National Library of Australia
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The collection comprises lists of records of the Western Pacific High Commissioner, the WPHC Secretariat in Suva, the British Commissioner and Consul in Tonga, and the New Hebrides British Service. The records listed include despatches, correspondence files, personal files, land claims registers, printed documents, financial records, legal records, passport registers, maps and plans. They extend from the formation of the Commission in 1877 until its closure, but do not include records of the Commissioners in the British Solomon Islands Protectorate or the Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony.
Please refer to the collection's catalogue record for the access conditions (http://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn3066746).
Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions. For such material, written permission to publish must be obtained from the copyright holder(s). Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.
Items from this collection should be cited as '[Title or description of manuscript item], Lists and indexes of the Western Pacific Archives, National Library of Australia, MS 9749, [box number and series and/or file number]'.
The collection was donated to the Library in 2003 by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Library in London at the request of the Pacific Manuscripts Bureau.
The Library holds microfilm copies of Colonial Office records relating to the Western Pacific held in the National Archives in London. The principal class is CO 225, Western Pacific: original correspondence, 1878-1951. Lists of these records can be found in the Australian Joint Copying Project Handbook, Parts 2 and 11.
The lists are arranged in four series: WPHC, BCT, Subseries [unnumbered] NHBS and miscellaneous. Within the first three groups the lists are arranged by record group number.
The Western Pacific High Commission was created in 1877. Its jurisdiction extended over all the islands of the Western Pacific not within the limit of the colonies of Fiji, Queensland, New South Wales or New Zealand or not within the jurisdiction of any other colonial power. They included the Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony, British Solomon Islands Protectorate, Tonga, the New Hebrides Condominium, and Pitcairn Island. Sir Arthur Gordon was the first High Commissioner for the Western Pacific and his successors as Governor of Fiji also held the office of High Commissioner.
The High Commission was abolished in 1976. The records of the Secretariat in Suva and the Commissioners in the other island groups were transferred to London and were held for many years in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Eventually, they were returned to the Pacific and are now held in a number of repositories: WPHC 1-32 - University of Auckland Library; Subseries [unnumbered] NHBS1-19 - University of Auckland Library; SPO 1, 3, 4 - University of Auckland Library; SPO 2 - National Archives of Fiji; BCT 1-7 - University of Auckland Library; BSIP 1-33 - National Archives of the Solomon Islands; GEIC 1-40 - National Archives of Kiribati and National Archives of Tuvalu; WPA Vila Archives - National Archives of Vanuatu; WPA administrative records - National Archives of Vanuatu
Secret minute papers, 1924 – 1941.
Miscellaneous records, 1877 – 1962.
Naval intelligence files, 1925 – 1929. (Secret and Confidential).
Original contracts and documents, 1906 – 1964.
Registers of correspondence, despatches and telegrams, 1940 – 1955.
Indexes, registers and general correspondence files. 100 – 200 series, 1954 – 1959 (c.1940 – 1965).
General correspondence 200 – 300 series, 1960 – 1966. Volume I – 200 – 221.
General correspondence 200 – 300 series, 1960 – 1966. Volume II – 222 – 225.
Papers of HBM High Commissioner and Consul-General for the Western Pacific relating to Tongan affairs, 1874 – 1911.
Lists of Western Pacific High Commission Secretariat records, Suva
Office of the Resident Commissioner.
Papers relating to the revision of the British laws of the New Hebrides by B.C. Ballard, 1971.