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Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
As I sat here listening to the testimonies, I will say that it certainly has stirred the emotions but I say it because it comes from the heart and this is the kind of message that we have got to put across to our colleagues and to the Congress, and I just hope that perhaps the Guam Legislature will amend its law to allow a member of the Guam Youth Congress to serve on the commission.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. This is the kind of profound message they bring because it truly comes from the heart.
I cannot second more the tribute given by Congressman Blaz on what you have said. We have in Samoa an expression that you must show dignity behind the house before you can be dignified in front of the house. I wish I could say it in the Samoan language that my Chamorro cousins will not understand, but it is true, how can we go about preaching democracy throughout the world in the front while we have not cleaned up our back yard?
[Applause.] Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. I know General Blaz is a great marine general and I remember well in my days we didn't burn draft cards to show our loyalty, we quietly accepted what our government gave us as a responsibility and duty and I think that is the message that you young people have got to say a lot more often than Guam leaders ought to, that this is the loyalty America can expect, no less, no more.
We ought to do that for our Chamorro citizens.
I have questions, but I will not ask them. You were terrific. You made your point. Congratulations. Thank you.
Ladies and gentlemen, the next panel of witnesses are former members of the Commission on Self-Determination and Senators of Guam. The Honorable Frank Lujan, Honorable Paul Bordallo, and Honorable Peter Perez. PANEL CONSISTING OF FRANK LUJAN, PAUL BORDALLO, AND
PETER PEREZ Mr. DE LUGO. Your statements will be made a part of the record, gentlemen, and you may proceed as you see fit.
Mr. LUJAN. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Let me first commend the members of the young people of Guam for their stirring testimony.
The honorable members of the subcommittee, the gentleman from Puerto Rico, Guam's own General Blaz and the gentleman from American Samoa, my name is Frank Lujan. I don't hold any official position. I am just a part of the group here.
Mr. Chairman, as the chairman of the first political status commission established by the Twelve Guam Legislature back in 1973, I am very, very pleased that the original research done by that commission has contributed to the draft act that is before you now.
Mr. Chairman, yesterday you alluded to the conservatism of the executive branch, whether the president is a Democrat or a Republican.
stirriable meuam's name of the
I have a copy of a petition of the Pacific Daily News, dated August 21, 1979, and let me just read the banner headline, “White House Study Rules Out Independence, Statehood.”
This was the report by the interagency task policy review on the territories and the report was requested, the president then was Jimmy Carter.
Ten years hence, today, Mr. Chairman, on the commonwealth petition by the people of Guam, we heard all the objections from the same policy review committee, by a Republican Administration. So it seems, Mr. Chairman, the more things change, the more they remain the same.
In urging you to pass the Commonwealth Act as introduced, I had originally intended to touch briefly on three points.
On the first two points, and I will refrain from further discussion because they have been adequately presented, and that is the treaty obligation of the United States under the Treaty of Paris of 1898, the charter of the United Nations, and the principle of government by the concept of the governed.
Let me just add briefly to the remarks made by Mr. Arriola. During the long, hard fight, the long dark night of the Occupation of Guam by the military forces of Imperial Japan, which lasted two and a half years, Guam was the only American territory occupied during the Second World War.
In those two and a half years, Mr. Chairman, not one Chamorro betrayed the United States. We didn't have any christening in Guam, Mr. Chairman. As a matter of fact, and Mr. Arriola mentioned this, the native Chamorro priests, Father Duenas and his nephew were beheaded for assisting in hiding the sole surviving American sailor who hid, ran away from the Japanese and hid.
But incidently, Mr. Chairman, this survivor just recently passed away.
I know the red light is on, Mr. Chairman, but let me mention another thing. During the Vietnam War, 71 Chamorros gave their life, paid the supreme sacrifice and as the youth members alluded to, we did not burn our draft cards, we didn't march out in the streets, Mr. Chairman, chanting, hell no, we won't go.
We didn't march out in the streets, Mr. Chairman, chanting, hey, hey, L.B.J., how many did you kill today? No, Mr. Chairman, Guam marched to the beat of a different drummer. We went out into the streets singing God Bless America.
Laugh if you must, Mr. Chairman, or let others mock us, because of our naive attitude but when we see Old Glory flying up there, flying in the breeze, Chamorros see to it that it remains up there fettered. That is our attitude, Mr. Chairman.
Do not fail us, Mr. Chairman. We depend on you to be our advocate. You have a awesome job in persuading your other colleagues, the members of both the House of Representatives and in the Senate.
Take that ball, Mr. Chairman, run it for us.
of our in the breeze, attitude, MT We depende pour other
TESTIMONY OF FRANK G. LUJAN
ON A BILL TO CREATE
The status issue is not new to Guam at this time. It has long been of concern to the people of our Island.
The people of Guam have continuously sought local autonomy and full civil government. As early as 1902 Guamanians petitioned the U.S. government to establish their rights and liberties, declaring that "fewer permanent guarantees of liberty and property rights exist now than under, the Spanish domination." This petition was endorsed by the second Governor who referred to its "propriety and urgency" but still elective representation and self-government was not available. One of the first actions of the Guam Legislature, after it was first established in 1917, was to request the Governor to recommend to the President and Congress that the civil and political rights of the people be defined by an act of Congress. But nothing was done.
In the early '30's, the appointed naval Governor suggested that the fundamental rights of citizens now enjoyed by all Americans be proclaimed by the President and he also appealed for
Testimony of Frank G. Lujan
"some basic law or grant not subject to change at the will of the
This effort was coupled with the long quest for citizenship.
A petition by 1,965 Guamanian leaders to President Roosevelt
sought greater political recognition and was followed in 1936 by
the Guam legislature unanimously requesting citizenship. At its own expense--the federally appointed Naval Governor having
refused the use of public funds for this purpose--Guam sent a
delegation to Washington (Messrs. Baltazar Bordallo and Francisco
B. Leon Guerrero) in support of a citizenship bill. As a result,
in 1937 the first bill to confer u.s. citizenship for Guam was
introduced in Congress.
Hearings were held, Secretary of Navy
Swanson testified that it would be prejudicial to the best interests of the United States and the local inhabitants to grant such citizenship, and Secretary of State Cordell Hull, upon being pressed, also favored delay. The representatives of the Guam Congress based their case on the statements of the U.S. Naval governor's themselves and, suppressing any dissatisfaction they felt with naval rule, earnestly and sincerely indicated their desire to achieve the dignity and benefits of u.s. citizenship.
In Executive session the committee held hearings on the relationship of citizenship to international relations. Whatever this relationship was, it seemed benefitted by lack of citizenship for Guam for the bill died in committee.
World War II brought major ramifications in the United States and Guam status relationship. It proved, on the one hand,
Testimony of Frank G. Lujan
the loyalty and dedication of the people of Guam; and, on the other, the difficulty and basic injustice when major political institutions are not in the hands of those whom they are supposed to serve.
After the war, Guam continued to press for civil government and for United States citizenship. Guam's experience with naval government had been, not unexpectedly, very bleak. Many of the naval governors had earnestly worked for the people of Guam, but others had a much narrower perspective. All of them had a very short tenure so that the continuing concern which a people expects from its Executive was never present.
In July 1946 the first legislation providing an Organic Act for Guam was introduced in Congress. Since it would transfer jurisdiction from the Navy Department to the Department of the Interior, the issue of self-government for Guam became tied to the irrelevant question of an evaluation of the effectiveness of the Navy's past administration. As a result, there was further delay.
In January 1947, the Guam Legislature asked the naval Governor to give it the right to take action on revisions, amendments and enactments of local laws before they became law on the Island. In August, the Governor announced that the Guam Legislature was to have legislative authority, subject to his veto; or, if a bill were repassed by a two-thirds vote, to the ultimate decision of the Secretary of the Navy. The Governor