Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

(b) To assist in attaining maximum possible economic independence; and

(c) At the same time to protect American Samoa against the alienation of its land and the destruction of its way of life, language, customs and traditional family organization.

Thus, if it is truly the intent of our nation that Samoa remain for the Samoans, we must ask ourselves

Who but a Samoan, who has had to struggle against discrimination and prove himself capable than a "palagi", is better able to assist in attaining maximum possible independence for American Samoa?

Who but a Samoan, who has suffered under an appalling pattern of governmental ineffectiveness, ineptness and insensitivity, can better lead and govern in American Samoa ?

Who but a Samoan is best able to preserve "fa'a Samoa" (The Samoan way of life) ?

If any doubt still remains as to the ability of a Samoan to lead and govern in American Samoa, the committee should ask the people for they have expressed themselves on this issue through their elected representatives. In a concurrent resolution passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives endorsing the proposed legislation, the message from the Samoan people is clear: after 72 years American Samoans have come of age for self-determination !

If one is still skeptical, he has only to look at the other U.S. territories of today and the past. The same self-serving excuses were used to deny selfdetermination from Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Alaska, Guam and the Virgin Islandsand the people proved the critics wrong. Similarly, one should not underrate the Samoans. A goodly number of them have completed university training and have held very responsible positions in government and elsewhere at higher levels than "palagi" political appointees.

This is not to say that a Samoan Governor will not make mistakes or that all problems will disappear. What one can predict with certainty, however, is that with an elected Governor many problems and crises caused by unknowing and uncaring political appointees from Washington will not occur. The assurance of this is that through the electoral process, which these proposed bills would provide, government in American Samoa will indeed become both responsible and responsive. The electorate, exercising their rights at the ballot box, will make certain of that!

In recommending approval of H.R. 11523 and H.R. 12493. I would call your attention to the continuing responsibility of the United States to the people of American Samoa. A popularly elected Governor and Lieutenant Governor will go a long way toward correcting and preventing the abuses noted above but they will not eliminate the need for continued Congressional interest and federal assistance in manpower and funds. But unlike the present arrangement which freezes out Samoans from policy decisions, “palagi” technicians would serve on limited contracts as advisors to the elected Samoan policy-makers. This should also have a tendency to stop the spiraling costs of overpriced technicians and an appointed Governor who receives a salary greater than the Governor of California.

The Congress may also wish to give attention to the question of whether to continue the centralization of territorial affairs in a single federal agency or if it would be better and less costly to have a resident federal comptroller and disperse these affairs since Samoa is eligible for grant-in-aid support. From my personal experience with different assistant secretaries and directors in the Department of the Interior, I must conclude that “people problems" are placed hest in a governmental department devoted to natural resources.

The need for pernetuating a centralized and very costly territorial bureaucracy is further nullified if one recognizes that the problems of American Samoa are vastly different from Guam, the Virgin Islands and the Trust Territory of the acific Islands. Too often the mistaken assumption is made that the territories have identical problems because they all happen to he islands. This has heen especially harmful to American Samoa because invariably it is relegated to a low priority. This was aptly revealed by the newly appointed official for territorial affairs during his recent visit to the Pacific territories. While in Micronesia, and not having even seen American Samoa as yet, he onined that he considered the Trust Territory to be his major challenge and that Samoa

should be less difficult to deal with." This over simplification is both untrue and unfair. It also sounds too much like the discredited policy of benign neglect. I submit that people, whether they

are in the territories or on reservations, simply cannot be "dealt with" in some mechanical system as some public land management officials seem to imply.

In closing, I wish to commend this committee in particular and the Congress in general. By the appropriation and substantive review processes you have evidenced a genuine concern and desire over the years to improve the well being of the Samoans. Through H.R. 11523 and H.R. 12493 you have shown your determination that the United States means to honor its promise that Samoa shall be for the Samoans. It is now time for Samoa to be returned to the Samoans. An elected Governor and Lieutenant Governor are essential bulwarks of this national commitment.

Mr. BURTON. If I may, at this time, without objection, we have a series of documents noted here that we will without objection have inserted in the record at the appropriate place, and it is so ordered.

Let me also, if I may, with all the feeling at my command, commend the witnesses this morning, most particularly those who have come so long a distance to give us the benefit of the views of various peoples, including most of the elected leadership of American Samoa. It is my intention to ask the subcommittee to report favorably this legislation, but we will not be able to do that at this point in time.

However, it is further my view that an idea such as this whose time has come in philosophical terms may not be ripe yet to get the required congressional approval. So it would be my further intention to request of the chairman of the full committee that once we have acted showing our support of the principle of an elected Governor that the legislation not be processed by the full committee until the subcommittee has had an opportunity to go to American Samoa to broaden the congressional base of support for this proposition. And in that respect I think the members of the Department of the Interior should be alerted that it is unlikely that this Congress can process the legislation.

In my view the time has come for Congress to act, and I expect this subcommittee to act. That gives the Department almost, perhaps, if you look, let us say to the general election time, November 1974, that gives the Executive some 2 years and 3 months or 2 years and 6 or 7 months to get the House in order. I have found these hearings to be very heartwarming, and on behalf of all the members of my subcommittee, I want to thank all of you who have participated in this very, very helpful meeting. The meeting of the subcommittee stands adjourned.

(Whereupon the subcommittee adjourned at 12:20 o'clock p.m.)

[blocks in formation]

A Concurrent Resolution To Memorialize The Congress of The United States That The Legislature of American Samoa Unanimously Supports H.R. 12493

WHEREAS, the Honorable Matsunaga of the State of Hawaii on January 19, 1972 introduced a bill in the House of Representatives (H.R. 12493) to provide for the election of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor of American Samoa by the electorate of the Territory; and

WHEREAS, the election of its own Governor and Lieutenant Governor is not only the wish of our people but is consistent with the development of a complete democratic form of Government for the people of American Samoa which began in 1948 with the founding of its Legislature, and the creation in 1960 of its own constitution; and

WHEREAS, a Political Status Study Commission appointed under a law passed by the local Legislature gave high priority to a recommendation that the Territory elect its own Governor; and

WHEREAS, a legislative study committee, after completing an inspection tour of other South Pacific governments, has in the report enclosed the recommendation of the Commission unanimously; and

WHEREAS, the Government of the United States time and again through its officials appointed to and visiting American Samoa affirmed this policy and expressed the hope that the people of American Samoa would soon choose a form of government most suited to their needs and elect their own leaders to administer their government: and

WHEREAS, election of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor fulfills a basic democratic government principle of the “government of the people, for the people, and by the people”.

WHEREAS, the election of our Delegate-At-Large in 1970 showed that the Territory is politically mature and capable of electing its leaders and accepting the results of such election without resort to violence, disorder, and serious disharmony; and

WHEREAS, the election of our own Governor and Lieutenant Governor would be responsive to the needs of the times, and to the expressed policy of the Government of the United States for the people of American Samoa; Now, therefore

BE IT UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED by the Twelfth Legislature of American Samoa, that the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs of the House of Representatives of the United States Congress be respectfully informed of the enthusiastic support of the entire membership of the Legislature of American Samoa for H.R. 12493 introduced in the House of Representatives on January 19, 1972 by the Honorable Spark Matsunaga of Hawaii; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of the Resolution be sent to the President of the United States, the Secretary of the Interior, and the Governor of American Samoa.

Fofo I. F. Sunia, Senator, District No. 1; Aso'au Ofisa, Senator. Dis

trict No. 1; Tagaloa M. Tuiolosega, Senator, District No. 2; Salanoa S. P. Aumoeualogo, Senator, District No. 3; Alaivanu R. Taufa'asau, Senator, District No. 4; Mulita uaopele Tamotu. Senator, District No. 5; Tautunu Mata'utia, Senator, District No. 6; S. P. Mailo, Senator, District Nos. 7 & 8; Tua'olo Lemoe A., Senator, District No. 9; Moelata Liufau, Senator, District Nos. 10 & 11; Laisene Lagafuaina, Senator, District No. 12; Lea’eno T. W. Reed, Senator, District No. 12; Leoso Malama, Senator, District No. 13; Tuveve S. Ameperosa, Senator, District No. 14; Aufata Fonoti, Senator, District No. 15; Paogofie Sasa'e, Senator, District No. 15; Satele Mosegi, Senator, District No. 16; Tuitasi Faamasani, Senator, District No. 17: Leaeno T. W. Reed, President of the Senate; and Mrs. Salilo K. Levi, Secretary of the Senate.

(53)

OF

THE

DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF AMERICAN SAMOA RESOLUTION SUPPORTING AND ENDORSING THE BILL BY CONGRESSMAN PHILLIP BURTON, CHAIRMAN

SUBCOMMITTEE ON TERRITORIAL AND INSULAR AFFAIRS, U.S. CONGRESS, TO PERMIT THE PEOPLE OF AMERICAN SAMOA TO ELECT THEIR OWN GOVERNOR AND LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR IN 1972

WHEREAS, American Samoa was ceded to the United States of America in 1900, and Congress of the United States in the Act of February 20, 1929 provided that until Congress shall provide for the Government of the islands of American Samoa, all civil, judicial, and military powers shall be vested in such person or persons and exercised in such manner as the President of the United States shall direct; and

WHEREAS, by Executive Order, the President of the United States directed that the Secretary of the Interior should take such action as may be necessary and appropriate and in harmony with applicable law, for the administration of civil government in American Samoa ; and

WHEREAS, the People of American Samoa, first in 1960 and then in 1966 adopted the Constitution of American Samoa, and same was duly approved by the Secretary of the Interior, said Constitution in part provides that the People of this Territory has the right to assemble; and

WHEREAS, early in 1968, the Democratic Party of American Samoa was founded and established and its Constitution duty written and executed and became effective July 2, 1968 wherein it incorporates the basic principles of American philosophy of government; and

WHEREAS, said principles provides for the promulgation of popular control of government in that her citizens participate more meaningfully in the social, economic and political welfare of her own government, and the realization of that basic American and democratic principle of “self-determination"; and

WHEREAS, the People of American Samoa, for the past seventy-one (71) years, have served the Government of the United States faithfully; that the relations, be it governmental, social or economic between the two countries have been excellent, and that the People of American Samoa hold in highest esteem the People of the United States; and

WHEREAS, many Samoans, young and old, have graduated from many colleges and universities in the United States, and return to Samoa serving in various capacities in the government and in private enterprises; that they are well qualified, capable, willing and able to assume full responsibilities in administering the affairs of their own government; and

WHEREAS, the Future Political Status Commission, created by our Legislature (Fono) consisting of Samoans only, in its Report to the Eleventh Legislature, recommends that the People of American Samoa elect their own Governor and Lieut. Governor, said recommendation was unanimously approved and passed by the Fono; and

WHEREAS, in recognition of such, the Honorable Congressman Phillip Burton of California, the Honorable Congresswomen Patsy T. Mink of Hawaii, and the Honorable Congressman N. J. Begich of Alaska, introduced and sponsored a legislation, H.R. No. 11523, before Congress to allow the People of American Samoa to elect their own Governor and Lieut. Governor; and

WHEREAS, in full support of such, the Democratic Party of American Samoa in its General Meeting held December 7th, 1971, by acclamation, unanimously endorsed said legislation ; Now, therefore

BE IT RESOLVED by the Democratic Party of American Samoa that the Bill hereinabove referred to, H.R. 11523, popularly known as the BURTON BILL, that the same be and is hereby fully supported and endorsed by the local Democrats; that the Honorable Congressmen Burton and Begich, the Honorable Congresswoman Mink and Colleagues are hereby especially commended for in sponsoring this important legislation for the People of American Samoa ; the local Democrats herein pledged their full and complete support and shall do whatever is possible, necessary and required to make possible passage of this legislation in Congress at the earliest time next year.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this Resolution be forth with submitted to Congressmen Burton and Begich, Congresswoman Mink, to all friends of the Samoan people in Congress including the Honorable Wayne N. Aspinall, Chairman of the Committee on Interior Insular Affairs, House of Representatives,

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »