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The Revolt of the Samoans

The Administrator and Mr. Nelson

The Administrator and Mr. Nelson

On September 28, 1926, the Hon. O. F. Nelson was welcomed back to Samoa after an absence of six months (spent in quest of health); and the Administrator eulogised him as one who would stand out con spicuously as having played an important part in promoting the welfare of Samoa. Mr. Nelson, he said, was able to represent Samoa with ability and dignity, and he would introduce him with confidence to any society in any part of the world. He told the young men that they should regard Mr. Nelson's life as an inspiration to them, and declared that he (Nelson) had well earned the public appreciation and approval he was receiving that evening.

A few months later the General was pouring out fierce denunciations of Mr. Nelson, whom he offensively described as "the wealthy half-caste merchant, whose aim was apparently to increase his power and influence so as to advance his commercial interests." The Administrator was also declaring that Mr. Nelson was a seditionary, a disseminator of lies, a European agitator, and one of six who were "the real ulcer of Samoa." Later still he was suggesting that Mr. Nelson was aiming at becoming Governor of Western Samoa, and he was also demanding power to deport Nelson from Samoa without the formality of a trial. If there was nothing else to be said against the Administrator, the language used by him in this connection would show that he is temperamentally unfitted for the position he holds.