COLONIES IN A CHANGING WORLD
bodies and communities and by the agencies of education and of
public opinion is needed. Then the planning must be based on
ample research and survey: the advice must be based on detailed
field knowledge: and there must be an ample supply of men of first-
class calibre to go where the problems are.
The separate colonial powers will no doubt have their own funds
for colonial development and their own staff of experts and travelling
advisers, such as Britain, for instance, is already building up. There
should be no more difficulty in combining these with the resources of
the Colonial Commission in a common programme than there has
been difficulty in pooling the resources of, say, the Land-Grant Col-
leges, the State Universities, the forestry and agricultural services of
the Department of Agriculture, and the Young Farmers' Clubs with
those of the TVA in securing a sane agricultural development in the
Tennessee Valley area.
There remains the function of reviewing progress and of detecting
any failure of the colonial powers to live up to their executive re-
sponsibilities. It might be best that detailed review, including any
inspection which might prove necessary, should be kept in the hands
of the International Labour Office, which would then report to the
Colonial Commission on any matters concerning general principles
or demanding political action, or the Regional Councils might have
their own travelling inspectorate.
I have left to the last the most urgent problem—the raising of
standards of life in the backward tropical colonies. Though this is
primarily an economic and social problem, it has its political aspects.
If concerns the political future of the colonies themselves, since political
aspirations toward self-government must be built on the foundations
of prosperity and education. And it concerns the political future of
the advanced nations, since in the joint development by them of
backward areas is to be found the only possible substitute for im-
perialism in the tightly-knit unit world of after the war.
Let us first try to picture more in detail some of the hard facts
which are included in the phrase " tropical backwardness." It is not
easy, for the life of most colonial peoples is lived on a different level
of history from ours, and is measurable by quite other standards.
The tropics are in large part just emerging from primitive tribal exist-
ence ; at the best, they are still mainly in the barbaric phase of culture
—pre-scientific, prc-technological. They are almost entirely lacking
in the apparatus of modern civilization. The task of development is
immense—nothing less than the capital equipment of the tropics for
civilized living. But if we can carry it through, we shall have bene-