British Western Pacific Territories
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, of a series of relatively minor Pacific islands in and around Oceania.
- 1 History
- 2 Island groups
- 3 List of High Commissioners for the Western Pacific (1877–1976)
- 4 Sources, References & External Links
The position of Western Pacific High Commissioner (compare other colonial and dipomatic uses of that title) was created by the Western Pacific Order in Council 1893 made by the Privy Council. It was initially aimed at extending the jurisdiction of British law to British subjects in the Western Pacific Region.
Today, after many island (group)s changed status, the Pitcairn Islands are the sole remaining British territory in the Pacific.
- Gilbert and Ellice Islands (1892 to 1971) - now independent separately, as Kiribati (in Micronesia) and Tuvalu (in Polynesia) respectively
- Canton and Enderbury Islands (1939 to 1971) - now a part of Kiribati
- Cook Islands (1893 to 1901) - 15 small islands, now a self-governing parliamentary democracy in free association with New Zealand
- Fiji (Cannibal Isles) (1877 to 1952) - now independent
- Savage Island, also known as "Rock of Polynesia" (1900 to 1901) - now Niue; presently a self-governing state in free association with New Zealand
- Phoenix Islands (to 1939) The nearly unihabited eight atolls are presently part of Kiribati
- Pitcairn Islands (1898 to 1952) - still a British overseas territory
- Tonga Tonga (Friendly Islands) (1900 to 1952) - a native kingdom, since 1970 independent
- Union Islands (Tokelau Islands (1877 to 1926) - now Tokelau, a dependent territory of New Zealand
- Nauru (Pleasant Island) 1914 to 1921 (After World War I, Nauru became a League of Nations Mandate territory , administered by Australia; in 1947, a corresponding UN Trusteeship was approved by the United Nations; it achieved independence in 1968
- British Solomon Islands (1893 to 1971) - now independent as the Solomon Islands
- New Hebrides (1906 to 1971), a Franco-British condominium - now independent as Vanuatu
List of High Commissioners for the Western Pacific (1877–1976)
The office was never an independent one, but always filled ex officio the Governorship of one of the constitutive British islands colonies
High Commissioners for the Western Pacific and Governors of Fiji (1877–1953)
Administered from Suva, Fiji:
- Sir Arthur Hamilton Gordon, 1877–January 1880
- J. Gorrie, June 1878-August 1879, acting
- Sir George William Des Vœux, January 1880–January 1887
- W. MacGregor, January–August 1885, acting
- Sir John Bates Thurston, August 1885-January 1887, acting
- Sir Charles Bullen Hugh Mitchell, January 1887–January 1888
- Sir John Bates Thurston, February 1888–7 February 1897
- Sir Henry S. Berkeley, February–July 1897, acting
- Sir George Thomas Michael O'Brien, July 1897–July 1901
- William Lamond Allardyce, July 1901–10 September 1902, acting
- Sir Henry Moore Jackson, 10 September 1902–March 1904
- Sir Charles Major, March–October 1904, acting
- Sir Everard F. im Thurn, 11 October 1904–August 1910
- Sir Charles Major, August 1910-February 1911, acting
- Sir Francis Henry May, 21 February 1911–June 1912
- Sir Ernest Bickham Sweet-Escott, 25 July 1912–June 1918
- Cecil Hunter Rodwell, 10 October 1918 – 25 April 1925
- Sir Eyre Hutson, 25 April 1925 – 22 November 1929
- Sir Arthur George Murchison Fletcher, 22 November 1929 – 28 November 1936
- Sir Arthur Frederick Richards, 28 November 1936 – 16 September 1938
- Sir Harry Charles Luke, 16 September 1938 – 1942
- Between 1942 and 1945, the high commission was suspended. While most islands were under British military administration, the Solomon Islands, Gilbert Islands and Phoenix islands came under Japanese occupation.
- Sir Alexander William George Herder Grantham, 1945–1946
- Sir Leslie Brian Freeston, 20 January 1948 – 3 July 1952
High Commissioners for the Western Pacific and Governors of the Solomon Islands (1953–1976)
In 1953, Fiji was separated from the High Commission. Following this, the High Commissioner's post moved to Honiara, Solomon Islands, and the High Commissioner was also the Governor of the Solomon Islands.
- Sir Robert Christopher Stafford Stanley, 3 July 1952 – 1952
- Henry Graham Gregory-Smith, 1952–1955
- John Gutch, 1955–4 March 1961
- David Trench, 4 March 1961 – 16 June 1964
- Sir Robert Sidney Foster, 16 June 1964 – 6 March 1969
- Sir Michael David Irving Gass, 6 March 1969–July 1971
- Donald Collin Cumyn Luddington, 1973–2 January 1976
On 2 January 1976 the office and the entity were abolished, after nearly all island groups had been given separate statehood.
Sources, References & External Links
- Correspondent (5 June 1913). "Modern buccaneers in the West Pacific" (PDF). New Age: 136–140.
- Deryck Scarr, Fragments of Empire. A History of the Western Pacific High Commission. 1877-1914, Canberra: Australian National University Press & London: C. Hurst & Co., 1967.