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By A. Kirk-Greene

Britain's well-known out of the country civil providers - the Colonial Administrative carrier, the Indian Civil provider and the Sudan Political carrier - now not exist as a tremendous and sought-after profession for Britain's graduates. during this certain examine the background of every carrier is gifted in the framework of the necessity to administer an increasing empire. shut consciousness is paid to the equipment of recruitment and coaching and to the socio-educational history of the in a foreign country directors in addition to to the character in their paintings. the distinguished incumbents of presidency condominium are revealingly tested. The impression of decolonisation on out of the country officers and the categories of 'second careers' which they took up are documented. This authoritative narrative historical past is enlivened through recourse to provider lore and anecdotes.

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If it was the public (and grammar) school which could mould or build on a disposition for imperial service, often in harness with family experience and circles, it was frequently the university which clinched the career decision. The influences at work were varied. They included earnest discussions with fellow students or with tutors about what to do after graduating; an enthusiastic letter from a friend a year or two ahead in College and now a cadet in Nyasaland or en route for Hong Kong; an exciting talk with a young SPS officer revisiting his old College on leave, part nostalgically, part talent-spotting; perhaps a counselling session with a member of the University Appointments Board, who could well have been a DO himself.

The latter flourishes on commercial relationships, can survive on personal influence, and calls for no executive imperial representation, whereas in the case of the former manifestation of empire the presence of Crown representatives and administrative personnel is de rigueur. Such local structures, of officials whose duty it is to carry out the policy of the imperial power, in turn presuppose a level of responsible organization in the metropole. In the case of the British Empire, these institutions ranged, over the centuries, from non-governmental Boards through Directors of Chartered Trading Companies to full-blown Government Departments and Ministries under a Secretary of State.

Thomas became the first separate Secretary of State for the Dominions. In 1935, and again in 1938, the dual office was again briefly held by one person, Malcolm Macdonald. Under the 1935 organization, responsibility for the whole business of the Imperial Conference was transferred to the new Dominions Office. This had been set up at the fifth Colonial Conference, held in 1907 (the inaugural one took place in 1887), when the Colonial Office was reconstituted into three Divisions: Dominions, Crown Colonies, and General.

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