Colonial Problems in an International Context

  • Ronald Hyam


The Liberals, it has been said, were imperialists because they were internationalists.1 We have already seen how concern for the fulfilment of international obligations was prominent in the determination of their policy in tropical Africa. We have also observed a temptation to intervene in the domestic affairs of South African self-governing colonies, where problems of wider imperial concern seemed to be raised.2 We should therefore expect to find, and we shall, that the Liberals had little compunction in overriding colonial views in problems of external policy, or in situations where the demands of allies and colonists conflicted. Good relations with friends and allies, American, French, Japanese, were of great importance in a decade of incipient international anarchy. The Anglo-Japanese alliance of 1902, the Anglo-French entente of 1904, and perhaps above all the unwritten, nearly tacit, nearly unilateral, and probably mythical, idea of a ‘special relationship’ with the United States, an idea developing since the 189os — all these had important implications for imperial policy. In the period under review, Newfoundlanders and Australians became aggrieved by being treated in a way which emphasised their secondary or tertiary importance in the power evaluations of the imperial government.


International Context Fishing Vessel British Government Fishing Season Purse Seine 
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  1. 3.
    For background see A. M. Fraser ‘Fishery negotiations with the United States’ in R. A. MacKay (ed.), Newfoundland: economic, diplomatic and strategic studies (Toronto 1946), pp. 333–410, and the Annual Register for 1905, pp. 471–2.Google Scholar
  2. 1.
    See J. A. La Nauze, Alfred Deakin, a biography (Melbourne, 1965), ii, chap. 19; Cd.3288 (Jan 1907).Google Scholar
  3. 1.
    W.P. Morrell, Britain in the Pacific Islands (1960), pp. 358–60.Google Scholar
  4. 2.
    W. K. Hancock, in C.H.B.E., vii, pt. I, Australia (1933), 500–1.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Ronald Hyam 1968

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald Hyam
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CambridgeUK

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