Continuing our “Statehood Countdown,” we’re looking at the correspondence between Benjamin Gerig, the Director of the Office of Dependent Area Affairs, and D. Protitch, the Under-Secretary for Trusteeship and Information from the United Nation’s office of Non-Self-Governing Territories. These documents trace the movement of information from the Territory of Hawaii’s Governor’s Office to the Department of the Interior, to the Department of State’s Office of Dependent Areas, to the United Nations, and back again.

This correspondence has to do with the information that the Secretary-General requests for the publishing of Document A/4088, is a condition required by the United Nations on the Cessation of Transmission of Information as required under Chapter XI, Article 73 (e). As seen in the previous documents, Congress had been trying to remove Hawaii from the UN list of Non-Self-Governing Territories without going through the required UN process.

The State Department had been repeatedly telling Congress, that the only way to do that was to change Hawaii’s territorial status. As seen previously (in Countdown #20), This meant to allow Hawaii to choose its form of government as that of either state, independence, or other association. As we now understand all too well, the option of Hawaii becoming a state or remaining a territory was hardly the kind of option prescribed by the United Nations or the State Department. Also of note in this exchange, are the discrepancies between what Governor Quinn’s office reports, and the information held by the State Department and the United Nations.

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April 16, 1959

Dear Mr. Protitich: Reference is made to Secretary General’s Summary and Analysis of Information Transmitted Under Article 73 (e) of the Charter relating to Hawaii, Document No. A/4088/Add.5, March 6, 1959.

This document has been read with interest in the United States Department of State and the Interior, and the following comments and suggestions are offered for consideration in the preparation of the final edition to be published:

1. Public Finance, page 14. The outstanding bonded indebtedness of Hawaii on June 30, 1947, was $10.9 million. The Territory has @2.9 million in sinking fund assents, thus making a net outstanding debt of $8 million.

The parenthetical phrase “$103 million in mid-1957” should follow immediately after the words “the legal debt ceiling”. Otherwise, it appears to apply to assessed value of the property of the Territory.

The word “revenue” appears twice in the table at the top of page 15. We suggest the substitution of the word “receipts” since the figures listed include both revenue and non-revenue receipts of the Territory.

2. Banking and Credit, page 15. The first sentence under this heading is incorrect. In 1957 the Territory had five banks with 54 branches, In the beginning of 1947 there were four banks with 38 branches.

3. Public Health, page 22. In the table at that top of the page the expenditures for 1947 do not agree with those contained in the annual report of the Governor to the Secretary of the Interior for that year. That report lists the following expenditures.

  • Health and Sanitation General Funds $1,450,122.34 Special funds $674,866.47 Revolving Funds $28.28 Consolidated Total $2,125,012,04
  • Hospitals and Institutions for Handicapped General Funds $4,924,871.62 Special Funds $43,623.26 Consolidated Total $4,988,493.89

4. Educational Conditions, page 22. The statement made in the last paragraph on this page is inaccurate and misleading. Although there may in the past have been language problems in education, this has certainly not been the case in recent years. English is without question the predominant language in Hawaii.

Sincerely yours,
Benjamin Gerig Director,
Office of Dependent Area Affairs—————–

May 6, 1959

Dear Mr. Protitch:

With reference of my letter of April 16, 1959, there is attached a copy of comments from the Governor of Hawaii, William F. Quinn, on the Secretary General’s Summary and Analysis of Information Transmitted Under Article 73 (e) of the Charter. Relating to Hawaii, Document No. A/4088/Add.5, March 6, 1959.

When I addressed my letter of April 16 to you I was not aware that the Governor of Hawaii would be asked for comments by the Department of the Interior, and I trust his comments will reach you in time to be included in the revised UN document on Hawaii.

Sincerely yours,
Benjamin Gerig Director,
Office of Dependent Area Affairs Department of State (attached)


1. Page 3. Paragraph 4. The 1952 intercensus estimates of ethnic composition of the population of the Territory are no considered reliable and are not used in official publications. We request the substitution of the 1950 U.S. Census Bureau estimates on ethnic composition as follows:Ancestry Per Cent

  • Japanese 36.9
  • Hawaiian (part-Hawaiian) 17.2
  • Filipino 12.2
  • Caucasian 23.0
  • Chinese 6.5
  • Other 4.2

You will observe considerable discrepancy between the 1950 and 1952 estimates, particularly in the Caucasian and Japanese percentages.

In the population figures given below Paragraph 4 the number 584 is the 1956 estimate; the 1 July estimate for 1957 should be 613.

2. Page 4. Paragraph 3. It would be desirable to point out that reapportionment act provided for 51 Representative and 25 Senators.

3. Page 5. Paragraph 1. Should read: “For purposes of local government, the Territory is divided into three counties and one city and county whose various executive and legislative officers are elected. A fifth unit, Kalawao County, consists of the Hansen’s disease settlement at Kalaupapa, Molokai, and is administered by the territorial board of health.

4. Page 11. Under Fisheries, paragraph 1. Correct date is 1956. Or “fruit fish” substitute “food fish”

5. Page 12, Line 1. Correct name of the federal agency is Fish and Wildlife Service, Line 7. Only one tuna cannery is in operation.

6. Page 13. Under Transport and Communications, paragraph 4. In 1957 there were fifteen commercial radio stations and four commercial television stations

7. Page 15. Under Banking and Credit, paragraph 2. The first sentence is misleading in the that it incorrectly relates the small loan problem to ethnic background. The Hawaii Central Federal Credit Union, with which we have checked, is not aware of complications caused by ethnicity. The first sentence might be amended by deleting the words “and ethnic backgrounds” of could be deleted entirely since what would remain a truism applicable to any area. The second sentence couls the begin, “The small loan problem…”

8. Page 22. Under Educational Conditions, paragraph 3. The Office of Territories has already commented on the inaccuracy of this paragraph and we agree that in needs correction to show that English is the predominant language in Hawaii.

9. Page 23. Paragraph 1. Delete reference to Schofield Junior College which does not exist. In addition to the University of Hawaii, there are five colleges offering varying amounts of academic training and several business colleges.

12 May 1959
Dear Mr. Gerig,

I should like to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of May 6, 1959, to which were attached the comments made by the Governor of Hawaii in respect of document No. 4/4088/Add.5 of 6 March 1959, relating to Hawaii.

I am grateful for these comments, which the Secretariat will incorporate in the final printed form of the document to be published at a later date.

Yours sincerely,
D. Protitch
Under-Secretary for Trusteeship and Information From Non-Self-Governing Territories

go to #16 of the countdown

arnie Statehood Countdown