§ MR. HOGAN (Tipperary, Mid)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is now in a position to report any amelioration in the conditions under which Mataafa and his principal adherents have been exiled from Samoa to the Marshall Islands; whether Jaluit, the island on which Mataafa is imprisoned, is entirely in German occupation, and is only visited by a British trading vessel twice a year; is he aware that the action of Captain Bickford, of H.M.S. Katoomba, in handing over Mataafa to the Germans, is deprecated by a number of the British residents of Samoa; and has any Despatch from the British Consul in Samoa, detailing the circumstances of Mataafa's deportation and exile been received; and, if so, is there any objection to giving a summary of its contents?
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Sir E. GREY,) Northumberland, Berwick
I have nothing to add to my previous answer on the 5th of June respecting Mataafa's treatment. Jaluit is 1387 in German occupation, but I cannot say how often there is regular communication with it. Mataafa was in the first instance conveyed to the Union group of islands on board a German man-of-war as a matter of convenience, H.M.S. Katoomba not having received her supply of coal from Auckland. Subsequently it was arranged by agreement between the three Treaty Powers that the German Authorities should take charge of him. I do not know how the arrangement is regarded by the majority of the British residents in Samoa, but it does not seem necessary to publish Papers upon the subject.