New Zealand - a mandatory power
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
At a time when New Zealand's attempts to govern peacefully the mandated territory of Western Samoa are giving rise to comments and contentions in many parts of the world, and when her ability and indeed her right to administer the islands are being questioned, it seems not unnatural to enquire why New Zealand should have been given a mandate over Western Samoa. To answer this question it is necessary to go back to an early period in New Zealand history and trace the thread up to and through the maze of complexities which constitute the peace negotiations of 1918-1919. We see New Zealand emerge from the Peace Conference with a C mandate, not exactly her heart's desire, but something very nearly akin. At this stage another thought arises; has the “sacred trust” been accepted gladly or has New Zealand chafed at the restrictions and obligations of the mandate? In this thesis I have endeavoured to depict the part played by New Zealand in the establishment and working of the mandates system, by a consideration of the motives underlying her policy at the Peace Conference, her expressed intentions in regard to Western Samoa, and her attitude towards the whole system as shown by official despatches, and official utterances made to the League, the New Zealand Parliament and elsewhere. An assessment of the merit or demerit of her performance as a mandatory power has been sought in the opinions expressed by the League organs whose task it is to supervise her work. I feel that the years during which she is a mandatory power will constitute an important phase in New Zealand history, for while occupying this position she is being tested, not only in regard to her capabilities in the sphere of native administration but, what is more vital, in her ability to respond to the new ideal of trusteeship which has somehow managed to survive in a world where exploitation is the rule, and which is making definite claims on behalf of Western Samoa to those who will hearken in New Zealand.