Wednesday, February 22, 2012


"There are 1000 Chinese labourers in Samoa," said Captain R. J. Carter, head of the Samoan Labour Department, who arrived by the Tofua last Monday morning, says the Auckland Star. They work mostly on the plantations, but a few are employed as house servants. I have to occasionally hold a labour court, but, generally speaking there is not much trouble. The Government arranges for the men to come out. They are engaged for a period of three years, the pay being 3s per day. They are not indentured. They are, practically speaking, free agents and leave a job at a week's notice and can be dispensed with under the same terms. The Government is reimbursed for the outlay of bringing them from the Flowery Land by the people who employ them. They are good workers and quiet." "As far as the Samoans are concerned," continued Captain Carter, "they also are good workers but will not stick to their jobs. They are an independent people and have their own land, and if a feast is being held 'down the road' off they go "to it, even at the expense of sacrificing any money that may be coming to them."

Referring to Samoa generally and the Administration Captain Carter had nothing to say. Asked in regard to the suicide of a high official after the visit of an investigating committee from New Zealand Captain Carter said a shortage had been discovered in the accounts of the repatriated estates. The suicide was the accountant, who considered that he was responsible because he had charge of the accounts. This preyed on his mind and resulted in him taking his life. Another officer who was employed in the storekeeper's branch of the same department was arrested and charged with defalcations. He pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to nine months' imprisonment. Rodney and Otamatea Times, Waitemata and Kaipara Gazette , 23 January 1929, Page 5

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