Australia in Mid-Passage: A Study of Her Role in the Indian Ocean-Southeast Asia Area


Wilder and Packard trace the development of Australia from WWII to the mid-1960s.  Much of their findings suggest that Australia is and will become a key component of Asian economics and politics.  All statistics point to continued economic growth, and substantial increases in trade abroad.  Attention is paid towards external threats such as possible attacks by China through nuclear weapons and communism.  Wilder and Packard find a strong affinity towards the Australians, as they share many positive characteristics with Americans, but also respect the major differences between the two, as well as great physical distance, and state that it is probable that Australian-American cooperation may be somewhat limited.  It is possible that these documents and suggestions by the two may have influenced American policy towards Australia in contemporary times.

Wilder and Packard agree that given time, Australia will become an economic powerhouse of the east.  They set out to analyze and project the future of Australia; where their allegiances may lay, their level of international cooperation, etc.  They measure and project agricultural development, military development, and increase to the labor force.

“It would appear that, given a reasonable annual increase in the work force, and a supply of fairly good economists over the years, Australia is destined to become a vastly wealthy country.  The potential exists, and the Australians attitude favors its exploitation.  No change in this attitude is foreseen or predicted.  Australia should, therefore, become increasingly important as a supplier of food products, raw materials and perhaps manufactured goods to the world at large.” [p. 16]

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