Communication by Count von Arco-Valley to Secretary of State under instruction of the Prince Chancellor.

When the state of war was declared against Mataafa the commander of the German squadron issued a proclamation by which the foreigners established in Samoa were subjected to martial law. International law would, to a certain extent, not prevent such a measure, but as Prince Bismarck is of the opinion that our military authority has gone too far in this instance, the military commander has received telegraphic orders to withdraw the part of his proclamation concerning foreigners.

In negotiation with Mataafa our consul at Samoa has asked that the administration of the islands of Samoa might be temporarily handed over to him, which demand not being in comformity to our previous promises regarding the neutrality and independence of Samoa, Mr. Knappe has been ordered by telegram to withdraw immediately his demand.