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Samoa Under the Sailing Gods

Appendix ix

page 302

Appendix ix

Letter to Author from E. W. Gurr Suva, Fiji, 16 Feb., 1928.

Dear Mr. Rowe,

Here I am on my way to New Zealand having been forced out of Samoa by Richardson. I have several letters of yours in a box which I cannot get hold of at the present time, so if I omit to answer any queries that will be the reason for the omission. We have appointed a Mr. W. Tarr to carry on the Samoa Guardian and he is to continue the same policy as adopted by me. Under the terms of the arrangement I do not think it possible for me to again edit the paper should the term of deportation be shortened and we are enabled to return to Samoa. Richardson is having a very unhappy time of it just now. The Samoans are as resolute as ever. He can only get those maudlin whitewashy letters and resolution from Faipules trumpeting him up as a master builder etc., etc.

Six European policemen arrived in Apia by the last Tofua. It is stated that they are to guard Vailima in case of violence being used. It is believed, however, owing to several remarks that have fallen from Administration officers that they are to be "bombers" for the purpose of throwing Mills Bombs amongst a crowd. The Administrator has leased the old Apia Club for the barracks of the six policemen and a large sum of money has been spent in making necessary alterations and repairs. Braisby and his family are aboard this boat. They go to N.Z. for a 4 months' furlough. Hutton of the P.W.D. and Don of the Customs are also on board. They have been dismissed in the scheme of retrenchment being adopted by Richardson. Others have also been dismissed. In less than a year some of the objects of the Mau will have been achieved.

General Richardson still claims that his government "cannot function" and with that admission it is strange that he is not recalled at once. He also stated to Williams or Westbrook that he had found out that he did not know the "psychology of the native mind" but he knows how to govern from the experience page 303contained in books and New Zealand's administration of the Maori Race.

Meredith, Williams and Westbrook who had been called upon to make certain explanations and finally asked by Richardson to make abject apologies to be printed in the Samoa Guardian and in the Savali which they resolutely refused to do and wrote him so, have had no further notices served upon them. They fully expect and are prepared to get Deportation Orders. But just now the New Zealand Press is expressing a strong adverse opinion to Deportation and friends of the Coates Administration are not satisfied with the policy of Richardson.

Send any letters to me care of G.P.O., Auckland, N.Z. I cannot tell what I shall be doing or where I shall reside. Nelson will undoubtedly go to England shortly. He will prosecute the cause to the end. A petition is being drawn up by the Samoan Members of the Mau to present to the League of Nations. As all publications by the Guardian in the Samoan language have been suppressed it could not be printed in the Samoan language in Samoa, and so the Samoan version is now on its way to New Zealand for printing before it can be signed and sent to the League. I expect you will be getting letters from Apia.

Kindest regards,

Yours sincerely,

E. W. Gurr.