There were colourful scenes of jubilation in Hollandia Apr 4 as Papuans celebrated the inauguration next day of the first elected New Guinea Council - a major first step towards the island's self-government.
GV Site where permanent Council Building will be erected (fire-walking ceremony being prepared)
CU Of fire dancers
SV Men build up fire
SV Minister Toxopeus, Mr H.C.Smith West New Guinea Attache in Australia and Mr Bot discuss scene
BV Man crosses hot stones
GV Council Building
SV Police guard
SV Chairman Sollewijn-Gelpke and wife arrive
SV Papuan leader Nicolaas Jouwe arrives
SV Chief Justice A.H.Mann arrives
CU Picture of King and Queen of Netherlands
SV Sir A.H.Macmullin,Chairman of Australian Senate
SV Mr Hasluck, Australian Minister for the Territories, and F.L.A.Gotz, Minister for the Island Territory arrive
FV Governor Platteel enters building
SV Members seated inside building
LV Governor's inaugural speech
SV Members listen
ANGLE V..Members listen
LV Governor and others listen Queen's speech (from tape recording)
SV & CU..Chairman Sollewijn-Gelpke speaks
GV of Chamber
SV Governor leaving building
EDITORS: SEE ALSO PROD 2358 NEW GUINEA COUNCIL MEMBERS SWORN IN.
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Background: There were colourful scenes of jubilation in Hollandia Apr 4 as Papuans celebrated the inauguration next day of the first elected New Guinea Council - a major first step towards the island's self-government.
On the site where the permanent Council Building will be erected, large crowds - including representatives from Britain, France, Australia and New Zealand - watched the traditional "fire-walking" dance on hot stones. The stones were first heated on a fire and were then walked over by the dancers .... with no apparent ill-effects.
At the inauguration next day, Queen Juliana of the Netherlands told the New Guinea Council, in a recorded address, that Holland's only aim was to safeguard the Papuans' right of self-determination. "This is the first step on the road ... May that road be short," she said.
As Mr Platteel, the Governor of New Guinea, officially opened this first session of the Council, festivities outside the building were so noisy that he had to repeat part of his speech. The Dutch Interior Minister, Mr Toxopeus, then handed over a copy of Peaslee's "Constitution of Nations", to the speaker, Mr Sollewijn-Gelpke of the Netherlands.
A proposal by Mr Sollewijn-Gelpke to send a telegram to Queen Juliana expressing the Council's affection for the House of Orange was carried unanimously.
The Dutch Under-Secretary for New Guinea, Mr K.Bot, said the Government expected that in the next twelve months the Council would express an opinion about how self-determination could best be realised. He thanked Britain, France, Australia and New Zealand for sending representatives to the ceremony, America was criticised by Papuan leader Nicolas Jouwe for her decision not to send a representative.
On the New Guinea Council there are 16 elected and 12 appointed members. Twenty-three of these are Papuans - mainly teachers and administrators. The Council will have the right to put questions to the Governor, help to draft legislation, and decide how to spend the annual GBP10 million development money from Holland.