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lines to other parts of Australia, and from Australia both by cable and by wireless telegraphy to New Zealand. It was also agreed that the Pacific Cable Board should be authorised to lay a cable between Australia and New Zealand. The Governments of Canada and Australia undertook to consider favourably the extension of the Imperial Postal Order system and a resolution in favour of the lowering of the postal rates generally was agreed to.
In order to render possible further co-operation in commercial relations it was agreed that a Royal Commission should be appointed representing the Home and Dominion Governments with a view to investigating and reporting upon the natural resources of each part of the Empire represented at the Conference, the development attained and attainable, the facilities for production, manufacture and distribution, the trade of each part with the others and with the outside world, the food and raw material requirements of each and the sources thereof available, the extent, if any, to which the trade between each of the different parts had been affected by existing legislation in each, either beneficially or otherwise, and the methods by which, consistently with the existing fiscal policy of each part, the trade of each part with the others might be improved and extended.
It was agreed that all practical steps should be taken to secure uniformity of treatment of British shipping, to prevent unfair competition with British ships by foreign subsidized ships, to secure to British ships equal trading advantages with foreign ships, to promote the employment of British seamen on British ships, and to raise the status and improve the conditions of seamen employed on such ships. Proposals were made by the Dominion of New Zealand with the support of the Dominion of Canada for the grant of wider legislative powers in respect of shipping to the Oversea Dominions, but the Resolution was not accepted by the Governments of the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth of Australia, the Union of South Africa and Newfoundland.
In connection with the question of Merchant Shipping a discussion took place as to the treatment of British Indians in the Self-Governing Dominions. The Secretary of State for India (Lord Crewe) made a statement in which he pointed out that, while it was the undoubted right of the Self-Governing Dominions to determine in what manner their communities should be composed, and therefore to restrict in such way as they thought fit Indian immigration, it was important that this should be done in a way compatible with the comity due to the Indian people, and that in all cases in which Indians were permitted to enter the Dominions or were domiciled therein due respect should be paid to their rights.
The principles laid down by Lord Crewe were accepted by the representatives of the Dominion Governments.
It was agreed to consider how far it was possible to make arrangements with a view to the enforcement in one part of the Empire of Judgments and Orders of the Courts of Justice in another part. Resolutions were also passed in favour of uniformity in the law of copyright, patents, trade-marks, companies and workmen's compensation. The questions of provision for deserted wives and children, the celebration of His Majesty's Birthday, and the Suez Canal Dues were discussed, and it was agreed that concerted action should be taken by all the Governments of the Empire to promote better trade and postal communications between the United Kingdom and the Oversea Dominions, and in particular to discourage shipping conferences or combines in so far as the operations of such conferences were prejudicial to trade. Before separating the Conference agreed that it was desirable that between Conferences there should be interchange of visits between Ministers of the United Kingdom
and Ministers of the Dominions and that His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom should take into consideration the possibility of holding a meeting of the Conference, or a subsidiary Conference, in one of the Oversea Dominions.
After the termination of the Conference of 1911, agreements were made with the Governments of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, France, Costa Rica, and Colombia, authorising His Majesty's Government to terminate on twelve months notice the application of the Commercial Treaties with those Powers with regard to all or any of the self-governing Dominions. Similar power was obtained in the case of the Commercial Treaty with Switzerland. An Act was passed by the Parliament at Westminster to add two Lords of Appeal, available for service in the House of Lords and on the Judicial Committee, and to increase to seven the number of Judges of the Courts of the Oversea Dominions who may be members of the Judicial Committee. The Bill on Naturalization, which it was proposed to introduce into the Imperial Parliament, was re-drafted in accordance with the views of the Imperial Conference, and passed into law under the title of the "British Nationality and Status of Aliens Act, 1914." Legislation has been also passed in Canada and Newfoundland with effect from 1915, in Australia with effect from 1921, in South Africa with effect from 1926, and in New Zealand in 1928. Legislation was passed providing for the laying of the cable by the Pacific Cable Board between Australia and New Zealand, and the work was successfully carried out. Reductions were made in cable rates between the United Kingdom and the Oversea Dominions (including the establishment of weekend telegrams in addition to deferred rates).
Action on Resolutions of 1911 Conference.
A Royal Commission, under the Chairmanship of Lord D'Abernon, and including representatives of the United Kingdom, Canada, the Commonwealth of Australia, New Zealand, the Union of South Africa, and Newfoundland, was appointed to investigate and report upon the natural resources and trade of the Empire.
The Commissioners took evidence in London on several occasions, and also visited New Zealand, Australia, the Union of South Africa, Newfoundland, the Maritime Provinces of Canada, and Central and Western Canada. They submitted, in all, 15 volumes of minutes of evidence, three statistical volumes (dealing respectively with the Food and Raw Material Requirements of the United Kingdom, the Trade Statistics and Trade of the Dominions, and the Chief Harbours of the British Empire and Foreign Countries), five Interim Reports, and a Final Report [Cd. 8462]. The enquiry was delayed by the outbreak of war and was only completed in the early part of 1917. The Reports deal mainly with the following subjects :-Conservation and development of Natural Resources, Scientific Research, Migration, Oversea Communications (including Harbour Development and Telegraph and Wireless Services), Unification of Legislation, and the creation of an Imperial Development Board.
Contemporaneously with the meetings of the Imperial Conference in 1911, took place between the Admiralty and representatives of the Dominion of Canada and the Commonwealth of Australia. The result of these conferences was laid before, and approved by, the Imperial Conference. An agreement was made as to the control of the naval services and forces of the Dominions of Canada and Australia, the limits of the naval stations to be allotted to them, and the mode of procedure to be adopted when vessels of the Dominion navies proceeded beyond the limits of their respective stations, whether to ports of the British Empire or to foreign ports. Military defence was discussed at a Committee of the Imperial Conference on the 14th and 17th of June, and the proceedings of that Committee were laid before, and approved by, the Imperial Conference (Cd. 5746-2). The two battle cruisers of the
"Indomitable" type, H.M.A.S. " Australia" and H.M.S. "New Zealand," and also two cruisers of the "Bristol" type, H.M.A.S. "Melbourne" and H.M.A.S. "Sydney," constructed as a result of the Conference of 1909, were completed and in commission during the Great War. The "Brisbane" was constructed in the Government Dock, Sydney, and launched on 30th September, 1915
On the 10th December, 1912, the Secretary of State for the Colonies addressed a despatch to the Governors-General of Australia and the Union of South Africa and to the Governors of New Zealand and Newfoundland, on the subject of the representation of the Dominions on the Committee of Imperial Defence. This despatch communicated the text of resolutions which had been adopted on May 30th, 1911, at a meeting of the Committee of Imperial Defence and which were to the effect that one or more representatives appointed by the respective governments of the Dominions should be invited to attend meetings of the Committee of Imperial Defence when questions of naval and military defence affecting the Oversea Dominions were under consideration, and that the proposal that a Defence Committee should be established in each Dominion was accepted in principle. It was stated that, the Canadian Government having changed in the Autumn of 1911, it was necessary to put the proposals before Mr. (afterwards Sir R.) Borden and his colleagues when they visited London in 1912, and that Mr. Borden had provisionally accepted the resolutions and had stated that he saw no difficulty in a Minister of the Dominion Government spending some months of every year in London in order to carry out the intention. Mr. Borden had also expressed the desire that the Canadian and other Dominion Ministers who might be in London as members of the Committee of Imperial Defence should receive in confidence knowledge of the policy and proceedings of the Imperial Government in foreign and other affairs. It had been pointed out to Mr. Borden that the Committee of Imperial Defence was a purely advisory body and could not become a body deciding on policy which must remain the sole prerogative of the Cabinet, subject to the support of the House of Commons. But any Dominion Minister resident in the United Kingdom would at all times have free and full access to the Prime Minister and the Secretaries of State for Foreign and Colonial Affairs for information on all questions of Imperial policy. From Mr. Borden's speech in introducing the Canadian Naval Bill, it appeared that he accepted the proposals, and the same offer was open to all the other self-governing Dominions if they wished to adopt it, but it could be varied in the case of each or any Dominion to suit their wishes or the special circumstances of their case. (This despatch and subsequent correspondence were published in Parliamentary Paper Cd. 7347.)
In June, 1914, the Hon. G. H. Perley (afterwards Sir George Perley), a Minister without portfolio of the Canadian Government, came to reside in London as the representative of that Government, and was from time to time summoned to meetings of the Committee of Imperial Defence.
After the Great War had broken out, it was assumed by His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom that it would not be convenient that the normal Imperial Conference should meet on its due date in May, 1915, and after communications had taken place with the Prime Ministers of the Dominions in the course of December, 1914, it was definitely decided by general agreement to postpone the Conference. In intimating its postponement to the Dominions, the Secretary of State for the Colonies at the same time informed the Prime Ministers that it was the intention of His Majesty's Government to consult them most fully, and if possible personally, when the time arrived to discuss possible terms of peace.
Up to the end of 1916 every opportunity was taken of confidential consultation and discussion with the Prime Ministers and other Ministers of the self-governing Dominions on matters connected with the progress of the war. Thus the Prime
Minister of Canada (Sir R. Borden) in 1915, and the Prime Ministers of the Commonwealth of Australia and New Zealand (Mr. Hughes and Mr. Massey) as well as Sir J. Ward (New Zealand) in 1916, attended meetings of the Cabinet in London during their stay in the United Kingdom, and Mr. Hughes and Sir G. E. Foster (Canadian Minister of Trade and Commerce) were two of the delegates of His Majesty's Government at the Paris Economic Conference in June, 1916.
When Mr. Lloyd George assumed office as Prime Minister in December, 1916, he announced, in the course of his speech in the House of Commons on December 19th, that it was proposed to summon an Imperial Conference at an early date in order to place the whole position before the Dominions and to take counsel with them as to the best means of securing an early and complete triumph. To this Conference representatives of India as well as of all the then self-governing Dominions were invited. All were able to attend with the exception of representatives of Australia, who were prevented from being present by the approach of a general election.
It was arranged that the meetings should take two forms. In the first place the oversea representatives were made temporarily members of the War Cabinet, which thus became, for the time being, an Imperial War Cabinet, an Imperial event subsequently described by Mr. Lloyd George as a "memorable War Cabinet,
landmark in the constitutional history of the British Empire." Whilst 1917 Session. the Imperial War Cabinet was in session the oversea members had access to all the information which was at the disposal of His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom and occupied a status of absolute equality with that of the members of the War Cabinet. It had prolonged discussions on all the most vital aspects of Imperial Policy. Its conclusions were necessarily secret, but it was announced that important decisions were reached which would be of the greatest value not only in the prosecution of the war but also when the time came for negotiations for peace.
At the conclusion of its sittings the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom announced that the Imperial War Cabinet was unanimous that the new procedure had been of such service, not only to its members but to the Empire, that it ought not to be allowed to fall into desuetude. Accordingly he proposed, on behalf of His Majesty's Government, that meetings of an Imperial Cabinet should be held annually, or at any intermediate time when matters of urgent Imperial concern required to be settled, and that the Imperial Cabinet should consist of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and such of his colleagues as deal specially with Imperial Affairs, of the Prime Ministers of each of the Dominions or some specially accredited alternate possessed of equal authority, and of a representative of the Indian people to be appointed by the Government of India. He hoped that the holding of an annual Imperial Cabinet would become an accepted convention of the British Constitution.
From the time of the meetings of the Imperial War Cabinet 1917, full confidential information with regard to the progress of the War was communicated by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to the Prime Ministers of the Dominions. In the following year information with regard to foreign affairs began to be regularly communicated in a similar manner.
Concurrently with the sittings of the Imperial War Cabinet, there was held an Imperial War Conference presided over by the Secretary of State for the Colonies, the special work of which was, to use the terms of an address which it presented to His Majesty the King, "to consider the steps that may Imperial War be required to ensure that the fruits of victory may not be lost by Conference, unpreparedness in times of peace, and so to develop the resources of the 1917. Empire that it may not be possible hereafter for an unscrupulous enemy to repeat his outrages upon liberty and civilization." Much of the business of the Conference was necessarily of a highly confidential
(See Cd. 8566.)
character, but it was found possible to publish, soon after it terminated, the majority of the Resolutions passed, and a part of the discussions.
Reference can only be made here to one or two of the most important of the Resolutions.
One (No. XXI) asserted the principle "that each part of the Empire, having due regard to the interests of our Allies, shall give specially favourable treatment and facilities to the produce and manufactures of other parts of the Empire."
Another Resolution (No. IX) dealt with the future constitution of the Empire and placed on record the view of the Conference that "any readjustment of constitutional relations, while thoroughly preserving all existing powers of selfgovernment and complete control of domestic affairs, should be based upon a full recognition of the Dominions as autonomous nations of an Imperial Commonwealth, and of India as an important portion of the same, should recognise the right of the Dominions and India to an adequate voice in foreign policy and in foreign relations, and should provide effective arrangements for continuous consultation in all important matters of common Imperial concern, and for such necessary concerted action, founded on consultation, as the several Governments may determine."
It was felt, however, that the subject was too intricate and important a one to be dealt with during the war, and the Resolution accordingly laid down that it should be the subject of a special Imperial Conference to be summoned as soon as possible after the cessation of hostilities.
Other of the published Resolutions dealt with the development of the material Resources of the Empire and their utilization for Imperial purposes. Of these one in particular (No. XIII) deserves notice. This advocated the establishment in London of an Imperial Mineral Resources Bureau to be specially concerned with the Mineral Resources and metal requirements of the Empire.
Of the Resolutions affecting India one (No. VII) dealt with its status as a partner State in the Empire, and recommended the full representation of India at all future Imperial Conferences, and another (No. XXII) accepted the principle of reciprocity of treatment between India and the self-governing Dominions.
Mention may be made also of two Resolutions (Nos. VIII and XII) which have resulted in the establishment of a permanent Imperial War Graves Commission, on which all parts of the Empire are represented. The object of this Commission is to care in perpetuity for the graves of those who have failen in the common cause of the Empire.
Lastly, a Resolution was passed (No. XV) urging that the system of Double Income Taxation within the Empire should be reviewed as soon as possible after the conclusion of the War.
In the summer of 1918, meetings of the Imperial War Cabinet and Imperial War Conference were again held. The meetings were on this occasion completely representative for the first time of all parts of the Empire since members Imperial from Australia were present as well as Ministers from all the other War self-governing Dominions, whilst India was also fully represented.
The Imperial War Cabinet was in session from the beginning of June to the middle of August, 1918. In a communique issued at the termination of the meetings it was announced that every aspect of policy affecting the conduct of the war and the question of peace had been examined.
It was further stated that the meetings had proved of such value that the Imperial War Cabinet had thought it essential that certain modifications should be made in the existing channels of communication so as to make consultations between the different Governments of the Empire as continuous and intimate as possible. It had therefore been