THE ROYAL AFRICAN SOCIETY, AFRICAN AFFAIRS AND APARTHEID: THE MUSTOE CONTROVERSY OF 1970

THE ROYAL AFRICAN SOCIETY, AFRICAN AFFAIRS AND APARTHEID: THE MUSTOE CONTROVERSY OF 1970 Abstract Divisions between the Royal African Society and its flagship journal African Affairs emerged in 1970 when the Vice-President of the Society, Nelson Mustoe Q.C., defended South African apartheid as ‘moral, feasible and reasonable.’ This statement, part of a letter to The Times , was offered in support of the upcoming Springbok cricket tour of Britain. The letter elicited a backlash from various groups, including the scholars behind African Affairs , and the political pressure led to the cancellation of the tour. This paper argues that the Mustoe controversy was an emblematic moment, symbolizing the transition of British Empire and commonwealth, the beginning of the political activism phase of the anti-apartheid movement in Britain, and South Africa's isolation on the world stage. T he F ormer E ditor oftheTimes of Zambia , Richard Hall, thought that ‘no issue has so divided the country since the “Suez invasion” of 1956.’ The police were on standby; the British government was pleading for calm; and the press was making ‘dire forecasts about the violence to come.’ 1 It was spring 1970, and this was all about cricket, the sport of gentlemen and fair play. It was, more precisely, about the impending visit of the South African all-white cricket team, the Springboks. For the defenders of the soon-to-be cancelled cricket tour – not just the ruling body of the English cricketing establishment, the MCC (Marylebone Cricket Club), but a good proportion of the British public – cricket was a sport which was outside “politics” (the “non-political” defence was a common refrain amongst the conservative establishment). For the critics – sports commentators such as John Arlott (the voice of English cricket), churchmen (such as John Robinson, Bishop of Woolwich), academics, students and politicians – the Seventy Tour served only to reinforce racial discrimination and support of the South African regime. For some members of the Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS), an erstwhile bastion of empire still with its busts of Alfred Lord Milner and Cecil John Rhodes adorning the stairway at its central London headquarters, the Springbok visit undermined the very principles of the new Commonwealth. Sanctioning a cricket competition between a post-imperial multiracial Britain and a rightwing or verkrampte supremacist state was anathema. The Seventy Tour was scheduled just after the main phase of decolonization (1956–68) for British Africa had closed off in southern Africa with the three High Commission Territories of Basutoland (Lesotho), Bechuanaland (Botswana) and Swaziland. The divisions of 1970 also reverberated amongst Britain's Africanist community, at the Royal African Society (RAS – which shared its headquarters with the RCS) and the academics who ran the Society's flagship journal, African Affairs . There the controversy was sparked by a letter to The Times from Nelson Mustoe, Q.C., who ventured that ‘in South Africa there are special factors which make the separate development policy moral, feasible and reasonable.’ 2 Mustoe was the Vice-President of the RAS, although his letter made no mention of his affiliation. He went on to say that the critics of the Seventy Tour were introducing politics into sport. In this he made reference to the South African ban of the MCC tour of South Africa just two years beforehand, ostensibly for the English inclusion of the coloured cricketer Basil D'Oliveira in their squad, a move that Mustoe blamed not on the South African government but on the ‘dissentients’ whom he charged with fomenting the crisis. 3 As one would have expected, Mustoe's ill-considered comments caused a furore at the RAS, and the backlash led him to resign his executive position, although he did not retract or apologize for his statement. In the reporting on the Seventy Tour, the Mustoe affair was but a tiny journalistic morsel (although the RAS uproar did reach The Times Diary on 12th May 1970 under the head ‘Dissent threatens Royal African Society’) but it was symbolically significant on several levels. The affair highlighted a schism between the RAS establishment and the academics on the African Affairs editorial board, and it illustrates the changes that were underway both within the Society and the academic world. The journal was founded as the Journal of African Studies in 1901, at the endpoint of the “scramble” for Africa and close to the end of the Anglo-Boer War, and was in those early days very much a child of the period; an imperial instrument for the gathering of knowledge about Africa to facilitate the colonial project that was being launched. In those early days, the journal represented the business and colonial elite of British society, but from the 1960s onwards, when the study of Africa was becoming an academic enterprise, the journal, now renamed African Affairs, became less tied to the establishment and more exclusively academic. The Mustoe affair thus marked a point of transition for both the journal and the RAS. The “keep politics out of sport” campaign also met its demise in 1970s Britain. South Africa was eliminated as a factor in international sport and the Afrikaner government re-designated its multiracial policy multinational; and the Commonwealth of Nations in its 1971 Singapore Declaration declared its commitment to a set of liberal principles that were antithetical to the praxis of empire from which it had emerged. This is not to argue that these changes took place overnight, or that Britain's relations with the apartheid state were anything other than business as usual, 4 but to say that had Mustoe's comments been uttered in, say, 1955 or 1960, they would likely have received little attention. It was the zeitgeist of 1970 that placed an otherwise parochial fragment on the national stage; an antique statement became politically charged and totally out of place in Britain's new post imperial world. The academy's reactions to the Mustoe letter Mustoe's remarks in his Times letter could have been anticipated. Eight years beforehand, in his position as President of the Anglo-Ethiopian Society (AES) he had delivered an address to a joint assembly of the AES, the RCS and the RAS bemoaning the weakening of British influence in Ethiopia and wishing for more commercial opportunities amongst a people who were, in his words, ‘not well adapted in their way and thought to commerce and trade.’ 5 The address, a paternalistic programmatic statement on the need for progress in a country he had never set foot in, did not raise any criticism in the discussion that followed. The questions were more on the lines of seeking information. The South African born Mustoe, a taxation expert, held several directorships in “African” companies and was, at the time of his 1962 speech, chair of the South African Settlement Association, a body devoted to promoting white immigration to South Africa. It is likely, given the close business connections between South Africa and Britain, as well as the tight connection among the South African sporting establishment, business interests and the South African Department of Information, that Mustoe's stance in 1970 was not exactly “neutral.” 6 His views on South Africa were also well known, even if printed versions of them were buried in the book review section of African Affairs . In a short commentary on a book on South-West Africa (Namibia) penned in 1964, Mustoe refers to the Herero as ‘a race … [with] a considerable history of recalcitrance going back to the years before South Africa came to control South West Africa’, a rather euphemistic rendition of the Herero genocide at the hands of German colonialists in the first decade of the twentieth century. Later, in reviewing a UNESCO book he refers to it as being ‘slanted (though not inordinately so) against the apartheid policy.’ And then, just before his 1970 letter, he delivered a damning critique of Colin Legum's Africa Contemporary Record for 1969 (arguably, for those of us who wanted to know exactly what was going on in Africa at the time, the most important resource of the pre-internet age), writing that the ‘article on South Africa follows the usual line that the separate development policy will break down under the weight of the increasing number of Africans in the Republic. But this statement, almost always stated as fact, is in reality an opinion, and is not made stronger by being repeated.’ 7 Mustoe's credentials for reviewing these books did not rest on his academic qualifications. He had authored, in 1932, a book titled The Law and Organization of the British Civil Service but this hardly gave him the expertise to review books on contemporary Africa; that was predicated more on his qualifications of the “gentleman amateur” variety. The practice of having non-academics review books, dying in the 1960s, was practically moribund in the decade (and decades) to follow. The backlash from the academy came thick and fast. The anti-Mustoe camp reads like a who's who of the scholars at the intellectual vanguard of African research at the time, still well known today: Richard Rathbone, one of African Affairs ' editors, called Mustoe's remarks ‘an embarrassment to the Society.’ John Fage, W. M. Macmillan, Audrey Richards, Max Gluckman, Anthony Atmore, and Basil Davidson all weighed in. Macmillan referred to ‘the Times outbreak’, as being ‘only his latest “outbreak” and for years I wondered how he came to be V.P. of the R.A.S.’ which suggests, of course, that Mustoe was less of a representative of the RAS and more of a loose cannon. Anthony Atmore called Mustoe's views ‘most offensive.’ Margery Perham, more measured than her colleagues, thought that ‘on balance … I think he should resign’. The Kenyan High Commissioner to Britain,J. Karanja, was ‘distressed’ that Mustoe saw fit to uphold ‘the pernicious doctrine of apartheid.’ Dr. Audrey Richards ventured ‘I would sign or join any mini-demo not actually involving bloodshed.’ Those who supported Mustoe, or at least did not think it was up to the academics to press the issue but a matter of conscience for Mustoe himself, made the point that the detractors baying for his resignation were academics. Alison Smith wrote to Sir Kenneth Bradley, an old Northern Rhodesian official on the RAS Executive, that ‘… in the event of the Council taking a decision which could be in any sense interpreted as failing wholly to dissociate the Society from Mr. Mustoe's views, I should of course have no option but to resign the editorship of the journal.’ 8 The divisions between the old guard at the RAS and the mainly younger scholars at African Affairs were captured by McGill University's Peter Gutkind. Writing to the Chair of the RAS, Brian Macdona, a month after the letter to The Times , Gutkind characterized the remarks as ‘stupid and illiterate … While I suspect that his views are shared by a very large number of influential members of the Society, I wish to go on record as saying I totally oppose such views.’ 9 Not only did Gutkind want Mustoe to resign, he wanted the RAS to come out with an official statement condemning apartheid. In an initial draft of his response to Gutkind, Macdona stated that he had ‘no intention of asking the Society to make any statement with regard to apartheid … The Society, as a charity is not empowered to take any action which might be regarded as interference in the domestic politics of an African country.’ He revised the latter in a subsequent draft (the letter appears never to have been sent) reworking the last part of the sentence to read ‘… not empowered to take any action which might be regarded as political.’ 10 Macdona's “non-political” line had a long tradition, and since its foundation the RAS had been entwined with political and economic interests – counted among the original members were Chartered Company acolytes of the new imperialism such as Sir George Goldie, J. A. Hutton of the British Cotton Growing Association, shipping magnates John Holt and Sir Alfred Jones of Elder Dempster, and thirteen members of the House of Commons 11 (when the Commons was still not a house of commoners). It is important to note, however, that two of the dissenters in the Mustoe controversy – Margery Perham and W. M. Macmillan – had been expounding their views on African developments in the pages of the Society's journal African Affairs since the 1930s. Macmillan, who deserves his place as a major force in South African historiography, had published five articles and six book reviews between the 1930s and 1960s. While the journal played host to proconsuls, district officers, aristocrats and politicians, there were many prominent academics who graced the pages of the journal in the colonial era – anthropologists like Max Gluckman, founder of the Manchester school, Richard Rattray and C. K. Meek, and the self-styled expert on race relations, Maurice Evans. Yet some of these figures – including some anthropologists such as the vehement critic of colonialism, Max Gluckman – were closely tied to the colonial project ‘employed by the colonial administration either on a contract basis or as full-time colonial officers.’ 12 The evolution of African Affairs However, until the immediate post-second World War years the Society with its cohort of colonial officers, including many governors or ex-governors, retired soldiers, missionaries and educators, provided many of the contributors to African Affairs . Reflecting on the first issue of the first volume of 1935 when the journal was rechristened the Journal of the Royal African Society (formerly Journal of the African Society ), Tony Kirk-Greene pointed out, ‘two-thirds of the contributors were designated KCMG, CMG or CIE.’ 13 The focus of the journal was on understanding Africa, its strange customs and problems of administration – understanding Africa's peoples so that one might rule them more efficiently. 14 Clearly, the discourse on African affairs by African Affairs was distinctly Orientalist, although the depiction of the African “other” was that of a people mired in languishing primitivism in need of elevation to civilization, unlike that of the Asian “other” of ‘languorous … perfumed sensuality’, who had passed through civilization and reached effete decadence. 15 The author of a 1923 article cited by David Killingray in his content survey of African Affairs considered the rubric ‘Dark Continent’ for Africa ‘well deserved, for all the light of civilization that illumes it has come from outside …’. The author was none other than Arthur Percival Newton, Rhodes Professor of Imperial History at King's College. The view of Africa as depicted in the journal is neatly summed up by Killingray in this unpublished survey of the years until 1930: ‘Overall the tone of the writers was confident and in some cases self-congratulatory as they described a continent that was slowly being tamed, its resources developed, the wealth tapped, and its people being brought slowly within the bounds of modernization.’ 16 What might be termed as the colonialist mentality persisted well into the 1950s, but by 1960 there was a ‘rapidly shrinking cohort of retired military officers, colonial civil servants … writing along the lines of “Progress and Problems in [My Territory]”’ 17 and the academy was more in evidence in the pages of the journal. Although African Affairs was, up until the Second World War at least, concerned primarily with the nature of African society, economic development and the politics of administration, the editors (and their sponsors) made great play of the fact that the journal was “neutral” or non-political. This meant that the objective of scholarship was to avoid controversies and opinion and keep to the facts. Each issue of the journal opened with a Note outlining its objectives. The very first Note, in the first issue, began with: ‘There are many subjects in Africa, such as Racial Characteristics, Labour, Disease, Currency, Banking, Education and so on’ that the journal would focus on. However, ‘Politics’ was added in 1906 (placed after ‘Racial Characteristics’) and by July 1907 was expanded to ‘Political and Industrial Conditions’. The Edwardian style preamble was dropped after July 1932 issue to be replaced with a brief statement opening the 1933 volume (and thereafter) confirming the Society's ‘non-political’ nature. In his Presidential address for 1921, Earl Buxton, fresh from his stint as High Commissioner for South Africa (clearly a non-political position!), claimed that the Society's ‘main object is the philosophic and scientific study of African subjects, races, customs, history and languages. Politics, Commerce [sic.] and Propaganda are outside its scope’ (ten years earlier Sir George Goldie said the Society was for ‘scientific study of all African matters’). 18 As Buxton had taken great pride in assenting to the Native Affairs Bill of 1920, an Act that formalized the administrative segregation of the “races” in South Africa, eliminating the possibility of African integration into central government, his definition of “non-political” would have been a stretch even by 1921 standards. Non-political may have meant having no affiliation to any political party, at least not one that was explicitly connected to the journal. The “non-political” trope found its way (via the conservative side) into the debate over the Stop the Seventy Tour. While the anti-apartheid activists concentrated on the ‘morally indefensible policy of apartheid in sport’, in the words of Louis Eaks of the Young Liberals in September 1969, 19 the “race question” was conspicuous by its absence for the promoters of the tour. The MCC and its supporters saw the 1970 conflict as a “law and order” question. They attacked the Stop the Seventy demonstrators for turning a sports issue into a political one, and sanctioning civil disobedience to advance their leftist or what they sometimes described as communist-hooligan aims. This was hardly an accurate description of Young Liberals and church groups. What is interesting about the Mustoe intervention is the fact that the RAS vice-president did move outside the “law and order” narrative and attempted to engage the debate in normative terms – making it a moral issue (turning racial discrimination into apartheid as racial harmony). He was one of the few to have done so. The cricket tour was called off. On 22 May 1970 the Cricket Council, under pressure from a Labour Government worried about an international boycott of the upcoming Commonwealth Games scheduled for July in Edinburgh, ended its intransigence. 20 The cancellation of the tour effectively put paid to South Africa's participation in international sport: in documenting the multiple exclusions of the apartheid regime – table tennis, football, volleyball, swimming, hockey and athletics to name just a handful – Robert Archer and Antoine Bouillon declare that ‘1970 was the year when the nightmare of white South African sportsmen came true.’ 21 They also point to the beginnings of SASPO – the formation in September 1970 of the South African Non-Racial Sports Organization. 22 Another twenty years were to elapse before the apartheid regime collapsed. The demise of apartheid like the end of Soviet Communism at the same time was preceded by an era of reform. In South Africa, those aspects deemed unimportant to the power structure (sometimes referred to as petty apartheid) were the first to go: SASPO is an example of the new dispensation. Yet this did not mean that cricket then flourished as a black man's sport. Terence Ranger, using Brian Willan's work on Kimberley in the 1890s, shows how the emerging educated black elite took to cricket for the British values it embodied, especially its importance in building character. However, Ranger postulated that: ‘In South Africa there was no room for a cricket playing black ruling class. African cricket withered away, to be replaced later by the proletarian association football.’ 23 Cricket and apartheid were thus at odds both within South Africa and in post-imperial Britain. The anti-apartheid movement and the academy At the same time as the Mustoe affair and the Stop the Seventy tour was in full flow, Frederick (Rick) Johnstone penned an article for African Affairs titled ‘White prosperity and white supremacy in South Africa today’, probably the most seminal article in the history of anti-apartheid. 24 The long-time liberal view of “race” as being at odds with “modernization” (or capitalist development) was opened up by a Marxist interpretation which showed that capitalism was not an adversary of racism but its promoter; he did this in sixteen pages which seemingly started the liberal-radical debate of South African history. 25 At this time, the South African seminar at the University of London entered a new and exciting phase. Just after the Mustoe Affair, Shula Marks introduced the “radical” South African seminar, which in Rathbone's words served as ‘the rehearsal studio for towering figures in the field like Martin Legassick, Stanley Trapido, Harold Wolpe, Charles van Onselen as well as Shula herself.’ 26 Indeed, the Institute of Commonwealth Studies at the University of London could well be considered the place where the liberal/radical debate in South African historiography began. 27 African Affairs also became the venue of the exciting New African History with articles that became standard fare for graduate students and later essential reading for university teaching syllabi, articles that questioned Eurocentrism and the impact of capitalism on Africa. The new dispensation of the Society's journal had one disgruntled member writing to the RAS Treasurer in 1979: ‘why should there not be a reduced subscription for [RAS] members who do not want this boring and left-wing slanted publication’. 28 What was happening in the London academy was no more than a replication of major changes in the state of the British Empire. The obvious link is with the end of decolonization, with Swaziland receiving its independence in 1968, a territory long coveted by the South African regime. 29 But another dimension is the shrinking of what is now known as the British World or the old white settler territories of the Commonwealth. As Anthony Hopkins has cogently argued, the late 1960s and 70s signified the “real” era of decolonization for the British “white” empire. Canada and Australia, for instance, abandoned their legal commitment to white supremacy and unity. So, within the British World, Hopkins tells us, as well as throughout the independent nations of Asia and Africa, South Africa's assault on human rights and subscription to racial domination isolated it (and Rhodesia) from the community of nations. ‘By the close of the 1950s the white empire … was losing its vitality; by the close of the 1960s, its expiration date was in sight.’ The British World was being undermined by nationalism, globalization and the movements for indigenous rights within each country's borders. 30 The only escapees from this process were South Africa and Rhodesia, the pariah states of the 60s and 70s, and for South Africa, the 80s and early 90s also. These changes were symbolized by the first major campaign of the British AAM (Anti-Apartheid Movement) against Barclays Bank's investment in the Caborra Bassa project (see their Annual Report for 1970), which threatened to advance South Africa's grip on the subcontinent. 31 Church groups and other anti-apartheid groups took up their cudgels to attack the “constructive engagement” policies of the British and American governments. While the AAM had been meeting since the early to mid-60s, the Stop the Seventy debate was the one of the biggest debates in all the movement's years right up to 1994, a debate which involved a ‘new generation of activists’ in the AAM, with Tory papers like the Express and left-liberal ones like The Guardian arguing for and against the Tour. 32 The new dynamic AAM emerged victorious because the Seventy tour was stopped, and while white supremacy lingered on for two more decades, the AAM's campaign was no hollow victory. Conclusion The journal African Affairs began life as a project of politicians, bureaucrats, colonial officers, and other “interested” parties, on how to rule this largely unknown continent, and understanding the potential of economic development (or, more accurately, underdevelopment). African Affairs , like any other publication of this time, represents very much a “colonial” archive up until 1970. In Ann Stoler's words, referring to another example, it should be understood as much as ‘a site of knowledge production’ as ‘knowledge retrieval’. 33 While UDI and apartheid supporters sometimes had a forum at RAS meetings, their influence waned after 1970. Richard Rathbone suggests that the late 1960s and early 1970s was not only the time when African Affairs moved from being ‘a Society house journal into being (sometimes) a radical learned journal’, but when ‘the “establishment” was … drifting from indifference to the South African regime to much more critical positions’. 34 By 1970 African Affairs had already established its academic credentials and its editorial autonomy. The Mustoe affair was a symbol of the changing world, of an empire transformed and an ideology (white supremacy) weakened and fragile. The 1970s witnessed the first glimmers of the reform of apartheid in South Africa, reforms that were meant to shore up white supremacy and unity, but which in essence sounded apartheid's death-knell in the early 1990s. In the academy, the late 1960s represented a coming of age of African studies in Britain. The debates over development, race and class, slavery and nationalism that were being held in the late 1960s introduced a new dynamic in African studies. Since its inception, African Affairs had prided itself on a scientific investigation of the continent. In its early stages, the journal was very much a hands-on fact-finding mission linked to what some have referred to as the British genius for empiricism, something that comes through in a work that was published to mark the 100 th anniversary of the RAS, The British Intellectual Engagement with Africa in the Twentieth Century . 35 Following, although not because of, the Mustoe controversy, African Affairs established its credentials as a leading analytical commentator on contemporary Africa. It became more political in the sense that the discipline of politics, and more recently, political science, has come to the fore, and it has, like its sponsor the RAS, transcended its colonial origins. At the same time, the journal's back issues still represent a rich and extant part of the colonial archive. It is likely the most important resource for understanding the way that Africa has been perceived over the course of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries by the British political, colonial and intellectual establishment. The Mustoe controversy and the changing face of African Affairs highlight the many transitions that were taking place in economic, intellectual, economic, political, and social terms, with profound implications for apartheid, its detractors, and supporters and opponents of the colonial project. 1. Gemini News Service, ‘Cricket storm shakes British establishment’, 15 May 1970, in Royal African Society Archives [RAS], Bristol Empire-Commonwealth Museum, Box 15 (514). For pointing to this material and furnishing me with papers summarizing the contents of African Affairs, my sincere thanks to David Killingray. For his insights, and those of Michael Twaddle and Richard Rathbone, I owe a debt of gratitude. Those insights are in e-mail correspondence (2009–2011) in the personal possession of the author. Suggestions by the editors and an anonymous reviewer have helped clarify my position. 2. The Times , 24 April 1970, clipping in RAS 15/514. 3. Bruce Murray shows that the Vorster government did not, as previously thought, ever consider accepting a multiracial cricket team from Britain; Vorster wanted to avoid a formal ban so that South Africa's continued participation in international sport would not be jeopardized. See Bruce Murray, ‘Politics and cricket: the D'Oliveira affair of 1968’, Journal of Southern African Studies27 , 4 (2001), pp. 667–84. 4. Ronald Hyam and Peter Henshaw, The Lion and the Springbok : Britain and South Africa since the Boer War (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2003), pp. 325–30. 5. Address, 3 May 1962, ‘Modern Ethiopia’, African Affairs61 , 244 (1962), pp. 216–22. 6. The business connection with cricket was particularly strong. South African industrialists had established the South African Foundation that had close ties to Pretoria's Department of Information and ‘took a strong interest in promoting international sports relations for white South Africa.’ Peter Hain, Don't Play with Apartheid : The background to the Stop the Seventy Tour (Allen and Unwin, London, 1971), p. 94. Hain was the leader of the Stop the Seventy campaign. For more on South Africa and 1970, see Richard Lapchick, The Politics of Race and International Sport: The case of South Africa (Greenwood, London, 1975), chapter 5 and Robert Archer and Antoine Bouillon, The South African Game : Sport and racism (Zed Press, London, 1982), chapters 8 and 9. 7. Respectively African Affairs63 , 252 (1964), pp. 233–34; 67 , 269 (1968), pp. 370–71; 69 , 279 (1970), p. 299. 8. The letters are all in RAS 15/514. Most can be found in ‘Copies of letters or extracts of letters sent to Professor J.N.D. Anderson’ in that file. 9. Ibid. 10. Ibid. Brian Macdona died in the middle of 1971. See ‘The seventieth anniversary of the founding of the Royal African Society’, African Affairs70, 280 (1971), pp. 217–21, p. 219, which also elucidates the original goals of the Society. 11. John Fage's ‘When the African Society was founded, who were the Africanists?’, RAS, Box 6, appears with the same title in African Affairs94 , 376 (1995), pp. 369–81. 12. John Harrington and Ambreena Manji, ‘The emergence of African law as a academic discipline in Africa’, African Affairs102 , 406, (2003), p. 113, 109–34. 13. A.H.M Kirk-Greene, ‘Content analysis of the Journal of the Royal African Society 1931–60’, Proposed Centennial History of the Royal African Society Background Paper III (St Antony's College, Oxford, 1994), p. 18 14. See Prefatory Note in C. W. Hobley, Ethnology of the A-kamba and Other East African Tribes (Frank Cass, London, 1971). 15. Marina Warner, ‘Review of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam’, London Review of Books , 9 April 2009, p. 13. 16. David Killingray, ‘Survey of the contents of The Journal of the African Society , 1901–1930’, n.d., pp. 11, 5. In private possession of the author. 17. Kirk-Greene, ‘Content analysis, 1931–60’, p. 18. 18. Earl Buxton, ‘South Africa and its native problem’, African Affairs20 , 79 (1921), pp. 161–73, p. 162; George Goldie, ‘Britain in Africa and the work of the African Society’, African Affairs10 , 39 (1911), pp. 249–57, p. 253. 19. Cited in Lapchick, Politics of Race , p. 156. 20. BBC On This Day, ‘1970: South Africa cricket tour called off ’, BBC , 22 May, < http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/may/22/newsid_2504000/2504573.stm > (16 February 2014). 21. Archer and Bouillon, The South African Game , p. 206. 22. Ibid., p. 228. 23. Terence Ranger, ‘The invention of tradition in colonial Africa’, in Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger (eds), The Invention of Tradition (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1992), pp. 238–39. 24. Frederick Johnstone, ‘White prosperity and white supremacy in South Africa today’, African Affairs69 , 275 (1970), pp. 124–40. Included in this virtual issue. 25. Martin Murray, ‘The triumph of Marxist approaches in South African social and labour history’, Journal of Asian and African Studies23 , 1 (1988), pp. 79–101, p. 80. 26. Richard Rathbone, e-mail to author, 8 March 2011. 27. I witnessed a heated exchange between the late Leonard Thompson, delivering a talk on South African demography, and a graduate student, Robert Ross who went on to become a major historian of South Africa. The “old” liberal crossing swords with the “young” radical. This was in May 1971. 28. Letter of 11 December 1979, RAS, Box 13, ‘Cancelled membership’. Hard on Johnstone's heels, there were Donald Denoon and Adam Kuper, ‘Nationalist historians in search of a nation: the ‘New Historiography’ in Dar Es Salaam’, African Affairs69 , 277 (1970), pp. 329–49; C. C. Wrigley, ‘Historicism in Africa: slavery and state formation’, African Affairs70 , 279 (1971), pp. 113–24; Colin Bundy, ‘The emergence and decline of the South African peasantry’, African Affairs71 , 285 (1972), pp. 369–88. All were key readings for my graduate work at Dalhousie. 29. Hyam and Henshaw, The Lion and the Springbok , pp. 102–17. 30. Anthony Hopkins, ‘Rethinking decolonisation’, Past and Present200 , 1 (August 2008), p. 228, 210–47. 31. John Nerys, ‘The campaign against British bank involvement in Apartheid South Africa’, African Affairs99 , 396 (2000), pp. 415–33. Barclays was a long-time advertiser on the back page of African Affairs , a spot usurped by Standard Chartered Bank in the year 2000. Standard Chartered, while based in the U.K. is a bank whose business is focused on the third world and parts of the British World. In part, and ironically, it emerged in 1969 from the Standard Bank of British South Africa. 32. Håkan Thörn, Anti-Apartheid and the Emergence of a Global Civil Society (Palgrave-Macmillan, Basingstoke, 2006), chapter 6. 33. Ann Stoler, ‘Colonial archives and the arts of governance: on the content of the form’, in Carolyn Hamilton, Verne Harris et al. (eds), Refiguring the Archives (Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, 2002), p. 85. 34. Richard Rathbone, e-mail to author, 8 March 2011. 35. Douglas Rimmer and Anthony Kirk-Greene (eds), The British Intellectual Engagement with Africa in the Twentieth Century (St. Martin's Press in association with the Royal African Society, New York, NY, 2000). For a critique see my review in Albion33 , 4 (2001), pp. 708–709. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal African Society. All rights reserved http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png African Affairs Oxford University Press

THE ROYAL AFRICAN SOCIETY, AFRICAN AFFAIRS AND APARTHEID: THE MUSTOE CONTROVERSY OF 1970

African Affairs , Volume Advance Article – Apr 25, 2014

Loading next page...
 
/lp/ou_press/the-royal-african-society-african-affairs-and-apartheid-the-mustoe-Lx5IRJIsUI
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Copyright
© The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal African Society. All rights reserved
ISSN
0001-9909
eISSN
1468-2621
D.O.I.
10.1093/afraf/adu025
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract Divisions between the Royal African Society and its flagship journal African Affairs emerged in 1970 when the Vice-President of the Society, Nelson Mustoe Q.C., defended South African apartheid as ‘moral, feasible and reasonable.’ This statement, part of a letter to The Times , was offered in support of the upcoming Springbok cricket tour of Britain. The letter elicited a backlash from various groups, including the scholars behind African Affairs , and the political pressure led to the cancellation of the tour. This paper argues that the Mustoe controversy was an emblematic moment, symbolizing the transition of British Empire and commonwealth, the beginning of the political activism phase of the anti-apartheid movement in Britain, and South Africa's isolation on the world stage. T he F ormer E ditor oftheTimes of Zambia , Richard Hall, thought that ‘no issue has so divided the country since the “Suez invasion” of 1956.’ The police were on standby; the British government was pleading for calm; and the press was making ‘dire forecasts about the violence to come.’ 1 It was spring 1970, and this was all about cricket, the sport of gentlemen and fair play. It was, more precisely, about the impending visit of the South African all-white cricket team, the Springboks. For the defenders of the soon-to-be cancelled cricket tour – not just the ruling body of the English cricketing establishment, the MCC (Marylebone Cricket Club), but a good proportion of the British public – cricket was a sport which was outside “politics” (the “non-political” defence was a common refrain amongst the conservative establishment). For the critics – sports commentators such as John Arlott (the voice of English cricket), churchmen (such as John Robinson, Bishop of Woolwich), academics, students and politicians – the Seventy Tour served only to reinforce racial discrimination and support of the South African regime. For some members of the Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS), an erstwhile bastion of empire still with its busts of Alfred Lord Milner and Cecil John Rhodes adorning the stairway at its central London headquarters, the Springbok visit undermined the very principles of the new Commonwealth. Sanctioning a cricket competition between a post-imperial multiracial Britain and a rightwing or verkrampte supremacist state was anathema. The Seventy Tour was scheduled just after the main phase of decolonization (1956–68) for British Africa had closed off in southern Africa with the three High Commission Territories of Basutoland (Lesotho), Bechuanaland (Botswana) and Swaziland. The divisions of 1970 also reverberated amongst Britain's Africanist community, at the Royal African Society (RAS – which shared its headquarters with the RCS) and the academics who ran the Society's flagship journal, African Affairs . There the controversy was sparked by a letter to The Times from Nelson Mustoe, Q.C., who ventured that ‘in South Africa there are special factors which make the separate development policy moral, feasible and reasonable.’ 2 Mustoe was the Vice-President of the RAS, although his letter made no mention of his affiliation. He went on to say that the critics of the Seventy Tour were introducing politics into sport. In this he made reference to the South African ban of the MCC tour of South Africa just two years beforehand, ostensibly for the English inclusion of the coloured cricketer Basil D'Oliveira in their squad, a move that Mustoe blamed not on the South African government but on the ‘dissentients’ whom he charged with fomenting the crisis. 3 As one would have expected, Mustoe's ill-considered comments caused a furore at the RAS, and the backlash led him to resign his executive position, although he did not retract or apologize for his statement. In the reporting on the Seventy Tour, the Mustoe affair was but a tiny journalistic morsel (although the RAS uproar did reach The Times Diary on 12th May 1970 under the head ‘Dissent threatens Royal African Society’) but it was symbolically significant on several levels. The affair highlighted a schism between the RAS establishment and the academics on the African Affairs editorial board, and it illustrates the changes that were underway both within the Society and the academic world. The journal was founded as the Journal of African Studies in 1901, at the endpoint of the “scramble” for Africa and close to the end of the Anglo-Boer War, and was in those early days very much a child of the period; an imperial instrument for the gathering of knowledge about Africa to facilitate the colonial project that was being launched. In those early days, the journal represented the business and colonial elite of British society, but from the 1960s onwards, when the study of Africa was becoming an academic enterprise, the journal, now renamed African Affairs, became less tied to the establishment and more exclusively academic. The Mustoe affair thus marked a point of transition for both the journal and the RAS. The “keep politics out of sport” campaign also met its demise in 1970s Britain. South Africa was eliminated as a factor in international sport and the Afrikaner government re-designated its multiracial policy multinational; and the Commonwealth of Nations in its 1971 Singapore Declaration declared its commitment to a set of liberal principles that were antithetical to the praxis of empire from which it had emerged. This is not to argue that these changes took place overnight, or that Britain's relations with the apartheid state were anything other than business as usual, 4 but to say that had Mustoe's comments been uttered in, say, 1955 or 1960, they would likely have received little attention. It was the zeitgeist of 1970 that placed an otherwise parochial fragment on the national stage; an antique statement became politically charged and totally out of place in Britain's new post imperial world. The academy's reactions to the Mustoe letter Mustoe's remarks in his Times letter could have been anticipated. Eight years beforehand, in his position as President of the Anglo-Ethiopian Society (AES) he had delivered an address to a joint assembly of the AES, the RCS and the RAS bemoaning the weakening of British influence in Ethiopia and wishing for more commercial opportunities amongst a people who were, in his words, ‘not well adapted in their way and thought to commerce and trade.’ 5 The address, a paternalistic programmatic statement on the need for progress in a country he had never set foot in, did not raise any criticism in the discussion that followed. The questions were more on the lines of seeking information. The South African born Mustoe, a taxation expert, held several directorships in “African” companies and was, at the time of his 1962 speech, chair of the South African Settlement Association, a body devoted to promoting white immigration to South Africa. It is likely, given the close business connections between South Africa and Britain, as well as the tight connection among the South African sporting establishment, business interests and the South African Department of Information, that Mustoe's stance in 1970 was not exactly “neutral.” 6 His views on South Africa were also well known, even if printed versions of them were buried in the book review section of African Affairs . In a short commentary on a book on South-West Africa (Namibia) penned in 1964, Mustoe refers to the Herero as ‘a race … [with] a considerable history of recalcitrance going back to the years before South Africa came to control South West Africa’, a rather euphemistic rendition of the Herero genocide at the hands of German colonialists in the first decade of the twentieth century. Later, in reviewing a UNESCO book he refers to it as being ‘slanted (though not inordinately so) against the apartheid policy.’ And then, just before his 1970 letter, he delivered a damning critique of Colin Legum's Africa Contemporary Record for 1969 (arguably, for those of us who wanted to know exactly what was going on in Africa at the time, the most important resource of the pre-internet age), writing that the ‘article on South Africa follows the usual line that the separate development policy will break down under the weight of the increasing number of Africans in the Republic. But this statement, almost always stated as fact, is in reality an opinion, and is not made stronger by being repeated.’ 7 Mustoe's credentials for reviewing these books did not rest on his academic qualifications. He had authored, in 1932, a book titled The Law and Organization of the British Civil Service but this hardly gave him the expertise to review books on contemporary Africa; that was predicated more on his qualifications of the “gentleman amateur” variety. The practice of having non-academics review books, dying in the 1960s, was practically moribund in the decade (and decades) to follow. The backlash from the academy came thick and fast. The anti-Mustoe camp reads like a who's who of the scholars at the intellectual vanguard of African research at the time, still well known today: Richard Rathbone, one of African Affairs ' editors, called Mustoe's remarks ‘an embarrassment to the Society.’ John Fage, W. M. Macmillan, Audrey Richards, Max Gluckman, Anthony Atmore, and Basil Davidson all weighed in. Macmillan referred to ‘the Times outbreak’, as being ‘only his latest “outbreak” and for years I wondered how he came to be V.P. of the R.A.S.’ which suggests, of course, that Mustoe was less of a representative of the RAS and more of a loose cannon. Anthony Atmore called Mustoe's views ‘most offensive.’ Margery Perham, more measured than her colleagues, thought that ‘on balance … I think he should resign’. The Kenyan High Commissioner to Britain,J. Karanja, was ‘distressed’ that Mustoe saw fit to uphold ‘the pernicious doctrine of apartheid.’ Dr. Audrey Richards ventured ‘I would sign or join any mini-demo not actually involving bloodshed.’ Those who supported Mustoe, or at least did not think it was up to the academics to press the issue but a matter of conscience for Mustoe himself, made the point that the detractors baying for his resignation were academics. Alison Smith wrote to Sir Kenneth Bradley, an old Northern Rhodesian official on the RAS Executive, that ‘… in the event of the Council taking a decision which could be in any sense interpreted as failing wholly to dissociate the Society from Mr. Mustoe's views, I should of course have no option but to resign the editorship of the journal.’ 8 The divisions between the old guard at the RAS and the mainly younger scholars at African Affairs were captured by McGill University's Peter Gutkind. Writing to the Chair of the RAS, Brian Macdona, a month after the letter to The Times , Gutkind characterized the remarks as ‘stupid and illiterate … While I suspect that his views are shared by a very large number of influential members of the Society, I wish to go on record as saying I totally oppose such views.’ 9 Not only did Gutkind want Mustoe to resign, he wanted the RAS to come out with an official statement condemning apartheid. In an initial draft of his response to Gutkind, Macdona stated that he had ‘no intention of asking the Society to make any statement with regard to apartheid … The Society, as a charity is not empowered to take any action which might be regarded as interference in the domestic politics of an African country.’ He revised the latter in a subsequent draft (the letter appears never to have been sent) reworking the last part of the sentence to read ‘… not empowered to take any action which might be regarded as political.’ 10 Macdona's “non-political” line had a long tradition, and since its foundation the RAS had been entwined with political and economic interests – counted among the original members were Chartered Company acolytes of the new imperialism such as Sir George Goldie, J. A. Hutton of the British Cotton Growing Association, shipping magnates John Holt and Sir Alfred Jones of Elder Dempster, and thirteen members of the House of Commons 11 (when the Commons was still not a house of commoners). It is important to note, however, that two of the dissenters in the Mustoe controversy – Margery Perham and W. M. Macmillan – had been expounding their views on African developments in the pages of the Society's journal African Affairs since the 1930s. Macmillan, who deserves his place as a major force in South African historiography, had published five articles and six book reviews between the 1930s and 1960s. While the journal played host to proconsuls, district officers, aristocrats and politicians, there were many prominent academics who graced the pages of the journal in the colonial era – anthropologists like Max Gluckman, founder of the Manchester school, Richard Rattray and C. K. Meek, and the self-styled expert on race relations, Maurice Evans. Yet some of these figures – including some anthropologists such as the vehement critic of colonialism, Max Gluckman – were closely tied to the colonial project ‘employed by the colonial administration either on a contract basis or as full-time colonial officers.’ 12 The evolution of African Affairs However, until the immediate post-second World War years the Society with its cohort of colonial officers, including many governors or ex-governors, retired soldiers, missionaries and educators, provided many of the contributors to African Affairs . Reflecting on the first issue of the first volume of 1935 when the journal was rechristened the Journal of the Royal African Society (formerly Journal of the African Society ), Tony Kirk-Greene pointed out, ‘two-thirds of the contributors were designated KCMG, CMG or CIE.’ 13 The focus of the journal was on understanding Africa, its strange customs and problems of administration – understanding Africa's peoples so that one might rule them more efficiently. 14 Clearly, the discourse on African affairs by African Affairs was distinctly Orientalist, although the depiction of the African “other” was that of a people mired in languishing primitivism in need of elevation to civilization, unlike that of the Asian “other” of ‘languorous … perfumed sensuality’, who had passed through civilization and reached effete decadence. 15 The author of a 1923 article cited by David Killingray in his content survey of African Affairs considered the rubric ‘Dark Continent’ for Africa ‘well deserved, for all the light of civilization that illumes it has come from outside …’. The author was none other than Arthur Percival Newton, Rhodes Professor of Imperial History at King's College. The view of Africa as depicted in the journal is neatly summed up by Killingray in this unpublished survey of the years until 1930: ‘Overall the tone of the writers was confident and in some cases self-congratulatory as they described a continent that was slowly being tamed, its resources developed, the wealth tapped, and its people being brought slowly within the bounds of modernization.’ 16 What might be termed as the colonialist mentality persisted well into the 1950s, but by 1960 there was a ‘rapidly shrinking cohort of retired military officers, colonial civil servants … writing along the lines of “Progress and Problems in [My Territory]”’ 17 and the academy was more in evidence in the pages of the journal. Although African Affairs was, up until the Second World War at least, concerned primarily with the nature of African society, economic development and the politics of administration, the editors (and their sponsors) made great play of the fact that the journal was “neutral” or non-political. This meant that the objective of scholarship was to avoid controversies and opinion and keep to the facts. Each issue of the journal opened with a Note outlining its objectives. The very first Note, in the first issue, began with: ‘There are many subjects in Africa, such as Racial Characteristics, Labour, Disease, Currency, Banking, Education and so on’ that the journal would focus on. However, ‘Politics’ was added in 1906 (placed after ‘Racial Characteristics’) and by July 1907 was expanded to ‘Political and Industrial Conditions’. The Edwardian style preamble was dropped after July 1932 issue to be replaced with a brief statement opening the 1933 volume (and thereafter) confirming the Society's ‘non-political’ nature. In his Presidential address for 1921, Earl Buxton, fresh from his stint as High Commissioner for South Africa (clearly a non-political position!), claimed that the Society's ‘main object is the philosophic and scientific study of African subjects, races, customs, history and languages. Politics, Commerce [sic.] and Propaganda are outside its scope’ (ten years earlier Sir George Goldie said the Society was for ‘scientific study of all African matters’). 18 As Buxton had taken great pride in assenting to the Native Affairs Bill of 1920, an Act that formalized the administrative segregation of the “races” in South Africa, eliminating the possibility of African integration into central government, his definition of “non-political” would have been a stretch even by 1921 standards. Non-political may have meant having no affiliation to any political party, at least not one that was explicitly connected to the journal. The “non-political” trope found its way (via the conservative side) into the debate over the Stop the Seventy Tour. While the anti-apartheid activists concentrated on the ‘morally indefensible policy of apartheid in sport’, in the words of Louis Eaks of the Young Liberals in September 1969, 19 the “race question” was conspicuous by its absence for the promoters of the tour. The MCC and its supporters saw the 1970 conflict as a “law and order” question. They attacked the Stop the Seventy demonstrators for turning a sports issue into a political one, and sanctioning civil disobedience to advance their leftist or what they sometimes described as communist-hooligan aims. This was hardly an accurate description of Young Liberals and church groups. What is interesting about the Mustoe intervention is the fact that the RAS vice-president did move outside the “law and order” narrative and attempted to engage the debate in normative terms – making it a moral issue (turning racial discrimination into apartheid as racial harmony). He was one of the few to have done so. The cricket tour was called off. On 22 May 1970 the Cricket Council, under pressure from a Labour Government worried about an international boycott of the upcoming Commonwealth Games scheduled for July in Edinburgh, ended its intransigence. 20 The cancellation of the tour effectively put paid to South Africa's participation in international sport: in documenting the multiple exclusions of the apartheid regime – table tennis, football, volleyball, swimming, hockey and athletics to name just a handful – Robert Archer and Antoine Bouillon declare that ‘1970 was the year when the nightmare of white South African sportsmen came true.’ 21 They also point to the beginnings of SASPO – the formation in September 1970 of the South African Non-Racial Sports Organization. 22 Another twenty years were to elapse before the apartheid regime collapsed. The demise of apartheid like the end of Soviet Communism at the same time was preceded by an era of reform. In South Africa, those aspects deemed unimportant to the power structure (sometimes referred to as petty apartheid) were the first to go: SASPO is an example of the new dispensation. Yet this did not mean that cricket then flourished as a black man's sport. Terence Ranger, using Brian Willan's work on Kimberley in the 1890s, shows how the emerging educated black elite took to cricket for the British values it embodied, especially its importance in building character. However, Ranger postulated that: ‘In South Africa there was no room for a cricket playing black ruling class. African cricket withered away, to be replaced later by the proletarian association football.’ 23 Cricket and apartheid were thus at odds both within South Africa and in post-imperial Britain. The anti-apartheid movement and the academy At the same time as the Mustoe affair and the Stop the Seventy tour was in full flow, Frederick (Rick) Johnstone penned an article for African Affairs titled ‘White prosperity and white supremacy in South Africa today’, probably the most seminal article in the history of anti-apartheid. 24 The long-time liberal view of “race” as being at odds with “modernization” (or capitalist development) was opened up by a Marxist interpretation which showed that capitalism was not an adversary of racism but its promoter; he did this in sixteen pages which seemingly started the liberal-radical debate of South African history. 25 At this time, the South African seminar at the University of London entered a new and exciting phase. Just after the Mustoe Affair, Shula Marks introduced the “radical” South African seminar, which in Rathbone's words served as ‘the rehearsal studio for towering figures in the field like Martin Legassick, Stanley Trapido, Harold Wolpe, Charles van Onselen as well as Shula herself.’ 26 Indeed, the Institute of Commonwealth Studies at the University of London could well be considered the place where the liberal/radical debate in South African historiography began. 27 African Affairs also became the venue of the exciting New African History with articles that became standard fare for graduate students and later essential reading for university teaching syllabi, articles that questioned Eurocentrism and the impact of capitalism on Africa. The new dispensation of the Society's journal had one disgruntled member writing to the RAS Treasurer in 1979: ‘why should there not be a reduced subscription for [RAS] members who do not want this boring and left-wing slanted publication’. 28 What was happening in the London academy was no more than a replication of major changes in the state of the British Empire. The obvious link is with the end of decolonization, with Swaziland receiving its independence in 1968, a territory long coveted by the South African regime. 29 But another dimension is the shrinking of what is now known as the British World or the old white settler territories of the Commonwealth. As Anthony Hopkins has cogently argued, the late 1960s and 70s signified the “real” era of decolonization for the British “white” empire. Canada and Australia, for instance, abandoned their legal commitment to white supremacy and unity. So, within the British World, Hopkins tells us, as well as throughout the independent nations of Asia and Africa, South Africa's assault on human rights and subscription to racial domination isolated it (and Rhodesia) from the community of nations. ‘By the close of the 1950s the white empire … was losing its vitality; by the close of the 1960s, its expiration date was in sight.’ The British World was being undermined by nationalism, globalization and the movements for indigenous rights within each country's borders. 30 The only escapees from this process were South Africa and Rhodesia, the pariah states of the 60s and 70s, and for South Africa, the 80s and early 90s also. These changes were symbolized by the first major campaign of the British AAM (Anti-Apartheid Movement) against Barclays Bank's investment in the Caborra Bassa project (see their Annual Report for 1970), which threatened to advance South Africa's grip on the subcontinent. 31 Church groups and other anti-apartheid groups took up their cudgels to attack the “constructive engagement” policies of the British and American governments. While the AAM had been meeting since the early to mid-60s, the Stop the Seventy debate was the one of the biggest debates in all the movement's years right up to 1994, a debate which involved a ‘new generation of activists’ in the AAM, with Tory papers like the Express and left-liberal ones like The Guardian arguing for and against the Tour. 32 The new dynamic AAM emerged victorious because the Seventy tour was stopped, and while white supremacy lingered on for two more decades, the AAM's campaign was no hollow victory. Conclusion The journal African Affairs began life as a project of politicians, bureaucrats, colonial officers, and other “interested” parties, on how to rule this largely unknown continent, and understanding the potential of economic development (or, more accurately, underdevelopment). African Affairs , like any other publication of this time, represents very much a “colonial” archive up until 1970. In Ann Stoler's words, referring to another example, it should be understood as much as ‘a site of knowledge production’ as ‘knowledge retrieval’. 33 While UDI and apartheid supporters sometimes had a forum at RAS meetings, their influence waned after 1970. Richard Rathbone suggests that the late 1960s and early 1970s was not only the time when African Affairs moved from being ‘a Society house journal into being (sometimes) a radical learned journal’, but when ‘the “establishment” was … drifting from indifference to the South African regime to much more critical positions’. 34 By 1970 African Affairs had already established its academic credentials and its editorial autonomy. The Mustoe affair was a symbol of the changing world, of an empire transformed and an ideology (white supremacy) weakened and fragile. The 1970s witnessed the first glimmers of the reform of apartheid in South Africa, reforms that were meant to shore up white supremacy and unity, but which in essence sounded apartheid's death-knell in the early 1990s. In the academy, the late 1960s represented a coming of age of African studies in Britain. The debates over development, race and class, slavery and nationalism that were being held in the late 1960s introduced a new dynamic in African studies. Since its inception, African Affairs had prided itself on a scientific investigation of the continent. In its early stages, the journal was very much a hands-on fact-finding mission linked to what some have referred to as the British genius for empiricism, something that comes through in a work that was published to mark the 100 th anniversary of the RAS, The British Intellectual Engagement with Africa in the Twentieth Century . 35 Following, although not because of, the Mustoe controversy, African Affairs established its credentials as a leading analytical commentator on contemporary Africa. It became more political in the sense that the discipline of politics, and more recently, political science, has come to the fore, and it has, like its sponsor the RAS, transcended its colonial origins. At the same time, the journal's back issues still represent a rich and extant part of the colonial archive. It is likely the most important resource for understanding the way that Africa has been perceived over the course of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries by the British political, colonial and intellectual establishment. The Mustoe controversy and the changing face of African Affairs highlight the many transitions that were taking place in economic, intellectual, economic, political, and social terms, with profound implications for apartheid, its detractors, and supporters and opponents of the colonial project. 1. Gemini News Service, ‘Cricket storm shakes British establishment’, 15 May 1970, in Royal African Society Archives [RAS], Bristol Empire-Commonwealth Museum, Box 15 (514). For pointing to this material and furnishing me with papers summarizing the contents of African Affairs, my sincere thanks to David Killingray. For his insights, and those of Michael Twaddle and Richard Rathbone, I owe a debt of gratitude. Those insights are in e-mail correspondence (2009–2011) in the personal possession of the author. Suggestions by the editors and an anonymous reviewer have helped clarify my position. 2. The Times , 24 April 1970, clipping in RAS 15/514. 3. Bruce Murray shows that the Vorster government did not, as previously thought, ever consider accepting a multiracial cricket team from Britain; Vorster wanted to avoid a formal ban so that South Africa's continued participation in international sport would not be jeopardized. See Bruce Murray, ‘Politics and cricket: the D'Oliveira affair of 1968’, Journal of Southern African Studies27 , 4 (2001), pp. 667–84. 4. Ronald Hyam and Peter Henshaw, The Lion and the Springbok : Britain and South Africa since the Boer War (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2003), pp. 325–30. 5. Address, 3 May 1962, ‘Modern Ethiopia’, African Affairs61 , 244 (1962), pp. 216–22. 6. The business connection with cricket was particularly strong. South African industrialists had established the South African Foundation that had close ties to Pretoria's Department of Information and ‘took a strong interest in promoting international sports relations for white South Africa.’ Peter Hain, Don't Play with Apartheid : The background to the Stop the Seventy Tour (Allen and Unwin, London, 1971), p. 94. Hain was the leader of the Stop the Seventy campaign. For more on South Africa and 1970, see Richard Lapchick, The Politics of Race and International Sport: The case of South Africa (Greenwood, London, 1975), chapter 5 and Robert Archer and Antoine Bouillon, The South African Game : Sport and racism (Zed Press, London, 1982), chapters 8 and 9. 7. Respectively African Affairs63 , 252 (1964), pp. 233–34; 67 , 269 (1968), pp. 370–71; 69 , 279 (1970), p. 299. 8. The letters are all in RAS 15/514. Most can be found in ‘Copies of letters or extracts of letters sent to Professor J.N.D. Anderson’ in that file. 9. Ibid. 10. Ibid. Brian Macdona died in the middle of 1971. See ‘The seventieth anniversary of the founding of the Royal African Society’, African Affairs70, 280 (1971), pp. 217–21, p. 219, which also elucidates the original goals of the Society. 11. John Fage's ‘When the African Society was founded, who were the Africanists?’, RAS, Box 6, appears with the same title in African Affairs94 , 376 (1995), pp. 369–81. 12. John Harrington and Ambreena Manji, ‘The emergence of African law as a academic discipline in Africa’, African Affairs102 , 406, (2003), p. 113, 109–34. 13. A.H.M Kirk-Greene, ‘Content analysis of the Journal of the Royal African Society 1931–60’, Proposed Centennial History of the Royal African Society Background Paper III (St Antony's College, Oxford, 1994), p. 18 14. See Prefatory Note in C. W. Hobley, Ethnology of the A-kamba and Other East African Tribes (Frank Cass, London, 1971). 15. Marina Warner, ‘Review of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam’, London Review of Books , 9 April 2009, p. 13. 16. David Killingray, ‘Survey of the contents of The Journal of the African Society , 1901–1930’, n.d., pp. 11, 5. In private possession of the author. 17. Kirk-Greene, ‘Content analysis, 1931–60’, p. 18. 18. Earl Buxton, ‘South Africa and its native problem’, African Affairs20 , 79 (1921), pp. 161–73, p. 162; George Goldie, ‘Britain in Africa and the work of the African Society’, African Affairs10 , 39 (1911), pp. 249–57, p. 253. 19. Cited in Lapchick, Politics of Race , p. 156. 20. BBC On This Day, ‘1970: South Africa cricket tour called off ’, BBC , 22 May, < http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/may/22/newsid_2504000/2504573.stm > (16 February 2014). 21. Archer and Bouillon, The South African Game , p. 206. 22. Ibid., p. 228. 23. Terence Ranger, ‘The invention of tradition in colonial Africa’, in Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger (eds), The Invention of Tradition (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1992), pp. 238–39. 24. Frederick Johnstone, ‘White prosperity and white supremacy in South Africa today’, African Affairs69 , 275 (1970), pp. 124–40. Included in this virtual issue. 25. Martin Murray, ‘The triumph of Marxist approaches in South African social and labour history’, Journal of Asian and African Studies23 , 1 (1988), pp. 79–101, p. 80. 26. Richard Rathbone, e-mail to author, 8 March 2011. 27. I witnessed a heated exchange between the late Leonard Thompson, delivering a talk on South African demography, and a graduate student, Robert Ross who went on to become a major historian of South Africa. The “old” liberal crossing swords with the “young” radical. This was in May 1971. 28. Letter of 11 December 1979, RAS, Box 13, ‘Cancelled membership’. Hard on Johnstone's heels, there were Donald Denoon and Adam Kuper, ‘Nationalist historians in search of a nation: the ‘New Historiography’ in Dar Es Salaam’, African Affairs69 , 277 (1970), pp. 329–49; C. C. Wrigley, ‘Historicism in Africa: slavery and state formation’, African Affairs70 , 279 (1971), pp. 113–24; Colin Bundy, ‘The emergence and decline of the South African peasantry’, African Affairs71 , 285 (1972), pp. 369–88. All were key readings for my graduate work at Dalhousie. 29. Hyam and Henshaw, The Lion and the Springbok , pp. 102–17. 30. Anthony Hopkins, ‘Rethinking decolonisation’, Past and Present200 , 1 (August 2008), p. 228, 210–47. 31. John Nerys, ‘The campaign against British bank involvement in Apartheid South Africa’, African Affairs99 , 396 (2000), pp. 415–33. Barclays was a long-time advertiser on the back page of African Affairs , a spot usurped by Standard Chartered Bank in the year 2000. Standard Chartered, while based in the U.K. is a bank whose business is focused on the third world and parts of the British World. In part, and ironically, it emerged in 1969 from the Standard Bank of British South Africa. 32. Håkan Thörn, Anti-Apartheid and the Emergence of a Global Civil Society (Palgrave-Macmillan, Basingstoke, 2006), chapter 6. 33. Ann Stoler, ‘Colonial archives and the arts of governance: on the content of the form’, in Carolyn Hamilton, Verne Harris et al. (eds), Refiguring the Archives (Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, 2002), p. 85. 34. Richard Rathbone, e-mail to author, 8 March 2011. 35. Douglas Rimmer and Anthony Kirk-Greene (eds), The British Intellectual Engagement with Africa in the Twentieth Century (St. Martin's Press in association with the Royal African Society, New York, NY, 2000). For a critique see my review in Albion33 , 4 (2001), pp. 708–709. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal African Society. All rights reserved

Journal

African AffairsOxford University Press

Published: Apr 25, 2014

There are no references for this article.

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create lists to
organize your research

Export lists, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off