William Waldegrave Palmer, 2nd Earl of Selborne (1859-1942), PC (1900), GCMG (1905), KG (1909) graduated from University College, Oxford, 1881 and was Liberal, then Liberal Unionist MP for Petersfield, 1885, 1886-1892, and West Edinburgh, 1892-1895. He served as Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies, 1895-1900 and First Lord of the Admiralty, 1900-1905, during which period he established Osborne, Dartmouth and Royal Naval War Colleges, introduced the common entry system, fleet reserves, modern equipment, and approved Dreadnought design. He was High Commissioner for South Africa, 1905-1910, achieving South African Union in 1909. He served as President, Board of Agriculture, 1915-1916, unsuccesfully advocating guaranteed minimum prices, and as Chairman of the Agricultural Policy Subcommittee, 1917 and the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Government of India Bill, 1919. He was an advocate of reform of the House of Lords, a leading ecclesiastical statesman and chairman of the House of Laity, 1924-1942.
Proofs of the first draft of The Selborne memorandum, a review of the present mutual relations of the British South African colonies by Palmer. Proofs prepared by L.G. Curtis, 1906.
The papers were transferred from the library stack on 12th January 2000.Access Conditions
Bodleian reader's ticket required.Reproduction Restrictions
No reproduction or publication of personal papers without permission. Contact the library in the first instance.
The final printed version of the memorandum was first published in a Cape blue-book and presented in the Cape Parliament, and was subsequently republished by the Colonial Office in July 1907.
The library holds a card index of all manuscript collections in its reading room.
Palmer | William Waldegrave | 1859-1942 | 2nd Earl of Selborne | statesman
South Africa | History | 1836-1909
Great Britain. High Commissioner for South Africa