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Delegation to New Zealand Elected

Delegation to New Zealand Elected.

At both public meetings the names of those present and a full report of the proceedings were taken down, both on behalf of the Committee and by an official of the Administration. There was nothing in the nature of disorder, nor any semblance of disrespect, disloyalty, or sedition in the speeches and discussions. As chairman of the meetings I pointed out, although such indication was quite superfluous at this meeting in Apia, that the fullest respect must always be paid the Administrator as representative of the King, but that in his capacity of Prime Minister and head of the Government in the Legislative Council General Richardson's political policy was a fair subject for criticism by any citizen. The failure of the Minister to keep his promise to visit us in November, and his refusal to reconsider his decision, was a great disappointment to the meeting, and it was resolved that a deputation of three Europeans and six Samoan High Chiefs be appointed to convey the reports of the sub-committees to the Minister in Wellington, and that he be asked to receive the deputation in January.

In reply to this request, the Minister stated he was prepared to receive the delegation in January, 1927, but that all representations must first be submitted to the Administrator for report, and any matter touching upon Native affairs must be placed before the Fono of Faipules. The reports of the sub-committees as approved by the public meeting were forwarded to the Administrator, and High Chiefs selected went to their page 16 districts with the object of obtaining contributions towards the expenses of their journey to New Zealand. Their activities at once made them subject to threats and intimidation from the officials of the Administration. Three were arrested, and orders under the "Samoan Offenders' Ordinance" were issued against them compelling them to reside in fixed places, and nowhere else, for varying periods. They were notified by the police that their application for passports to New Zealand would be refused. The elected M.L.C/s wired the Minis strongly objecting to the discipline which was being meted out to the Chiefs.

The radio reply of Mr. Nosworthy was that he would only be guided in Native affairs by the Fono of Faipules. and he would not receive the Samoan members of the delegation until he knew their representations were endorsed by the Fono of Faipules. When it is realised that the principal matter of Native concern to be submitted to the Minister was—(1) the contention of the great body of Samoans that the Faipules did not represent them, but were merely paid officials and mouthpieces of the Administration; (2) that the Samoans desired direct representation on the Legislative Council as promised by Sir James Parr in the New Zealand Parliament in 1923: it will then be seen how absurd was the statement of the Minister that he would not listen to these Samoan Chiefs unless what they had to say against the Faipules was approved by the very Faipules whose qualifications and actions were being challenged and repudiated!