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2. Because it appears by the accompanying correspondence that the differences between the Chief Justice and the Commission are radical, and perhaps vital, and bear directly upon the duties and functions of the Commission, and not only involve the interpretation of the Treaty as to whether the Commission has certain powers of final decision when unanimous, but also raises the important questions: May the Chief Justice direct the Commission as to its “ mode of procedure "in its work? and, Should the Coinmission subordinate its ideas and opinions (when at variance) to those of the Chief Justice ?
3. Because the Commission, if correct in its position, should not be interfered with or hampered in the performance of its duties, and, on the other hand, if it is in error, it should be instructed to the end that its duties may be performed correctly, and this unfortunate difference between it and the Chief Justice be removed.
4. Because of the consequences and importance of the questions involved to the foreign or alien claimants. In any event there must be a full and thorough investigation before the Commission, the hearing in some cases continuing several days (and in one case ten days or more). In the most complicated, and those wherein are involved the greatest pecuniary consideration, claimants appear before the Commissiou by counsel, and in many of these cases the expenses of the trial, on hearing to the claimant, must be large.
Now, was it the intention of the Signatory Powers to the Treaty that claimants should be liable to have all this go for naught, in cases where the Commission are unanimous in their findings and decision ?
Bearing strongly on the importance of the question involved is the fact that since the Treaty was entered into, and now, the buying or selling of real estate bas been, and is, at a standstill, by reason of the uncertainty as to title, and must remain so until the titles have been confirmed under the terms of said Article IV, and this entails no small loss or slight inconvenience upon the claimants.
If the Chief Justice is correct in his interpretation, this condition of chaos and instability must continue for an indefinite period; while under the interpretation of the Commission all cases wherein they are unanimous can be set at rest in a comparatively short time, and it is safe to say that not one-tenth (and probably not onetwentieth) of the cases would be subject to a rehearing before the Chief Justice, for want of unanimity by the Commission.
The pecuniary interest of resident subjects and citizens of the three Powers involved in these considerations can hardly be over. estimatod.
5. Because, in the opinion of the Commission, its duties are
sufficiently arduous at the best, and it therefore entertains the hope that it may receive early instruction and direction.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
E. J. ORMSBEE.
Vo. 182.-Mr. B. Haggard to the Marquess of Salisbury.-(Received
April 4.) MY LORD,
Apia, Samoa, March 1, 1892. I HAVE the honour to inform you that my German colleague, Herr C. Eggert, left to-day by steam-ship Lubeck under medical orders for Germany. This prevents us for a space of time from rying contested cases, but my United States' colleague, the Honourable E. J. Ormsbee, and myself intend to continue daily nspecting and verifying documents, and doing preliminary work pending the arrival of the new Imperial German Land Commissioner, who, we hear, will shortly be here. We can facilitate work in the future a great deal by this, and save much time.
1 bad the honour to address to your Lordship a despatch dated the 23rd February, 1892, inclosing therewith a joint Memorandum prepared by the Samoan Land Commissioners, for the consideration of their respective Governments, similar copies of which were sent to their Governments respectively by each Commissioner. copies of certain letters similarly sent in connection with the subject matter of those communications. I have now the honour to inform your Lordship that on the 24th February the town of Apia was placarded with two Proclamations, one being in the English and the other in the Samoan language, made by the Chief Justice of Samoa. I have the honour to inclose the same, with a certified translation of the one in Samoan.
A perusal of the translation will show how the two differ. The Proclamation in English is considered by the Commissioners immaterial. Not so the one in Samoan, addressed to the Samoan people. We were aware, as is pointed out in our joint Memorandum to your Lordship, what were the real views of the Chief Justice, as to what power he had, or had not, over all claims to land, even if undisputed, under Article IV of the Berlin General Act, and I venture to draw your Lordship's attention to this, that this Samoan Proclamation distinctly asserts it as unrestricted in any way, though the one in English admits some limitation. I also venture to point out that the Chief Justice had been [1892-93. LXXXV.]
informed in writing that we were about to refer the question h bad raised to our respective Governments, upon the 19th February and therefore, at this juncture, these Proclamations seem super fluous, especially as he had no case before bim. Also the question of expense and delay, we referred to in our Memorandum, ha been made more clear with regard to this Court, a Table of Fea having been published, which shows that any claimant, even havin: only an undisputed claim, must pay at least 31. 38. for bis title, and if it is disputed, bear the expense of, and consequent delay of, trial.
I have, &c., The Marquess of Salisbury.
BAZETT M. HAGGARD.
(Inclosure 1).-Proclamation in English).
(Inclosure 2.)— Proclamation. (Translation from Samoan.)
I know that it is the opinion of many persons in this country that the Land Commissioners have the power of giving final decisious in trials concerning land in Sainoa claimed by foreigners; and that the said Commissioners are able to confirm to foreigners their land deeds and set right and finally decide objections by Samoans.
Therefore I, C. Cedercrantz, the Chief Justice of Samoa, in accordance with the expressed wish of His Majesty Malietoa toe King, make known to all Samoans that with the Supreme Court at Mulinuu alone rests the power in such matters of deciding contentions concerning land in Samoa. The Supreme Court is the permanent part of your Government.
The duties of the Land Commissioners are to carefully examine all deeds of land of foreigners, together with all objections and all contentions arising therefrom, and endeavour to effect a first compromise between the two contending parties; thereafter they shall report in writing to the Supreme Court all evidence of whatever nature, together with their opinion whether it is proper that this land deed or that land deed be confirmed or proper that it be rejected.
Thereafter the trial in the Supreine Court shall take place and tae final decision in the matter be made ; for the Supreme Court continually exists to carry on trials and contentions caused through land questions in Samoa. Mulipuu, February 23, 1892.
The above is a true and verbatim copy of the Proclamation in the moan language dated the 23rd February, 1892, issued by the Chief stice of Samoa. Apia, Samoa, February 29, 1892.
R. SKEEN, Secretary.
Yo. 188.-Consul Cusack-Smith to the Marquess of Salisbury.-
(Received April 4.) I LORD,
Samoa, March 2, 1892. I HAVE the honour to inform your Lordship that late last night ron Senfft von Pilsach handed to me a copy of a Memoir, which he s forwarded to your Lordship, “relating to the distribution between Samoan Government and the Municipality of Apia of that poru of the Samoan revenue which is collected in the form of duties," tb a request that I would support his proposals. In the few busy hours remaining before the mail leaves it would impossible for me to deal with such a question or to adequately nsider bis proposals. As it would, I presume, be too late if sent by the vext mail, I do propose to forward any analysis of these proposals. The most important point is the imminent insolvency of the moan Government, which might be averted temporarily by peritting the Samoan Government to borrow one-half of all the port and export duties for three or six months until the matter o be settled.
It should not be forgotten that the Samoans owe between 40,000 Id 60,000 dollars or more as taxes to the Government, of which no llection has been attempted, nor is any collection proposed, and at, therefore, practically the whole of the revenue of Samoa is sing unfairly collected from the white residents alone.
I have, &c., he Marquess of Salisbury.
T. B. CUSACK-SMITH.
No. 189.- Baron Senfft von Pilsach to the Marquess of Salisbury.
(Received April 6.) l'elegraphic.)
Apia, March 28, 1892. I WITHDRAW my Memoir dated the 29th February. Supreme ourt has decided that, under the Berlin Treaty, the customs duties elong to the Government.
No. 194.-Consul Cusack-Smith to the Marquess of Salisbury.
(Received April 11.) (Telegraphic.)
Apia, March 28, 189 The Chief Justice, I am credibly informed, is of opinion ai will decide that the import duties collected here belong to ti Samoan Government.
The income of the Municipality would thus be reduced to 1,600 As an annual minimum income of 4,000l. or 5,000l. is necessary the Municipality, they would be reduced to bankruptcy.
It is to be hoped that the rights of the white residents and of tå Municipality will not be curtailed, in the event of modifications bec: introduced into the Final Act.
No. 195.—The Marquess of Salisbury to Sir E. Valet. SIR,
Foreign Office, April 12, 189: I TRANSMIT herewith a paraphrase of a telegram from H: Majesty's Consul at Apia,* representing that the decision of th Chief Justice in regard to the destination of the customs dutie levied in the Navigators' Islands will reduce the Municipality to state of bankruptcy.
He further expresses a hope that, in the event of any modifica tions being introduced into the Final Act of the Conference on Samoan affairs, the rights of the Municipality and those of the which residents will not be curtailed.
I have to request that your Excellency will explain to the German Government the successive communications which Hai Majesty's Government have received upon this subject, and that you will inquire what view they take in the matter.
I am, &c., Sir E. Malet.
No. 197.- Foreign Office to Mr. B. Haggard.
Foreign Ofice, April 13, 1892. I am directed by the Marquess of Salisbury to forward herewith copy of a letter from King Malietoa,f inclosing an abstract of a communication from the “Natives' Advocate," in which exception is taken to certain proceedings of the Land Commissioners.
His Lordship would be glad to receive any observations you may have to make in regard to this statement on behalf of yourself and your colleagues. * No. 194.
+ No. 180