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[Page 123]


At 9-0 a.m. the following message was received: -

"To Administrator:   "Komet" captured, her wireless intact. Entering Rabaul 11am.   Please inform Mrs. Moeller her husband is  not hurt - Jackson."

Reply was sent at 10 a.m.: -

"Commdr. Jackson - Heartiest congratulations on your success. - Administrator."

The "Nusa" and the "Komet" arrived at Rabaul at 11am and Lt. Commander Jackson and Lt. Col. Paton handed the Administrator reports on the Expedition.   The "Komet" was captured in a small harbour on the North-west Coast of New Britain, about 160 miles from Rabaul. early on Sunday morning, 11th instant,   She was taken unawares and offered no resistance.   The Captain, 4 German Officers and a Native crew of 52 persons were taken prisoners. The First Officer and the Purser had left in a small cutter to endeavour to pick up the German Governor   at Torui (in open Bight).   From the log of the  "Komet" it has ben ascertained that this vessel  was coaled by  an Armed Merchant Cruiser ("Prinz Eitel Friedrich") in the vicinity of Anguar.   This cruiser had German Troops on  board and was armed with 4.7  Guns.   It was the intention of the  "Komet" to pick up the Governor and proceed to the Dutch Indies.   The Administrator is sending the  "Komet" to Sydney with the late Governor and German Prisoners, in order that she might be effectively armed and returned to this Administration.

The following message will be despatched to the Minister for Defence when communication is open again with Thursday Island: -

"From Administrator to Minister of Defence: -   Message from Navy Board, 9th instant, and my reply same day, regarding German signals heard by Thursday Island.   On 8th inst in absence of Australian Fleet at Suva I commissioned H.M.A.S. "Nusa" 60 tons, armed with one 12 pounder, one 3 pounder and one machine gun under Lt. Commdr. Jackson,R.N. and accompanied by Lt.Col. Paton and detachment of Infantry, to proceed North Coast New Britain and investigate reports as to presence of German Warship "Komet".   Expedition entirely successful.   "Komet" captured with one Q.F. Gun and complete wireless outfit.   Captain, 4 Officers and Native Crew of 52 taken prisoners.   Have commissioned  "Komet" and am sending her to Sydney, Jackson in command, with late Governor and Prisoners.   Desire for urgent reasons affecting Administration she be effectively armed and returned earliest possible date with Jackson in command, as his local  knowledge essential.

A letter was receive  from the Bishop of the  R.C. Mission at Herbertshohe, complaining of the  treatment he had received by our garrison at that place.   The Military Secretary (Major Heritage) will proceed to Herbertshohe to-morrow to enquire into the matter.

The health of the troops continues excellent.   Private James injured in explosion is making satisfactory progress.

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