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Haupt, Margaret Isabelle 1970 Australian Policy towards the West New Guinea Dispute, 1945-1962, PhD Dissertation, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.
    © Margaret Isabelle Haupt, 1970. Use of any part of this thesis for any purpose must be acknowledged.

Preface

This study of Australian policy toward the West New Guinea dispute crystallized out of a more general interest in a number of interrelated international phenomena, in cluding colonialism, decolonization and anti-colonialism. It was a suggestion of Professor Robert R.Robbins which originally directed my attention to the interesting convergence of these phenomena, first in Australia's role in Papua and the Trust Territory of New Guinea (now the Territory of Papua-New Guinea), then in Australian policy toward West New Guinea, a colonial dependency of the Netherlands in the Netherlands East Indies claimed as Irian Barat or West Irian by Indonesia after its independence. With this specific focus, the larger topic of Australian foreign policy became an engaging subject of inquiry as well.

The dispute over West New Guinea conveniently imposes an historical scope as it had its origins in developments during 1946 and its termination in a settlement negotiated during 1962. These historical contours, moreover, coincide with the crystallization of an independent Australian foreign policy in the-experience of World War II and with the conduct. of that foreign policy in a formative phase. Yet Australian interest in New Guinea predates the emergence of an independent foreign policy; in fact it predates the establishment of the Commonwealth of Australia. Accordingly this study begins by tracing the origins of Australian interest in New Guinea before considering the circumstances out of which the dispute emerged and the evolution of policy toward the dispute.


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