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PAYMENT TO THE TERRITORY OF HAWAII OF FEDERAL ROAD FUNDS

FEBRUARY 9, 1931.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union and ordered to be printed

Mr. HOUSTON of Hawaii, from the Committee on the Territories, submitted the following

REPORT

[To accompany H. R. 16913]

The Committee on the Territories, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 16913) to amend the act entitled "An act to extend the provisions of certain laws to the Territory of Hawaii," approved March 10, 1924, having considered the same, report it to the House with the recommendation that it do pass.

The committee held hearings on this bill as well as on the similar bills H. R. 16034 and H. R. 12162, the latter two of which were tabled and H. R. 16913 was reported out. This bill has for its purpose to amend the existing act by which the Federal highway act was made applicable to the Territory of Hawaii, and to equalize the road construction problem in the Territory of Hawaii through payment to it of sums partially representative of aid that would have been given Hawaii had the law, when passed, been held to have applied the benefits to Hawaii equally with the States.

The sums payable will not represent a new appropriation but will be taken from moneys already authorized, appropriated, allocated to Hawaii and unobligated at the present time.

Two provisos are added to the act. The first one was proposed by the Bureau of Roads after conference with the Governor of Hawaii, Hon. Lawrence M. Judd, when he was here in November last. Governor Judd's letter of transmittal and the draft of the provisos are quoted herewith:

Hon. VICTOR S. K. HOUSTON,

Delegate to Congress from Hawaii, Washington, D. C.

WASHINGTON, D. C., November 25, 1930.

DEAR MR. DELEGATE: This refers to my letter of November 18, 1930, relating to the Federal-aid road act.

Dr. Thomas H. MacDonald, Chief of the Bureau of Public Roads, has suggested a change in the second proviso of the proposed bill, which I submitted to you for consideration.

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I now inclose a copy of the revised bill which I would ask you to kindly substitute for the one previously submitted.

Respectfully,

LAWRENCE M. JUDD, Governor of Hawaii.

A BILL To amend the act entitled "An act to extend the provisions of certain laws to the Territory of Hawaii," approved March 10, 1924

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Unitd States of America in Congress assembled, That section 1 of the act entitled "An act to extend the provisions of certain laws to the Territory of Hawaii," approved March 10, 1924 (United States Statutes at Large, volume 43, page 17), is hereby amended by adding at the end thereof the following:

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And provided further, That the system of roads of which Federal-aid apportionments to the Territory of Hawaii shall be expended may be determined and agreed upon by the governor of said Territory and the Secretary of Agriculture without regard to the limitations in section 6 of the Federal highway act respecting the selection and designation of such system of roads, and when the system first determined and agreed upon shall have been completed additions thereto may be made in like manner as funds become available for the construction and maintenance of such additions."

Section 6 of the Federal highway act referred to in the proviso specifies that Federal-aid apportionments shall be divided between "interstate" and "intercounty" highways, and reads as follows:

SEC. 6. That in approving projects to receive Federal aid under the provisions of this act the Secretary of Agriculture shall give preference to such projects as will expedite the completion of an adequate and connected system of highways, interstate in character.

Before any projects are approved in any State, such State, through its State highway department, shall select or designate a system of highways not to exceed 7 per cent of the total highway mileage of such Štate as shown by the records of the State highway department at the time of the passage of this act.

Upon this system all Federal-aid apportionments shall be expended.

Highways which may receive Federal aid shall be divided into two classes, one of which shall be known as primary or interstate highways, and shall not exceed three-sevenths of the total mileage which may receive Federal aid, and the other which shall connect or correlate therewith and be known as secondary or intercounty highways, and shall consist of the remainder of the mileage which may receive Federal aid.

The Secretary of Agriculture shall have authority to approve in whole or in part the systems as designated or to require modifications or revisions thereof: Provided, That the States shall submit to the Secretary of Agriculture for his approval any proposed revisions of the designated systems of highways above provided for.

Not more than 60 per cent of all Federal aid allotted to any State shall be expended upon the primary or interstate highways until provision has been made for the improvement of the entire system of such highways: Provided, That with the approval of any State highway department the Secretary of Agriculture may approve the expenditure of more than 60 per cent of the Federal aid apportioned to such State upon the primary or interstate highways in such State.

The Secretary of Agriculture may approve projects submitted by the State highway departments prior to the selection, designation, and approval of the system of Federal-aid highways herein provided for if he may reasonably anticipate that such projects will become a part of such system.

Whenever provision has been made by any State for the completion and maintenance of a system of primary or interstate and secondary or intercounty highways equal to 7 per cent of the total mileage of such State, as required by this act, said State, through its State highway department, by and with the approval of the Secretary of Agriculture, is hereby authorized to add to the mileage of primary or interstate and secondary or intercounty systems as funds become Available for the construction and maintenance of such additional mileage.

Obviously in a Territory which is not contiguous to any State there may not be developed any strictly "interstate highway" and similarly with the Territory of Hawaii made up of a group of islands, the counties being separate islands, there may not be any strictly "intercounty highways" either. The first proviso takes care of this situation and allows for the necessary elasticity in applying the law to the specific case of the Territory.

The second proviso was found to be necessary by reason of a chain of circumstances, resulting in the Territory of Hawaii being denied the Federal aid under the original act passed in 1916 and not receiving any benefits until 1925. It provides for a payment to Hawaii of a sum not in excess of $880,000, whereas had it been held by the executive departments that the law applied to Hawaii originally there might have been earned $1,364,720.

It is interesting in this connection to review part of this history which led up to the passage of the act herein sought to be amended. The original organic act providing a government for the Territory of Hawaii contained the following section:

That the Constitution and, except as herein otherwise provided, all the laws of the United States which are not locally inapplicable shall be the same force and effect within the said Territory as elsewhere in the United States.

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It was found that this provision, which had been intended to cover Federal aid to Hawaii, did not in fact do so, and in 1910 an amendment was passed to this section by the Congress and approved May 27, 1910, so that the section then as now reads as follows:

The Constitution and, except as otherwise provided, all the laws of the United States, including laws carrying general appropriations, which are not locally inapplicable shall have the same force and effect within the Territory of Hawaii as elsewhere in the United States. (The language in italics was the new language.)

The Senate committee report accompanying the bill that provided the above amendment to section 5 of the organic act is as follows:

[Senate Report No. 126, Sixty-first Congress, second session]

AMENDING THE ORGANIC ACT OF HAWAII
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Section 1 of the bill amending section 5 of the organic act.

Section 5 of the organic act is the one that extends to Hawaii the Constitution and laws of the United States so far as applicable, but with a proviso expressly excepting sections 1850 and 1890 of the Revised Statutes. It is amended by section 1 of the bill by enlarging both the body of the section and its proviso:

(1) The body of the section, which provides what laws shall apply to Hawaii, is enlarged so as to include laws carrying general appropriations. It would seem that such laws already apply to Hawaii under the present wording of the section, and it was so held at first by the Comptroller of the Treasury (8 Comp. Decision 529, February 17, 1902), but he has since held otherwise (14 Comp. Decision 11, July 11, 1907, and id. 24, July 19, 1907), and repeated efforts to obtain a reversal of the later rulings have proved ineffectual. The object of the amendment is merely either to correct an erroneous ruling or, if the ruling is correct, to make the act mean what was undoubtedly originally intended, though insufficiently expressed.

Hawaii is an integral part of the United States, a full-fledged Territory, and as such should have the benefit of general appropriations as much as Arizona or New Mexico. She should be deemed a part of the United States for the purpose of sharing in general appropriations as well as for the purpose of sharing in contributions to the National Treasury. She pays into that Treasury in customs duties and internal revenue perhaps more than any other part of the United States with an equal population (about $1,500,000 annually, with a population, of, say, 175,000).

The general appropriations from which Hawaii has been excluded by the rulings of the Comptroller have been mainly those for the scientific branches of the Government, such as those for hydrographic, topographic, and soil surveys, forestry, etc., matters involving comparatively small sums, but of the greatest importance to the development of Hawaii along American lines.

The House report on the same bill is as follows:

[House Report No. 910, Sixty-first Congress, second session]

The first section of the bill is designed to correct the injustice of a ruling of the Comptroller of the Treasury which holds that no part of general appropriations for departments of the Government can be expended in Hawaii without special mention of that Territory in the statute. This is accomplished by inserting in section 5 of the organic act the words: "Including laws carrying general appropriations."

Since Hawaii pays about $1,400,000 into the Federal Treasury each year, the justice of this amendment is apparent.

Road

It was generally thought that this amendment would be corrective of the situation, but administration of various acts led to further apparent discriminations, so that in 1923 the Territorial Legislature, memorialized the Congress through the passage of a so-called bill of rights, stating our grievances with respect to the failure to be included in Federal-aid appropriations. Amongst other "laws carrying general appropriations," the benefits of which we were not getting was the Federal highway act. This was passed originally in 1916, but did not get well under way till into the war years. We claimed and felt that we were entitled to the aid, but did not get it. In the meantime in order to be progressive, and to aid in the national defense, Hawaii on its own account and at its single expense, started in road building upon substantially the same requirements as were called for in the States in order to meet the Federal-aid requirements. During the years subsequent to the passage of the act and prior to its application to Hawaii from 1917 to 1925, we bonded ourselves, and spent our revenues as per the following list:

Funds expended by the Territory of Hawaii that would have received Federal aid, years 1917-1925

[Compiled for Delegate Victor S. K. Houston by Territorial Highway Department, November 8, 1929]

Kamehameha
Highway.
Do...

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Do..

Do..

Do.

AMENDING ORGANIC ACT OF HAWAII

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Section

First unit, Waimanalo
junction to Heeia.
Second unit, Heeia to
Wainhole.

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