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[Page 249]


The Administrator discovered on reading through despatches from the Minister for Defence that he has been under a misapprehension as to the nature of the appointment of Colonel Pethebridge, owing to the word "Formal" incorrectly appearing in decoded wireless message instead of the word "your". The message referred to is that received from Secretary, Defence Department, on 25th November, and quoted in diary of that date, the correct translation of which is as follows:-

"Administrator: Colonel Pethebridge will administer as Commissioner, the Pacific Islands lately German North of Equator, your jurisdiction (incorrectly shewn in previous message "formal jurisdiction") extending to all newly acquired possessions South of the Equator. What action do you propose as to further service of troops after completion of the six months term of enlistment; do you propose that a portion should be retained and the remainder return to Sydney? Additional supplies for troops will be despatched December."

The Administrator has now decided to remain and administer these Islands until the end of war, unless sooner relieved.

Pay to amount of £4,500 for troops was received by the "Eastern".

Mr. McDonald, Wireless Expert, arrived by the Eastern" and has received instructions to report on and take charge of the erection of new wireless stations and re-construction of existing Stations in these Islands. He proceeded to Bita Paka to inspect the W/T Station at that place.

The health of the troops is satisfactory.

Current Status: