Sir E. Malet to the Marquis of Salisbury.

No. 221.]

[Navigators Islands, November 30; confidential, 80; section 1.]

No. 1.

My Lord: I have the honor to inform your lordship that, on receiving your lordships’ dispatch No. 271 of the 18th instant, on the affairs of Samoa, I communicated the inclosures to Baron von Marschall, and requested his excellency to inform me as to his views upon Consul Cusack-Smith’s reports and suggestions. I asked Baron von Marschall yesterday whether he had considered the matter, and he told me that he thought it was disposed of by the refusal of the governments to accept Freiherr Senfft von Pilsach’s resignation. His excellency went on to say that, in his opinion, Mr. Cusack-Smith should have supported the president of the municipal council in his resistance to the decree forbidding the entry of German coinage, as such a decree was clearly a violation of the Samoan act. All that followed and the president’s final resignation was due to want of support in this matter where he had a right to look for it—that was from the three consuls.

I asked Baron von Marschall what part of the Samoan act was violated by the decree in question. His excellency said that he could not without reference state the passage, but that he was informed by his legal advisers that Freiherr Senfft von Pilsach had acted strictly in accordance with the act in endeavoring to prevent the decree, and that he should have been supported by the consuls.

I have since examined the act, and the only passage I can find which may be held to bear on the point in question is the third section of Chapter iii, end of second paragraph, where it is stated that the president shall not give advice to the prejudice of the rights of either of the treaty powers.

The opening declaration that the citizens and subjects of the three signatory powers have equal rights of residence, trade, and personal protection may, perhaps, be held to exclude the power of the King to prohibit the import of the currency of one of the signatory powers.

I have, etc.,

Edward B. Malet.