British Western Pacific Territories

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The British Western Pacific Territories was the name of a colonial entity, created in 1877, for the administration, under a single representative of the British Crown, styled High Commissioner (compare other uses of this title), of a series of relatively minor Pacific islands in and around Oceania


[edit] The island entities

[edit] In Polynesia

  • Cook Islands (The 15 small islands are now a self-governing parliamentary democracy in free association with New Zealand)
  • Niue [to 1901] (also known as "Rock of Polynesia"; presently self-governing, in free association with New Zealand)
  • Union Islands [to 1926] (presently Tokelau)
  • the native kingdom of Tonga [to 1952]
  • The Pitcairn Islands [to 1952] (five islands, of which only Pitcairn Island — the second largest — is inhabited, the only remaining British colony in the Pacific; became home of the descendants of the Bounty mutineers and accompanying Tahitians)
  • cfr. supra Tuvalu

[edit] In Micronesia

  • Nauru till 1921 (After World War I, Nauru became a League of Nations Mandate territory in 1920, administered by Australia; in 1947, a trusteeship was approved by the United Nations; it achieved independence in 1968)
  • cfr. supra Kiribati

[edit] In Melanesia

  • Fiji; its governor, in Suva, was also the joint High Commissioner until it was separated from the High commission in 1952
  • the British Solomon Islands [to 1974]; their governor, in Honoria, was also the High Commissioner, after Fiji had left, since 1952
  • New Hebrides (present Vanuatu), a condominium shared with France, which appointed its own Haut commissaire here

[edit] The High Commissioners

The office was never an independent one, but always filled ex officio the Governorship of one of the constitutive British islands colonies

[edit] to 3 July 1952 also governors of Fiji, hence capital Suva

[edit] then also governors of the Solomon Islands, hence capital Honiara

  • 3 July 1952 - 1952 Sir Robert Christopher Stafford Stanley (b. 1899 - d. 1981)
  • 1952 - 1955 Henry Graham Gregory-Smith
  • 1955 - 4 March 1961 John Gutch from 1957, Sir John Gutch) (b. 1905 - d. 1988)
  • 4 March 1961 - 16 June 1964 David Trench (from 1961, Sir David Trench) (b. 1915 - d. 1988)
  • 16 June 1964 - 6 March 1969 Sir Robert Sidney Foster (b. 1913 - d. 2005)
  • 6 March 1969 - July 1971 Sir Michael David Irving Gass (b. 1916 - d. 1983)
  • July 1971 - 1973 Vacant
  • 1973 - 2 January 1976 Donald Collin Cumyn Luddington (b. 1920)

On 2 January 1976 the office and the entity were abolished, after nearly all island groups had been given separate statehood.

[edit] Sources and references

In other languages