• Short Summary

    DUTCH NEW GUINEA - AUSTRALIA'S NEAREST NEIGHBOUR. JUST ACROSS THE BORDER FROM PAPUA-NEW GUINEA IS?

  • Description

    DUTCH NEW GUINEA - AUSTRALIA'S NEAREST NEIGHBOUR. JUST ACROSS THE BORDER FROM PAPUA-NEW GUINEA IS THE CAPITAL HOLLANDIA WHERE IN FIRST WEEK THIS MONTH HUNDREDS OF VISITORS FROM OVERSEAS AND FROM OUTLYING VILLAGES ARRIVED FOR THE INAUGURATION OF THE TERRITORY'S FIRST REPRESENTATIVE COUNCIL.

    A WEEK OF CELEBRATIONS IN HOLLANDIA MARKED THIS MAJOR STEP FORWARD IN THE DUTCH PLAN TO GIVE THE TERRITORY SELF DETERMINATION.

    AMONG THE OFFICIAL VISITORS WAS A BIG DELEGATION FROM AUSTRALIA LED BY THE MINISTER FOR TERRITORIES, MR. HASLUCK.

    THE GOVERNOR OF DUTCH NEW GUINEA MR. PLATTEEL GREETED MR. HASLUCK AND PRESENTED HIM TO OTHER OFFICIALS.

    WHILE THE INTRODUCTIONS WERE STILL GOING ON THE NAVAL BAND UNEXPECTEDLY BROKE INTO GOD SAVE THE QUEEN. EVERYONE STOOD IN THE SUN WHILE THE BAND PLAYED THE ANTHEM FOR SEVEN VERSES BEFORE RELAXING INTO CHRISTMAS CAROLS.

    ALL MEMBER COUNTRIES OF THE SOUTH PACIFIC COMMISSION SENT OFFICIAL DELEGATIONS TO THE INAUGURATION OF THE COUNCIL EXCEPT THE UNITED STATES.

    LATER, THE GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS WATCHED RITUAL DANCES BY NATIVE GROUPS FROM BOTH THE DUTCH AND AUSTRALIAN SECTIONS OF NEW GUINEA. THE NEXT DANCE WAS BY THE VISITING AUSTRALIAN PAPUANS.

    THE DUTCH HAVE OCCUPIED WEST NEW GUINEA FOR MORE THAN 350 YEARS, AND IT IS HALF OF THE ENTIRE ISLAND. THE POPULATION IS SMALL. ITS 700-THOUSAND PEOPLE ARE WIDELY SCATTERED THROUGH THE JUNGLES AND MOUNTAINS THEY LIVE IN SMALL COMMUNITIES AND SPEAK IN SEVERAL HUNDRED LANGUAGES.

    THE DUTCH MOVED THE CAPITAL TO HOLLANDIA AFTER THE SECOND WORLD WAR, TO MAKE USE OF THE VAST BUILDING AND PUBLIC FACILITIES WHICH WERE BUILT THERE BY AMERICAN FORCES. THE NEW LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL WILL MEET IN AN OLD BUILDING UNTIL A PERMANENT BUILDING IS FINISHED.

    MR. HASLUCK AND MR. GOTZ, THE NEW ZEALAND MINISTER FOR ISLANDS AND TERRITORIES, WERE AMONG THE FIRST TO ARRIVE TO WATCH THE FIRST SITTING OF THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL. AND THEN GOVERNOR PLATTEEL.

    THE PRESIDENT OF THE AUSTRALIAN SENATE, SIR ALISTAIR McMULLAN WAS ONE OF THE LARGE AUSTRALIAN DELEGATION IN HOLLANDIA AS GUESTS OF THE NETHERLANDS. A HIGH RANKING OFFICIAL OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH, CARDINAL CREMERS, FROM SOUTH NEW GUINEA - AN AREA WHERE SCORES OF MISSIONARIES HAVE DIED FROM TROPICAL DISEASES AND ATTACKS BY HEADHUNTERS. EVEN NOW, MANY OF THE NATIVES THERE ARE PAGANS.

    MR. SELPKE WAS THE PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL. NEARLY ALL THE SIXTEEN ELECTED AND TWELVE APPOINTED MEMBERS OF THE FIRST REPRESENTATIVE COUNCIL ARE PAPUANS. THE COUNCIL WILL HAVE LEGISLATIVE POWERS OF PURELY LOCAL MATTERS BUT ONLY ADVISORY POWERS ON MAJOR POLICY MATTERS. ITS MAIN TASK WILL BE PREPARING A PLAN FOR THE TERRITORY'S SELF DETERMINATION PERHAPS WITHIN TEN YEARS.

    OFFICIALLY OPENING THE NEW COUNCIL GOVERNOR PLATTEEL WARNED THAT SELF DETERMINATION MUST BE FIRMLY ROOTED IN A STRONG FEELING OF NATIONAL EXISTENCE. THEN THE CROWD HEARD A RECORDED MESSAGE FROM QUEEN JULIANA OF THE NETHERLANDS.

    THE ADMINISTRATOR OF PAPUAN NEW GUINEA, BRIGADIER CLELAND REFERRED TO THE SIMILAR PROBLEMS FACING THE PEOPLES OF BOTH TERRITORIES.

    ALL THE SPEECHES WERE TRANSLATED INTO DUTCH, ENGLISH AND INDONESIAN AND MANY OF THE COUNCIL MEMBERS USED EARPHONES FOR THE TRANSLATION SERVICE. THEN IT WAS DOWN TO WORK FOR THE FIRST LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL OF DUTCH NEW GUINEA AS ONE OF THE WORLD'S MOST BACKWARD AREAS TAKES ANOTHER STEP TOWARDS SELF GOVERNMENT.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVAAPMVV7D8VVPD0AV7MXDVPSOPG
    Media URN:
    VLVAAPMVV7D8VVPD0AV7MXDVPSOPG
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    14/04/1961
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:03:58:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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