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Samoa Under the Sailing Gods



I had already been requested by the Citizens' Committee to do what I could in the way of a Press campaign in their favour. I was now resident in London. On June 1st, accordingly, in Foreign Affairs appeared an article from my pen, setting out the position to the best of my ability.

It had long seemed obvious the line that the New Zealand Government intended to take, and also that sooner or later there must be a Royal Commission of Inquiry. With this in view I also prepared a personal petition to the League of Nations dated June 1st, and embodied in it my article from Foreign Affairs.1 The petition itself was concerned with the inner history of General Richardson's administration, and enumerated a number of scandals which could be substantiated in evidence before the Royal Commission, who could thus be obliged to investigate them. It was obviously no good basing my petition on such things as the Faipule "Laws"—which, it has been seen, had merely excited the admiration of the people I was petitioning. This recital of various other scandals, however, furnished solid material. I recounted for example the case of a schoolmaster who after having debauched the larger proportion of the boys at the two principal schools, first in Savaii and then in Upolu, presumably in order to dissemble the matter, was permitted to resume teaching in New Zealand. Reference to this case will be found in documents in the Appendix.2 (About page 228the end of 1927 he murdered his wife and committed suicide: charges concerning schoolboys in New Zealand were being brought against him.) I recounted in detail the case of the Resident Commissioner of Savaii, 1923-24. The petition and the article embodied in it gave a comprehensive review of the way in which, from 1923 onwards, Samoa had been messed up. It was accepted by the Mandates Commission. I sent a copy by registered post to the man whom I regarded as the most intelligent member of the Citizens' Committee, Mr. Gurr—vide Chapter vi, Section I—a friend of R. L. Stevenson.

1 See Appendix vi.

2 Appendix xii.