1911 Imperial Conference

The 1911 Imperial Conference convened in London on 23 May 1911 and concluded on 20 June 1911. It was held to mark the occasion of the coronation of King George V on 22 June 1911.

1911 Imperial Conference
Host countryUnited Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland United Kingdom
Dates23 May 1911
20 June 1911
Heads of Government6
ChairH. H. Asquith
(Prime Minister)
PrecedesImperial War Conferences
Key points
Imperial constitutional arrangements, Imperial Federation, international relations and treaties

The conference discussed Empire-wide constitutional arrangements, with proposals by New Zealand's prime minister Sir Joseph Ward for an imperial council made up of representatives of the dominions which would advise the British government on imperial matters. Ward developed this idea into a proposal for an Imperial Parliament (see Imperial Federation) which would be responsible for the Empire's foreign policy including the declaration of war and would be presided over by an Imperial executive. British prime minister H. H. Asquith rejected these proposals as infringing on British autonomy in making foreign policy, but he agreed it was necessary to consult with dominion prime ministers on certain matters. Asquith proposed a standing committee on foreign affairs, but the dominion prime ministers could not agree on a final resolution.[1] The adoption of a new flag for the British Empire was also meant to be discussed, but this ultimately was not covered due to much of the conference being focused on the aforementioned topics.[2]

The conference came to an agreement on the negotiation of treaties that affect various dominions and that the British government would consult the dominions when preparing its proposals for proposed international Peace Conferences and that future international peace treaties and some international agreements would be circulated to the dominions for comment prior to the British government signing them.[1]

Australia expressed concern about Japan's growing naval power, and it was agreed that the British government would consult Australia when negotiating renewal of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance. Britain also agreed to consult South Africa about negotiations with Germany, considering its colonial aspirations in Africa.[1]

Participants edit

The conference was hosted by King-Emperor George V, with his Prime Ministers and members of their respective cabinets:[3]

Nation Name Portfolio
  United Kingdom H. H. Asquith Prime Minister (Chairman)
Lewis Harcourt Secretary of State for the Colonies
David Lloyd George Chancellor of the Exchequer
Sir Edward Grey Foreign Secretary
Lord Loreburn Lord Chancellor
Viscount Haldane Secretary of State for War
Sydney Buxton, President of the Board of Trade
Winston Churchill Home Secretary
Herbert Samuel Postmaster General of the United Kingdom
Sir Rufus Isaacs Attorney General for England and Wales
John Burns President of the Local Government Board
Thomas McKinnon Wood Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
  Australia Andrew Fisher Prime Minister
Egerton Lee Batchelor Minister for External Affairs
George Pearce Minister for Defence
  Canada Sir Wilfrid Laurier Prime Minister
Sir Frederick William Borden Minister of Militia and Defence
Sir Louis-Philippe Brodeur Minister of Marine and Fisheries
  Newfoundland Sir E. P. Morris Prime Minister
Robert Watson Colonial Secretary
  New Zealand Sir Joseph Ward Prime Minister
John Findlay Minister of Justice and Attorney-General
  South Africa Louis Botha Prime Minister
F. S. Malan Minister of Education
Sir David Pieter de Villiers Graaff Minister of Public Works and of Posts and Telegraphs

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b c Olson, James S.; Shadle, Robert, eds. (1996). Historical Dictionary of the British Empire: A-J. London: Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 548–549. ISBN 0-3132-9366-X.
  2. ^ Kelly, Ralph (8 August 2017). "A flag for the Empire" (PDF). The Flag Institute. p. 9. Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 August 2023. Retrieved 13 August 2023.
  3. ^ Minutes of Proceedings of the 1911 Imperial Conference, 1911. London: His Majesty's Stationery Office. 25 November 2023. p. 20.

External links edit