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[Page 153]


upon rice. They then ran riot and commenced to pillage and and burn all before them, and to illtreat women and children who were left without protection.

I, therefore, determined it would be more in the interests of the Empire to at once to take steps to preserve from destruction the embryo wealth of what are to become after he war, bright and valuable possessions of the British Crown, and to protect the lives and honour of women and children, who were in imminent danger of molestation by idle and semi-savage natives.

This protection I afforded by at once releasing all those Planters who took the oath of neutrality for the duration of the War, but who nevertheless are required to regularly report themselves to the Officers Commanding the nearest Garrisons.

The only alternative open to me was to send them as Prisoners of War to Australia to remain in idleness at the expense of the Government, while their homes and properties were being destroyed.

Then again if wrong doing on the part of the recruited natives had not been checked, they would certainly have been  joined by the Kanakas, and such a general uprising would have taken place as would have devastated the whole country and put the Colony back many years.  Every day I am receiving fresh evidence of the wisdom of my decision.

I will quote only one instance as an example.  Captain Wuchert, who was taken Prisoner during the action at Kabakaul, is the owner of a large Plantation at Pondo on the West Coast, about 90 miles by sea from Rabaul.  He took the oath of neutrality, was released and returned at once to his Plantation, when he found his indentured natives, some of whom were armed, in a state of rebellion, and clamoring for food.  They had intimidated the women and wrought considerable damage to his property by fire, and before he could quell the disturbance and restore his authority, he found it necessary to shoot two of the natives, which circumstance he at once reported to me.

(6)  "As the said Acting Governor gives his assurance that none of the White Non-commissioned Officers and Men now in the field belong to the Regular Forces of the German Empire, such White Non-commissioned Officers and Men, upon taking the said oath of neutrality, will be released and permitted to resume their ordinary avocations, except where such avocations are Official, in which case the provisions of Paras 10 and 11 hereof will apply."

My remarks in connection with Para. 5 apply equally to this Paragraph.  The former deals with Officers, and the latter to N.C.Os and Men.

(7)  "As it is understood that the safety of the White population depends to an extent on the existence of a Native Constabulary, that portion of the Armed Native Constabulary which now forms part of the German Forces in the field, if found satisfactory, will be transferred to the Military Administration."

This provision speaks for itself and needs no comment.

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