British civilian in Colonial Service in Uganda 1937-1939, King's African Rifles during Second World War; return to Colonial Service in Uganda, 1947-1962
REEL 1 Father's background in colonial service in Kenya during 1930s including as district commissioner of Machakos and Embu districts. Popularity of careers with colonial service among Oxford graduates; application to colonial service in Lango district, Uganda; arrival in Ugnda and appendicitis; first impressions; drinking habits of officers; first 'safari' around district (journey); duties on safari including checking chiefs' administration of justice; other duties on safari including reviews of court work, visiting prisoners, community projects, poll tax exemption cases, burazas, "this was really the greatest entertainment to them, the loved their buraza, they saw the DC or DO on safari and they brought out their complaints and very frequebntly because these people have a great sense of humour they's frequently try and pull your leg and they'd say something outrageous . If they suceeded in making the DC turn a little pink in the face or stutter with rage then this was their day, they all roared with laughter. But of course the DC wasalso able to pull their legs a bit, and so we carried out these proceedings with the greatest of friendship and enjoyment. There was one particular ploy that always raised a laugh. When one was having the poll tax exemptions inevitably there'd be one man who cliamed to be totally blind and lame as well. And on these occasssions I always used to take out my cigarettes and offer him one, and it was quite remarkable almost invariably he'd sprint across the intervening distance of five yards grab the cigarettes and rush back and of course he got no exemption but this was greeted with the greatest laughter by all the people present; joining in at local dances "all this dancing was very vigorous indeed and amongst the Lango people it consisted largely of poeple leaping as high as they possible could in the air" other dances described; opinion of value of tours; "this was a protectorate and not a colony and rightfrom the very early years it was realsied we were educating them and as soon as the moment came for them to take over the reins of govt the that's when the British would go and this safari that the young ADCs went on was all part and parcel of the education process...when we scrutinised their court work and perhaps revised their cases..looked into their financial records in theor prsions...I think helped enormously in the development of these people and I suppoes helped the process of furst class administration within this district...high standards of the chiefs"; "we were taught something about the ABC of administration during our colonial service course at Oxford or Cambridge"; further duties including monitoring conditions for labourers on work stations; law training on colonial course; opinion of work in protectorate courts; question of nature of cases; story of building of squash court "we also had to visit the prisoners...there were a few Asians butmostly local people..a very useful thing I did when I was atLiri was my first building job and I used the prisoners under my control to help build me a squash court and I think that was the first squash court built up in a country station in Uganda and I remember it most vividly that I built this squash court including a little gallery for the princely sum of £26"; embargo on colnial staff joining KAR during Second World War; joining KAR; opinion of influence of global deployment of African soldiers during war.
REEL 2 Continues: experiences with Nyloti, Lnago and Achole tribes during service with 34th KAR and 21st East African Bde during Second World War; reactions Achole tribe to colonial discipline; elephant hunting; conservation of game, creation of national parks as DC for Achole; close British relations with Acoloe tribe; structure and role of district and provincial officers, as DC "all the time you felt you were the boss and the exercise of power was something that one enjoyed, one enjoyed the progress made in the district tremendously..one felt ones vocation was really being me there"; opinion of posting to Toro tribe area, opinion of Toros; copper and cobalt mining in Toro areas; recollections of Toros; visit of Queen Elizabeth II to Uganda in 1954; concerns about Queen's security after Mau Mau threats; "MM of course was one of the symptoms of extreme nationalism which were happening in Kenya at the time, but there were symptoms not quite as severe as Uganda. I think the reasosn for this nationalism was that so many of the Ugandan Africans had seen what happened elsewhere and they wanted to get control of their own country as quickly as possible, a consequence of this was that there were small outbreaks of nationalism which took various forms in the districts of Uganda..certain amount at Achole..it didn't worry ius unduly but it did to some extent...in some of the other districts life was becoming really very difficult for the protectorate government officers and for the DC...extreme incidents if nationalismn in Toro distrcit linked to land tenure because of the transfer of tribal land to freehold teneure system belonging to the labourer; role as permanent secretary in Ministry of Security and External Relations; role of Ministry including monitoring groups, political parties "the special branch kept very close tabs on the main political leaders ..we considered these to be peopel of seditiobn and subversion..there was a great influence of communism or attempted communism in Uganda at the time..scholarships were given to Africans to get their training in Prague and Moscow and various places behind the Iron Curtain and these people would come back after a time and stir up trouble in Uganda; concern for spread of problems from Kenya; "the emergence of political parties in Uganda was a thing which really was not approved of by the district staff, the DCs and the ADCs, it was adifficut time..only way forward a system of demeocratic rules along the lines of Britain..this was the only type of government that we knew about and this was the only type of government that we thought we were capable of passing on to a subject race"
REEL 3 Continues: posting with Secretariat of Entebbe to Buganda in 1959; situation in Buganda; opinion of incompleteness of training of government officials at premature end of Britain's protectorate of Uganda; opinion of British colonial admininistrative achivement in Uganda undone by "Idi Amin and his henchmen"