[Image: ‘The Caribbean and Adjacent Countries’ map, selected from current volume, p.vi]

Download PDFBDEEP Series B Volume 6 – The West Indies [432MB]

Volume Details: First published by The Stationary Office in 1999. Electronic version reproduced with permission of the editors under an Open Government Licence.

Editor Details: 

SR ASHTON is the General Editor of the British Documents on the End of Empire Project and was a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London. With SE Stockwell he edited Imperial Policy and Colonial Practice, 1925-1945 (BDEEP, 1996), and with Wm Roger Louis East of Suez and the Commonwealth, 1964-1971 (BDEEP, 2004).

DAVID KILLINGRAY is Emeritus Professor of Modern History at Goldsmiths College and a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London. He is the author of Fighting for Britain: African Soldiers in the Second World War (2010) and Co-Editor, with Peter Clegg, of The Non-Independent Territories of the Caribbean and Pacific: Continuity or Change? (2012).

Selection from Introduction:

The primary focus of this volume of documents is the short lived West Indies Federation which was slowly created in the decade before 1958 and which collapsed four years later… Federation, of course, is only part of the story of the process of decolonisation in the many islands and territories that made up the British empire in the Caribbean, but it is a central one that touched most colonies and peoples in the region. It was the commonly recognised goal of British policy makers who did not even begin to contemplate separate independence for any of the individual islands until as late as 1959. Also, the Caribbean is a large and diverse region, and to do justice to each story of the transfer of power in the many individual islands and territories would be far beyond the capacity of a single volume. Thus the events included in this volume are less about individual territories and islands and more about the process of creating and sustaining the federation.” (p.xxxvii)