Great PNG document source identified
23 January 2009
Christchurch. On the eve of departing an unusually sweltering Canterbury region for Sydney’s fair harbour, I hear from Assoc Prof Martin Hadlow who writes that PNG ATTITUDE readers, PNGAA members and old ASOPA hands might not be aware of materials available from the Historical Documents Unit of DFAT. You might like to investigate the many declassified documents available here. As Martin says, they make for interesting reading. In searching the site, it’s best to put in the words ‘Papua’ and ‘New Guinea’ separately.
Martin adds: “May I tantalise your readers as to what kind of material is available. For example, Document 12 of 1947 (Cabinet Submission by Hon Eddie Ward) suggests various names for the newly combined Papua and New Guinea. One suggestion was “Australian New Guinea”. However, TPNG was also put forward and, of course, became the favoured outcome.
Document 480 of 1949 (Tom Critchley to the Department of External Affairs) talks of the status of “Northern New Guinea”. Inter alia, the report mentions that the Indonesian delegation insisted that it be included in Indonesia. Interesting to read that a “condominium status was suggested”.
Elsewhere on the web-site there is a wealth of interesting declassified (from Top Secret) correspondence relating to World War II and the defence of the South West Pacific (e.g. Curtin to Churchill, MacArthur to Curtin), while a quick search under ASOPA brought forth a couple of items, including this one that you might like to check for yourself.
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