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Collection Description


Moyne papers on West India Royal Commission, 1938-1939

Reference code(s): ICS 56
Title: Moyne papers on West India Royal Commission, 1938-1939
Date(s): 1938 - 1939
Level of description: Fond
Extent and medium of the unit of description: 3 boxes

Name of creator(s): Guinness, Walter Edward, 1st Baron Moyn, politician
Administrative/Biographical history: Walter Edward Guinness was born in Dublin on 29 March 1880, the 3rd son of the 1st Earl of Iveagh. From Eton he volunteered for service in the South African war, where he was wounded and mentioned in despatches. In 1907 he was elected to Parliament as conservative member for Bury St Edmunds, which he continued to represent until 1931. During World War One Guinness again served with distinction in the Suffolk Yeomanry in Egypt, and at Gallipoli. In 1922 he was appointed Under Secretary for War, the firest of several political appointments which culminated in his term of office as Minister of Agriculture, Nov 1925 - June 1929.

After the Conservative defeat in 1929 he retired from office and was created Baron Moyne of Bury St Edmunds. He was now able to indulge his love of travel and exxploration, and he was also frequently called upon to chair commissions of enquiry - the Financial Mission to Kenya, 1932, the Departmental Committee on Housing, 1933, the Royal Commission on the University of Durham, 1934 and the West India Royal Commisson, 1938-1939.

During World War Two he again took political office, becoming Secretary of State for the Colonies and Leader of the House of Lords in 1941. In August 1942 he was appointed Deputy Minister of State in Cairo, and in January 1944 Minister Resoident in the Middle East. On 6 November 1944 he was asssassinated in Cairo by members of the Stern gang.

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.

Archival history: The papers were presented to the ICS Library by the 2nd Lord Moyne in 1980.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer:

Scope and content: Papers of Walter Edward Guiness, First Baron Moyne, relating to his chairmanship of the West India Royal Commission (WIRC), 1938-1939; comprising speech notes by Moyne for the first public session of WIRC; annotated notes for preparation of the WIRC report; copies of published Colonial Office reports including Report of the West India Sugar Commission, 1930, Report by Lord Moyne on Financial Mission to Kenya, 1932, Report of Enquiry on the Trinidad and Tobago disturbances, 1937, Report by G St J Orde Browne on Labour Conditions in the West Indies, 1939, WIRC Report on agriculture, fisheries and veterinary matters by F L Engledow, 1945; memoranda submitted to WIRC by interested parties in Trinidad and Tobago, on means of improving the social and economic conditions of the people, including the Port of Spain Ministerial Association, the Civil Service Association of Trinidad and Tobago, the Port of Spain Nurses and Midwives Association, the Railway Workers Trade Union, Captain C R Williams, Church Army, the Presbyterian Church in Trinidad, the Trinidad Labour Party, Port of Spain City Council, the British West Indies and British Guiana Teachers' Association, the Trinidad and Tobago Teachers' Union, Trinidad Federation Workers Trade Union, the Guianese and West Indies Labour Congress, the Chinese Commercial Association, Trinidad Chamber of Commerce, South Trinidad Cane Farmers Association, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago on agriculture, forestry and fisheries and social welfare, the Agricultural Society of Trinidad and Tobago, Trinidad Asphalt Operating Company, the Coconut Growers Association, the Petroleum Association of Trinidad, memorandum by Arthur Calder-Marshall on Trinidad, impressions of the social situation in Trinidad by A E Jeffery, the Trinidad and Tobago Union of Shop Assistants and Clerks and the Trinidad Landowners' Association.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information:
System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:
Conditions governing reproduction:
Language/scripts of material: English
Physical characteristics:
Finding aids:

Existence and location of originals:
Existence and location of copies:
Related units of description:
Publication note: West India Royal Commission Report, Cmd. 6607, London: His Majesty's Stationery Office, (1945).

Recorder's note:
Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.
Date(s) of descriptions: February 2002

Interest: Caribbean

Specific group:

Social problems
Social policy
Plant products
Sugar plantations
Rural population
Colonial trade
Working conditions
Plantation economy
Economic and social development

Personal/Corporate names
West India Royal Commission
West India Sugar Commission
Port of Spain Ministerial Association
Civil Service Association of Trinidad and Tobago
Port of Spain Nurses and Midwives Association
Railway Workers Trade Union
Presbyterian Church in Trinidad
Trinidad Labour Party
Port of Spain City Council
British West Indies and British Guiana Teachers' Association
Trinidad and Tobago Teachers' Union
Trinidad Federation Workers Trade Union
Guianese and West Indies Labour Congress
Trinidad Chamber of Commerce
South Trinidad Cane Farmers Association
Agricultural Society of Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad Asphalt Operating Company
Coconut Growers Association
Petroleum Association of Trinidad
Trinidad and Tobago Union of Shop Assistants and Clerks
Trinidad Landowners' Association
Browne, G St J Orde, fl 1939
Guinness, Walter Edward
Marshall, Arthur Calder x Calder-Marshall, Arthur

Trinidad and Tobago

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