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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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‘Limbo’, ‘Mezzanine Status’, and ‘Independence Minus’

‘Limbo’, ‘Mezzanine Status’, and ‘Independence Minus’

Self-Government within the Commonwealth

(p.62) 5 ‘Limbo’, ‘Mezzanine Status’, and ‘Independence Minus’
Winding up the British Empire in the Pacific Islands

W. David McIntyre

Oxford University Press

An interlude in the 1950s following decolonization in South Asia, when it was still hoped that a self-governing status that fell short of full independence would be possible. For want of a suitable term words such as limbo, mezzanine status, and independence minus were used loosely in departmental discussions. The Gold Coast and Sudan became test cases in Africa, while Malta and Singapore were island test cases. No consistent policy emerged. The Sudan became an independent republic outside the Commonwealth. The Gold Coast, as Ghana, became independent and a Commonwealth member. A brief possibility that Malta would integrate with the United Kingdom lapsed after an inconclusive referendum. Singapore became, briefly, the sole Commonwealth state. At this time none of the Pacific islands were deemed ready for self-government except the Kingdom of Tonga, a protected state.

Keywords:   mezzanine status, independence minus, Gold Coast, Sudan, Malta, Singapore, Tonga

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