(5) "Such of the Officers of the said Forces in the field as are Officers of the German Regular Forces, will be treated as Prisoners of War in the usual manner. Such of the Officers of the said German Forces as are not Officers of the German Regular Forces, but whose usual occupation is Civil, on taking an oath of neutrality for the duration of the present War, will be permitted to return to their homes and ordinary avocations, except where such avocations are Official, in which case the provisions of Paras, 10 and 11 hereof will apply."
With the forces in the field were a number of men acting as Officers, who were not regular soldiers but had received Military Training in Germany in the ordinary way. They were Reservists who had come to the Colony and invested their capital in establishing Cocoanut Plantations, and made their permanent homes there, some of them being accompanied by their wives and families. Others were men employed in various Stores and Merchant Houses.
All these had been called out by the Ex-Governor for military service in defence of the Colony on the outbreak of War.
Ever since I started in my mission I have kept steadily in view the fact my force was not a filibustering Expedition despatched to conquer these parts, levy an indemnity, do as much damage as possible and move on, but with the object of occupying the Islands with Military Garrisons until the conclusion of War, when they would be retained as valuable British Possessions for Colonizing purposes.
Now the wealth of these Islands lies principally in the Cocoanut Plantations. Many of these, indeed most of them, are only in their infancy, and although very valuable now, such value will be enormously increased during the next 10 years, when the at present young Plantations come into full bearing.
The whole of the labour on the Plantations is performed by natives recruited from the adjoining Islands, as Planters rarely employ local boys. This course results in the presence of thousands of natives engaged by Planters for a period of 3 years, whose only interest in the Island, which is not their home, is the money they earn by their labour, and to get any result at all from their employment, their labour must be constantly supervised and directed by white men.
When the War broke out the white Planters were called in to join the Defence Force, consequently the native labourers on the plantations were left to themselves, and at once ceased work. To make matters worse, food supplies ran short in consequence of trade steamers having stopped sailing, and in many cases natives were almost starving, as they depended mostly