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Papua new guinea before contact history essay

The Administrative Context Background history of pre-1942 Papua New Guinea During the nineteenth century, the Australian colonies were nervous of the possibility of one or more foreign powers, especially France or Germany, establishing settlements in a remote part of Australia or on nearby island chains. Although the Australian colonies were anxious to annex the eastern half of New Guinea for security reasons, Britain was not interested.

When endeavouring to force the issue, Queensland sent its resident magistrate from Thursday Island to Port Moresby to raise the British flag in 1883, the action was quickly repudiated by London. In the meantime, the German government had moved to support Papua new guinea before contact history essay trading companies that had established operations in the Pacific. These companies felt that the increasing demands of the Australian colonies for British annexation of the islands north of Australia threatened their commercial interests.

In 1883, the German government appointed a permanent Imperial Commissioner, stationed at New Britain and supported by the Hyane. His duties included the enforcement of regulations concerning the recruiting of labourers, protection of German traders' rights, and the prevention or limitation of disputes between Germans and other nationals. Annexation of the Kaiser Wilhelmsland the north-east part of New Guineathe Bismarck Archipelago New Britain, New Ireland and associated islands and other small island groups followed in 1884.

Continuity in the administration of the two areas was affected by internal changes and the two world wars. The company had the right to occupy unclaimed land in the name of the government and could negotiate with the natives, but not with foreign powers. In return, the company paid for and maintained government institutions.

In 1889, at the request of the Company, the German government temporarily resumed responsibility for the general administration of the Protectorate. The Company was to continue to pay for the administration, but as the Imperial officials were not paid regularly, they were withdrawn in 1892 and the Company resumed its administrative responsibilities.

In brief, the company's administration was made up of the: Having experienced labour, health and financial difficulties, the company surrendered its charter in 1899. The area was further extended to cover the Marshall Islands in April 1906.

Papua New Guinea

These islands had been annexed by Germany in 1885 and placed under an Imperial Commissioner responsible to the German Foreign Office. By an agreement of 1888, a trading company, the Jaluit company, undertook to defray the costs of the papua new guinea before contact history essay in return for a trading monopoly.

This arrangement continued until 1906, when the Protectorate of the Marshall Islands which included Nauru was placed under the Governor of German New Guinea and was joined, for administrative purposes, with the Caroline Islands and other groups which were, by this time, known as the 'Island Protectorate' Inselgebiet as opposed to the 'Old Protectorate' Alte Schutzgebiet annexed in 1884. Until 1909, the administration of the Island Protectorate from Rabaul was limited: However, when shipping services were extended, regular contact became possible and, from 1910, estimates and statistics covered both the Old and Island Protectorates.

From about 1908 the Governor had more resources available to him as a result of the increase in commercial activity and so was able to plan developments. By 1914, there were three district offices at Friedrich Wilhelmshafen, Kaewieng and Rabaul and eight government stations. Australian troops took Rabaul where the Imperial Governor of German New Guinea had been located and German New Guinea, including the islands territories, was surrendered.

Australian troops, under the name of the British Administration of German New Guinea, then administered the former German New Guinea with the exception of Nauru and the islands north of the equator which were administered by a British appointee and Japan respectively.

Under international law, in cases of occupation, no legislative changes were to occur other than those arising from military necessity until the terms of a peace treaty should determine the future sovereignty. The Administrator reported to the Australian Department of Defence.

Initially some German officials were retained, but they resigned in December 1914. The central administration in Rabaul was made up of departments headed by staff with both military and civil responsibilities. Native Affairs matters were separated from the officer in charge of native police but then combined again. The Judge Advocate General of the Force managed legal matters. The central administration was supported by District Officers. The Japanese received a mandate covering the German possessions in the Pacific north of the equator, that is, the Caroline including PalauMariana and Marshall Island groups.

The majority report recommended a separate administration from Papua and the expropriation of German property. The Administrator, with his headquarters papua new guinea before contact history essay Rabaul, reported to the Australian Department of State responsible for the Mandate. The Government Secretary, under the Administrator, acted as the channel of communication between the departments in Rabaul and the local district officers.

At the administrative district level, a District Officer, supported by Assistant District Officers and Patrol Officers carried out the work of the administration and petty justice under the Native Regulations. The Mandate of New Guinea Administration operated until the Japanese invaded, taking Rabaul, the administrative headquarters, in January 1942. British New Guinea Administration Meanwhile, in British New Guinea, although the decision to annex the Territory was taken less than three months after the establishment of the protectorate in 1884, the annexation did not occur until 1888 after it was finally agreed that the Australian colonies Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria would share the financial responsibility for the administration for ten years.

This line of communication was the cause of some friction and legal confusion and in practice, the administration of the possession was under the control of Queensland since it held the purse strings. Letters Patent enabling the transfer to the Commonwealth were issued in 1902 but the final transfer was dependent on the passing and proclamation of laws for the government of the Territory.

The situation was not finally resolved until 1906, when with the proclamation of the Papua Act 1905, the Commonwealth formally accepted complete responsibility for the colony, and renamed it the Territory of Papua. Papuan Administration From March 1902, the Lieutenant-Governor had reported to the Governor-General instead of the Governor of Queensland and then, from 1906, he reported to the Australian Department of State responsible for Papuan matters.

It recommended the retirement of a number of officials and changes to the administration. Although there was some fear of German naval attacks, the First World War did not seriously affect the routine of government in Papua but it did increase staffing problems. Many of the more experienced officials enlisted and magisterial staffs in particular were seriously depleted.

Between 1920 and 1930, the structure of the administration remained relatively stable but the depression resulted in some reorganisation of the lands, surveys, mines and agriculture functions in 1932, 1935 and 1936. On 3 January 1942 a further 5,000 troops arrived in Port Moresby and the functions of the civil administration were contracted.

While the seat of government, Port Moresby, was not invaded as was Rabaul, there were Japanese air raids. On 14 February 1942, the civil administration was formally suspended and the Administrator left the Territory.

The unit was the first administration to combine the two Territories, although the possibility of an amalgamated administration had been considered on several occasions.

About Papua New Guinea

The provisional administration was replaced in 1949 by the Territory of Papua and New Guinea Administration, which moved to self-government and then independence in 1975. The history of the records General The fate of the pre-1942 records of the administrations was affected by a volcanic eruption and the tropical climate as well as by the events outlined in the previous chapter. German New Guinea, British Military Administration and New Guinea Mandate records As the two German administrations lasted only thirty years, most of their records were probably still in New Guinea in 1914 and were thus presumably destroyed or captured.

It is not clear when the records came to light because when, in 1916, the Japanese government made inquiries regarding the administrative archives of the German Islands under Japanese occupation, they were informed that there were no such documents in Rabaul. It appears that copies of Registers of births, deaths and marriages records were made and forwarded to Germany. The Administrator directed that the files be forwarded to Canberra with a view to their transmission to the mandates concerned.

The Territories Branch of Prime Minister's Department sought a legal opinion and was advised that as no question of law appeared to be involved, the decision on the disposal of the files was a matter of policy.

The Territories Branch therefore decided that 'a better purpose might be served by retaining the files in the Commonwealth'. It was felt that, as the files were at least seventeen years old, they would not be of much use to the mandatory powers — especially as they were in German.

They also seem to have been reluctant to forward files to Japan. As, during World War II, Rabaul and other administrative centres were invaded by the Japanese, a high proportion of the New Guinea Administration records were destroyed together with German records papua new guinea before contact history essay in New Guinea.

The Supreme court records, for example, were packed in wooden crates and boxes in rooms adjoining the court or on the verandah ready for transport from Rabaul to Lae on 22 January 1942. Rabaul was invaded on 23 January. The Assistant Geologist, Wau, who had rescued certain plans and records, was very annoyed to hear that the geological office including all remaining records, samples and equipment had been destroyed in a scorched earth policy.

In Wau, the Mining Warden sealed all survey plans in a galvanized iron tank and buried it: Unfortunately some of these records were lost due to 'excessive humidity and the flooding of the place where they were concealed'.

However, some survived to be despatched to Canberra for safekeeping until their return to New Guinea after the war.

Papua New Guinea Records 1883–1942: Microfilm Collections

They were recovered in a tunnel in Rabaul in 1945 where, according to a notice posted near the entrance, they had been cared for by a Japanese soldier! Treasury, survey, staff, Supreme Court and Registrar-General records were despatched. Individuals also took action after the cessation of civil administration on 14 February 1942.

An officer of the Papuan Constabulary who remained to join the army, packed up certain police records and despatched them to Australia where they ended up being stored by his sister before being handed to the Department of External Territories I in Canberra in May 1944. He and the Government Secretary saw them as having great historical value.

The Executive Council did not make provision for their removal to Australia, so, after the heads of departments had left, Lett took matters into his own hands.

He packed the reports and other valuable papers in four papua new guinea before contact history essay rifle cases while air raid warnings sounded and anti-aircraft guns opened up for the first time. He then persuaded the naval authorities to ship the boxes to Brisbane and notified Canberra of his action.

The records dropped from sight for several months and were finally located in the King's Warehouse, Brisbane in August 1942. They were sent by rail to Canberra and placed in the temporary custody of the Commonwealth National Library and stored with other library material in a disused kiln at the Canberra brickworks. J R Halligan of the Department of External Territories I was anxious to locate records and funds of the New Guinea and Papuan Administrations to account for funds and to prepare for the reinstatement of civilian administration.

Burying silver coins in the dead of night, without witnesses figures large in reports of evacuation by district officers.

Culture Name

Large quantities of coins were kept to pay natives and were too heavy to carry out in an emergency. Halligan coordinated action on tracking records and had lists prepared of records despatched to Australia. Some material was located temporarily in Sydney where evacuated officers of the Papuan Public Service were attached to the New Guinea Trade Agency to finalise action on accounts.

  1. Most societies have stories telling how superhuman beings created the natural world and society, inventing food plants, pigs and pig exchanges, male and female cults, sorcery, and other aspects of culture. The important kin groups are patrilineal and matrilineal lineages and clans, Clan members do not necessarily live on clan land.
  2. The national flag is a rectangle divided diagonally from the top left corner to the bottom right. Most traditional leaders achieved influence by building extensive networks of exchange partners and supporters.
  3. However, by the late 1960s the Administrator was increasingly calling for older records from Canberra as evidence in court cases. Under international law, in cases of occupation, no legislative changes were to occur other than those arising from military necessity until the terms of a peace treaty should determine the future sovereignty.
  4. The Territories Branch of Prime Minister's Department sought a legal opinion and was advised that as no question of law appeared to be involved, the decision on the disposal of the files was a matter of policy.

When visiting Port Moresby in 1943, he arranged for the records already collected to be listed and transferred to Canberra. The records despatched by Lett were moved from the brickworks to the morgue between 1943 and 1945. The Allied Geographical Section asked for access to administration records to assist the war effort and maps and plans were lent.

The academic grapevine was also working despite the war. I Hogbin of the Anthropology Department of Sydney University wrote to the Department of External Territories I expressing concern about the preservation of the early Papuan records which he had heard were stored at the brickworks.

The accommodation was checked and pronounced satisfactory. Other administration records remaining in Canberra were transferred to the Archives Division of the Commonwealth National Library or its successor the Commonwealth Archives Office between 1950 and the early 1960s by a number of agencies as the records came to light, usually when storage areas were being cleaned out. This caused considerable concern in Canberra.

He arranged for this material to be despatched to Canberra. He also arranged with the Administrator for circulars to be sent to district officers asking that old records be transferred to Canberra. This resulted in the transfer of the pre-war records of the Resident Magistrate, South Eastern Division. Apart from recommendations about the custody and care of the records, he considered that a position of Records Officer and Archivist should be created in Port Moresby.

Such a position was eventually created late in 1957, though the appointee, V Prescott, did not commence duties till April 1959.

Notes and Queries in Anthropology

In 1962 a PNG Archives Committee was established, by which time accommodation was available for the Archives in the basement of the Legislative Council building. During his 1955 survey, Gibbney located lands and mines records that had been stowed away under a native hut at the beginning of World War II and Treasury records rescued from the Post Office, Port Moresby, after it had been looted by Australian troops.

And so, the nine metres of post-1942 records held in Canberra were sent to Port Moresby in 1964.