The making of Britain's new Malayan policy, 1857-1874 : the interplay of imperial and colonial interests

Tan, Ping-teng (1972) The making of Britain's new Malayan policy, 1857-1874 : the interplay of imperial and colonial interests. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

The transfer of the Straits Settlements from the India Office to the Colonial Office in 1867 was the outcome of a persistent campaign begun in 1857 by the mercantile communities of the Straits Settlements, particularly that of Singapore. The transfer was delayed largely because of objections from the Treasury that the Straits Settlements were not self-supporting. Imperial consent came only after the Straits Settlements proved that they could be self-supporting and the strategic importance of Singapore was more fully appreciated. The aims of the campaign for transfer were twofold: (1) to bring about a new constitution that would provide for an Executive Council and a Legislative Council with unofficial representation and (2) to elevate the status of the Straits Government by providing the governor with wide powers to conduct foreign relations, particularly with the Malay states. The campaign achieved only a partial success in 1867 for its second aim did not materialize immediately. The British government was reluctant to get involved in Malay affairs. After 1867 demands for British intervention grew rapidly; they were favoured by colonial entreprenuers and officials but rejected by the British government. Lord Kimberley, who conducted colonial affairs within the framework of Gladstone's policy, but with considerable initiative, rejected in 1871 recommendations that political officers be appointed to the Malay states. However, he favoured this policy in 1873 because he believed he could satisfy Gladstone's requirement: no British protection unless there was such a desire on the part of the native state involved. In 1873 Kimberley fulfilled that condition: Tenku Kudin of Selangor expressed his desire for British protection. And Governor Clarke swiftly put this forward policy into effect in early 1874. The establishment of the Straits Settlements as a Crown colony, followed by intervention in Malaya, came about largely as the result of colonial influences; international rivalry remained a background factor.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7376
Item ID: 7376
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 184-191.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > History
Date: 1972
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Malaya; Great Britain
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Malaya--History; Great Britain--Colonies--Straits settlements

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