Mr. Gresham to Baron Saurma.

No. 23.]

Excellency: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 23d ultimo, inclosing a dispatch from the Imperial consul at Apia, of December 29 last.

Your excellency calls attention to the Imperial consul’s complaint that Mr. Mulligan, the American consul-general, refuses to take part in the joint deliberations of the consuls of the treaty powers, thus occasioning frequent annoyance. You express the opinion that his course can not meet the approval of this Government, and that this Department will consequently instruct him to discontinue his opposition, and to act in harmony with his consular colleagues.

In reply I beg to inform your excellency that a dispatch has been received at this Department from Mr. Mulligan, dated January 1,1895, stating that the municipal council had declined to entertain and act, either favorably or unfavorably, upon the application of Mr. Parker, an American citizen, for a hotel license.

The refusal to act upon this application, Mr. Mulligan states, was due to the fact that had the license been granted to Mr. Parker it would have interfered with a monopoly now enjoyed by a German subject, [Page 1129] himself a member of the municipal council, and the proprietor of the only two hotels in the island. It is stated that there are several other places which are mere tippling houses, but only these two which have any pretensions to the title of hotel.

The Imperial consul’s dispatch, referring to the same subject, admits that personal interest may have had some weight in this matter. Mr. Mulligan states that had the council taken action either one way or the other, its decision might have been reviewed by the chief justice, but its refusal to entertain the application or to take any action with respect to it has deprived Mr. Parker of this means of redress.

This nonaction of the council was regarded by Mr. Mulligan as an undoubted wrong to Mr. Parker, and he evidently, and I think not unnaturally, felt somewhat indignant at it. This, no doubt, has led him into the conduct of which your Government now complains.

Mr. Mulligan has been instructed as to the course which, in the opinion of this Department, Mr. Parker should pursue to obtain an adjudication on his application. The Department does not, however, uphold Mr. Mulligan in pursuing a retaliatory policy in order to secure justice to his countryman, and, although it appears that the German members of the municipal council have adopted obstructive methods for the purpose of excluding an American citizen from participation in privileges which they enjoy, he will be instructed to desist from such method in connection with the work of the consular board, and to take part, in accordance with the spirit of the Berlin act, in its deliberations.

Accept, etc.,

W. Q. Gresham.