The early decades of this century witnessed significant developments in the approaches to control of malaria in British India. These included both large-scale preventive measures and curative treatment methods (often referred to as "cinchona" or "quinine" policy). This paper identifies a number of factors that constrained the colonial government's capacity to control malaria through effective cinchona policy. The ideal of achieving "self-sufficiency" and having an efficient form of treatment and distribution within the reach of the masses in India (as originally intended in late 1850s) was far from being achieved. Both government's policy and medical profession seemed to have contributed equally to this failure.