Mr. Phelps to Mr. Blaine.

No 79.]

Sir: It occurred to rue that it might be useful to have in the files of the Department which preserve the papers connected with Samoa, on a single sheet and in print, the extracts from the three great organs of German political sentiment and thought which I have already forwarded separately. They indicate the absolute unanimity—so far as newspapers reflect it—of German public sentiment with reference to the Samoan treaty. I take the liberty of inclosing some twenty copies of these extracts in print.

I have, etc.,

Wm. Walter Phelps.
[Page 307]
[Inclosure in No. 79.]

German newspaper comments on the Samoan treaty.

The German papers do not seem to be very much satisfied with the Samoan treaty. They think the United States got much the best of it. The following extracts from the leading papers in each of the three great parties which divide German political sentiment illustrate the unanimity of German criticism on the Samoan treaty.

[From the Berlin Kreuz Zeitung. (Extremely conservative.)]

German influence is not to be allowed predominating force, and in every particular the German element is to be reduced to the level of other foreign elements, although two thirds of all foreigners in Samoa are Germans.

Four-fifths of the entire trade, foreign and domestic, is in German hands. For these reasons, Germany in 1887, when a conference was first spoken of, naturally proposed that the control and final decision in disputes should be conferred upon it.

The Cabinet at Washington, however, refused this proposition, and now the conference, resumed 2 years later, has gone so far as to determine that Germany has no paramount claims, notwithstanding its great interests there.

[From the Berlin Vossische Zeitung. (Moderate.)]

Although the Germans have by far the largest part of the trade in their hands, they are to have no more rights than the little band of Americans on the islands.

Certainly, it is wisest to look at the fact that, from the pleasantest point of view, it is a retreat and to console ourselves with the thought that it might have been worse.

From the standpoint of German interests, the contents of the Samoan treaty certainly afford no ground for particular satisfaction. The circumstance alone that in Samoa the Germans are denied that influence which they claimed in virtue of their superior possessions and numbers must be regarded as unfortunate.

It is another of those blows in the face of which a liberal deputy gave notice when our present colonial policy was inaugurated, and of which we have had more than enough since.

[From the Frankfurter Zeitung. (Radical.)]

It is strange that even in America, which has achieved in the Samoan treaty all it could desire, certain papers are now expressing other than perfect satisfaction with it. As a fact, these are only papers which disapprove the government of President Harrison and of his Secretary of State, Mr. Blaine, on principle. One of those papers writes: “The suspicion has existed some time that in the division of Samoan spoils between Bismarck and Blaine the former got the oyster, the latter the shell. This expectation becomes conviction when the text of the Samoan treaty is read.” We have sought in vain in American papers for any grounds for these queer utterances, whose only purpose can be a cheap criticism of the Administration. Such international questions are judged, on the whole, more impartially in Germany than in America.