In this age of rampant nationalism it is unusual and somewhat refreshing to come upon a colony that is calm, prosperous, and entirely satisfied to remain under the imperial yoke. This report of life in the Falklands, which will evidently remain the last British outpost in the Western Hemisphere, breathes an air of quiet; in some ways it will be of more interest to the geographer, the meteorologist, and the ornithologist than to the historian or the political scientist. The sober official prose gives an analysis of the islands’ population (which has decreased by some ten percent in the last twenty-five years), their complete dependence on imported foodstuffs, the close balance between revenue and expenditure, the reliance on wool for over 95 percent of exports, and the almost total absence of social problems:
There was no unemployment…. No labor legislation was enacted. … The health of the population was good…. There were no maternal deaths…. There are no orphanages…. One prisoner (male) was received during 1961 and served a sentence of fourteen days…. Trout fishing provides good sport for anglers…. This must be among the most southerly places where cricket is played.
The latter half of the pamphlet provides a brief survey of the geography and history of the islands. Argentine claims to the Falklands, based upon Spanish and Argentine occupation of the archipelago in the 18th and 19th centuries, are phlegmatically disposed of. Whatever the juridical merits of the case, Britain’s uninterrupted occupation for more than a century, the overwhelmingly English origins of the inhabitants, and their evident satisfaction with the quiet enclave in which they live make periodic porteño claims for sovereignty over the islands of doubtful moral worth.