544 Pyman to Burton

Minute CANBERRA, 25 August 1947

1. Attached summary [1] provides an interesting picture of developments in British Solomon Islands.

2. It is suggested that presence of Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations [2] gives us an opportunity to follow up the matter of recent native trouble in the area. At least we might seek detailed information on causes of present disorder and suggested remedies. We have definite and direct interest in so far as (a) trouble could spread to our own Solomon Islands territories

(b) it would be unfortunate if such trouble developed on a large scale, with 'ad hoc' committee [4], Assembly and Trusteeship Council meeting in near future:

(c) it creates an unfortunate atmosphere for the launching of the South Pacific Commission:

(d) a positive indication of an interest in the matter is consistent with our attitude towards Australian initiative in security and welfare matters in South West Pacific.

3. Halligan is informing the Administrat[orl [5] of Papua - New Guinea about the reported trouble in the U.K. area. Our Territories [6] representatives will be glad to exchange views and make available information on the situation in the Australian Solomons which, incidentally, appears to lack the turbulent features of the U.K.

area.

[4. New Zealand has been informed & McIntosh has expressed interest in matter & intention of discussing with you.]

[AA : A1838, 317/2/1, i]

1 Not published.

2 Addison was in Canberra for the British Commonwealth Conference on the Japanese Peace Settlement.

3 Most of the Solomon Islands were administered under the British Solomon Islands Protectorate. Those formerly owned by Germany and administered by Australia included Bougainville, Buka and adjacent islands. All the islands were within the Australia Naval Station.

4 That is, a committee of the UN General Assembly, appointed to consider reports from non-self-governing and dependent territories and due to convene on 28 August.

5 Matter in square brackets has been altered or written by hand.

6 Department of External Territories.

[3], Bougainville, etc: