Tuesday, March 06, 2012

[Transcription provided by Auckland Libraries staff]

Honolulu, May 15,/82

Sir Geo. Grey


New Zealand

Dear Sir

I thank you for the kind message which you sent me by Mr Knudsen. I have always remembered with much pleasure the short but pleasant visit which you paid us in 1870.

I send you by this mail a little treatise on our system of Land Titles, which I have just had published, & which may interest you.

Our Legislature is now in session. Great changes are rapidly going on in this little country, & not all for the better. The native Polynesians are decreasing as fast as ever, & the Chinese will inevitably take their places. The country is full of petty Chinese store keepers, peddlers & tramps, who live on the illicit sale of opium & gin to natives. In fact the natives are determined to abolish "Class Legislation", i.e. to repeal all laws forbidding the sale of liquor to natives. An effort is being made to carry a total prohibition law, something like the celebrated "Maine Law", but it will not succeed.

The Chinese from their secrecy & exclusiveness, their talent for organization, & for acquisition, are becoming a dangerous element here. On Darwin's theory they will "survive" here in "the struggle for life" as the "fittest." Already they are a majority of the adult males in this little Kingdom.

I am afraid that the King's (i) tour around the world has not benefited him much. The danger is that he will follow the example of the late Khedive (ii) of Egypt in borrowing & in extravagance.

The natives who have the political power by our present Constitution, pay but a small proportion, one seventh I think, of the taxes, and begin to understand that fact. In fact Communistic ideas are spreading among them, & race hatred is being stirred up by demagogues.

On the other hand foreign capital is being largely invested here, & a wonderful development of the material resources of the islands is taking place. You see we have a difficult problem to solve. I remain

Yours very truly

W.D. Alexander

(i) Kalakaua

(ii) Ismail


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