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accepted the invitation, the present writer being one of the party. The tour included the Cook Islands (an outlying dependency of New Zealand), the Tongan Group (ruled by a Queen, but under British protection), Fiji, and Eastern or American Samoa, as well as the immediate objective of the cruise. The legislators, therefore, had a good opportunity of studying conditions in the Pacific Islands generally and a basis for comparison when they came to deal with Samoa. At the head of the expedition was Colonel the Hon. Sir James Allen, K.C.B., who at that time held the position of Minister of External Affairs, and is now High Commissioner for New Zealand in London.

Samoa, or Navigators' Islands, consists of a group of islands in the Western Pacific, lying in 13 to 14 degrees S. lat., and 168 to 173 degrees W. long. The Group is divided into Eastern Samoa, which belongs to the United States, and Western Samoa, which we took from Germany in 1914. Eastern Samoa possesses in Pagopago the only really good harbour in the whole Samoan group. Western Samoa consists of two main islands, Savaii and Upolu, and two smaller islands, Manono and Apolima. Savaii is the largest island in the Group, being 50 miles long and 25 miles across at its widest. It is not nearly so fertile as Upolu, most of the good land having been ruined by great volcanic eruptions which took place in 1902 and 1905. Upolu is a rich and fertile island, 45 miles long, and 13 miles wide at its greatest breadth. On the northern side is Apia, the chief port, and the commercial and political capital of the Group. The population of Western Samoa, according to the census taken in 1917, was as follows: Samoans, 36,818; other Islanders, 405; British, 660; Americans, 236; Swedes, 42; Germans, 530; other nationalities, 200; Chinese coolies, 1530; Solomon Island coolies, 707. Since then a large number of Samoans (some 7000) lost their lives in the influenza epidemic of 1918, and most of the Germans have been repatriated. The chief port of Western Samoa is 1560 miles from Auckland, the nearest port in New Zealand; and the average steaming time is between five and six days.

The Parliamentary party arrived at Apia at daybreak, and soon two magnificent 'fautisaa' were alongside

to assist the ship's boats to take the visitors ashore. These were long, narrow whaleboats, with an awning, and decorated with flowers and evergreens. Each was manned by thirty oarsmen, rowing in pairs-splendidly built fellows, clad in white lava-lavas or kilts and white turbans, with strings of red berries round their necks. In addition to the oarsmen, there was a man at the prow, keeping a look-out, another with a drum, beating time for the rowers, and a steersman at the stern. As these two stately craft were being rowed ashore, the Samoans set up a deep-toned chant or antiphon, one crew answering the other. Their voices were rich and full, and made a delightful harmony. It was easy to understand how it was that this charming people appealed to R. L. Stevenson's sense of the romantic and picturesque.

On arriving at the wharf we were received by the Acting Administrator (General Robin) and leading white residents; also by the Faipules, or members of the Samoan Parliament. Samoan boy-scouts formed a guard of honour, and Samoan school-children sang 'Rule, Britannia.' At the Market Hall a more formal reception took place, and in the course of the proceedings some Samoan lads from the Marist Brothers' school gave an excellent orchestral performance. Luncheon with General Robin at Vailima followed. The present writer, who had last seen the house in Stevenson's time some twenty-eight years ago, was naturally on the look-out for the changes wrought by time and the hand of man in the interval. A pleasant spin of twenty minutes in a motor-car brought us to Vailima. The house had been considerably added to by a wealthy German, named Kuntz, who bought it after Stevenson's death; it has been the residence successively of the German Governors, Solf and Schultz, and is now that of the British Administrator. Most of the party made the pilgrimage to Stevenson's grave on Mount Vaea-a very trying climb in the tropical heat-and they were afterwards glad of a dip in his swimming-pool. A new inscription now appears on the monument recording the fact that the ashes of the great author's devoted wife have been deposited in the same grave.

There are still many persons living in Samoa who

remember the Stevensons. Most interesting of all those whom we met who had been associated with the beloved writer was the Rev. W. E. Clarke, the missionary, who was his friend and counsellor in matters affecting the Samoans, and conducted the funeral service over his grave. Mr Clarke had retired from the missionary service, but, when the war broke out, he offered to come out to Samoa to release a younger man, and the London Missionary Society accepted his offer. His unrivalled knowledge of Samoa and its people proved of great assistance to the Parliamentary party.

The great fono,' or conference with the leading Samoans, was held at Mulinuu - that blood-stained peninsula where so many battles have taken place, most of them between the Samoans themselves, some of them between Samoans and Europeans. So gentle-mannered are they, and so polite and hospitable to their guests, that it is hard to believe that they are a warrior race, whose delight it was, not so very long ago, to cut off the heads of their enemies in battle and parade them in triumph. In the dances which were given for our entertainment some of the men carried the fearsomelooking knives with which the beheading was performed. They tossed them from one to another in the dances, juggling with them as deftly as a professional juggler. Readers of 'A Footnote to History' will remember that a Samoan chief quoted scriptural authority when Mr Carne, a Wesleyan missionary, remonstrated with Mataafa and his followers after they had decapitated some Germans in the fighting which took place in 1888. 'Misi Kane,' said one chief, 'we have just been puzzling ourselves to guess where that custom came from. But, Misi, is it not so that when David killed Goliath he cut off his head and carried it before the King?' Beneath the suave and courteous exterior of the Samoan the warrior spirit is not yet dead. There is no danger of their engaging in the unequal combat with Europeans, but it is an open secret that, when different tribes assemble from distant parts of the Islands, as for example on the occasion of the Prince of Wales's visit or the visit of the Parliamentary party, there is some anxiety on the part of the authorities lest old jealousies or antipathies should burst into flame.

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There is no decline in the elaborate courtliness' which Stevenson described as characteristic of the Samoans; and the 'fono' was opened with a ceremonial kava-drinking, conducted in the grand style. There had assembled to meet us the High Chiefs' Malietoa and Tufua, and the Faipules, or members of the Council of Samoa; and the principal feature was the presentation of an address. It referred in dignified and respectful terms to the occasion of the visit and the fact that the Parliamentary party came as the representatives of His Majesty King George V for the purpose of ordering the Constitution for the protection and administration of Samoa by Britain according to the desires of the League of Nations. This day,' continued the address, 'the father meets the son; the son will listen to the good words and kind advice of the father.' Then followed a series of requests. The Faipules, it was stated, had decided that the title of Fautua' (Intercessor) which had been given to the High Chiefs by the Germans on the abolition of the Kingship should be abolished, that the High Chiefs should be given hereafter the title 'Princes of Samoa,' and that their salaries should be increased to 500l. each per annum, with European dwellings erected for them, and allowances for their maintenance, ' until further future arrangements are made with the New Zealand Government.' For themselves the Faipules made the request that their own salaries should be increased to 107. a month, which did not seem unreasonable in view of the fact that the New Zealand Members of Parliament had recently increased their own salaries to 500l. per annum. Most of their requests were really very sensible-e.g. that hospitals should be erected in various parts of Samoa, 'a clever surgeon and stethoscopist' (sic) to be appointed; Samoan boys and girls to be trained in medicine in New Zealand; roads, breakwater, and a town clock to be provided; a college and schools to be erected, and Samoan boys to be sent to New Zealand to be trained as teachers. They asked that the importation of intoxicating liquors into Samoa should be forbidden.

Some of their suggestions had to be politely negatived, as for example when they advanced the proposition: 'All proclamations must first be decided by the Princes Vol. 238.-No. 473.

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of Samoa and the Governor in the meetings with the Faipules. If all agree with the proclamation, announcement will then be made to all parts of Samoa for trial for a few years, and, if in good working order, then it can become law for the natives, whites, and all other people in Samoa.' It need hardly be said that Sir James Allen was not able to promise so sweeping a measure of Home Rule, especially as it appeared to leave the white population of Samoa out of account. He stated, however, that the two Chiefs would continue to be advisers to the Administrator, and the Faipules would also keep in touch with His Excellency.

The views and wishes of the white residents (excluding the Germans) were next brought before the Parliamentary party. The point on which most stress was laid was that it was vitally necessary to the prosperity of the colony to continue the system of Chinese labour introduced by the Germans for the purpose of working the plantations. The Labour members of the party, before starting on the tour, had publicly committed themselves to the view that indentured labour in any shape must be abolished, no matter what the consequences might be. Even those outside that section approached the question with a strong feeling against the continuance of Chinese labour, if it could possibly be dispensed with. The Imperial Government sent out definite instructions, during the military occupation, that no more labour was to be indentured, either Chinese or Solomon Islanders, and that those already engaged were to be repatriated. The New Zealand Government were not at all anxious to play into the hands of the Labour Party, or to run counter to a large section of public opinion, if it could be avoided. Nevertheless, when nearly half the Chinese had been sent away, the position became so serious, owing to plantations going back to jungle for want of labour, that the New Zealand Government felt constrained to ask the Imperial Government to permit the re-engagement of the Chinese already in the Islands as their contracts expired. It was only after persistent pressure that the British Government agreed to this as a temporary méasure. The view put forward by the Citizens' Committee was that without an adequate supply of economic labour it would be

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