NEW GUINEA: Letting Down the Dutch

Lying north of Australia, New Guinea, an island the size of Scandinavia, is populated by an unknown number of fuzzy-haired tribesmen who have no idea of government. The eastern half of New Guinea is ruled by Australia; who should rule the western half was in grave dispute last week. West New Guinea, a strategic prize, may also become economically important when oil and mineral discoveries are properly developed.

For more than a century West New Guinea has been part of the Dutch colonial empire. After World War II, when the rest of the rich Netherlands East Indies got their independence and...

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