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

NAPSNet Special Report

Recommended Citation

"Australia in Mid-Passage: A Study of Her Role in the Indian Ocean-Southeast Asia Area", NAPSNet FOIA Document Special Reports, September 18, 2012,

Author/Editor: Tracy H. Wilder and Robert F. Packard
Publisher/Sponsor: Foreign Service Institute
Supplier: Department of State
Report Date: 4/11/1966
Classification: Unclassified

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Wilder and Packard trace the development of Australia from WWII to the mid-1960s.  Much of their findings suggested that Australia was and would continue to become a key component of Asian economics and politics.  All statistics pointed to continued economic growth, and substantial increases in trade abroad.  Attention is paid towards external threats, including the possibility of a Chinese nuclear strike.  Wilder and Packard display a strong affinity towards the Australians, as they share many  characteristics with Americans, but also recognize major differences between the two, as well as the great physical distance, and state that it is probable that Australian-American cooperation may be somewhat limited.

Wilder and Packard agree that given time, Australia will become an economic powerhouse in the east.  They analyze Australia’s projected  allegiances, level of international cooperation, agricultural development, military development, and increase in 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]

 This report was released to the Nautilus Institute under the US Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).