A simplified model problem has recently been suggested by Schaeffer (1980) in order to explain the results obtained by Benjamin (1978) in his investigation of Taylor vortices in short cylinders. In particular Schaeffer reproduces the results obtained by Benjamin for cylinders so short that only two-cell or four-cell flows are possible. The model given by Schaeffer has artificial conditions imposed on the fluid velocity field at the end walls. These conditions depend on a parameter α and reduce to the no-slip condition when α = 1. If α = 0 the conditions require that the normal component of the velocity and the normal derivative of the tangential velocity vanish at the ends. In this case the onset of Taylor vortex-like motion occurs as a bifurcation from purely circumferential flow. If α is now taken to be small and positive, there is no bifurcation and the circulatory flow develops smoothly. We shall use perturbations method for the case of small α. The imperfect bifurcation problem which we obtain predicts some results consistent with those of Benjamin.