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The Revolt of the Samoans

Revelations that Were Made

Revelations that Were Made

The evidence placed before the Joint Samoa Committee contained revelations which under normal conditions producing a legitimate desire on the part of a majority of members of Parliament for the vindication of justice would have led to prompt action making for material changes at Samoa. But, unfortunately, the conditions were not normal, and Reform Party interests seemed to count for more than any other consideration. Among these revelations were the facts relating to the administration of Justice in Samoa. It is a peculiar feature of the Samoan Administration that the Chief Judge is a nominated member of the Legislative Council, where (according to the evidence given) he is entitled to figure as a partisan politician, introducing repressive legislation and vigorously denouncing those who are opposed to the Government. His speech when introducing the Maintenance of Native Affairs Ordinance in March, 1927, is illuminating when it is remembered that, in the event of prosecutions under the Ordinance, the promoter of the measure would have to decide whether the person charged was guilty under its provisions, and would be supposed to maintain a judicial viewpoint while so deciding. Wlien elections are being held, the Committee was told, both the Chief Judge and his deputy take an active part in the contest, and personally canvass for votes for the candidates who declare themselves in favour of the Administration.