I would point out that I was without definite or specific instructions how I was to act in the event of capitulation; it therefore became necessary for me to follow the general direction conveyed to me in paragraph 6 of the memorandum of Secret Instructions from the Chief of the General Staff, dated 15th August, 1914, which reads as follows:-
"You will act under the instructions of the Rear-Admiral Commanding H.M.A.S. Fleet. On land in the event of receiving no orders, or in any emergency, will carry out the objects set out in paras 1 and 4 in such manner as may seem best."
Moreover on the morning of the day on which I had my first interview with the Governor, I conferred with the Admiral on board the Flagship. and he then informed me that I had an entirely free hand on shore in all matters.
The occasion arose and I had to act at once, and I did so under the authority vested in me as Commander of the Forces by Sections 313, 314, 315, 318, 319, 320 and 323 of Chapter XIV Manual of Military Law 1914 "The Laws and Usages of War on Land", and in a way that I am convinced was taking every circumstance into consideration in the best interest of the Empire.
I take full responsibility for my action and feel sure that time will prove that I have not made a mistake.
The Agreement has been solemnly entered into by both sides; and to vary it or set it aside an any of its provisions is to me unthinkable, as it would amount to repudiation of the worst kind.
I trust I have in this explanation given sufficient reasons to cause the Government to change its opinion that terms "unduly advantageous to the enemy" have been adopted, and that they will now fully endorse my actions.
I have the honor to be,
Your obedient servant,