The TRUTH about SAMOA
A Warning to Mr. Nosworthy
A Warning to Mr. Nosworthy.
The Citizens' Committee wired the Minister advising him that his confidence in the Administrator, and his Faipules, was not shared by the Natives or European residents, nor would his faith in them remedy the grievances we wished to lay before him. The Committee declared their loyalty and sincere desire for friendly relations, but warned the Minister that his attitude was shaking our faith in New Zealand's ability o administer the Mandate in Samoa's best interests.
In view of the fact that the Chiefs were being punished for their action in accepting nomination to a constitutional and loyal delegation, and debarred from leaving Samoa, it was decided that only one of the European members of the delegation appointed should proceed to New Zealand with the reports and files, and interview the Prime Minister there. Mr. S. H. Meredith went to New Zealand in January and interviewed the Rt. Hon. J. G. Coates, who was very sympathetic, but could only refer the matter to Mr. Nosworthy, and the Minister declined to have anything more to do with the matter until he could go down and investigate the trouble on the spot. Mr. Meredith found that the press of New Zealand would give him very little publicity about our grievances, or allow him to ventilate our wrongs, although officials of the Administration on leave were given space freely for propaganda work in praise of their own work and the governing genius of the Administrator. To counteract this and make the maladministration of Samoa known to the New Zealand public Mr. Meredith set out the plain facts in a small pamphlet which was widely distributed, and aroused the ire of the governing authorities in both Samoa and New Zealand.
Mr. Meredith returned and reported to the Committee, and, in view of Mr. Nosworthy's "Taihoa" policy of "wait and see," representative Natives page 17 from all districts of Samoa prepared a petition to the New Zealand House of Representatives, which was forwarded to a Member of Parliament for presentation at the 1927 session. The delay and evasion of the Administration in dealing with the complaints in Samoa was now followed by a policy of suppression and misrepresentation which it was hoped would smother the movement, and in view of the fact that the only newspaper in the Territory was a servile organ of the Administration, the supporters of the Citizens' Committee decided to establish an opposition paper-the "Samoa Guardian"—edited by Mr. E. W. Gurr, a British-born subject, who had lived over forty years in Samoa, and who had held high official positions with the Government of Samoa under the Tripartite control, and with the American Administration, Eastern Samoa, which offices brought him in closer political touch with the Samoans than any other European or American who has lived in Samoa.