Item 05: General William Holmes reports of operations and instructions for officers, 1914-1915 - Page 159

You are here


[Page 159]



by them from the local firms under special contracts. They, therefore, did not keep a great amount of articles in stock.

Government Steamer 'Komet' has been required from me in the beginning of September by the Imperial Navy.  In consequence of the requisition I have given to Captain Moeller a certain order, and I have by wireless message from Bitapaka put the 'Komet' to the unlimited disposition of the Imperial Navy.

Whether H.M. Ships have meanwhile discharged 'Komet' again and where in this case she may be at present is unknown by me.  I give expressly the official assurance that since the requisition of 'Komet' by the Imperial Navy I have not had any more connections, direct or indirect, with the ship 'Komet' or with H.M. Ships.

Referring to Your Excellency's note of the 1st inst. I have the honor to observe that with regard to the stipulation in question, acceded to by Your Excellency, my intention was to prevent the Officials sent out of their offices by Your Excellencies military action, from becoming destitute.  Those Officials have from their official relations no claim against the Empire, but only against the single Colony.  According to your verbal statement they are not prisoners of war.  The Power having them under its control is consequently not obliged to accord to them the privileges granted to the prisoners of war by inter-national rules.  I have, however, understood from your verbal explanations yesterday that while it is impossible to take care of them by payment of a 3 month's salary and an advance on travelling expenses out of the funds of the Colony, some other way will be found to provide for their board, lodging and repatriation, together with their family members.  In case this is granted I will be ready to recognise that the stipulation in question forming part of our agreement of September 17th can be considered fulfilled in the meaning of Article 35, para. 2 of the inter-national treaty relating to the laws and customs of war on land of October 18th 1902.

The list presented to Your Excellency by Cashier Binder comprises all the Officials of the Colony, including the numerous Officials on the outlying stations, where correspondingly large amounts of money are in stock, and also, as far as I could see, some Non-Official persons.  Furthermore, the advances on travelling expenses are set down higher than it was intended by me during the negotiations preceding the agreement. And besides, I have anticipated that Your Excellency would keep a larger number of Officials residing in Rabaul and surroundings in their offices and deport a smaller number.

In compliance with the agreement of Septr. 17th I will endeavor to cause that any amounts expended in the forementioned interests of the Officials of the Colony be repaid by the Imperial Government out of the yearly subsidy, as soon as I am in a position to take the steps necessary for the purpose.  In order that all Officials be treated on the same footing, I have the honour to suggest that all amounts paid out as per list attached to your note of October 1st be called back.  In case that is not now possible I will take the steps necessary for their repayment by the Imperial Government as soon as I can do so.  For this purpose I beg leave to ask that the receipts or verified copies of the receipts be handed to me as justifications for the purpose of accounting.

This page has its status set to Completed and is no longer transcribable.