126 Mr B. C. Ballard, Official Representative in New Caledonia, to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 22 NOUMEA, 20 September 1940, 12.55 p.m.

IMPORTANT SECRET

Understand information sent on September 19th from H.M.A.S.

'ADELAIDE' has been passed to you. [1]

The position today still marked by calm; Sautot welcomed by the people on landing; formally assumed functions [2] yesterday afternoon; has interned the ex-Governor and military head [3];

proposes to deport captain of sloop [4] which seems to be the chief source of danger at present. Will report further when fuller information available.

(Situation was touch and go on Wednesday night when Governor learnt of plans and declared martial law).

BALLARD

1 See Document 124.

2 As Free French Governor of New Caledonia.

3 Lt Col M. E. Denis.

4 Le Capitaine de Fregate Toussaint de Quievrecourt.

[AA:A981, NEW CALEDONIA 37]