[Stamped:] PRIME MINISTER – COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA – 1913/552/10
[Annotated in pencil:] 22-10-13
[Letterhead:] The University of Sydney
15th September 1913
Dear Mr Cook,
I beg to thank you most heartily for your very kind letter of September 11 just received in regard to the Mawson expedition.
It is extremely gratifying to my colleagues of the Antarctic committee of Mawson’s expedition and to myself, and I would venture to add to the whole of the scientific world to know that your Government have so generously decided to meet us in this hour of need by placing on the estimates the sum of £5,000 towards the cost of completing the work of the expedition and bringing Dr Mawson and his comrades back to Australia.
This extra expenditure as was explained to you by the deputation to which you so kindly gave audience the week before last has been rendered necessary entirely as a result of the sad accident whereby Dr Mawson lost two of the most gallant members of his expedition and all but perished on the terrible journey when he struggled back more dead than alive to his winter quarters just two hours too late for the six waiting comrades and himself to catch the Aurora. Had the whole expedition been able to embark at that time this money would not have been needed. As it is we shall need every bit of it for the equipping of the ship and the payment of the wages necessitated by this relief expedition.
I will venture to add that this generous action of your Government has been most warmly appreciated by all members of the public with whom I have come in contact since your decision has become known. I am
[Handwritten signature:] J.W. Edgeworth David
[Addressed to] The Honourable Joseph Cook,
The Prime Minister,
Commonwealth of Australia,
Federal Parliament House,
[Illegible handwritten annotation.]