chapter  1
7 Pages

THE ECONOMICS OF SIEGE

However, during the war years, the development of colonial resources depended almost entirely on colonial initiatives, energies and assets. In the immediate emergency, colonies could receive little help from the Imperial government. A scarcity of shipping restricted cargo space to the transport of essential goods and thus limited the supply of materials from Britain for public works in the colonies. Moreover, in an effort to preserve financial resources for urgent military purposes, the Treasury restricted access to the London Stock Market,4 urged colonies to raise locally whatever loans they needed,5 and insisted that the Colonial Office like other government departments exercise the greatest economy in carrying out their duties. Sustained pressure from the Treasury effected a reduction in expenditure on Colonial Services from £781,195 in 1913-14 to £605,257 in 1918-19.6 In general the Colonial Office permanent and political staff accepted without complaint that the emergency of war required co-operation with the Treasury in reducing the financial cost of the Colonial Empire.7