PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 2952

AUSTRALIA TRANSFERS LAND TO PEOPLE OF NEW HEBRIDES

Photo of Whitlam, Gough

Whitlam, Gough

Period of Service: 05/12/1972 to 11/11/1975

More information about Whitlam, Gough on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 14/06/1973

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 2952

NQ DATE
M/ 96 14 June 1973
AUSTRALIA TRANSFERS LAND TO PEOPLE
OF THE NEW HEBRIDES
The Australian Government has agreed to relinquish
Australian land holdings in the New Hebrides to enable them to
be used by the people of the New Hebrides.
Announcing this today, the Prime Minister and Minister
for Foreign Affairs, Mr Whitlam, released the following agreed
joint communique by the Australian and British Governments:
" The Australian and British Governments have agreed in
principle that Australian lands in the New Hebrides known as the
' Commonwealth Lands' should be transferred to a Land Trust Board
to be set up by the British Resident Commissioner in the New Hebrides
under Queen's Regulations.
As part of a contract made in 1902 between the Australian
Government and Burns Philp and Co Ltd, Burns Philp transferred
the right of disposal of approximately 25,000 acres of land in
the New Hebrides, to which it held claims, to the Australian
Minister for External ( now Foreign) Affairs, in return for an
increase in shipping subsidy. ./ 2

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Mcst of the land is registered in Burns Philp's name
and the company has continued to act as agents for the
Australian Government in dealing with the land.
It will be the duty of the Land Trust Board to further
the use of the land vested in it from time to time for the
benefit of the neople of the New Hebrides.
The ' Commonwealth Lands, with some possible exceptions O
to be agreed between the British Resident Commissioner and the
Australian authorities, will be vested in the Board.
In reaching this agreement the Australian and British
Governments have had very much in mind the interests of the
New Hebrideans. Detailed discussions and negotiations consequential
upon the agreement will be held as soon as possible between the
British Residency in Vila and the Australian authorities." Ah

Transcript 2952