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United States Department of State / Index to the executive documents of the House of Representatives for the second session of the fiftieth Congress, 1888-'90
(1888-1889)

Germany,   pp. 570-684 PDF (48.6 MB)


Page 663


                             GERMANY.                          663
articles cantaining injurious statements against the Gfirman vice-consul
and the commander of His Imperial Majesty's ship Mvwe.
  The American Consul Canisius has been pointed out to us as the
author of two letters which Malietoa addressed to His Majesty the
Emperor, under the 18th and 25th of May, 1885. These letters con-
tained complaints with regard to the imperial representative iu Apia,
the demand of his recall, and an insulting critique of German military
measures. The successor of Dr. (anisius, Mr. Greenebaum, made op-
position to the German representative in everything, encouraging at
the same time Chief M alietoa and his provoking attitude towards Ger-
many. He arbitrarily announced, in a proclamation issued on the 14th
of May, 1886, the American protectorate over the Samoan Islands, and
hoisted, as a sign thereof, the American flag over the Samoan flag, a
proceeding which was disavowed by his Government. The enroach.
ments of the present representative of the United States in Apia have,
as you know, repeatedly given occasion to me to complain of his conduct
to Mr. Bayard.
  In view of the so friendly relations which have continued undisturbed
for more than a century between Germany and the United States, it is
remarkable that on that remote realm of islands, where neither America
nor Germany has any political interests to defend, we are exposed to
the continual ill-will of a. series of American representatives. There
are no local commercial rivalries which could explain such a fact.
  In this regard our relations to Great Britain are by far more difficult.
  The contiguity of the English and German possessions at the Cape, in
Zanzibar, in West Africa, New Guinea, and in different parts of the
South Sea leads to rivalries which can not always remain free from
frictions. Great Britain has much more occasion to be jealous of the
extension of German influence, and has, besides, to take into considera-
tion the claims and prejudices of her colonies, which, grown up under
the idea of a British monopoly of ruling in transatlantic countries, are
inclined to look upon foreign neighborship as an interference with the
sphere of their interests, or as a menace to their security. Especially
in the case of Samoa the British Government has, on account of the cov-
etousniess repeatedly shown by the New Zealanders of obtaining pos-
session of those islands, to contend with unusually great difficulties with
regard to a just and benevolent settlement of the there existing difficult-
ies with us. Nevertheless we are there in much better relations to
England than to America, although the commercial interests of Great
Britain in Samoa, though smaller than ours, are more considerable than
those of the United States.
   The American element has not aspired to a considerable commercial
 success on the Samoa Islands. The value of imports in Apia which have
 gone through the hands of American merchants amounts, according to
 the last statistical statements of 1885, to $92,000; that of German im-
 ports to $292,000. In the exports the German merchants participated
 with $280,000, the American merchants with only $31,000.
   The only large American firm in Apia, Grevesmiihl, Crawford & Co.,
 is now under the management of two Germans, the American partner,
 who lives in San Francisco, having lately withdrawn. At the end of
 the last year the staff of the German firms in Apia consisted of forty-
 six employ~s, that of the American firms only of seven. The German
 firms had established, outside of Apia, in Upolu, and on the otrher isl-
 Vnds of the Samoan group, fifty commercial stations and smaller trad-
 ing places--the American firms not a single one. The German firms in
 Apia owned, in 1885, 21 ships, with 1,519 tons, for the trade in the South


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