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Statehood and Hawaii: Correspondences between Congress, the State Department and

the United Nations

Aloha kakou, Aloha and welcome to Statehood Hawaii. My name is Arnie Saiki. Before I
begin, I want to thank Hawaii Council for the Humanities for their generous support of
this project called Statehood and Hawaii: Correspondences between Congress, the State
Department and the United Nations. This is a project that began in 2009 and grew, and
continues to grow, but deadlines being what they are, I am grateful to meet my final
extended deadline.

As we have seen during the 50th commemoration of Hawaii statehood, the issue of
statehood is both complicated and controversial, a topic with many approaches.

The road to Hawaii's statehood story, as told by the 50th anniversary of Hawaii's
statehood commission doesn't stray very far from the story that we learn in middle
school, that the Territorial delegate to Congress, John Burns and the Statehood
Commission successfully lobbied Congress, particularly Speaker of the House Sam
Rayburn and Senator Majority leader Lyndon B. Johnson, to influence the Southern
Democratic opposition to vote in favor of the Statehood Bill which the Senate did on
March 11th and the House approved the following day on March 12th.

Generally, Hawaii's statehood had mixed support in the public and in Congress-- those
that supported Statehood, favoring a generous paternalism towards allowing Hawaii to
attain the gold star of statehood, and those opposing, arguing on the grounds that there
were too many non-whites or communists that would jeopardize the American way, and
that the citizenry in Hawaii should not have a voice in Congress.

Many of these debates were not new, and the dialogue over diversity and citizenship, as
well as details over proximity and contiguity had been argued since Prince Jonah Kuhio
Kalanianaole submitted a Statehood Bill that died in the House Committee on Territories
in 1919. Following that, bills were submitted in 1931, 1935-- stopped during wartime,

and continued again in 1947, into the 1950s until the 86th Congress approved statehood
in 1959 and Eisenhower signed Proclamation 3309 on August 1st 1959.

Details of how the Southern Democrats changed their votes in 1959, is often also
attributed to George Lehleitner and his submission of the Tennessee Plan that allowed
Alaska to enter the Union before Hawaii, as a means to balance the democratic and
republican parties. As the story goes, why this Congressional tit-for-tat is important has
to do with the Southern Democrats disapproval of any Civil Rights bills, and a general
aversion to approving Hawaii as a state as a result of there being too many Japanese-- too
many non-whites. This story is echoed even in Hawaii, where Hawaii Senator Alice
Kamokila Campbell in 1946, stirs opposition to statehood as a result of too many
Japanese, fearing that statehood would only further entrench the Big Five and the
Japanese vote-- a peculiar position considering that the Japanese, as a bloc, supported
labor, and were against the economic hegemony of the Big Five.

In addition, any discussion of Hawaii statehood has to take into account the legitimacy of
Hawaii's territorial status. It's as if we're attempting to argue for a legitimacy that is built
upon an illegitimacy built upon another illegitimacy. A law built upon fraud built upon
fraud. I'm speaking of course about the overthrow of Queen Lili’uokalani in 1893, the
executive agreements between President Cleveland and Queen Lili'uokalani restoring her
to the throne, and the Ku'e petitions that influences the Senate vote against annexation.
Yet, despite the congressional outrage and the wide support for restoring the Kingdom,
there is a good case of flim-flam in President McKinley's promotion of annexation-light
through the not-a-treaty, but merely a joint-resolution process-- whether or not this
McKinley annexation was a violation of U.S. Constitutional Law is hardly a debate, and
it was certainly a deceit to the international community that had treaties with the
Kingdom of Hawaii at the time.

Further, the second fraud, the 1959 statehood plebiscite misled the United Nations
General Assembly by submitting only one of the three questions required for removal
from the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories. The plebiscite asked,
"Shall Hawaii be admitted into the Union as a State?" These three questions should have
been do you want full-independence, partial-autonomy, or statehood? Not once did the

administrating power offer full-independence as an alternative, and not once, since the
United States listed Hawaii to the UN list of Non-Self-Governing Territories, did the
territory or the Department of the Interior, fulfill any of its obligations accorded to the
United Nations Charter, Chapter 11 which takes into account the political aspirations of
the peoples, and to assist them in the progressive development of their free political
institutions. The responsibilities of the territory, as well as the Department of the Interior,
should have also, following UN General Resolution 648 provide political advancement of
the population sufficient to enable them to decide upon the future destiny of the territory
with due knowledge.

The reason this is significant is that the State maintains its assertion that there was 94%
support for statehood without recognizing that only 35% of eligible voters voted,
significantly reducing the statehood mandate. When you couple these voting figures with
the exclusion of the other questions, as well as the lack of education of our political
advancement, suddenly even the legitimacy of statehood under international law becomes
in question, and the idea that our current state is a fraud built upon a fraud built upon a
fraud sounds less and less like hyperbole.

But what I'm trying to draw is how the discussion over Hawaii statehood has been framed
over the last several years, and present some documents and background that will give
more meaning, and fill in some of the holes of our Hawaii statehood history. And these
documents, by the way, don't really address the history of the Kingdom or the fake
McKinley annexation, but it does in a sense address it, by bringing into question the role
of power in international agreements. Looking at contemporary examples of unsigned
treaties that have manifest power in the world, one might look at the WTO, another treaty
the Senate never ratified, yet holds more influence over world affairs than probably any
other document in history. I mean the WTO affects trade, labor, currency, mining,
manufacturing, almost every facet in commerce, including the environment, our water,
food, and energy, copyright and intellectual property.

I should probably substantiate this with an obscure reference, and it's from the
Constitutional expert, Prof. Laurence Tribe's testimony before the Subcommittee on

Economic Policy, Trade and Environment of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, House of
Representatives, 103rd Congress in 1994...

Just reading a couple sentences: I am not here today to discuss whether participation in
the World Trade Organization is a good idea, weighing both its net dollar benefits and
its possible dangers to consumer safety, environmental protection, and various labor
interests. Instead, I am here to address what the United States of America is more
fundamentally about, which is not just economic success, but democratic self-government
within the context of an enormously important document, the Constitution of the United

My concern is with basic constitutional values apart from any gains in trade--
constitutional values that are beyond price. I find profoundly troubling the notion that,
the process of governing the American people, national leaders would consider the
Constitution only as an afterthought. So it was during the last few months that the more I
learned about the Uruguay round and the proposed World Trade Organization, the more
dismayed I became at many leader's apparent disregard for the Treaty Clause of the

How this quote by Prof. Tribe is relevant, tangentially addresses both the de-occupation
model and decolonization model and I’m using it to suggest that we continue to live
under a rubric of power that is so entrenched in our day to day, that we become stifled
under the tapestry of laws and agreements. This illegitimacy of constitutional process
should also empower people to continue struggling to right the wrongs of our
governments, what we may see as the illegitimacies of our governments in action. The
de-occupation model asserts that Hawaii is currently occupied as a result of the
fraudulent annexation and that President Cleveland's executive agreement with
Liliuokalani to restore the kingdom ensured the continued survival of the kingdom,
thereby nullifying any law passed since the McKinley—the fake McKinley annexation
otherwise known as the Newlands Resolution, and that includes statehood. The
decolonization model addresses that Hawaii was fraudulently removed from the list of
Non-Self-Governing Territories and should be re-instated and given an opportunity to
become truly self-governing, meaning choosing our own political advancement and

entering into direct relations of every kind with other governments and with international
institutions and to negotiate, sign and ratify our own international instruments. UNGAR
648 (VII)

Historically, what is ironic about Senate ratification of supra-national treaties like the UN
Charter or the WTO for example, is that in January of 1953, Senator Bricker introduced a
resolution that sought to revise Article 2, Section 2 of the Constitution: the treaty clause
which states that the President shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of
the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur.... As a
result of the UN General Assembly passing the Declaration of Human Rights and the
Genocide Convention in 1948, without the Senate being able to study the text until the
following year in 1949, both Senator Bricker and the American Bar Association raised
concerns over the potential dangers of having an international treaty like the UN Charter
override the US Constitution. There was much debate in the Senate over Executive
Agreements and Treaties (as there is today). And so in 1954, a year later after the Bricker
Amendment was proposed, Senator Knowland submitted a revised Bricker Amendment,
which even President Eisenhower publicly supported. Upon further study the Bricker
Amendment was again revised and it never quite got enough congressional support for

I bring this up because Senator Knowland who was an active supporter of Hawaii
Statehood was the first to raise the question in nearly a decade as to why the territories of
Hawaii and Alaska are transmitting information to the United Nations Secretary-General,
as required by Chapter XI, Article 73 (e) of the UN Charter.

This is the letter that Senator Knowland composes to the Assistant Secretary of State,
Francis O Wilcox, International Organizations on June 19, 1956

Dear Francis—

Your letter of June 11 has been received, and I wish to thank you for sending me
the information.

I would certainly seen no objection to the United States filing a report under
Article 73(e) relating to American Samoa, Guam and the Virgin Islands.

I most strenuously do object to this government having filed such reports fro the
Territories of Alaska and Hawaii, both of which are destined to become states of
the American Union. Both have adopted State Constitutions and are awaiting
admission as the 49th and 50th States.

I am taking the liberty of forwarding a copy of this letter to Secretary Dulles

With best personal regards, I remain

Sincerely yours,
William F. Knowland

The same day he also writes to Secretary of State Dulles…

Dear Mr. Secretary, speaking to John Foster Dulles:

Enclosed is a copy of the letter I have written to Assistant Secretary of State
Francis O. Wilcox.

Frankly, I was greatly shocked to learn that the United States since 1946 has been
transmitting information under Article 73(e) for the territories of Alaska and
Hawaii. I hope that steps will be taken to correct the situation as these two
organized Territories have elected their own Legislatures and both have adopted
Constitutions in anticipation to being admitted as full members of the Union as
the 49th and 50th States.

With best personal regards, I remain

Sincerely yours,
William F. Knowland




At the time these letters were drafted, Senator William F. Knowland was the California
Republican Senate Minority Leader from 1955-1959, and before that Knowland was the
Senate Majority Leader.

In the June 20th 1956 Congressional Record, Knowland states, “So, Mr. President, I hope
that prompt action will be taken to get the Territories of Hawaii and Alaska out or the
category into which they have apparently been placed.

Senator Bricker responds: “Have there been any reports from the State Department
setting forth why the Territories of Alaska and Hawaii were included in the first place? If
so, on what assumption did they make such reports?

Senator Knowland again: “I am awaiting a full and complete report. The preliminary
information I had when the matter came up in 1946 was that it had been determined that
it might encourage some of the other nations to file reports if we included Hawaii and
Alaska. I do not agree with that decision, needless to say.

Senators Bricker and Knowland are using the territorial status of Hawaii and Alaska, not
so much as to advocate for Statehood, but to further challenge and revise the Treaty
clause of the Constitution so that Congress can fulfill its mandate for making laws,



So, let's temporarily close this chapter of 1956 and re-open it ten years earlier in 1946
when the UN treaty had just been signed.

The UN Charter was signed in San Francisco on June 26, 1945. About three weeks later,
Delegate to Alaska E.L. Bartlett wrote Abe Fortas, the Under Secretary of the Interior,
Department of the Interior questions pertaining to Alaska and Hawaii regarding the
Chapters 11, 12 and 13 of the Charter, the chapters relating to territories. Two days later,
on the 18th, Fortas responded with a full description of what the Chapters meant, stating
that only Chapter 11 pertained to US territories and that the US took pride in the
submission of its territories to the United Nations,



ensureS that the territories would be guided to adhere to a full-measure of self-
government, and would lead the other Administering Powers to follow the lead of the US,
by listing and reporting upon the economic and social conditions of their territories, as
defined by Chapter XI Article 73 (e) WHICH I MENTIONED EARLIER

This provision on territories was inserted in the charter in accordance with the Yalta
agreements, which was one of the United Nations post-war planning conferences that
occurred a few months earlier. AND THE YALTA CONFERENCE FOCUSES ON THE

Winston Churchill, the British Prime Minister objected to this provision, however the
United States, under President Roosevelt and the Soviet Union under Premier Stalin,
agreed that for the United Nations to meet its objective for world peace, there needed to
be an effective end to territories. Shortly after the ratification or the UN Charter,
England, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark and the
United States all placed their territories on the list for decolonization. The Soviet Union,
however, asserted that they had no territories, and that all the regions that made up the
USSR, were independent. The territories that were being administered included most of
Africa, South-East Asia, the Pacific and Caribbean islands, Greenland, Alaska and some
of the smaller countries in South America

The dilemma over territories wasn’t new to Yalta, as it came up as a point to not be
discussed at Dumbarton Oaks in August of 1944, the first agreement towards establishing
a United Nations.

It came up decades earlier in President Woodrow Wilson’s 14 points just after World
War I as: A free, open-minded, and absolutely impartial adjustment of all colonial claims,
based upon a strict observance of the principle that in determining all such questions of
sovereignty the interests of the populations concerned must have equal weight with the
equitable claims of the government whose title is to be determined.

And it came up again in 1919 as a Mandate in Article 22 of the League of Nations: To
those colonies and territories which as a consequence of the late war have ceased to be
under the sovereignty of the States which formerly governed them and which are

inhabited by peoples not yet able to stand by themselves under the strenuous conditions
of the modern world…

One of the main reasons for this language, explicit to territories and sovereignty, was that
the larger powers saw territories as assets for cheap labor, resources and commodities,
and thus countries competed for them. When, for example, some resource was needed
for manufacturing and trade, and the administrative power of a country or region
withheld resources, or used the assets of a country aggressively against another country,
or used proximity and resources in an aggressive manner whereby, a country was unable
to compete in the market, these were the kinds of maneuverings that led to wars, and led
to the breaking of treaties. Before WWI for example, STARTING WITH THE TRIPLE
ALLIANCE IN 1879, the British and European States were actively engaged in entente,
and these were multi-lateral agreements, or ALLIANCES that as THIS PRACTICE OF
PARTNERS, particularly in regard to MILITARY AND trade, until finally THE GREAT
WAR broke out. Quickly, Looking at the treaties of Europe before World War I, military
and trade alliances were PRACTICED—and for all practical matters, these ALLIANCE
EXPERIENCED, treaties, OR ALLIANCES would often get broken, and nearly every
new alliance might potentially alienate a previous ally. so that, that it would almost make
the Great War look comic if wasn’t so tragically inevitable, and certainly, the drafting
and formation of the League of Nations was an admiral attempt at maintaining peace.

One of the failures of the League of Nations is that it did little to properly regulate or
enforce trade demands, and economic issues quickly rose to the forefront as a result of
still held to a Gold Standard, and so it goes without saying that the country with the most

gold OR COMMODITIES had the strongest currency, after accounting for population, its
territories, commodities and resources, production, consumption and a country’s labor

During WWI and following, there BEGAN TO DEVELOP a MUCH strongER
transatlantic trade exchange, but it was also very unstable and trade became very difficult
with sovereign currencies fluctuating so wildly, AND ONE WAY TO TRY TO
developed to help stabilize the national economies. And in addition to this burgeoning
trade, there was a lot of unevenness in the markets which, for geo-political reasons,
involved the competition for cheap labor and commodities, continued financial
adjustments in the central banks failed to devise a system to sustain the capitalist
approach and wages and job security took a backseat to the free-market, where it was
institutionalized that markets would fix itself without government regulations or
subsidies. This instability led workers to organize around a saner, more scientific
approach to economic stability—namely communism. In England, the labor uprisings
nearly led to a communist revolution and John Maynard Keynes appropriated the
economic science of Marx’s full-employment which challenged and expanded upon the
capitalist model, so that eventually the government provided for sponsored welfare while
regulating the market around a central bank, which at the time helped to stabilize Great

In other places in Europe, as a result of the same post-World War I unemployment and
exploitive labor practices, communism made profound strides and strong labor unions
evolved all across Europe. One in particular the International Federation of Trade Unions
which began in 1919, transformed into the World Federation of Trade Unions in 1945
and is a central component to this statehood story in that Hawaii’s ILWU leadership was
the only organization I know of who throughout post-World war II era—up until
statehood—co mmunicated to Hawaii’s Rank and File the UN resolutions. For
example in 1955, at the second biennial local convention at the Hilo Armory on Sept 21-
24, 1955, one of the 10 resolutions that was adopted by ILWU local 142 was to reverse

the vote cast by the US in UN Assembly against independence for colonial nations and
the right of colonial counties to own and exploit their own natural resources. This was a
Soviet-sponsored resolution in the United Nations, and the U.S. at the time, in the midst
of the red-scare and anti-communist propaganda, was throwing the book at the ILWU
because of their affiliation with the WFTU. But I will come back to this later.

I know this is jumping all over the place, but the Postwar policy drafters had to absorb the
information of economics, trade, labor, markets, territories and international law at the
time and draft a document that the countries of the world would ratify with the aim of
preventing WWIII. Keynes was one of the pivotal drafters in all of this as he led the
Bretton Woods conference in July of 1944, a month before Dumbarton Oaks, and he
helped to develop the structure of what became the International Monetary Fund, the
International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, aka the World Bank and the
International Trade Organization which the US co-opted in 1947 as the General
Agreement on Trade and Tariffs in 1947. These financial institutions were built upon
strong ideals and their evolution into what they have become is a result of US
opportunism, specifically the 1948 economic cooperation act, aka the Marshall Plan,
which evolved into the Mutual Securities Act in 1951, and it was through these Acts that
the US became the principle aid supplier to the World Bank and the IMF, which resulted
in these UN aid mechanisms to be used to counter Soviet influence in developing

The central moment when this occurs, and if you’ve been following my seemingly
unconnected point, thank you—but anyway, there is an incident that occurs in 1947 that
brings everything together and they are the uprisings in Greece and Turkey.

As a result of the war, Greece—as were the rest of the war-torn countries—was in need
of aid. Greece had suffered great loss to their infrastructure as a result of the Nazi
campaign. Turkey remained somewhat neutral in the war, but it had an agreement with
the British and they continued to supply Turkey with military equipment and often used
them as a base against German-occupied Bulgaria.

In 1947, the British announced that for financial reasons they would be pulling their
troops out of Greece and Turkey, a result of a treaty they made with Russia after the 1946
Paris Peace Conference, which stated that Russia would leave Bulgaria within three
months of ratification of the treaty and that Bulgaria would reassume their responsibilities
as a sovereign state in international affairs and qualify for membership in the United

Just after this was announced Secretary of State Acheson and Senators Vandenberg and
Connelly held a hearing in March and April of 1947 and submitted Senate bill 938, “to
provide for assistance to Greece and Turkey.” In the Hearings held in Executive Session
before the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, Acheson, Vandenberg
and Connelly argued why the U.S. should flip the cost for this Bill, despite objections as
to why the World Bank would not do it, since this was the purpose for its establishment.

Admiral Sherman of the Navy and the Secretary of War James Forrestal commented on
the importance of strategically securing that area since it closed a major Soviet gateway
point through Bulgaria.

Ultimately, when the British left, the US went in with US funded aid and continued to
support the Greek and Turkish puppet regimes that had previously been supported by the

Now much of the information and resistance to the British and US funded regimes of
Greece and Turkey came from the transport unions with support from the World
Federation of Trade Unions of which the ILWU also belonged. In fact, in the years
around the signing or the UN Charter, many of the territories engaged in similar political
struggles that took place on the ports and docks and railways of territories. The Six
Resolutions of the First Congress of the WFTU in 1945, for example, promoted
independence and the right of self-determination of peoples; sent a commission to
investigate the state of affairs with Greece; urged legislative reforms to eliminate racial
discrimination, among others. The WFTU Congress also adopted a resolution expressing
admiration “of all free peoples for the tireless efforts of President Roosevelt” and
recommended him as an example to the chiefs of the United Nations.

Systematically, and trying not to color this with too much personal interpretation, the
agenda or the Soviet Union in regard to territories promoted independence and self-
determination. Within the Soviet economic system, they were committed to establishing
trade networks that would benefit labor and encourage a more scientific approach
towards economic growth. In order to promote this, the capitalist colonial regimes had to
be removed. Where information on decolonization was spread, occurred first through
unions and then disseminated through the transport areas like ports, docks, railways,
airstrips, etc, then though the leadership of other affiliates. Transport areas were also the
gateway for weapons and munitions to enter into the territories, so the WFTU, advocating
support for self-determination was a threat to the colonial establishment.

The State Department at this time was very busy. As we’ve touched upon, the United
States had already begun to assert dominance in the Bretton Woods institutions and I will
get back to that later. So, in addition to all this, the State Department was also promoting
their own international trade union in cooperation with the American Federation of Labor
(AFL), the British Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Dutch Federation of Labor
called the International Congress of FREE Trade Unions (ICFTU) which officially began
in 1949, two years after the Marshall Plan. The Congress of Industrial Organizations
(CIO) left the WFTU in 1949 and expected that the ILWU would join them. When the
ILWU did not join, and in part, this was a result of Harry Bridge’s leadership, the ILWU
was kicked out of the CIO, and there began government harassment of Bridges, and
ILWU leadership.

In the 9th Convention of the C.I.O. held in October 1947, the year the Marshall Plan was
enacted, a resolution was adopted by the C.I.O. and I’ll read the relevant paragraph:

“We know that an enduring peace demands that the people everywhere, including the
economically backward or colonial countries, be protected in their rights of self-
determination and self-government—free from interference or coercion, be it military of
economic from any source—benevolent or despotic. The people of the war-devastated
countries look to us for relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction (referencing the World
Bank). We therefore support sound programmes for post-war rehabilitation. We urge in
support of our Nation’s fight against hunger throughout the world prompt action to

provide food and other economic aid for the rehabilitation of their countries. We also
urge that under no circumstances should food or any other aid given by any country be
used as a means of coercing free but needy people in the exercise of their rights of
independence and self-government of to fan the flames of civil warfare.”

By 1949, the Marshall Plan was in full effect, and the United States was on its way to
becoming the dominant economic force in the world, competing with the Soviet Union
for control over territories and their labor, commodities and resources, and Hawaii, it was
feared, under its present ILWU leadership and its ethnically diverse and international
membership would begin to move towards the UN declared right to self-determination.

What the United States did not understand about Hawaii, though, was that the ILWU,
although promoting the ideals of the United Nations and talking about rights of self-
determination, were also, for the most part, committed to Statehood as being a right of
self-government. ILWU leadership consistently supported Statehood, although in 1953-
54, Jack Hall is also on record briefly supporting Free-Association, and on one occasion,
makes a cheeky reference to independence as “Kamehameha-ism, but after looking at
reports of Puerto Rico’s poor labor conditions after becoming semi-autonomous, he
reverted to his original position of support for Statehood.

Here is a letter dated July 15, 1954 To: Jack Hall, Regional Director
From: Lincoln Fairley, Research Director

Subject: Commonwealth status for the Territory of Hawaii

I understand from Lou that you have raised the question that the ILWU might agitate for
commonwealth status for Hawaii as a substitute for the statehood campaign and that you
are thinking of the status of Puerto Rico as the example. I have checked a bit about the
present status of Puerto Rico and feel that Hawaii would not have much, if anything, to
gain by moving in this direction.

Commonwealth status for Puerto Rico is unique. It seems to be principally a device for
quieting the demand for real independence without in fact providing many of the basic
factors required for independence.

Commonwealth status for Puerto Rico means the following:

1. A compact between Puerto Rico and the United States that Puerto Rico will
remain a part of the U.S. Federal system.

2. A considerable degree of autonomy in Puerto Rican affairs (exclusive, of course,
of international relations) with an elected governor with a constitution drafted and
ratified in Puerto Rico. However, they have only an observer in Congress and do
not participate in presidential elections.

3. A number of serious limitations with regard to control over even local affairs.”A.
There is apparently serious doubt whether the U.S. Congress could amend the
Constitution without approval.

B. There are certain limitations written into the Constitution. There is, for example, a debt
limit for Puerto Rico and its municipalities as a percentage of the actual valuation of

C. The government’s hands, therefore, would be tied if they sought to promote a program
involving major government expenditures along New Deal lines. Most U.S. federal
agencies operate in Puerto Rico under U.S. legislation; Selective Service, for example,
though the Puerto Ricans had nothing to say about its passage. Similarly the Taft-Hartley
Law is in effect and is not limited to commerce with the U.S all local industry is covered.

4. The Internal Revenue Bureau is an exception to the foregoing; Puerto Ricans are
exempt from U.S. income tax legislation. This, I assume is primarily an advantage
to Puerto Rican corporations, many of which are in fact owned by persons in the
U.S. There cannot be many workers in Puerto Rico who earn enough to gain
much from income tax exemptions.

5. 5. Puerto Rico is part of the U.S. tariff system. Puerto Rico exports to the U.S. are
not taxed on arrival here and customs collections on goods coming into Puerto
Rico are turned back into Puerto Rico and do not go into the U.S. Treasury.

Commonwealth status (referred to in Puerto Rico as Estado Libre Asociado) was affected
when the Constitution went into effect on July 25, 1952. The Constitution was drafted
and subsequently approved by referendum vote pursuant to Public Law 600 adopted by
the U.S. Congress in 1950. The purpose of the changes brought about by Public Law 600
are indicated by the following quote from the report of the Public Lands Committee:

The bill under consideration would not change Puerto Rico’s fundamental political, social
and economic relationship to the United States. Those sections of the Organic Act of
Puerto Rico pertaining to the political, social and economic relationship of the United
States laws, customs, internal revenue, Federal judicial jurisdiction in Puerto Rico, Puerto
Rican representation by a Resident Commissioner, etc., would remain in force and effect,
and upon enactment of S. 3336 (the precursor of Law 600—ED.) would be referred to as
the Puerto Rican Federal Relations Act.” (Committee on Public Lands of 81st Congress,
House Report 2275, 1950.)

Mr. Jack K. McFall, Assistant Secretary of State, in a letter included in the above
committee’s report, wrote that the bill should be passed, “in order that formal consent of
the Puerto Ricans may be given to their present relationship to the United States.”

He added: “In view of the importance of ‘colonialism’ and ‘imperialism’ in anti-
American propaganda, the Department of State feels that S. 3336 would have great value
as a symbol of the basic freedom enjoyed by Puerto Rico, within the larger framework of
the United States of America.”

How popular commonwealth status actually is, is difficult to determine. It is true that the
Constitution was adopted by referendum vote but only 41% of the eligible voters
participated, Consequently the constitution was actually adopted by 34% of the eligible
voters. Moreover, three of the political parties in the territory favor outright
independence. How wise independence would actually be under the present
circumstances is another question. My own guess that Puerto Rico being so small and so
dependent on a single crop would be in and even tougher spot that the Philippines if full
independence were achieved.

There appears never to have been any serious agitation for statehood in Puerto Rico. The
choice was between independence and something short of independence. The question
was how far from the U.S. would Puerto Rico move, not how close.

In pursuing the matter further, I suggest that you get a copy of the “The Annals of the
American Academy of the Political and Social Science” from January 1953. The best
thing in the issue is and article by Rupert Emerson, who during part of Roosevelt era was
Director of the Divisions of Territories and Insular Possessions. After describing the
character of the commonwealth set up, Emerson has the following to say about the
possible application of commonwealth status to Alaska and Hawaii:

“ To Alaska and Hawaii the change which has been made in Puerto Rico’s status
presumably appears as a menace, rather that as an advance to be envied. Coveting
statehood which has several times seemed almost within their grasp, these territories
have lingered under organic acts dating four or five decades into the past and providing
for Washington-appointed governors and other restrictions on their autonomy in
domestic affairs. In company with Puerto Rico, they lack full congressional
representation and are excluded from Presidential elections. Fiscally they are at a
disadvantage in that, unlike Puerto Rico, they neither receive exemption from the federal
income tax nor secure the return to their own treasuries of internal revenue taxes and
customs duties. But the one goal to which they aspire is statehood, and it would be the
coldest of comfort to them to think that they might be put off by having accorded to them
the favor newly devised to meet Puerto Rico’s needs. In its bearing on their own position,
they could applaud the Puerto Rican solution only in the unlikely event that their own
claims to statehood would receive kindlier treatment because of the removal of Puerto
Rico from the list of current aspirants to the prize of becoming the forty-ninth state.”

At this point, I think we should understand what the Marshall Plan was—because I think
we mostly consider the Marshall Plan to be imperial US policy that establishes the
process for reconstruction and aid across Europe between 1947 and 1951, and see it for
what it is, which is a precursor to U.S. expansionism. The Marshall Plan rightfully

becomes shorthand for US cold-war policy, and for the international unions it represents
an aggressive act against the Soviet model for economic inter-dependence as well as an
obstacle for struggles of independence by colonial countries.

The Marshall Plan is Reconstruction Aid and it is often referred to as the European
Recovery Program (ERP). Through Congress, it is implemented through the 1947
Economic Cooperation Act, which authorizes the use of the services and facilities of the
United Nations, its organs and specialized agencies, and all the other international
organizations in carrying out its purpose. Congress approved funding for the ERP for
three years, and in 1951 the Economic Cooperation Act folded into the Mutual Securities
Act, which is still very much alive and in practice today.

Now as it happens, during wartime, the United States was anxious that the post-war years
were going to see massive unemployment as it did after WWI, and that we would once
again struggle with another great Depression. As early as 1941, an independent group
met at the University of Chicago and began to discuss this exact problem. They called
themselves the Committee for Economic Development (CED), and organized by Paul
Hoffman who at that time was president of Studebaker Corporation. The CED was an
independent think-tank that involved the participation of academics, pro-union people,
and business leaders and Paul Hoffman was chosen by Secretary of State Acheson to
head the ECA.

To understand why he was qualified to head the Economic Cooperation Administration,
you’d have to understand the work the CED did in trying to shape economic policy in the
US when the war was over. During wartime, employment was high and the US economy
was doing well. Roosevelt’s 1941 Lease-Lend Act to Britain, which provided US made
defense articles: weapons, munitions, vehicles, machinery, etc. to Britain, ensured that
payment or repayment in kind or property, or any other direct or indirect benefit that the
President deems satisfactory, was a cash cow, but policy needed to be shaped to ensure
that we could provide for the infrastructure for employment when the soldiers came

American manufacturers and Chambers of Commerce did not like the Bretton Woods
Proposals especially proposals around Full-employment, which was the Keynesian model
that provides that governments provide employment for all who are looking—a model
not dissimilar from Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration that provided
employment during the Great Depression. It should be noted, that during the drafting of
the UN Charter in 1945, Full Employment (626 PFPP) was in the proposal for
consideration on Trade and Employment. Senators Vandenberg and Connelly told U.S.
Secretary of State Stettinius that if Full-Employment were not removed from the Charter,
Congress would not ratify it. Although there was protest among the drafters participating
in the San Francisco conference, it was removed because it was thought that for the
United Nations to be successful, the United States needed to ratify it, as it was also
understood that the reason the League of Nations failed was because the U.S. had not
ratified it. This is important because as we shall see in the correspondences, the inclusion
of Alaska and Hawaii as Non-Self-Governing Territories was seen by Vandenberg,
Connelly and the Secretary of State as a matter of prestige, rather than a viable threat to
National Security.

Getting back to the Marshall Plan and the Economic Cooperation Act, it was agreed that
the United States would provide reconstruction aid to the war-torn countries. How this
was implemented was that the United States would build the industrial machinery with
U.S. labor in the United States and send it abroad on primarily U.S. flagged ships while
providing a small percentage of the commodity resources, like steel and other metals
asked for by each country. The problem of maintaining stable currency valuation,
however, was still a problem, and how this was solved was for participating countries to
devalue its currencies and apply it to an exchange rate that was pegged to the dollar. This
was applied by treaty to Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy,
Netherlands, Norway, Turkey, and the United Kingdom—if you notice, all the European
countries that listed their territories, the European axis powers that lost territories, and
again Greece and Turkey, but not Australia and New Zealand.

Further, besides cooperating countries devaluing their sovereign currencies, these
countries, still needed to pay for reconstruction, and just as in the previously mentioned

Lease-Lend Act, the benefit to the United States is the transfer of reasonable quantities of
commodities of each countries’ resources, meaning the resources and commodities of the

Another stream of payment was for cooperating countries to place in a special account, a
deposit in the currency of each country a commensurate amount that was agreed upon by
each country and the United States. This deposit into a special account was a technical
monetary formulation derived during Bretton Woods for the IMF, what is now known as
Special Drawing Rights, which was to be used for the stabilization of currencies, but
during the Marshall Plan this special account went straight to the U.S. Treasury.

Also as a result of the Economic Cooperation Act, the US was able determine its own
beneficial tariff fees, since it was primarily the US flagged ships that were bringing
commodity resources to the US and shipping goods off to Europe. What is contained in
this Act is the United States taking advantage of the opportunity for reconstruction to co-
opt the original Bretton Woods agreement, and shaping it to its advantage, and by
dominating and controlling shipping, tariffs and trade, the U.S. has, in essence, buried the
International Trade Organization and will in a few months present its own General
Agreement on Tariff and Trade.

So as we speak about cooperation, it becomes evident that the Soviet Union and the other
Socialist Republics have been excluded, and are thus, not in cooperation. It should be
noted that the US did invite the Soviet Union to participate, but knew very well that they
would reject the plan because the Soviet process for reconstruction was for each country
to rely upon its own labor resources to rebuild, and participate in a more cooperative and
interdependent environment.

Eventually, as we can attest to today, the US market is now a transnational market and it
is everywhere. Even in a downward economy, the United States continues to have a
dominant influence in international markets, including Trade, Currency, Development
Aid, Finance and Banking.

Currently, as a result of Chinese growth and Chinese dominant trade negotiations, the
economic hegemony the US held since perestroika in 1989 appears to being tested. With

further liberalizing regulations in International Agreements, we will likely see the
economic results from revisions to the United Nations System of National Accounts,
more liberal environmental safeguards, more militarism and US led Free Trade
Agreements, and perhaps more relaxed regulations on the Convention on the Law of the
Sea to possibly allow for privatization and mining in the deep sea, and I am doubtful of
what some proclaim to be our imminent American Perestroika.

By 1960, the United Nations finally gained enough votes that the General Assembly
passed Resolution 1514, the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial
Countries and Peoples, a resolution that was pushed for by the Soviet Union for nearly 8
years and resulted in the liberation of the African and South-East Asian countries.

Okay, so this is the back drop of Hawaii’s statehood, and I’ve left out a few things like
the January 1st 1959 Cuban Revolution, which occurred three months before the
Statehood vote in Congress, which by the way is significant because the Southern
Democrats were primarily the ones who controlled the US sugar market, and losing Cuba
meant losing it’s number one sugar producer, of which Hawaii played some influence on
the US sugar market, but never as much as they wanted, as Hawaii sugar growers were
always secondary to Cuba and Puerto Rico as one can tell by looking at the Hawaii/US
sugar tariffs. The US clearly favored the Cuban sugar growers and mostly used Hawaii to
fulfill sugar quotas. I have no evidence as to how much influence the Cuban revolution
had on changing the minds of the Southern Democrats, but it always made more sense to
me than John Burn’s lobbying efforts or the Tennessee Plan.

Another part of the backdrop was the loss of China in 1949, which was seen as a failure
of the Marshall Plan. Title IV of the Economic Cooperation Act is also cited as the
“China Aid Act of 1948.” It was thought that the United States and the other Colonial
Administrators of the region would suffer severe commodity losses if the territories of
South East Asia gained independence and spread across the Pacific, so when the People’s
Republic of China gained control, the United States invested in its military presence in
the Pacific region to maintain its colonial control over the region.

In 1950, Senator Knowland received this letter from Frank E. Midkiff who was an
educator and businessman and a very prominent and influential community leader in
Hawaii. Among many of his titles and community obligations, he was president of
Kamehameha School from (1923-34), Member of the Territorial Planning Board (1939),
a Trustee of Punahou School, Secretary of the Territory of Hawai‘i ’s Post War Planning
Commission, Treasurer of the Atherton Estate, President of the Institute of Pacific
Relations (1934), and from1935-45 President of the Chamber of Commerce of Honolulu,
of which this letter represents.

Dear Congressman Knowland:

The attached statement makes specific suggestions for dealing with Formosa, Korea, and
the countries of Southeast Asia.

This statement is a follow-up on previous efforts made by the Chamber of Commerce of
Honolulu and others in Hawaii to insure that our Government takes all practical steps to
aid the non-Communist countries of Asia to retain their freedoms.

Suggestions are listed, with some argument, of ways to prevent the consolidation of a
Soviet Empire of Asia. We fear that Soviet annoyances in Europe may now be designed
to distract attention from and cloak the main Soviet drive, which we believe to be in Asia.

We believe an All-Asia Soviet Empire, once consolidated easily could acquire the
remainder of the European continent also.

Russia is finding conditions in Asia much better adapted to seductive promises of seeds
of Communism that in Western Europe. Her efforts are rapidly effective in Asia, whereas
they do not promise cheap victories and expansions in Western Europe any more. But we
believe conditions in the non-Communist countries of Asia can be improved by normal
and profitable trade and interchange of visiting businessmen and officials, so that ways of
the free countries, such as America, and the friendship and cooperation of the countries of
freedom will be preferred by the new forming and self determining non-Communist
countries of Asia.

Yours very sincerely,

Frank E. Midkiff

Midkiff sends a laundry list of recommendations that the US might take to prevent further
Communist influence in the region.

It should be noted that in 1955, during the Korean War, in solidarity with the WFTU, the
ILWU temporarily refused ships carrying arms to Korea.

When the Statehood vote came in 1959, again, Hawaii was seen more as an issue of
economic and military national security and although the build-up of the Pacific Fleet
creating Pacific Command had already started, even before WWII, the United States
could no longer risk the potential for Hawaii to begin to view its options for self-
determination. Throughout the years, Frank Midkiff was close to the action.

I’d now like to read to you a couple of the correspondences that I was able to “de-
classify” from the State Department Archives in College Park Maryland. I think by
presenting them last, in this manner, I can paint a more substantial backdrop with which
to frame these correspondences, because there is so much weight behind these


Earlier I mentioned that Senator Knowland had just received information that Alaska and
Hawaii had been sending information to the UN since 1946 and wanted to stop this

In June 28, 1956, Secretary of State Dulles replies:

Dear Bill

Upon receiving your letter of June 19, I asked my staff to prepare a memorandum,
which I have enclosed, describing the reasons for our decision to transmit
information to the United Nations on Alaska and Hawaii in accordance with
Article 73(e) of the United Nations Charter.

The problem was given careful consideration at the time in 1946. It was only
after consultation with certain members of the Congress, including Senators
Vandenberg and Connelly, and with the Department of Interior, and after
obtaining an opinion on the legal status of the territories from the Department’s
Legal Advisor, that the decision was taken.

For the reasons outlined in the memorandum, I hope you will agree it would be
unwise for the United States to discontinue transmission of information on Alaska
and Hawaii, until after they have made further constitutional advancements.

Sincerely yours,

John Foster Dulles

And the following is his memorandum dated June 26, 1956.

Dear Senator Knowland,

Thank you for your letter on June 19, 1956 regarding the annual reports
transmitted by the United States to Secretary General of the United Nations on the
territories of Alaska and Hawaii in accordance with Article 73(e) of the United
Nations Charter.

From your letter I see that you feel it was a mistake for us to begin reporting on
these territories, and that you believe we should now stop reporting since Alaska
and Hawaii have elected their own Legislatures and have adopted Constitutions in
anticipation of being admitted to the Union as the 49th and 50th States.

My staff has gone into the background of this question, and I would like to
explain why the Government in 1946 thought it advisable to include Alaska and
Hawaii among the territories to be reported on. The problem was given careful
consideration at that time and it was only after consultations with certain members
of the Congress, including Senators Vandenberg ad Connelly, and with the
Department of the Interior, and after obtaining an opinion on the legal status of

the territories from the Office of the Legal Adviser of the Department of State,
that this decision was taken.

Article 73 of the Charter asks Members of the United Nation “which have or
assume responsibilities for the administration of territories whose peoples have
not yet attained a full measure of self-government … to transmit … information
of a technical nature relating to economic, social and educational conditions in the
territories for which they are respectively responsible …”. While Alaska and
Hawaii have undoubtedly attained a large measure of self-government, it is
questionable whether they have attained the “full measure of self-government”
referred to in the Charter. It was the opinion of the Department’s Legal Adviser at
the time that Alaska and Hawaii should not be regarded as colonies or possessions
in view of their status as incorporated territories, but that they nonetheless
appeared to fall within the classification of “non-self-governing” political
communities. As you are aware, the Governors of both territories are still
appointed by the President subject to confirmation by the Senate; the principal
judicial officers of both territories are also appointed by the President; laws
enacted by the Territorial Legislatures are subject to the Governor’s veto and may
be overridden by the Congress of the United States; and while Delegates of
Alaska and Hawaii may participate in Congressional debates, they do not have the
right to vote.

In addition to these legal considerations it was believed at the time that reporting
by the United States on Alaska and Hawaii would enhance United States prestige
and might set a precedent for other Members of the United nations to report on
their territories, many of which were not so far advanced as Alaska and Hawaii. I
should add that the decision was made in the absence of any agreed United
Nations definition of the term “non-self-governing.”

When Mr. E.L. Bartlett, Delegate of Alaska, raised the question of reporting with
the Department of the Interior, in a letter dated July 16, 1945, the Under Secretary
of Interior, in his reply on July 18, took a position similar to that subsequently
adopted by the Department of State. He felt that Alaska and Hawaii should be

reported on because they had not attained “a full measure of self-government.” In
addition he pointed out that the type of information called for by Article 73 (e)
was by no means as comprehensive as the information that the Department of the
Interior publishes each year in its annual report, which is a public document. He
also felt that these reporting provisions could not possibly cause any difficulty or
embarrassment to this nation of tot the territories themselves.

On this latter point I would like to add that reporting to the United Nations on
Alaska and Hawaii in no way implies any derogation of the United States
Government’s sovereignty or responsibility over these territories. The United
Nations has no supervisory function over Alaska and Hawaii. It does not make
recommendations to the United States concerning the administration of Alaska
and Hawaii; in this respect its function differ from those it exercises over trust
territories where, under Article 75 of the Charter, the United Nations does
exercise a supervisory function.

I was personally interested in this question at the first session of the General
Assembly when I served on the United States Delegation. In a statement to the
Fourth Committee of the Assembly on November 7, 1946 I explained the position
of the United States in the following terms: “The United States adopted a broad
view of its responsibilities under Chapter XI and forwarded to the Secretary
Genera during August of this year information relating to all the non-self-
governing territories for which it is administratively responsible. The United
States has noted the steps taken by other Members of the United Nations in this
regard and is confident that the beginning now made will grow into a process
which will greatly aid the non-self-governing people of the world.”

The United States has continued to report on Alaska and Hawaii because there
have been no significant changes in the constitutional status of the territories since
1946. As you know, the Constitutions of Alaska and Hawaii, to which you refer in
your letter, will not become effective until approved by the Congress. In the case
of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, on which the United States transmitted its
final report in 1953, the new constitutional status led Governor Munoz-Marin to

ask the President of the United States to discontinue the annual reports to the
United Nations because the inhabitants of Puerto Rico considered that they had
attained a full measure of self-government.

I fully agree that the United States should stop reporting on Alaska and Hawaii at
the earliest practicable moment. When we do cease reporting, however, it will be
greatly to our advantage if other Members of the United Nations are satisfied with
our decision that the two territories have, in the language of the Charter, “attained
a full measure of self-government.” Our experience with the Puerto Rican case in
the United Nations indicates that if we cease reporting on Alaska and Hawaii,
without granting the two territories further steps towards self-government, we
may be severely criticized. I can assure you, however, that the United States alone
has the power to determine the constitutional status of territories under its
sovereignty, and that we have consistently maintained this position in the General

The grant of statehood to Alaska and Hawaii would provide the best means of
convincing other United Nations Members that the two territories have achieved
“a full measure of self-government.” Such a step would be generally welcomed as
a further indication of the traditional attachment of the American people to the
principle of self-determination.

For the reasons I have outlined, I hope that you will be able to agree that it would
be unwise for the United States to stop the transmission of information on Alaska
and Hawaii until they have made further constitutional advances.

Sincerely yours, John Foster Dulles

Mahalo again for your patience as this concludes this alternative reading of the Hawaii
Statehood Process through correspondences between Congress, the State Department and
the United Nations.

Arnie Saiki March 30, 2011