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of Washington of 1887, the President, while thus manifesting his entire confidence in the motives and purposes of the German Government, desired it to be borne in mind that the step was the continuance inerely of the efforts already made toward an adjustment of pending questions, and not the initiation of a new conference on another, basis, inasmuch as the Government of the United States could not admit the conditions directly influencing the deliberations of the Conference of Washington to have been changed by any subsequent occurrences in the South Pacific.

The subjects as to wbich the Commissioners were instructed fell naturally under five heads:

(1) They were directed to ask the restoration of the status quo, in order that the disturbance of the equal rights of the powers in Samoa which had been caused by the forcible intervention of Germany and the deportation of Malietoa Lanpepa might be removed, and their footing of equality restored. While the President was unwilling to consider that action of Germany, which immediately followed the suspension of the conferences at Washington, as intentionally derogatory either to the dignity or the interests of the other treaty powers, yet he could not but regard it, under the circumstances, as an abrupt breach of the joint relations of the three powers to each other and to the Government of Samoa, and impossible to reconcile with the frank and friendly declaration of the German Government, preliminary to the meeting of the conference of 1887, that it intended to maintain the status as it had theretofore existed and had neither interest nor desire to change an arrangement found satisfactory to the three Govern. ments. The failure to restore that condition under which only, as it seemed to the President, a free choice could be made by the Samoans would not only seriously complicate, but inight possibly endanger, that prompt and friendly solution which all the treaty powers so earnestly desired and which is so vital to the safety and prosperity of Samoa itself. Even were it urged that the forcible intervention of Germany had had consequences which could not be disregarded because impos. sible to undo, the restoration of the status quo appeared necessary to place the powers on that footing of equality which would enable them to provide such future changes as justice and unselfish interest might commend. The restoration of the status quo, however, was not to be submitted as an ultimatum which would close the conference or prevent the President from considering any plan put forward as a substitute.

(2) The organization of a stable governmental system for the islands, whereby native independence and autonomy should be preserved free from the control or the preponderating influence of any foreign government; the assistance of the United States, and equally of Germany and Great Britain, to be given to the natives of Samoa to form and administer their own Government. The President was unable to see how the suggested appointment of a governing adviser, or mandatory, by one of the powers, upon the avowed ground of supposed greater interests, could preserve that absolute equality of consideration which could alone justify the co-operation of the treaty powers, or could protect with adequate security the commercial interests of the separate powers, which are in fact the motive and the purpose of any co-operation. The obligation of the Government of the United States in the South Pacific is to protect the rights and interests of our citizens there resident and engaged in any lawful pursuit. It has no desire to dominate, and every wish to develop and strengthen a stable and just government, free from all occasions of trouble arising from, and fostered into, mischievous activity by the avarice and eagerness of competing merchants and land

speculators and the irregular conduct of foreign officials who are, perhaps naturally and excusably but most injudiciously, sympathetic with the prejudices and immediate interests of their resident country. men. Besides these evils necessarily attending the subordination of Samoan independence to any one predominant alien interest, the United States could not consent to the institution of any form of government in those islands, subject, directly or indirectly, to influences which in the contingencies of the future might check or control the use or development of the right acquired on the part of the United States by lawful treaty to establish a naval station at Pago-Fago and to control its harbor to that end.

Bearing these essential points in mind, it was impressed upon the Cominissioners that any intervention of the three powers, which the existing complications might make necessary for administering tbe Gov. ernment of Samoa, should be temporary merely, and avowedly preparatory to the restoration of as complete independence and autonomy as is practicable in those islands.

(3) The President was further of opinion that, in any arrangement for the establishment of order and stability in Samoa, too much importance could not be given to the subject of the adjustment of claims and titles to land on the part of foreigners already amounting to more than the whole area of the group aud conflicting to a degree involving continual disputes. It was desirable that the ownership of all the lands in the islands should be ascertained and registered; that rules for the transfer of title should be established, with safeguards against transfers for improper or ipsufficient considerations; and that, if necessary, a composition should be effected whereby a reasonable proportion of the territory might be saved to the natives. The settlement of the land question on some such equitable and comprehensive bases would give the best possible assurance for the stability and success of any government to be established, because removing the main incentive to its disturbance.

(4) In connection with the subject of land tenure, the necessity of pro. hibiting or regulating the importation and sale of fire-arms and alcoholic liquors naturally suggested itself, inasmuch as many of the land claims had, without doubt, been obtained by ministering to the weakness and passions of the natives by supplying them with those articles. This reproach to civilization should be removed, either by separate or joint adoption of stringent regulations on the subject.

(5) The question of a municipal administration of Apia, as a foreign settlement, under due reservation of extraterritorial rights, did not come within the scope of specific instructions, inasmuch as a system of joint municipal government, through the consular representation of the three powers, had for several years operated with satisfaction under the municipal convention of Apia, signed by the representatives of the United States, Germany, and Great Britian September 2, 1879. The Government of the United States had, indeed, not become formally a contracting party to that convention through ratification, exchange, and proclamation thereof, but the constant participation of the American consul in the tripartite scheme of foreign government thereby provided gave to the convention itself full recognition, and to the principle involved an abundant sanction. Having no special suggestions to make in this regard, and entertaining confidence in the impartial justice of any measure of foreign municipal control which might incidentally come before the conference, the subject was left to the representatives of the three treaty powers with merely a reference to the indisputable fact that peace and order had been promoted in the islands by the estab. lishment and maintenance of a neutral territory in and about Apia in the common and harmonious interest of the foreigners residing therein

The American Commissioners, thus instructed, met in Berlin sitilarly qualified plenipotentiaries of Germany and Great Britian, with whom uine formal conferences were held between the 29th of April and the 14th of June, 1889, on which latter date the results of their labors were embodied in a general act or protocol, declaratory of the views and purposes of the three powers with regard to

First. The independence and neutrality of the Islands of Samoa, the restoration of peace therein, and tlie guaranty of equal rights to forelgiter's there resident.

Second. The modification of existing treaties, and the assent of the Samoan Government to said general act.

Third. The establishment and definition of the jurisdiction of a supreme court of justice for Samoa.

Fourth. The investigation and registration of land titles in Samoa. fifth. Tle administration of the municipal district of Apia. Sixth. Taxation and revenue in Samoa. Severittı. Restriction of the traffic in fire arms and intoxicants. The protocols of the several sessions, herewith submitied, show the discussion which took place on each of these important heads, and indicate the successive stages by which the views of the three Governments thereon came into harmony. Tlie result is, in the main, entirely iu accord with the instructions under which the American plenipotet tiaries acted. It is proper to observe that the matters in respect of which an agreement seemed most difficult were the restoration of the status quo, the formation of a stable government, without preponderance of influence on the part of any of the treaty powers, and the raisiug of revenue for the maintenance of that government.

As to the first of these points, the chief obstacle to an unqualified tenewal of the status which existed when the conferences of Wasir ington were held was found in the reluctance of Germany to admit such a situation as would appear to leave Mataafa, against whom she had declared war, eligible for the free choice of the natives as King. It is confidently believed that the final accord removes these difficulties, and the Samoans themselves, in the exercise of the freedom wbich they are to continue to enjoy, appear to have effected a practical solution of the inatter. Under date of November 8 last the representatives of the three Governments at Apia issued a proclamation recognizing Malietoa Laupepa as King, in conformity with the understanding reached with reference to the restoration of the status quo. This was followed on the 4th of December last by a convocation of representatives of all the different districts of the Samoan group, who formally elected Malietoa Laupepa King of Samoa. On the next day, December 5, the consular representatives of the three powers issued a proclamation formally recognizing the King so elected. Copies of these two procla. mations are appended, together with a report from the commanding officer of the U. S. S. Adams, at Apia, in relation to the election of a King and the announced acceptance of the result by Tamasese.

On the second point, the danger of preponderating influence on the part of any one of the three powers is obviated by taking the chief foreign adviser and judge from a neutral nation. The revenue question has been adjusted, with a due regard to the limited resources of the natives and the obligation of the three powers to share in the burdev which, by force of circumstances, it has been necessary to impose in protection of their common interests and for the maintenance of peace and order.

With this brief exposition, the undersigned, Secretary of State, has the honor to place before the President the general act of Berlin of June 14, 1889, in relation to the Islands of Samoa, to the end that it be laid before the Senate for its advice and consent to the ratification thereof. It is hoped that this act may be conducive to the good government of Samoa under native autonomy, and to the lasting settlement • of the vexed questions which have agitated the three powers in their complex relations to these islands.

With the general act is transmitted, for the information of the Senate, copy of a note from the Imperial German envoy, dated June 29, 1889, calling attention to the circumstance that, through a mistake of the printer, the fourth paragraph of section 2, Article V was repeated in the signed instrument, and proposing, on behalf of the German Government, that when the general act shall be ratified and proclaimed the repetition of the paragraph referred to shall be omitted. As such omission can not in any wise alter the stipulations of the act, or take away any of its provisions, it does not appear necessary to resort to formal amendment in correction of the error.

The repeated passage will be omitted, as proposed, when the general act shall be proclaimed. Respectfully submitted.


Washington, January 7, 1890.


(1) General act, signed at Berlin, June 14, 1889, by the plenipotentiaries of the United States, Germany, and Great Britain, in regard to the neutrality and autonoinous government of the Samoan Islands, and providing for equal rights therein of the three Governments and their citizens and subjects.

(2) Printers' copy of same.
(3) Protocols of the conference of Berlin, 29th April to 14th June, 1889.

(4) Proclamation by the consular representatives of the United States, Germany, and Great Britain, dated Apia, November 8, 1889.

(5) Report of commander of U. S. S. Adams, dated December 5, 1889, with annexes, including proclamation by consular representatives of the United States, Germany, and Great Britain, dated Apia, December 5, 1889, recognizing Malietoa as elected King of Samoa.

(6) Note from the Imperial German ervoy to the Secretary of State, June 29, 1889.

GENERAL ACT OF THE CONFERENCE AT BERLIN. The President of the United States of America, His Majesty the Emperor

of Germany, King of Prussia, Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Empress of India,

Wishing to provide for the security of the life, property, and trade of the citizens and subjects of their respective governments residing in, or baving commercial relations with, the Islands of Samoa, and desirous at the same time to avoid all occasions of dissension between their respective governments and the Government and people of Samoa, while promoting as far as possible the peaceful and orderly civilization of the people of these islands, have resolved, in accordance with the invitation of the Imperial Government of Germany, to resume in Berlin the conference of their plenipotentiaries which was begun in Washing

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ton on June 25, 1887, and have named for their present plenipotentia-
ries the following:
The President of the United States of America:

Mr. John A. Kasson,
Mr. William Walter Phelps,

Mr. George H. Bates;
His Majesty the Emperor of Germany, King of Prussia :

Count Bismarck, minister of state, secretary of state for foreign

Baron von Holstein, actual privy councillor of legation,

Dr. Krauel, privy councillor of legation ;
Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and
Ireland, Empress of India-

Sir Edward Baldwin Malet, Her Majesty's ainbassador to the

Emperor of Germany, King of Prussia,
Charles Stewart Scott, esquire, Her Majesty's envoy extraordi.

pary and minister plenipotentiary to the Swiss Confederation, Joseph Archer Crowe, esquire, Her Majesty's commercial at

taché for Europe, who, furnished with full powers which have been found in good and due form, have successively considered and adopted

First. A declaration respecting the independence and neutrality of the islands of Samoa, and assuring to their respective citizens and subjects equality of rights in said islands, and providing for the immediate restoration of peace and order therein.

Second. A declaration respecting the modification of existing treaties, and the assent of the Samoan Government to this act.

Third. A declaration respecting the establishment of a supreme court of justice for Samoa and defining its jurisdiction.

Fourth. A declaration respecting titles to land in Samoa, restraining the disposition thereof by natives, and providing for the investigation of claims thereto and for the registration of valid titles.

Fifth. A declaration respecting the municipal district of Apia, providing a local administration therefor, and defining the jurisdiction of the municipal magistrate.

Sixth. A declaration respecting taxation and revenue in Samoa.

Seventh. A declaration respecting arms and ammunition and intox. icating liquors, restraining their sale and use.

Eighth. General dispositions.


A declaration respecting the independence and neutrality of the islands of

Samoa, and assuring to the respective citizens and subjects of the signatory powers equality of rights in said islands, and providing for the immediate restoration of peace and order therein.

It is declared that the islands of Samoa are neutral territory, in which the citizens and subjects of the three signatory powers have equal rights of residence, trade, and personal protection. The three powers recog. nize the independence of the Samoan Government and the free right of the natives to elect their chief or king and choose their form of gov. ernment according to their own laws and customs. Neither of the powers shall exercise any separate control over the islands or the gov. ernment thereof.

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