On July 23rd, by way of protesting against this wholesale robbery, and of cutting down the illgotten gains of the contractor, we started a “hunger strike” which meant that we bought no extras & merely existed on bread and one course of meat. The effect of this was interesting for we received a message from the Comdt to the effect that “we must not cut down the meals as it would ruin the contractor”! The following day Col. Chitty received a summary of so called “orders” from the Comdt through the interpreter with directions that we should sign & return them. This we unanimously refused to do as they were contradictory in themselves, ridiculous, & calculated to enrich the contractor at our expense; & furthermore they were so worded that had we signed them it would have signified to the Turkish authorities that we were content & that our treatment was very satisfactory which was far from being the case.
Amongst other things which were written in these orders were a few of particular interest & by which I will explain what I mean by saying that had we signed them it would have inferred that we were contented, and that we were receiving our due. –