The Politics of the South Africa Run: European Shipping and Pretoria

(Clarendon Press: Oxford, 1987)
254 pages, with index.

Though I no longer work on South Africa, my colleague James Hamill having taken over this brief from me in the Politics Department at the University of Leicester, I thought extending the availability of this book and making it much cheaper by putting it on the Web worthwhile after finding a message on my answer-phone about a year ago from a London businessman involved in South African shipping. He asked if I was ‘the G. R. Berridge who had written the book on the politics of South African shipping’ and, if so, could I help him find more copies. On admitting to authorship when I returned his call, he said that he had managed to secure a copy for himself but was constantly in danger of losing it to other members of the South African shipping community, who had discovered its manifold virtues too late. Thus flattered beyond my feeble powers of resistance, I sent him one of my two remaining copies and promised to explore the possibility of a re-print. OUP, however, did not think this ‘viable’ – despite the abundant evidence of pent-up demand in at least two Cape Town office blocks.

The book was based on work in archives throughout South Africa, at the Public Record Office in London, and above all in the archives of the British & Commonwealth Shipping Company at their offices in St. Mary Axe in the City of London and at the offices of the ‘Conference’ which controlled the trade which were then located in New Bond Street. It was access to these hitherto closed private files (until the late 1970s), generously granted by the late Lord Cayzer and the then Conference Chairman, Mr Neil Forster, which give the book its authority. The Joint Meeting Minutes of the South African Conference Lines were subsequently transferred to the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich.

{short description of image}CONTENTS

List of Tables

  1. ‘Partnership’ with Smuts, 1944-1948
  2. Collision with the Nationalists, 1948-1955
  3. The Pretoria Formula, 1955-1964
  4. Sanctions and Sovereignty, 1964-1966
  5. The Testing of the New Alliance, 1966-1968
  6. The OFA in Danger, 1969-1972
  7. Boxing in the Government, 1973-1974
  8. ‘Bedevilled by Politics’, 1973-1977
  9. ‘The New Era’, 1977-1985



  • The Lines in the South African Conference, 1981
  • The South African Merchant Fleet, 1947-1985
  • Union-Castle, the SA Commercial Banks and the NFC:Deposits in and Remittances from, 1950-1952
  • The Programme for the De-requisition of the Union-Castle Fleet Prior to the Negotiations for the Special Immigrant Service
  • The Composition of the SA Shipping Board
  • The Pretoria Formula
  • The Revised Pretoria Formula
  • General Increases in Freight Rates in the Europe-South Africa Trade: Northbound and Southbound, 1951-1985
  • Changes in Northbound and Southbound Freight Rates in the Europe- South Africa Trade since 1951: An Index Based on Rates in 1950
  • The Northbound Trade, 1964: Contract and Non-contract Cargo, and Perishables
  • B & C Political Contributions, 1967-1984

List of Sources and Select Bibliography