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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 665


                                 GtRMANY.                               
6o6
sUrrender, who consequently gained considexable time, and his further attitude
cor-
responded in no way to the friendly disposition which he had manifested by
the said
offer. He issued a proclamation by which he emphatically declared, in the
name of
his Government, that he continued to consider Malietoa to be King of Samoa.
  This proclamation naturally encouraged Malietoa, who was then, according
to re-
liable information, just about to surrender himself, and he consequently
desisted from
his decision.
  Moreover, the natives were cautioned not to recognize Tamasese and not
to send
delegates to the assembly called by the latter to a meeting on the 15th of
September.
Meetings of followers of Malietoa have taken place in Mr. Sewall's house,
and Malie-
toa is said to have been there several times at night.
  Mr. Sewall protested-in the name of the United States against all measures
taken
  by German officials in the interest of the maintenance of peace and Order
as against
  violations of the treaties.
  On the 26th of August the regular meeting of the municipal council was
going to
  take place. Mr. Sewall ordered, with reference to Article VIII of the municipal
  convention, Municipal Judge Martin to hoist the flag of Malietoa, and declared
at the
  same time that the municipal council could only meet under that flag. Consul
Becker
  pointed out that Article VIII gave a right to the Samoan Government, but
not to the
  consuls, to hoist the Samoan flag, and that he could, of course, not attend
a meeting
  under the flag of a chief who was in war with Germany. He referred to the
fact that
  never at any meeting held in the course of this year, a flag had been hoisted
on the
  municipal building. As Mr. Sewall insisted upon his order being carried
out, no more
  municipal sessions could take place.
  Even the establishment of Tamasese in Mulinuu, the former seat of government
of
  Malietoa, was declared by the American consul-general as a violation of
the munici-
  pal convention. Moreover, he protested against the proclamation issued
on the 27th
  of August by the commander of the German squadron, and subjecting, in the
interest
  of general security, the circulation on public streets to certain restrictions.
Inciting
  false rumors were put into circulation that the Germans intended to burn
down Apia;
  a considerable part of the population was induced by these rumors to abandon
their
  huts and to flee into the forests.
                                    [October 9.1
   The American consul-general has lowered the flag of the consulate after
Malietoa's
 surrender. Municipal sessions have not taken place. English and American
sub-
 jects, especially the representatives of the firm McArthur & Co., of
New Zealand,
 avail themselves, assisted by their consular agents, of every opportunity
to. create
 conflicts with the Samoan Government and with the Germans. Englishmen and
Amer-
 icans have, iu cases where the ownership of real estate was disputed between
them
 and Germans, surrounded such property with fences and tried to secure to
themselves
 the possession thereof by hoisting the national flags; the same has been
done on sev-
 eral roads, even at the sea-shore, both of which are to be considered as
public prop-
 erty.
   Consul-General Sewall has asserted in a general way, and also in conversation
with
   our consul, that it was his intention to hold Tamasese responsible for
the violation
   of the treaties, which he thinks has taken place, as soon as he would
have the power
   to do so.
                                  [Apia, October 13.]
    On the request of the Samoan Government, Mr. Martin has arrested, on
the 11th
  of October, a Samoan subject named Tamasen, who was accused to have stolen
the
  line of the flag-mast before the Government building in Apia. On the evening
of the
  same day, after 10 o'clock, Consul-General Sewall proceeded to the municipal
building
  and demanded from the guardians that the prisoner be set at liberty. As
the latter
  refused to comply with his demand, he put himself into the possession of
the keys of
  the prison and liberated said Tamasen in person. On the next morning Mr.
Sewall in--
  form*ed Mr. Martin that he was no longer entitled to act as magistrate,
and that he
  had to leave the municipal building. Mr. Sewall has not informed our consul
of his
  action. The municipality is consequently suspended.
    A continuation of such a state of affairs would have greatly endangered
life and
  property of the German subjects. There was no protection by the police,
the for-
  eigners did not recognize the native government, and the latter is not
strong enough
  to maintain order. If the American consul-general arbitrarily liberates
a prisoner,
  there seems to be good reasons for expe3ting excesses of a more serious
character.


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