Foredoomed to failure?
in Unfit for heroes
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In a survey of the British government's migration policy conducted in 1930, the Overseas Settlement Department concluded that assisted migration since World War I had been 'fostered largely for social and political reasons. Britain's free passage scheme for ex-service personnel provides another illustration of the gulf between imperial expectations and actual results. The underlying problem, was the neo-mercantilist rationale behind imperial soldier settlement. Economic factors aside, the failure to establish a landed imperial yeomanry was in part attributable to the growth of a 'sturdy' dominion nationalism. The depression of 1929-33 effectively ended assisted migration to the dominions. Throughout the 1930s and indeed during World War II, the political issues raised by imperial migration, particularly vis-a-vis the white dominions, remained central to British policy making. South Africa was a unique case because of the political sensitivity of both the immigration and land settlement issues.

Unfit for heroes

Reconstruction and Soldier Settlement in the Empire Between the Wars


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