Mr. de Stråle to Mr. Hill.


Mr. Secretary of State: His excellency the minister of the United States at Stockholm has been informed by my Government that His Majesty the King has deigned to accept the invitation of the three Governments parties to the convention of Washington, of November 7, 1899, to assume the office of supreme arbitrator in the cases of indemnity claimed by subjects or citizens of the three powers in the Samoan Islands, and growing out of losses which the claimants allege they have sustained from the 1st of January, 1899, until the arrival of the joint commission, in consequence of an unjustified military operation of officers of the three powers.

His Majesty the King having subsequently heard that, in addition to these claims, certain persons who are not under the jurisdiction of any of the signatory powers are said to have preferred claims growing out of the same military operation, His Majesty wishes to know whether it is agreeable to the three signatory Governments to cause these claims to be also submitted to His Majesty’s arbitration. If so, the King would be willing to extend his arbitral jurisdiction to any claim submitted to his decision by an alien resident of the Samoan Islands, with the assent of the States that have signed the convention at Washington.

In order to enjoy this advantage the claimant should, however, make a formal declaration that he will accept the arbitral award as a final and absolute settlement.

While praying your excellency kindly to bring the foregoing to the knowledge of the Government of the United States, I have the honor [Page 899] to add that His Majesty the King looks for a communication of the three signatory States concerning the decision that they may arrive at in regard to claims of that nature.

Be pleased, etc.,

G. de Stråle.