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A study of the development of certain industries in Hawaii since American annexation (1898-1940)

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A Thesis
Presented to
the Faculty of the Department of Economics
University of Southern California
In Partial Fulfillment
of the Requirements for the Degree
Master of Arts
Kensabro Muraksmi
June 1941
UMI Number: EP44669
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T h is thesis, w r i t t e n by
...... KEMSABR.Q...MDRAKAMI............
u n d e r the d i r e c t i o n o f
/zts~ F a c u l t y C o m m it t e e ,
a n d a p p r o v e d by a l l it s m e m b e r s , has been
presented to a n d accepted by the C o u n c i l on
G r a d u a t e S t u d y a n d Research in p a r t i a l f u l f i l l ­
m e n t o f the re q u ire m e n ts f o r the degree o f
D ate
J M E ,„ 1 9 4 1
Faculty Committee
\-C : .
Statement of the problem..........
Sources of d a t a ..............
Method of procedure . . ............
Sugarcane under native cultivation.
The first sugar makers.
. .
. . . . . . . .
The first sugar plantation, 1835. . . .
Difficulties involved .................
Crude methods of operation. . . . . . .
Uncertainty of land omrnership . . . . ' .
Since the mahele.
The labor p r o b l e m .....................
Reciprocity Treaty of 1876.
Hamskua D i t c h ..........
Possible loss of American market. . . .
American Annexation, 1898 .............
Co o p e ration.............. . . . . . . . . .
Hawaiian Sugar Planters* Association
Importation of labor.................
Improvement in cane varieties . . . .
War against p e s t s ...................
Introduction of labor saving devices.
The agency s y s t e m . . ........... . . . .
Principal agencies..............
Functions .
The location of sugar refineries on the
mainland, U, S. A* . ,. ...............
The manifestation of paternalistic attitude 28
Free housing............
Free fuel and w a t e r .................
Hospitalization........ . ..........
Recreational facilities .............
Different systems of labor control.
Piece work.................
Long-term contract...................
Perennial employment and bonus.
Cultivation of sugarcane..........
The plantation day...................
Fertilizing and w e e d i n g ............
I r r i g a t i o n . ............... ..
. .
Burning the f i e l d ............
Cutting done mainly by man-power.
. .
Tendency to use mechanical devices
for l o a d i n g . ...................
Significance of transportation...........
Railroads . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Motor trucks for hauling cane on
experimental stage..............
Final stage in the making of sugar -
m i l l i n g ..............................
Crushing of sugarcane
B o i l i n g ..............................
Raw sugar ........
. . . . . . . . .
OF LABOR S U P P L Y ..........................
Economic dilemma of the second generation
Importation of white labor from the
mainland "over their heads” . . .
Possible avenues opened for the '’niseis” 46
Defeatist attitude................ .
Emigration to the Orient.........
Migration to the mainland, U.S.A. .
Remaining in Hawaii
Attitude of the second generation toward
the p l a n t a t i o n .
. .49
Psychological effects of early labor
conditions. ..................
Advice of the p a r e n t s ..........
Education in American schools . . . .
Gradual increase in the employment of the
second generation .
Restriction of Filipino immigration
Cooperation with the public schools
Intensive drive to attract the second
ON ■H A W A I I .......................
The Sugar Act of 1934 ............... ..
The system of quota:'
a great discrim­
ination against Hawaii.
. . . . .
Benefit payment provision ...........
Extension of the Sugar Act.. . . . .
The Sugar Act of 1937 . . . . ' . ..
Conditional payments. ...............
Discrimination against largeproducers
Q u o t a ...........................
Ifage provision.
Intensive movements for statehood . . . .
Intensive campaign since the Sugar
Act of 1934 ........................
Invitations of Congressional Committees
to Hawaii in 1935 and 1937. . .
Capabilities of Hawaii as a State . .
IN H A W A I I .........................
Early history
Origin of pineapple in Hawaii . . . .
Introduction of the Cayenne variety .
Difficulties before the American
Shipping problem
. . . . . .. .......
Lack of c a p i t a l ..............
Trial and error method........
Expansion since 1898.
........ ..
Dole, the originator of the modern
cannery system............
Improvements in canning technique . .
Development of cooperative system . .
Intensive advertising ...............
Cooperative agricultural research . .
Fighting against diseases ...........
Creating of new varieties of pine­
Recruiting of man p o w e r .............
Increase use of land a r e a ...........
. . . .
Cultivation and harvesting of pineapple .
Land p r e p a r a t i o n .................
Advantages of the paper mulch . . . .
Planting of pineapple . . . . . . . .
D 0uble row s y s t e m ...................
Harvesting the crops.................
Ratoon crops.........................
Pineapple canning ........
. . . . . . .
Different stages involved in the can­
ning of the fruit
Slicing the f r u i t ...................
P r o c e s s i n g .......................
W a r e h o u s i n g ..........
Cannery by-products .................
Pineapple a highly seasonal industry. . .
Great variation in employment . . . .
Advantage of the rush season in the
summer m o n t h s ..............
Working conditions In the cannery and
on the plantation .
. .
The second leading industry before the
expansion of pineapple...............
Genesis of the coffee plant In Hawaii
Climatic t r o u b l e s ...................
Labor shortage.......................
Fungus blight .......................
Land limitation
Kona coffee mainly for blending pur­
pose. ............................
Coffee culture practices in Kona........
Very favorable land area.............
Ideal climatic zone . . . . . . . . .
Methods of cultivation. . . . . . . .
Clearing of the fields for planting .
Fertilizing and weeding .............
P r u n i n g ...........................
Coffee disease.........................
Harvesting of coffee and preparation for
the market............ ..............
M a r k e t i n g ............ . . . . . . .
Economic conditions onthe coffee farms .
Relatively low earnings ...............
Ho perquisites.......................
Necessity of carefulplanning . . . .
X C O N C L U S I O N S ...............
B I B L I O G R A P H Y ........................ .
Statement of the problem.
Hawaii is a group of
islands in the Pacific Ocean situated a little more than
2,000 miles west of the North American continent.
it is very small In land area, Hawaii is a territory of the
United States and is very important not only from military
but also from economic and commercial points of view.
Indeed, it has one of the largest military outposts of the
United States and one of the first ranking naval stations
in the world.
Strategically she Is well protected by
"Uncle Sam," but what about her economic status?
It is
obvious that a country has to have certain amount of econ­
omic activities, if it is to exist.
According to the Census of 1930, 56.2 percent (45.2
percent male and 11.0 percent female) of the gainfully
employed in the Territory of Hawaii were engaged In various
agricultural activities.
If we include 10 percent of the
unemployed in the above figure, then at least 65.0 percent
of the workers of the Territory have to depend on agricul­
ture for their livelihood.
If agriculture is the basic
industry in the Islands, and so many people have to depend
on it for their daily bread, It is of prime Importance to
make a careful study of it.
Since there are a great number
of different agricultural industries and it is impossible
to make a study of everyone of them, the present writer
has limited his study to three.
First comes the sugar
industry, which is the leading one of them all; for here
more than 100,000 employees and their families are living
on the sugar plantations.
Second is the pineapple industry.
These two industries represent big business.
Last but not
least is coffee, which is the leading minor agricultural
industry in Hawaii.
Sources of data.
In preparing this thesis many
different source materials have been used.
They include
magazine articles, books, newspapers, publications of
learned organizations and publiciations of different govern­
ment departments.
In the main, primary source materials
have been consulted.
Many of these materials were ordered
directly from Hawaii.
mentioned here.
To give some idea, a few will be
They are the Hawaiian Annuals; Territorial
Planning Board’s First Progress Report:
An Historic Inven­
tory of the Physical. Social and Economic and Industrial
Resources of the Territory of Hawaii; Ripperton’s Coffee
Cultural Practices in the Kona District of Hawaii; Johnson’s
The Pineapple;
The Hawaii Sugar Manual; The Hawaii Japanese
Farm and Industry.
Furthermore, personal letters and
personal experiences have been utilized to make this thesis
a much more forceful and a lively one.
Method of procedure.
A study of this nature is much
more meaningful if a combination of different methods is
At the beginning of each industry an historic approach
is used, which will be followed by a critical analysis of
that particular industry.
As to the organization into
chapters, the second chapter will give the historical
sketch of the sugar industry in Hawaii; the third chapter
will discuss the characteristics of the Hawaiian sugar plan­
tation system; while the fourth and fifth chapters will
deal with the making of sugar and the youths of Hawaii,
especially the American citizens of Oriental ancestry,
as a source of labor supply, respectively.
As the sugar
acts have affected Hawaii to a great extent, the sixth
chapter will attempt to point out the effects of these
Sugar Acts of 1934 and 1937.
Chapters seven and eight will
depict the pineapple industry, and chapter nine will do the
same for coffee.
The last chapter, that is number ten, will
bring to a general conclusion after all available facts have
been presented.
Every industry faces certain difficulties at its
inception; sugar is one of them.
But with unrelenting
struggle and courage the sugar planters of Hawaii have
made it the largest industry in the Islands.
This chapter
will give a rather brief story of the growth of the sugar
Industry in Hawaii,
Sugarcane under native cultivation.
It is very
difficult to say exactly when sugarcane was introduced
into Hawaii.
Nobody knows from whence it came, for records
have not been kept In Hawaii.'*’*
Probably cane was brought
to Hawaii by early Polynesians; at any rate sugarcane was
growing there at the time of Captain Cook's visit to the
The natives more or less planted it around the
taro patches in order to use it as a windbreak; but they
did not pay much attention to it.
They apparently ate cane
The Hawaiians did not have a written language.
Captain James Cook, an English sea officer, dis­
covered Hawaii on January 18, 1778 and named the Islands
"Sandwich Islands" in honor of the Earl of Sandwich.
in the sticks and had not developed any method of extracting
sugar from the stick.
The first sugar makers.
The first person to whom
credit is given for the extraction and partial refining of
sugar in Hawaii is a Chinese * who apparently came to Hawaii
for sandalwood trade.
In 1802 he made sugar on the island
of Lanai with a simple mill and boiling equipment.
worked his mill for a while and then returned to China,
probably because it was an unprofitable business venture.
Since then, no mention is made of sugar until 1819.
that year it is said that Francisco de Paula Marin made
sugar in Honolulu. Others * have established sugar mills
here and there, but John Wilkinson is credited for having
cultivated sugarcane with the idea of milling it later.
He laid out a sugar and coffee plantation in Moana Valley
on Oahu, in 1 8 2 5 , but after his death the scheme crumbled
to pieces.
The first sugar plantation, '1855.
The Koloa Sugar
Plantation has been the forerunner of the modern sugar
Ralph S. Kuykendall, A History of Hawaii (New
Macmillan Company, 1926) p. 199.
On the island of Maui, Antone Catalina and a
Chinese named Hungtai established mills at Waipahu and
Wailuku, in 1825, respectively.
By 1825 growing of sugarcane was a regular
industry in Louisiana.
plantation in Hawaii, and "may be regarded as the first
commercial venture of any significance with Island,crops. 11 *
In 1835 a group of young New England business men founded
a firm called Ladd and Company, which obtained from King
Kamehameha III tenancy rights to a tract of land near
Koloa, on Kauai, for sugar culture.
Th© company had a
right to hire natives to work for them, but it had to pay
fair wages.
According to Kuykendall, the natives were paid
wages of twelve and a half cents a day with fish and taro
gruel (poi) , costing but one cent a man a day. * Thus
began the plantation system.
Unfortunately this first
plantation went into bankruptcy by 1844, but it had already
exported sugar to the value of $300 in 1837, and $18,000
In 1840.8 *
Difficulties involved.
Although the Koloa Planta­
tion had obtained the "rights" to grow sugarcane on a track
of land * and hire labor to work on the plantation, there
were many difficulties involved in making it a successful
Other sugar plantations that followed the Koloa
6* Andrew W. Lind, An Island’Community (Chicago:
University of Chicago Press, 1938) p. 67.
Kuykendall, op. cit. , p. 201
Lind, loc. cit.
The Koloa Plantation had a lease of 980 acres
of land but had only utilized 200 acres of it.
Plantation found about the same difficulties.
These will
be considered briefly.
Crude methods of operation. The field manager of the
Koloa Plantation was not familiar with sugar cultivation.
The plantation was operated on a rather small scale with
unscientific methods.
Instead of utilizing animals for
hauling the plow man-power was used.
Native Hawaiians were
attached to the plow in place of draft animals.
native Hawaiians of those days possessed super-human energy
and were able to stand the hard labor involved in plowing
the fields, but that is beyond our imagination.
To be
sure Hawaiians never had draft animals, but then there
were many wild horses and cattle roaming around the fields.
It is said that a missionary introduced the method for
using m'ild oxen as draught labor, for he thought it was more
The sugar mill of Koloa Plantation and mills of
other plantations were not like our mills of today.
were rather crude and very inefficient.
First of all
the mill consisted of a pair of stone rollers for grinding
the cane, run by human labor.
Not until 1837 were iron
Cattle were introduced into Hawaii by Captain
George Vancouver in 1789, while horses came in 1803." 1".
David Livingston Crawford, Paradox in Hawaii
Straford Company, 1933) p. 53.
mills set up either to be run by water or animal power.
Thus Instead of recovering most of the sugar juice, huge
quantities of it were lost.
Furthermore, they simply
boiled the sugar juice in a kettle and in many cases the
syrup was burned, to the chagrin of the owners.
Uncertainty of land ownership.
Hawaii was a feudal
All the land belonged to the King who distributed
it to his chiefs, who in turn 'subdivided it into smaller
lots for their lesser chiefs, and so on down the line.
commoner cultivated his plot of land with the understanding
that he was to set aside certain amounts of the products of
his land** to his chiefs.
Ihen the King died, those who
held ownership to the land by grace of the deceased King
lost everything.
When the foreigners, who were imbued with
the capitalistic conception of land ownership, came to
Hawaii, they naturally refrained from making improvements
on the land for fear of confiscation.
Jean Hobbs has this
to says
Foreigners seeking to establish business of various '
kinds ... . were naturally hesitant to improve their
buildings or to extend their holdings without the
security of actual ownership of the land.
wishing to become established in the community found
difficulty in securing permission to build on suitable
house lots.
As there was no title, but only permission
to occupy, implied in these transactions, few sub­
stantial improvements were made.
An element of
instability, growing out of the unsettled state of
the land question, ran through all phases of life in
in the kingdom.
This was one of the reasons why people hesitated in invest­
ing their capital in the sugar industry.
But the feudalists
conception of the Hawaiian Kingdom had to be changed with
the increasing influx of the white element; arid the clamor
for legal title of land ownership reached its climax in the
year 1848 when the "Great Mahele" or -“land division" became
This scrapped the old feudal system of land
tenure and substituted for it the Western conception of
individual ownership in perpetuity.
Although the Mahele did solve some of the difficulties
of the sugar industry, the latter was still on a rather
weak foundation.
More labor, more capital, and more
export market for sugar were in great need, if the industry
was to survive.
All of these were solved very gradually.
The labor problem.
The sugar plantations are de­
pendent on man-power to a great extent for growing and
harvesting of sugarcane.
Although the native Hawaiians
were employed on the early plantations, they were character-
Jean Hobbs, Hawaii, a Pageant of the Soil
(Palo Alto, Calif.s Stanford University Press, 1935) p. 25.
Ibid. , pp. 39-46.
istically unfitted for plantation labor.
The Hawaiians
were rather satisfied with their mode of living, for example,
cultivation of taro patches, according to their temperament.
They detested plantation life, for it was too severe; and
even when they did work they were not dependable.
They would
work for a few days and then.enjoy themselves the rest of
the month.
Tbat was not the only problem.
was rapidly dwindling in number.
The Hawaiian race
Wfcxen Captain Cook visited
Hawaii, he estimated the population to be about 300,000.
The missionaries in 1823 estimated it to be about 142,000,
but in 1853 there were only 70,000 surviving.
* This was
a serious problem and something had to be done; for'with the
Mahele and the discovery of gold in California sugar re­
ceived a slight impetus, and labor was in great demand.
The plantations finally centered their attention on the
Orient for labor, and the Chinese were brought to Hawaii
as contract laborers in 1851.
* They were imported up
until the American Annexation, but since then no Chinese
have been recruited from China.
It is said that between
1850 and 1900 about 40,000 Chinese had migrated to the
Kuykendall, o£. cit., p. 206.
Donald Rowland, uThe United States and the
Contract Labor Question in Hawaii, 1862-1900.rt Pacific
Historic Review 2;249, 1933.
Islands, but they did not live on the plantations; for as
soon as the contract had expired they would seek their for­
tune outside of the plantations.
Other laborers were sought.
In order to increase
the Hawaiian population, Polynesians were sought for a
while by the Hawaiian Government', but it was a failure.
Only 2,448 came to Hawaii up to 1885 and most of them re­
turned to their native land.
Therefore, the plantations
began to recruit Portuguese in 1878, and in 1888 there
were 10,704 Portuguese men, women and children in Hawaii.
Although importation of Portuguese did not stop, it was
found that they could get a much cheaper source of labor
in Japan.
Great hordes of Japanese were imported after
1885 and when the importation of the Japanese ended in
1908, about 180,000 had come to the Islands; but more than
126,000 had left Hawaii for their homeland or to the main­
land, U.S.A.
Since 1908 the Filipinos have supplied the
plantations with man-power.
Reciprocity Treaty of 1876.- Another great problem
that the planters had to meet was the securing of foreign
markets for their sugar.
As the Civil War in the United
States had cut the supply of sugar from the South, sugar
was in great demand in the North.
Hawaii greatly benefited
from this situation, for she was waiting for an opportunity
to sell her sugar abroad.
However, her production couldn't
meet the demand, and consequently expansion was the story.
Capital was poured into the sugar industry, and everybody
was in a prosperous condition,
in 1838 only 40 tons of
sugar were exported; In 1860 the tonnage had risen to
644 tons, while In 1865 it had mounted to 6,840 tons.'*'®*
But with the termination of the Civil War, sugar prices
dropped and Hawaii went into a depression.
It was a small
island community and with high cost of production in the
sugar industry, she couldn*t export her sugar to the United
States which imposed tariff duties on sugar.
If Hawaii
had to exist, some sort of understanding must be made
between the United States and Hawaii, for the whaling
industry had declined and sugar was the only important
Thus, Hawaii sought for a reciprocal agreement with
the United States and on September 9, 1876, the treaty was
It provided that the Hawaiian products
Including sugar, were to be admitted into the United States
without paying any tariff; and in return the products of
the United States were to have free admittance into Hawaii.
The Treaty also stipulated that Hawaii should not make a
similar treaty with any other powers and that she should not
l6* H.C.P.Geerligs, The World* s Cane Sugar Industry
Past and Present (Manchester! Norman Rodger, 1912) p. 352.
grant any lease of land to any government.
This Treaty
was to continue for seven years with the possibility of •
extending it.
* Of course the United States made this
treaty not because she loved to save Hawaii, but because
of political reasons:
other powers, such as Great Britain,
would have stepped in her place, to the disadvantage of the
United States.
Hamakua Ditch.
The Reciprocity Treaty brought a
tremendous impetus to the sugar industry in Hawaii.
that time the sugar duty used to amount to 40 percent of
the value, so that the value of sugar all at once increased
by 40 percent.
This created great prosperity and the indus­
try expanded by leaps and bounds.
In 1877 the total tonnage
of sugar produced in Hawaii was 11,410 long tons, but by
1886 it had risen to 96,000.
* Great hordes of laborers
were imported, mills were erected, and ditches were dug
for irrigation purposes.
Vast areas of desert land were
made available for the growing of sugarcane by means of
One of the most famous ditches is the Hamakua
Ditch, for this was the forerunner of modern irrigation
R. S. Kuykendall, op. cit. , p. 252.
The Treaty was extended in 1887, the United
States receiving coaling and repairing rights for her
vessels at Pearl Harbor.
H. G. P. Geerligs, loc. cit.
canals in Hawaii.
The building of this canal has been
credited to M**. H. P. Baldwin and Mp. S. T. Alexander, the
founders of the present big corporation which bears their
Their plantation on the "sunny side" of Maui was
not profitable due to lack of rain; so in 1876 these two
men started to dig a canal from the water heads of East
Maui where water is plentiful.
It was a tremendous engin­
eering task, but within two years, in September of 1878, it
was completed with a cost of $80,000, although the original
estimate had been $25,000.
their undertaking was
successful, others followed suite, and today Hawaii is
well supplied with many irrigation ditches.
Possible loss of American market.
The Hawaiians
were not satisfied completely with the Treaty of 1876,
because G0ngress could terminate it at any moment.
on the mainland could influence Congress by pointing out
the disadvantageous condition that this treaty was bringing
to the mainlanders.
Importation of sugar free of duty would
not increase the federal revenue, and it would be detri­
mental to the growth of the continental sugar growers.
Moreover, the importation of coolie labor from the Orient
had not been favored by mainlanders.
They had passed laws
• H. A. Wadsworth, "A Historical Summary of Irri­
gation in Hawaii,'1 The Hawaii Sugar Manual, 1955-1956
(New Orleands, La . • A. B.Gilmore, 1956) p. 59.
one after another prohibiting recruiting of contract labor.
The act of 1862 had forbidden recruiting of coolie laborers
on American vessels, while by the act of February 23d, 1885,
and also by another act in 1887, contract laborers were
21 .
forbidden entrance into the United States.
"that was
Hawaii going to do?
She needed cheap labor and yet the
American market was of prime importance to her existence.
American annexation.
The only possible solution
to this rather complicated problem was to become a part
of the United States.
The Bounty of 1890 had definitely
caused irritation on the part of the sugar planters of
Hawaii, for under the act of 1890 sugar became a free list
and a bounty of two cents a pound was to be paid to the
continental sugar growers each year.
Although this act
was repealed in 1894, the Hawaiian sugar growers were the
only ones to suffer from it.
Hawaii had a reciprocal
treaty with the United States, but that did not give her any
protection; for other cheap producing countries were allowed
free admittance of sugar into the United States.
movements were made for annexation, and with the spirit
of expansion on the part of the United States dominating
at that time, Hawaii was annexed in 1898 and in 1900 the
present territorial form of government was inaugurated.
D.Rowland, op. cit. , pp. 261-262.
Hawaii as a part of the United States since 1898, the former
was able to enjoy the benefit of the American tariff pro­
Sugar was now on a solid foundation, and as years
rolled along, expansion was the inevitable consequence.
In Table I on the following page is shown the production
of sugar in Hawaii since 1904.
As can be seen the produc- .
tion reached its climax in 1953 wdth a total tonnage of
1,159,507 tons.
The reduction in 1934 was due to the quota
system inaugurated in that year by the Federal Government.
^ ^ a e Hawaiian" Annual for 1940 (Honolulu:
Star-Bulletin Press, 1940) p. 33.
There are certain outstanding characteristics of the
Hawaiian sugar plantation system which have made it possible
for the perfection of the sugar industry on a sound and
economical basis.
This chapter will mention some of them.
Hawaiian Sugar Planters1 Association.
The fore­
runner of this organization has been the Planters’ Labor
and Supply Company, Ltd., an incorporated organization among
the sugar planters, founded in 1882.
As the title indicates,
the chief purpose of this organization was to maintain an
ample supply of lahor from abroad.
It was later found that
It would be much more have an association on
a voluntary basis; and in 1895 the present Hawaiian Sugar
Planters* Association was organized.
Mr. Richard A. Cooke,
then President of this association, in 1936 stated;
It is an association of planters and Individuals
who have voluntarily invited for the purpose of
cooperating with each other and of creating one
agency to handle matters of common interest to all,
which If not created each would be obliged to
set up for itself at much higher aggregate of
trouble and expense.
It Is financed by assessments
levied against plantation members on the basic
tonnage of sugar produced by them.1,
- This association is governed by a Board of Trustees and the
President of the association is elected by the Trustees
from their own number and serves for a period of one year.
The administrative work is done by a Secretary who is ap­
pointed by the Trustees.
The functions of the H. S. P. A.
will be considered here and also on the next few pages,
ranging from the importation of .labor and the introduction
of labor saving devices.
Importation of labor.
As has been noted in the pre­
vious chapter, the recruiting of labor supply has been a
rather serious problem.
But the H. S. P. A. has handled
this problem in an efficient manner.
It has imported
thousands of cheap labor from the Orient in order to have
an ample supply.
formulated a
In fact already in the ’eighties it had
policy of importing labor in excess of the
industry’s immediate demands.
In the Planters’ Monthly
of, November, 1883, and another In May, 1884, these comments
were made:
...let immigrants come here in large numbers and
the market will break, so to speak.
John Chinaman will
have to work or starve (p.246)
The arrival of Chinese from China recently has
Richard A. Cooke, "The Hawaiian Sugar Planters’
Association,” The Hawaii Sugar Manual, 1955-1956 (New
Orleans, La.: A.B.Gilmore, 1936) p. 5.
resulted in a decided fall in the rate of wages.
(p. 404). •
This method of flooding the labor force in order to control
labor and depress the wages has been continued up until
Their propaganda had been so effective that many
Filipinos came to Hawaii on their own initiative.
In fact
"...many were impatient with the small allotment of steerage
space on the regular steamers and in 1927 two vessels
chartered by Filipino workers docked in H o n o l u l u . I n
1920 out of a total of 44,307 men, women and children em­
ployed on the sugar plantations, 19,474 were Japanese while
13,061 were Filipinos; but in 1930 the bulk of the employees
were Filipinos for their number had risen to 34,706 while
the Japanese had fallen down to 8,956 out of a total of
56,117 men, women and children workers.
Improvement in cane varieties.
To have better crop
production the H. S. P. A. has organized the Hawaiian Sugar
Planters* Association Experiment Station in 1895.
many experiments are conducted under expert supervision.
0ne of its important functions is to "create" new varieties
2* Andrew W. Lind, An Island Community (Chicago:
University of Chicago press, 1938) p. 219.
5* William C # Smith, Americans in Process (Ann
Arbor, Michigan: Edwards Brothers, 19377, p. 74.
The Hawaiian Annual for 1931 (Honolulu:
Star-Bulletin Press, 1931) p. 12.
of sugarcane to meet local conditions, for one variety of
cane may be very productive in one area but may not survive
in another locality.
Ca*ie that is grown in the irrigated
areas is different from the one in non-irrigated land.
Likewise, cane that is cultivated in lower areas is very
different from the cane in higher elevations.
For this
reason many cane varieties were imported from abroad and
different new varieties have been produced by cane breeding.
In creating new varieties male and female tassels are taken
to the breeding grounds and after seeds are ready they are
scattered on the nursery bed.
As they grow up they are
transplanted in special fields and are observed very care­
If they show great possibility of producing large
quantity of sugar and are able to resist diseases, then they
are given away to the different plantations.
At present,
the H-109 variety is the leading one in Hawaii.
In 1956,
out of a total area of 246,777 acres of sugarcane, this
variety, occupied 92,609 acres or 37.53 percent.
War against pests.
The Experiment Station has to
look out for diseases and pests that would destroy or re­
tard the growth of sugarcane.
It has not succeeded completely
5* A.J. Mangelsdore and C.G. Lennox, "Sugar Cane
Breeding in Hawaii," The Hawaii Sugar Manual, 1935-1956,
(New Orleans, La.s A. B. Gilmore, 1936), pp. 18-21.
but has reduced the great losses that are due to them.
With the introduction of new cane varieties to the Islands from abroad, cane diseases and harmful pests were intro­
duced accidentally.
For instance, the cane leaf hopper of
Northern Australia was brought to Hawaii innocently.
knows when it entered into Hawaii, but by 1903 thousands
of them were doing appalling damage to the sugarcane.
Fields and fields of cane were attacked by them, causing
tremendous loss to the growers.
The only possible solution
to this problem was to introduce natural parasites to
fight against the leaf hoppers..
Entomologists were sent
to Australia to search for the enemies.
Finally they
succeeded in introducing tiny wasps whose parasite worms
simply devoured the eggs of the leaf-hoppers.
T^us, with
such ingenuity, the entomologists were able to control
the leaf hoppers.
Lately, in 1932, one hundred forty-eight adult Bufo
Marinus toads were introduced from Puerto Rico.
Their rate
of reproduction is so fast that more than 650,000 toads
have been distributed to the plantation by January 1, 1936.
These toads are of great economic Importance, because they
feed on various insects that are very undesirable in the
David L. Crawford, Paradox in Hawaii (Boston:
Straford Compahy, 1933) p. 77.
cane fields, such, insects as centipedes, scorpions, ants,
termites, slugs, grasshoppers, etc., being their natural
Introduction of labor saving devices.
It has been
the general policy of the H. S. P. A. to introduce machinery
if possible to lighten the work of the field labor and at
the same time increase profits to the plantations.
than $4,000,000 worth of caterpillar tractors have been
bought from the mainland since 1908; and more than $1,000,000
worth of crawler cranes for loading canes have been imported
from the mainland, since 1920.
Formerly, cane planting
was done by hand, but now nearly all plantations use plantiig
Machinery means less drudgery to the field hands,
but does it create unemployment?
Let us see what Mr. W. J.
Maze, one of the engineers of the H. S. P. A . , has to sayj
...From employment figures this would not appear to
be true in respect to the Hawaiian sugar industry.
Actually there are about the same number of employees
on the sugar plantations in 1939 as there were in 1929.
The use of machinery has, however, made possible shorter
working hours.
Mechanization has -also created more
skilled and better paid positions.
In 1900 there was no
need on sugar plantations for truck drivers, tractor
drivers, cane loader operators, diesel engineers, track
repairmen, automobile and truck repairmen, electric and
gas welders, crane operators and a host of other jobs
that are open to the young men of today.
It must be
C. E. Pemberton, "The Tropical American Toad
Bufo Marinus In Hawaii," The Hawaii Sugar Manual, 19351936, (New Orleans, La.; A.B. Gilmore, 1936), pp. 29-30.
borne in mind that the building, sale and servicing of
the mechanical equipment now used on the sugar plantation
has created a great number of positions that did not
exist in 1900.
The agency system.
Ont of economic necessity and
convenience the agency system developed for the sugar plan­
tations in Hawaii.
In the olden days boat service was very
the coming and going of whaling ships was very erratic
and not dependable.
The planters who w e r e scattered about
the Islands found it very difficult for them to go over to
Honolulu and conduct the necessary negotiation with the
sea captains.
To obviate the difficulty agents were
established in Honolulu; and as early as 1863 C. Brewer and
Company had become agents for three plantations.
agents were charged with the responsibility of finding mar­
kets for sugar, buying of equipments and supplies for the
farms, and acting as financial agents.
Principal agencies.
The agencies or factors as they
are known in Hawaii, are centered around the "Big Five."
In 1937 these five factors controlled 36 of the 39 sugar
mills, with 95.9 percent
of the processing of raw sugar
in Hawaii.
the American factors handled for
In that year
10 sugar mills which processed 30.57 percent of raw sugar.
W. J. Maze, "Mechanizing Our Plantations,"
The Hawaii Japanese Farm and Industry (Honolulu,
The Hawaii Hocchi, l M o J p. 22.
The second largest of the "Big Five" is the Brewer & Co.,
which is the agent for 13 sugar mills, and in 1937 these
sugar mills processed 24.38 of the total raw sugar.
Alexander & Baldwin, Ltd. is the agent for 5 sugar mills,
handling 20.03 percent of raw sugar.
T^e last two of
the Factors are Castle & Cooke, Ltd. and Theo. H. Davies
& C o . , Ltd.
The former handles sugar for three sugar mills,
which processed 13.75 percent of the total raw sugar; while
the latter is the agent for five sugar mills, which processed 7.17 percent of the total raw sugar in Hawaii.
The extent to which these factors dominate in Hawaii can
be seen from this paragraphs
Wholesale and retail merchandising establishments,
embracing both plantation and nonplantation trade
throughout the Islands, are conducted by two of the
agencies in Honolulu and it is chiefly through the
dominating influence of the factors in this field that
the average citizen becomes conscious of the "Big
Five" in Hawaii.
Over 90 per cent of the small
retail stores distributed over the Islands purchase
their supplies through one or another of the sugar
factors...Bach of the major factors represents or
controls directly one or more of the steamship lines
which have maintained contacts with the Islands.
The Matson Navigation Company, now one of the
three largest shipping concerns operating in the
Pacific area, with a fleet of fifty vessels and
with assets worth thirty-two million dollars in
1928, was organized to provide shipping facilities
for the Hawaiian sugar industry.
It is now largely
owned by Hawaiian Capital, and the Island sugar
Myer Lynsky, Sugar Economics, Statistics and
Documents (U.S. Cane Sugar Refiners Association, 1938)
p. 49.
trade remains an important element in its extensive
The Factors perform different functions
for the plantations.
They may be listed here in an outline
Each acts as a financial agent for the plantations.
Payments of debts of the plantations, honoring of drafts,
transfering of stocks and handling of bond issues, and
arranging of directors' meetings are all done by the agents.
It acts as a purchasing agent for the plantation.
As the plantations maintain stores to meet the need of the
workers and the operation of a plantation requires various
supplies and equipments, the agents simply do all the
buying for them.
It gives technical advices and services to the
plantations, for the agency is staffed with experts.
It defends the interests of the plantations by
appearing before tax commissions, land commissions, etc.,
presenting the views of the plantations.
It takes care of shipping sugar and molasses from
the ports and takes full responsibility for their safe shipment.
For all these various services it receives a nominal fee.
A. W. Lind, op. cit. , pp. 183-184.
"The Hawaiian Sugar Agency System,” The Hawaii
Manual, 1935-1936, (N©w Orleans, La.: A. B. Gilmore, 1936)
pp. 83-84.
Practically all of the sugar produced in Hawaii is
sent to the mainland for refining.
One of the sugar re­
fineries is located at Crockett, California, near San
Francisco, and it is called the California Sugar Refining
Organized in 1906 it has grown tremendously,
and is owned toy 29 plantations in Hawaii.
85 percent of the Hawaiian sugar crop.
It refines
Moreover it employs
on the average about 1,600 men and women throughout the
When sugar is refined it is distributed by railroads
as far as the Middle West, but beyond that point all sugar
is transported by steamers from the port of California by
way of the Panama Canal to the Eastern States.
utilize the steamers, because it is much cheaper to send
freight by way of water route.
Another refinery is the
Western Sugar Refinery which refines 12 percent of the
total. Hawaiian sugar crop.
Thus the Hav/aiians refine
only a small proportion of their total production, mainly
for local consumption,
ttrpke California and Hawaiian Sugar Refinery,”
The Hawaii Sugar Ma nual, 1955-1956, (New Orleans, La. :
A.B.Gilmore, 1936), p. 67.
f,The Western Sugar Refinery,11 The Hawaii
Sugar Manual, 1955-1936, (New Orleans, La.s A.B.Gilmore,
1936), p. 72.
The Hawaiian sugar plantations have been
criticized for their paternalism and for running them on
an antiquated economic system; that is, a few capitalists
with their experts controlling thousands of l,coolie,, labor
almost in the same manner as in the nineteenth century
But whether good or bad, paternalism does
exist and is one of the characteristics of the Hawaiian
sugar plantations.
It has arisen largely through the economic
necessity of the early plantation days; for example, there
were no hospitals or stores or houses for the laborers, and
the plantations had to provide these facilities.
In other
words, the plantations had to look after the laborers’ wel­
fare and protect them as if they were their "children."
Free housing.
tions is free housing.
One of the perquisites of the planta­
Ev ery employee is entitled to have
a house according to his needs; that is, an employee with
a large family is given a rather large dwelling to live in.
The houses are grouped together in villages or "camps," the
main camp always being located near the sugar mill; and
the offices of the plantation are located here.
In many
cases races are segregated, perhaps with the idea of main-
W. C. Smith, op. cit. p. 50
taining harmonious racial relationships.
The present writer has seen many houses of at least
three sugar plantations on the Island of Hawaii and he
believes that houses that were built recently are indeed
Although made out of wood and with iron roofs,
they are painted with different colors.
Each house has a
kitchen, a living-room and two or three bedrooms.
nishings have to be supplied by the workers, and as long
as one member of the family is vrorking, the house is con­
sidered the property of the family.
If the family wants
to have a garden for family use, it is the privilege of
the family to use its backyard.
Free fuel and water.
free fuel and water.
The plantation worker is given
Formerly the plantations used to dis­
tribute cord m o o d every month, but nowdays kerosene is
becoming popular, because more and more kerosene stoves are
replacing wood stoves.
If electricity is preferred for
fuel then the plantations distribute it to t h e .amount of
9 gallons of kerosene.
Concerning water, every employee and his family
receive water at no cost to them.
Places where cisterns
are kept, the plantation trucks, similar to gasoline trucks
Harry A. Fr anck, "Our Mid-Pacific Sugar-Bowl,"
Travel Magazine, 68:37, April, 1937.
on the mainland, convey water day and night in times of
dry season to the laborers’ homes.
Practically every plantation has
a hospital and those which do not maintain their own make
use of the neighboring hospitals.
less than
P 0r those who receive
a month in wages, free medical care is
The employee's family is also taken care of.
Every kind of illness or accident - "from beriberi and child­
birth to broken ribs and venereal infection"^-®* - is treated
free of charge.
When the writer's brother used to work
for the Olaa Plantation, the former always took the ad­
vantage of his brother's card, by using it at the dispensary
for various medicines.
Indeed the plantations spend huge
sums of money for this program.
As an example of the scale on which this work is
carried on, in 1934, eight plantations on Oahu having
a population of 37,658 persons, spent for operating
the free medical, hospital, and public health service
a total of f206,927, in addition to #175,755 for sani­
tation and various other public services.
Recreational facilities.
In addition to all these
perquisites, the plantations provide free parks for the
employees and their families.
Gymnasiums are provided and
Lillian Symes, "The Other Side of Paradise,"
Harpers Magazine 166:43, December, 1932.
Ira V. Hiscock, "Health Work on a Sugar Planta­
tion in Hawaii," American Jpurnal of Public Health and the
Nation's Health 26:767, September, 1936.
dancing halls are likewise furnished to them.
In cases
where the employees want to go out for picnics plantation
trucks are furnished for the occasion.
and compete for championships.
Teams are organized
But while plantation workers
give much of their time to sport they don't devote all of
their leisure time to it.
Some of the dances at the plan­
tations are as gay as the famous Mardi Gras, and plantation
parties have proven consistently successful.
Already two methods of labor control have been
mentioned; namely, the importation of cheap labor in excess
of immediate demand, and the perquisites.
But there are
other important systems that are characteristic of the
Hawaiian plantation.
Piece work.
A piece work is used in Hawaii to mean
a short term contract, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics
defines a short term contract as followss
A short-term contract applies to a piece of work,
such as the hoeing of one or more fields of a certain
number of acres, or the irrigating or fertilizing of
the same at a specified rate per acre.
* U. Okumura, ”Sports and Recreation,” The Hawaii
Japanese Farm and Industry (Honolulus Tbe Hawaii Hochi,
19401" p ? 17.
U.S. Department of Labor, Labor Conditions in the
Territory of Hawaii, 1929-1930 (Washington, D . C . : U.S.
Government Printing Office, 1931) p. 27.
In other words, workers are paid each month on the amount
of work they perform.
Since 1932 the Congress of the United
States has set a minimum wage for the plantation workers,
and the plantations have to meet them, if they want to
receive benefit payments.
In 1939 the minimum wages were
as followss20*
$>2.00 a day for cutting, packing, fluming, and
hauling cane.
$2.20 for loading cane.
$2.40 for laying portable track.
$1.50 for planting, cultivating, fertilizing,
irrigating, and brooming of the sugar cane.
These are the minimum wages and workers can earn more, if
they are able to work fast.
The wages mentioned are for
males only.
Long-term contract.
Another scheme for labor con­
trol used in Hawaii is called the long-term contract, and
according to the definition of the same bureaus
The long-term contract covers all the cultivation
of the cane on one or more fields from the beginning to
Such contractors are paid a certain rate per
ton of cane produced on the field or fields, the rate
being based on the known number of tons of cane pro­
duced in preceding years or crops. Rates per ton vary
Myer Lynsky, Supplement, Sugar Economics,
Statistics and Documents (U.S. Cane Sugar Refiners’ Assoc.,
1939) p. 410.
from field to field.21.
And according to the wage law of 1939, all males working on
a long-term agreement had to he paid not less than $1.40
per day.
This simply means that a worker gets $1.40 a
day if he works on the field under contract; and at the end
of a month he receives wage just like the short-term worker.
But when the cane field under contract is harvested, the
long-term worker is entitled to a certain percentage of the
profit from the plantation.
Perennial employment and bonus.
In order to encourage
workers to turn out as many days as possible, they are
rewarded with 10 percent bonus if they turn out 23 days, or
In the case of women, they have to turn out 15 days.
Any worker, whether he is working under long-term contract
or short-term contract, is entitled to the bonus.
Now, if
a worker turns out 23 days at $2.00 a day, then the wage
without the bonus would be $46.00; but if the bonus is
included it would be $50.60.
In the case of women, they
receive three-fourths of the men's wage.
It is difficult to say how much each worker makes
during a month, for it depends on the ability of the worker.
Although the working day is eight hours, a fast worker
U.S. Department of Labor, loc. cit.
Myer Lynsky, loc. cit.
can make much more than the minimum wage noted above.
of the plantations reports that in 1939 the average worker
on its plantation earned between §600 and §700.
Besides, workers are employed throughout the year.
It is said that the plantations provide year-round employ­
ment for approximately 45,000 persons.
When everything is
taken into consideration, farm hands on plantations have a
rather high economic status.
Courtesy of Olaa Sugar Plantation.
In order to appreciate the value of sugar, it is
necessary to understand the various tasks involved in the
making of it.
We, as consumers of sugar, would benefit
If we realize that thousands of men are required in the
producing of one pound of white sugar.
The plantation day.
Those who have lived in Hawaii
know that everybody gets up early in the morning; even busi­
ness men are already at work by eight o'clock.
The plantati
workers ordinarily get up about 4s SO In the morning, for at
this time the mill sounds a siren.
Some have their break­
fast, while others don't bother about it, for at eight
o'clock they have a recess of fifteen minutes, at which time
they can have their breakfast if they so desire.
By 5:30
the workers assemble at a designated "spot** to be trans­
ported on trucks or trains to the fields, and by 6:30 they
are working in the cool morning breeze.
Their lunch hour
comes about 10:30 and by 3:00 in the afternoon they are
ready to return to their homes.
That is the plantation day,
and the workers continue this routine six days a week.
Let us start with the planting of sugar-
cane for the making of sugar has to begin here.
The usual
procedure is to plow the land from 14 to 24 inches deep.
Plowing is done by huge tractors which pull either discs or
moleboard plows; and only where the topography of the land
does not warrant the use of tractors, are mules employed.
After the soil is plowed roughly, the harrowing is done to
soften the soil.
This being done, furrows are made, spacing
the lines four feet apart.
Into these furrows are dropped
the cane seeds which consist of cuttings of selected cane
They are covered with two or three inches of soil
and planting is completed.
Fertilizing and weeding.
As soon as the shoots
appear, fertilizer is applied to the young plants.
the time of planting until harvesting it is given at three
separate intervals, the quantity of fertilizer varying from
field to field.
Usually 200 to 250 pounds of fertilizer
are applied to an acre at a time.
On higher elevations
more fertilizer is scattered, because sugarcane exhausts
the soil much more rapidly on thin and poor soil.
is important in Hawaii, for here rotation of crops is not
Year after year sugarcane is grown on the same
Hand in hand with fertilizing is the weeding process.
If weeds are permitted to grow as they please, then there
is no sense in fertilizing, because the weeds will feed on
the expensive fertilizer.
The ordinary method of weeding
is done by men with hoes.
But in order to save labor, men
with knapsacks containing five gallons of poison spray it
on the weeds.
On the writer’s sugar farm this method was
most frequently used.
All that has to be done is to weed
out the grass growing near the sugarcane to avoid spraying
the latter.
After that the task is very simples
with the
left hand the spray is adjusted and with the right, the
liquid poison is pumped out.
As the cane grows up, less
and less attention need be given to weeding, for the sugar
field becomes a jungle in which weeds are unable to thrive.
Where rain is scarce, irrigation is an
important phase in the making of sugar, for without water
it is impossible to grow cane.
That great traveler and
writer, Harry Franck, says that it takes a million gallons,
4,000 tons, of water to grow a ton of sugar*
tons of water on an acre, and that one plantation of 11,624
acres uses 145,000,000 gallons, of water a day in summer.
He says that this is three times as much water as San Fran­
cisco uses and 50 percent more than Boston.^*
This may
sound exaggerated to the uninitiated, but there is no exag­
Bill Henry, who writes the “By the Way” column
every day in the Los Angeles Times wrote from Honolulu
Harry. A. Franck, “Our Mid-Pacific Sugar-Bowl”
Travel Magazine 68*37, April, 1937.
before Christmas that ”... I^Orange’s plantation covers
some 13,000 acres and uses 153,000,000 gallons of water
Water has to be stored in reservoirs after it is
pumped out of the ground or carried across from the rainy
water heads of the mountains by means of canals.
It is
said that the Waialua Plantation has a whole valley dammed
up with a capacity of 2,544,000,000; and the Koloa planta­
tion on the Island of Kawai, has a reservoir covering a
square mile of land and holding 2,225,000,000 gallons of
As to the method of irrigation, there are several
utilized in Hawaii, but they are based on the same principle
and need not be described here.
In short, water Is turned
loose from the ditches and is allowed to flow very slowly
without trapping a quantity of water on a given acre.
the soil is loose it requires less time for the water to pene­
trate through the soil, while if the soil is rather hard
it requires more time to irrigate an acre of cane field.
In Hawaii it takes from 18 to 22 months to produce
k°s Angeles Time3t December 18, 1940, part II, p. 1.
Harry A. Franck, loc. cit.
one crop of sugarcane.
It takes a much longer period than
in other tropical countries, * for Hawaii Is not a pure
tropical country and is situated on the northern fringe of
the tropical zone.
To compensate for it the plantations
in Hawaii produce large tonnage of sugarcane per acre, the
average tons for all the plantations being 62 tons In 1939. *
Harvesting is the most exciting phase of the activities
involved in the making of sugar.
It begins in December and
continues up ‘until September.
Burning the field.
In order to facilitate the har­
vesting of the crop, a sugarcane field is burned.
But this
has almost no effect on the cane itself, because it is
composed of approximately 87 percent liquid and only 13
percent solid matter.
Burning is done early in the morning
to avoid the strong wind,
Th© only objection to burning is
that weeds grow much faster and a great quantity of humus
is destroyed.
Gutting done mainly by m a n -power.
As soon as the
field is burned workers with cane knives (machetes) begin
cutting the cane.
Ea©h takes a row of sugarcane and ad­
vances as rapidly as possible.
First the cane stalk is cut
4* In Puerto Rico It takes only 12 months to harvest
a crop of sugarcane.
The Hawaiian Annual, 1941 (Honolulu:
tin Press, 1941) p. 82.
off close to the ground and the sugarless top is lopped off.
Where mechanical devices are used for loading, cutters
simply scatter around the long cane stalks; but where men
do the loading the cutters have to cut the stalks into
lengths of four to five feet and make them into bundles
weighing eighty pounds each.
Mechanical devices.have been
used, but so far they have not been successful, due to. the
rocky lands of the islands and the wastes involved.
Tendency to use mechanical devices for loading.
Although cutting is done by man-power, loading is done
mainly by machines.
They are large crane “donkeys” that
easily hoist a ton of sugarcane and place it in the rail­
road cars.
One steam crane can do the work of many human
Only five men are involved for each crane; one
sits on it and handles the crane, while four men run about
the field attaching ropes to the bundles left by the cane
In the fields where fluming is used as a means of
conveying cane to the mill, men do the loading.
They simply
carry the bundles weighing about eighty pounds and place
them along side of the flumes.
Without modern means of transportation it is im­
possible for the plantations to operate their enterprise on
a large scale basis.
In the olden days wagons drawn by
mules were used, but at the present time those are things
of the past.
• Railroads.
The railroads are the chief -means of
transporting sugarcane to the mills.
The thirty-two planta­
tions operate their own system, employing a total of 140
locomotives, with 900 miles of permanent track.
permanent tracks run from 5 to 30 miles on each plantation.
But without any temporary tracks it is impossible to haul
cane from the fields so portable tracks are installed during
harvesting season.
”The larger plantations maintain complete
railway shops where they build some cars and do repair work.
Over $5,000,000 is invested by plantations in their own
The locomotives run only on the permanent tracks,
for they are too heavy and impossible to run on the temporary
ones which are laid on the fields and remain there until
all the sugarcane is transported to the mills.
The usual
procedure is to haul the empty cars on the portable tracks
from the main track by mules or tractors, and after the
cars are loaded they are hauled to the main line by the
same means.
Another important device for hauling sugar
The Hawaiian Annual, 1941 (Honolulu:
tin Press, 1941) p. 115.
is by means of the flumes,
This can be done where water
is available and where the topography of the land is ideal.
The mills have to be located on the lower level than the
fields, because water cannot flow upward.
In order to
use flumes as a means of transporting sugar to the mills,
the plantations maintain permanent flumes to which feeder
flumes are attached during harvesting season.
The portable '
flumes consist of two 16 inch wide boards hitched together
in a ¥ shape, but the permanent flumes are much larger and
more substantial.
The feeder or temporary flumes are
laid on the fields about 100 feet apart.. As the cane is
stacked on both sides of the flume, women workers come along
and with both hands pick up afew sticks of cane at a
and cast them into the flume.
With natural force the water
carries the cane to the mill.
Since the mill has to run
24 hours a day there are day and night workers doing this
job of casting cane into the flume.
is done by men.
Of course, night work
It is fun to watch them working, but when
it is tried, the job proves rather painful*
Motor trucks for hauling cane on experimental basis.
Motor trucks are extensively used on the plantations for
hauling fertilizer and other materials, but they have not
yet been introduced for hauling cane.
Some plantations
have tried them, but it is doubtful whether they will be
used to any great extent.
The writer used to see Olaa
Plantation trucks haul cane only during emergencies.
instance, a cane field might be burned accidently along the
In that case, the trucks would come and transport
the cane to the nearest flumes.
Crushing of sugarcane.
Although canes that are
conveyed to the mill by means of flumes are weighed at
the fields, canes that are transported by railroads are
weighed at the entrance of the mill. Here at the mill the
dirty canes are shoved into "washers" which clean them
When this is done they are passed through huge
rollers with interlocking teeth.
Their force is so great
that a round cane becomes flat as a thin lug of box wood.
The juice is separated from the cane bits by means of screen
and the fibrous portion of the cane is made into paper.
The cane juice is conveyed to a tank and
here it is mixed with a solution called “milk of lime.“
Also, the juice is heated to a boiling point and in another
tank it is allowed to cool.
H ere all the impurities settle
The pure liquid is transported to a series of air
tight cylindrical evaporators and it is in these evaporators
that sugar juice is boiled without burning the syrup.
Based largely on: John W. Vandercook, King Cane
(N.Y.: Harper, 1939) Chapter XI, “Milling.“
is possible, because in a vacuum a liquid boils at a low .
Raw sugar.
Prom the last evaporators the syrup
appears to be thick molasses*
These have to be dried.
By means of centrifugal action the crystals are separated
from the liquid.
When this is done, the last process in the
making of raw sugar has been completed.
brown looking crystals.
This sugar is pale,
It is said that the Hawaiian
raw sugar has a rather high purity standard, being over
97 percent pure.
The sugar crystals are packed into
105 pound bags and are shipped to the mainland refineries,
where sugar is refined and transported to all parts of
the United States.
J. W. Vandercook, King Cane (H. Y. : 'Harper, 1939)
p. 154.
As has been noted previously the plantations of
Hawaii have imported cheap labor until recently and this
has created a rather serious problem.
The first half of
this chapter will discuss some of the economic problems of
the youths of Hawaii, created to a large extent by the
policy of the plantations; and the remainder of the chapter
will discuss the changing tide since 1932.
As there are
more than lg2,000 American citizens of Japanese ancestry
in Hawaii, the problem will be discussed using them as an
example, but It could be applied to any other racial group
of Oriental ancestry.
Importation of white labor from the mainland 11over
their heads.”
Hawaii is primarily an agricultural country;
and of course sugar is the leading industry.
But the
plantations have kept on importing at the rate of 4,500
to 5,000 Filipinos up until 1932, ignoring the grave situa­
tion lying ahead.
"It was more profitable to ignore it
until it became an actual danger.
Lillian Symes, "The Other Side of the Paradise,"
Harpers Magazine 166s40, December, 1932.
It would not have been so bad if they had only Im­
ported coolie labor from the Orient; but they also imported
white workers from the mainland for the clerical, skilled,
and professional positions.
There were no suitable
positions left for the second generation.
They couldn’t
compete with cheap labor from the Orient and at the same
time preferred jobs were reserved for the whites from the
As a result they were and are "between the devil
and the deep blue sea."
They drifted and are still drifting
to the towns and cities for white-collar jobs, but
In every one of these occupations the Japanese
finds himself discriminated against, with a differential
wage-scale applying to every position.
For example,
a haole3 bookkeeper receives about $200 a month, Japanese
bookkeeper about $125. *
Possible avenues opened for the niseis. '
such circumstance what can the second generation do?
are several avenues opened for them.
These will be con­
sidered first, before other problems are discussed, because
in doing so we can better understand the economic position
of the second generation.
D efeatist attitude.
They might take a defeatist
Ibid. , pp. 41-42
Haole Is an Hawaiian word, denoting Caucasian.
Mirian Allen de Ford, "The Jiapanese in Hawaii,"
The American Mercury 33s335, July, 1935.
Niseis is a Japanese word meaning second generation.
attitude and say:
"Why try to do anything at all?
ably we.were meant to be just a servile class.
We can’t
help it, so let’s make the best of a bad bargain..." * This
defeatist'philosophy is all right, if the second generations
accept plantation life; but if they use this as a means
of avoiding a struggle in life, then it is a rather serious
Even though they are not capable of handling
certain jobs, they rationalize by saying that just because
they are Japanese they can not get any jobs.
The inevi­
table consequence is the increase of criminal elements
and intensification of racial antagonism.
Emigration to the Orient.
What about going to the
Those with a good American education and a suffi­
cient knowledge of the Japanese language have a fairly good
In 19S4 the writer was offered a job in one
of the rayon factories in Japan because he had a better
understanding of .English than the rest of the boys.
company offered him fifty yen a month with the understanding
of a promotion in the future, but the writer’s brother
urged him to go to Los Angeles for a college education.
If the second generation intends to go to the Orient
with the idea of working at ordinary labor they might, as
6 * Kazuo Kawai, "Three Roads, and None Easy,"
Survey Graphic 56:165, May 1, 1926
well forget about going to the Orient.
Besides, if they
are not well versed in the Japanese customs and language,
they are doomed to suffer, for although they look just
like Orientals in physical appearances, they are simply
strangers in Japan.
Migration to the mainland, U. S.A.
tive is to go to the mainland.
Another alterna­
But Dr. Strong of the
Stanford University says:
The writer found little or no indication in the
Hawaiian Islands of any tendency for the Japanese to
come to the mainland.
They seemed to be unanimously
of the opinion that they were better off there.
felt there was considerable prejudice against them in
California on the part of both whites and Japanese,
which appears to be the case...It would appear there will
be no great influx unless economic conditions in the
Islands change for the worse. *
In fact between 1924 and 1934 there were 3,625 Hawaiianborn Japanese who left the Islands for the mainland, but
during the same period 2,268 second generation Japanese
left the mainland for the Hawaiian Islands. * This shows
that not many second generation Japanese leave the Islands.
Remaining in Hawaii.
remain in Hawaii.
The last alternative is to
Byt if they are to remain there then
they should go into agriculture.
Yet they have not gone
Edward K. Strong, Jr. , The Second-Generation
Japanese Problem (Palo Alto: Stanford Univ. Press, 1933)
p. 231.
Sidney L. Gulick, Mixing the Races in Hawaii
Porter Printing Co., Ltd., 1937) pp. 32-33.
into plantation life.
Although their number is increasing
they are not yet represented sufficiently in the plantations.
The basic reason for their turning away from the plantations
has been given in the beginning of this.chapter, but further
careful analysis should be made.
Psychological effects of early labor conditions.
The early labor conditions of the plantations were very
The present writer knows several Japanese men who
deserted the Kohala Plantation, because they could not stand
the plantation life.
In order to avoid working in the fields,
according to these men, they used to play sick and some­
times got by with it; but when they were caught it was too
They were flogged good and hard without any reserva­
tion on the part of the overseers.
Of course flogging has
not been used since the beginning of the twentieth century;
but these memories are passed on to the children.
One of
the Japanese students in a Junior High School wrote in
He said the lunas9, used to hit every one like a
slave with a whip if they do not work. My father said
the men suffered very much, because even when they are
sick, they were forced to go to work. My father said he
was wishing every day to go back to Japan. 'His first
impression in Hawaii was that ... the lunas were mean to
The word lunas is a Hawaiian word for overseer.
the people, hitting them with a whip like slaves in
Washington’s time. °*
Since the American Annexation there has continued certain
misunderstandings'between the second generation and the
The second generation considered themselves
as American citizens, but from the standpoint of the plan­
tations they were simply Orientals.
Advice of the parents.
The Orientals came to Hawaii
with the idea of making a fortune in this land of great
They were not the only immigrant group who had
this notion, for others from Europe came to America with
about the same idea.
But, in most instances, their expec­
tations did not materialize and great disappointment was
the result.
Worst of all was the loss of status.
In the
Orient a farmer had a very high social status, but in
Hawaii he was simply classified as the coolie labor without
much respect being due him.
Therefore he urged his children
to stay way from the plantations.
He sacrificed to send
them to school for in them he hoped to regain his lost
social status.
Education in American schools.
American education
10* Quoted ins Andrew W. Lind, An Island Community
(Chicago* Univ. of Chicago press, 1938) p. 225.
William Carlson Smith, Americans in Process
(Ann Arbor, Mich. s. Edwards Bros., 1937) pp. 50-52.
has contributed to a large extent in turning away the
second generation of Oriental ancestry from the planta­
tions, through no fault of its own.
The schools have taught
the second generation that in a democratic country every
person has equal rights and opportunity.
Furthermore the
teachers have more or less emphasized that white-collar
jobs are preferred to farm labor.
In'other words, they have
indoctrinated the children with the inferior status of field
IShen the second generation looked at their environ­
ment, they saw that all the menial jobs were done by the
Orientals while the preferred jobs were held by the Whites.
The result was of course, a drift to the cities.
The teachers
are not to be blamed for this, for they were doing the right
They couldn’t teach their pupils the virtue and the
advantages of the field hand when only the Orientals were
doing the undignified field work.
"Accordingly, it is not
at all strange that the average teacher in our schools is
unconsciously turning the children toward the city, away
12 .
from farms and plantations. "
Indeed, there arose a great paradox.
The chief
industry in Hawaii was driving away its potential labor
Instead of rectifying their policy, the plantations
blamed the schools for teaching the second generation
12, David Livingston Crawford, Paradox in Hawaii
(Boston: Straford Company, 1953) p. 229.
American ideals.
The plantations were the chief contributors
in taxes for the maintenance of the public schools, which
were unconsciously pointing out the inferior position of
plantation workers.
The schools, on the other hand, de­
fended themselves by blaming the plantations for Importing
cheap Oriental labor.
* This condition existed until some
sort of compromise was made, the plantations restricting the
importation of the Filipinos and the schools encouraging
the students to return to the farms.
Restriction of Filipino immigration.
The plantations
finally did put a stop on encouraging Filipinos to come to
Hawaii in 1932; but it was not due to their own initiative.
It was rather due to certain external conditions.
Filipinos who were coming to Hawaii were simply using Hawaii
as a stepping stone for their next flight to California.
They saved some money and then took passage to that land of
promise; there they flooded the labor market in the great
farming areas of Central and Northern California valleys.
This irritated the American Federation of Labor, which took
immediate steps to check the flow of Filipino immigration.
As early as in 1927 the Annual Convention of the California
Lillian Symes, op. cit., p. 45.
State Federation of Labor passed resolutions urging restric­
tion of Filipino immigration; and giving the Philippine
Islands complete independence.
In May 19, 1928,. Congress­
man Welch of California.introduced a bill in Congress to
exclude the Filipinos.
Finally on March 24, 1934, Congress
approved a bill for the exclusion of the Filipinos, except
14.for an annual quota of fifty.
Of course, Hawaii could have asked for special treat­
But that would have made Hawaii on an unequal footing
with the rest of the States.
crucial situation.
Moreover, Hawaii was in a
In 1931, the Ala Moana rape case and the
Massie-Fortescue murder gave a rather bad impression to
the mainlanders.
The Assistant Attorney General of the
United States, Seth W. Richardson, was dispatched to Hawaii
for a thorough investigation, and he finally recommended
that Hawaii should not import any more cheap labor from the
Statistics show that the number of Filipinos employed
on the plantations has been decreasing since 1932.
year there were 34,915 Filipinos working on the plantations;
in 1934 there were 29,321; and In 1939 their number had
W. C. Smith, op. cit., p. 62.
Ibid. , p. 70.
been reduced to 21,4*78.
According to the United States
Bureau of Labor Statistics, 19,615 Filipinos (men, women and
children) left the Hawaiian Islands for their native land,
while only 443 came to Hawaii between 1932 and 1936.
The emigration of ^ilipinos to Hawaii has practically
ceased, as a result mainly of the discontinuance by the
Hawaiian Sugar Planters1 Association of its earlier poli­
cy of recruiting labor in the Philippine Islands for the
Hawaiian plantations.
The Tydings-McDuffie L^w (approved
March 24, 1934), providing for the independence of the
Philippines, may also have been a factor arresting the^g
exodus of Filipino workers to the Territory of Hawaii.
This does not mean that the plantations have no other
source of cheap labor.
Puerto Rico has a potential labor
Since it is a possession of the United States, it
can be easily obtained from there.
But if the plantations
ini13ate such a program, it will do nothing but aggravate
the labor problem in the Territory.
Furthermore the
plantations have an advantage over the second generation
in that they can still continue to import white workers
over their heads, for after all, any American citizen has
the privilege of migrating from place to place within the
boundaries of the United States.
In 1937 H arry Franck wrotes
Hawaiian Annual for 1940 (Honolulu: Honolulu
Star-Bulletin Press, 1940) p. 23.
U.S. D®pt. of Labor, Monthly Labor Review (Wash­
ington, D.C. : U.S. G-ovt. Printing Office, 1937) p. 613.
Ibid. , p. 612.
Japanese and other non-haoles cannot climb to the
top of unskilled white ancestry and do not get top jobs,
the plantations bring in haoles from the mainland and
put them over Japanese w h o h a v e grown up in the busi
ness. ■‘-9*
Cooperation with the public schools.
In the schools
vocational courses were introduced in Hawaii in 1928, and
more attention has been centered in drawing the interest of
the youths to the plantations.
One of the strongest organ­
izations in the high schools is the Future Farmers of Hawaii
affiliated with the Future Farmers of America.
It has a
membership of 13,000 high school students who are enrolled
in agricultural courses.
As the title indicates, this
organization intends to build up among the youths of Hawaii
a very intelligent group of farmers.
In Kahuku High School there Is a course called
"Work Appreciation,” which gives very carefully supervised
vocational training.
Each member of the class spends two
weeks in each of the different phases of plantation work.
The important part of this course is that the student
simply goes to the plantation and observes the routine of
the plantation, for instance cutting cane, driving of trac­
tors, and when he graduates from the High School, he goes
into that phase of the plantation work in which he Is the
Harry A. Franck, ”0ur Mid-Pacific Sugar-Bowls,”
Travel Magazine 68:35, April, 1937.
most interested. 2^*
Intensive drive to attract the second generation.
The plantations have attempted to draw the youths to plan­
tation life.
Efforts are made to find opportunities for
hoys and girls with special training in mechanical, cleri21 .
cal and supervisory work on the plantations.
One of
the principals of a high school states that those boys who
are trained in the Hakalau School are working on fairly good
After pointing out that the manager of the Hakalau
Plantation Company has made public several times his desire
to have graduates of Hakalau School, because they fit right
into the plantation work, the principal of that school says,
in part:
In the blacksmith shop, the carpenter shop, the sugar
mill, trucking, and in all the other departments of the
Hakalau Plantation, you will find Hakalau school graduates
who are good and efficient workmen, capable and trust­
worthy. .. 22.
As a result of the various factors mentioned above, the
youths of Hawaii are gradually returning to the plantations.
The Honolulu Star-Bulletin on August 2 , 1 9 5 5 , pointed out
that 1 3 , 9 9 1 , or 21 percent of the 4 9 ,2 7 6 employees of
the plantations are American citizens.
Chauncey B. Wightman, "Work Appreciation Course at
Kahuku,” Paradise of the Pacific, December, 1939. Pp; 9 - 1 2 .
Chauncey B. Wightman, ’’Youth and the Sugar Plan­
tation," P Bradise o f the P a c i f i c , December, 1938.
Pp. 8 - 1 2 .
Honolulu Advertiser, July 31, 1940, p. 16.
The Sugar Acts of 1934 and 1937 have certainly
affected the sugar industry of Hawaii.
intensified the movement for statehood.
They have also
In this chapter
some of the most important elements of the Acts in relation
I4to the Hawaiian Islands will.discussed.
As Hawaii is a Territory of the United
States, she has enjoyed the benefit of the tariff wall and
the free entrance of her goods into the mainland, U.S.A.
Sugar has been one of the commodities, and its price since
1897 up to World War Number One was fairly stable, averaging
about four cents a pound, after payment of duty.
In that
War there was shortage in sugar and encouragements were
offered by the Federal Government to expand the sugar
When the War ended all the sugar producing
countries of the world were expanding at a terrific pace due
to the strategic importance of sugar.
This created an
over-supply of sugar in the world market and prices fell
In order to aid the sugar growers of the United
States, the Smoot-Hawley Tariff of 1930 raised the duty on
Cuban sugar to two cents per pound.
tect the sugar growers.
But this did not pro­
In May, 1932, the sugar price was
one-half cent a pound in the world market.
With a highest
tariff since 1890, the sugar was selling under three cents
a pound in June, 1932.
There was no way to help the far­
mers out of the sugar depression, because the more tariff
was raised the more sugar was produced.
It was a gloomy
situation, for while the consumption of sugar decreased
sugar production increased.
Especially in the Western
beet producing areas and the Philippines and the Island of
Puerto Rico did the sugar growers increase their production.
Something had to be done:
a system of quota and
limitation of sugar production was a possible solution.
In February, 1934, the President of the United States re­
commended that Congress amend the A . A , A .
"to make sugar
beets and sugar cane basic agricultural commodities,”
and to limit the production of sugar in the proper relation
to the consumption of that commodity.
He suggested that
the possible yearly production of sugar be set at
6,452,000 tons; this was to be divided among the several
sugar producing areas of the United States (mainland and
insular areas) and Cu^a.^'
John E. Dalton, Sugar, A Case of government Con­
trol (New York: Macmillan, 1934) pp. 97-99.
The Congress acted immediately and in the spring
of 1934, the Sugar Act was passed as an amendment to the
A. A. A.
Sugar was made a basic commodity like cotton,
tobacco, etc., which were covered in the A. A. A.
Secretary of Agriculture was empowered to establish a bal­
ance between production and consumption in order to enhance
the price of sugar.
Direct benefit payments were to be
■made to those who complied with the requirements of this
The system of quota:
a great discrimination against
When the President recommended to Congress that
the Continental Beet Area Quota should be 1,450,000 tons
the beet producers were furious about it.
They protested
vigorously and by virtue of their political strength they
actually made Congress give them a preferred treatment.
For instance, Congress set a quota for the beet area amount­
ing to 1,550,000 tons, which was an actual increase of the
President ’ & recommendation.
It also set a quota for cane
producing areas on the mainland amounting to 260,000 tons.
But the insular areas were to be dealt with by the Secre­
tary of Agriculture.
Since the Congress had increased
100,000 tons of sugar for the beet area quota, this same
Ibid. , pp. 100-108.
amount had to be offset by decreasing the same amount in
the other sugar producing areas, such as Hawaii, Puerto
Rico, etc., if the President•
recommendation of 6,452,000
tons were to be accepted.
The power of the Secretary was very vague, because
he was permitted to determine the quotas for the insular
area in accordance with a formula of past marketings in
the three most representative years between 1925 and 1933.
This was all right so far as Hawaii was concerned, if she
had been placed in the same category as the Continental
Sugar Areas.
But Hawaii was placed in a rather humiliating
She was grouped with Puerto Rico, the Philippine
Islands, and Cuba.
These were the quotas * for 1934:
United States Beetis. .. 1,556,000 tons
United States Cane.... 251,000 11
1,902,000 tons
Philippine Islands
1,015,000 "
Puerto Rico.
Territory of Hawaii...
917,000 H
5,000 "
Virgin Islands.......
All others............
17,000 *
Total Estimate.... 6,476,000 ”
Estimated direct­
ly by Congress
Estimated by
the Secretary
of Agricul­
Sugar men in Hawaii were very irritated, for the
Secretary of Agriculture employed the years 1930, 1931, and
1932 as the three most representative years for the deter­
mination of the Hawaiian share of the market, rather than
Ibid., p. 123.
1931, 1932, and 1933.
The last three years were used in
determining the quotas for Puerto Rico, the Philippines,
and Cuba.
If the first formula were to be used for Hawaii,
Puerto Rico, and the Philippines, then each would have had
a decrease of 6.3 percent, 19.2 percent, and 30.6 percent
respectively; but if the first formula were to be used for
Hawaii while the last formula were to be used for Puerto
Rico and the Philippines, then the decrease would have been •
10.9 percent, 18.1 percent, and 29.8 percent, respectively.
Out of this juggling by the Secretary the Hawaiians lost
about 47,000 tons.
Benefit payment provision.
As Hawaii and the rest
of the insular areas were to limit their production of sugar,
they were entitled to receive the benefit payments out of
the sugar processing taxes.
But the provision for the
insular areas were very vague.
It stated that the processing
tax was not to be put in the general fund of the. Treasury
but in a separate fund
in the name of the respective area to which it
related, to be used and expended for the benefit
of agriculture and/or paid as rental or benefit
payments in connection with the reduction in the
acreage, or reduction in the production for market,
or both, of sugar beets and/or sugarcane, and/or
used and expended for expansion of markets and
for removal of surplus agricultural products in
Ibid., pp. 208-209.
such the Secretary, with the approval of
the President shall direct. *
As can he seen from the wording of the provision,
nobody knew how the Secretary would exercise his power.
His powers were too broad.
He estimated that approximately
10 percent (or about $2,700,000) of the total processing
tax on Hawaiin sugar would be adequate, to cover expenditure
for research and developmental projects for general agri­
cultural benefit.
The benefit payments to Hawaiian pro­
ducers were to equal 90 percent of the processing taxes
collected on Hawaiian sugar, less the administrative expense
of the program, and to average about $8,500,000 annually.
On the other hand the continental sugar producers,
for instance, the beet growers, argued that the benefit
payments should be based on ’’fair exchange value,” and that
payments should be made not only upon the tons produced but
upon the tons which would have been produced on the acres
actually planted if normal yields per acre had been real­
The farmers won their point, and over $19,623,000
was paid upon the 1934 crop, or approximately sixty-two
cents per ton of all sugar beets produced.
As has been
seen the Hawaiian sugar growers had to reduce their sugar
Myer Lynksy, Sugar Economics, Statistics, and
Documents (U.S. Cane Sugar Refiners’ Assoc., 1 9 3 8 ) p. 190.
Ibid., p. 262.
output of approximately 100,000 tons, and at the same time
their benefit payments were rather small.
By this contract agreement between the sugar growers
and the Secretary of Agriculture, the Hawaiians not only
received a bonus per ton of sugar much smaller than
that paid domestic producers of beet or cane, but also
experienced an actual reduction in marketings; continent­
al producers felt no reduction, merely a limitation on
expansion. .. *
Once the contract was consummated, the
Hawaiian sugar growers completed the allotment without any
The H. S. P. A. set to work and the thirty-nine
plantations reduced 10.8 percent of the 225,077 acres of
land on which cane was grown under plantation administration.
The 4,000 small planters, who sell their crop to these large
plantations, did not have to reduce any acreage.
planters produce 10 percent of the sugar processed in
Hawaii; while the thirty-nine plantations grow the rest of
the cane. *
Extension of the Sugar Act.
On January 6, 1936,
the Supreme Court of the United States invalidated the
A.A. A., declaring that Congress had invaded the rights of
the states, and that it had no right to control production.
John E. Dalton., op. cit. , p. 212.
•John W. Vandereook, King Cane (New York;
per and Bros., 1939) p. 168.
* "The Supreme Court Decides," Facts About Sugar
31:45-46, February, 1936.
Since the benefit payment provision was invalidated, Con­
gress passed immediately the Soil Conservation Act on
February 29, 1936, by which benefit payments were to be
made to those who had complied with 'the A d t . ^ ’
On .June
19, 1936, Congress extended the Sugar Act to December 31,
1937, by joint resolution, leaving out the invalidated pro­
... no further processing, compensating, or floorstocks tax shall be levied or collected respecting
sugar beets or sugarcane or the products thereof as
defined by such Act as amended nor shall any contract
be entered into under the provisions of such Act, as
amended, with the producers of sugar beets or sugar­
cane, but in all other respects such amendatory Act
shall be and remain in force and effect until December
31, 1937, and the quotas established and allotments
heretofore made by the Secretary of Agriculture are
hereby ratified.
The Sugar Act of 1937 is much better than
the Sugar Act of 1934, for the latter had been passed during
the emergency without any careful study; the former is
written much more carefully.
Some of the peculiar inequal­
ities from which Hawaii had suffered were removed, but not
The sugar growers of Hawaii are still complaining.
Myer Lynsky, Sugar E conomics, Statistics and
D o c u m e n t s (United States Cane Sugar Refiners' Assoc., 1939)
pp. 193-196]
Ibid., pp. 196-197.
The quota system is not very complicated.
The Secre­
tary of Agriculture makes an estimate in December on the
total sugar consumption in the United States for the fol­
lowing year.
The figure at which he arrives is then appor­
tioned among the various growing areas according to per­
centages set down in the law.
Th® law divides the sugar
producing areas into domestic and foreign areas.
For do­
mestic sugar producing areas the total amount is 55.59
per cent of the total sugar to be consumed in the United
States, which is apportioned as follows:
Domestic beet sugar
41.72 per cent
Mainland canesugar
Puerto Rico
Virgin Islands.....................24
The remaining 44.41 per cent is to be divided among the
Philippine Islands, Cuba and other foreign countries In
this ways
Commonwealth of the Philippine Islands..34.70 per cent
Cuba........................................ 64.41 ”
Foreign countries other than Cuba............80 ”
In addition the Secretary was empowered to establish
quotas for local consumption in the Territory of Hawaii and
in Puerto Rico.
Conditional payments. *
Ibid., pp. 211-212.
Ibid., pp. 215-216.
The Secretary of Agriculture
isauthorized to
make payments under these conditions:
That no child under the age of fourteen years
shall have been employed or permitted to work on the
farm...and that no child between the ages of fourteen
and sixteen years shall have been employed...for
a longer period than eight hours in any one day...
That all persons employed on the farm..,shall
have been paid in full...and shall have been paid wages
therefor at rates not less than those that may be
determined by the Secretary to be fair and reasonable...
(e) That there shall have been carried on the farm ’
such farming the Secretary may determine
...for preserving and improving fertility of the soil
and for preventing soil erosion...'3
These provisions are very beneficial, but there is
a rather questionable point.
Those in the Philippines and
Cuba are not subject to the benefit payments.
They can
employ children to work on the farms; they can pay cheap
wages, and they do not have to comply with the conservation
All they have to do is to send their quotas to
the United States.
The Cubans, for instance, profit from
the provisions of the Sugar Act, but they are not over­
burdened with additional costs, in higher wages, etc.
The Hawaiian sugar growers argue that, although Cuba is very
important strategically, she is a foreign country.
There is
no reason why the domestic sugar growers should limit their
production in order to admit sugar from the Philippines and
After the domestic consumption has been met by the
domestic growers, then the outsiders could be allowed to
Ibid. , pp. 215-216.
export their sugar to the United States.
These are some
of the reasons the domestic growers regard the Act as unfair.
Discrimination against large producers.
are not distributed at the same rate.
The payments
The. larger quantity
of sugar one produces, the less the rate will be.
The base
rate is sixty cents a pound, and the payments are made in
the following way:^*
500 to
1,500 to
6,000 to
12,000 to
More than
1,500 short tons ..... .55 cents
'* ..... .52^
12,000 "
'* _____ .50
...... 47%
....... 30
a pound
Thus, those who produce more than 30,000 tons of sugar get
only thirty cents per pound as benefit payments.
This has
been a great injustice to the Hawaiian growers, because
they are large producers of cane.
In Hawaii the cost of
production is very high, and because of its great plantations
the sugarcane is able to be raised on an economical basis.
But, if the plantations are penalized for their greatness,
then there is no justification for this discrimination.
Wage Provision.
Under the Sugar Act the Secretary
is empowered to determine the fair and reasonable wages.
the case of the Hawaiian Islands, the Secretary who was
rather busy with many other functions, delayed the determin­
ation of the wages for 1937 until the spring of 1938^
called for the adjustments of workers’ wages, retroactive
» P. 217.
for the last four months of 1937.
Considerable bookkeeping
and mailing expenses were involved on the part of the plan­
Many Filipinos had left the Islands for their
native land, but still the plantations had to send them
Those plantations which were not making any profits
were made to pay wages that were paid by the prosperous
plantations near Honolulu.
Intensive campaign since the Sugar Act of 1954.
One of the effects of the Sugar Act of 1934 has been the
intensification of the movement for statehood in Hawaii.
JWhen Hawaii was put in a separate category from those of the
mainland sugar growers, she protested vigorously.
reasoned that simply because she did not have any Senators
and Representatives in Congress, she was rather treated
like an outsider.
Sh© brought suit testing the constitution­
ality of the Sugar Act in the Supreme Court of the District
of Columbia in the month of October, 1934.
On the question
of discrimination, the Court pointed out that:
The great distance of Hawaii from the continent,
separated by the ocean, the difference in the race of
many of its inhabitatns, the difference in the manner
of living, in the raising of its agricultural products,
all might give rise for many grounds of legislation
J. W. Vandercook, op. cit., pp. 175-176.
as to its commerce which would not apply to the
United States.' •
In other words, Congress has the power to discriminate against
Hawaii, because she is a Territory.
Invitations of Congressional Committees to Hawaii
in 1955 and 1957.
sugar men.
The above decision greatly shocked the
They took the lead in demanding statehood, and
the territorial legislature appropriated $20,000 for the
payment of the expenses of transportation and entertain­
ment of the members of Congress to visit Hawaii for a
survey on the subject, if they came to Hawaii before
December 51, 1957.
As a result one set of Committees
for the Territory came to Hawaii and conducted hearings from
October 7, 1955 to October 18, 1955.
Another Committee
made hearings in Hawaii from October 8, 1957 until October
21, of the same year.
Th® latter Coraaiittee recommended
that Congress should decide the question of statehood
’’after determination of the sentiment of its people and
upon further application by them through proper channels.
To determine whether the people of Hawaii were in
favor of statehood, a plebiscite was held on November 5,
It was found that the voters preferred statehood,
for they were two to one in favor of it.
The figures were
• "Court Upholds Sugar Quota Law", Facts About
Sugar 29:287-288, November, 1954.
45,344 Tor and 22,240 against it.
Capabilities of Hawaii as a State.
The advantages
and disadvantages o f being a State will not be considered
There is no doubt that Hawaii is qualified to become
a state.
Since 1898 up to June 30, 1937, the Federal
Government realized a net internal revenue of $5154,574,092.55
from Hawaii.
In addition the Federal Government collected
$55,738,046.39 in Federal customs.^®*
In 1939 Hawaii imported $101,817,230 of commodities
from the mainland United States, and shipped $115,382,077 to
the mainland United States between June 30, 1939 to June
30, 1940.19‘
Concerning land area, Hawaii has 6,406 square miles,
and is slightly larger than the combined area of Connecti20
cut and Rhode Island (6,214 square miles).
* In 1940, the
Federal Census gives the population of Hawaii as 423,333.
21 .
The Hawaiian Annual (Honolulu: Honolulu StarBulletin press, 1941), p. 165.
* Territorial Planning Board, First Progress R e ­
port: An Historic Inventory of the Physical, Social and
Economic and Industrial Resources of the Territory of Hawaii
(Honolulu: Advertiser Publishing C o . , Ltd., 1939) p. 11.
The Hawaiian Annual (Honolulu: Honolulu StarBulletin press, 1941), p. 179
20 .
Territorial Planning Board, loc. cit.
Dept, of Commerce, Bureau of the CAnsus, "Summary
of Preliminary Population Figures for the Territory of Hawaii,
1840? Sixteenth Decennial Census of the United States (For
Immediate Release, September 3, 1940, Washington, D.C.) p. 1.
This is larger than the population of the respective
territories at the time of their admittance to statehood,
Colorado (40,000), Nevada (42,000), Idaho (85,000), Arizona
(205,000), and New Mexico (300,000). 22*
Whether she will he admitted to statehood, is a ques­
tion to he settled hy Congress.
Territorial Planning Board, loc. cit
In this and the succeeding chapter some attention
will be given to the pineapple industry.
This industry
became prominent after the American Annexation.
In fact
it had its start at the turning of the century, at which
time the sugar industry was well advanced.
This chapter
will give the picture of the development of the pineapple
Origin of pineapple in Hawaii.
It is a matter of
speculation as to when the pineapple plant was Introduced
into Hawaii, and for that reason it need not be discussed
All that can be said is that the pineapple had been
growing wild in Hawaii before the first plantings were made
by Don Francisco de Paula y Marin on January 11, 1815, and
that the Hawaiians had named it halakakiki, a compound of
h a l a , the fruit of the pandamus, which resembles the pine­
apple, and of kahiki, a foreign land.
This shows that pine1 .
apple had been a foreign fruit and brought to Hawaii.
Lorin Tarr Gill, "Hawaiian Pineapples," The
Mid-Pacific Magazine 55:50, January, 1933.
Up to the 1880’s not much attention was given to
this half-wild pineapple.
It was relatively small, rather
woody in texture with the ’’eyes” extending deep into the
Nobody had dreamed that this pineapple would ever
develop into a well thriving enterprise.
Introduction of the Cayenne variety.
Only one sec­
tion in Kona, on the Island of Hawaii, were pineapples
Prom here they were transported to Honolulu, and
then they had to be reshipped to San Francisco:
was expensive.
In the early ’eighties Captain Kidwell, a
nurseryman, figured that he could cut down the shipping
expense and also the time consumed in the reshipping of
that fruit by raising pineapples in Honolulu.
Therefore he
started raising pineapples in Moana Valley, Oahu.
But he
was dissatisfied with the quality of the Kona fruit, so
he searched throughout the world for a better quality
He succeeded in introducing the Cayenne variety
from Florida in 1885 and also from Jamaica In 1886.
The Cayenne fruit probably received Its name from
Cayenne, a French possession in South America.
has become the dominating fruit in Hawaii.
This Gayenne
It has a very
large sugar content, without the woody fibers of the old
pineapple fruit of Kona; it is juicy and for canning pur-
J. L. Collins, "Evolution of the Hawaiian Pine­
apple Industry," Paradise of the Pacific, December, 1935,
p." 1 2 ..',
poses it is ideal.
"Its cylindrical form, flat eyes, uni­
form texture and freedom from large internal cavities insure
easy handling, a minimum of waste and unifBom product."
Even from the standpoint of cultivation and harvesting it
is much better than the other pineapple, for the leaves
have only a few sharp spines.
This makes it easier for the
workers to weed the grass and handle the fruit.
Difficulties before the American Annexation.
in the case with sugar, the pineapple industry met several
They were related to the shipping problem,
the lack of capital, the lack of technical skill, and the
many other uncertain factors usually connected with a new
Shipping problem.
One of the problems which faced
the pineapple industry was transportation.
In the early
days it was very difficult to ship, pineapples from the
Islands to San Francisco.
It took a considerable number of
days for the pineapples to reach their destination, for
example, San Francisco.
If a ripe fruit was picked and
shipped it was spoiled before reaching the market; and if
a green fruit was shipped, it did not have any taste worthy
of being sold at a profitable price.
Here again Captain
Kidwe11 helped to solve the problem.
He figured that the
Lorin Tarr Gill, o p . cit., p. 51.
only way to make pineapple a profitable venture was to can
the fruit.
With this in mind he organized a small canning
factory in 1892, and during the next seven years, about
14,000 cases were produced.
Lack of capital.
of capital.
Another difficulty was the lack
In Hawaii, in the early days, diversification
•of agricultural industry was never dreamed of.
leaders thought that i f was best to pour their money only
into the sugar indus.try, for sugar had an earlier start and
was giving good dividends to the stockholders.
An invest­
ment in the pineapple industry would result in keen compe­
tition between sugar and pineapple from any angle:
area, labor and market.
industry. *
Obviously this would ruin the sugar
There were other reasons why capital did not
flow into the pineapple enterprise.
Investors were afraid
of the failure of this industry, because of the lack of
market for this fruit.
There was a rather high tariff im5.
posed on the fruit brought into the United States.
Without American Annexation there was no relief from the
high tariff.
Trial and error method.
Cultivation of pineapple
David Livingston Crawford, Paradox in Hawaii
Straford Company, 1933) p. 85.
John Wesley Coulter, “Pineapple Industry in
Hawaii," Economic Geography 10:289, July, 1934.
was done in a hit and miss fashion.
In many instances
■water was applied abundantly when this pineapple plant
did not require much water, with the result that huge expense was involved in irrigation on the one hand, and the yielding
of poor crops on the other.
In fact, planting was not done
on a scientific basis, fertilizing practices were not devel­
oped to give the best results, and diseases and insects
that were harmful'to the pineapple plants were not checked.
Only the fortunate ones survived.
Canning technique was
not mastered, and canning was done in a haphazard way.
There was no idea of standardizing the fruit, so that the
right sized fruit could be packed in the standardized can.
D o l e , the originator of the modern cannery system.
The outlook of the pineapple industry was bad.
had to be done.
With the Annexation, the pineapple industry
received an impetus.
Goods could now be exported free Into
the mainland; and men with vision quickly took advantage
of the situation.
One of them was James D. Dole.
He had
been a homesteader in Wahiawa, on the Island of Oahu, growing
He recognized that in order to make the pine­
apple industry a successful' one, many innovations should
be made . He r^al^ed that improvement in the canning
process was necessary.
The flavor of the fresh fruit had
to be preserved as much as possible, and the pineapple should
be uniform in size to prevent waste.
Uniformity also was
desirable because a standard quality commanded a better
He also figured that if the industry was to develop
profitably on a large scale, it would have to be done on
a basis of canning the fruit for wide distribution on the
American mainland.
In 1901 he orgahized•the Hawaiian Pineapple Company
to produce and ship fresh and canned pineapple to the main­
land, and in 1903 he erected a small cannery at Wahiawa.
But the Company moved to Iwilei in Honolulu in 1906, and here
the modern pineapple cannery was built.
He selected Hono­
lulu, because here labor was more easily available, end
shipping facilities were right at hand.
* This pineapx>le
company is the largest one in the Territory, for It packs
more than one-third of the entire pack of the Islands.
Improvements in canning technique.
In due time
machinery was imported to take the place of hand labor
where it was possible; and cooking methods were improved
to keep the flavor in the original state as possible.
1911 Henry G-inaca, an employee of the Hawaiian Pineapple
Ibid. , pp. 289-290.
J* Hawaiian Pineapple Company, Ltd, Facts and
Figures (Leaflet published by the Company)
Company, invented a machine which hears his name.
machine peels the fruit and removes its core, preparatory
to slicing and cooking.
per minute.
It handles 85 to 108 pineapples
The canning process has been perfected to such
an extent that the Hawaiian Pineapple Company needs only
15 minutes to can a pineapple from the beginning to the
cooling of the can.
In fact it has trimmed and prepared
■ 9.
pineapples reaching a maximum number of 2,349,083 a day.
Of course the entrance of the American Can Company
into the Hawaiian field in 1906 solved a major problem
of those early days.
Before this Company established its
branch in Honolulu, the packers had manufactured their own
cans and had imported them from as far east as Chicago.
As freight was charged on measurement basis rather than on
weight, transportation costs were very high.
This was
eliminated by importing sheets of tin and the company
manufacturing the cans in Honolulu.
Development of cooperative system.
As early as
1904 Mr. Bentley of' the California Fruit Packers Association
had spoken before the Agricultural Society of Hilo, Hawaii,
emphasizing the necessity of cooperation in the canning of
Maxwell 0. Johnson^ The Pineapple (Honolulu:
Paradise of the Pacific press, 1935), p. 240.
Hawaiian Pineapple Company, Ltd., loc. cit.
pineapple, but this had not been welcomed by the pineapple
industry in Hawaii.
It was not until the depression of
1907 that the pineapple growers realized that some sort
of cooperation was essential.
In 1907 there was more
than 70 per cent of the pack of the previous year still
This led them to organize an association which was
called the Hawaiian Pineapple Growers Association.
was the forerunner of the modern Hawaiian Pineapple Pro10.
ducers* Association.
The pineapple growers
realized that the pineapple was not well known to the con­
Moreover it was thought of as being a luxury, only
to be served on special occasions.
According to Dr.
Canned pineapple was practically unknown to the
American consuming public and familiarity had to be
developed through much advertising, a thing which the
sugar industry had not found necessary, for sugar was
a well-known product and seemed to need no advertising.
Thus, in order to create a demand, the Hawaiian Pineapple
Growers1 Association was organized in May, 1908, approp­
riating $50,000 for an advertising campaign.
With intensive
advertising in newspapers, magazines, etc., the industry
Royal N. Chapman, '’Cooperation in the Hawaiian
Pineapple Business,” Commodity Control in the Pacific
Area (London:
Geo. Allen and Unwin, Ltd., 19351 pi 270.
D. L. Cra?t?ford, op. cit. , p. 87.
was able to dispose of the overstocked pack by June of the
same year.
But this did not teach them the real lesson, for
again individual competition began, and by 1912 the market
was again flooded.
A^ne;w organization was formed for adver­
tising purposes, called the Association of Hawaiian Pine­
apple Packers.
An appropriation of five cents a case on
the year's pack was voted and the advertising campaign was
carried out.
It was a success.
The growers and canners soon found out that there
exists a close relationship between the demand for pineapple
and other canned fruits, for instance peaches, apricots,
Although the consumption of canned fruits increased
with the increase in population, the more peaches sold the
fewer pineapples consumed and vice versa.
Therefore adver­
tising is very important in marketing pineapple.
When the
world wide depression hit the pineapple industry in the early
1930’s the canners realized that the product had limitations
and that cooperative marketing would be an advantage.
In 19 32 seven companies signed the articles of
incorporation of the Pineapple Producers’ Cooperative
Association, Ltd.
They planned to limit production to the
need of the market, and hoped to pool their pack through a
R. N. Chapman, loc. cit.
marketing committee, and also pool tlieir advertising.
succeeded in accomplishing their tasks, for with an approp­
riation of f>1,000,000 for advertising in various trade
journals, popular magazines, etc., they were able to dispose
of the packs and run on an efficient, basis.
* Today this
organization is very active in the further development
of the industry.
Cooperative Agricultural Research.
As the pineapple
industry expanded it was necessary to have experts study
the Various problems connected with cultivation.
The logi­
cal thing for the pineapple industry to do was to collabor­
ate with the H. S.P.A. for agricultural research.
In 1914
the pineapple industry appropriated $4,000 and in 1915
it was increased to $7,000.
But in 1923 it separated from
the Hawaiian Sugar Planters’ Association and established
its. own experiment grounds at Wahiawa in order to carry
on a more extensive experiment.
In 1923 there were 60
acres but the acreage was increased to 100 ip/gras in 1925.
In 1924, the headquarters of the Association of the Hawaiian
Pineapple Cooperative Experiment Station was -removed to the
University of Hawaii.
Under the leadership of Dr. Royal
N. Chapman, It began a real scientific.research.
J. W. Coulter, op. ci_t. , p. 96.
J. L. Collins, op. eft., p.. 78.
Fighting against diseases.
Scientists are always
on the lookout for diseases and pests.
Pineapple plants
are sometimes attacked by a disease known as wilt.
leaves of the large, healthy, dark green plants simply
Scientists were puzzled, but after careful analysis
they found that it was caused by small louse-like creatures'
called mealy bugs.
They attacked the plants from the top
of the fruit even to the most extreme parts of the roots.
The scientists worked hard to destroy the mealy bugs and
by 1930 a system of checking them a 11 was developed:
spraying the plants with an oil emulsion.
About 1926 a disease known as ’’yellow spot" was
to die.
Plants attacked by this disease were doomed
Scientists are still trying their best to solve
this problem, but so far they have not yet controlled the
Creating of new varieties of pineapples.
the Cayenne variety is the best in the Territory of Hawaii,
the Experiment Station is constantly breeding new varieties.
It also imports new pineapple plants in order to add new
"blood" and vigor to the Hawaiian plants.
The Experiment
Station maintains a quarantine house in which plants impor­
ted from foreign, countries are quarantined for one' year,
M. 0. Johnson, op. citi, pp. 111-132.
J.L. Collins, op. cit. , p. 79.
before they are transplanted to the open fields.
Recruiting of man-power.
The pineapple industry
has come to a gentlemen's agreement with the Hawaiian Sugar
Planters' Association concerning the recruiting of the labor
Since it was unfair for theH.S.P.A.
to spend huge
sums of money to import labor from abroad, while the pine­
apple industry benefited from it due to the gradual.--migration
of workers from the sugar plantations to the pineapple fields,.,
the Hawaiian Pineapple Producers' Cooperative Association
agreed to pay part of the expense.
* At the present time
the two associations cooperate in attracting youths of
Hawaii to the sugar and the pineapple plantations.
Increase use of land area.
In the beginning it was
believed that the pineapple industry would interfere with
the growth of the sugar industry, but fortunately it did not
turn out that way.
The areas that are not conducive to sugar
growing, that is uplands and foothills which cannot readily
be irrigated and have insufficient rainfall for cane, are
given over to pineapples.
This is possible because the
pineapple does not require much water, for it needs but
twenty five pounds of water to build up a pound of dry matter.
Areas which were considered as being worthless,
Royal N. Chapman, op. cit., p. 273,
except for cattle raising, were converted into pineapple
farms, and by 1939 more than fifty thousand acres were
reported in actual production.
All of the above factors cpntributed in the growth of
the pineapple Industry.
In 1903 only 1,893 cases of pine­
apples were packed, but in 1939 the volume had increased to
20,000,000 cases, valued at' §60,000,000.
The Hawaiian Annual (Honolulu:
Bulletin press, 1941) p. 105.
19. _ ,
Honolulu Star-
Cases of Fruit
a * Figures for 1903-1933 derived from:
"Evolution of the Hawaiian Pineapple Industry," Paradise of
the Pacific, pp. 74.
Figures for 1939 derived from: The Hawaiian
Annual (Honolulu: Honolulu Star-Bulletin press^ 1941)
p. 105.
In this chapter the raising of the pineapple and turning it into a canned product will he discussed.
fact without canning the fruit is impossible to ship to
distant markets on a profitable basis.
At the end of the
chapter some of the labor problems will be pointed out.
Land preparation.
In the previous chapter It was
mentioned that 50,000 acres are devoted to the actual
production of pineapple; but if those areas that are called
fallow, fields are included there are more than 90,000 acres
of pineapple land.
Through experience it was found that it
is better to leave a field idle for about one or three
years, so that the soil may rejuvenate during that period.'*'
Usually from six months to a year before the actual
process of planting, heavy disc gang plows, pulled by cater
pillar tractors, break the ground.
a depth of 12 inches.
They turn the earth to
After the’ rough plowing is done
many more finer piowings and discings are performed to
J. L. Collins, ''Evolution of the Hawaiian
Pineapple Industry," Paradise of the Pacific, December,
1935, p. 75.
“pulverizew the soil.
Then roadways are laid out, which
are usually 300 feet apartj subordinate roadways are ordin­
arily about twelve feet apart.
After laying of the road -
ways, small furrows are made to indicate the laying of paper
Advantages of the paper mulch.
Machines lay the
long strips of asphalt coated mulching paper over the fer­
tilized beds.
The paper ranges in width from thirty-six
to fifty-four inches and in 300 foot rolls.
About twenty-
four rolls of the narrower width, less of the wider, are
used per acre.
The paper mulching,.has been used extensively
in Hawaii for several reasons.
Some of the advantages a r e '
summarized here:
It makes it possible for the fertilizer to re­
main on the soil, where it is easily received by the pine­
apple roots.
It retains moisture when it is scarce and in­
creases the temperature of the soil during the cool season,
thereby aiding in the growth of the plant.
It sheds water during the heavy rain protecting
the young plant.
It prevents excessive growth of weeds.
This of
course reduces the labor involved in weeding the grass.
Maxwell 0. Johnson, The Pineapple (Honolulu:
- Paradise of the Pacific Press, 1935), pp. 70-72.
88 .
Planting of pineapple.
Strange as it may seem the
pineapples are not grown from seeds produced in the flowers,
hut from crowns which grow
on top of the fruit, or slips
which grow from the stalk .just below
which grow off the main stem.
the fruit, or shoots
It is said that the slips
are the most desirable because they are the strongest and
largest of them all, and grow much faster.
These slips
are scattered in the field by one group of workers.
group comes along with a steel blade and stabs a hole through
the paper mulch, about eight inches deep, then he thrusts
the slip into the hole and
Double row system.
covers it up.
In Hawaii the double row system
is used in the planting of pineapples.
In this method the
plants are planted eighteen inches apart in the row and
with twenty-two to twenty-four inches between .the two rows
of the bed.
The beds are planned on spaeings of six or
six and one-quarter feet center to center.
There are certain advantages of the double row
system; for instance, in the single row system less plants
could be planted per acre, but in the do\ible row system
there would be less waste in spacing and from 11,000 to
18,000 plants are ordinarily planted per acre.
This gives
about the right sized pineapple for canning purpose.
J. L. Collins, loc. cit.
Furthermore each plant can be conveniently weeded, fertilized,
picked and stripped from the passage way.
When the paper
mulching system was introduced into Hawaii, the thirty-six
inch width of the paper fitted exactly on the double rows
of pineapple plants.
The pineapple plants, like most other
living organisms have to be provided with food.
As they
consume certain elements from the soil in order to build
up the luscious pineapple fruit, fertilizers are given to
the plants.
Usually 0.1 pound per plant of a complete
fertilizer is applied under the paper at planting time and
an equal quantity is applied later either on the ground
or in the axils of the basal leaves.
Lorin Tarr Gill gives
this information;
It requires from 2,000 to 4,000 pounds of fertilizer
per acre to produce one crop of fruit - a program that,
at first, appears to be excessive; but when one considers
that the first crop should yield 25 tons of fruit to the
acre and has been known to mount closg to 40, there re­
mains little doubt as to its economy.
Harvesting the crops.
for the first harvest.
It takes about 18 to 22 months
This does not mean that harvesting
of the crop takes place at any time of the year, for there is
a natural tendency for the pineapple fruit to ripen during
Lorin Tarr Gill, ''Hawaiian Pineapples," The Mi d Pacific Magazine 55:55, January, 1953.
the summer months.
On this point Maxwell 0. Johnson has
this to say:
Attempts have been made in Hawaii to distribute the
harvest more evenly by spring planting, but there is a
strong tendency in such planting to blossom prematurely
the following vernal equinox and give an inferior fruit.
Spring planted fields are generally inferior^-in both
size and quality of fruit and also in slips. *
Therefore, pineapple planting must be done in the late fall.
About fifteen to nineteen months after the planting
has been done, the fruits begin to appear, and about three
months later they are ready for harvesting.
About eighty
percent of all the fruit ripens in the months of June, July,
and August.
This is the busiest season.
Workers come along
with bags under their arms and snap the fruit off, using the
crown as a handle.
The picked pineapples are carried to
the ends of the rows.
There another group of workers chops
off the crowns and packs them in the lug boxes, each, when
packed with pineapples, weighing sixty-five pounds.
are stacked on trucks and transported to the canneries
directly, or are taken to the depots, in which case the
freight cars carry them to the cannery.
In some cases
freighters transport them from the distant Islands to Hono­
M. 0. Johnson, op. cit.^ p. 98.
Ratoon crops.
A brief picture of the first crop of
the pineapple has been made.
But what becomes of the pine­
apple plant after it yields the first fruit?
the plant is left
in the field for one
or two more
because it is too
expensive to replant
each year.
It is
said that between f>400 and $600 are spent in one acre of
pineapple before the first harvesting of the crop.
several new shoots begin to grow from the mother plant,
parts are removed for propagation in the new fields,.and
only two are left.
The fruit is much
Each bears a fruit
by the next
smaller than the first crop, .and Is used
for packing smaller cans though some are large enough for
the larger cans.
Different stages Involved in the canning of the fruit.
Pineapple canning has indeed become one of the most signifi­
cant aspects of the pineapple industry, and some description
must be made of the various canning processes.
As the pineapples are brought to the
cannery, they are placed on conveyors which transport them
to the Ginaca machines.
The latter cut off the top and b o t ­
tom of the fruit and also core the fruit at the same time.
There are several machines to handle different sizes of
pineapples, and as been mentioned In the previous chapter,
the Ginaca machines at the Hawaiian Pineapple Cannery
handle eighty-five to one hundred eight pineapples per
These fruits are passed on to the trimming table
which is about twenty feet long.
H©re trimming women in­
spect the fruit very carefully and vestiges of peel and
imperfections are trimmed.
Slicing the fruit.
After the fruit is trimmed it is
deposited on a conveyor, and here the pineapples are washed
by sprays
of ¥/ater.
The conveyor takes them to an automatic
slicing machine which cuts them into a number of slices of
•uniform thickness with just one stroke of an assembly of
These slices are carried slowly down to the packing
table by moving belts.
On the table the women sort out the
various grades of sliced pineapples and pack them into cans.
This being done, they are conveyed to the processing depart­
ment on trays.
In the processing department various
functions are performed running from syruping, exhausting,
sealing, sterilizing, and cooling of the filled cans.
trays of the filled cans are trucked from the packing
table to the syrupers.
special syrup.
Each grade of pineapple has its
Here the syrupers fill the cans of sliced
fruit with syrup and the cans are conveyed to the exhaust
In these boxes the contents of the can are heated
before sealing in order to drive out the air, so that after
sealing, a vacuum will be secured in the finished product.
Then the cans pass on to the "double seamers".
"These are
machines that drop the lid on the "exhausted" can and in
two operations, roll and crimp the lid on the can, effecting
a perfect seal without the use of solder."
After this is completed the cans are shoved into
the cookers where they are cooked by steam..
It usually
takes from ten to sixteen minutes for the cans to be cooked.
Then the cans are passed on to the coolers where they are
subject to contact with cooling water for four to six minutes.
Prom the coolers the cans are trans­
ported to the warehouse.
The cans are tested for leaks and
other imperfections and when this is done, they are labeled
and are ready for shipping.
As the foreign countries impose
heavy duties on pineapples, most of the Hawaiian canned
pineapple is shipped to the mainland United States.
Table III on following page).
Cannery by-products.
The main purpose of canning
was for the canning of the fruits; but gradually the by­
products of the pineapple are becoming a very important
source of income.
In Table III is shown the annual shipment
of pineapple juice to the mainland.
The value of the pine­
apple juice shipped to the mainland is about one-half that
M. 0. Johnson, op. cit. , p. 245.
Canned pineapple
Pineappl.e juice
Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census,
’’Hawaii— Manufactures” Sixteenth Decennial Census of the
United States (For Immediate Release, August 26, 1940,
Washington, D.C.) p. 5.
of the canned fruit.
The jhice is not only canned for ship-
.ment, but it is used for syruping of canned -pineapple; for
making of alcohol; and for making of citric acid.
In fact
hardly any portion of the pineapple is wasted, for even the
fibrous residue from which the juice has been pressed is
made into “pineapple bran.”
This is used as a food for the
Great variation in employment.
The pineapple in­
dustry does not employ workers throughout the year as in
the case of the sugar Industry.
This is due to the fact
that the pineapple harvesting season comes mainly during the
stimmer months, namely, June, July and August.
The pine­
apples have to be picked when ripened or else the planters
encounter huge losses.
Table IV, on the following page,
shows the maximum and the minimum number of employees
and the payroll of the pineapple industry in Hawaii.
maximum employment comes during the summer months.
In 1939
the minimum number of employees was 10,460, while the maxi­
mum was 30,995 in the whole pineapple industry.
of the United States gives the wage earners in seventeen
pineapple canneries for the year 1939 as numbering 7,900,
while in the maximum month,
(August, 1939) there were
Amount of
8,586,349. 21
a* The Hawaiian Annual (Honolulu: Honolulu S'tarBulletin Press, 1941) p. 88.
18,251 employees.
This shows that about three times as
many workers are employed during the summer months.
Advantage of the rush season in the summer months.
As the harvesting season of the pineapple coincides with the
summer vacation for the school children in Hawaii, thousands
of high school and university students take advantage of
They work in.the canneries and on the plantations and
earn enough money for. their books and other needs for the
ensuing school year.
In Honolulu, for instance, during the month of July
1954, there were 9,120 temporary, and only 1,726 permanent
Of this seasonal help 47 percent (4,300) were
between the ages of 16 and 20, and of this number 65 per­
cent (2,734) were high school and college students...
The other seasonal workers were nearly all women supple­
menting their family incomes by a few weeks of work... •
This situation is very desirable not only from the students’
and housewives’ point of view, but also from the pineapple
industry’s standpoint.
It Is unnecessary to recruit thousands
of workers on a permanent basis.
Only those workers that
are necessary to keep the industry running throughout the
year need be employed on a permanent basis, while temporary
workers can be recruited from the students and housewives
during the summer months.
• Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census,
op. cit., p. 2.
Sidney L. Gulick, Mixing the Races in Hawaii
Porter printing co., ltd., 1937) p. 82.
Working conditions in the cannery and on the planta­
"The cannery is a show place.
It's the only spot
I know where you're invited to step up and drink fresh pine­
apple juice right out of a spigot," says Bill Henry in his
"By the Way" Column.®*
Undoubtedly he had been to the
Hawaiian Pineapple Cannery, for here they serve you fresh
juice without any cost.
Outstanding canneries in Hawaii
have everything up to date for the convenience of the
At the (leading! canneries there are cafeterias
where hundreds may be seated and given warm, nourishing
meals for as little as five cents; there are dressing
and locker rooms for men and women, with hot and cold
water, and shower baths; and attractive dispensaries
in charge of graduate nurses.
At the Hawaiian Pineapple Cannery, mothers with babies have .
the privilege of leaving their babies with the graduate
nurse during the working hours by simply paying the food
One of the employees of the Haxyaiian Pineapple
Cannery whose position is an inspector at the cannery, made
the following statement while he was here in Los Angeles
for a vacation In December, 1940:
The lowest paid workers get 30 cents an hour.
include such workers as the trimming, packing, and label-
Los Angeles Times, December 18, 1940, Part II, p. 1.
L. T. Gill, op. cit. , p. 62.
1 ling girls; and also pick-up rubbish boys and knife
They work eight hours a day and make from $10
to $13 a week.
The fore-ladies earn $35 a week, while the head
ladies make $40 a week; the former taking charge of
a particular processing job.
The tray boys earn
37.5 cents an hour, with eight hours a day as a maximum.
The present writer was amazed at the great variations
between the lowest paid workers and the head ladies, but
the same inspector stated that there .are only six head
ladies in the cannery.
On the large pineapple plantations the workers are
furnished with cottages,, as in the case of the sugar plan­
Community services and utilities, hospitalization
and recreational facilities are other perquisites.
* An interview with Fumio Morita, employed as an
inspector at the Hawaiian Pineapple Cannery, December, 1940.
Coffee is one of the leading minor agricultural
industries in Hawaii.
It is entirely different from the
two large industries, such as the sugar and the pineapple,
In that the machine'age has not penetrated into the field
and everything is conducted on a rather small scale.
chapter will depict the development, and the coffee cul­
ture as well as some of the more obvious economic problems
involved in this Industry.
Genesis of the coffee plant in Hawaii.
The coffee
plants were Introduced into Hawaii in the year 1825 from Rio
de Janeiro, Brazil, by Lord Byron In the frigate Blonde.
These were planted on Manoa plantation owned by the same John
Wilkinson who cultivated sugar cane at the same time.
we have noticed in the earlier chapter this plantation was a
But by 1828 some missionaries had taken the plants
to the island of Hawaii and were growing them in Kona.
thermore, by 1847, a plantation had been thriving at Hanalei,
The Hawaiian Annual (Honolulu:
Bulletin press, 1941), p. 98.
Honolulu Star-
Kauai, for sometime?* In 1847 the Island of Kauai exported
26,243 pounds of coffee; in 1850, 208,428 pounds; but in
1854 exports had fallen down to 4,231 pounds.
There are
several causes that hindered the growth of the coffee indus­
Among them were climatic troubles, labor shortage,
fungus blight, land limitation, and fluctuations in price.
Climatic troubles.
In the early days people did
not have a clear understanding of the best method of growing
They simply planted the plants in any area where
land was available without taking into consideration the
effect of the climatic conditions on the plants.
of acres were cultivated here and there.
Soon they encounter­
ed droughts in certain areas, while in other parts of the
Territory floods were frequent.
In the Island of Kauai,
for instance, at one location the rainfall is 600 inches
while 20 miles away the average is 10 inches.
Under such
circumstance it is obviously impossible for coffee planta­
tions in both places to thrive successfully.
Labor shortage.
Another factor that hindered the
growth of the coffee industry, in the early days, was due
2* R. S. Kuykendall, A History of Hawaii (New York:
Macmillan co., 1926) p. 204.
Territorial Planning Board, First Progress Report;
An Historic Inventory of the physical, social and Economic
and Industrial Resources of the Territory of Hawaii (Honolulu:
Advertiser Publishing Co., Ltd., December 8, 1939) p. 94.
to labor shortage.
As we have noticed in the previous
chapter the population was dwindling very rapidly and there
was a labor shortage on the sugar plantations.
Before the
Oivil War the coffee growers had to pay $5.00 a day for a
farm hand. *
But this was too expensive for ordinary farm
When we realize that coffee culture requdr es a huge
labor force and the harvesting of coffee has to come in the
right time, then it is obvious that the growers suffered a
great deal, for when coffee is ripe, it has to be picked
immediately or the whole year*s investment is lost.
early coffee planters met this fate.
Fungus blight.
As in the case of sugarcane, the
coffee plants were attacked by certain parasites.
the middle of the nineteenth century nobody noticed any
scourge in the Hawaiian Islands, but since that time hundreds
of acres of coffee trees were attacked by the fungus blight.
The disease must have gained entrance in connection with the
importation of coffee plants from abroad.
"The blight was
a fungus parasite which grew over the surface of the leaves
and twigs giving them a black appearance, and in time killirg
the trees."5.
As a consequence coffee trees were uprooted
and sugarcane was planted in their place.
David Livingston Crawford, Paradox in Hawaii
Straford C o . , 1953) p. 136.
Ibid. . p. 137.
Land limitation.
As more and more sugarcane was
planted, more and more coffee lands were abandoned.
the years 1887 and 1898 when the price of coffee ranged
from $55.00 to $40.00 per one hundred pounds, there were
13,947 acres of coffee land, but in 1910, when the price
per 100 pounds was $12.30 the total number of acres devoted
6 .
to coffee was 4,000 acres.
During the first decade of the
present century up to the World War large tracts of land
were abandoned.
In certain sections in the District of
Puna, Hawaii, the writer has seen acres of abandoned coffee
fields with trees still growing wild.
During 1920 to 1929 there was a coffee boom in
Hawaii due to the valorization program of Brazil.
The price
was rather stable ranging from 25 cents to 28 cents per
Abandoned land as well as marginal lands were planted
with coffee; and the production of coffee increased from
four to ten million pounds in the years 1920 and 1929,
Stated in monetary terms, the 1920 crop
produced $671,332 while the 1929 crop raised $2,165,825.
This condition did not last very long, for with the abandon­
ment of the valorization program by Brazil, in 1929, the cof^e
price began to fall, and already in 1932 it had returned
to the 1901-1910 level.
It is said that there were 900
Territorial Planning Board, loc. cit.
coffee planters in 1952, but today there are only 600,
and plantings have diminished from 6,000 to 4,500 acres.
Kona coffee mainly for blending purposes.
All the
above factors have hindered the growth of the coffee indus­
Lands that were formerly used for the coffee planta­
tions have been taken over by the sugarcane, and with the
growth of the pineapple industry, coffee has become a
poor third in the agricultural industries of Hawaii.
cultivation of coffee is now centered in the District of
Kona, on the island of Hawaii, and coffee there is produced
chiefly for blending, purposes with other coffee of inferior
About 95 percent of Kona coffee is shipped to the
mainland, U. S. A., and foreign countries for that purpose.
In Table V, on the following page, is given the production
of coffee in Hawaii, since 1922.
With the limited land
area, combined with the keen competition of the foreign
coffee producing countries of S 0uth America, where production
costs are very low, it is unlikely that the coffee pro­
duction in Hawaii will be increased to any large extent
in the near future.
Th© Chamber of Commerce of Honolulu, General
Information About Hpnolulu. Hawaii, U. S. A. , and the
Territory Combined with Business Statistics (1935-1939)
p. 32.
(in thousands)
1 ,000,000
a * Figures for 1922-1937 derived from:
Planning Board, First Progress Report: An Historic Inventory
of the Physical, Social and Economic and Industrial Resources
of the Territory of Hawaii (Honolulu: Advertiser Publishing
Co., Ltd., December 8, 1939) p. 94.
Figures for 1938-1939 derived from: The
Chamber of Commerce of Honolulu, General Information About
Honolulu, Hawaii, U. S. A. , and the Territory Combined with
Business Statistics (1935-1939) p. 32.
Very favorable land area.
The K 0na District, on
the island of Hawaii, is well adapted for coffee growing.
The physical characteristics of Kona are conducive to the
production of one of the finest coffees in the world.
William T. Ukers states that
This coffee of Kona has a large bean, the new crop
being blue-green in color, but yellom^-brown when aged.
The old- crops are rich and mellow in the cup. Fancy Kona
coffee brings a high price, often selling on a par with
fancy Costa Ricas.
Kona blend well with any high grade
mild coffee.
They are especially popular on the Pacific
Coast of the United States.
Ideal climatic zone.
Kona is situated on the lee­
ward slopes of the two volcanic mountains, Hualalai and Maura
As the slopes are rather steep, the climatic zones
are narrow and almost parallel to the coast line.
The low­
est zone, running from sea level to about 800 feet, is too
arid and hot for coffee trees.
The next zone which is
called the ’’humid zone” extends from 800 to approximately
2,200 feet in altitude.
Here the rainfall increases from
40 inches a year at the lower portion to 80 inches or more
at the upper level.
All the coffee is grown in this zone,
9 * J. C. Ripperton, Coffee Cultural Practices in
the Kona District of Hawaii (Honolulu; University of Hawaii,
1955T7pP- 1-64.
10* William H. Ukers, All About Coffee (New York:Tea
and Coffee Journal C o . , 1935) p. 818.
which reduced in terms of miles is two miles wide and
twenty-five miles in length.As the two mountains are very near the sea coast,
the warm ocean breeze rises up the slopes, and then cools
forming into clouds.
Then in the afternoon rain begins to
fall gradually progressing down the slope.
Th® cloud blanket
forms almost every day during the warm summer months, and
of course makes it unnecessary for the Kona coffee growers
to plant shades to protect the coffee trees which are
maturing their crop.
In Kona the months between November and March, in­
clusive, are relatively dry; the rain begins in April and
continues up until October.
P0r this reason the rainfall
period coincides with the warm spring and summer months and
is ideal for the coffee growth.
P 0r instance, the spring
rain stimulates blossoming, aids in the maturing of the
berries, and assists the trees in their vegetative growth.
On the other hand, the dry season coincides with the picking
season, for during the months, from November to February,
coffee is picked.
good drainage.
It is known that coffee requires a soil with
If the topography of the land is flat and
the area composed of clay soils, the trees die.
the land has to be rather rough and sloping.
district meets this requirement.
The Kona
Kona soil Is open and porous and at the same
time does not dry readily.
It has a gravelly texture and provides better
drainage than the fine textured soil.
The latter is in­
clined to produce too much vegetative growth at the ex­
pense of fruiting, particularly in the upper levels, where
rainfall is great.
In Kona Hbluestonesrt are found which produce a
deep subsoil, very conducive to deep rooting.
The blue-
stones, while decomposing, create phosphates and potash.
Methods of cultivation.
It is very important to
have a proper method of cultivation of coffee, if the
planters expect to make a profit from their small farms, the
12 .
average acreage being five or six acres on each farm.
There are such phases as the clearing of the fields, planting,
weeding and fertilizing, pruning, and protection against
These will be considered as they are practised
in the Kona area.
Clearing of the fields for planting.
A farmer who
intends to start a new coffee orchard has to go through
tedious work before his trees start producing coffee for the
As the land of Kona is rather rough, consisting of
J. C. Eipperton, op. cit. , pp. 55-58.
Personal letter from Mr. Seiji Koshi, Asst. Mgr.
of Capt. Cook Store, Kona, Hawaii, December, 1940.
rocks and wild guava and lantana bushes, the farmer has to
use hand implements in clearing the land.
Machines are
impossible to utilize on rugged and rocky land.
The guava
and the lantana trees are carefully piled together and are
Rocks that are removable are stacked into piles or
are transported to build roads.
It is said that the cost
of clearing ranges from $75.00 to as high as $55000* per
acre, but the general average is about $150.00.
After the field is cleared, then lining is done to
indicate the approximate spacing of the plants.
varying from one to two cubic feet are made with a spacing
of about eight by nine to nine by ten feet.
There are two ways of obtaining seedlings.
One of the popular methods is to get volunteer seedlings
that are growing in abundance on the stone piles in the coffee
fields or in the abondoned coffee fields, where seedlings
are growing wild among guava and other trees.
These seed­
lings of three to eight inches are transplanted to a nursery
When they are about two or three feet tall they are
re-transplanted to the coffee field.
The above method is not scientific.
The scientific
method is to obtain seedlings from the fresh coffee cherry.
The ripe coffee cherries are scattered on the nursery bed.
J. C. Ripperton, op. cit. . p. 11.
They are covered with very fine soil one-half to one inches
in depth; and the hed is watered every day.
When the seed­
lings are four to eight inches high they are transplanted
to another nursery bed.
The rest of the procedure is
identical with the first method.
The advantage of the
scientific method lies in the fact that good quality seed­
lings are easily obtainable.
Fertilizing and weeding.
In Kona, commercial fer­
tilizers are used to a great extent.
In poor land areas
as much as 3,000 pounds of high grade commercial fertilizer
per acre per year are applied, with an average of
1,400 pounds on the better tilled areas.
1 , 2 0 0
Fertilizer is not
scattered as in the case of sugarcane, but holes are made
under each tree into which it is dropped.
izer is covered with soil.
Then the fertil­
In this way it is impossible
for the fertilizer to drift away and the tree has a chance
to nourish from it.
The writer has noticed a former school
mate working on his father*s farm applying fertilizer and
he w a s 'amazed at the dexterity with which this boy worked.
It appeared as if he were pouring a handful of this costly
fertilizer without any trouble, in fact, with ease; but
after all, one has to make a mathematical calculation before
hand and has to apply the fertilizer in the right proportion
to each tree.
No matter how much fertilizer one gives to the trees,
it is rather foolish to let the weeds thrive in an orchard.
To reduce human labor spraying is done with sodium arsenite.
As in the case of/the sugar field, a five gallon knapsack
is carried on the back in the same way.
It saves a great
deal in human labor, for it only requires one and one-half
days per man per acre, while in hoeing it requires five to
ten days. 14«
Coffee trees in Kona are pruned from five
to six feet in height.
It is necessary to prune because
the trees grow very tall and It is impossible for the farmers
to pick the berries.
the picking of coffee.
Pruning, in other words, facilitates
There are other reasons for pruning.
If left unpruned, a coffee tree becomes a mass of dead and
crossed branches.
Growth becomes very dense and poor
circulation of air will stimulate the growth of diseases.
Furthermore tall trees are more subject to damages from- the
strong wind.
Coffee disease. Coffee trees are subject to disease
likeother plants.
of the most serious ones is the die-
The leaves simply get yellow in the region of heavy
bearing and the branches die out.
S 0 far, no positive check
has been discovered to keep the plants from this disease.
Because the disease appears to originate on the branches of
Ibid. , p. 40.
heavy bearing, it is possible to reduce this disease by
minimizing the application of fertilizer and pruning in such
a way as to prevent excessive bearing.
The trees that are planted bear fruit
in three years; but it is always said that the best crops
begin about the fifth year.
As has been mentioned
already, the harvesting season comes around September end
continues up to February.
Those trees on the lower eleva­
tion, because of the warmer climate, bear fruit much earlier
each year than those trees on the higher elevations.
Is the main reason why the harvesting season seems to be
rather long.
Indeed Kona during the harvesting season is a very
boisterous place.
Everybody seems to be busy.
From early
in the morning until late in the evening, whole families go
to the field and pick the red coffee berries, which, when
picked, are called cherries.
Usually the school children
aid their parents in picking coffee, because the long school
vacation in Kona coincides with the harvesting season.
Says the assistant manager of the Captain Cook Store, Kona,
15‘ ’’Hawaiian Coffee Production of Today," Tea and
Coffee Trade Journal 70J14, January, 1936.
Hawai i j
In Kona the -school vacation starts in August and
ends in November.
This is' just in Kona.
We call it
coffee vacation, and during that time most of the coffee
is in season.
This coffee vacation started four or five
years ago.
From this you could easily see that we do not
have enough pickers-, unless the school children help us
to pick the coffee.
The cherries are packed in sacks and are
transported to the mills.
Here the coffee cherries must
go through several milling processes before they are ready
for marketing.
After the berries are washed, and the skins
are removed, they are passed over a long copper sieve in
twelve sections, with holes of different sizes, which sorts
out twelve grades of coffee.
Sacks are placed under each
section and when they are filled, they are taken to the
sorting room.
Here women and children remove all the defec­
tive beans by hand and all the good ones are ready for mar­
Relatively low earnings.
in a difficult economic position.
The coffee planters18, are
Let us start with the
* Personal letter from Mr. Seiji Koshi, Assistant
Manager, Capt. Cook Store, Kona, Hawaii, December, 1940.
This section is based mainly on information from
the Assistant Manager, Capt. Cook Store, Kona, Hawaii.
The coffee planters are Japanese in most instances.
earnings of the coffee pickers.
A coffee picker gets
sixty cents a hag of cherry picked and a good picker picks
about three hags a day, hut the average picker gathers only
two hags.
Therefore he makes from $1.20 to. $1.80 a day.
Many of the pickers are school children, however, who can
hardly pick more than one hag a day.
Now take the farmers' situation.
Many of the farmers
get $3.00 in advance each month from the Captain Cook Store,
run hy the Captain Cook Coffee Company, for each acre of
coffee farmed.
As the average farmer operates shout five
acres, he receives $15.00 a month from the Company, not in
cash hut in goods.
Formerly the Store used to charge in­
terest on this allowance, hut since the depression it is
not charging any more , according to the Assistant Manager
of the Store.
Of course the Store buys the coffee from the
small planters and then after the processing is done, it
ships the green coffee to the San Francisco roasters.
San Francisco the green coffee is roasted and blended with
other grades of coffee.
debt to the Store.
In most cases, the growers are in
If the price of coffee is good, then he
is able to wipe out the debt, hut if the price is low then
this year’s balance is carried on to the next year, and so
on down the line.
There seems to he no end to this deplorable
The average yield is 100.9 hags of cherry per acre
or 2,544 pound 3 of parchment, with an average Income per
acre of §164.83.
yields range from 27.4 to 197 bags per
acre, but an acre should yield
1 0 0
bags of cherry to be
’'High income farms average §362.66 per acre,
while low averages are only §89.68 per acre.
The total
average labor cost per acre is §104.11, including family
labor, but hired labor cost per acre is §33.29."
* From
this picture one can realize that the average farmer is
always in debt to the Store..
Ho perquisites.
On the sugar plantations the workers
are supplied with free water, fuel, and housing, and also
free hospitalization.
But in the case of the coffee growers
and laborers they have to supply their own.
In dry seasons
they have to worry about water, for in Kona water is kept
in tanks supplied by the rain.
There are no rivers and lakes
to furnish them with an abundant supply.
§1 . 2 0
If a worker makes
a day he has to'pay for his rent, personal care, food,
and clothing, hot to mention the expense involved in sending
his children to school.
He is not well to do.
Necessity of careful planning.
Although Kona is a.
very favorable area for the growing of coffee, it is impossi­
ble to compete with other coffee producing areas where
production costs are very low.
The other producing areas
Louise C. Mann, "Kona Coffee Production Stabil­
ized," Tea and Coffee Trade Journal 77:47, December, 1939.
are foreign countries which are able to produce coffee
at cost far below that of Kona producers.
Representing the
viewpoint of the coffee growers of Kona, Mr. Manuel C. de
Mello stated:
We are in the red and have been that way for some
We have not had any relief.
There is no tariff on
Th® coffee imported by Brazil hurts us. We
now raise 40,000,000 pounds to 50,000,000 pounds of
coffee. We raise the best grade of coffee.
I believe
if we are given statehood we will be benefited.
In other words coffee growers of Kona are eager to have
protective tariff.
But in attaining that objective state­
hood must be accomplished, because Hawaii could send two
senators and at least one representative to Congress.
these representatives would be able to voice their opinions
and demand protection for the coffee growers.
Aside from tariff protection, the growers should
form cooperatives to aid each other.
In the first place
a cooperative store would enable them to buy goods at a
cheaper price and would also enable them to let this-cooper­
ative store handle for them the marketing of coffee, instead
of depending on the Company Store.
the middle man would be eliminated.
In this way the cost of
The cooperative assoc­
* Statehood for Hawaii: Hearings before the Sub­
committee of the Committee on the Territories, House of
Representatives, Seventy-Fourth Congress,. First Session,
H.R. 3034, October 7-18, 1935.
(Washington, 1936) p. 207.
iation could also inaugurate a savings bank and aid each
farmer who is in need of cash for running his farm in an
Sugar is the leading industry in Hawaii employing
on a monthly average more than 45,000 workers, with an
annual payroll of more than (|27,000,000.
are more than
1 0 0 , 0 0 0
In fact there
employees and their families living
on the sugar plantations.
This big industry had had a very
poor start in the middle of the nineteenth century.
obstacles had to be surmounted, among them being the lack
of technique in the cultivation and processing of sugar,
the lack of labor, and the uncertainties of land ownership.
Since the Mahele. sugar received some impetus due to
the abolition of the feudalistic conception of land owner­
With the Civil War in the early ’sixties the Hawaiian
sugar growers profited tremendously by. supplying sugar to
the North, which was cut off from the sugar producing South.
The Gold rush in California In the ’forties had also stimu­
lated the production of sugar in Hawaii, but with the close
of the Civil War Hawaii was in a bad state, for with Ameri­
can import duties on her sugar exported to the Aainland, it
was difficult for a profitable sugar industry to exist.
problem was first settled by the Reciprocity Treaty between
the Kingdom of Hawaii and the United States in 1876, whereby
Hawaiian products, including sugar were admitted free into
the United States.
However, the problem was not solved
completely, for the Treaty could be abrogated, which would
mean complete disaster for the sugar industry in Hawaii.
The logical thing to do was to become a part of the United
This was done in 1898, and in 1900 Hawaii was
proclaimed a Territory of the United States.
The Hawaiian sugar plantations recruited their labor
supply from here and there, but the chief source of the labor
supply has been the Orient;
First from China up to 1898,
then from Japan from 1882 to 1907, and thirdly from the
Philippines from 1907 until recently.
This continuous
importation of cheap labor created a tremendous economic
problem on the part of the second generation youths in Hawaii,
especially the American citizens of Oriental ancestry.
They had no place to work on the plantations, for the menial
tasks were done by the imported laborers, while preferred
positions were reserved for the whites from the mainland,
In recent years, due to external circumstances, the
plantations began to center their attention on the youths
of Hawaii for the labor force.
Intensive propaganda cam­
paigns were conducted since 1932 and are still being
carried on.
In 1935, about
per cent of the workers of the
plantations were American citizens.
The most spectacular success of the sugar industry
has been attributed to the cooperative spirit among the
thirty-nine sugar plantations.
Their association is a volun­
tary one and is called the Hawaiian Sugar Planters' Associ­
It tries to solve many of the plantations* problems
ranging from recruiting of labor supply, fighting against
diseases, to the improvement of cane varieties, etc.
Another characteristic is the agency system.
are five principle agencies, which perform practically
everything for the thirty-nine p l a n t a t i o n s s o m e of the
functions including the shipping of sugar, acting as financial
agent, the purchasing of supplies for the plantations, and
defending the interests of the same.
Without mentioning the paternalistic system of the
plantations of Hawaii the picture of the sugar industry is
not complete, for the workers receive free housing, fuel,
free hospitalization and recreational facilities.
In addi­
tion, the employees are paid a turn out bonus of ten percent
of their earnings.
With the world-wide sugar depression In the early
thirties of this present century, Congress enacted the
Sugar Acts in 1934 and again in 1937, in order to limit
the production of sugar and aid the depressed sugar industry
within the Continental United States, and also in the insular
In the former Act Hawaii was rather humiliated by
being placed in the category of "foreign'* country.
the Hawaiians claimed, was due to the fact that Hawaii does
not have any representatives in Congress vsrith the right to
In other words Hawaii was discriminated against
simply because she was a Territory and had no vote in the
Movements were made for statehood, and Congression­
al Committees for the Territories were invited to Hawaii in
19 34 and 1937.
Th® Committees recommended a plebiscite
and in November, 1940, a plebiscite was held, the voters
voting two to one in favor of statehood.
With the invalidation of the A.A.A., Congress excluded
the invalidated provision of the Sugar Act and by Joint
Congressional resolution the Sugar Act of 1934 was extended
in the summer of 1935 up to December, 1937.
of 1937 has simplified the quota system.
The Sugar Act
Every December
the Secretary of Agriculture estimates the total sugar
consumption within the Continental United States for the
following year and apportions it according to the percentage
prescribed in the Law.
938,037 tons.
F0r 1940 the quota for Hawaii was
The Sugar Act requires each producer to meet
certain requirements before he Is entitled to benefit payments.
The requirements include the practice of soil conservation,
no employment of child labor, and payment of fair wages.
The Hawaiians claim that the sugar growers in Cuba and in the
Philippines profit from the Act without meeting the extra
costs due to the above requirements.
Furthermore, they
maintain, why should the sugar growers in the United States
limit their production and permit foreign growers to export
sugar into the United States?
Perhaps their viewpoint is
rather selfish, hut according to John T. Moir, Jr., manager
of the Pioneer Mill Co., at Lahaina, Maui:
In 1959 only six of the 37 sugar plantations showed
a profit in sugar operation.
The other 21 plantations
were forced to use reserves or borrow money to continue
business, and the sugar industry as a whole lost approx­
imately $4,000,000.
The second leading industry In Hawaii is the pineapple.
In 1939 the maximum number of employees exceeded 30,000,
while the minimum number was more than 10,000.
In the same
year the amount of the payroll was more than $10,600,000.
This industry had its start later than the sugar industry.
It had its Inception in the ‘eighties, but its growth has
been phenominal since 1898.
In the beginning the sugar
men were afraid that investment in the pineapple Industry
would ruin the sugar business.
But it was found later that
pineapples could be grown in areas where It was unprofitable
to grow sugarcane.
Therefore there developed a cooperative
attitude between the sugar and the pineapple growers,
rather than a brutal antagonistic relation.
In fact they
have cooperated In recruiting the labor supply and in
carrying on fighting campaigns against insects and plant
The Cayenne variety gave a real start in the pineapple
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, November 2, 1940, p.
This pineapple is very luscious and is well
adapted for canning.
With better methods of canning d e ­
vised by the Hawaiian Pineapple•Cannery, and with extensive
advertising campaigns, together with the cooperative spirit
among the members of the Hawaiian Pineapple Producers*
Association, the industry was able to expand tremendously.
It is known that there is a definite relationship
between the canned pineapple and other canned fruits, for
example, canned pears, peaches and the like .■ When people
consume more pineapples, less peaches are consumed, and
vice versa.
However, this does not mean that the consump­
tion of pineapple in the United States has reached its limit
and no further expansion of that industry is possible.
Many consumers are still not well acquainted with the canned
Herein lies the importanceof advertisements.
With the gradual increase in the population in this country,
there is no doubt that the pineapple industry will move in
the same direction.
The financial condition of the Hawaiian Pineapple
Company was so good that the Company paid an extra dividend
of fifty cents per share of stock in the summer of 1940.
Mr. Atherton Richard, President of the Company, declared, in
The Company's earnings of the past fiscal year prove
that the policy of continuing packing operations and
broadening consumption by intensifying our promotion
efforts was justified.
This program has resulted In
maintaining maximum employment, in the payment of
employment compensation totaling $5,713,539, and in
payment of this extra dividend.” *
Coffee is the third leading agricultural industry,
but a very poor third.
This coffee has been planted in
Hawaii since the ‘twenties of the past century, but due to
a great number of obstacles it has lost its footing from
the competition of the sugar and .the pineapple industries.
The most spectacular growth of the coffee industry was
between the period 1920 and 1929 when the country of Brazil
put into effect the valorization program.
During this
period the price of coffee was high and stable.
the year 1929 was the best coffee year.
In fact
With only a little
over 8,600,000 pounds of coffee the actual value of the
same was over $>2,165,000.
In comparison, 8,400,000 pounds
of coffee sold for only $946,000 in the year 1939.
So far as the production of coffee in Hawaii is
concerned it is fairly stabilized.
However, this does not
mean that production- will not increase if the coffee price
rises then the abandoned fields and the marginal fields will
again be given over to coffee production.
Moreover, in­
tensive application of fertilizer will be utilized to in­
crease the production in a limited area.
At the present
time the economic condition of the coffee planters is very
Most of them are in debt to the Company Store
and are barely making a livelihood.
It. is easy for them to
leave the coffee fields and seek other means of employ­
ment, but the many old people are unable to adjust themselves
to any new lines of economic endeavor.
It is obvious that
no one will employ an old man when there are thousands
of energetic young men seeking employment.
Under these circumstances it is important to have
a better economic planning not only on the part of the
planters, but also on the part of the government.
If the
youths and parents of the former in the coffee enterprise
expect to improve their economic condition, some sort of
cooperative association should be inaugurated.
They could
start a store from which better quality goods could be
purchased at a more reasonable price; they could eliminate
the middle man, and sell their coffee directly to the roasters
in San Francisco.
Finally, they could start a savings bank
to aid the farmer in times of emergency.
Last, but not the
least, their association could ask Congress or the Terri­
torial governments for* aid.
P erhaps the Federal Government
could set a quota on the amount of coffee to be imported
from foreign lands.
Since Hawaii produces less than one
percent of the world's supply of coffee, and since the youth
of the Kona area find it very difficult to migrate to the
mainland, U.S.A., due to the high cost of transportation,
a temporary relief is necessary.
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