Baron von Ketteler to Mr. Gresham.


Mr. Secretary of State: In your excellency’s note of February 16 last,1 No. 13, the question was again raised as to how much longer it was proposed to continue the banishment of the Samoan chief Mataafa and his associates, and it was further added that the Government of the United States would have to carefully consider whether it may, with propriety, longer participate in the measures adopted against the exiles.

Upon these expressions of your excellency having been communicated to the Imperial Government, I am instructed to say that an early return of the Samoans does not at present seem to be practicable, for, in the the opinion of the Imperial Government, the reasons still appear valid which were advanced in the note of February 12, 1894, addressed to your excellency by the Imperial ambassador, Baron von Saurma.

According to the reports received by the Imperial Government the conditions in Samoa are now still so disturbed and uncertain that the return of the insurgent chiefs would only conduce to seriously endanger the peace and order in the islands.

Though it appears necessary according to this to retain the captive Samoans for the present in Jaluit, it also seems hard, on the other hand, to cause their situation to become more oppressive by refusing their request to send their families to them.

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I have, therefore, the honor to request of your excellency a reconsideration of this matter in the light of the facts developed, and I venture to express the hope that it may lead to a modification of the decision rendered in the note of February 16 last, and to the participation of the Government of the United States in sending thither, as proposed, the families of the Samoans temporarily deported to Jaluit.

In adding further that the British Government fully concur with the Imperial Government on this subject,

I avail myself, etc.,