The economics of empire

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The Economics of Empire : Lord Salisbury

The author of this document is Lord Salisbury which was a conservative and colonialist member of the Tories, and member of the House of Lords.
Thedocument we have to study is a speech pronounced on the 14th February, 1895 to the House of Lord and dealing with British imperialism. It is taken from the book Parliamentary Debates.


Tobriefly summarize the document, Lord Salisbury talks before the assembly of Lords in order to persuade the other Lords to give themselves the means to enable a free trade economy in Uganda before it maybe too late, because the opportunity that they have won't return.
Indeed, his aim is to open new ways for British trade, and therefore he doesn't want a protectionism to be instituted in Uganda (asit was the tendency in other countries) because it would contribute to an exclusion of British commerce in the region.
He explains why Great Britain needs free access to Uganda : the greatfertility of the land, the force that constitutes its increasing population and the control of the upper valley of the Nile are very important assets that explain the key importance of Uganda. Salisbury isconscious of these facts, and he explains then that there will be a harsh competition with other great Powers for the control of Uganda, and so that the UK has no delay for this piece of business.Lord Salisbury keeps arguing in this way, going further into his arguments, and he explains that the British government is reluctant because of “scruples of the Treasury” (l. 32), that is to say that ina period in which the economy is a bit fragile, the government doesn't want to take the risk of investing money in new markets.
He carries on saying that the most important force of the UK, beforethe government's power and the negotiation, is its human force, the energy and initiative brought by its people. He claims then that the British colons are not considered as they should be by the...