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Febr 9th 1916 Re Royal enquiry statement by Sands
To the course of inquiry by Jusic Pith some months ago into the administiones of the Lvpool Military Camp, several refferences wher made to the better conditions prevailing at the Germ conc Camp close by. The Comandant of the later Lieut Col R.T. Sands who was called by his Honor gawe some interesting details of his work. His duties have since gained addet importance for he has giwen charge of the whole of the Pris of War in Australia. The Comandant mentioned that the ages of the Germans in Camp ranged from 17 €“ 83. Their has been very little illness wich he attributed to the suitability of the site, the skill of the doctor, the devotion to duty of the A.A.MC warrant officer to the underground system of deepot drainage in operation, which was payd for out of the canteen profits. The drainage was carried away 250 yds underground to a creek, wich eptied it into the salt water of the Georges River. Their wher 20 showers & a hot water shower wich the Germans had errected themselves for the use of wich they charged one penny. Some of the Germans had to be forced to wash. I hawe had a staff sergeant major holding a certain German who was hid very high standing in Australia under the shower by the neck, while he washed the Comandant explained that there wher 45 shelters in the German camp 115 feet by 9 feet wich toke 55 Men each. They wher whole to the North east & got all the Sunshine. The shelters were his own design. Their was no drought & they wher warm in winter and Cool in summer. On Sundays all the bedding & bunks wher taken out & the whole of the shelter scrubbed down like a ship's deck. Every shelter was thoroughly disinfected every 40 days. One was done every day. The profits of the canteen amounting to £ 2500a year or so wher applied to securing recreation & comfort for the prisoners & the health of the Camp generally. When the Germans behave themselfs they got everything possible to make them comfortable. The Comandant refering to what the profitt of the Canteen had enabled him to do, mention to say that he had bought mosquito nets for everybody in the sumer. Their was a complete electric lighting system throughout the Camp. An electric lighting plant worth £ 750 had been installed which had not cost the government a penny. He had made use of the special capacity of the Austrians who were skilled in charcoal burning. The results of this was that an expenditure of from £ 8 to £ 5 per Night on petrol had been reduced to 1sh for a bucket of charcoal. In addition to this the engine of the plant was in use during the day on a wood saw bench. The success of his administration was ascribed by the Comandant largely to the principle of decentralisation. I have made sufficient money out of the dry canteen at the G.C.C. to enable to put in 5 large stoves wich cost £.550 These will cook for 3500 men. They are in properly built kitchens & these are not waterboilers. I never saw the equal of the cooking which is done out their for food for men.