The Germans in Samoa
The special correspondent of the Sidney Morning Herald, writing from Apia on , says:— We have just passed through a very critical period, covering the time allowed for the payment of the taxes, and it has closed without the expected outbreak of hostilities. About the time that the tax fell due, and the wholesale imprisonment of defaulters was anticipated, there were meetings of influential chiefs in various parts of the islands to consider whether they should pay or not. The most significant of these meetings was held by Tamasese’s own party, at Leulumoenga. Tamasese sent a peremptory message to the chiefs prohibiting the fono, and they returned a defiant answer, and held their fono all the same. As far as can be learned, they decided to pay the tax — as it was not a large amount — into the hands of the officers, but that these officers shall not deliver it over to the Germans until a satisfactory settlement has been arrived at. Reports now came in from both Savaii and Tutuila that some of the chiefs were standing out against the payment of the tax. At Savaii, one of Tamasese’s policemen, sent to remind one of the chiefs to pay the tax at once, received a very significant answer. The chief told him that he had his repeating rifle, that his wife had hers, and all his family relations, some twenty altogether, had their repeating rifles, and that was all the money they had to pay taxes with. On Tutuila, it was said, Maunga Manuma and about 800 followers refused to pay unless they were absolutely compelled to do so. It is understood that the Government have now given the natives unitil the to pay in the tax-money still unpaid, and after payment will be enforced. As for Tamasese himself, he is in very bad odour, and his position is weaker than ever. On the German man-of-war Adler returned to Apia. Three of the German men-of-war left on — the Bismarck, the Carola, and the Sophie. They are understood to be bound for Hongkong. Two men-of-war have been left, and it is reported that a third vessel is on the way to join them, but this is not confirmed. From what I have stated, it will be seen that the prospect in Somoa is far from peaceful and satisfactory.
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