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Thursday, 22 April 1915

Senator PEARCE (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) (Minister for Defence) - I have received the following reply to the statement -

There is not much that is inaccurate in attached account, so far as facts are concerned. The numbers of our troops are exaggerated, but the Governor could not know them exactly.

The mistakes are mostly omissions. Thus, he says he did not entrench at Toma, but forgets to say the routes to the W/T station at Bita Paka were entrenched, and that riflemen were put in trees along the route.

The statement about "bluffing for ten days" is simply putting the best side on what he did, no doubt for the benefit of his compatriots.

As to his statement that he hoped for the arrival of the German Fleet, that is exactly what the Australian Fleet hoped for too, but were disappointed.

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