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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 680


  680                         FOREIGN     RELATIONS.
  peals was not recognized for the six months preceding the withdrawal of
your gov-
  ernment from the municipality convention; and even had this*not been the
case, I am
  not prepared to admit that the fact that you once held this position gives
you any
  power superior to that of your consular colleagues over the municipal property
when
  tho municipality has ceased to exist. And equally inadmissible in my opinion
is any
  claim to a special control over the piiot-house, because, as you state,
the Germans
  have paid more than one-half of the municipal dues out of which the building
uf the
  pilot-house was defrayed, a statement which does not accord with the belief
of Ameri-
  can and English residents.
    The rights of the subjects of the three treaty powers in the municipal
government,
  as in participation in the municipal government, have been treated uniformly
as
  equal.
    Regarded as the property of these, the rights of their consular representatives
in
  the pilot-house are therefore the same, excepting that the house being
on my land, it
  would seem proper that if there is to be any custodian of it pending the
division of
  the municipal, that custodian should be myself.
    And, finally, without criticising your action in interrupting the course
of orderly
  negotiations by an undue measure, calculated to forestall their results,
I have to in-
  form you that these negotiations can proceed no further until the property
in quf stion
  is vacated, and in the name of my Government I ask that this be done without
de-
  lay.
       I am, etc.,
                                                       HAROLD MARSH SEWALL.
                                    [Inclosure 7.]
                              Mr. Becker to Mr. Sewall.
               IMPERIAL GERMAN CONSULATE FOR THE SOUTH SEA ISLANDS,
                                                         Apia, February 14,
1888.
   I hereby acknowledge the receipt of your polite note of the 14th instant,
relative
 to the pilot-station.
   I regret to say that I am unable to find any reasons in your note why
I should take
 a different course from that which has already been taken by me in this
matter.
   In the mean time, however, the case has reached a new phase, and, in connection
 therewith, I beg to be allowed to make the following remarks:
   In our previous correspondence, since no claim was raised by the German
Govern-
 ment to the land of the pilot-station, I had no occasion to examine the
titles on which
 you base your claim to the land. Your claim to the land in question having
now be-
 come known at Apia, Mr. Edward Weber, as the representative here of the
principal
 agency of the German Trade and Plantation Company, called upon me to-day,
and
 showed me a contract concluded between Chief Laiafi Patiole and the aforesaid
 principal agency. According to this contract, which was recorded in the
register of
 the German consulate on the 19th of February, 1885, Chief Patiole mortgaged
a num-
 ber of pieces of land, among them that on which the pilot-house stands,
to the afore-
 said principal agency, and the said pieces of land have, according to the
provisions
 of the contract, inasmuch as the amount of the mortgage was not paid at
the time
 fixed, become the property of the German Trade and Plantation Company. That
 company asserts its right to the land in question, and has taken possession
thereof.
   Under these circumstances I can not admit that the land of the pilot-station
is the
.property of a citizen of the United States of America, and can only suggest
that you
assert your claim against the above-named company by an appeal to the courts.
  As to the pilot-house, I have not thought it necessary, in view of this
change in the
state of the case, to have it removed from the placeawhere it now stands.
      Accept, sir,
                                                                  BECKER,
                                                               Imperial Con8ul.
                                   [Inclosure 8.]
                             Mr. Sewall to Mr. Becker.
                             CONSULATE-GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES,
                               *                        Apia, February 16,
1888.
 SIR: I have the honior to acknowledge the receipt yesterday of your favor
dated
the 14th instant, in which you inform me that the German firm has taken *possession


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