Papua and New Guinea, 1947

Scope and Content

Minutes of the first meeting of the Inter-Departmental Committee for the Co-ordination of plans for the development of the Territories of Papua and New Guinea; together with background papers on the history and present administrative and economic state of the territories, 1947.

Administrative / Biographical History

Papua comprised the south-eastern portion of the island of New Guinea. The area was proclaimed a British Protectorate in 1884, and in 1888 a part of the British Empire, known as British New Guinea. Its government was carried on under the Secretary of State for the Colonies, with participation from New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria, until 1902. It was then placed under the authority of the Commonwealth of Australia, this control taking effect in 1906; its name was changed to the Territory of Papua at that date.
The north-eastern portion of New Guinea formed the protectorate of German New Guinea until its occupation by an Australian Expeditionary Force in 1914. It continued under military rule until 1920 when it was entrusted to the Commonwealth of Australia, effective from 1921. It was then named the Territory of New Guinea.
Both these territories were invaded and occupied by the Japanese in 1942. Following the end of the war, civil administration was gradually restored and by 1946 a provisional joint administration of the former separate territories was instituted, as the Territory of Papua-New Guinea. The intention was that this be a temporary arrangement pending the determination of future policy for the area. This led to the formation, by the Department of External Territories, of the Inter-Departmental Committee for the Co-ordination of Plans for the Development of the Territories of Papua and New Guinea in 1947.
The joint territory continued under Australian administration until 1973 when self-government was achieved, to be followed in 1975 by complete independence, as Papua New Guinea.


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Other Finding Aids

A descriptive list is available in ICS Library

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

The volume shows evidence of damage by water throughout

Archivist's Note

Compiled 2000, revised by Alan Kucia as part of the RSLP AIM25 Project, Aug 2001.

Separated Material

A fuller set of papers of the Committee is available in the National Archives of Australia.

Conditions Governing Use

A photocopying service is available, at the discretion of the Library staff. Copies are supplied solely for research or private study. Requests to publish, or to quote from, original material should be submitted to the Information Resources Manager.

Custodial History

The volume appears to have come to ICS from the Australian Library of Information at Australia House, London, possibly in 1996. The papers may have been the personal copies of JR Halligan, the Secretary of the Department of External Territories and chairman of the Committee.