Mr. Blaine to Count von Arco-Valley.

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your note of the 4th instant, with which you inclose Nos. 23 and 31 of the imperial bulletin of the laws for 1890, which respectively contain the decrees of the Imperial Government for the regulation of the consular jurisdiction of the Empire of Samoa, in accordance with general act of the Berlin conference signed on the 14th day of June, 1889.

In acknowledging this communication, it is proper to observe that it is not thought that any special legislation will be required on the part of this Government to give the general act effect, so far as it touches the jurisdiction of the consul of the United States. Under the constitution of this Government, a treaty is a law of the land, and repeals, or modifies, as the case may be, prior and inconsistent laws, whether they be in the form of international conventions or of domestic statutes. This being so, it is thought that the general act, which has been duly ratified and proclaimed as a treaty between the United States, Germany, and Great Britain, will have due effect so far as the consular jurisdiction of this Government is concerned, without special legislation.

Accept, sir, etc.,

James G. Blaine.