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United States Department of State / Index to the executive documents of the House of Representatives for the second session of the fiftieth Congress, 1888-'90
(1888-1889)

Hawaii,   pp. 832-875 ff. PDF (19.9 MB)


Page 838


FOREIGN RELATIONS.
   The opinions of the justices will probably be given on the 17th in-
-tant. Considerable feeling over the subject has been engendered in
tlie community, and during the pendency of the matter before the mem-
bVrs of the supreme court the veto is the absorbing topic of newspaper
at*l street discussion, accompanied with the usual variety of opinions
and arguments for and against the right of the King.
   What may be termed the radical element of the reform party insist
that it never was the intention of the framers of the constitution to grant
the King the right of veto independent of the cabinet, and that this
position must be maintained in any event, otherwise the new constitu-
tion and the so-called revolution of June and July last accomplished
nothing.
  The advocates of the independent right of veto by His Majesty insist,
on the contrary, that the restraining clauses of the constitution refer to
executive acts only.
  The articles of the constitution bearing upon the subject are 41-18,
and 78.
   while there are some insinuations of a determination to maintain the
-views expressed in the resolutions adopted by the legislature, regardless
or the decision of the justices of the supreme court, yet, in quietly con-
versing with prominent business men and some members of the legisla-
ture, I find the general impression is that any attempt by the extremists
to force a construction of the constitution in opposition to the views of
the judges would not meet with public approval.
   I feel quite confident that any attempt to repeat the demonstrations
which brought about the promulgation of the present constitution would
not receive the popular support given the leaders in June and July
last.
   In order that the Department may have a complete understanding of
the temper of the discussion here, I inclose extracts of the proceedings
of the legislature giving the resolutions presented by Noble Castle and
the remarks thereon.
  By the steamer leaving here on Tuesday next, the 20th instant, I hope
to be able to forward you the decision of the judges of the supreme court
on the questions at issue and acquaint you with the manner in which it
is received by the legislature and the people.
       I have, etc.,
                                                 GEo. W. MERRILL.
                             [Inclosure in No. 158.1
     Extract of legislative proceedings, December 12, 1887.-Resolutions on
the veto.
  Noble Castle moved the following:
  Whereas it appears by the records of the legislature of the 9th of December,
1&37,
instant, that the message of His Majesty the King accompanying the bills
and forming
the act whereby the royal assent was refasei to the bills entitled, respectively,
"An
act to abolish the office of governor," and "An act to provide
for the discharge of
certain duties heretofore performed by the governors," which said bills
have been
duly passed by the legislature, is not countersigned by a minister; and
  Whereas his majesty's ministers have stated to the legislature that such
message
and the action based thereon were made without the advice and consent of
the cabi-
net; and
  Whereas it is a fundamental principle of the constitution and of the system
of gov-
ernment based thereon that the sovereign shall act in matters of state only
through
resp,)nsible ministers: Therefore, be it
  Resolved, That it is the sense of the legislature that the royal assent
has not been
reffsed.to the bills entitled, respectively, "An act to abolish tihe
office of governor"
838


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