Baron Saurma to Mr. Gresham.


Mr. Secretary of State: As may be known to your excellency, the labors of the Samoan land commission, to which for the last time your note of December 31 of the past year referred, have been in the interval terminated.

According to a report of the Imperial consul in Apia, a still greater expenditure has been incurred in connection with the labors of the commission. In some decisions upon contested claims, in especial where one part of the claim was allowed and the other part rejected, the commission concluded to survey and determine the boundaries of the lands in question. The costs thereof have been estimated at $1,500 to $2,000. In virtue of paragraph 2, section 2, of Article IV of the Samoan acts, the Imperial consul has recommended that the costs be borne by the Governments of the three treaty powers.

In having the honor pursuant to instructions to advise your excellency that the Imperial Government is willing to bear a third of these costs that will fall to its share, may I ask of your excellency whether the Government of the United States is likewise prepared to assume the payment of one-third of them as its share?

Accept, etc.,