chapter  1
8 Pages

The Development of East Africa 1921–26

The debates described in the last chapter reflected the Imperial government’s dilemma in the face of economic depression and high levels of unemployment. It was acknowledged that colonial development would be of advantage to the faltering British export trade, but the problem was to foster the growth of colonial markets without up-setting the regimen of strict national economy at home. The resulting compromise rendered the Trade Facilities Acts ineffective. The Colonial Office permanent staff were not particularly distressed by this outcome because they remained suspicious of attempts to accelerate development schemes in the colonies to meet imperial needs and because they preferred to meet real colonial requirements by traditional ad hoc arrangements. This priority can be further illustrated by examining the Colonial Office’s continued preoccupation in the 1920s with the needs of East Africa.