Count von Quadt to Mr. Hay.


Sir: The undersigned has the honor, by direction of the Government of His Imperial and Royal Majesty, to transmit to the Secretary of State the accompanying copy of a confidential communication from the Royal Swedish-Norwegian embassy at Berlin, dated the 11th instant.

From this it appears that His Majesty the King of Sweden and Norway has declared his assent to the agreement that claims for damages from such foreign inhabitants of Samoa as are not subjects of one of the powers that signed the arbitration agreement of November 7, 1899, be included, with the consent of the latter, in the arbitration proceedings, provided the individual claimant previously make the express declaration to recognize as final the arbitrator’s decision.

With reference to certain French claims for damages, an agreement was reached between the signatory powers of the arbitration agreement of November 7, 1899, to admit said claims; such admission having been sanctioned by the Imperial Government, and no objection thereto existing on the part of Great Britain and the United States, as appears from an oral declaration made at the beginning of last June by Mr. Villiers, Assistant Secretary of State, representing Lord Salisbury, to the imperial ambassador at London, and from a written communication of Secretary of State Hay to the imperial ambassador, dated June 26 last.

His Imperial and Royal Majesty’s Government accordingly ventures to request the Government of the United States of America to communicate to His Majesty the King of Sweden and Norway, through its representative at Stockholm, its consent to the admission of the French claims to arbitration.

At the same time the Imperial Government remarks that no objections exist on its part to admit also the rest of the claims for damages deemed worthy of consideration by the arbiter. So far as the Imperial Government is informed, claims amounting to about $5,000, preferred by one Norwegian, two Swedes, two Danes, and one Portuguese, will come up for consideration.

Before the Imperial Government instructs the imperial ambassador at Stockholm in regard to this matter it would be grateful for an expression, as soon as practicable, of the views of the Government of the United States of America, namely: Whether it agrees to thus extending the scope of the claims and is willing to instruct its representative at Stockholm to that effect.

The undersigned adds that the Royal Government of Great Britain has been similarly communicated with on the part of the Government of his Majesty the Emperor and King, and utilizing this occasion he renews the assurance of his most distinguished consideration.

A. Quadt.
[Page 524]

[Confidential notes.]

Count Walwitz has applied to the Government of the King and asked for confidential information as to whether the King would be inclined to allow certain claims preferred by residents of the Samoan Islands who are not subjects or citizens of one of the signatory powers be also submitted to the King’s arbitration, in addition to those of such subjects or citizens of the signatory powers.

His Majesty was pleased to declare that he consents to extend his arbitral jurisdiction to all claims that may be laid before the tribunal by a foreigner residing in the Samoan Islands with the assent of the powers parties to the Washington convention.

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

His Majesty the King looks for a communication from the three signatory powers concerning the decision they may reach with regard to the claims under consideration.