Mr. von Mumm to Mr. Blaine.


Mr. Secretary of State: The royal ambassador of Great Britain at Berlin, by a note of the 3d instant, communicating the memorandum, a copy of which is inclosed, relative to certain differences of opinion which have arisen between the chief justice in Samoa and the Samoa land commission, requested the Imperial Government to give an expression of its opinion with regard to the method which should be adopted for the payment of the expenses entailed by the labors of the land commission.

I have the honor to inform you, Mr. Secretary of State, in obedience to instructions received, that the Imperial Government would be willing, should the same willingness exist on the part of the other treaty powers, to pay one-third of the necessary expenses which have grown out of labors of the Samoa land commission, in addition to the salaries of the members and the expense entailed by the taking of evidence by surveys.

In case of the agreement of the treaty powers on this point, the best way to prevent a postponement of the labors of the commission would be to instruct the three consuls to inform the chief justice of the decison of the governments, and to request him to furnish an interpretation of paragraph 2 of section 2, Article iv, of the Samoa act.

At the same time it would be well to authorize each of the three consuls to pay one-third of the expenses of the commission as approved by the chief justice, from the funds under their control.

As regards what is asked for by the land commission, subnumbers 1 to 8 of the memorandum, the Imperial Government shares the view of the Royal Government of Great Britain, viz, that the sums asked for are required for the completion of the labors of the commission.

It would, however, be well to urge the members of the commission to practice the strictest economy, and to leave it to them to secure the services of a person, at a moderate salary, to do the necessary writing and interpreting. The services of a special officer could thus be dispensed with.

Begging you to acquaint me with the view entertained by your Government on the foregoing points,

I avail myself, etc.,

A. von Mumm.