With the fall of Smuts from power in 1948 — and great was the fall thereof — the failure of South Africa’s formal expansion into the High Commission Territories was final in the sense that no British government thereafter would lift a finger to further it. In Britain Labour gave way to Conservative in 1951, but it made no difference. Agreement about the transfer question, declared prime minister Winston Churchill, was so widespread that there was no point in debating it in parliament.1 Despite appearances, which were carefully nurtured, British policy was not simply stagnating on the issue. Continued refusal to transfer the Territories had a more positive dimension. More than pure procrastination, it was in a sense congruent with a reassertion of the imperial factor in East and Central Africa from 1945. In a world becoming increasingly uncomfortable for Britain, Dr Malan was more of a bogeyman than Dr Nkrumah.


Prime Minister British Government National Party Rugby Union High Commission 
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  2. 2.
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© Ronald Hyam 1972

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  • Ronald Hyam

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