Australian Military Administration of German New Guinea (1914-1920)

In 1914, at the request of the British government, Australia sent troops to occupy German New Guinea. From 1915 until 1921, when the League of Nations gave Australia a mandate to govern the territory, it was under Australian military government. German planters and businessmen were allowed to continue their operations. The inexperienced Australian Administrators shelved the development projects of Albert Hahl, the last German governor, and were persuaded by the German settlers to allow even harsher treatment and more indiscriminate recruiting of local laborers than had occurred under the German Administration. In 1920 an Expropriation Board took over German plantations and property and sold them to British and Australian buyers. Many of the individual buyers failed and their properties were bought by major companies such as W.R. Carpenter and Burns Philp which continued grossly exploitative labor practices which were condoned by the military Administration.

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