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No Evil to Undo

page 41

No Evil to Undo

General Richardson: When the Minister was here he asked you to refrain from and to undo the evils that already had been done. Have you actively carried out these instructions?—There was no evil that we had already done to undo. I could not undo what I had done, because I had worked as I considered for the benefit of the Samoans.

Are you aware that the Committee here sent round instructions not to obey Government orders, and not to pay taxes?—I am aware of it recently, since the Minister's visit. I had nothing to do with them.

Have you used your influence to undo that?—I have endeavoured to persuade the Samoans with whom I have talked to acknowledge the authority of the officials of the Government, and to conform to every regulation. I have also stated this in the Samoa edition of the "Guardian." I recall one incident when a circular letter was written by the Secretary of Native Affairs informing the people that the Administrator was going round the Island, and in order that the Samoans might know this, I put it in the paper and issued an extra leaflet exactly as issued by the Secretary of Native Affairs. At the same time I urged the Samoans to meet the Governor and place their matters before him.

The "Samoa Guardian" has from time to time reported grievances of the Samoan people. Did you convince yourself before publishing these that these grievances were genuine?—Yes; I think that all the grievances that I have stated are genuine.

General Richardson: That is all I have to ask.

Mr. Slipper: His Excellency refers to undoing the harm which you have done. With reference to the issuing of instructions to the Natives to disregard the laws, His Excellency says that they came from the Samoan Committee. Were any of these instructions, at the time of issue or before that, referred to you for confirmation or approval in any way?—No.

By this time you were divorced from the Committee, the Samoan section?—Yes; I advised them in the paper, and verbally when I had a chance to speak to them, to obey the laws and the authorities.

General Richardson: Have you been in contact or communication with any members of the Mau Committee in Apia during the last two or three months?—When the Commission was sitting here, not since; nor after the visit of the Minister.