The end of empire in British and French territories from Africa to the Pacific, the rise of China to near superpower status and the opening of political fissures on the Indian subcontinent - all are themes of global and enduring importance. Andrew Stuart's eventful career as a colonial administrator and diplomat took place against this international backdrop. Of Cargoes, Colonies and Kings gives an offbeat account of Andrew Stuart's wide-ranging experiences. Never a stereotypical colonialist, as the son of a missionary, he knew the people, the politicians and the kings of Uganda from his childhood and worked with them until 1965, four years after independence, when he joined the British Diplomatic Service. As a diplomat, before ending up as British Ambassador to Finland, he was soon drawn back into the closing stages of the British Empire. With politicians and colonial officials, he planned the future of the Seychelles, of Diego Garcia, of Hong Kong and finally of the Anglo-French Condominium of the New Hebrides, where he was the last British Resident Commissioner. Contradictory French and British agenda for decolonizing what was popularly known as the 'Pandemonium' there led to the bizarre 'Coconut War' - the last overseas adventure for the Royal Marines before the Falklands. General Charles Guthrie, former Chief of the British Defence Staff and now Baron Guthrie of Craigiebank, was also there as military adviser and in his foreword he writes: 'The British were fortunate to have Andrew Stuart as their representative. He was experienced, wise, pragmatic and patient. He writes with a light touch, but the reader should remember just how varied and difficult many of the problems he was confronted with during a distinguished career were.'
Of Cargoes, Colonies and Kings
Diplomatic and Administrative Service from Africa to the Pacific