British Honduras: A Historical and Contemporary Survey

British Honduras: A Historical and Contemporary Survey

British Honduras: A Historical and Contemporary Survey

British Honduras: A Historical and Contemporary Survey

Excerpt

'If the world had any ends, British Honduras would certainly be one of them. It is not on the way from anywhere to anywhere else. It has no strategic value. It is all but uninhabited.' These remarks of Aldous Huxley in the 1930's (in Beyond the Mexique Bay) are still very much to the point. British Honduras lacks any inherent claim to the attention of the world. Such notice as it has received in recent years has been due almost entirely to the assertion by the republic of Guatemala of claims to the sovereignty over this British possession. Shortly after the Second World War some public consideration was given to British Honduras as a possible outlet for some of the surplus population of the British West Indies. But, this idea was not received with much favour in British Honduras, itself, and in the event West Indians in the 1950's found migration to the United Kingdom more attractive. British Honduras was also thought of as a potential unit in the Federation of the West Indies, but this proposal too met with little local support, and the Federation was eventually constituted exclusively of island territories. None of these three problems--the Guatemalan claims, the relationship with the West Indies, and immigration policy--is settled. They remain live issues in British Honduras, and may well engage public attention again in the future.

These external problems are intimately bound up with the internal economic, social, and political situation, which is undergoing changes so rapid as to make evaluation extremely difficult. For example, the rate of population growth has in the last few years increased so greatly that the returns of the census of 1946 are likely to be so misleading as to be useless as a guide to the present. (The full report of the census taken in April 1960 was not available at the time of going to press.) Again, in very recent years the leading . . .

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