Mr. Wharton to Sir Julian Pauncefote.
Washington, September 8, 1891.
Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 24th ultimo, in which are embodied certain suggestions made by Her Majesty’s consul at Samoa, with the concurrence of the Samoan Government and the German vice-consul, for the capture of Mataafa and the disarmament of his troops. You state, in conclusion, that you have been instructed by Her Majesty’s principal secretary of state for foreign affairs to inquire whether the U. S. Government have received any similar suggestion from their representative in Samoa, and, if so, what view they take of it.
In reply I have the honor to state that the advices received from our consul-general at Apia do not confirm the views of the German vice-consul as to the necessity of the extreme measures suggested. It is confidently believed, by Mr. Sewall that the presence of a single ship of each of the powers and their joint representation to Mataafa and his followers would result in the restoration of order and confidence.[Page 515]
In view of the fact that there has been no outbreak or violence, the President deems the measures suggested by the German vice-consul to be altogether unjustifiable and likely to destroy all the good results anticipated and partly realized by the Berlin conference. The consul-general of the United States has made friendly and yet very decided representations to Mataafa as to the risk and folly of his course.
The United States and Germany have each a war vessel at Apia, and the presence of a British vessel would complete the naval representation of the powers.
Such joint naval representation of the powers would undoubtedly restore the order of things which the three powers established.
I have the honor, etc.,