Foreign office to Consul Cusack-Smith.

[No. 28. Confidential.]

No. 3.

Sir: Lord Salisbury has received and considered your dispatches Nos. 60, 61, and 62 of the 14th and 15th October last respecting the currency question in Samoa and Baron Senfft von Pilsach’s resignation, and has been in consultation with the German Government upon the subject.

The main point at issue in this matter appeared to be the interpretation of section 4, Article vi, of the Samoan final act, which runs as follows:

“It is understood that ‘dollars’ and ‘cents,’ terms of money used in this act, describe the standard money of the United States of America, or its equivalent in other currencies.”

Baron Senfft von Pilsach contends that, reading this in conjunction with Article i of the final act, which guarantees “to citizens and subjects of the three signatory powers equal rights of residence, trade, and personal protection,” he was justified in resisting the decision come to by the Samoan Government on the 27th July last, by which German coin was excluded from reception at the public treasury in payment of dues and taxes. Such a decision, the president maintains, was invalid by reason of the fact that the actual state of affairs in regard to the currency can sot be altered without the previous consent of the treaty powers.

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The attitude thus assumed by Baron Senfft is indorsed by the German Government, who have informed Her Majesty’s Government that they are decidedly opposed to any such diminution of the rights secured to them by treaty as would be involved in the exclusion of German currency from the Samoan Islands. There are technically cogent grounds for the view taken by the German Government.

I am, under these circumstances, to instruct you to act with your German colleague in urging the Samoan Government to adopt the suggestions for the settlement of the currency question which were made by the municipal council of Apia on the 3d June and 24th July last, and to take the necessary measures for giving effect to them.

I am to add that Her Majesty’s minister at Washington will be requested to invite the U. S. Government to instruct their consular representative at Samoa in a sense similar to that of this dispatch.

Copies of communications received from Baron Senfft von Pilsach and the German Government upon this subject are annexed for your confidential information.

I am, etc.,

P. Currie.