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[Page 75]

At Sea,
23rd September 1914.

The Honorable,
The Minister for Defence,

To-day I received at sea while on my way from Rabaul to Friedrich Wilhelmshafen from the Vice-Admiral Commanding, your telegram [see page 117] in reply to mine of the 20th instant, addressed to the Chief of the General Staff, notifying the terms and conditioins of the surrender of the German possessions in the Pacific, and I at once requested the Admiral to despatch the following message:-

"The terms mentioned are those of the actual surrender and have been signed. Governor and Officials are civilians; all are to be sent to Australia; no guarantee that facilities will be afforded for return to Germany. Payments under agreement are from funds of German New Guinea in my possession and are to be refunded out of German Colonial Subsidy.  Have not pledges Commonwealth revenue.  Immediate action was necessary, and having in mind the future of Colony under British rule, I adopted terms considered to be most advantageous to the Empire, using my judgment from the conditions I found prevailing on the spot.  Arrangements made already proving satisfactory."


I regret very much that the services I have rendered do not appear so far to have met with the full approval of the Government, but I am so satisfied from my local knowledge on the spot, that what I have done is in the best interests of the Empire, that I feel certain after hearing the arguments which I shall now deduce hereunder, any impression of dissatisfaction with the result will be entirely removed.

First of all let me say that from the beginning I have kept prominently before my mind that the force under my command was not a filibustering expedition to rush in and take possession of territory, do as much damage as possible, levy an indemnity, and move off somewhere else, but an expedition sent to seize territory which it was intended should not afterwards be relinquished, but held for all time as British possession for Colonizing purposes.  Therefore, it was advisable to carry out my mission with as little damage as possible, and with the least possible interference with existing customs and methods of administration, and with trade and commerce, and to act in such a way as to ensure

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