Colin Cameron Collection of Nyasaland / Malawi Government Documents

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Contained in the Colin Cameron Collection are personal letters of congratulation on his election and his appointment as Minister; various personal documents including his letter of appointment as Minister; personal and private correspondence; business, correspondence, and questions and answers of the Legislative assembly, 1963-64; material for speeches; ministerial material; and, constituency material. The Collection also includes material on housing rentals policy; passenger transport; main and district council roads; road safety; air services; lake services; and, material relating to various agencies and institutions in the country. There is also material on Cameron's invitations, tours and visits. In boxes as follows:

Box: Gen.1061:

  • /1 Letters to Colin Cameron and copy letters from him to others: the majority are personal. A number of writers congratulate Mr Cameron on his election and his appointment as Minister of Works and Transport. File includes: copy of an article praising Mr Cameron for his attitude to working in partnership with Africans, n.d.; letter (signed Phil) giving the writer's thoughts on policy for the Ministry of Works and Transport, 16 September 1961; outline of Colin Cameron's policy proposals, addressed to 'All Members of the Ministry', Zomba, Nyasaland. 2 January 1962. 35 items in all.
  • /2 Miscellaneous personal documents. 18 items in all.  
    • /1: Residence permit for Colin Cameron and Rachel Weir Allison, his wife, 14 June 1957.
    • /2: Certificate of approval as an immigrant to the Federation, 17 June 1957.
    • /3: Appointment by Mayo, Elder and Co, solicitors, London, on behalf of Messrs. Wilson and Morgan, Blantyre, Nyasaland, of Colin Cameron as assistant solicitor for a term of four years, 5 June 1957.
    • /4: Nyasaland African Congress - membership card, 26 February 1959.
    • /5 - /14: Items relating to Colin Cameron's election campaign, 15 August 1961, standing as an independent candidate for the Soche constituency. Bundle includes the election manifesto, statement of policy, and letters to his constituents.
    • /15 - /17: Libel case - Cameron v Sunday Mail, concerning the supposed purchase of a £2,000 Mercedes Benz car exactly like Banda's. Report headed 'Official Pomp and Splendour', 1961.
    • /18: Photograph of Colin Cameron.
  • /3 Letters of appointment, etc., as Minister of Transport and Communications, 1961-1963.
  • /4 Personal and private correspondence, 1961-1963. Letters numbered 1-221.
  • /5 Personal and private correspondence, 1963-1964. Letters numbered 1-298.
  • /6 Personal and private correspondence, 1964. Letters not numbered.
  • /7 Personal and private correspondence, 1964. Letters not numbered.
  • /8 Communications from the Prime Minister, 1963.
  • /9 Communications to the Prime Minister, 1963-1964.
  • /10 Correspondence with other ministries, 1963-1964.
  • /11 Correspondence with other ministries, 1964.
  • /12 Instructions from other ministries, 1964.
  • /13 Instructions to officers in Ministry, 1964.

Box: Gen.1062:

  • /1 Demi-official correspondence, 1963-1964.
  • /2 Demi-official correspondence, 1964.
  • /3 Legislative Assembly: business and correspondence, 1963-1964.
  • /4 Legislative Assembly: House Committee, 1963-1964.
  • /5 Legislative Assembly: Standing Orders Committee, 1963.
  • /6 Legislative Assembly: questions and answers, 1963.
  • /7-8 Material for speeches, 1960. 2 files.
  • /9 Supplementary briefs, 1964.
  • /10 Matters for mention in speech on budget motion, 1962-1963.
  • /11 Speeches and ceremonies, 1963.
  • /12 Programme and briefs (Minister's copy), 1963-1964.

Box: Gen.1063:

  • /1 A guide to ministries, 1961.
  • /2 Ministerial system, Ministry of Works and Transport, 1962.
  • /3 Administrative arrangements: Constitutional Conference, 1962.
  • /4 Reorganisation of the Ministry of Works.
  • /5 Cabinet matters, 1963.
  • /6 General ministerial matters, 1963.
  • /7 Independence celebrations.
  • /8 The Government of Nyasaland; federal and territorial government lists; ministerial, provincial and district administration; Colonial Office. 1958-1961.
  • /9 Miscellaneous matters arising from dissolution of Federation, 1963.
  • /10 Nyasaland's secession, draft federal scheme and other reports (published), 1952-1962.
  • /11 Nyasaland: the Economics of Federation. Study(published), 1960.
  • /12 Possible constitutional changes: report(published), 1960.
  • /13 Nyasaland Protectorate. Report of the Localisation Committee (published), 1960.
  • /14 Report of the Public Accounts Committee for the Financial Year ending 30 June 1962 (published).
  • /15 Budget Statement, 7 January 1963.
  • /16 Revenue estimates, 1963-1964.
  • /17 Reports of Standing Committee on Finance, 1962-1963.

Box: Gen.1064:

  • /1 Survey teams: reports and correspondence, 1963-1964.
  • /2 Ministry of Lands and Surveys, 1962.
  • /3 Town and country planning, 1964.
  • /4 Minister's brief: works and housing recurrent estimates, 1964.
  • /5 Ministry of Works: preliminary appraisal, loan application, International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, June 1964.
  • /6 Memorandum on proposed application for capital assistance from International Agency for Development of Communications ..., 1963.
  • /7 Revenue Committee 1962.
  • /8 Development plan (published), 1965-1969.
  • /9 Development plan (including road map), 1965-1969.
  • /10 Development plan, correspondence: road and water transport, railways and harbours, and miscellaneous schemes, posts, aviation ..., 1964-1969.
  • /11 Development Authority, 1963.
  • /12 Development estimates, 1962-1965.
  • /13 Report of Development Planning Committee, 1962-1965.
  • /14 Development Plan, 1962-1965: Information Department, 1962-1967.
  • /15 Ministry of Education: development, 1962- 1965.

Box: Gen.1065:

  • /1 Traditional Housing Committee, n.d.
  • /2 Housing rentals policy, 1955 and 1963.
  • /3 Proposed distillery and brewery, 1963-1964.
  • /4 Passenger transport, 1963.
  • /5 Nyasaland Transport Company, 1961-1962.
  • /6 Ministry of Works. Preliminary appraisal, road development plan, for U.S. Agency for International Development, 1965-1969.
  • /7 Main roads, 1964.
  • /8 District Council roads, 1962.
  • /9 District Council roads, 1963-1964.
  • /10 Motor Traffic Bill, 1962.
  • /11 Motor Traffic Bill, 1963.
  • /12 Road Traffic Bill, 1963.

Box: Gen.1066:

  • /1 Road safety, 1963-1964.
  • /2 Road transport, 1964.
  • /3 Minister's car, 1961.
  • /4 Circular: use of government transport fleet, 1962.
  • /5 Preventive maintenance workshop, n.d.
  • /6 Railway systems serving Nyasaland, 1963-1964.
  • /7 Railways, 1963-1964.
  • /8 Railways: memorandum, 1964.
  • /9 Nyasaland railways: Lonhro proposals, 1964.
  • /10 Air services.
  • /11 Lake services, 1957-1963.
  • /12 Report of a committee set up ... to consider matters affecting the safety of the travelling public on Lake Nyasa, 10 July 1963.
  • /13 Motor carrier management, n.d.
  • /14 Motor carrier selling, n.d.

Box: Gen.1067:

  • /1 Posts and telecommunications, proposed Post Office plans, 1963-1964.
  • /2 Telegrams despatched, 1964.
  • /3 Miscellaneous reports, 1963-1965.
  • /4 Report of the Businesses Licensing Working Party, 1963.
  • /5 Major incidents, 1963-1964.
  • /6 Major incidents, 1964, correspondence.
  • /7 Capital Sentences Committee, 1963-1964.
  • /8 Committee on Employment of Penal Labourers, 1964.
  • /9 Office memos: Ministry of Transport and Communications, 1963-1964.
  • /10 Copies of minutes and memoranda written by the Minister, 1963-1964.
  • /11 Copies of minutes and memoranda written by the Minister, 1963-1964.
  • /12 Minutes of meetings, 1964.
  • /13 Papers relating to the transfer of civil servants and communications relating to the Special Roll and eligibility to vote, 1964.

Box: Gen.1068:

  • /1 Constituency matters, 1960-1964.
  • /2 Constituency matters, 1964.
  • /3 Commonwealth Parliament Association 1962-1964
  • /4 Invitations sent and received, 1961-1963.
  • /5 Invitations received and replies, 1963-1964.
  • /6 Invitations received and replies, 1963-1964.
  • /7 Invitations sent by Minister of Transport and Communication, and replies received, 1963-1964.
  • /8 Report by Mr. Cameron on his visit to Portuguese East Africa, April 1963.
  • /9 Minister's folder for visit to Portuguese East Africa, 14 - 24 April 1968.
  • Gen.1069:
  • /1 Nyasaland Youth Hostels Association: membership lists, 1958-1959.
  • /2 Training Branch and other training courses, 1962-1969.
  • /3 Institute of Race Relations, 1961 -1963.
  • /4 Malawi National Park (Nyika Plateau), 1964.
  • /5 Nyasaland and other law societies, 1963.
  • /6 Complaints from and regarding individuals, 1964.
  • /7 Press communiqués, 1962.
  • /8 Visit to UK, USA, Egypt and Ghana, 1963-1964.
  • /9 Visit to the USA: matters arising, 1963.
  • /10 Official visitors: programmes, 1963-1964.
  • /11 Official visitors: programmes, 1964.
  • /12 Visiting cards.
  • /13 Tours, 1963.
  • /14 Tours, 1964.
  • /15 Tours: semi-official correspondence, 1963.
  • /16 Tours: reports and matters arising, 1963.
  • /17 Buses: Metropolitan - Cammell - Weymann Ltd, 1963.
  • /18 Fleet insurance; farm equipment; management and industrial engineering; etc.
  • /19 Precast concrete products industry, 1964.

Administrative / Biographical History

Colin Cameron was born in Lanark on 24 August 1933. He was educated at Uddingston Grammar School and then studied Law at Glasgow University graduating in May 1957 with the degree of Bachelor of Law. While at University he represented the Law Faculty on the Students' Representative Council. He was resident in Uddingston, Glasgow, when his application for entry as an immigrant to the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland was approved in June 1957. In Nyasaland (now Malawi), Cameron took up an appointment as a Solicitor with Messrs Wilson and Morgan, Legal Practitioners, Blantyre, a law concern strongly connected to the United Federal Party - the party of Sir Roy Welensky, Prime Minister of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, 1956-63. During a state of emergency in 1959, Cameron gave legal help to Africans who had been arrested and detained, and this led to objections from his employers and to ostracism by the white community. Cameron was a paid-up member of the African National Congress. In 1959, he also became a member of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian and three of his children were baptised into the local church. On the expiry of his contract, he returned to Scotland in late 1960, but at the request of Dr. Hastings K. Banda he returned to Africa to stand in the 1961 General Election against the United Federal Party. In this Election for the Nyasaland Legislative Council held on 15 August 1961, Cameron, then aged 27, campaigned as an independent candidate in the Soche Constituency, receiving support in his campaign from the Malawi Congress Party headed by Banda. Cameron voiced his sympathy with the African Nationalist movement and expressly denounced apartheid. He indicated too that he was against the federal structure in Central Africa at that time. A daring challenge to Welensky to debate election issues with him met with the answer that the Prime Minister was fully committed. Cameron was elected to the Council along with the first Africans elected to government in Malawi, and in September 1961, he became Minister of Works and Transport with responsibility for Works, Transport, Water Supply and Sewerage across the country. Thereafter he was Minister of Transport and Communications with the responsibility of transferring the federal functions of Road, Rail, Air, and the Post Office back to the Malawi Government. The Central African Federation to which Cameron indicated his opposition was dissolved in 1963. In August 1964, Cameron resigned from the Cabinet on the issue of the introduction by Banda of an amendment to the Constitution allowing detention without trial as part of the law of the newly independent Malawi. On the resumption of private legal practice in Blantyre he represented the former Minister of Education, Henry Chipembere, in a constitutional case which challenged Banda in the High Court, but this resulted in him having to leave Malawi with his family on forty-eight hours notice. During the next thirty years, Cameron established his own legal practice in Irvine, Scotland, and although unable to return to Malawi he continued to support and take an active interest in refugees from Malawi who were then living in Zambia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and the United Kingdom. After the first multi-party elections in Malawi in May 1994, Cameron and his wife were invited back to the country and he was offered the position of Honorary Consul for the Republic of Malawi in Scotland by the new President of the country, Bakili Muluzi. Colin Cameron was, for six years, a member of the Council of the Law Society of Scotland, is an active member of Amnesty International, and is an active member of the Scottish National Party.

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Other Finding Aids

Handlist, H70