Fiji: The Autocratic Style of Ratu Mara

Brij Lal

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    The reproduced Despatch comes from an archive of regutor correspondence between Australia and Fiji, especially from the mid-1960s onwards, when Austrolio established a consulate in Fiji to keep a closer eye on developments in the British colony following the 1959 industrial disturbance in Suva which torgeted Australian interests . The Australian High Commission had access to diplomatic cobles and intelligence reports fram other diplomatic sources in Fijit principally the British, the Americans and the New Zealonders and occasionally from the Colonial Office itself when the subject under consideration touched on Australian concerns, such as the future of the sugar industry controlled by the Cotanial Sugar Refining Company. The High Commissioners had regutar access to the senior levels of the civil service os well os to a wide range of public and political figures. As a result, their reports ore often informative and insightful but sadly neglected by most Fiji researchers, including the present writer, who have (perhops understandably) concentrated an repositories in London and Suvo. The writer of the Despatch, HW Bullock (b. 1916), was an experienced Australian foreign service officer. After sewing in the Australian now in the Pacific during Second World War, he served successively in the Australian High Commission in Pakiston in the 1950s, as Chorge d'Affaire ad interim in Isroel and as Australia's High Commissioner to Tanzania in the [ate 1960s before going to Fiji. The Despatch was prepared for the Australian Foreign Minister but it was widely circulated in government circles and to representatives of other Cammonweatth High Commissions. Officiols wha dealt with the Fijian prime minister in bilateral to{ks or in regional forums were thus well briefed on him. This was nat unusual. Canberro, like other places, had its intelligence on national and regionot leaders in abundance. Sadly, similar material in island repositories is missing, presumably removed from the public view.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)74-85
    VolumeOctober 2012
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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