By Philip G Wigley
This ebook reviews the family among Britain and Canada from the top of the 1st global conflict to the Imperial convention of 1926. it truly is involved largely with the issues of imperial co-operation and session in international affairs and defence coverage, and with the pressures constructing out of those difficulties to reformulate the constitutional family of england and her dominions. during reading Canadian makes an attempt to redefine empire-commonwealth relationships this ebook additionally throws clean gentle at the evolution of British attitudes to the dominions in the course of those years. usually there have been severe coverage disagreements in Whitehall - the Colonial place of work who prefer to conciliate, the overseas place of work to problem the in another country governments - and Dr Wigley, with shut realization to respectable and personal papers, exhibits basically that advancements during this interval owed way more to Britain's personal responses and priorities than has been formerly realised.
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Additional resources for Canada and the Transition to Commonwealth: British-Canadian Relations 1917-1926
Andrew Fisher of Australia felt, less urgently, that the Imperial Conference machinery held the greater potential. D. paralleled the division of overseas opinion on this question, and foretold more acute inter-departmental confrontations after 1916, when consultation with the dominions was to become an issue of the first priority. Meanwhile there was no immediate prospect of a British initiative in this area; and Borden, so palpably unable to offer naval assistance in cash or kind, had nothing to underwrite his own demands for concessions.
The problem unfortunately, was that he could think of no feasible way that either could be provided for the Canadian prime minister. 27 Borden was bitterly annoyed with Bonar Law's curt dismissal of his appeal, which so politely recognized his rights in principle and so bluntly rejected them in practice. Confined to bed with painful lumbago over the week of the new year, the prime minister must have brooded sourly over the British government's cavalier response to Canada's war efforts, and he sent off a vehement letter to his acting high commissioner: During the past four months since my return from Great Britain, the Canadian Government (except for an occasional telegram from you or Sir Max Aitken) have had just what information could be gleaned from the daily press and no more.
Although there must be stronger connections — a voice in foreign policy, and continuous consultations — between Britain and the dominions, the keystone of the imperial structure was not to be organic unity, but the national autonomy of the dominions: any [constitutional] readjustment, while thoroughly preserving all existing powers of self-government 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 part of the same, should recognize the right of the Dominions and India to an adequate voice in foreign policy and foreign relations, and should provide effective arrangements for continuous consultations in all important matters of common Imperial concern.