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Sixth ; A Declaration respecting taxation and revenue in Samoa.
Seventh; A Declaration respecting arms and ammunition, and intoxicating liquors, restraining their sale and use.
Eighth; General Dispositions.
Article 1.-A Declaration respecting the independence and neutrality of the Islands of Samoa, and assuring to the respective citizens and subjects of the Signatory Powers equality of rights in said Islands; and providing for the immediate restoration of peace and order ein.
It is declared that the Islands of Samoa are neutral territory in which the citizens and subjects of the Three Signatory Powers have equal rights of residence, trade and personal protection. The Three Powers recognize the independence of the Samoan Government and the free right of the natives to elect their Chief or King and choose their form of Government according to their own laws and customs. Neither of the Powers shall exercise any separate control over the Islands or the Government thereof.
It is further declared, with a view to the prompt restoration of peace and good order in the said Islands, and in view of the difficulties which would surround an election in the present disordered condition of their Government, that Malietoa Laupepa, who was formerely made and appointed King on the 12th day of July 1881, and was so recognized by the Three Powers, shall again be so recognized hereafter in the exercise of such authority, unless the Three Powers shall by common accord otherwise declare; and his successor shall be duly elected according to the laws and customs of Samoa.
Article II.-A Declaration respecting the modification of existing treaties, and the assent of the Samoan Government to this Act.
Considering that the following provisions of this General Act can not be fully effective without a modification of certain provisions of the treaties heretofore existing between the Three Powers, respectively, and the Government of Samoa, it is mutually declared that in every case where the provisions of this Act shall be inconsistent with any provision of such treaty or treaties, the provisions of this Act shall prevail.
Considering further, that the consent of the Samoan Government is requisite to the validity of the stipulations hereinafter contained, the Three Powers mutually agree to request the assent of the Samoan Government to the same, which, when given, shall be certified in writing to each of the Three Governments through the medium of their respective Consuls in Samoa.
Article III.-A Declaration respecting the establishment of a Supreme Court of Justice for Samoa and defining its jurisdiction.
A Supreme Court shall be established in Samoa to consist of one Judge, who shall be styled Chief Justice of Samoa, and who shall appoint a Clerk and a Marshal of the Court; and record shall be kept of all orders and decisions made by the Court, or by the Chief Justice in the discharge of any duties imposed on him under this Act. The Clerk and Marshal shall be allowed reasonable fees to be regulated by order of the Court.
With a view to secure judicial independence and the equal consideration of the rights of all parties, irrespective of nationality, it is agreed that the Chief Justice shall be named by the Three Signatory Powers in common accord; or, failing their agreement, he may be named by the King of Sweden and Norway. He shall be learned in law and equity, of mature years, and of good repute for his sense of honour, impartiality and justice.
His decision upon questions within his jurisdiction shall be final. He shall be appointed by the Samoan Government upon the certificate of his nomination as herein provided. He shall receive an annual salary of six thousand dollars ($6,000.00) in gold, or its equivalent, to be paid the first year in equal proportions by the Three Treaty Powers, and afterward out of the revenues of Samoa apportioned to the use of the Samoan Government, upon which his compensation 76
shall be the first charge. Any deficiency therein shall be made good by the Three Powers in equal shares.
The powers of th Chief Justice, in case of a vacancy of that office from any cause, shall be exercised by the President of the Municipal Council, until a successor shall be duly appointed and qualified.
Section 3 In case either of the four Governments shall at any time have cause of complaint against the Chief Justice for any misconduct in office, such complaint shall be presented to the authority which nominated him, and, if in the judgment of such authority there is sufficient cause for his removal, he shall be removed. If the majority of the Three Treaty Powers so request, he shall be removed. In either case of removal, or in case the office shall become otherwise vacant, his successor shall be appointed as herein before provided.
Section 4 The Supreme Court shall have jurisdiction of all questions arising under the provisions of this General Act; and the decision or order of the Court thereon shall be conclusive upon all residents of Samoa. The Court shall also have appellate jurisdiction over all Municipal Magistrates and officers.
Section 5 The Chief Justice is authorized at his own discretion, and required upon written request of either party litigant, to appoint assessors, one of the nationality of each litigant, to assist the court, but without voice in the decision.
Section 6 In case any question shall hereafter arise in Samoa respecting the rightful election or appointment of King or of any other Chief claiming authority over the Islands; or respecting the validity of the powers which the King or any Chief may claim in the exercise of his office, such question shall not lead to war but shall be presented for decision to the Chief Justice of Samoa, who shall decide it in writing, conformably to the provisions of this Act and to the laws and customs of Samoa not in conflict therewith; and the Signatory Governments will accept and abide by such decision.
In case any difference shall arise between either of the Treaty Powers and Samoa which they shall fail to adjust by mutual accord, such difference shall not be held cause for war, but shall be referred for adjustment on the principles of justice and equity to the Chief Justice of Samoa, who shall make his decision thereon in writing.
Section 8 The Chief Justice may recommend to the Government of Samoa the passage of any law which he shall consider just and expedient for the prevention and punishment of crime and for the promotion of good order in Samoa outside the Municipal District and for the collection of taxes without the District.
Section 9 Upon the organization of the Supreme Court there shall be transferred to its exclusive jurisdiction. 1. All civil suits concerning real property situated in Samoa and all rights
affecting the same. 2. All civil suits of any kind between natives and foreigners or between
foreigners of different nationalities. 3. All crimes and offenses committed by natives against foreigners or com
mitted by such foreigners as are not subject to any consular jurisdiction ; subject however to the provisions of section 4 Article V defining the jurisdiction of the Municipal Magistrate of the District of Apia.
The practice and procedure of Common Law, Equity and Admiralty, as administered in the courts of England, may be so far as applicable—the practice and procedure of this Court; but the Court may modify such practice and procedure from time to time as shall be required by local circumstances. The Court shall have authority to impose, according to the crime, the punishment established therefor by the laws of the United States, of England, or of Germany, as the Chief Justice shall decide most appropriate; or, in the case of Native Samoans and other Natives of the South Sea Islands, according to the laws and customs of Samoa.
Section 11 Nothing in this article shall be so construed as to affect existing consular jurisdiction over all questions arising between masters and seamen of their respective national vessels ; nor shall the Court take any ex post facto or retroactive jurisdiction over crimes or offenses committed prior to the organization of the Court.
Article IV.-A Declaration respecting titles to land in Samoa and restraining the disposition thereof by natives; and providing for the investigation of claims thereto, and for the registration of valid titles.
In order that the native Samoans may keep their lands for cultivation by themselves and by their children after them, it is declared that all future alienation of lands in the Islands of Samoa to the citizens or subjects of any foreign country, whether by sale, mortgage or otherwise shall be prohibited, subject to the following exceptions : (a) Town lots and lands within the limits of the Municipal District as defined
in this Act may be sold or leased by the owner for a just consideration
when approved in writing by the Chief Justice of Samoa : (b) Agricultural lands in the Islands may be leased for a just consideration
and with carefully defined boundaries for a term not exceeding forty (40) years when such lease is approved in writing by the Chief Executive Authority of Samoa and by the Chief Justice.
But care should be taken that the agricultural lands and natural fruit. lands of Samoans shall not be unduly diminished.
In order to adjust and settle all claims by aliens of titles to land or any interest therein in the Islands of Samoa, it is declared that a Commission shall be appointed to consist of three (3) impartial and competent persons, one to be named by each of the Three Treaty Powers; to be assisted by an officer to be styled “Natives' Advocate”, who shall be appointed by the Chief-Executive of Samoa with the approval of the Chief Justice of Samoa.
Each Commissioner shall receive during his necessary term of service, a compensation at a rate of three hundred dollars per month and his reasonable fare to and from Samoa. The reasonable and necessary expenses of the Commission for taking evidence and making surveys (such expenses to be approved by the Chief Justice) shall also be paid, one third by each of the Treaty Powers.
The compensation of the Natives' Advocate shall be fixed and paid by the Samoan Government.
Each Commissioner shall be governed by the provisions of this Act; and shall make and subscribe an oath before the Chief Justice that he will faithfully and impartially perform his duty as such Commissioner,
It shall be the duty of this Commission, immediately upon their organization, to give public notice that all claims on the part of any foreigner to any title or interest in lands in Samoa must be presented to them, with due description of such claim and all written evidence thereof, within four months from such notice for the purpose of examination and registration; and that all claims not so
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presented will be held invalid and forever barred; but the Chief Justice may allow a reasonable extension of time for the production of such evidence when satisfied that the claimant has after due diligence been unable to produce the same within the period aforesaid. This notice shall be published in Samoa in the German, English and Samoan Languages as directed by the Commission.
The labours of the Commission shall be closed in two years, and sooner if practicable,
Section 4 It shall be the duty of the Commission to investigate all claims of foreigners to land in Samoa, whether acquired from natives or from aliens, and to report to the Court in every case the character and description of the claim, the consideration paid, the kind of title alleged to be conveyed, and all the circumstances affecting its validity.
They shall especially report: (a) Whether the sale or disposition was made by the rightful owner or native
entitled to make it. (b) Whether it was for a sufficient consideration. (c) The identification of the property affected by such sale or disposition.
The Commission whenever the case requires it shall endeavour to effect a just and equitable compromise between litigants. They shall also report to the Court whether the alleged title should be recognized and registered or rejected, in whole or in part, as the case may require.
All disputed claims to land in Samoa shall be reported by the Commission to the Court, together with all the evidence affecting their validity; and the Court shall make final decision thereon in writing, which shall be entered on its record.
Undisputed claims and such as shall be decided valid by the unanimous voice of the Commission shall be confirmed by the Court in proper form in writing, and be entered of record.
Section 7 The Court shall make provision for a complete registry of all valid titles to land in the Islands of Samoa which are or may be owned by foreigners.
All the lands acquired before the 28th day of August 1879_being the date of the Anglo-Samoan Treaty-shall be held as valid acquired,—but without prejudice to the rights of third parties, --if purchased from Samoans in good faith, for a valuable consideration, in a regular and customary manner. Any dispute as to the fact or regularity of such sale shall be examined and determined by the Commission, subject to the revision and confirmation of the Court.
The undisputed possession and continuous cultivation of lands by aliens for ten years or more, shall constitute a valid title by prescription to the lands so cultivated, and an order for the registration of the title thereto may be made.
In cases where land acquired in good faith has been improved or cultivated upon a title which is found to be defective, the title may be confirmed in whole or in part upon the payment by the occupant to the person or persons entitled thereto of an additional sum to be ascertained by the Commission and approved by the Court as equitable and just.
Section 11 All claims to land, or any interest therein, shall be rejected and held invalid in the following cases :
(a) Claims based upon mere promises to sell, or options to buy.
(b) Where the deed, mortgage or other conveyance contained at the time it
was signed no description of the land conveyed sufficiently accurate to
enable the Commission to define the boundaries thereof. (c) Where no consideration is expressed in the conveyance, or if expressed
has not been paid in full to the grantor, or if the consideration at the
time of the conveyance was manifestly inadequate and unreasonable. (d) Where the conveyance whether sale, mortgage or lease was made upon the
consideration of a sale of firearms or munitions of war, or upon the consideration of intoxicating liquors, contrary to the Samoan law of October 25, 1880, or contrary to the Municipal regulations of January 1, 1880.
The Land Commission may at it discretion through the Local Government of the District in which the disputed land is situated appoint a native Commission to determine the native grantor's right of ownership and sale; and the result of that investigation, together with all other facts pertinent to the question of validity of title, shall be laid before the Commission to be by them reported to the Court.
Artiole V.—Declaration respecting the Municipal District of Apia, providing a local administration therefor, and defining the jurisdiction of the Municipal Magistrate.
Section 1 The Municipal District of Apia is defined as follows: beginning at Vailoa, the boundary passes thence westward along the coast to the mouth of the River Fuluasa; thence following the course of the river upwards to the point at which the Alafuala road crosses said river; thence following the line of said road to the point where it reaches the River Vaisinago; and thence in a straight line to the point of beginning at Vailoa-embracing also the waters of the Harbour of Apia.
Within the aforesaid District shall be established a Municipal Council, consisting of six members and a President of the Council, who shall also have a vote.
Each member of the Council shall be a resident of the said District and owner of real estate or conductor of a profession or business in said District which is subject to a rate or tax not less in amount than $5 per ann.
For the purpose of the election of members of the Council, the said District shall be divided into two, or three, electoral districts from each of which an equal number of Councillors shall be elected by the taxpayers thereof qualified as aforesaid, and the members elected from each electoral district shall have resided therein for at least six months prior to their election.
It shall be the duty of the Consular Representatives of the three Treaty Powers to make the said division into electoral districts as soon as practicable after the signing of this Act. In case they fail to agree thereon, the Chief Justice shall define the electoral districts. Subsequent changes in the number of Councillors or the number and location of electoral districts may be provided for by municipal ordinance.
The Councillors shall hold their appointment for a term of two years and until their successors shall be elected and qualified.
In the absence of the President the Council may elect a Chairman "pro tempore".
Consular Officers shall not be eligible as Councillors, nor shall Councillors exercise any Consular functions during their term of office.
The Municipal Council shall have jurisdiction over the Municipal District of Apia so far as necessary to enforce therein the provisions of this Act which are applicable to said District, including the appointment of a Municipal Magistrate and of the necessary subordinate officers of justice and of administration therein; and to provide for the security in said District of person and property, for the assessment and collection of the revenue therein as herein authorized ;