[Translated from the Kuokoa, of Mar. 18.]
Mr. Editor:—In the Commercial of the last Saturday I observe a matter of importance emanating from foreigners of Honolulu. It is a memorial to the King in respect to repopulation, and mainly advocating the bringing hither of people from India whereby this nation shall be reinvigorated.
Therein also the King is recommended to seek for information abroad from persons skilled in such matters. This is not, I think, good advice; the real meaning however is a contempt for the Ministers because they have done nothing.
The astonishing thing about this memorial is that the Hawaiian people are entirely left out in so important a matter as a proposition to bring people from a foreign land to increase this nation.
The idea of increasing the nation by bringing people of another country here, is a good one, but it is proper that the Hawaiians themselves should be as well consulted in the matter. But we are altogether thrown on one side; and if the foreigners wish to bring East Indians here to increase without our concurrence or knowledge, it will be altogether wrong. If this is really their intention, thus to treat us like dumb animals, then we had better arise and seriously consider this startling scheme that is being projected among the foreigners.
Know O Hawaiian People! The King’s increase of the nation is the Reciprocity Treaty. When we have got that secured and in operation, then we will consider in regard to getting people from India, Japan, China or Malaysia; provide first something for people to do when they arrive; but if you get laborers now, and East India population, where is the work for them to do or the land to give them.
The impudence and haste of these people is surprising; they appear like a lot of children, fuming and showing their teeth at the Ministers, accusing them and accusing the King of having done nothing. Indeed! and how about the Treaty?
Another surprising thing is that four members of the House of Nobles signed their names to that paper, Messrs. Rhodes, Cleghorn, Smith and Castle. Which of these labored so hard to put the King on the throne, as stated in the memorial? I am of the opinion that the names of some of these persons are those of annexationists, who were strong for the treaty when Lunalilo was King. It is certain that they did not vote for the present King, for they were not then in the Legislature, having only recently been appointed as Nobles. I am of the opinion that they having thus dragged the King’s Ministers into the memorial, it would be well for the King to withdraw their appointments, or better still that they return their patents as Nobles to His Majesty—if it was not for the fact that it would be unconstitutional.
Perhaps they want to become Ministers themselves? Yes, that is so; but if their judgments are thus perverted, they are unfit for the Ministerial office, for they would by and bye be doing something without consulting the people, and disaster might follow. Let their desires be disappointed, and let the King appoint none but native Hawaiians.
This is a matter for the Legislature to attend to; but as we have not been consulted by the memorialists, it is proper that we should stand and consider what is to be the end of this business.
Respectfully, Edward Lilikalani.
[Here is a translation of Edward Kamakau Lilikalani’s response to the repopulation memorial that was printed in the Kuokoa on 3/18/1876.]
(Pacific Commercial Advertiser, 3/25/1876, p. 3)
The Pacific Commercial Advertiser, Volume XX, Number 39, Page 3. March 25, 1876.