Item 10: General William Holmes diary, 23 August 1914-22 February 1915 - Page 145

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[Page 145]


At 12-20 a.m. message was received from  the Navy Board as follows: -
""Transmit following telegram to Lucas:   Cannot understand cable received through Administrator; kindly explain position.   Hope you are finding all "Moresby's" goods and able to dispose same without loss.   "Matunga" sailed 16th, 335 tons general, 90 tons timber, 2 tons freezer - Burns

This message was handed to Mr. Lucas at 10-0 a.m.

A deputation of the Rabaul Merchants was received by the Administrator at 9-0 a.m.   The Merchants represented that it was their intention to purchase the ""Moresby's" cargo, and the  Administrator was asked if he would still afford every facility for sending supplies to outlying stations. This the Administrator agreed to do, and has decided to send the "Sumatra" or "Meklong", with a small guard on board, around to the various places and land supplies for the merchants.

The "Moresby" left at 2-0 p.m. having on board Captain Moeller (late of the "Komet") also Mrs Moeller, and Taifert.   Captain Moeller was given his parole while on board ship, but Taifert is being kept under close arrest. A guard consisting of a Corporal and 3 men accompanied the Ship, with instructions that Taifert was to have no communication whatever with outsiders until handed over to the District Commandant, Sydney.   The Captain of the "Moresby" was instructed by the Administrator to proceed to Suva, and, in the absence of instructions from the Vice-Admiral Commanding H.M.A. Fleet, to proceed thence direct to Sydney.   Despatches and mails were forwarded by this  ship.

A dinner was given by the Officers of the  Naval Contingent present in Rabaul, to celebrate the anniversary of the  Battle of Trafalgar.   The Administrator was present, accompanied by Captain Travers.

No news received from  Major Heritage, although attempts were made several times to get into communication by wireless.

In   reply to a message despatched on the 19th instant, the following was received by the  Administrator: -
"Copy of  Slater's Code is being sent you in "Messina" left Sydney 16th October."

Information regarding the Japanese Fleet, message for General Wylde who left by  the "Komet" on Saturday, also a query regarding pay  a/c Daniel Skillen who was wounded in action of 11th Septr. and returned to Australia in  the "Berrima", were also received.

The Administrator despatched the following message to the Minister for Defence: -
"Have deported Manager New Guinea Coy.; result merchants now reasonable and have purchased cargo of "Moresby", which left for Suva today."

No word received from Major Heritage.   Expedition has now been out 5 days.

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