• Short Summary

    There were colourful scenes of jubilation in Hollandia Apr 4 as Papuans celebrated the inauguration next day of the first elected New Guinea Council - a major first step towards the island's self-government.

  • Description

    There were colourful scenes of jubilation in Hollandia Apr 4 as Papuans celebrated the inauguration next day of the first elected New Guinea Council - a major first step towards the island's self-government.

    On the site where the permanent Council Building will be erected, large crowds - including representatives from Britain, France, Australia and New Zealand - watched the traditional "fire-walking" dance on hot stones. The stones were first heated on a fire and were then walked over by the dancers .... with no apparent ill-effects.

    At the inauguration next day, Queen Juliana of the Netherlands told the New Guinea Council, in a recorded address, that Holland's only aim was to safeguard the Papuans' right of self-determination. "This is the first step on the road ... May that road be short," she said.

    As Mr Platteel, the Governor of New Guinea, officially opened this first session of the Council, festivities outside the building were so noisy that he had to repeat part of his speech. The Dutch Interior Minister, Mr Toxopeus, then handed over a copy of Peaslee's "Constitution of Nations", to the speaker, Mr Sollewijn-Gelpke of the Netherlands.

    A proposal by Mr Sollewijn-Gelpke to send a telegram to Queen Juliana expressing the Council's affection for the House of Orange was carried unanimously.

    The Dutch Under-Secretary for New Guinea, Mr K.Bot, said the Government expected that in the next twelve months the Council would express an opinion about how self-determination could best be realised. He thanked Britain, France, Australia and New Zealand for sending representatives to the ceremony, America was criticised by Papuan leader Nicolas Jouwe for her decision not to send a representative.

    On the New Guinea Council there are 16 elected and 12 appointed members. Twenty-three of these are Papuans - mainly teachers and administrators. The Council will have the right to put questions to the Governor, help to draft legislation, and decide how to spend the annual GBP10 million development money from Holland.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA5QJPBOVO5JSC9WTWNWOEESWJT
    Media URN:
    VLVA5QJPBOVO5JSC9WTWNWOEESWJT
    Group:
    Reuters - Incuding Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    08/04/1961
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:01:56:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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