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AFFAIRS IN SAMOA.

Files of the " New Zealand Herald " (Anckland) contain later news from s amoa which apparently the Press Association has not thought it worth while to telegraph to Southern papers. I'espatches from the "Herald's" own : correspondent at Apia bring the record of events dewn to the 2nd iust., and we gather the following interesting particulars from the source mentioned : — M alietoa Mataafa has his head-quarters at Matautu Point, opposite the position occupied Jby the German-made King Tamasese, who is shut up with the remnant of his armed followers at Mulinuu, a small Peninsula on the opposite side of the bay. Here, on German soil, he (Tamasese) has his so called "seat of Government," and his flag flying under the protection of a German force, who have built a fort there. His people are, however, said to bo ' shut m Mulinuu like rats m a trap, and are very hard up for provisions and water. They have sent out some small skirmishing parties on a foraging expedition, which has led to some small fights m which Tamasese lost a few of his men. Malietoa has been largely recruited, and the whole of t-avaii are said to have either joined or are about to join him." "There can be no doubt (says the ' Herald's ' correspondent) as to the relative strength and fighting qualities of the two parties. Were the Germans to withdraw from protecting Tamasese on Mulinuu, I believe the war would be over m less than a week, because a large number that would join Malietoa at once are prevented from doing so by German declarations that as soon as the fleet comes they will declare war on Malietoa Mataafa." Meanwhile the German Consul has been complaining that German property was being interfered with — some pigs having been shot on a plantation called Vaitele — and has demanded that all Malietoa's people should withdraw, or he would immediately declare war. against him — it would appear, interjectß the correspondent, as if the German Consul m Samoa carries an Imperial declaration of war m Mb pocket, ready to be filled up and used when considered necessary. Malietoa replied that, according to his information, they were not German pigs that were shot by his people, but pigs belonging to men who were fighting against him. To move his men as desired, would give Tamasese an opportunity to come out and forage for food, when his (Mataai'a's) object was to surround and starve him into submission. He further told the German Consul that it was his action m defending Tamasese that was endangerngi German property. If he turned him off German land, and withdrew from him the protection of German marines, no German property would be m anywise molested. He could not help it if the German Consul declared war on him, but if he did, he must warn him that German property would no longer be respected by him and his people. After consulting with his chiefs, however, Malietoa has consented to withdraw part of his men from the locality mentioned, but if any of Tamase3e's men come out and take possession of the position he has temporarily left, he will at once conceutrate his men and attack them " The conduct ot Malietoa appears indeed to have been throughout dignified and praiseworthy, while that of the German Oonsml ia doooribed n» iueipUcablO. It appears that "a few days after the defeat of Tamasese' s forces, the GernaWl Consul requested a personal interview with Mataafa, which the latter granted. Mataafa, however, considered it judicious to ask the British and United States Consuls to be present as well, but the German Consul, hearing this, would not go unless he were heard alone. The bamoan version of what passed at that meeting was to the following effect. The German Consul said he could now see that Malietoa Mataafa was the choice of the greater part of Samoa, and that he would notify his Government of that fact, He said he could not acknowledge him as king until he received instructions Irom his Government. In the meantime he must protect Tamasese and his flag, a thing he is effectually doing by surrounding it with German troops. He also asked Malietoa to agree to the principal part of Apia, being considered neutral territory, where no one would be allowed to carry arms. He wished to exclude Mulinuu Point, for there he had to keep Tamasese and his forces ; but no firing would be permitted from there unless they were attacked. Malietoa, after consideration, agreed to this, although (says the " Herald's " correspondent) I am told he was doing so to his own disadvantage." Commenting upon these particulars, the writer of the interesting despatch from which we have gathered the foregoing adds that " It now appears that Germany has a protectorate, or assumed one, and yet such a position has never been conceded to her by the other two Powers interested. The Germans do not openly fight for their puppet king, but they place him and his soldiers on German soil, they build a fort round his flag there, they man it with German troop*, and they tell Malietoa Mataafa "if you come to attack Tamasese and his people, or pull down his flag, we will fire into you." This is what they officially call protecting German property, apparently ignoring the fact that Tamasese has his seat of government built and his flag flying there. On the score of humanity they may have the right to proteot the person of Tamasese, but on what international principle can they justify their action m defending his government and his flag ? I am afraid they will trump up some flimsy excuse for making war on Mataafa, and thus keep the maa m power over whom they have^o much control. The feelings of the people have no part m German considerations. Their whole policy m the past m Samoa has been most discreditable to them as a great nation, and I have no hope that m the future we will gee any improvement As for England, we have given her up m despair." Subsequent to the writing of this despatch and on the day on which it was daf«d (Oct. 2.) two British vessels, put m an appearance and the following footnote ia added : — " The Calliope and , Lieard, with Admiral Fairfax on board, came into Apia harbor about eleven o'tfock this morning. The natives were quite overjoyed to find that it was a British and not a German squadron that had come. What the result of the Admiral's visit will be remains to be seen. The natives are pleased to think the British Government have not quite forgotten, them,"

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http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18881025.2.17

Bibliographic details

AFFAIRS IN SAMOA., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 1979, 25 October 1888

Word Count
1,115

AFFAIRS IN SAMOA. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 1979, 25 October 1888

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