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National Resources Committee
*D. N. Kausimae (Malaita) Chairman
*Ven. P. K. Thompson (Malaita)

R. J. Eresi (Western District)
*Ven. E. Kiva (Central District)

G. W. Pugeva (Central District)

*F. M. Spencer (Director of Agriculture)
*J. B. Twomey (Commissioner of Lands and Surveys)

Finance Committee
*T. Russell (Financial Secretary) Chairman
*G. Siama (Chairman, Communications and Works Committee)

*M. Kelesi (Communications and Works Committee)
*W. Betu (Chairman, Education and Social Welfare Committee)

S. S. Mamaloni (Education and Social Welfare Committee)
*R. Davies (Chairman, Health and Internal Affairs Committee)
*D. N. Kausimae (Chairman, Natural Resources Committee)

*Ven. P. K. Thompson (Natural Resources Committee) *Member of former Legislative Couneil.


(as at 31st December 1969) (For Secretariat see under Western Pacific High Commission) Attorney-General: D. R. Davis

Director of Geological Surveys: Dr R. B. Director of Agriculture: F. M. Spencer

Thompson Director of Education: D. H. Hibbert, cbe Commissioner of Lands and Surveys: J. B. Superintendent of Marine: Captain G. Twomey, OBE Douglas

Principal Auditor: F. Cherry, EM Director of Medical Services: Dr J. D.

Superintendent of Civil Aviation: E. E. E. Macgregor

Director of Public Works: W. A. Wood
Solicitor-General: G. P. Nazareth

Registrar of Co-operatives: C. N. Colman Establishment Secretary: H. Waller, OBE (on

Comptroller of Customs and Excise: R. Secondment from Crops of Specialists)

Burrow-Wilkes Deputy Financial Secretary: D. M. Freegard

Commissioner of Labour: B. C. Wilmot Accountant-General: (vacant)

Chief of Police: B. R. P. Edwards, MBE Conservator of Forests: K. W. Trenaman, Comptroller of Posts and TelecommunicaOBE

tions: C. D. Wright


FIRTH, Raymond. Social Change in Tikopia. Allen & Unwin, 1959.
Fox, C. E. Lord of the Southern Isles. London, Mowbray, 1958.
Fox, C. E. Story of the Solomons. Taroaniara, BSI. Diocese of Melanesia

Press, 1967.
HORTON, D. C. The Happy Isles—a Diary of the Solomons. London,

Heinemann, 1965. LAMBER, S. M. A Doctor in Paradise. London, Dent, 1941. MORRELL, W. P. Britain in the Pacific Islands. Oxford, 1960. SCARR, Deryck. Fragments of Empire: A History of the Western Pacific

High Commission 1877-1914. Australian National University Press,

Canberra, and C. Hurst and Co., London, 1967. SHARP, A. The Discovery of the Pacific Islands. Oxford, Clarendon Press,

1960. STRUBEN, R. Coral and Colour of Gold. London, Faber, 1961. WHITMORE, T. C. Guide to the Forests of the British Solomon Islands.

Oxford University Press, 1966.



THE NEW HEBRIDES The New Hebrides lie in the south-west Pacific between 13° and 21° S, and 166° and 171° E., forming an irregular y-shaped of chain islands with a total land area of about 5,700 square miles. They were named the New Hebrides in 1774 by Captain Cook. There are in the group some 65 inhabited islands and islets, the larger of which are Espiritu Santo, Malekula, Efate, Ambrym, Tanna, Erromango, Epi, Aoba, Pentecost and Maewo.

The capital of the group is Vila with an urban population of 3,074 and a peri-urban population of 5,034. A second town known as Santo or Luganville, with an urban population of 2,556 and a peri-urban population of 2,682, is situated on the island of Espiritu Santo. (1967 census).

The islands are of coral and volcanic origin with active volcanoes on Tanna, Lopevi and Ambrym. They are almost without exception mountainous, Santo Peak and Tabwemesana on Santo rising to over 6,000 feet. The group is generally well watered. The climate is oceanic tropical and moderated by the south-east trade winds which blow between the months of May and October. During the remainder of the year winds are variable and hurricanes may occur. High humidity occasionally leads to enervating conditions. Temperatures at Vila vary between 16°C (60°F) and 33°C (92°F) and average rainfall ranges from about 90 inches in the south to 150 inches in the north, with a mean figure of 91 inches for Vila.

A general census was carried out in 1967. The total population was 77,988, made up as follows: New Hebrideans 72,243; Other Melanesians 426; Polynesians and Micronesians 1,270; Europeans 1,773; Part-European 1,151; Vietnamese 397; Chinese 252; Others 476. Amongst the non-New Hebridean population there were 3,840 French citizens and 1,631 British subjects. The population at 1st January 1971 is estimated to be 81,000+.

Many languages and dialects are spoken; most belong to the Melanesian family and are related to those of Fiji and New Caledonia. Pidgin English is the lingua franca. English and French are the official languages.

The Anglican, Presbyterian and Roman Catholic Churches began missionary work in the New Hebrides in the 19th century. In this century other religious bodies, including the Seventh Day Adventists have become active in various parts of the Group. At present the Presbyterian Church of the New Hebrides has the largest number of adherents with the Anglican and Catholic Churches coming next. All the religious denominations provide educational facilities in co-operation with Government and several of them have made and continue to make important contributions to health services.

Malaria is the most serious endemic disease, and hookworm infections and anaemia are common causes of debility. With WHO assistance the Joint Administration is at present conducting a campaign to control tuberculosis by (a) case finding and (b) B.C.G. vaccination. By the end of 1967 all the population had been vaccinated at least once. Operations are now being extended into maternal and child health and vaccinations against whooping cough, diphtheria and tetanus. The French Government maintains hospitals at Vila and Santo and medical centres at Malekula and Tanna staffed by French army doctors. The British Government maintains rural clinics and dispensaries in the outer islands staffed by Medical Officers (Class III), Medical Assistants, Dressers


and Nurses. It also subsidises British Mission Hospitals at Aoba, Vila and Epi, and there is a new British Hospital at Tanna with a British National Service Medical Officer as Superintendent. A new British Base Hospital is to be built to replace the old one in Vila. The Joint Administration Medical Subsidy is shared between the French and British Medical Services. There is also a Condominium Medical Service, mainly concerned with public health and preventive medicine.

Most of the population is employed on plantations and in trading or subsistence agriculture. The most important cash crops are copra, cocoa, and coffee. The principal subsistence crops are yam, taro, manioc, sweet potato and breadfruit. Large numbers of cattle are kept on the plantations and efforts are being made to develop an export trade in meat (frozen and tinned) and to expand the local meat industry. A considerable timber industry, mainly serving Australian plywood factories, has been established in Erromango. In other islands small amounts of timber are felled and milled for local use. At Santo the South Pacific Fishing Company, a British registered concern, operates a plant where tuna and bonito are frozen and prepared for export to the United States, Japan, Europe and elsewhere.

Active measures are being taken towards the development of a tourist industry. The following are the principal domestic exports by quantity and value:

1965 1966

1967 1968 Copra (metric tons)

28,725 34,478 42,406 34,303 £

1,893,733 1,778,188 2,658,900 2,592,187 Fish (frozen) (metric tons)

3,366 6,563 5,977 6,627 £

392,642 956,635 951,506 1,114,730 Manganese (metric tons)

79,384 65,161 74,606 59,176 £

828,817 749,935 1,000,963 703,132 There are 104 co-operative societies, membership over 5,000 adults, capital investment £142,236 and a turnover of £566,303 in 1969.

The principal ports of the New Hebrides are Vila and Santo.

The principal airports are Bauer Field (Efate) and Luganville (Santo). Each is situated about three miles from the nearest town (Vila and Santo respectively) and each is 6,000 feet in length. Bauer Field was resurfaced in 1970 to accept jet aircraft. There are 12 smaller airfields on Malekula, Aoba, Pentecost, Epi, Tongoa, Efate, Erromango, Tanna, Futuna and Aneityum.

The New Hebrides possess about 340 miles of roads, 200 of these being seasonal earth motor tracks.

There are two airlines, New Airways Hebrides Ltd. and Hébridair. They pooled their operations in 1966 to form Air Melanesia, which operates both regular and charter services throughout the Group. External air services are provided by Fiji Airways which operates a service three times a week between Suva, Nandi, Vila, Santo, Honiara and return to Fiji (once a week continuing to Port Moresby from Honiara), and by the French company, Union de Transports Aériens, which provides air communications to and from New Caledonia. Connections can be made with international flights at Nandi and Tontouta (New Caledonia).

Regular shipping services to and from New Caledonia, France and Australia are maintained by Messageries Maritimes. One of its vessels, the Polynésie, maintains a regular schedule between Australia, New Caledonia and the New Hebrides, arriving in the territory every three weeks. The Burns Philp vessel Tulagi provides a link between Sydney, Norfolk Island, the New Hebrides and the Solomon Islands every five weeks. Small vessels give a frequent but nonscheduled inter-island service.

In 1966 a broadcasting service known as Radio Vila was established to serve the whole of the Group.

Current development projects, financed from the local development plan, jointly from British development aid funds (formerly Colonial Development and Welfare funds) and their French counterpart F.I.D.E.S., or entirely from British development aid funds, include agricultural development and training, improvement of communications (roads, airports, air and marine navigational aids, radio, deep-water wharf at Vila), provision of launches and ships for administrative touring, egological survey and tellurometer survey. Major expenditure from these sources is on education, for which the British Administration has set up a Teacher Training College. The French Administration provides training for local teachers at an Ecole Normale. A new British Co-educational Secondary School and French Lycée, and a number of primary schools have also been established. Both administrations also assist the Voluntary agencies with improvement of their primary schools. A new hospital has recently been built with C.D. & W. funds on Tanna and a new British Base Hospital is under construction to replace the outdated one in Vila. The French Hospital in Vila was entirely renovated in 1969.

The main forms of taxation are import duties (164 per cent ad valorem f.o.b. with certain exceptions), export duties of from 2 per cent to 10 per cent on copra, cocoa, coffee, shell, etc., and trading licences. There is no income tax.

Condominium revenue and expenditure (excluding revenue and expenditure) of the British and French National Services) is shown below:

Revenue Expenditure








1969 (rev. est.) 1,552,344 1,619,445
* includes £26,711 appropriated from reserves
includes £25,473 appropriated from reserves

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The main sources of revenue are import and export duties estimated at over £1,000,000 in 1969.

Primary education is not free but only nominal fees are charged. Primary schooling is available for almost all children. Exceptions are the relatively few populated inland areas where changes in patterns of living are taking place for the first time and a desire for education is only now springing up.

Secondary education is available at the British Government Secondary School and the French Lycée at Vila. To a limited degree secondary education is available in three British Voluntary Agency post primary schools and at three French Mission Schools.

No statistics on literacy are available but it is fairly widespread amongst persons under 35-40 years. Above 40 years it is often limited to pastors, elders and teachers. Only a small proportion of the population is reasonably literate in English or French. Many New Hebrideans are literate in their own vernacular, although there is practically no secular reading matter in the many vernaculars. New Hebrideans who speak English or French usually also speak Pidgin, though the reverse does not follow.


The New Hebrides were discovered by the Spanish explorer, de Quiros, in 1606. He was followed by the French navigator, de Bougainville, in 1768, and in 1774 Captain Cook visited and charted the greater part of the chain of islands which comprise the group. Other early visitors were La Perouse who is believed to have passed through in 1788, and d'Entrecasteaux who came in search of La Perouse in 1793. In 1789 the sighting of the Banks Islands was recorded by Captain Bligh in the course of his open-boat voyage to Timor after the mutiny on the Bounty. Last century, before any government showed any interest in the New Hebrides, a number of British and French missionaries, planters and traders had established themselves and in 1887, by the Anglo-French Convention of 16th November, the two nations appointed a Joint Naval Commission charged with the protection in the New Hebrides of the lives and properties of the subjects of England and France.

In 1902 Deputy Resident Commissioners were appointed and took up residence in the territory. In February 1906 an Anglo-French conference took place in London. A draft convention was prepared to provide for settlement of land claims and for an arrangement to end the difficulties arising from the absence of jurisdiction over the natives. This was confirmed on 20th October 1906, and an Anglo-French Condominium was established. A Protocol drawn up in London in 1914 to replace the Convention of 1906 was ratified in 1922.

The system of administration is such that the police consists of a British and a French division, education services are national, medical services are joint in the preventive field but national at the hospital level, while the remaining services (agriculture, customs, treasury, pre-audit, personnel, posts and telephones, radio, meteorology, mines, lands registry, survey, local and urban administration, and public works) are joint. The legal system is that Condominium laws apply to all, but in addition national law applies to non-New Hebrideans where no Condominium law exists. Each non-New Hebridean who is not a British subject or a French citizen has to opt to be subject to either the British or the French system of law and courts in the event of prosecution for an offence not provided for under Condominium law.

An Advisory Council was established by Joint Regulation in 1957. It now comprises four official members and 24 private members of whom 10 are nominated by the Resident Commissioners and 14 are elected. Of the nominated members 3 are British, 3 French and 4 New Hebridean; and of the elected members the 3 British and the 3 French members are elected by indirect elections through the electoral machinery of the Chamber of Commerce and the 8 New Hebrideans through electoral colleges. The Council is presided over jointly by the Resident Commissioners.

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