Imágenes de páginas

by ber Majesty's Government, un- remotest regions under subjection der a different state of circum to her flag. stances, in which a tax imposed The Marquesas are a group of by colonial authority and of course islands in the South Pacific Ocean receivable into the Colonial Trea- in long. W.139° and lat. S. 10°. Not sury, upon wheat imported from far to the S. W. lie the Society Isthe United States might secure the lands, and the principal of these is agriculturists of England against Tahiti or Otaheite, where since the competition of foreign growers, their first discovery by Captain they have been unwilling to im- Cook, the efforts of missionaries pose such a tax, by the authority and intercourse with European of Parliament, upon a raw article traders have done much to civilize which might be required for home the inhabitants. So early as in consumption in Canada, and in the the year 1825 Pomare the Queen absence of such a tax, have felt it of Tahiti sent a letter to King impossible to propose to Parliament George 4th, in which she begged a further reduction than that which permission to use the English flag, they have submitted in favour of and prayed that he would never wheat and wheat-flour shipped abandon them but regard them from the ports of Canada.”

with kindness for ever.” To this In accordance with this sugges in 1827, Mr. Canning, then Fotion, a resolution was moved in the reign Secretary, replied that His House of Assembly by Mr. Hincks Britannic Majesty could not "conto impose a duty of 3s. sterling persistently with the usages establishimperial quarter upon American ed among the nations of Europe wheat imported into Canada—such comply with the request to use the duty to take effect on the 5th of British flag, but that His Majesty July next. The preamble expressed would be happy to afford to the confidence, that upon the imposi. dominions of Queen Pomare all tion of a duty in Canada upon such protection as could be granted American wheat imported into the to a friendly power at so remote a province, such wheat would be

distance. admitted duty free, or rather as In 1836 Queen Pomare sent a Canadian wheat, into the ports of letter to Lord Palmerston (through Great Britain. The resolution was the medium of Mr. Pritchard the carried, and a bill was afterwards British consul at Tahiti) requestintroduced embracing the substance ing to know whether the Roman of the resolutions anil was passed Catholic missionaries who “belong into a law.

to France” and persisted in comThe MARQUESAS AND SOCIETY ing to Tahiti and “ disturbing the ISLANDS IN THE Pacific. - An peace of her Government” were event took place this year in the sanctioned by the British GovernPacific Ocean which indicated that ment. The following year Lord France was alive to the advantages Palmerston replied that the Briderived by Great Britain from the tish Government could not in any extensive system of colonisation manner interfere with the resiwhich she has so long encouraged, dence of foreigners in a territory and that the former Power was on that did not appertain to Great the watch to seize any opportunity Britain. that might arise for bringing the But the usage of the French Vol. LXXXIV.


1842. . missionaries was made a pretext “ 3rd. After having complied by France for very summary pro- with these two first obligations, ceedings with this defenceless state. the French colours will be hoisted On the 30th of August 1838, the the 1st day of September, on the French frigate Venus commanded Island Motu-Uta, to be saluted by by Admiral A. Dupetit-Thouars, the Tahitian government with appeared off Tahiti, and immedi- twenty-one guns. ately sent on shore a letter of “ I declare to your Majesty, which the following is a translation, that if they do not subscribe to

To the Queen of Otaheite. give the reparation asked for, "Madame,

within the limited time, I shall “ The King of the French and see myself under the obligation his Government, justly irritated for to declare war, and to commence the outrages offered to the nation, hostilities immediately, against all by the bad and cruel treatment the places of your Majesty's dowhich some of his members who minions, and which will be condid come to Otaheite have suffer. tinued by all the French vessels of ed, and especially Messrs. Laval war which will successively call and Carret, apostolic missionaries, here, and will last to the time who called at this island in 1836, when France will have obtained has sent me to reclaim and enforce, satisfaction. if necessary, immediate reparation,

“ I am, &c., due to a great Power and a valiant

The Captain of the French nation, who was gravely insulted,

Frigate Venus, and without provocation.

(Signed) “The King and his Govern

“ A. DUPETIT-THOUARS." ment demand:

In consequence of this threat, a “ Ist. That the Queen of Ota- convention was agreed to by the heite write to the King of the Tahitian government in the month French, to excuse for the violence of September, by which all Frenchand other insults offered to French- men of every profession were to be men, whose honourable conduct did allowed to establish themselves and not deserve such a treatment. The trade freely in all the islands subletter of the Queen will be written ject to Queen Pomare. But the in Tahitian and in the French aversion to the introduction of any language, and both will be signed form of doctrine and worship dif. by the Queen; the said letter of ferent from that which Protestant reparation will be sent officially to missionaries had taught seems to the Commander of the frigate the have been very strong, and in NoVenus, within twenty four hours vember of that year (1838) a letafter the present notification. ter was despatched from the Queen

“ 2nd. A sum of 2,000 Spanish and Chiefs of Tahiti to Queen dollars will be paid within the Victoria, in which they prayed for twenty-four hours of the present protection and assistance from Engnotification unto the cashier of the land and used the following lanfrigate Venus, as an indemnifica guage, “Let your flag cover us, tion for Messrs. Laval and Carret, and your lion defend us; deterfor the loss occasioned to them by mine the form through which we the bad treatment they received at could shelter ourselves lawfully Otaheite.

under your wings.”

In September 1839, Lord Pal. lice officers, whose duty it was to merston returned an answer to protect them; others have been this appeal, in which he stated the thrown into prison without predeep concern which was felt by vious trial, treated as criminals, the British Government at the and executed as villains, without difficulties which beset Queen Po- being able to obtain a hearing, &c. mare, but declined to enter into Is this then the protection granted any defensive alliance with the to the most favoured nation, which Tahitian state un account of the we claim of right ? Is this the immense distance at which it was treatment secured to our countrysituated, “ as it would be impossi men by treaty ? No; treaties ble for Her (Britannic) Majesty have been violated and put aside to fulfil with proper punctuality in the most outrageous manner the defensive obligations” that for France; and, notwithstanding might be contracted.

the promise recently made by the The consequence was, that the Queen to the commander of the Tahitian dominions fell into the corvette Aube, the murderer of a hands of France, which was an Frenchman, the infamous Moia, nounced to Lord Aberdeen in a whom the Queen had sentenced to letter from the acting consul at exile, is still here ; and it is by Tabiti dated September, 26, 1842, impunity to a criminal, that the in which he says,

proofs of benevolence of the King I have the honour to inform of the French are acknowledged. your Lordship, that.

“ Ill-advised, submitting to an * the Tahitian flag has been influence fatal to her true interaltered ; it is now the original flagests, the Queen will learn a second with the French colours in the time, that the good faith and loyupper part next to the staff, and alty of a power such as France, is was, at noon of the 12th instant, not with impunity to be trilled acknowledged and saluted by the with. French admiral on board the frigate “ As we cannot expect justice Reine Blanche.

from the government of Tahiti, The reasons assigned for this I will not demand new treaties compulsory change are contained from the Queen and principal in a formal declaration or manis chiefs: we can no longer trust festo, issued by Admiral A. Du- their word, which they incessantly petit Thouars, and dated from break; substantial securities alone the “ French Naval Station in can protect our rights; new treaties the Pacific Ocean," September 8, would, doubtless, soon be forgot1842:

ten like the former ones, which, “Contrary to your own laws, the however, are sufficient; for we do domiciles of several Frenchmen have not ask for particular nor excepbeen violated during their absence, tional favours for our countrymen, and their houses, thus forcibly en- but simply equal rights, to which tered, have remained open and pile they are entitled, and of which Jaged; seizures of property have they cannot be deprived; liberty likewise been unjustly ordered, to trade, to reside, to go, to come, and executed in the most brutal to quit, to buy, to let, to sell, or manner ; several of our country- to re-sell, and the liberty of conmen have been beaten by the po. science-these are the imprescrip

tible rights, and are those of every ticipate the order of time, in incivilised people ; these we claim, serting them here, but we are because they are our own; these, thus enabled to complete our narrain fact, we shall obtain, as soon as tive of the interference of France the government acts in a legal with the Marquesas. The followmanner, and that the laws, made ing are the most important parafor all, shall be equally known graphs :to all."

• Gentlemen, -- The King has The next day, in consequence directed us to submit to you a of this threat, Queen Pomare ad- projet de loi, the object of which dressed a letter to the Admiral, in is to open an extraordinary credit which she states, that being unable (of 5,987,000 francs) to defray to govern so as to preserve a good the expences of our establishments understanding with foreign go- in the Pacific, for the year 1844. vernments, she solicited the King “ The speech from the Throne of the French to take her do- has made you acquainted with the minions under his protection, on principal idea which led to the the following conditions:

laking possession of the Marquesas. “]. The sovereignty of the Since then an important event has Queen and her authority, and the taken place in those regions. The authority of the chiefs over their protectorship of the Society Islands people, shall be guaranteed to has been offered to France, and acthem,

cepted in the King's name, by the “ All laws and regulations shall Rear - Admiral commanding our be issued in the Queen's name, and naval forces in the Pacific. The signed by her.

Act of Acceptance was ratified by “ 3. The possession of lands be- the government as soon as it belonging to the Queen, and to the came known. people, shall be secured to them, “ France had no establishments and shall remain in their posses- in the Pacific Ocean, where her sion ; all disputes relative to the ships of war and merchant vessels right to property or lands, shall be might at all times find shelter and under the special jurisdiction of more permanent protection than the tribunals of the country. that afforded by a naval station.

“ 4. Every one shall be free in Nevertheless, in that region where the form of his worship or religion. French interests are beginning to

“5. The churches at present es- develope themselves, it is requisite tablished shall continue to exist, to form a centre around which and the English missionaries shall they may collect and prosper under continue in their labours without the protection of the national flag. molestation; the same shall apply Polynesia is an extensive field, to every other form of worship, no open to the conquests of commerce one shall be molested or constrained and civilisation. It belongs to in his belief."

France, which is in the first rank The real reasons, however, for among civilised and maritime namaking this acquisition, are con tions, to take a share in the efforts tained in a projet de loi, presented inade to redeem the inhabitants of in the month of April, 1843, by that part of the globe from their the Minister of Marine, to the present state of barbarisan. French Chamber. We rather an The development which our

intercourse with these distant coun ciety Islands and the Marquesas, tries will acquire, is an interest by being nearer to France, will which cannot fail to strike you. rank among the most important Over an extent of more than 4,000 stations of the globe. The facility leagues, our ships of war found of this communication will necesno station belonging to France, sarily give a new impetus to nanone where they could obtain sup vigation in the Pacific Ocean, this plies, or repair their damages. An. track being, as a communication other special motive rendered ne with the Indian and China Seas, cessary an establishment upon some if not shorter, at least safer and of of the islands of this extensive sea. more considerable commercial in. The whale fishery is principally terest. Our new possessions, hapcarried on in the Polynesian Archi- pily situated as a store-house in pelagos. These operations are of these long voyages, will be used as long

duration, and while they last, a place of resort for the navigators our ships remain exposed to the of all countries. violence and exactions of the na. The elements of an active tives of those islands. We shall commerce already exist in Oceania, give to that essential branch of our but every impediment to its devemerchant navy an efficient protec- lopment must be removed. In tion, by placing it in a position to order to attain this end, the best appeal on the spot to the authority mcthod to adopt, is freedom of and power of the sovereignty of trade in its fullest extent. With France.

the exception of arms and mu“ The advantages of our new

nitions of war, which the governsettlements, even now incontest- ment will have the power to proable, will hereafter acquire much hibit, a free entry will be afforded higher importance. They will be to all imports. These islands, with very great, if a plan, which at their free ports, will become entrepresent fixes the attention of all póts, where our vessels will dis. maritime Powers, should be carried charge their cargoes, in order to into execution. It consists in open- forward them as required to the ing between Europe and the Pacific coasts of Mexico, Chile, and Peru, Ocean, through the Isthmus of where we already find a most imPanama, a track much shorter portant field for trade; and to than that of Cape Horn. When those Archipelagos, which, under ever this grand result, in which the combined influence of the mariall naval Powers are interested, time powers, are rising into civilishall have been obtained, the so- zation."

« AnteriorContinuar »