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German Trade in Tonga.

STILL PREDOMINANT AND UNDISTURBED. MR MASSEY'S ASSURANCE INEFFECTIVE. (Auckland "Herald" Correspondent). TONGA, Jan. 18. Great surprise and indignation is being expressed throughout Tonga by the action of the Australasian authorities in still allowing supplies to reach enemy firms in these islands. It seems that statesmen in Australasia are, in many cases , totally unaware such a thing as a German firm exists in Tonga, let alone in very active operation, the Vavau there are seventeen stores owned or controlled by Germans, six by Swedes, and three only are British owned. Moreover, there are seven Germans owning large l plantations, one Swede, and one British owner. In Haabai there are eleven German and fifteen British-owned stores. Keppel's Island (Niua tobutabu) and Niuafotou have each one German and one British store. Tongatabu possesses thirty-five German owned or controlled stores, the Britishers being the owners of twenty-nine. Besides these Btores there cm seven German plantation owners and an equal number of Britishers. Although, numerically, the German and British-owned stores are almost equal in Tongatabu, the value and volume of trade is greatly in favour of the Germans, as is the case throughout the group. TONGA'S POLITICAL POSITION. One is intensely interested to know Tonga's exact political position. Is it an independent Kingdom, only protected from outside interference by th& treaty with Britain in 1901, or is it a British dependency? Otherwise, how is it that no changes can be made in its civil service or Cabinet, without the consent of the British Consul or Agent? If Tonga is an independent Kingdom, well and good. If, on the other hand, it is a British dependency, it is surely against the interests of all Britishers to allow Germans to carry on business. A very large proportion of the profits accrued from their business finds its way to Hamburg direct. En passant, there is no censorship at Tonga. By '' direct profit" I do not mean cash, but records of profits accrued find their way to Germany, and so enhance their credit. The Tongan islands can only absorb a limited quantity of imports, in d'rect ratio to tlie exports, as there is practically no buck country to open up; therefore, if the Germans were closed up the steamship company v* ould lose nothing, as the same amount of shipments would take place as hitherto. Moreover, it would be of direct benifit to our fellow-country-men in the islands. It wouttll also greatly benefit the Australasian merchants. A larger volume of business would be diverted to them to take the j lace of geods hitherto coming from Germany, and lately from America, to the- German .firms in Tonga. The uselessness «f putting receivers into German firms' places in British possessions lias been clearly shown in ether British possessions, notably India. Simply cherishing a viper to cce's bosom. Mr Massey's statement that flu* Tongan Government has decided not to allow any Germans to land or trade in Tonga seems to convey the meaning that no Germans are now trading in Tonga; but such is not the case. The meaning is that no more Germans are to l>e allowed to land. The restriction dors not apply to Germans resident jn Tonga, in fact, the Tongan Government is a very good customer of the various German firms. H is high time a leaf was taken out of the German 's book, and the example of tin in Tahiti followed. The British " Pxport Gazette 7 ' for September, 1015. contains an article showing liow the Germans deal with British' business men in Germany. N'o keeping places warm fur "their friends th'e cnem\ " about .them. In-one ease referred to liy the •' i ;-i/.et to.'" that of J. Poster Kell and ■ 'o., ' ' the German Government interned Mr .!. Poster ICcll at "Rulilebeii as a prisoner of wpr, and also appropriated all the firm 's a \ aila Ijle asset s. ''

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Bibliographic details

German Trade in Tonga., Manawatu Times, Volume XL, Issue 13318, 4 February 1916

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German Trade in Tonga. Manawatu Times, Volume XL, Issue 13318, 4 February 1916