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umafili King of Samoa, which decision had been rejected by the Mataafa party, and that, therefore, the military action, if taken for that purpose, was not unwarranted-We have found nothing in the said General Act, or any subsequent agreement, which authorizes one of the Signatory Powers, or a majority of them, to take action to enforce the provisions of the Act, or the decisions of the Chief Justice binding on the Powers;
Whereas, on the contrary, by Art. I of the General Act it is expressly provided that "neither of the Powers shall exercise any separate control over the islands or the Government thereof", and, taking into consideration the nature and extent of the operations at the time aforesaid conducted in Samoa by the British and American military authorities, the military action in question undoubtedly had the character of a serious control over the Samoan Islands and the Government thereof; And whereas, moreover, the protocols of the Berlin Conference clearly show that, in framing the General Act, the plenipotentiaries of the Powers wished to establish the principle that, in their dealings with Samoa, the Powers only could proceed by common accord, and as this very principle has been sanctioned by the Powers not only in subsequent agreements supplementary to the General Act made between them in 1892 and 1896, by which it was agreed that under certain circumstances their ships of war might be used to support the Supreme Court of Samoa and ammunition served out to the Samoan Government, though in both cases only with the unanimous consent of the representatives of the Powers, but also in the instructions issued for the Joint Commission sent to Samoa in 1899, the actions of which should be valid only if acceded to by all three commissioners;
Whereas, furthermore, by proclamation issued on the 4: th of January 1899 the Consular Representatives of the Treaty Powers in Samoa, owing to the then disturbed state of affairs and to the urgent necessity to establish a strong Provisional Government, recognized the Mataafa party represented by the High Chief Mataafa and thirteen of his chiefs to be the Provisional Government of Samoa pending instructions from the three Treaty Powers, and thus those Powers were bound upon principles of international good faith to maintain the situation thereby created until by common accord they had otherwise decided; And whereas, that being so, the military action in question undertaken by the British and American military authorities before the arrival of the instructions mentioned in the proclamation, and tending to overthrow the Provisional Government thereby established, was contrary to the aforesaid obligation and cannot be justified on the plea neither of the invalidity ab initio of the said Provisional Government nor of its establishment under a species of force majeure;
Whereas with respect to the objection of the British and United States' Governments to the refusal of the German Consul to sign the proclamation proposed by the other Consuls to be issued immediately after the Chief Justice had given his decision on the 31: st of December 1898, and their contention that, in determining the responsibility for the subsequent events, it should be taken into consideration that the attitude of the German Consul was a direct violation of the provisions of the Berlin General Act-it cannot be considered to have been the duty of the German Consul to take part in the issuing of said proclamation, and it has not been proved that with regard to said decision any steps were taken by him contrary to the General Act, and therefore no responsibility attaches for the attitude taken up by him in this respect;
Whereas with respect to the contention of the British and United States' Governments that, whether or not there was authority to insist by force on the acceptance of the provisions of the Berlin General Act, the military action was not unwarranted, because it was necessary for the protection of lives and property which it was the duty of the British and American officers to safeguard, and because the opening of fire on the 15: th of March was necessitated by the Mataafan warriors making a rush on the British and the United States' Consulates and by a threatened attack by several war canoes on Mulinuu, where a detachment from the British and American ships was stationed,We have found nothing in the evidence before Us to show that the general condition of affairs was such as to render the military action necessary for the protection of lives and property, and, as to the said two attacks alleged to have taken place on the 15: th of March, it results from all the facts relative thereto that the rush was not, and never was meant to be, an attack on the Consulates but simply was directed against some fleeing women of the Malietoa party, that no attack was intended on Mulinuu by the canoes, which by the garrison there were seen putting out from the opposite shore of the Vaiusu bay and which were ordered by Mataafa to go along the coast to the west and, in fact, were going in that direction and not towards Mulinuu when the firing began, and that, on account of the state of the tide, it was not even possible at the time to pass the bay in canoes;
And whereas it is established not only that, on the arrival of the "Philadelphia" on the 6: th of March, the Malietoans were completely defeated, and deported to distant places, and deprived of their arms, and unable to offer any resistance whatever to the victorious Mataafans, but also that in the last days before the beginning of the bombardment Mataafa was ordered away from Mulinuu by the United States' Admiral, and that the Malietoans were brought back there by the British and United States' military authorities, that a considerable quantity of arms was returned to the Malietoans, which arms in the beginning of January 1899 had been surrendered by them to the Commander of the "Porpoise" when, defeated by the Mataafans, they had taken refuge under the guns of that ship, that ammunition was distributed to the Malietoans from the reserve stock which, according to the arrangement in 1896 between the Treaty Powers, was to be kept for the use of the Samoan Government and served out to the natives only by the unanimous request of the three consuls, and that such distribution was made by the British and American authorities without the consent of the German Consul;
And whereas it ought to have been foreseen that the said actions on the part of the British and American authorities, which cannot be considered to have been justified by any threatening attitude of the Mataafans, should exasperate these latter and greatly endanger the peace of the country and the situation created by the surrender of the Malietoans on the 2: nd of January and by the establishment of the Provisional Government, and, therefore, the British and United States' authorities ought to have abstained from such proceedings; Whereas, with respect to the stopping of the street traffic, the measures relative thereto were in themselves contrary, as far as Germans were concerned, to the provisions of the Berlin General Act guaranteeing them the same rights of residence, trade, and personal protection as subjects and citizens of the two other Powers, and, at all events, those measures constituting only a detail of the military operations at the time, the question whether or not they were unwar
ranted under the circumstances depends on the same considerations as those which concern the military action in general;
Whereas the above considerations apply equally to all the claims before Us, whether presented under the Arbitration Convention itself or under the subsequent arrangement;
For these reasons,
We are of opinion
That the military action in question, viz. the bringing back of the Malietoans and the distribution to them of arms and ammunition, the bombardment, the military operations on shore, and the stopping of the street traffic, cannot be considered as having been warranted;
And that, therefore, His Britannic Majesty's Government and the United States' Government are responsible under the Convention of the 7th of November 1899 for losses caused by said military action; While reserving for a future decision the question as to the extent to which the two Governments, or each of them, may be considered responsible for such losses.
In testimony whereof We have signed this present Decision and have ordered Our Royal Seal to be affixed hereunto. Done in triplicate at Our Royal Palace at Stockholm on the fourteenth day of October in the year of Our Lord one thousand nine hundred and two. OSCAR. [L. S.]
CONVENTION TO ADJUST THE QUESTION BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES, GERMANY, AND GREAT BRITAIN IN RESPECT TO THE SAMOAN ISLANDS.
Concluded December 2, 1899; ratification advised by Senate January 16, 1900; ratified by the President February 13, 1900; ratifications exchanged February 16, 1900; proclaimed February 16, 1900. (U.S. Stats., vol. 31, p. 1878.)
I. General act and treaties annulled.
III. Commercial privileges.
The President of the United States of America, His Imperial Majesty the German Emperor, King of Prussia, and Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Empress of India, desiring to adjust amicably the questions which have arisen between them in respect to the Samoan group of Islands, as well as to avoid all future misunderstanding in respect to their joint or several rights and claims of possession or jurisdiction therein, have agreed to establish and regulate the same by a special convention; and whereas the Governments of Germany and Great Britain have, with the concurrence of that of the United States, made an agreement regarding their respective rights and interests in the aforesaid group, the three Powers before named in furtherance of the ends above mentioned have appointed respectively their Plenipotentiaries as follows:
The President of the United States of America, The Honorable John Hay, Secretary of State of the United States;
His Majesty the German Emperor, King of Prussia, His Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Herr von Holleben; and
Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain and Ireland, Empress of India, the Right Honorable Lord Pauncefote of Preston, G. C. B., G. C. M. G., Her Britanic Majesty's Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary:
who, after having communicated each to the other their respective full powers which were found to be in proper form, have agreed upon and concluded the following articles:
The General Act concluded and signed by the aforesaid Powers at Berlin on the 14th day of June, A. D. 1889, and all previous treaties, conventions and agreements relating to Samoa, are annulled.
Germany renounces in favor of the United States of America all her rights and claims over and in respect to the Island of Tutuila and all other islands of the Samoan group east of Longitude 171° west of Greenwich.
Great Britain in like manner renounces in favor of the United States of America all her rights and claims over and in respect to the Island of Tutuila and all other islands of the Samoan group east of Longitude 171° west of Greenwich.
Reciprocally, the United States of America renounce in favor of Germany all their rights and claims over and in respect to the Islands of Upolu and Savaii and all other Islands of the Samoan group west of Longitude 171° west of Greenwich.
It is understood and agreed that each of the three signatory Powers shall continue to enjoy, in respect to their commerce and commercial vessels, in all the islands of the Samoan group privileges and conditions equal to those enjoyed by the sovereign Power, in all ports which may be open to the commerce of either of them.
The present Convention shall be ratified as soon as possible, and shall come into force immediately after the exchange of ratifications.
In faith whereof, we, the respective Plenipotentiaries, have signed this Convention and have hereunto affixed our seals.
Done in triplicate, at Washington, the second day of December, in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and ninety-nine.
TREATY OF COMMERCE AND NAVIGATION.
Concluded November 26, 1838; ratification advised by the Senate March 2, 1839; ratified by the President March 8, 1839; ratifications exchanged March 18, 1839; proclaimed March 18, 1839. (Treaties and Conventions, 1889, p. 974.)
This treaty of twenty articles and a separate article was superseded by the Treaty of 1871 with Italy, (p. 449) Sardinia having become merged into that Kingdom.