At the Legislative Council building in Port Moresby, April 11, a reconstituted legislative council of Papua-New Guinea, including native elected members for the first time, was opened.
At the Legislative Council building in Port Moresby, April 11, a reconstituted legislative council of Papua-New Guinea, including native elected members for the first time, was opened. Among official guests was the Minister for Territories, Mr. Hasluck, and Sir Alistair McMullin, the President of the Senate.
The administrator of the Commonwealth, Sir Dallas Brooks, who was to perform the official opening ceremony, arrived, and before entering the council building took the salute at a parade of the Royal Papuan constabulary.
The Council, reconstituted after the Territory's first elections, has thirty seven members. Voting representatives of half a million native people elected six native members to the Council as a first step towards eventual self government.
Among the crowd present at the opening were Parliamentary delegations from Holland and New Zealand, as well as a large delegation from Australia.
Giving the opening address, Sir Dallas Brooks said Papua-New Guinea now stood on the threshold of a new political life. He said the Australian Government was ready to set target dates for social, economic and educational advancement. But it expected the stages of political advancement to be set by the response of the people themselves.
On April 4, in Hollandia, the capital of Dutch New Guinea, a new legislative council with a majority of 58 native members was opened.. And now its nearest neighbour, Papua-New Guinea, has native members in its council. This is part of Australia's programme for the advancement of the territory, which not many years ago was a land of primitive and warring tribes. In this setting, yesterday Papua-New Guinea moved a step closer to self government.