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tant act of his reign, as originally executed and ratified, did not include a cession of Pearl Harbor. This act was reserved, doubtless by mutual consent, until after the expiration of the stipulated seven years' duration of the treaty, and its extension by convention for the further term of seven years. This new convention was not framed precisely at the expiration of the stipulated term, the treaty being allowed to stand, under the provision requiring either party to give one year's notice of a desire to abrogate it. It was not then until December, 1884, a month after the election of President Cleveland to his first term of office, that this new convention, conveying the cession of this important harbor, was concluded. It was not until January, 1887, that the ratification of this convention was adopted by the Senate; and nearly a year more was allowed to pass before it received the signature of the President.
That the renewal of the treaty of reciprocity was ardently desired by President Cleveland is shown in a passage in his message to the forty-ninth Congress at the opening of its
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second session in December, 1886.
The importance of telegraphic communications between those Islands and the United States should not be overlooked."
The cession of Pearl Harbor being one of the provisions of a treaty, limited in its term and capable of being abrogated by either of the high contracting parties at one year's notice, it was regarded by many as in its terms provisional. It was the contention of these that the expiration of the treaty of limitation, or its abrogation by act of either party to the contract, would act as a withdrawal of the cession of rights in Pearl Harbor. Others contended, on the other hand, that the cession of the Pearl Harbor rights was absolute, and that such rights could not be forfeited in the event of the cessation of other stipulations of the treaty. It is, perhaps, fortunate that this delicate international question was never actually precipitated, although a serious movement was made in the year 1897, in Congress, looking toward an abrogation of the treaty. It is said that this movement was instigated by the sugar-refining interests in this country. Fortunately, it was unsuccessful.
The conclusion and ratification of this supplementary convention, including, as it did, the cession of exclusive rights in Pearl Harbor, was the signal for another exhibition of the jealous spirit of Great Britain. The treaty had scarcely been proclaimed when a note was handed to Secretary of State Bayard by the British ambassador at Washington, from Lord Salisbury, British prime minister. In this the attention of the United States government was called to the Franco-English compact of 1843, by which those two nations agreed never to take possession of the Hawaiian Islands, either directly or under the title of a protectorate, and suggesting a triple compact, in which the United States should join, guaranteeing the neutrality and equal accessibility of the Islands and their harbors to the ships of all nations without preference.
Simultaneously with the delivery of this note a formal protest was made to the Hawaiian government, by the British commissioner at Honolulu, against a grant to the United States of the exclusive use of Pearl Harbor as a coaling and repair station. This
protest was based upon an article of the existing Anglo-Hawaiian treaty, which granted to British vessels of war liberty of entry to all harbors to which such ships of other nations “are or may be permitted to come.”
Mr. Bayard replied to the note of the British premier by reiterating what had evidently been already orally conveyed to the British ambassador, to the effect that in the Pearl Harbor cession there was nothing to impair the political sovereignty of Hawaii. But that the British government saw in this cession an indication of a coming passage of the sovereignty of the Islands to the United States is evident from this reply of Mr. Bayard, and it is made absolutely certain from the tone of the protest of the British commissioner made to the Hawaiian government. “Under instructions from Her Majesty's government,” wrote the commissioner, “I have already pointed out to the government of His Hawaiian Majesty that the acquisition by a foreign power of a harbor or preferential concession in the Hawaiian Islands would infallibly lead to the loss of the independence of the Islands.”
The object of the British government in