The Sovereignty of Samoa.
The chiefs of the various districts (writes the Samoan correspondent of the Auckland 'Star') have held a meeting and decided that Mataafa shall continue to act as ruler of the Malietoa party until the result of the Conference is ratified by the three Powers, when, if necessary, a fresh election can take place. It ia felt that there may yet be trouble with the Tamasese party; and if there is, Mataafa will be far more able to cope with it than Malietoa, who is a man of peace, and no doubt wanting in many of the characteristics which have made Mataafa so successful. Before the meeting a large talolo, or native feast, was held, which was largely attended by the Natives of tho districts friendly to Malietoa, who brought large presents of food. At tho conclusion of the feast
Malietoa, who appeared in dolicate health, stood up, and addressed tho assemblage. He said : "I am standing now amongat you, and I thank God for it. I never thought when I was a prisoner away in a foreign land 1 could over see you again. Mataafa is here with me, and I now thank him especially for the manner in which he has supported our cause, and I also thank all my people for the manner in which they have assisted Mataafa while I was away. You all know I left over to Mataafa the management of our affairs, and the leadership of our party, and you will now reap the benefit of your faithful actions. Every man in Samoa respects Mataafa, and I also respect him, and he (Mataafa) has done and will do his best for Samoa, Although I suffered myself as a prisoner far away from my home, Mataafa and my people have had a trying time; but you have nobly done your duty. I have made up my mind what to do, and I know I am doing it for the good of my people. I, with every confidence, leave Mataafa to steer the ship, Mataafa is not blind. You also have full faith in him, and under his guidance ypu will now become a prosperous people, and permanent peace be secured to Samoa. I will now retire in favor of Mataafa, whom you will still follow as you have well done while I was away." Malietoa then retired, and had to be conducted to his private quarters in Matautu. The soldiers were then brought round, and by order of their commander, and in excellent order, fired the usual salute to their newly-appointed king, each discharge being fired together almost as one shot.
Lauati, a chief from Savaii, then addressed the people. In conclusion ho said : will now permanently rule over us. Many people have said there will be jealousy within our people, and that we would be divided in our Bupport between IvJalietoa and Mataafa. This is not true,
There will be no jealousy. Malietoa has given his place to Mataafa, and we will all follow Mataafa's lead, and Malietoa will be vice-king ; there can be no jealousy." Mataafa addressed his people. Ho said: " You have heard what Malietoa said, and you have also heard what Lauati said. I am pleased with the manner in which they speak of me and of What I have done during Malietoa's absence. This is good, and I j thank Malietoa and you all for your good feeling towards me. Malietoa wants me to take his place. He wants me to guide the ship. The chiefs of our party have also asked me to do bo. I now accept the position, and, with God's assistance, we will save Samoa for our people. During Malietoa's absence our people obeyed me, and fought for their country, and I have every confidence in their allegiance in the future. We should thank Almighty God for Malietoa's return to us. Malietoa and myself are one in our feelings for the good of our people." He (Mataafa) sincerely regretted that Borne of his immediate friends fought against him in the late war. They were led astray ; but he knew they still respected him, and he was sure they would again join his standard. "We should all work for Samoa. We should not forget what the United States and Great Britain have done for us. We have to thank those nations for our independence. They will advise us right, and if we follow their advice it will be for our good. Germany has only tried to frighten us. It is now more than ever our duty to support our new Government." He again thanked his chiefs and people for their confidence, and he will, with the advice of his chiefs, govern the country for the benefit of all. Mataafa then thanked several chiefs, whom he named, most of whom were present, for their consistent support in the late war. He then retired.
Other chiefs also spoke, but were very unanimous in their views.
I have been credibly informed that the merman Consul waited upon Malietoa and remonstrated with him upon his action, telling him that Germany would never submit to Mataafa as King, whilst he would be perfectly willing to recognise him (Malietoa). What threatens to be another "rift within the lute " is the fact that Mataafa is a Roman Catholic, and most of his adherents (as in fact are roost of the Natives) are Protestants.
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The Sovereignty of Samoa., Evening Star, Issue 8046, 24 October 1889
The Sovereignty of Samoa. Evening Star, Issue 8046, 24 October 1889
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