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The British steamship Monarch arrived at Honolulu on 2 July 1882 from the Azores Islands with 859 immigrants at 6 a.m. The immigrants were taken from the Monarch to the Barracks of Kakaako. When tallied as they landed on the jetty of Kakaako, they numbered 16 more than the previous day when they were counted. Messrs. Hassinger and Smithus are of the opinion that the additional number represent the number of babies born during the interval of traveling. Another infant, a fine male child, was born 5 minutes after its mother reached her quarters on the shore. The boy is christened after the Secretary to the Immigration Board.

The immigrants landed safely, and the ship took 57 days to make the trip from the Azores to Hawaii. Much curiosity appears to have existed both in the House of Legislature and outside about the figures contained in the documents connected with the introduction of Portuguese immigrants by the S.S. Monarch which were produced to the Assembly on Friday, copies of which were given. They show that Messrs. Hoffrung & Co. charged the Govít $60,250.00 for securing and sending to Honolulu 434 adults and 337 children by the S.S. Monarch.

In addition to this, the Govít has to pay $486.00 (equal to $1.11 per head of the adult passengers) for stamps on the agreement they entered into, and $1,317.11 for advances made to the immigrants. They show also that the conveyance and provisioning these immigrants would have cost the Govít $28,622.60 (less the proceeds of sale here of fittings and surplus stores) had they undertaken that work themselves, settling aside any question of reduced cost through sale of fittings and surplus stores. We have here the sum of $31,627.40 paid to Hoffrung & Co. for their services in collecting the immigrants and superintending the business of shipping them. Dividing this by the whole number of the immigrants over 14 years of age, we get $72.87 per head as the fee paid for their services.

Hoffrung and Co. took much credit for themselves for not throwing overboard the Hawaiian Govít when the Representatives of some other country offered them $25.00 a head for collecting immigrants and stated that this was a good deal more than they received from our Govít.

The lesson to be learned from these figures is that the system of placing Govít contracts with favored individuals instead of putting them on the open market for tender is a bad one. It is the way that seems to suit the late Ministry. This is not the only matter which has come under the notice of the Assembly during the present session in which the propriety of letting all public work by tender have been demonstrated. In many countries, amongst which the British colonies to the south of us may be quoted as suitable examples. The system is made compulsory by law not only on the Govít, but on all public bodies, such as Municipal Councils, Road Boards, School Boards, etc.

We shall have to adopt similar safeguards here. Letter #86 London, June 15, 1882, ďThe Treaty With Portugal.Ē The convention, which the Hon. Carter has made with the Portuguese Govít has passed both Houses of Parliament at Lisbon, and after receiving the Kingís signature, only waits notification on the part of the Hawaiian Govít. This convention is of great value to Hawaii, on the grounds that it distinctly recognizes the right of the Hawaiian Board of Immigration to recruit laborers in the Kingdom of Portugal, and thus some of the elements of risk which have hereto attended this business are eliminated. The Portuguese have naturally exacted that its emigrants laws shall be strictly observed, and that its subjects shall be properly treated. On the other hand, the Portuguese have been placed on the footing of the ďmost favored nationĒ clause in the Hawaiian Kingdom.

The successful negotiations of the Convention has been most opportune at the present moment, as the Govít of Portugal was just about to stop the operations of the Hawaiian Emigration Commissioners at the Azores Islands, by refusing to issue passports to its subjects, pending inquiry into the reports which have been current. These, I understand, Mr. Carter has succeeded in refuting.

Excerpts from The Pacific Commercial Advertiser Weekly, Hawaii State Library (Micro-film)

Thank you to Sandy Sakai for this contribution.
© 2003 Melody Lassalle

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