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Imperialism | Colonial Policy


Deutscher Kolonial-Atlas mit Jahrbuch, edited by the German Colonial Society, 1905
Retrospect on the Development of the German Protectorates in the Pacific in 1904

(p.20) Here a retrospect shall be undertaken on the German protectorates in the Pacific and the events of 1904. Included are the old protectorat of Deutsch-Neuguinea, the Carolinas, Palau and Marianas, in addition the Marshall Islands and Samoa.

There is little to report from the old protectorate of New Guinea. In the Bismarck Archipelago a few white merchants have been murdered in November 1903. In March 1904 the ringleaders were arrested and punished. Of larger scale was the murder of Catholic missionaries on the mission stations St. Paul, Nacharunep and the Trappist settlement in the Baining Mountains on the northwestern edge of the Gazelle Peninsula, which occurred on August 13th. Victims were the patres Rascher and Rutten, brothers Bley, Plaschaert and Schellekens, and the sisters Holler, Balkar, Utsch, Schmitt and Rath. As lamentable as this event is, its importance is of local nature, and at no time was peace and order threatened in the other parts of the Gazelle Peninsula. Police troops succeeded to catch the persecuted murderers in the mountains. The guilty were executed.

If we focus here first on the development of transportation we have to mention, that the Norddeutscher Lloyd's Reich mail steamer branch line, as before, connects, every six weeks, Singapore with Batavia, Makassar, Tamara, Friedrich-Wilhelmshafen, Herbertshohe, Matupi, Brisbane to Sydney and back along the same ports, in future will connect with the european mail steamer line in Hongkong and Sidney. It will sail every 6 weeks and run further to Kobe and Yokohama. In 1904 the Norddeutscher Lloyd has subsidized the expansion of Simpsonhafen; the completion of the large installation may be expected within a year. Considerable progress has been achieved in road construction. The long road stretching along Neu-Mecklenburg's east coast is especially mentioned.

With regard to the economic development, a regrettable reduction in the collection of trepang and tortoise-shell has to be registered. All a consequence of overfishing. On the other hand, despite sinking market prices for mother-of-pearl clam fishery has expanded. Copra production also suffers from price decreases. Cotton cultivation saw a small upturn. Satisfactory successes have been achieved with cocoa. All in all, foreign trade has 

On October 1st a new customs tariff took force, in consequence of which stronger regulations regarding the import of opium have been passed.

A governor's decree of February 15th 1904 has to be mentioned, regulating the immigration of Chinese into the protectorate and establishing a number of police regulations.

There is nothing much to report from the Carolinas. In Ponape, S.M.S. "Kondor" has anchored from end February to end March, has shown the flag at almost all islands and undertaken surveys. The warship has installed a buoy in the Langar Port, where the larger ships can moor. At first instance it was thought of ships which take in coal at Langar. The indigenous' planting activity everywhere is below expectation. Europeans' plantations again expanded last year.

The same applies more or less for the West Carolinas and Marianas. On the Marshall Islands, where everything was quiet in the report year, as in the case of 1903 when an increased copra production was registered, another raise in the copra harvest has to be expected for 1904. The construction of a school, vividly called for on the last meeting of the Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft, on Saipan, is close to realization; the teacher will 
have arrived there by now. No far-reaching hopes should be invested in the Carolinas as settlement area.

(p.21) Samoa: In the center of interest of Samoa was the labour question (Chinese question); certainly an indicator of peaceful labour, in order to exploit the island's fertility. In last year the government organized the procurement of coolies, which among others resulted in a considerable reduction of the costs. At the end of 1905, about 700 to 800 Chinese worked on Samoa. A committee has been appointed to prepare a decree fixing the 
mutual rights and obligations of planters and workers.

News regarding unrest among the indigenous, so to speak under the impression of reports from Suedwestafrika, have in no way proven true. A peaceful development may be expected and we may assume that the head tax revenue, which raised from 47,000 M. in 1902 to 70,000 M. in 1903, again will increase in 1904. In any case, on July 1st about 40,000 M. had been collected on Upolu and about 30,000 M. on Sawaii, without the tax collection having been concluded. The head tax amounts to 12 M. for heads of families, 4 M. for bachelors.

Samoa's trade balance is heavily influenced by the price of copra, so that in 1903, despite tha fact that copra production rose by 10 %, the total export value fell by 300,000 Mark over the previous year. The protectorate further suffers from the fact that the American administration in Tutuila sold the copra, brought in by the indigenous, directly to San Francisco, while it used to be taken over by German middlemen. Increasing pineapple exports are to be registered. The reduction of cocoa exports is explained by the fact, that a considerable part of the harvest has been utilized as seed on new plantations. The increase of imports is caused by construction materials, ironwares, food and valuable machinery for road construction and agriculture. The lion's share of the imports, as in previous year, is taken in by articles the indigenous consume. It is to be regretted that most of the cheap manufactured goods the Samoans demand still are made in England.

The compensation question, waiting for a decision for 5 years now, has been becated again in 1904. First, the Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft's general meeting in Stettin has asked Reich government to speedily deal with the matter. Then the injured settlers have handed in a petition, finally around christmas in a meeting in Apia they decided on an urgent petition, which has been handed over to the German Reichstag.

During the 5 years of German rule the following postal connections in and from Samoa have been newly installed or improved. We list them, because they show how troublesome connection with our remote colony is. A connection which, as is generally known, will experience a considerable shortening with the completion of the Panama Canal. (1) connection of Apia with Sawaii, and subsequently the establishment of post offices in Mulifanua, Salelavalu and Fagamalo. (2) A postal money transfer service between Samoa and the USA since October 1900. (3) Postal money transfer service between Samoa and Australia with New Zealand since November 1st 1900 respectively January 1st 
1901. (4) parcel service with the Union Line via Aden-Basel-Le Havre, since 1902 (a better connection could not be achieved !). (5) Parcel service with Auckland on New Zealand and with places connected with it; not with the USA, since September 1902. (6) Postal cash on delivery service with Germany; raising of the postal money transfer minimum from 400 Mark to 800 Mark, since April 1902. (7) expansion of the hitherto sole post office in Apia to 
4 rooms, since July 1st 1903. (8) The postal service, hitherto taken charge of by one person in addition to his regular (other) duties, now taken charge of by two professional postmen. - so Reich postal administration's expenses for the 'pearl of the Pacific' have exceeded revenues in the year between April 1902 and March 1903 by c. 15,000 Mark.

Colonial Literature of 1904 (main titles)

Fritz, G., Chamorro-Wörterbuch (Chamorro dictionary). Berlin 1904. G. Reimer. 3 M.

Neffgen, H., Deutsch-Samoanisches Konversationsbuch (German-Samoan conversation book). Leipzig 1904. O. Ficker. 2.50 M.

Ribbe, Karl, Zwei Jahre unter den Kannibalen der Salomo-Inseln. (Two years among the cannibals on the Samoa islands) Leipzig-Blasewitz 1903. Elbgau-Buchdr. H. Beyer. hardcover 12 M.

Schnee, Dr. Heinrich, Bilder aus der Südsee. (pictures from the Pacific) Berlin 1904. Dietrich Reimer (Ernst Vohsen). hardcover 12 M.

Wohltmann, Prof. Dr. F., Pflanzung und Siedelung auf Samoa. (plantation and settlement on Samoa) Berlin 1904. E. S. Mittler & Sohn. 5 M.


Source: Deutscher Kolonial-Atlas mit Jahrbuch (Atlas German Colonies with Yearbook), edited by the Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft (German Colonial Society). Berlin 1905, p.20f

GM (digitalisation) and AG (translation) 
posted on the web for psm-data; many thanks to

Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin / Preußischer Kulturbesitz 

Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz


Dokument in deutscher Sprache