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Too much dependence should not be placed on the accuracy of such comparisons, though they may suggest important conclusions. It must be borne in mind that the Federal investigation of the cost of living in the United States was made seven years ago, before the recent rise in prices and wages. The German investigation and the investigation in the United States covered families living in small towns as well as in the larger cities, and residing over a large geographical area, while the investigation in Hawaii was confined to the city of Honolulu.
The average size of families is exclusive of lodgers. The number of rooms per family and of rooms per person for Hawaii (table on page 708) was 4.4 and 0.9, respectively. For the United States as a whole the number of rooms per family, of the 23,447 families considered, was 4.95 and the number of rooms per person, 1.04. This information for Germany was not available. The data suggest that in general the housing conditions of Caucasians in Hawaii are better than those of foreign and native born working people averaged together in the United States. On the other hand, the housing conditions of the Chinese, Hawaiians, Japanese, and Portuguese do not, taking into account the size of the families, equal the housing conditions of the working people on the mainland.
The third column, showing average family income, indicates much higher earnings in Hawaii than either on the mainland of the United States or in Germany. The only nationality in Hawaii having a lower family income than that in America or Germany was the Japanese, and in case of the Japanese the average size of the family was nearly 25 per cent less than in the two other countries mentioned.
The fourth, fifth, and sixth columns show the percentage of the total family income contributed by husband, wife, and children, respectively. No Caucasian family investigated in Hawaii received income from the mother's earnings. A remarkable point in this comparison is the small proportion of family income in Germany derived from the earnings of children. The significance of this fact, if the comparison is a true one, is very great and shows that, in some respects, the economic civilization of Germany is higher than that of either the mainland of the United States or of Hawaii.
The items of family expenditure would illustrate more facts were it possible to give a reliable comparison of the total expenditures for different articles of food. Total family expenditures are evidently higher in Hawaii than in the other countries, but on account of the higher income they leave a more favorable surplus than either on the mainland or in Germany.
IMMIGRATION AND SETTLEMENT.
The history of immigration to Hawaii was given in some detail in the report of 1902. Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Polynesian, Portuguese, Italian, German, Norwegian, Porto Rican, and American negro labor had been imported under contract, or encouraged by public assistance to come to Hawaii, prior to its annexation to the United States. The main fact of the past five years affecting immigration and labor supply has been the agreement between the United States and Japan, under which the Japanese Government no longer issues passports to any of its subjects of the laboring class destined to continental United States or Hawaii. This has not entirely cut off Japanese immigration to Hawaii, for it does not affect students, merchants, and professional men, of whom there is a colony of some size in the Territory; nor does it exclude "parents, wives, or children of residents" already established in the islands. But the new regulation has effectively and definitely stopped the influx of Japanese plantation labor.
The effect of this regulation upon the local labor situation has been to diversify the race and nationality of employees in the sugar industry, which will ultimately react on other industries, and its effect upon the condition of Japanese residents has been to give greater permanence to the Japanese population now settled in the country,
So long as Japanese could come and go as they pleased, many of them returned to Japan for shorter or longer visits before they had acquired a competence, intending ultimately to return to the islands. These men made place for a constant stream of new arrivals, and the labor population was in a state of flux. Wages tended to remain at a point determined by the demands of new immigrants fresh from the Orient and retaining the standard of living to which they were there accustomed. Now the Japanese are more cautious about returning to Japan before they have an assured competence. The cost of living and the level of wages in Japan is rising, and this makes it necessary to accumulate a much larger sum of money before returning to Japan than was formerly the case. So upon the average, Japanese now remain much longer in Hawaii, and provide themselves for this longer stay. They bring over their families or have wives sent from Japan for whom they negotiate before marriage according to the customs of their own people. With their families here, their expenses become higher, and they demand higher wages, or they seek more independent positions than those of common field laborers, leasing if possible a tract of land. All these influences cooperate to make the present Japanese a resident population, as the Chinese have become since the exclusion laws against their countrymen went into force. Insensibly at present, perhaps, but with considerable certainty, this longer residence causes more fusion in sentiment and even in blood with the local inhabitants. Children born in Hawaii of Japanese parents are registered as American citizens-partly to free them from immigration restrictions in the future, but with the result of giving them political privileges that they are not unlikely to use, and that will react upon their sentiment toward this country and toward Japan. The total effect of the restrictions upon oriental immigration into Hawaii will probably be to hasten the formation of a native mixed race of preponderant Polynesian and Mongolian derivation, but with an easily traceable Caucasian strain. The Chinese element promises to be largely absorbed in this way within another generation. Isolated instances of the intermarriage of Japanese with Portuguese and mestizos indicate the beginning of a tendency likely to increase with longer race contact. It is not impossible that the sentiment of oriental laborers in Hawaii will soon be not altogether adverse to such restriction of Asiatic immigration as will enable the local workers to maintain higher wages. Occasional instances of this sentiment already manifest themselves.
Meantime the planters' association has been recruiting labor in the Philippines, not without success and upon the whole probably to the advantage of the Filipinos. The better pay offered in Hawaii is sufficient, when backed by free passage and other inducements, to draw labor away, even from Manila and Philippine planting districts, where the supply of workers is hardly sufficient for local needs. Voluntary labor immigration from the Philippines to Hawaii may in time follow, as the financial and commercial relations of the two countries are growing closer. Some of the Filipinos imported are very young, and many were city boys unused to plantation work; a surprising number show the results of our public-school system by speaking English and having somewhat of an American schoolboy cast of mind. Upon the whole, this labor has proved satisfactory-more so than were the Porto Ricans during the first years after their arrival--from the employers' standpoint. Crime and disease are
' not prevalent among the Filipinos; but their importation has been attended by the danger of bringing in new tropical diseases, and they do not promise to add to the political stability or to raise the civic status of the Territory.
In 1905 the Territory established a board of immigration which, for the first four years of its existence, was principally financed by funds subscribed by the planters' association. These subscriptions amounted to about $315,000, and with this money 2,438 immigrants were brought to Ilawaii from Portugal and 2,246 were brought from southern Spain. A change in the Federal law of 1907 prevented the Territory from using money raised by private subscription to assist
immigrants, and in place of these subscriptions a special income tax was levied which produces about $210,000 per annum for immigration purposes. With this money, during 1909–10, the first year it was available, 868 immigrants were brought from the Portuguese islands and 2,043 Russians were brought from Manchuria.
The Spaniards and Portuguese, coming into a large colony of their own people who knew the country, have quickly settled down to making a living, and most of them appear to be contented. Many have already taken up homesteads and built homes. The Portuguese were given an opportunity to acquire small residence leaseholds on the plantations, and were offered a higher wage than is given to orientals. Special houses were built for them. As a rule, however, they have under the conditions offered preferred to remain tenants of the plantation to acquiring a permanent interest in its vicinity.
The number of homesteads offered under this agreement was approximately 1,500, of which over one-quarter were fee-simple lands and the remainder paid-up leases, running from 30 to 50 years. Partial statistics show that about 175 of these homesteads were taken up, in the remaining cases the laborers preferring the $2 per month extra wage to the homestead privilege. In the fall of 1910 there were 116 of these homesteads still occupied by the laborers, of whom 71 had completed their title and the remainder were holding subject to an unexpired residence requirement.
The main reason for this seems to have been that they chose $24 for 26 days work without a leasehold to $22 for 26 days work with this privilege. They have made a bad bargain, however, as the cash values of the leaseholds, to which they would have acquired title in a few years, are much more than the sacrifice from their earnings necessary to acquire them. The object of the planters in making this offer was to use a period when profits were good to attach labor to the locality, not to effect an immediate saving in wages.
The first Russians brought to Hawaii belonged to a peculiar religious sect and were given homes upon a tract of public land on the island of Kauai. They soon became dissatisfied and left, and as there is no one to tell their side of the story, the only account of their leaving that survives represents them as impracticable, distrustful, chronically complaining—and above all things as unresourceful, unable to adapt themselves to new conditions and new habits of life. These last are not the traditional characteristics of the Russian peasant in his own country; but no part of all Russia affords a precedent for starting a homestead in Hawaii.
A trial party of 50 families of agricultural laborers was brought from Siberia to the Territory in the autumn of 1909, and proved so satisfactory that agents were at once sent back to Manchuria and Siberia to procure more. Through these agents the opportunities
for employment in Hawaii and for obtaining homes in that country were advertised, and families were furnished free passage to Honolulu. Immigrants, including mechanics, city laborers, and railway workers from around Harbin, began to arrive in parties of 200 or 300 by each steamer, early in 1910. Most of them went out to the plantations, where they had been promised the rate of pay and most of the other conditions contained in the following memorandum, which is quoted from a letter from the trustees of the planters' association to the governor of Hawaii, and which contains in detail the terms under which these laborers are at present employed:
Wages and perquisites.—The trustees adhere to the original arrangement providing for wages of $22 per month for 26 days work performed, and at the same rate for any less number of days.
The laborer will be furnished without charge with fuel, water, medical attendance and medicines, and in the case of a family, with a house; single men will be provided with dwelling accommodations.
The personal taxes of the laborer (amounting to $5 yearly) will be paid by the plantation for a period of three years, providing he remains on the plantation to which he is originally assigned.
House furnishings. The plantation will provide each house, without charge to the laborer, with plantation-made furniture sufficient for ordinary comfort, such as beds, mattresses, tables, and benches; and also will provide one brick or stone oven for each four houses.
Hours of labor.--The hours of labor are 10 hours in the field, but every effort will be made by the plantations to furnish the people with piecework as they show their adaptability for it.
Compensation of labor while sick.-In case of accident while on duty, the laborer will be allowed wages until he is able to resume work; this is as far as “sick pay” will be allowed.
Cost of living.-Where plantation stores are conducted, they will furnish to plantation laborers for their own use foodstuffs and clothing, constituting the necessaries of life, at cost prices to the plantations.
Land for laborers to raise vegetables.-It is the policy of the members of this association to allow the laborers the use of a sufficient area of land for garden purposes.
Credit system at plantation stores.-The credit system has become generally so fixed a custom that the trustees do not see their way clear to disturb the system which now prevails, and it is believed, furthermore, that any change would work a hardship upon the laborers now on the plantations.
More frequent settlements and pay days for laborers. It is the sense of the trustees that more frequent settlements with the laborers can not be made and the present system of pay days (once a month) can not be altered.
Deposits by laborers for implements, numbers, etc.—In respect to the matter of deposits for implements, metal numbers, etc., the trustees have voted that no deposits will be required in the first instance, but that the laborers shall be held responsible for the return of said implements, numbers, etc.
1 See p. 724.