This book produces a major rethinking of the history of development after 1940 through an exploration of Britain’s ambitions for industrialisation in its Caribbean colonies. Industrial development is a neglected topic in histories of the British Colonial Empire, and we know very little of plans for Britain’s Caribbean colonies in general in the late colonial period, despite the role played by riots in the region in prompting an increase in development spending. This account shows the importance of knowledge and expertise in the promotion of a model of Caribbean development that is best described as liberal rather than state-centred and authoritarian. It explores how the post-war period saw an attempt by the Colonial Office to revive Caribbean economies by transforming cane sugar from a low-value foodstuff into a lucrative starting compound for making fuels, plastics and medical products. In addition, it shows that as Caribbean territories moved towards independence and America sought to shape the future of the region, scientific and economic advice became a key strategy for the maintenance of British control of the West Indian colonies. Britain needed to counter attempts by American-backed experts to promote a very different approach to industrial development after 1945 informed by the priorities of US foreign policy.
modernisation theory. It describes how the latecolonial Caribbean was a laboratory for the emergence of new ideas about the development of manufacturing and shows how initiatives on the ground could in fact contribute to later theoretical work; a rather different relationship between theory and practice from that typically described.
This account also broadens our understanding of development by focusing on a region that has been overlooked in historical studies. The riots in Britain’s Caribbean colonies during the 1930s persuaded the British government to greatly increase
Science and industrial development: lessons from Britain’s imperial past
, scientists could become part of networks, but useful contacts that would facilitate the transfer of knowledge at the level of the individual colony did not necessarily have the time and opportunity to develop in the latecolonial period.
Fundamental research into the chemistry of sugar was done on the basis that the results of scientific research would be of interest to businessmen. It became clear, however, that sugar manufacturers that operated in the Caribbean did not possess the necessary chemical and commercial skills to capitalise on the results
The intellectual influence of non-medical research on policy and practice in the Colonial Medical Service in Tanganyika and Uganda
modernisation or attachment theory, as
well as tribal particularism. Significantly, this development worked
against the liberal tendencies of many latecolonial doctors, who were
eager to separate disease susceptibility from broad-based assumptions
associating race with certain behaviours, and instead continued to
foster a tendency to pathologise African social life through generalised
Julie Evans, Patricia Grimshaw, David Philips, and Shurlee Swain
some areas of land as ‘reserves’,
where Indigenous people could continue to occupy and work the land; but,
in such cases, their tenure – whether by African or Maori tribal
group or Indian band – was communal: the land belonged to that
people as a whole. Sooner or later, colonial authorities in these cases
insisted that communal property could not satisfy the property
qualification, which required that
, 1800–1947 ,
New Delhi, Orient Longman and Sangam Books, 2005 ; Anne Digby, Diversity and Division in Medicine:
Healthcare in South Africa from the 1800s , Oxford, Peter
Lang, 2006 ; Guy Attewell, Refiguring Unani
Tibb: Plural Healing in LateColonial India , New Delhi,
Orient Longman, 2007 ; Biswamoy Pati and Mark
Harrison (eds.), The Social History of Health and
Missions, the colonial state and constructing a health system in colonial Tanganyika
be at least attempting to meet the health needs of the territory could
only really be justified (to the extent that it could) by recognising
the voluntary role that actors in the form of missionary organisations
were playing in running health services for Tanganyikans.
The model that characterised latecolonial-period
Tanganyika was one of public-private partnership. Having long acted as
exactly was knowledge expected to move from the laboratory and spur development? This chapter will examine the relationship between scientific investigation and colonial development that was embodied in the new arrangements for colonial research that were created in fields such as sugar chemistry during the first half of the 1940s.
The latecolonial period saw an unprecedented expansion in scientific research across the Colonial Empire and in British universities, funded through the Research Fund of the 1940 CDW Act and its successors. The new
, ‘who would try to get them to enter the chemical industry’. Instead, they wanted a sugar technologist to head the STL and a focus on improvements to the technical process of sugar manufacturing. Asked what their aim was, the BWISA responded that they wanted to produce sugar more quickly and cheaply. 64
There were a number of wider political and economic factors that worked to discourage sugar producers from diversifying into new chemical derivatives of sugar in the latecolonial period. In April 1949 the Labour Party announced its intention to