Baron von Thielmann to Mr. Olney.
Washington, August 18, 1896.
Mr. Secretary of State: As your excellency has probably been informed by the reports of the United States consul at Apia, the consuls of the treaty powers have been requested by the Samoan Government to allow it, in pursuance of Article VII, section 1, of the Samoa act, to import 1,000 guns and 50,000 cartridges. This request has, however, been rejected by the consular board, which recommends that a supply of ammunition, consisting of 10,000 Henry-Martini, Mauser, Snider, and Springfield cartridges, be kept in readiness on board of the war vessels of the treaty powers in Samoa.
I have the honor most respectfully to state that the Imperial Government is prepared to keep in readiness its quota of 2,000 Mauser cartridges, in case the two other Governments are willing to make provision for the rest of the ammunition, and that, according to a communication received from the embassy of Great Britain at Berlin, bearing date of July 4, 1896, the British Government appears to be willing to procure [Page 547]a supply of Henry-Martini and Snider cartridges. I therefore beg your excellency, in pursuance of instructions received, to favor me with a statement of the view taken by the United States Government of the proposition made by the consular board at Apia.