Our “Query” of last week has received a response from one of the Government organs, a reply however by no means satisfactory.
The fling is entirely amiss, that we are not acting the part of Hawaiians, but of Americans, in speaking of this nation as weak, and its acts as having no great effect abroad.It is because we love Hawaii, weak as she is, that wewould have her for her own sake avoid following the bad example of other nations, and would also have her prompt in following their good examples.
In the Royal Proclamation of Aug. 26th 1861, it is declared that we “hereby proclaim our neutrality between said contending parties.” In the semi-official editorial of the “Polynesian” of Sept. 14, 1861, it is said “His Majesty has in this step but followed the example so promptly set by England, France, Spain, Belgium, and other powers.”
The clause prohibiting Hawaiian subjects from engaging in privateering was, and is still, all as it should be.
But the last paragraphs of the Proclamation, always were obnoxious to the Government of the United States and must be especially so now that the Southern Confederacy has ceased to exist. The one prohibits the “adjudication of prizes” “within our bounds'” the other declares “that the rights of asylum are not extended to the Privateers or their prizes, of either of the contending parties, excepting only in case of distress or of compulsory delay by stress of weather of dangers of the sea, or in such cases as may be regulated by Treaty stipulation.”
Provisions such as these, which were extended to the Southern Confederacy four years ago by England, France, &c., as a part of their so-called Belligerent Rights, have months since be retracted, by each of those powers. Why should Hawaii alone continue them?
Should the Shenandoah be taken by an American vessel, would she be prohibited bringing her into Honolulu for “adjudication?” Or should the Shenandoah desire to enter “our bounds,” is there any possibility that “rights of asylum” will be extended to her? We do not seriously anticipate either event, but why the reluctance on the part of our Government to retract “Hawaiian Neutrality.”
(Kuokoa, 9/2/1865, p. 3)