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them as a question of National policy and of National honor. If they have ignored this point of view, it is, I am sure, because they did not realize what and how much was involved.
Gov. Johnson's message to the President in reply was as follows:
SACRAMENTO, Cal., April 22, 1913. The President, Washington, D. C.:
Immediately upon receipt of your telegram of this date, it was transmitted to both houses of the Legislature. I think I may assure you it is the desire of the majority of the members of the Legislature to do nothing in the matter of alien land bills that shall be embarrassing to our own Government or offensive to any other. It is the design of these legislators specifically to provide in any act that nothing therein shall be construed as affecting or impairing any rights secured by treaty, although from the legal standpoint this is deemed unnecessary.
If any act be passed, it will be general in character relating to those who are ineligible to citizenship, and the language employed will be that which has its precedent and sanction in statutes which now exist upon the subject.
I speak, I think, for the majority of the Senate of California; certainly I do for the voting power of the State, when I convey to you our purpose to cooperate fully and heartily with the National Government and to do only that which is admittedly within our province without intended offense or invidious discrimination.
HIRAM W. JOHNSON.
Secretary of State Bryan was sent by the President to California to counsel with the State authorities, and at a conference of the Governor, the LieutenantGovernor and the members of the Legislature Mr. Bryan delivered the views of President Wilson on the proposed alien land legislation. The Secretary said California might exercise the fullness of her right as a State and enact a rigid law barring Orientals from land ownership, but such action would be against the wishes of the National Administration.
The Secretary of State counseled delay, and as various alternatives suggested that a new treaty with Japan might be sought; that a commission might be appointed to investigate the alien situation with the aid of the President, and finally that if an alien land law seemed imperative its terms should not be such as to give offense.
A compromise measure which had been drafted by Attorney General Webb at Governor Johnson's suggestion, dropped the phrase "ineligible to citizenship,” which was declared by Secretary Bryan to be odious to the Japanese. The principal features of the bill were as follows:
1. All aliens eligible to citizenship may acquire and hold land in the same manner as citizens of the United States.
2. All other aliens may acquire and hold land "in the manner and to the extent and for the purposes prescribed by any treaty now existing between the Government of the United States and the nation or country of which such alien is a citizen or subject."
3. Corporations composed of aliens other than those who are eligible to citizenship may acquire and hold land only according to the terms of existing treaties.
4. Present holdings of aliens, regardless of their rights of citizenship, are protected.
FIRST OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPH OF PRESIDENT WOODROW WILSON AND HIS CABINET TAKEN IN THE CABINET ROOM AT THE CAPITOL, WASHINGTON,
D. C., MARCH 6TH.
In the background from left to right,
In the foreground from left to right,
5. The State specifically reserves its sovereign right to enact any and all laws relating to the acquisition or holding of real property by aliens.
In drafting the compromise measure Attorney General Webb worked upon the theory that there could be no objection to writing into the statute the specific limitations of the Japanese treaty of 1911
The bill reaches its purpose in two ways:
First-On the death of an alien land owner the bill provides that his ownership ceases and that the property must be taken over by the Probate Court and sold to the highest bidder. Under its terms an alien cannot bequeath real property except to a citizen. The proceeds from the sale of such land are distributed to the heirs by the court.
Second-No leases whatsoever are permitted. Originally it was planned to permit leases covering a maximum period of three to five years, but the Webb act denies this opportunity for colonization by aliens and provides that any lease of agricultural lands is subject to escheat to the State on the day it is begun. To make this more effective the bill provides that when suit is begun to escheat such leases the court shall appraise the lease, sell the property at a forced sale and pay the value of the lease to the State. The remainder of the proceeds shall go to the citizen owner of the land.
Substantially, it is true that the ineligibility to citizenship of the Japanese and Chinese is the keynote of the Webb bill, said Governor Johnson, and if it is determined by the courts of last resort that these aliens could become citizens, then, of course, they would not be affected by this act.
However, up to this time it never has been suggested that the Japanese were eligible to citizenship, and the language of the federal statutes seems very clear on this point.
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:
WHEREAS, By the first article of the Convention between the Governments of the United States, Great Britain, Japan and Russia for the preservation and protection of the fur seals and sea otter which frequent the waters of the North Pacific Ocean, concluded at Washington July 7, 1911, it is provided as follows:
The High Contracting Parties mutually and reciprocally agree that their citizens and subjects respectively, and all persons subject to their laws and treaties, and their vessels, shall be prohibited, while this Convention remains in force, from engaging in pelagic sealing in the waters of the North Pacific Ocean, north of the thirtieth parallel of north latitude and including the Seas of Bering, Kamchatka, Okhotsk and Japan, and that every such person and vessel offending against such prohibition may be seized, except within the territorial jurisdiction of one of the other Powers, and detained by the naval or other duly commissioned officers of any of the Parties to this Convention, to be delivered as soon as practicable to an authorized official of their own nation at the nearest point to the place of seizure, or elsewhere as may be mutually agreed upon; and that the authorities of the nation to which such person or vessel belongs alone shall have jurisdiction to try the offense and impose the penalties for the same; and that the witnesses and proofs necessary to establish the offense, so far as they are under the control of any of the Parties to this Convention, shall also be furnished with all reasonable promptitude to the proper authorities having jurisdiction to try the offense.
And, WHEREAS, By an Act entitled "An Act to give effect to the Convention between the Governments of the United States, Great Britain, Japan and Russia for the preservation and protection of the fur seals and sea otter which frequent the waters of the North Pacific Ocean, concluded at Washington July seventh, nineteen hundred and eleven," approved August 24, 1912, it is provided that the President of the United States shall determine by proclamation when the other parties to said Convention, by appropriate legislation or otherwise, shall have authorized the naval or other officers of the United States, duly commissioned and instructed by the President to that end to arrest, detain, and deliver to the proper officers of such parties, vessels and subjects under their jurisdiction, offending against said Convention or any statute or regulation made by those Governments to enforce said Convention; and that his determination shall be conclusive upon the question.
Now, THEREFORE, I, WOODROW Wilson, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the power and authority conferred upon me by the said Act approved August 24, 1912, do hereby declare that satisfactory information has been received by me that the Governments of Great Britain, Japan and Russia have authorized the naval or other officers of the United States to arrest, detain, and deliver to the proper officers of such Governments, respectively, all persons and vessels subject to their jurisdiction, offending against said Convention, or against any statute or regulation made by those Governments to enforce its provisions; and I do further declare that from and after the date of this Proclamation any person or vessel subject to the jurisdiction of the United States offending or being about to offend against the prohibitions of said Convention, or of said Act, or of the regulations made thereunder, may be seized and detained by the naval or other duly commissioned officers of any of the parties to the said Convention other than the United States, except within the territorial jurisdiction of one of the other of said parties, on condition, however, that such person or vessel so seized and detained shall be delivered as soon as practicable at the nearest point to the place of seizure, with the witnesses and proofs necessary to establish the offenses so far as they are under the control of such party, to the proper official of the