. I feel convinced, gentlemen, that Buch a course would not only be a breach of f:th, but would be eminently dis ;.t,tiuh to our prospect of any further ini .duration from Japan. .... t: : i tior to be, gentlemen,. Your Most Obedient Servant, Walter M. 'Gibson. Thl-. letter was ordered to be re ceived and placed on file. Mr. W. O. Smith said that it seemed to him to be almost impossible to help taking this line of thought. Tho letter just read was correct In tho main. It "was logical, and laying aside the present necessity, was sound. They all knew that if it were not for the present urgency of tho case they would not want more Chinese brought into the country'. 1 What setmed. strange to him, was, that, after tho year of prosperity just expired,, tho. Government had not funds to carry out the Japanese scheme. That they were not able to raise the few thous and dollars, needed to bring Japanese here. The Tres'ldent thought it would not be bent to discuss the matter then, and on motion the meeting adjourned to this (Tuesday) morning at 9 o'clock. i Blaine on ihe Chinese. The following is an extract from a speech by Mr. Blaine, made in the U. S. Senate in 1879: "I am opposed to the Chinese coming here. I am opposed to making them citi zens. I am unalterably opposed to mak ing them voters. There h not a peasant cottage inhabited by a Chinaman. There is not a hearthstone, in tho sense we un derstand it, of an American homo, or an English home, or an Irish or French home. There is not a domestic fireside in that sense, and yet you say it is en tirely safe to sit down and permit them to fill tip our country, or any part of it. "Treat them like Christians, say those who favor their immigration, and yet I believe the Christian testimony is that the conversion of the Chinese on that basis is a fearful failure; that' the de-- moralization of the white is much more rapid by reason of tho oontact than is the salvation of the Chinese race, and up to this time there is not an authentic case of a Chinese conversion. "I have heard a good deal of their -cheap labor. I do not believe in cheap labor. I do not believe that cheep labor should be the object of legislation, and it will not be in a republic. I undertake to repeat that I say that you cannot permit the wealthy classes in a republic were suffrage is universal to legislate in the in terest of what is called cheap labor. 'Labor should not be cheap. It should have its share, and will have have its share. There is not a laborer on the Pa cific Coast to-day who does not feel wounded, and grieved, and crushed by the competition that comes from this source. It is servile labor; it is not free labor, snch as we intend to develop and encourage and build up in this country. It is labor that comes here under a mort gage. It is labor that comes here to subsist on what the 'American laborer cannot subsist on. You cannot work a man, who must have beef and bread, and would prefer beer, alongside of a man who can live on rice. It cannot be done. In all such conflicts, and in all" such strug gles, the result is not to bring up the man who lives on rice to tho beef and bread standard, but it is to bring down the beef and bread man to the rice standard.