One evening last week in Port-of-Spain, the political chieftains of the British West Indies and dignified officials from London's Colonial Office, attending a dance recital, leaped gaily up and joined the cast in a calypso "jump-up" while a steel band drummed and clanged. It was a week for exuberance in Trinidad: swiftly, almost offhandedly, the assembled leaders tore down the biggest roadblock in the way of fast-approaching nationhood for the British West Indian colonies.

The hurdle was immigration. Though the logic of their common geography and fate points insistently to a federation government within the Commonwealth along with free movement...

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