Countries

A Guide to the United States' History of Recognition, Diplomatic, and Consular Relations, by Country, since 1776: Australia

Summary

On January 1, 1901, six colonies were joined together to create the Commonwealth of Australia, a self-governing Dominion in the British Empire. While the new nation was sovereign when it came to its domestic affairs, the United Kingdom maintained control over its relations with the wider world.

Modern Flag of Australia

Modern Flag of Australia

Over the next four decades, Australia gradually gained control over its external policy. The Balfour Declaration of 1926, issued at the end of the Imperial Conference held in London that year, recognized that the United Kingdom and the Dominions were

“autonomous Communities within the British Empire, equal in status, in no way subordinate one to another in any aspect of their domestic or external affairs.”

In December 1931, the United Kingdom approved the Statute of Westminster, codifying this relationship; the statute specified, however, that its provisions would not come into effect until formally adopted by the government of Australia. On October 9, 1942, Australia’s Statute of Westminster Adoption Act became law. The act was made effective retroactive to September 3, 1939, the date of

“the Commencement of the War between His Majesty the King and Germany.”

The year 2010 marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and Australia.

Recognition

U.S. Recognition of Australian Independence, 1940.

The United States recognized Australia on January 8, 1940, when the Governments of the United States and Australia announced the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations.

Diplomatic Relations

Establishment of Diplomatic Relations, 1940.

On January 8, 1940, the Governments of the United States and Australia announced the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations.

Establishment of the Australian Legation in the United States, 1940.

On March 1, 1940, Richard Gardiner Casey presented his credentials as Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the Government of the United States.

Establishment of the American Legation in Australia, 1940.

On July 17, 1940, Clarence E. Gauss presented his credentials as Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the Government of Australia.

Elevation of Legations to Embassy Status, 1946.

On July 9, 1946, the White House announced the elevation of the Australian and American legations to embassy stratus. On September 11, 1946, Norman J. O. Makin presented his credentials as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Australia to the Government of the United States. On September 25, 1946, Robert Butler presented his credentials as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States to the Government of Australia.

70th Anniversary of Establishment of Diplomatic Relations

The year 2010 marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and Australia.

Resources

Resources

  • Australia in World Wide Diplomatic Archives Index