Self-Government for the Colonies

Self-Government for the Colonies

Self-Government for the Colonies

Self-Government for the Colonies


This book tries to explain the political agitation which is the characteristic feature of the colonial world today and to outline a policy for dealing with it.

I say "outline" because I am not concerned with detailed measures. They, in any case, will vary from territory to territory and from time to time. What I am concerned with is the right attitude of mind in the Metropolitan Powers to the dissident movements now growing apace in their respective colonies.

At the same time, I seek to convey a sense of the urgency which these movements call for.

It is not so long ago, I admit, since I did not fully appreciate the urgency myself. I came to appreciate it ipartly because in latter years the dissident movements have gathered momentum, in some territories a powerful momentum, and partly because in latter years I have seen and learnt things of which previously I had had little experience.

It took India to bring home to me the meaning and the explosiveness of nationalism amongst dependent peoples. And after seeing India I saw at first-hand something of the psychology of the movement amongst individuals drawn from the intelligentsia of Negro America, the West Indies, and Africa.

When I first went to Africa nearly twenty years ago to join the Colonial Service in Nigeria it was unimaginable to myself and to my colleagues in the Service that fifteen years hence an Ibo would have built up a chain of newspapers in which a persistent campaign, marked by scurrility, a tendencious mingling of fact and comment, and at times an incitement to violence, would be waged against the Government.

But it is not only in Nigeria that such things are happening.

Nor can anyone in touch with international public opinion avoid being impressed with the fact that the bulk of that opinion . . .

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