Skip to main content

Different drummer, same parade: Britain's Palestine labour department, 1942-1948

Resource type
Thesis type
(Thesis) Ph.D.
Date created
2007
Authors/Contributors
Author: Power, Jane
Abstract
This thesis examines a longstanding object of scholarly inquiry -- the degree and nature of Palestine's distinction from other settler colonies -- in light of two developing fields. Some historians now examine the social history of Palestine; others, twentieth-century British colonial theory and practice. The topic of labour administration in the British mandatory government -- the work of the Palestine Labour Department from 1942 to 1948 -- brings together the two perspectives. The thesis first surveys pressures on British colonial policy during the interwar period and the responses of the Colonial Office and colonial administrators. In particular, policies and programs reflected a growing importance accorded to colonial workers, both settlers and so-called "natives," as the approach of World War II revealed Britain's dependence on colonial stability to protect vital material and strategic resources. As it places the Palestine mandate in this context and analyzes the operation of the Palestine Labour Department, the thesis refers to the example of Northern Rhodesia, another colony with highly organized settler workers and a coalescing "native" workforce. Drawing mainly on British and mandate government archives, the thesis presents the department's aims, achievements, and deficiencies in light of support and hindrance from external political and economic forces and other parts of government. Examination of one protracted and ultimately uncompleted project, an attempt to set up a system of government-run labour exchanges, provides a detailed example of the strengths and vulnerabilities, strategies and tactics, of the agencies and interests that shaped labour administration in the mandate. The thesis argues that the Palestine Labour Department shared in the pressures from government and external forces that commonly affected contemporary colonial labour departments. At the same time, the distinctive characteristics of Palestine and its workforce required a labour department that differed in composition from its counterparts. That difference in experience and outlook made Palestine's labour agency a forerunner of the social service agencies of the succeeding phase of colonial administration.
Document
Copyright statement
Copyright is held by the author.
Permissions
The author has not granted permission for the file to be printed nor for the text to be copied and pasted. If you would like a printable copy of this thesis, please contact summit-permissions@sfu.ca.
Scholarly level
Language
English
Member of collection
Download file Size
etd3207.pdf 10.27 MB

Views & downloads - as of June 2023

Views: 15
Downloads: 0