British interests in the Falkland Islands : economic development, the Falkland lobby and the sovereignty dispute, 1945 to 1989
The aim of the thesis is to study the circumstances which influenced the policy of the British Government towards the decolonization of the Falklands from 1945 to 1989. A comprehensive approach to the subject enabled an examination of the inter-relationship between the various forces which defined the nature of the dilemma. The themes included economic development, the form of landownership in the Colony, Falkland politics, the strategic value of the Islands, Anglo- Argentine trade and the Antarctic dimension. The thesis presents an original interpretation of how volatile and unpredictable pressures defined the dispute. A pattern emerges which shows that Government policy consisted of responses to different situations. The structure is based on a chronological approach which concentrates on the seven major turning-points in the dispute and how they were perceived in Britain and the Falklands. It also includes three original case studies. First, there is a socio- economic study of the peculiar approach to the colonization of the Falklands in the nineteenth century which provides a background to later developments. Secondly, the 1982 Conflict shows how the problems of the last British colonial territories can be in inverse proportion to their size. Thirdly, the examination of the Falkland Lobby gives a detailed account of how a successful British pressure group is organized. The primary sources used were Foreign and Colonial Office files at the Public Records Office (Kew) for the period up to the 1950s, and the archives of the Falkland Islands Association for the period from the mid-1960s. These were supplemented by private papers, the records of the Falkland Islands Company in London, interviews with prominent people, contemporary newspapers, official documents and secondary sources.