Baron von Thielmann to Mr. Olney.


Mr. Secretary of State: In his note, No. 52, of April 24 last, to my predecessor in office, the late Mr. W. Q. Gresham, Secretary of State, declared himself in the name of the United States Government to be in accord with the proposition of the two other treaty powers to have the work of the Samoan land commission completed by the three consuls, and to meet the expense of the remaining surveys by the payment of a third thereof by each of the States interested.

Although the complete termination of the duties of the land commission should have been brought about immediately thereupon, according to reports from Samoa, the American consul-general resists all cooperation with his colleagues, and has consequently prevented the commencement of the remaining surveys. This attitude on the part of the American representative is all the more striking as, in view of a report from the Imperial German consul in Apia of July 14 last, he has acknowledged having received similar instructions to those received by the other consuls, yet notwithstanding persists in refusing to take joint action in the land matters until [receipt of] further instructions, which he has asked for. Under these circumstances, the favorable season of the year for undertaking the local work will pass by and an increase in cost and labor will be brought about.

The Royal British Government having also broached the subject of these differences to the Imperial Government, I have now the honor, in accordance with instructions, to ask your excellency kindly to again acquaint the consul-general of the United States at Apia with the decision of the Government contained in the note of April 24 last, and to request him to take part, in common with his colleagues, in the completion of the affairs of the land commission, as well as to take the necessary measures for assuming one-third of the expenses of the survey.

In view of the importance of a speedy termination of the land surveys in Samoa, and the attitude of the American representative, may I suggest to your excellency to convey such instruction by telegram.

Awaiting a reply from your excellency with respect to your action in the matter,

I avail, etc.,