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The Revolt of the Samoans

The Latest Repressive Law

The Latest Repressive Law

The last repressive measure enacted was the Samoa Amendment Act, 1927. It bears a striking resemblance to Bismarck's "Exceptional Law," which drove numbers of the Prussian Government's political opponents into exile on the eve of Christmas, 1878. The Samoa Amendment Act, 1927, constituted the Government's confession that the amending Order-in-Council of the same year was ultra vires, and that, ipso facto, all the acts done and threats made by virtue of it were illegal. The Samoa Amendment Act, 1927, provides that "if the Administrator has reason to believe" (it will be observed that proof is not necessary) that any person is preventing or hindering the due performance of the Government's functions and duties, he may in writing require such person to appear before him to show cause why he should not be deported; and, having heard the person suspected, the Administrator, without laying any charge whatever and without any form of law-court trial, may deport the suspected person for a period of five years in the case of a European and for two years if the suspect is a Samoan; but the Samoan cannot be sent beyond the islands of Samoa. There is a fine of £100 and imprisonment for a year for any person disobeying a deportation or banishment order.