Mr. Rockhill to Lord Gough.

No. 477.]

My Lord: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of Sir Julian Pauncefote’s note of July 15, 1896, accompanied by copies of correspondence from Her Majesty’s consul at Apia, submitting the recommendation of the three consuls formulated at a meeting held there on April 14, 1896, that the men-of-war of the treaty powers which may be sent to Samoa shall carry a reserve amount of ammunition for the use of the Samoan Government in an emergency in and around Apia or at any other point when it may be deemed necessary. This reserve ammunition is to consist of 4,000 Martini-Henry cartridges, 2,000 Mauser cartridges, 2,000 Snider cartridges, and 2,000 Springfield cartridges, all to be kept on board the men-of-war and only to be landed [Page 552] or distributed upon the unanimous request to the commander by the consuls of the three treaty powers in Samoa.

The dispatch of Mr. Blacklock, vice consul-general of the United States at Apia, No. 116, of April 20, 1896, apprised the Department of this recommendation and, as appears by a note from the German ambassador of the 18th ultimo upon this subject, the Imperial Government is prepared to keep in readiness its quota of 2,000 Mauser cartridges, provided the Governments of the United States and Great Britain are willing to make provision for the remainder of the ammunition as follows: Great Britain to provide the Martini-Henry and Snider cartridges and the United States the Springfield cartridges.

It is understood that this arrangement is satisfactory to Her Majesty’s Government in case it is “thought desirable to adopt it.”

At present there is no ship of war of the United States available for the purpose indicated, and I can not now foresee just when it will be convenient to send one to Samoan waters; but since the Governments of Great Britain and Germany are prepared and willing to carry out the recommendation of the consuls, no objection is perceived to the ships of those countries keeping the extra cartridges on board, to be landed or distributed only upon the unanimous request to the commander by the consuls of the three treaty powers in Samoa.

I have addressed a similar note to the German ambassador, and shall give Mr. Churchill, the consul-general of this Government at Apia, copies of this correspondence for his information.

I have, etc.,

W. W. Rockhill.