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ANMM Collection

Letter from Oskar Speck to the Consul General, Tanimbar Islands

Date: 13 October 1938
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Nancy Jean Steele Bequest
Object Copyright: © Australian National Maritime Museum
Classification:Ephemera
Object Name: Letter
Object No: ANMS0536[022]

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    Description
    Letter from Oskar Speck to the Consul General, Tanimbar Islands typed in German, dated 13 October, 1938. The letter seems personal, about mining and mineral ventures Oskar is involving himself with, and gives an indication of his plans to continue onto Papua New Guinea.
    Translation
    • Oskar Speck Saumlaki, Tanimbar Islands 13 October 1938 Dear Consul-General, Thank you very much for both of your letters. I'm glad everything turned out as it did because I was scared stiff. I was also unaware of the fact that you had retired. No doubt, you've been in office long enough. You can now still enjoy a bit of life without having to go to the office every day. I have also received mail from Germany at last. I noticed that you still haven't been returned the money you lent me for the films. Mr. Schmidt wrote to me that they had tried and are still trying everything to transfer the money. If this is unsuccessful I might have to see if I can transfer the amount from here. Unfortunately, my inancial situation is generally such that I would have had to give up my journey long ago had it not been for the support of others. I've signed a contract with Hofrnan, who is in Portuguese Timor, with respect to the following minerals: garnet, andalusite, baryta, potash feldspar and manganese ore. All I can do is wait and see what comes of this. We have already applied for the license. Apart from garnet (the mineral I sent to be analysed), two other mineralogists were quoted as well*. They were certain it was rutile, but the analysis revealed garnet. A tonne of it is worth about 200 Rm.I've insisted on reserving the rights to advance sales in addition to my share. Perhaps, I will be able to do something with the minerals when I'm back in Germany. There are about 5,000 tonnes of manganese ore in the ground; it's hard to estimate the quantities of the other minerals. Anyhow, I,ll just continue my journey. I'll be leaving Saumlaki on 18th and hope to arrive in Manokwari in Dutch New Guinea in early December. My ear is alright again and I hope it will stay that way. My new boat looks very good and it has some improvements compared with the earlier models. However, this time I won't depart as heavily laden as I did back then in Singapore. The crossings ahead of me are long distance ones, so I certainly won,t be needing a heavily laden boat. The weather is currently excellent; it's the calmest time of the year. After Manokwari my journey will go via former German New Guinea. I hope to shoot some good film on this part of the trip. I've received another 2,000ft of film from Germany. That is, they've been sent, but I haven't received them yet and the prospects of getting them seem fairly bleak. I hope the post ofice didn't send them back. Please write again when you find the time. My next address will be at Manokwari, but I suppose you won't get this letter early enough because it will have to wait here for at least another 4 weeks. The next address after Manokwari will be: Hollandia, Dutch New Guinea, post restante. Hollandia is the border town between Dutch New Guinea and the territory under mandate. I hope that both you and your wife are enjoying Berlin and also that you are altogether well. Thanks again for everything, and I'll write to you again when I'm in New Guinea. Yours sincerely
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