[Image: Kings’ Street, Valetta, c.1960-64. Marine Photo Service, in the collection of the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons]

Download PDF: BDEEP Series B Volume 11 – Malta [2MB]

Volume Details: Part 1 of 1; First published by The Stationery Office in 2006, with a Second Impression in 2008. Electronic version reproduced with permission of the editor under an Open Government Licence.

Editor Details: SIMON C SMITH is Professor of International History at the University of Hull. His publication include British Relations with the Malay Rulers from Decentralization to Malayan Independence, 1930-1957 (1995), British Imperialism, 1750-1970 (1998), Kuwait 1950-65: Britain, the al-Sabah, and Oil (1999), Britain’s Revival and Fall in the Gulf: Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and the Trucial States, 1950-71 (2004), and Ending Empire in the Middle East: Britain, the United States and Post-War Decolonization, 1945-73 (2012).

Selection from Introduction:

Indeed, Malta’s economic dependence on Britain, coupled with its perceived strategic importance which had been reinforced during the Second World War, apparently made it a poor candidate for full independence. The influence which changing assessments of its strategic value had on reversing this long-held assumption is a key feature of this volume.” (p.xxxi)

Reflecting the importance of the twin issues of post-war reconstruction and moves towards the restoration of responsible government in Malta following the cessation of hostilities, 1946 has been chosen as the start date for the collection. The documents selected go on to chart British policy-making from the attempt to integrate Malta into the UK in the mid-1950s, through its failure and the re-imposition of direct rule in period 1958-61, to the achievement of Maltese independence in September 1964. Unusually for country volumes in the BDEEP series, the selection also extends beyond the end of formal empire. This is indicative of the many issues which at the time of formal independence remained unresolved and for which Britain maintained a large measure of responsibility, not least the future of the Malta dockyward. It also reflects the degree to which British decisions continued directly to affect the former colony, as well as the strong ties between Britain and Malta, especially in the military and financial spheres, which endured beyond constitutional separation.” (p.xxxi)