124 Mr A. R. Nankervis, Secretary of Department of the Navy, to Mr F. Strahan, Secretary of Prime Minister's Department

Teleprinter message [D296] [MELBOURNE], 19 September 1940, [6.20 p.m.] [1]

Received 19 September 1940

SECRET IMPORTANT

The following copy of a message timed 0516 G.M.T. 19th September, addressed to the Naval Board by H.M.A.S. ADELAIDE is forwarded for information:-

(Begins).

'Sautot disembarked 0030 G.M.T. today South Coast. No (repeat no) disorder or bloodshed. Situation ashore not (repeat not) yet stabilized. Civil population and Army completely De-Gaullist but DUMONT D'URVILLE although at present quiescent is commanded by rabid Vichy adherent [2] who is reported liable to take offensive action. Am awaiting confirmation Sautot's formal assumption of power [3] timed for 0430 G.M.T. today.' (Ends.)

1 The addressee, message number and time of dispatch have been taken from the copy on file Defence: Special Collection I, Box 556, Strategic Policy in Relation to French Colonies in the Pacific. This teleprinter message was also addressed to the External Affairs and Defence Co-ordination Depts.

2 Le Capitaine de Fregate Toussaint de Quievrecourt.

3 As Free French Governor of New Caledonia.

[AA:A3195, 1940, 1.8076]