HC Deb 18 March 1889 vol 334 cc38-9

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether any report had yet been received at the Admiralty concerning the seizure of Mr. Gilan. a British subject, on board the British ship Richmond by an armed guard from the German warship Adler at Samoa?


A telegraphic report has been received from the Commander-in-Chief on the Australian Station from New Zealand, dated February 19, to the effect that the Germans had proclaimed martial law at Samoa, and claimed the right of search over British ships, and that British subjects (no names given) had been removed from the British ship Richmond, by armed boats from the German ship Adler.They were subsequently released on the demand of the captain of the Royalist.A further telegram on February 21 states that the captain of the Calliope, which ship has replaced the Royalist, had informed the German authorities at Samoa that he could not acknowledge the establishment of martial law or the jurisdiction or rights so claimed over British subjects or Courts. The claims so advanced were abandoned. No report has been received with reference to the statement quoted in the second part of the question. With regard to the latter part of the question, Captain Hand reports that a cutter belonging to the German ship Eber chased a boat containing unarmed natives, and fired fired upon them as they were escaping into the bush. Captain Hand, of the Royalist, was on the beach at the time, and hailed the German boat to call their attention to his being there, and to his being exposed to their fire. On his remonstrating with the captain of the Eber, that officer expressed his regret at the occurrence which had taken place contrary to the instructions he had given as to firing, and repeated the same to Captain Hand on the following day on board the Royalist.He further sent the officer who had committed the breach of orders to Captain Hand to apologize, and to explain that he had acted contrary to his instructions.