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and in pursuance of Public Resolution No. 3 of the 71st Congress, approved May 22, 1929, as follows:
[PUBLIC RESOLUTION-NO. 3-71ST CONGRESS]
[S. J. Res. 36]
JOINT RESOLUTION To amend Public Resolution Numbered 89, Seventieth Congress, second session, approved February 20, 1929, entitled "Joint resolution to provide for accepting, ratifying, and confirming the cessions of certain islands of the Samoan group to the United States, and for other purposes."
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That paragraph (d) of Public Resolution Numbered 89, Seventieth Congress, second session, approved February 20, 1929, entitled "Joint resolution to provide for accepting, ratifying, and confirming the cessions of certain islands of the Samoan group to the United States, and for other purposes," is hereby amended as follows: In line 1, strike out the word "six" and substitute therefor the word "seven"; in line 3, strike out the word "two" and substitute therefor the word "three "; and in line 3. between the words "chiefs" and "of," insert the words or high chiefs," so that the said paragraph (d) will then read as follows:
"(d) The President shall appoint seven commissioners, two of whom shall be Members of the Senate, two of whom shall be Members of the House of Representatives, and three of whom shall be chiefs or high chiefs of the said islands of eastern Samoa, who shall, as soon as reasonably practicable, recommend to Congress such legislation concerning the islands of eastern Samoa as they shall deem necessary or proper."
Approved, May 22, 1929.
make the following report:
The islands of American Samoa from east to west are Rose Island, Tau, Olosega, Ofu, Aunuu, and Tutuila, with Swains Island distant 207 miles northward of Tutuila. Rose Island is a coral atoll, uninhabited. Swains Island is a low coral island not over 20 feet in elevation, with a population of 98 persons engaged in producing copra from about 800 acres of coconuts. The others are high islands of volcanic origin. The islands of Tau, Olosega, and Ofu are known as the "Manua group," and the island of Aunuu is included generally in the name "Tutuila." The sovereignty of the United States was extended to Swains Island and the island made a part of American Samoa by a joint resolution of Congress approved March 4, 1925.
The largest island, Tutuila, of irregular shape, with an estimated at 40.2 square miles, is about 17 miles long and nearly 6 miles wide in the widest part, and is situated about 14° south of the Equator. It is distant from Honolulu 2,275 miles, from San Diego 4,190 miles, from San Francisco 4,150 miles, from New Zealand 1,565 miles, from Fiji 688 miles, from Guam 3,159 miles, from Manila 4,505 miles, and from Apia, in western Samoa, 80 miles. A rugged ridge extends nearly the entire length of the island. What little level land there is lies at the foot of the mountains along the coast, except along the southwestern part of the island where there is a plain devoted to coconut plantings. The mountains are heavily wooded and the island right to the water's edge is a mass of foliage of rare tropical luxuriance. Pagopago Bay, "the safest and best harbor in the South Seas," cuts the island nearly in two and, because of its shape, affords to ships smooth water during the heavier weather. On the bay is the old village of Pagopago and the naval station. Fagatoga lies behind the naval station. The harbor with its two wharves is well buoyed but lighted dimly. Other harbors of
some importance are Leone and Fagaitua on the south side and Fagasa and Masefau on the north side, all of little value except Leone. The highest point on Tutuila is Matafao, 2,141 feet in ele
Tau, 67.5 miles east of Tutuila, 14 square miles in area, rises like a huge cone to an elevation of nearly 3,000 feet. It has no harbor but has one good anchorage. Olosega and Ofu, with a combined area of 3.7 square miles, are separated from Tau by a channel 6 miles wide. Both are rugged and mountainous.
Natural passages to the landing beaches through the coral reefs have been widened by blasting. These need much improvement, however, before they can be relied upon for safety. On none of the islands are there any sizable tracts of unemployed arable land.
The climate is tropical and equable, the temperature ranging from an average of 82.28° in February to an average of 80.210 in July. The humidity is always high and the rainfall heavy, the annual average for 26 years being 197.15 inches. Hurricanes of great violence have occurred at intervals of about 10 years.
With the possible exception of Rose Island, there is no "public" land as that term is generally employed. Claimants exist for land even in the seemingly inaccessible portions, for even to those areas persons penetrate for the gathering of fiber plants, dyes, land crabs, and the other products of the forests.
The native inhabitants, racially considered, are Polynesians, cousins of the Maoris of New Zealand and the Hawaiians of the Territory of Hawaii. The ethnologists of the Bishop Museum testified that the Polynesian race is a mixed race with two elements predominant, Caucasoid and Mongoloid. There are no Negroid elements in the race. Their faces, of a light brown, have many distinctive marks of the European. The Samoan man is well formed, erect in bearing, with straight nose, chin firm and strong, forehead high, and hair black and soft, sometimes wavy. The women mature and age early. They do not preserve their early promise to the middle years as do the men. The 1930 census reported a total population of 10,055 souls, distributed as follows: Tutuila, 7,809; Tau, 1,243; Ofu, 466; Olosega, 438; Swains Island, 98. Of this number the number of white persons, excluding the 179 Navy personnel but including missionaries, is 45, and the number of half castes, part Samoans and mixed bloods, is 818. The last figure includes the following mixed bloods: Part Japanese, 25; part_Filipinos, 8; part Negroes, 8; part Chinese, 7; part Fijian, 6; part Javanese, 3.
The Samoan social organization was the chieftain system. Each family group elected or selected its own head. His title was that of "matai" and he ruled the family so long as he furnished it efficient leadership. When he became inefficient he was deposed. He held the power of life and death over the group. The semblance of the office remains although shorn of this arbitrary power. To-day the family group discusses matters led by the matai. No votes are taken. Conclusions are reached after much deliberation and when once arrived at the matai speaks for the family group. Originally the family lands were worked by the family and practically everything was owned in common, as it were, used and consumed by those who required it. There was under this system no incentive to effort
on the part of the individual. Thrift brought no reward. However, 30 years of contact with American civilization have weakened this communal organization. The idea of personal property owned by the individual has infiltrated deeply. There are complaints from those not matais that the leadership of old is lacking and that it is not practical now to depose a matai. The schools have hastened the new ideas. The children are oriented away from the old culture. The thinkers among the chiefs wish the best for their children, but admit that the changes have come and that sooner or later much of the old order will go. They look at these changes regretfully, but turn with hope and confidence to the possibilities of the future.
The chiefs of Samoa are courteous gentlemen of great personal dignity, perfect hosts, living in a society nearly free from industrialism, where food is abundant and nature prodigal in her beauty. They love to entertain-with speeches full of high-sounding phrases and Biblical references, with songs in chorus and dances, with elaborate presentations of food and gifts, and, above all, with the ceremonies of kava drinking in which their rank is recognized by the order of service of the cup. The thing of greatest prize to a chief is his title and the status it affords. They love the "malaga " or journey of ceremony, now curbed by law. It is becoming increasingly difficult for them to do these things.
The only newspaper is the Government sheet O le Fa'atonu, used chiefly to proclaim notices of various kinds. Every village has one or more churches. Christianity came to Samoa in 1830. Most of the Samoans are church members and nearly everybody goes to church. Family prayers is the rule and Sunday is a day of rest. The people are intelligent, amiable, and hospitable to a remarkable degree. Every head matai is supposed to have a guest house.
There are no factories. Every family can raise or make those things needed for food and shelter. But new wants and appetites are changing this situation. Under the Navy administration the health of the people is good. Contact with the outside world exists through the naval radio station and the triweekly mail steamers. The public school system consists of 21 schools with a teaching staff of 52. Thirteen of these schools complete fourth-grade work, six schools complete sixth-grade work, and two schools complete eighthgrade work. Five of the teachers are white. Education is supposed to be compulsory through the fourth grade, but from 15 to 20 per cent of the children of school age do not attend school. All but two of the schools are poorly equipped. Because of the poor pay the best teachers leave the service when opportunity offers.
Samoa is a one-crop country and the crop is copra, sold by the Government for the producers. In 1929 the production was 1,687 tons which sold for $147,215.90. The handling charges less shrinkage were $13,303.09.
For 1930 there are 2.299 taxpayers. The inventory of island government assets as of June 30, 1930, stands at $261.365.68, of which sum $174,220 represents the value of land and $72,440 the value of buildings and structures. For the fiscal year ended June 30, 1930, the total expenditures of the island government were $131,929.48, while the receipts were $133,772.05. Of these receipts
the native tax department produced $22,091.50 and the customs department $95,739.53.
The people of American Samoa governed themselves before 1900. They have never been conquered. For 30 years they have submitted to the benevolent rule of the Navy of that nation to which they had turned in their distress and fear of foreign aggression. The record of those years, both for the governors and the governed, is a splendid one. The changes in native culture and thought which those years have brought have been recognized both by the leaders among the people of American Samoa and by some of the recent governors.
A majority of the commissioners met from time to time and effected a partial organization of the commission at Washington, D. C. As soon as congressional duties permitted, the majority of the commissioners proceeded to Samoa on the U. S. S. Omaha, John Downes, captain, via Honolulu from San Pedro, Calif. Accompanying the commissioners was Capt. W. R. Furlong, United States Navy, of the office of island governments, Navy Department, who assisted greatly in presenting to them the various reports of the governors of American Samoa and other pertinent data. These were studied on the voyage, together with letters of complaint and suggestions for the future received from persons interested in Samoa. Mr. Albert F. Judd of the bar of Hawaii served as legal adviser to the commission. At Honolulu the experts of the Bishop Museum, by request, furnished testimony regarding the racial characteristics and social organization of the Samoans, a tribe of the Polynesian race, and other persons appeared to present their views regarding the future of American Samoa. In Samoa the commission had many conferences between its seven members and visited all principal settlements. Public hearings, after full notice, brought for. ward those who wished to address the commission. These were held in each of the districts of American Samoa, with large attendance of interested listeners.
In addition to receiving the views of the former governors of Samoa, carefully matured and discussed among themselves, and the impartial and illuminating statements of the Bishop Museum ethnologists regarding the Polynesian race in general and the people and chiefs of Samoa in particular, the contact made by the commission brought to it the opinions of all elements making up the community of American Samoa, the chiefs in particular, who are the natural leaders of the native people, holding the position of matai, the higher chiefs or alii and the talking chiefs, or tulafales, representatives of the commoners, the half bloods and the officials of the local government, both native and American. No one who expressed a desire to address the commission was denied. In this cross section of native opinions were heard the conservatives who desired no change in their government, others who, while expressing grateful appreciation of the help and asssistance given by the Navy administration, thought the time had come for the people to participate in the making of the laws for their governance and that the short term of office of the Navy governor (18 months) worked to the disadvantage of the people of Samoa, and the extreme pro
gressives among the organization, called the "Mau," who urged a $10,000,000 trust fund be created for the benefit of Samoa and the confining to the naval station of the activities of the Navy officers; and many who expressed modifications of the two positions last above stated. Great satisfaction was expressed over the fact of annexation to the United States by the recent act of Congress; sincere, and expressed with deep emotion, were the pleas that the inhabitants of American Samoa be given full recognition as citizens of the United States; these two matters were uppermost, none disagreeing therewith. Complaints against the Navy administration were few, while appreciations thereof were many and gratefully stated. Even the leader of the progressive organization, called the "Mau," said in substance, "now that by annexation we are part of the territory of the United States we have no complaint to make against the Navy."
The main principles of the report were reached in concert by the seven commissioners who agreed unanimously thereon. It was deemed by them advisable and in the public interest to issue an authoritative statement thereof publicly to the people of American Samoa while the commission was in Samoa, and in this view the Governor of American Samoa concurred. This was done. The three Samoan commissioners asked the chairman on their behalf to proceed to an early completion of the report, requesting that they be consulted by radio in any important deviation from this basis. This has been done.
The preliminary portion of this report has been descriptive mainly of the five islands of American Samoa, the inhabitants, the existing institutions, the productions, the climate, the harbors and shipping facilities, various conditions of general interest, and the contacts made by the commission while engaged in its duties. The following portion is devoted mainly to a discussion of the legislation proposed by the commission as set forth in the bill "An act to provide a government for American Samoa," submitted herewith.
The information furnished by the Navy Department, by the Governor of American Samoa, by the persons appearing before the commission, by personal contact and observation made in American Samoa has brought the commission to the following conclusions: That the administration of American Samoa for 30 years by the Navy has been admirable and one sincerely purposed to protect the Samoans; that the time has come to do away with administration by rules, regulations, and orders and to begin that by law under an act of Congress in which the functions of the governor shall be confined to the executive, the courts presided over by a chief justice independent of the governor, and the legislative authority vested in an assembly of the people; that the Samoans are capable of accepting and should receive full American citizenship; that they be given a bill of rights and a form of government, flexible in nature, which will allow them to develop themselves, should they so choose, away from their present communal system of social organization and property into one more completely in tune with American civilization. and yet maintaining those native customs which they may wish to preserve; that the future of American Samoa depends largely upon a continuation of enlightened and disinterested leadership furnished