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Winding up the British Empire in the Pacific Islands$
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W. David McIntyre

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198702436

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198702436.001.0001

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‘The Dying Art of Decolonization is Difficult to Pursue in a Condominium’

‘The Dying Art of Decolonization is Difficult to Pursue in a Condominium’

Accelerated Decolonization: New Hebrides

(p.238) 18 ‘The Dying Art of Decolonization is Difficult to Pursue in a Condominium’
Winding up the British Empire in the Pacific Islands

W. David McIntyre

Oxford University Press

The final piece of Pacific decolonization, in the British-French condominium of the New Hebrides. Self-government was retarded because of complications caused by four different legal systems—French, British, condominium regulations, and Melanesian custom. During all the committees and reports from the 1940s to 1970s the New Hebrides was usually left out with the comment that nothing could be done without consultation with the French. In the mid-1970s both governments began to move fast, but sought to protect their language groups. When the French finally called for a dash for independence in 1978, secessionist threats appeared in several islands. On Espirtu Santo, pioneer nationalist Jimmy Stevens defied the government of Father Walter Lini. British marines and French paras had to be flown into protect the flag of the republic of Vanuatu on Independence Day in 1980.

Keywords:   Condominium, New Hebrides, Vanuatu, Walter Lini, Jimmy Stevens, Espiritu Santo

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