chapter  1
5 Pages

THE COLONIAL QUESTION IN THE LATER 1930s

During the 1930s the idea that the Colonial Empire should be made to serve the economic interests of the metropolis in a period of economic depression and high unemployment continued to affect government policies and retained much popular political support. The CDAC adhered to their original brief, and the flows of colonial trade were in some cases further affected by the Ottawa tariff agreements of 1932 and by the imposition of quotas on Japanese textile imports into the colonies in 1934.1 Cunliffe-Lister as Secretary of State for the Colonies from 1931 to 1935 retained his belief in the value of colonial products and markets as assets for the metropolitan economy and endeavoured to encourage their development.2 Outside government, Amery and other enthusiasts in such organisations as the Empire Economic Union and the Empire Industries Association maintained their campaign for greater imperial economic unity.3 It is, however, striking that this justification for increased imperial expenditure on colonial development was overlaid in the later 1930s by fresh anxieties and new proposals.