542 Nankervis to Burton

Teleprinter Message D843 MELBOURNE, 20 August 1947, 2.42 p.m.

Received 20 August 1947

IMMEDIATE CONFIDENTIAL

The following urgent message has been received by this Department from the High Commissioner, Suva:-

Native trouble in British Solomon Islands Protectorate is likely to reach climax on September 1st when clash between opposing factions is threatened. [1]

It is necessary to effect arrest before that date and presence of a warship would have a steadying effect.

I should therefore be most grateful if Warramunga could arrange to reach Point Cruz Guadalcanal on or before August 28th and stand by. Glad of very early reply.

2. It had been previously arranged for Warramunga to arrive 3rd September. Arrangements can be made for her to arrive 28th August as requested. Request early approval. Message ends.

1 Disaffection based on activities of the nationalist group 'Marching Rule' included attempts to secure higher wages, defiance of district officers and 'cargo cult' beliefs. J.F. Nicoll, Acting High Commissioner for the Western Pacific, feared the trouble would come to a head on 1 September, when, according to rumours aggravated by the presence of US troops and naval vessels in the area, the United States would take over administration of the islands.

[AA : A1838,317/2/1, i]