Friday, 20 April 2012

New PDF list for Moyne Commission papers

We have recently added a PDF format list of the archive collection ICS56 Moyne papers on the West India Royal Commission

The PDF list complements the detailed list available on the catalogue by providing a clear overview of the styructure of the collection and we are continuing to create these for collections so as to improve ease of use of the catalogue for users.

ICS56 comprises the papers of Walter Edward Guinness, Lord Moyne, relating to his chairmanship of the West India Royal Commission (WIRC), 1938-1939. The majority of the material comprises memoranda on means of improving the social and economic conditions of the people, submitted to WIRC by interested parties in Trinidad and Tobago, although Colonial Office publications and draft speeches are also included. The collection complements and in some cases duplicates the larger collection relating to the West India Royal Commission held at the National Archives, being Lord Moyne's personal papers from the Commission.

The West India Royal Commission was a comprehensive investigation of the social and economic condition of all the British territories in the Caribbean. Led by Lord Moyne, the Commission held public hearings throughout the region, and recommended sweeping reforms in everything from employment practices and social welfare, to radical political change. The full findings of the commission were not published until 1945 but an immediate start was made upon the implementation of less controversial recommendations. The British government decided to make substantial increases in the amount of money available for colonial development of all kinds and set about creating a framework for change.

The Institute of Commonwealth Studies also holds considerable material in its library collections, including official publications from both the UK and the colonies, documenting the impact of the reforms started after the West India Royal Commission.

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