Commonwealth Office, Far East and Pacific Department and Foreign and Commonwealth Office, South West Pacific Department: Registered Files (H and FW Series)
This series contains the records of the Far East and Pacific Department of the Commonwealth Office in the period January 1967 to October 1968, and thereafter the records of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office South West Pacific Department.
The records concern Commonwealth (later general UK) relations with international economic, defence and development organisations in the Far East, and with the following Commonwealth territories: Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei. There are also files on Commonwealth relations with Vietnam focusing on Commonwealth involvement in the Vietnam war, Cambodia, South Korea, Japan, Thailand and Indonesia. The department also dealt with UK relations with Fiji after it gained independence in October 1970, and with Portuguese Timor, Papua and New Guinea and overseas territories of Australia and New Zealand.
The records are arranged in former file reference order, but it should be noted that the registry system was revised during the first cycle of this series, so that for the period 1967-October 1968 there are, for example, two blocks of files relating to SEATO even though the transfer consists of one file cycle only.
Foreign and Commonwealth Office, South West Pacific Department, 1968-1979
The Far East and Pacific Department of the Commonwealth Relations Office continued under the Commonwealth Office, but was renamed on the formation of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Despite the department's name, it largely dealt in this period with Far East issues only, a separate Pacific and Indian Ocean Department dealing with Commonwealth relations with the Pacific. Responsibility for relations with Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Australia and New Zealand passed to the South West Pacific Department in October 1968, which also dealt with relations with Indonesia. Responsibility for relations with Fiji was added when it gained independence from Britain in October 1970.
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