Trans-Tasman relations in the Second World War.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
This thesis deals with the politics, foreign policies and diplomacy and of Australia and New Zealand in the Second World War focusing upon relations between the two countries. It is a study of the decline of the British Empire-Commonwealth and rise of the United States and the differing ways in which the Australian and New Zealand governments reacted to these dramatic changes. The Australian and New Zealand governments were drawn together twice to meet two uncomfortable outside influences - one a threatening Japanese invasion, and secondly United States intentions in the Pacific, affecting Australian freedom of action. The Japanese threat was significant because the Australian and New Zealand governments reacted in different ways to the declining power of the Empire-Commonwealth in relation to the rising power of the United States in the Pacific. The Australian government's relations with the Empire-Commonwealth soured dramatically as Curtin's government appeared to move out of the imperial framework and sought close relations with the United States. The New Zealand government, in contrast, was more inclined to remain within the imperial framework and did not react dramatically to the decline of the Empire-Commonwealth. These divergent reactions help to explain the differences of opinion between the Australian and New Zealand governments over manpower and the location of their armed forces - respectively in Pacific and the Mediterranean. The second outside uncomfortable influence, the United States increasing interest in the Pacific from mid 1943, led to the Australian-New Zealand Agreement which was a landmark in trans-Tasman relations.