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No public announcement of the proposed transfer had been made, and the arrival at the wharf near the North Head of the defence steamer Lady Roberts, with the prisoners on board, came to most people as a surprise. About half an hour later the ex-Governor of Samoa (Dr Schultz), with two other Germans, left in a motor car for the new camp. The ex-Governor was dressed in drill khaki, and wore a sun helmet. He took no notice of his surroundings, but sat back in his seat reading a newspaper. At one spot a few hoots were heard as the ex-Governor’s car sped by; otherwise there was no demonstration. The prisoners, though of varying physique and dress, looked a remarkably healthy and well-fed lot of men. A few of the party in the procession, which numbered about 80, marched in serious silence; but others evinced the highest spirit. At the head of the party marched Count von Luckner. He was smartly attired in a walking suit of fashionable grey, with a cap of the same material. He took no part in the laughter and joking. When a photographer was taking a ‘‘snap’’, von Luckner raised the coat he had on his arm in front of his face, but in nothing else did he take any notice of those on the street.
The Recruiting Branch, known within the Defence Department as A.
G.2, is engaged now in completing its records and putting the finishing touches to the work of the last two years, states the Dominion. The magnitude of this department’s operations are indicated by the fact that there are nearly 200,000 files, each representing a soldier or a reservist, to be checked and completed. The active work of the Recruiting Branch is nearly at an end, but the records will have to be preserved for many years to come.
Invalided solders return
Over 2000 New Zealand invalided soldiers are nearing the dominion on transports, and will have the pleasure of spending Christmas among their friends, unless their ailments are too serious to permit discharge before hospital treatment. First for return are the hospital cases and convalescents. Then will come the men who are still fit. At present, the Defence Department has to prepare for the invalids, and for this reason the new system of facilitating discharge straight from the ship’s side will not be possible. So the friends of the men who are returning between now and December 22 will have to exercise a few hours’ patience after the transport’s arrival, to enable relatives to be properly equipped with warrants for their privileges, and to enable the soldiers to be medically and dentally overhauled before returning to civil life. This process in some of the dominions involves a stay in a demobilisation camp.
The Catalonian deputies in the Spanish Parliament withdrew in a body. The leader (Senor Cambo) explained that his followers were obliged to leave in order to seek under a new regime consideration of their demands. This ominous act means the revolt of the Catalonians, whose demand for autonomy was one of the causes of the recent Ministerial crisis, and may possibly foreshadow the overthrow of the monarchy. — ODT, 18.12.1918.
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