Prince Bismarck to Count von Arco-Valley.
The present situation in Samoa regarding the interests of the three treaty powers renders it necessary to renew the attempt to bring the future of those islands to an understanding.
The position of the three treaty powers in the civilized world makes it their duty to stop the bloody combat accompanied by barbarous customs of those not numerous tribes, for whose welfare, according to the judgment of the civilized world, it is a duty of the treaty powers to provide.
Prince Bismarck, in consequence, considers it a duty of the participating governments to put an end, by the agreement of the treaty powers, to the troubles which have originated in Samoa, and by restitution of peace among the Samoans themselves, and so make an end of future bloodshed and the horrors of a civil war conducted with barbarous cruelty among the natives.
The best remedy seems to be a resumption of the consultation which took place between the representatives of Germany, England, and the United States in the year 1887 at Washington, and at that time adjourned without any possibility of their representatives coming to any agreement.
In consequence, I have been requested by Prince Bismarck to propose to you to resume with Germany and the British Government the consultation regarding the Samoan question.
The last conference took place at Washington. According to the equal rights of the three treaty powers it seems proper that the place for the negotiations should change in regular turn. Based upon this opinion, I am directed to invite the Government of the United States to a conference regarding Samoa to take place at Berlin, and a similar invitation has been sent to the British Government.
I am also directed to declare that any supposition that Germany would not feel satisfied with a neutral position in the Samoan Islands is unfounded, as we have already declared in the last conference (of 1887) it is neither our intention to put in question the independence of the island group nor the equal rights of the treaty powers. We simply desire to create a condition which offers permanent security for bringing to an end bloodshed and decapitation, and which grants permanent safety to the commercial interests of the three treaty powers in Samoa.