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The Samoan Massacre: December 28th, 1929


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The Western Samoa Mandatory Administration, in the early morning of December 28th 1929, without antecedent or occasional provocation, killed fifteen Natives and wounded some 50 others by the discharge, from rifles and a machine gun, of expanding or dum-dum bullets.

Although a Force of 250 Military Police, recruited on the authority of the late Sir Joseph Ward to relieve the Naval Brigade operating in Samoa, were demobilised after the unanimous objection of the Public, Press, and the New Zealand Seamen, an aged High Chief, and 72 other leaders suffered imprisonment for refusing to abandon the National Organisation instituted as a protest against the policy of Absolutism, and the Maladministration of the Affairs of the Territory as disclosed by a Commission of Experts, including Mr. Paul Verschaffelt, who was honoured subsequently by His Majesty the King and reappointed, for a further term of seven years. Public Service Commissioner for the Dominion.

The information contained in letters, &c. herein was authenticated during a residence of nearly two months in the Auckland Province; and the resignation alone of the Prime Ministership by the late Sir Joseph Ward is a vindication of the Samoan claim to the same Justice and Liberty enjoyed by the Peoples of New Zealand, Tonga, Australia, and other component parts of our Great British Common wealth of Nations.

C. W. Owen.

Glebe, Hobart, Tasmania.

November 1st, 1930