Page images

qualified for the post of Governor. Let me also point out that the man elected to be our first Delegate to Washington, the Honorable A. U. Fuiamono was, and is, one of the most distinguished of the high chiefs of Samoa. It may well be that the electorate would also choose a high chief to be Governor, but I believe that the decision whether an elected Governor should be from among the high chiefs should be left to the people. In short, I believe the electorate should be free to select a Governor on the basis of his personal qualifications not on the basis of his status in the traditional chiefly hierarchy. I say this as a high chief who is deeply committed to the preservation and perpetuation of traditional Samoan custom.

Finally, I would like to address myself to the contention that popular election of our Governor should await congressional passage of an organic act permanently establishing Samoa's political relationship with the United States. I see no need to withhold this measure of selfgovernment pending resolution of the many issues involved in formulating an organic act. While there may be many difficult legal, social, and economic questions involved in the passage of an organic act, the principle of an elected Governor is clear. It is basic to our legitimate desire to control our own affairs.

In this connection, it should be noted that our Future Political Status Study Commission specifically recommended that the status of American Samoa as an unincorporated and unorganized territory be retained for the time being and also specifically recommended popular election of the Governor. There is no contradiction between these two recommendations. Under our present status, with amended constitutions periodically drafted by Samoan leaders and promulgated by the Secretary of the Interior, we have made steady evolutionary progress toward self-rule.

We wish to continue this evolutionary process. We do not wish, at this time, to change our flexible relationship with the Federal Government by an organic act. In the past 2 years, we have seen our first elected Delegate in Washington and we have seen our legislature change from a part-time to a full-time body. The next logical step in this evolutionary process is the election of our own Governor.

In conclusion, I want to say that it is a great privilege and responsibility to be among this generation of Samoan leaders. For centuries before our time, generations of Samoan leaders were born and died having experienced only responsibility for the conduct of the internal affairs of our islands under well established and ancient customs. In recent years, our leaders have had to deal with outside political ties with modern nations as well as with internal matters.

In a sense, the Samoan leaders of my generation occupy a historical position analogous to that of the Founding Fathers of the American Republic. The decisions and commitments we make in our political relations with the United States will be of lasting importance for future generations of Samoans. We Samoan leaders are cautious and thoughtful men. Like the Founding Fathers, we do not urge fundamental changes lightly. But like the Founding Fathers, we are determined to control our own affairs within our own lifetime.

Thank you.

Mr. BURTON. Senator, I want to commend you for a most thoughtful and moving speech and statement. Further, I would like to assure you


[ocr errors]

as long as this member is chairman of this subcommittee, we shall do all we can to strengthen and preserve the customs and traditions of your great people and do nothing to impose ideas of ours which may not make sense to the people who live in American Samoa.

Are there any questions by any members of the subcommitte?

Mr. Córdova. Mr. Chairman, I too, want to commend the Senator on his very impressive statement. I am in complete sympathy with the feelings he has expressed.

Senator, tell me, how many members are there in the Senate of Samoa?

Mr. AUMOEUALOGO. Eighteen, sir.

Mr. Córdova. Eighteen. They are chosen by the chiefs, I understand, by the councils.

Mr. CÓRDOVA. Is that done by secret ballot?

Mr. AUMOEUALOGO. They decide among themselves, in accordance with customs.

Mr. CÓRDOVA. And the other house is elected popularly, I understand.

Mr. AUMOEUALOGO. Yes, sir.
Mr. CÓRDOVA. And that is by secret ballot ?
Mr. AUMOEUALOGO. Yes, sir.

Mr. CÓRDOVA. And they, too, are in agreement with the elected Governor measure?

Mr. AUMOEUALOGO. Yes, sir; that is right.
Mr. CÓRDOVA. In unanimous agreement, I understand?
Thank you.
Mr. BURTON. The gentleman from Pennsylvania.
Mr. VIGORITO. May I ask, how many members are there in the house?

Mr. AUMOEUALOGO. There are 20, plus one nonvoting, that is the member representing the Swain's Island which is a very small island with a population of about 70 people.

Mr. BURTON. Is Swain's Island historically a part of Samoa?
Mr. AUMOEUALOGO. Ever since 1925, I think, yes.

Mr. BURTON. But before then, not. How many Samoans live on Swain's Island ?

Mr. AUMOEUALOGO. I think we have a Samoan teacher and a Samoan minister, but most of the people are from the Tokelau Islands. But they are American citizens. They have been born there.

Mr. Burton. That is very interesting. I have only been chairman of this committee for 15 months but often wondered where Swain's Island was, and what. Do you agree

that it would be useful if we came to American Samoa ? Would it be helpful to us, would it be helpful to the people that my committee have an opportunity to have a firsthand view of this beautiful area? Mr. AUMOEUALOGO. I greatly appreciate and I think we urge you to

I come so that you can hear more views in connection with this matter.

Mr. BURTON. I would like at this point to state that the members of our subcommittee have many other congressional responsibilities and it is to their credit when they find time to go to any of the offshore areas that are within the jurisdiction of this committee. It is obviously


impossible to make the best kind of judgment if you are dealing with people and an area that you have never even visited and seen. You can fully understand a problem, only if you have visited first hand. At some point I am going to encourage every member of this subcommittee to see if they can find the time to make this very long trip because I just don't believe we can exercise the wisest judgment unless we get an opportunity to meet the people, see the area, and develop our own impressions first hand.

I want to thank you very much, Senator.
Mr. AUMOEUALOGO. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Córdova. Mr. Chairman, may I here say that particularly after having considered this matter this morning. I concur fully in the Chairman's suggestion of the need for us to visit and see Samoa.

I certainly have felt it today, myself, and I propose, although I am the sole representative of my people here and therefore always busy, I propose to find time somehow to join the subcommittee in visiting Samoa if it is at all possible.

Mr. AUMOEUALOGO. We greatly appreciate that, when the subcommittee comes.

Mr. BURTON. That will be very helpful.
Thank you very much, Senator.

I have been told, and let me be sure this information is correct, I have been told the Honorable Eddie Meredith, the Honorable Poumele, and the Honorable Lutali were not able to make this morning's meeting. Is that correct? All right. We will now proceed with Representative Ma'o Tima.

STATEMENT OF HON. MA'O TIMA, REPRESENTATIVE Mr. Burton. Please proceed, Representative. Welcome to our subcommittee.

Mr. TIMA. Thank you, Honorable Gentlemen and members of the Subcommittee on Territorial and Insular Affairs.

May I take this opportunity to express my views since these hearings are being conducted while we are in the District of Columbia for other business, and it is a shame for me to return to Samoa without voicing my views on the proposed legislation.

As an individual member I would like to put in the record my supporting of the proposed legislation before this subcommittee. Seventytwo years of American flag in Samoa is quite a time and it is about time to give the Samoans a sort of decree for self-determination.

Therefore, I suggest any further action by this subcommittee, a visit to American Samoa is required, and to end up, I would like to answer any questions put out by the members in order to clarify my point of view.

Thank you.

Mr. Burton. Thank you very much, Representative Tima.

Our next witness will be the Honorable Richard Lowe. Is he present?

Would you come forward.

Mr. ASPINALL. Mr. Chairman, as former Governor Lowe comes to the witness stand, may I say he was Governor of Samoa when I visited Samoa for the first time. In my book perhaps he was the first effective appointive Governor to Samoa. He has seen a lot develop since that time.

Mr. Lowe also served as Governor of Guam for a while, one of those dedicated public servants who served in many capacities as a schoolman, then in the service, and then as an administrator.

I am very pleased, Barry, that you are back here this morning. I don't know what you are going to say, but I will listen intently.



Governor Lowe. Thank you.

As a former Governor of American Samoa, I am happy to say that I feel that the people of Samoa are ready to have the right to elect their Governor and Lieutenant Governor and I support the bill which will give them this privilege.

I feel that the Samoan people are sufficiently sophisticated politically to elect good men to these positions.

I feel that this is true in relationship to Western Samoa, who have obtained complete independence. The people of American Samoa are ready for election of the Governor as people of Western Samoa were ready for their independence 10 years ago, and the people of Tonga who have a

Mr. ASPINALL. They have got a king. Goveror Lowe. A kingdom. Mr. BURTON. Governor, first, we are delighted to have you with us. The bill, as drafted, requires that the Governor and Lieutenant Governor be linked so in effect the election of one carries with it the election of the other.

Would it be your best judgment that we require that linkage or that we let each man, candidate for Governor and candidate for Lieutenant Governor, be elected even if they may or may not be in agreement ?

Governor LOWE. I think they should be in agreement.
Mr. BURTON. You do.
What are you doing these days, Governor?
Governor LOWE. I am retired.
Mr. BURTON. Are you enjoying it?
Governor Lowe. Yes, I am.
Mr. BURTON. The chairman of the full committee.

Mr. ASPINALL. I have just the one question of Barry. I appreciate my relationship and friendship with him and his lovely wife, Emmy Lou, for many years.

You heard the statement this morning from the administration, Governor. Do you believe that there are certain procedures that we must take care of before we finally make our final decision approving the election of the Governor and the Lieutenant Governor?

Governor LOWE. I think they should be citizens of American Samoa, definitely, because Western Samoans come over and they are given the same privilege of immigration and I think that they ought to be American Samoan citizens.

Mr. ASPINALL. And also, do you feel that there may be some necessity of changing our structural relationship with the Department of

the Interior before the election—the right to elect the Governor takes place?

Governor LowE. No; I don't think so.

Mr. ASPINALL. You think that can be done without any change at the present time.

Governor LOWE. It can be done without any changes.

Mr. AsPINALL. Let me ask you: How effective do you think it would be, Governor, to permit the election of a Governor and Lieutenant Governor in Samoa at the present time and have all of the financing or practically all of the financing taken care of by the American Government, the U.S. Government, itself! Do you think that that is

Governor LowE. I think it is essential that the American Government assume responsibility of financing.

Mr. ASPINALL. To what extent?
Governor Lowe. To the full extent.
Mr. ASPINALL. To the full extent.

Governor Lowe. The full extent necessary, in addition to what their local revenues may be.

Mr. ASPINALL. Thank you very much.

Mr. BURTON. Thank you very much, Governor. It was very good of you to come here and give us the benefit of your experience and wise opinion.

Mr. Pele.


(Also known as) IVI S. PELE, J.D. Mr. BURTON. Without objection, the statement of Mr. Pele will be inserted in the record in full at this point. That will permit the witness to hit those highlights that he thinks might best be brought to the attention of the committee.

Mr. PELE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. (The statement follows:)


J.D.), PAGO PAGO, AMERICAN SAMOA I am an adult citizen of American Samoa, 32 years old, married and has six children, educated in the United States, earned a BA degree from California State College at Los Angeles in 1963, and received a Juris Doctor of Law degree from the University of Van Norman, School of Law, Los Angeles, California in 1967. During the past five years, I have been and is now engaged in the 'private practice of law' in American Samoa. I am one of the founders of the Democratic Party of American Samoa, said party was founded and organized in 1968, and I had the privilege and pleasure of serving as its first Chairman, 1968 through 1970.

I am here, as the representative of the American Samoan Democratic Party, a concerned Samoan, and as one of the members of the Pele Family. My forefather, PELE FIA, was one of the two (2) signatories, at the request of and in the presence of the Chiefs and Representatives of Tutuila ceding our “islands”/ or/"District of Tutuila" to this Great Country back in April 17th, 1900. I am here to testify for the two measures introduced by Mr. Philip Burton of the Golden State of California, and Mr. Spark M. Matsunaga from the 50th State of the Union and our Polynesian-brother-State of Hawaii, endorsing and supporting such measures providing for popular elections of our Governor and lieutenant Governor this year, 1972.

« PreviousContinue »