Mr. Phelps to Mr. Gresham.

No. 561.]

Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith a copy, with translation, of a note from the imperial foreign office, dated the 27th instant, which was received to-day, and in which it is suggested by the German Government that the labors of the Samoan land commission be allowed to be prolonged until the end of May, 1894.

While awaiting instructions from the Department which will enable me to communicate to the foreign office the wishes of the President in this matter,

I have, etc.,

Wm. Walter Phelps.
[Inclosure in No. 561.—Translation.]

Mr. Minister: It appears by a communication from the imperial envoy at Washington that the U. S. Government had in January last called attention to the fact that the land commission appointed to examine land claims in Samoa could not accomplish its task within the period of two years provided for in Article iv, section 3, of the Samoan treaty, and that a question had consequently arisen of prolonging this period.

The Imperial Government would consider it expedient to make such prolongation for the period of one year, so that the commission which began its labors on May 30, 1891, would be required to complete them at the latest by the end of May, 1894. I should be grateful if your excellency would kindly inform me whether the Government of the United States agrees to this proposition. The same proposal has been made to the Royal Government of Great Britain, and I shall not fail to communicate their answer to your excellency.

Accept, etc.,