By A. Kirk-Greene
Britain's recognized out of the country civil providers - the Colonial Administrative provider, the Indian Civil provider and the Sudan Political carrier - not exist as an enormous and sought-after profession for Britain's graduates. during this targeted research the background of every provider is gifted in the framework of the necessity to administer an increasing empire. shut realization is paid to the equipment of recruitment and coaching and to the socio-educational history of the out of the country directors in addition to to the character in their paintings. the distinguished incumbents of presidency condo are revealingly tested. The effect of decolonisation on in a foreign country officers and the categories of 'second careers' which they took up are documented. This authoritative narrative background is enlivened by means of recourse to carrier lore and anecdotes.
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The UDI of Southern Rhodesia in 1965 and the handing over of Hong Kong in 1997 were both sui generis, one a constitutional showdown and the other a diplomatic negotiation. Today, with no more Dominions Office since 1947, no more Colonial Office since 1966 and no more Commonwealth Relations Office since 1968, all that is left are the remnant 'Dependent Territories', as the new Foreign and Commonwealth Office preferred to describe them. 9 By the mid-1990s these numbered barely a dozen: St. Helena with its own 'Dependencies' of Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, Bermuda, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, the Cayman Islands, the Falkland Islands, Anguilla, and the Turks and Caicos Islands, along with the British Antarctic Territory, the British Indian Ocean Territory, and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, none of the last three dependencies having any resident British administrative staff,lo Hong Kong was handed back to China in 1997.
Whereas few if any studies of the Colonial Service could be properly written without considerable attention being paid to the role of the Colonial Office in the recruitment and management of the Colonial Service, many of the one-time standard works on the Indian Civil Service, like those by O'Malley (1931) and Blunt (1937), manage to conclude their analyses without so much as an entry in the index to the India Office. 33 A welcome exception to this brusque exclusion is Philip Mason's study, not so much of the Service as of the 'characters' among the men who made up the Service, first the Founders and then the Guardians.
E ll revallche, the forme r was entitled to overrule the Council if he saw fi t - as he did spectacularly, in the drafting of the Cantonment Bill in 1890. But he could never escape the knowledge tbat tbe original intention of the 1858 legislation bad been to set up a system of checks and bal ances ove r the Secre tary of State himself, shared between the Crown, Parliame nt and India. Like Africa a century later, India was not the kind of issue on which an able and a mbitious politician would want to pin his career.
Britain’s Imperial Administrators, 1858–1966 by A. Kirk-Greene