WEDNESDAY - 23RD SEPTEMBER 1914.
At 9-15 a.m. Administrator received a signal from Vice-Admiral intimating that at 9-30 a.m. the ships of the Squadron would stop engines and request Administrator to come on board flagship in reference to an important message received by the Admiral the previous evening.
When the ships stopped the flagship sent a boat for the Administrator, who left the "Berrima" about 9-45 a.m.
The Admiral handed the Administrator a telegram from the Minister for Defence, which ran as follows:-
"From Minister for Defence to Vice-Admiral Commanding:
"Please inform Administrator with regard to his telegram to Chief of General Staff 20th Septr:
It does not appear from telegram whether terms set out are merely proposals or whether they are terms on which surrender has actually been accepted. Commonwealth Government considers terms as stated unduly advantageous to the enemy. Governor should be held as prisoner of war and should not under any circumstances be allowed to return to Germany. Civil Officials whose services are not required or who refuse to take oath of neutrality not allowed to return to Germany. Sufficient reasons for allowing surrender with military honors do not appear. Payment of salaries of deported Civil Officers and travelling expenses of families to Europe appear unjustifiable. if terms mentioned are those which Governor and his force has agreed to surrender and have actually surrendered different conditions arise. So far as conditions granted relate to surrender of forces and are conditions which Brigadier has authority to grant they must be scrupulously observed. Government, however, not aware that Brigadier had authority to promise that any of the enemy's forces or Civil Officers should be allowed to returned to Germany, in which case conditions are void and may be disregarded. Brigadier had no authority to pledge Commonwealth Naval Board Revenue for salaries of Civil Officers and expenses of their families."
The matter was then discussed between the Admiral and the Administrator. The Admiral showed the Administrator a telegram he proposed to send to the Minister through the Naval Board, pointing out that he did not give the Administrator authority to make the terms he did. The Admiral also suggested that in view of the objection of the Government to the terms and conditions as arranged, when the Administrator reached Friedrich Wilhelmshafen next day that it be explained that as the Government did not agree with the proposal to allow Officials to return to Germany, this portion of the agreement would be cut out as far as Friedrich Wilhelmshafen Officials were concerned. The Administrator said he could not agree to this as the agreement in question was solemnly entered into and subscribed to by both sides and applied to the whole of the possessions formerly administered by the Governor of German New Guinea, and to make this alteration now would be making fish of one and flesh of another; he could not, therefore, consent to any alteration in the terms and conditions of the treaty of capitulation. He admitted that the Admiral had given him no authority to make the terms he did, and stated that he did so in the best interests of the Empire and was quite prepared to accept full responsibility for his actions. The Administrator pointed out that as a matter of fact he had received no instructions from Head Quarters how he was to