Island Administration in the South West Pacific: Government and Reconstruction in New Caledonia, the New Hebrides, and the British Solomon Islands

Island Administration in the South West Pacific: Government and Reconstruction in New Caledonia, the New Hebrides, and the British Solomon Islands

Island Administration in the South West Pacific: Government and Reconstruction in New Caledonia, the New Hebrides, and the British Solomon Islands

Island Administration in the South West Pacific: Government and Reconstruction in New Caledonia, the New Hebrides, and the British Solomon Islands

Excerpt

This brief study is the outcome of a grant made to me at the end Of 1946 by the Institute of Pacific Relations for a three months' visit to the New Hebrides and New Caledonia. Before this date I had been an administrative officer in the British Solomon Islands Protectorate (for three years) and had served for six months with the New Zealand forces in New Caledonia. The experiences so gained have been supplemented by incidental reading undertaken while I was preparing a thesis on economic factors of culture change among the native people of the South West Pacific (financed by an Emslie Horniman studentship). The reading was mainly done in the libraries of the British Museum, Colonial Office, Royal Geographical Society, and Royal Anthropological Institute. This study was originally intended to supplement one dealing with post-war problems in other Pacific island groups undertaken by Dr W. E. H. Stanner, under the auspices of the Institute of Pacific Relations and the Australian Institute of International Affairs. It is hoped that Dr Stanner's study will be published shortly.

Many points which require a great deal of further research came within the scope of my work. The early voyages of discovery and the international political history of the South West Pacific islands have been the subject of authoritative research, and there have been numerous anthropological investigations of particular areas. But the economics of the area, both native and European, internal politics, agriculture, religion (from the native viewpoint), and many kindred subjects, still await systematic treatment.

A survey of this kind, however brief, cannot be achieved without continual help from and discussion with people on the spot. To the Bishop of Melanesia, who arranged for my transport from the Solomons to the New Hebrides in the Southern Cross, and to Mr W. A. Johnston, the British Consul in Noumea, who arranged invaluable introductions in New Caledonia, my special thanks are . . .

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