Britain and the United States in the Caribbean: A Comparative Study in Methods of Development

By Mary Proudfoot | Go to book overview

Chapter XIII
THE POSSIBILITIES OF FEDERATION FOR THE BRITISH WEST INDIES

1. THE DESIRE FOR CHANGE

It is apparent from the evidence presented in the preceding chapters that neither group of dependencies is satisfied with the status quo.

The position in the B.W.I. appears to be as follows. The vast majority of thinking West Indians wish to remain within the British Commonwealth, and the few attempts that have been so far made to drive a wedge between the B.W.I. and the United Kingdom have been greatly resented in the B.W.I.1 Support for the British connection is by no means confined to the more conservative elements in the population, and the most striking declarations of loyalty and affection sometimes come from what the uninitiated might consider as the least expected quarters. Mr. Grantley Adams, for instance, the present Labour leader who led the rioting on the island in 1937, is the bete noire of the conservatives in Barbados. Yet, as a member of the British delegation to the United Nations in October 1948, he offered an eloquent defence of British colonial policy in the General Assembly's Trusteeship Committee when it was subjected to attack from the Slav bloc.2

____________________
1
In 1948 for instance, when the Ninth International Conference of American States, assembled at Bogota, decided to create an American Commission of Dependent Territories to enquire into conditions in those territories with a view to alterations in their relationship with their metropolitan countries, an immediate and sharp protest was made by the elected representatives of the British Caribbean territories then assembled in Guadaloupe, on the occasion of the Third West Indian Conference. The elected members stated categorically that 'the social, economic, political and all other affairs of the British territories are the concern solely of the peoples of these territories and their metropolitan country, and we cannot admit any right whatsoever on the part of the signatories of the Bogota resolution to intervene between peoples of territorial units and their metropolitan government in their unfettered choice to work together for the satisfactory solution of the problems of the territories which we represent'. The statement added that the ultimate goal for the people of the B.W.I. was self-government within the British Commonwealth. West India Committee Circular, January 1949.
2
'These remarks seem to me to be based upon the assumption that all administering authorities, all countries responsible for the progress, advancement and welfare of dependent peoples, are inherently wicked; that they cannot

-330-

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Britain and the United States in the Caribbean: A Comparative Study in Methods of Development
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Editor's Introduction vii
  • Author's Preface x
  • Contents xiv
  • List of Tables xx
  • Chapter I - Introductory 1
  • Chapter II - The Constitutional Relationship 10
  • Chapter III - The Economic Relationship 38
  • Chapter IV - The Structure of Society 65
  • Chapter V - The Central Government 97
  • Chapter VI - The Local Government 134
  • 3. Conclusions 151
  • Chapter VII - Political Life 153
  • Chapter VIII - Economic Life 178
  • Chapter IX - Labour 222
  • Chapter X - Social Life 243
  • Chapter XI - Education 281
  • 7. Conclusions 305
  • Chapter XII - Population Problems 307
  • Chapter XIII - The Possibilities of Federation For The British West Indies 330
  • Chapter XIV - The Alternatives for the American Dependencies 350
  • Chapter XV - General Conclusions 359
  • Abbreviations 362
  • Abbreviated References 363
  • Index 419
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