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The Revolt of the Samoans

A Demand for the "Dispersion" of the Mau

A Demand for the "Dispersion" of the Mau

Shortly after the deportation order was served on the Hon. O. F. Nelson and Messrs. Gurr and Smyth, the Administrator called the Hons. A. Williams and G. E. L. Westbrook and Mr. Meredith before him, and demanded that they should meet the Mau Committee in Apia and submit to him in writing within one week a statement of "what they propose to do to disperse the Mau." The order apparently covered a threat of deportation if the Mau were not dispersed. The demand was as ridiculous as its accomplishment was impossible; and constituted yet another of those fantastic tricks which men clothed in a little brief authoritv play before high heaven, and the only effect of which is to make the angels weep. Even if the two Legislative Councillors and Mr. Meredith were ever so willing, they would have no more hope of dispersing the Man than either General Richardson or the New Zealand Government would have of regaining the confidence of the Samoan people. The Mau is the organisation of the Samoans; it is the inevitable product of the conditions which we have imposed on Samoa, and it reflects the strivings of the people for rights of self-government and for immunity from oppression. I am inclined to the view that the Mau (whether under its present name or some other) will continue its existence until the Samoans gain that degree of recognition of their rights as a people which they are now justly claiming from us. Besides, the Mau spirit has been strengthened and its antagonism to the Government intensified by the deportation orders against the Hon. Mr. Nelson and Messrs. Smyth and Gurr.