Conflict + Society Seminar 4
Tuesday 30 April
12:00–1:30pm, Navy Room, Adams Auditorium, UNSW Canberra at ADFA.
‘A right to speak’: the 1944 Australia-New Zealand Agreement and the case for closer Commonwealth defence cooperation - Honae Cuffe
On 21 January 1944, the two Pacific Dominions signed the Australian-New Zealand Agreement (Anzac Agreement), a treaty of cooperation in which the nations declared themselves principal powers in the South Pacific and that they would not tolerate being disregarded in discussions or policy pertinent to their regional zone of interest. Given the level of domestic and international disapproval with which the Anzac Agreement was received, it has been given surprisingly little scholarly attention. What little that has been written tends to adopt a default synopsis: the Anzac Agreement was the personal and largely unfulfilled project of Australia’s unrelenting Minister for Foreign Affairs, H.V. Evatt, which did little more than strain the already frayed Anglo-Australian relationship. This paper revisits the Anzac Agreement in the context of increasing mistrust of US post-war visions for the Pacific and Prime Minister John Curtin’s own thoughts on the future of the Commonwealth. Rather than a weakening of Anglo-Australian ties, the paper finds that the Anzac Agreement was part of Australia’s attempt to redefine its relationship with Britain and the workings of Commonwealth defence for the changing global context.
Honae Cuffe is a PhD candidate (History) at the University of Newcastle. Her research focuses on Australia's foreign policy tradition from the interwar period until the early Cold War, examining the challenges and continuity in Australia’s attempts to integrate national interests within the changing Asia-Pacific order. Honae’s broader research interests include trade, defence, diplomacy, and the pedagogy of public scholarship. Honae’s work can be found in History Australia, Flinders Journal of History and Politics, The Conversation and Australian Policy and History.
Policing, Ill-Discipline, and Crime in the American-Australian Alliance, 1942-1945 - Liam Kane
This paper analyses policing, ill-discipline, and crime in the Australian-American alliance during the Second World War. Though these topics have received considerable scholarly attention, previous studies have been narrowly focused both geographically and thematically. Providing a broad analysis of these subjects, this article places these issues within their wider strategic and political context, and examines the nature of cooperation between Australian police (both military and civil) and their US allies. It also traces general patterns of ill-discipline and crime in Australia and its territory of Papua and mandate of New Guinea, highlighting policies that successfully limited inter-Allied violence.
Liam Kane is a PhD Candidate at the University of New South Wales where he also teaches. His thesis, tentatively titled Embattled Coalition: Australians and Americans in the War Against Japan, 1941-1945, examines the Australian-American alliance during the Second World War, focusing on cooperation on the ground and in the air. In addition, he is currently researching Allied technical intelligence in the Pacific War, as well as teaching in higher education. He has two scholarly articles published and a third article in a popular aviation magazine forthcoming.