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Decided Case of Shrewd Maine-Stater Who Bought 500,000 Acres of Land in New Zealand for Rum and Powder


Dean Roscoe Pound of the University Law School, who has been actively engaged at Washington since October 26 in the peaceful settlement of international disputes returned yesterday to his post in Cambridge.

In October, Dean Pound was appointed by President Coolidge to sit on the Board of Arbitration on British-American affairs. The other members of the tribunal are Senator Albert Nerinx, Professor of Public Law at Louvain, and senator of the kingdom of Belgium, President of the Board, and the Right Honorable Sir Charles Fitzpatrick, G. C. M. G., the English representative. The Board has been in session since October 26, in the Council Chamber of the Washington Chamber of Commerce.

Points of Friction Eliminated

Many important points of friction between the two countries, some of which have been causing irritations for decades, were eliminated by the commission. The rights of American fishermen on the treaty coast of Newfoundland were granted; the American government was declared not liable for injuries sustained by British monarchists in Hawaii during the reign of Queen "Lil" the last national march Great Britain's claims for reparation for damage done her citizens at lloilo in the Philippines were denied, but the American government was declared liable for the looting of British owned houses in Lavite, also in the Philippines, when a crew of Chinese sailors from one of Admiral Dewey's supply ships received leave of absence without guard, and scuttled residences of British subjects.

One of the most important decisions of the tribunal concerned the claims of an American in New Zealand. William Webster, a Maine man, bought 500,000 acres of land in New Zealand from native chiefs during the five years prior to 1840. His medium of exchange was described before the commission as consisting of rum, duck trousers, blankets, tobacco and powder. Other speculators purchased large tracts of land, and soon 650,000 acres more than the total area of New Zealand had been sold in all. To complicate matters, Great Britain annexed New Zealand in 1840. Only titles recognized by the land court were recognized. Since that time friction between the parties concerned and their heirs has not ceased. The tribunal granted 40,000 acres to Webster's heirs, although they demanded the difference between that and the full number of 500,000.

Dean Pound has not yet concluded his service to the government, and he has been supplementing his work by a study of the cases since December 23.

"I shall be absent a good part of this month," said Dean Pound to a CRIMSON reporter yesterday. "We shall have to complete the case of the claim of the Cayuga Indians against the State of New York for $1,000,000 under the Treaty of New York in 1795, and the Treaty of Ghent between the United States and Great Britain in 1814.

"I may be forced to return to Washington at the end of this week to prepare for the first public hearing on January 18. However, I will be back on the job for good at the beginning of the second half year

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