Territory of Papua and New Guinea

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Territory of Papua and New Guinea

1949–1975
LocationPapuaNewGuinea.png
Status United Nations Trust Territory
External territory of Australia
CapitalPort Moresby
Common languages English (official)
Austronesian languages
Papuan languages
English creoles
Monarch  
 1949–1952
George VI
 1952–1975
Elizabeth II
Administrator
High Commissioner
 
 1949–1952 (first)
Jack Keith Murray
 1974–1975 (last)
Tom Critchley
Prime Minister  
 1949 (first)
Ben Chifley
 1949–1966
Robert Menzies
 1972–1975 (last)
Gough Whitlam
Legislature Legislative Council (1949–1963)
House of Assembly (1963–1975)
Historical era Cold War
1 July 1949
 Self-governing
1 December 1973
 Independence
16 September 1975
Currency New Guinean pound (until 1966)
Australian dollar (1966–1975)
PNG kina (1975)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Flag of the Territory of New Guinea.svg Territory of New Guinea
Flag of the Territory of Papua.svg Territory of Papua
Independent State of Papua New Guinea Flag of Papua New Guinea.svg
The flag of Papua and New Guinea (1965-70) Flag of Papua New Guinea (1965-1970).svg
The flag of Papua and New Guinea (1965-70)
The flag of Papua and New Guinea (1970-71) Flag of Papua New Guinea 1970.svg
The flag of Papua and New Guinea (1970-71)
Part of a series on the
History of Papua New Guinea
National Emblem of Papua New Guinea.svg
Flag of Papua New Guinea.svg Papua New Guineaportal

The Territory of Papua and New Guinea was established by an administrative union between the Australian-administered territories of Papua and New Guinea in 1949. In 1972, the name of the Territory changed to "Papua New Guinea" and in 1975 it became the Independent State of Papua New Guinea.

Australia Country in Oceania

Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 25 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

Territory of Papua British colony from 1883/4,  placed under the authority of the Commonwealth of Australia in 1902

The Territory of Papua comprised the southeastern quarter of the island of New Guinea from 1883 to 1975. In 1883, the Government of Queensland annexed this territory for the British Empire. The United Kingdom Government refused to ratify the annexation but in 1884 a Protectorate was proclaimed over the territory, then called "British New Guinea". There is a certain ambiguity about the exact date on which the entire territory was annexed by the British. The Papua Act 1905 recites that this happened "on or about" 4 September 1888. On 18 March 1902, the Territory was placed under the authority of the Commonwealth of Australia. Resolutions of acceptance were passed by the Commonwealth Parliament, who accepted the territory under the name of Papua.

Territory of New Guinea Australian administered territory est. 1920

The Territory of New Guinea was an Australian administered territory on the island of New Guinea from 1920 until 1975. In 1949, the Territory and the Territory of Papua were established in an administrative union by the name of the Territory of Papua and New Guinea. That administrative union was renamed as Papua New Guinea in 1971. Notwithstanding that it was part of an administrative union, the Territory of New Guinea at all times retained a distinct legal status and identity until the advent of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea.

Contents

Background

Ancient history

Archeological evidence suggests that humans arrived on New Guinea around 50,000 years ago. [1] These Melanesian people developed stone tools and agriculture. Portuguese and Spanish navigators sailing in the South Pacific entered New Guinea waters in the early part of the 16th century and in 1526–27, Jorge de Menezes came upon the principal island "Papua". In 1545, the Spaniard Iñigo Ortiz de Retes gave the island the name "New Guinea" because of what he saw as a resemblance between the islands' inhabitants and those found on the African Guinea coast. Knowledge of the interior of the island remained scant for several centuries after these initial European encounters.

New Guinea Island in the Pacific Ocean

New Guinea is a large island separated by a shallow sea from the rest of the Australian continent. It is the world's second-largest island, after Greenland, covering a land area of 785,753 km2 (303,381 sq mi), and the largest wholly or partly within the Southern Hemisphere and Oceania.

Jorge de Menezes was a Portuguese explorer, who in 1526–27 landed on the islands of Biak, whilst he awaited the passing of the monsoon season, and on the northern coasts of the Bird's Head Peninsula, calling the region Ilhas dos Papuas. He is thus credited with the European discovery of New Guinea.

Yñigo Ortiz de Retez was a 16th-century Spanish maritime explorer of Basque origin, who navigated the northern coastline of the Pacific–Melanesian island of New Guinea, and is credited with bestowing the island's name.

Colonisation and World Wars

In 1884, Germany formally took possession of the northeast quarter of the island and it became known as German New Guinea. [2] In 1884, a British protectorate was proclaimed over Papua – the southern coast of New Guinea. The protectorate, called British New Guinea, was annexed outright on 4 September 1888 and possession passed to the newly federated Commonwealth of Australia in 1902 and British New Guinea became the Australian Territory of Papua, with Australian administration beginning in 1906. [2]

German New Guinea colonial protectorate from 1884–1914

German New Guinea consisted of the northeastern part of the island of New Guinea and several nearby island groups and was the first part of the German colonial empire. The mainland part of the territory, called Kaiser-Wilhelmsland, became a German protectorate in 1884. Other island groups were added subsequently. New Pomerania, the Bismarck Archipelago, and the northern Solomon Islands were declared a German protectorate in 1885; the Caroline Islands, Palau, and the Mariana Islands were bought from Spain in 1899; the protectorate of the Marshall Islands was bought from Spain in 1885 for $4.5 million by the 1885 Hispano-German Protocol of Rome; and Nauru was annexed to the Marshall Islands protectorate in 1888.

The Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force seized German New Guinea and the neighbouring islands of the Bismarck Archipelago for the Allies in 1914, during the early stages of the First World War. [3] At the 1919 Paris Peace Conference following the war, Australian Prime Minister Billy Hughes sought to secure possession of New Guinea from the defeated German Empire: telling the Conference: "Strategically the northern islands (such as New Guinea) encompass Australia like fortresses. They are as necessary to Australia as water to a city." [4] Article 22 of the Treaty of Versailles provided for the division of Germany and the Central Powers' imperial possessions among the victorious Allies of World War I and German New Guinea, the Bismarck Archipelago and Nauru were assigned to Australia as League of Nations Mandates: territories "formerly governed [by the Central Powers] and which are inhabited by peoples not yet able to stand by themselves under the strenuous conditions of the modern world". [5]

Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force Australian Army and naval expeditionary force during World War I

The Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force (AN&MEF) was a small volunteer force of approximately 2,000 men, raised in Australia shortly after the outbreak of the First World War to seize and destroy German wireless stations in German New Guinea in the south-west Pacific. Britain required the German wireless installations to be destroyed because they were used by Vice-Admiral Maximilian von Spee's German East Asian Cruiser Squadron, which threatened merchant shipping in the region. Following the capture of German possessions in the region, the AN&MEF provided occupation forces for the duration of the war. New Zealand provided a similar force for the occupation of German Samoa.

Bismarck Archipelago archipelago in the Pacific Ocean north of New Guinea

The Bismarck Archipelago is a group of islands off the northeastern coast of New Guinea in the western Pacific Ocean and is part of the Islands Region of Papua New Guinea. Its area is about 50,000 square km.

Paris Peace Conference, 1919 peace conference 1919-1920

The Paris Peace Conference, also known as Versailles Peace Conference, was the meeting of the victorious Allied Powers following the end of World War I to set the peace terms for the defeated Central Powers.

Shortly after the start of the Pacific War, the island of New Guinea was invaded by the Japanese. Most of West Papua, at that time known as Dutch New Guinea, was occupied, as were large parts of the Territory of New Guinea. The New Guinea campaign was a major campaign of the Pacific War. In all, some 200,000 Japanese soldiers, sailors and airmen died during the campaign against approximately 7,000 Australian and 7,000 American service personnel. [6] Major battles included the Battle of Kokoda Trail, Battle of Buna-Gona and Battle of Milne Bay. The offensives in Papua and New Guinea of 1943–44 were the single largest series of connected operations ever mounted by the Australian armed forces. [7] Bitter fighting continued in New Guinea between the Allies and the Japanese 18th Army based in New Guinea until the Japanese surrender in 1945.

Pacific War Theater of World War II fought in the Pacific and Asia

The Pacific War, sometimes called the Asia–Pacific War, was the theater of World War II that was fought in the Pacific and Asia. It was fought over a vast area that included the Pacific Ocean and islands, the South West Pacific, South-East Asia, and in China.

Japan Country in East Asia

Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south.

New Guinea campaign part of the Pacific Theater of World War II

The New Guinea campaign of the Pacific War lasted from January 1942 until the end of the war in August 1945. During the initial phase in early 1942, the Empire of Japan invaded the Australian-administered territories of the New Guinea Mandate and Papua and overran western New Guinea, which was a part of the Netherlands East Indies. During the second phase, lasting from late 1942 until the Japanese surrender, the Allies—consisting primarily of Australian and US forces—cleared the Japanese first from Papua, then the Mandate and finally from the Dutch colony.

Establishment of the Territory of Papua and New Guinea

Following the Surrender of Japan in 1945, civil administration of Papua and New Guinea was restored, and under the Papua New Guinea Provisional Administration Act (1945–46), Papua and New Guinea were combined in an administrative union. [2] The Papua and New Guinea Act 1949 united, for administrative purposes only, the Territory of Papua and the Territory of New Guinea as the Territory of Papua and New Guinea. The Act formally approved the placing of New Guinea under the international trusteeship system and confirmed the administrative union of New Guinea and Papua under the title of The Territory of Papua and New Guinea. It also provided for a Legislative Council (which was established in 1951), a judicial organization, a public service, and a system of local government. [2] The House of Assembly replaced the Legislative Council in 1963, and the first House of Assembly of Papua and New Guinea opened on 8 June 1964.

Surrender of Japan surrender of the Empire of Japan during the World War II

The surrender of Imperial Japan was announced by Hirohito on August 15 and formally signed on September 2, 1945, bringing the hostilities of World War II to a close. By the end of July 1945, the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) was incapable of conducting major operations and an Allied invasion of Japan was imminent. Together with the British Empire and China, the United States called for the unconditional surrender of the Japanese armed forces in the Potsdam Declaration on July 26, 1945—the alternative being "prompt and utter destruction". While publicly stating their intent to fight on to the bitter end, Japan's leaders were privately making entreaties to the publicly neutral Soviet Union to mediate peace on terms more favorable to the Japanese. While maintaining a sufficient level of diplomatic engagement with the Japanese to give them the impression they might be willing to mediate, the Soviets were covertly preparing to attack Japanese forces in Manchuria and Korea in fulfillment of promises they had secretly made to the United States and the United Kingdom at the Tehran and Yalta Conferences.

<i>Papua and New Guinea Act 1949</i> Act of the Parliament of Australia, no longer in force, registered as C1949A00009

The Papua and New Guinea Act 1949 was an Act passed by the Parliament of Australia. It replaced the Papua Act 1905 and the New Guinea Act 1920, and changed the status of the territories of Papua and New Guinea by merging their administrations to form Papua and New Guinea. The Act established local rule, although the territory remained under control by Australia. The Act was repealed by the Papua New Guinea Independence Act 1975 which allowed for Papua New Guinea's independence from Australia.

The Legislative Council of Papua and New Guinea was created to replace direct rule and provide local rule for Papua and New Guinea. Under the Papua and New Guinea Act 1949, the Council was created and the first sitting started in 1951. It was replaced in 1963 with the House of Assembly of Papua and New Guinea.

In 1972, the name of the territory was changed to Papua New Guinea. [2] Under Australian Minister for External Territories Andrew Peacock, the territory adopted self-government in 1972. 1972 elections saw the formation of a ministry headed by Chief Minister Michael Somare, who pledged to lead PNG to self-government and then to independence. [2] Following the passage of the Papua New Guinea Independence Act 1975, during the term of the Whitlam Government in Australia, the Territory became the Independent State of Papua New Guinea and attained independence on 16 September 1975. [8] [9]

See also

Related Research Articles

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References

  1. Bourke, R. Michael (2009). History of agriculture in Papua New Guinea (PDF). ANU Press. pp. 10–26. Retrieved 10 December 2015. Prehistorians do not agree how long humans have occupied the Sahul continent (Australia, New Guinea and Tasmania). The figure of 50,000 years used here is a compromise between the shorter time period of about 45,000 years argued by some scholars and the longer one of 50,000–60,000 years argued by others.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Papua New Guinea". State.gov. 10 August 2011. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  3. "First World War 1914–18 | Australian War Memorial". Awm.gov.au. Archived from the original on 15 February 2012. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  4. "Remembering the war in New Guinea – Why were the Japanese were in New Guinea". Ajrp.awm.gov.au. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  5. Duffy, Michael (22 August 2009). "Primary Documents – Treaty of Versailles: Articles 1–30 and Annex". First World War.com. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  6. "Remembering the war in New Guinea – How many died?". Ajrp.awm.gov.au. 9 August 1942. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  7. "Wartime Issue 23 – New Guinea Offensive | Australian War Memorial". Awm.gov.au. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  8. "Peacock made 'bird of paradise' chief". ninemsn. AAP. 13 September 2009. Archived from the original on 2 March 2012. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  9. "In office – Gough Whitlam – Australia's PMs – Australia's Prime Ministers". Primeministers.naa.gov.au. Retrieved 4 March 2012.