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Title: Lord Ripon, the Colonial Office and the Empire : aspects of policy-making, 1892-5
Author: Wilkinson, R. E.
Awarding Body: University College of Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 1981
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The thesis examines aspects of colonial policy during the secretaryship of the first Marquess of Ripon from 1892 to 1895. It tests the assertion of his biographer, Lucien Wolf, that Ripon became a Whig as his career lengthened. An outline of Ripon's career is given, contrasting Wolf's interpretation with that of Anthony Denholm, who argues that Ripon did not become a Whig. The thesis also examines the policy-making process in detail, especially the influence of the permanent officials and how this balanced with that of the politicians. Policy concerning the Matabele war of 1893 and the settlement of 1894, and the transfer of Swaziland to the South African Republic are examined, illustrating the views and influence of Robert Meade, Edward Fairfield, Frederick Graham and Sydney Olivier. Olivier's opposition to Colonial Office policy towards the Matabele is commented upon in detail. In the North American department the influence of John Anderson and William Mercer is illustrated with reference to the formation of the two circular despatches to the self-governing colonies of 28 June 1895, and the issue of imperial communications arising from the 1894 Colonial Conference. In addition to the permanent officials, and Ripon himself, the thesis deals with the views and influence of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Sydney Buxton, and the High Commissioner for Southern Africa, Sir Henry Loch. The conclusion reaffirms Wolf's interpretation of Ripon's career, stressing his caution, concern for precedent and commitment to free trade when at the Colonial Office. Ripon's lack of forcefulness and inability to impose his own will upon events is commented upon. The permanent officials, it is concluded, displayed considerable confidence in their opinions and exerted a significant influence. The majority of officials opposed increasing imperial responsibilities and expenditure. Buxton's passive role in the policy-making process is noted.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available