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No. 130.- Consul Cusack-Smith to the Marquess of Salisbury.
(Received October 21.) elegraphic.)
Samoa, October 14, 1891. PRESIDENT of Municipal Council resigned on the 5th October, ving to misunderstanding with German member of Council ranging to hand over funds to German Weber. Consular ody protest. President of Council refuses to hand over funds
Consular Body. Chief Justice absent in Australia : returns in Tovember.
Despatches will reach home the 11th November.
No. 131.–Foreign Office to Consul Cusack-Smith. IR,
Foreign Office, October 23, 1891. I Am directed by the Marquess of Salisbury to acknowledge the receipt of your despatch of the 8th ultimo, suggesting that the Consular Body at Apia should be relieved from the labour of revising any Municipal Regulations, &c., other than those dealing with offences punishable by fine or imprisonment.
This arrangement would entail an amendment of the provisions of section 3, Article V, of the Final Act of the Berlin Conference, which runs as follows:
“ All Ordinances, Resolutions, and Regulations passed by this (i.e., the Municipal Council before becoming law shall be referred to the Consular Representatives of the three Treaty Powers sitting conjointly as a Consular Board, who shall either approve and return such Regulations, or suggest such amendments as may be unanimously deemed necessary by them.”
I am to inform you, in reply, that, in the opinion of Lord Salisbury, it is desirable that the provisions in question should be subjected to the test of experience for a longer period before the question of amending them by another International Act can be entertained.
I am, &c., T. B. Cusack-Smith, Esq.
T. H. SANDERSON.
No. 133.--Foreign Office to Consul Cusack-Smith.
Foreign Office, October 27, 1891. LORD SALISBURY has had some conversation with the German Ambassador on the subject of the resignation of the President of the Municipal Council of Apia, which was reported in your telegram of the 14th instant, and of which 'news has also reached the German Government.
Count Hatzfeldt observed that, in the opinion of the Germai Government, it would be a misfortune if Baron Senfft's service were lost. They hoped he might reconsider his decision.
Lord Salisbury quite concurs in this view, and requests you ) use your best endeavours to arrange any personal difficulties whic: may have arisen, and to induce Baron Senfft von Pilsach to withdraw his resignation.
I am, &c., T. B. Ousack-Smith, Esq.
No. 134.–Foreign Office to Consul Cusack-Smith. SIR,
Foreign Office, October 31, 1891. In my despatch of the 8th September last you were instructe! to request the Chief Justice of Samoa to give a liberal interpretation to section 2, Article IV, of the Final Act, in order to prutak for any expenditure that might be necessarily incurred by the Lazd Commissioners.
Her Majesty's Government still consider that the decision as to the necessity for such expenditure should rest with the Chie? Justice, but I am directed by Lord Salisbury to inform you that, in cases where the Chief Justice finds a difficulty in sanctioning expenditure that is recognized by the Consuls of the three Powers to be absolutely necessary, you are authorized, in conjunction with your colleagues, to exercise your discretion as to whetber any such items should be sanctioned. The unanimous consent of the tree Consuls will, under such circumstances, be held sufficient to justify the disbursements.
I am, &c., T. B. Cusack-Smith, Esq.
No. 135.-Consul Cusack-Smith to the Marquess of Salisbury.
(Received November 12.) MY LORD,
Samoa, October 14, 1891. I HAVE the honour to report that the Consuls have been informed that a private letter has been received, by the steane Lubeck, which arrived on the 11th, from the Chief Justice of Samon, stating that he is in Australia, and will not return to Samoa fu another month.
Meanwhile, a Swede bere has seriously stabbed either a British or an American subject, who is not expected to recover. There no jurisdiction to try the offender, and he was at large, boasting of his act, until yesterday, when, owing to the indignant remarsi of certain residents, the Clerk of the Supreme Court consented to
ve him arrested and remanded for a week; but the Clerk's wers are very limited, and probably he will not feel justified
detaining the offender in custody without trial for a whole onth.
I have already been obliged to refer to the absence of the Chief istice without leave and against the express wish of the King id Government in my despatches of the 15th August and 2nd ptember.
I shall be glad to have instructions whether I am to pay the ritish share of the salary of the Chief Justice for the month
September, during which he has been absent without leave from s duties.
I have, &c., he Marquess of Salisbury.
T. B. CUSACK-SMITH.
Yo. 138.-Baron Senfft von Pilsach to the Marquess of Salisbury.
(Received November 13.)
Apia, October 13, 1891. I HAVE the honour to acquaint you that on the 5th October have tendered my resignation to King Malietoa, by whom I have seen appointed as President of the Municipal Council of Apia on he 6th May of this year. Since in this capacity I had been agreed ipon by the three Powers signing the Berlin Treaty, I found myself jbliged, when I took the aforesaid step, to ask the three respective Governments for their approval, and beg leave to submit herewith most respectfully such a request to your Lordship.
At the beginning of the month of August I had occasion to draw King Malietoa's attention to some bad consequences which would occur if the King allowed irresponsible persons to induce him to take official measures. I got the impression that the King understood my advice, and under that impression I have continued my work.
On the 3rd October I read in the local newspaper a correspondence between King Malietoa and a German member of the Municipal Council. By chance this was the same gentleman whose interference in Government affairs had already caused the aforesaid advice on my part. The correspondence consisted of a letter from him, dealing again with a matter concerning solely the Samoan Government, and of King Malietoa's answer. The answer was dated twelve days later than the letter, and concurred in the views of its writer. Before I read the correspondence I had no knowledge of it, although the letter addressed to the King interfered just in my official province, the financial administration, and although it coutained personal attacks against my sense of duty.
It was the King himself who then, upon my request, confrmed that indeed the correspondeuce had taken place.
From this experience I could but arrive at three conclusions. which, at the same time, constituted as many reasons for my request of resignation
1. No hope of succeeding in my official duties is left to siz, since I am convinced that King Malietoa does not comprehend the consequences of affording influence in official matters to irresponsible persons. These consequences must be the worse, the Berlin Tresty not having furnished the King's Adviser with any means to formally secure his co-operation, although such means would only be the equivalent of his responsibility. I hardly need to add that it out not be my task, especially in the first months of my service, to complete the Treaty with amendments in order to strengthen my position.
2. The same failure of success must arise for me out of the want of confidence the King has proved towards me in concealing the correspondence in question, notwithstanding several conferences he held with me during the respective time.
3. A full and undamaged authority is not less indispensable for fulfilling the task imposed on my office by the Berlin General Act than the King's confidence. The King himself having apparutly damaged my authority, he cannot repair the same without getting into an humiliating position on his part, which certainly would raise more harm than there exists already.
In connection with these considerations, I cannot forbeat observing that, according to my opinion, experiences like the above stated would have been avoided if, in consequence of the common interest the Treaty Powers have in supporting the authority of my office, I had found the common assistance of the Consular Representatives in one case in which I required their common assistance more than ever. In that case I exerted myself w prevent an unequal action of the Samoan Government in regard to the commercial interests of the three Treaty Powers, and I believed that I was not at liberty to perform this duty of my office with less energy only because Germany, the interests of which were going to be neglected, is my native country. Your Lordship will find the facts in question in the Mémoire I have the honour to inclose herewith.
I have declared to King Malietoa, as well as to the Consular Representatives of the Treaty Powers, that I feel obliged 50 perform my official duties, inasmuch as the Berlin General Act does not provide my representation therein, until I am allowed to lay down my position through a joint instruction of the three Powers.
I shall be most thankful if this can be done telegraphically.
I also most respectfully ask your Lordship to instruct me hether you wish me to call at the Foreign Office in returning - Germany, I have, &c.
FREIHERR SENFFT VON PILSACH. The Marquess of Salisbury.
In a meeting of the Municipal Council of Apia, held on the rd June, the question was discussed how the troublesome state of ifferent coin circulating in Samoa could be altered.
The Berlin Treaty not having established a currency for Samoa, he coins of the three Treaty Powers, and besides the Chile silver, had been introduced, and the fluetuations of the silver value in the noney market disturbed to a very disagreeable extent its fixation, and, consequently, the fixation of the prices of goods in this place.
The majority of the Council being inclined to regard that body as competent for making a definite settlement of this atfair, I pointed out that a settlement applying to the Samoan Islands could only be made by the Samoan Government.
I added I had no doubt that, just in this question, the opinion of the Municipal Council in Apia, if communicated to the Government in the form of a request, would have a considerable weight for their decision, the Council consisting mainly of merchants, and, consequently, of men possessing a particular knowledge of the watter.
The result of the discussion was a Resolution saying that the Council requested the Samoan Government to adopt the following rate of exchange for the country
“ One piece (5 dollars) United States' currency gold to be equal to one English sovereign, or to one 20-mark gold piece, and, for change, English silver to be taken only, and the Chile dollar as equal to 75 cents (smaller coins in proportion); and that after the 15th November next no Chile coin to be taken for taxes or duties by the Treasurer."
This Resolution having been submitted to the Consular Board, I was informed, by their letter dated the 9th June, that the Consular Board suggest, as an amendment, "that the consideration of this Resolution be deferred."
In their meeting of the 10th June the Municipal Council did not accept this amendment.