Status Seeking and Tariff Reform, 1921–36

  • Nicholas Mansergh

Abstract

Two fundamental questions of dominion status remained unresolved after the Imperial Conference 1921. The first, discarded but not disposed of by the Conference, was the necessity or otherwise of redefining British-dominion relations in terms that would bring law into line with conventional practice on a basis of equality, or near-equality. The second, entangled with the first but distinguishable from it, was the international status of the dominions. The answers to both questions were sought and found in the decade 1921–31 against a pattern of imperial relations determined for the most part in distant pre-war years. The nature of that pattern conditioned both the dominion demand for change and the formulae and statutory forms in which it was ultimately effected. The structure of the British imperial system, as it emerged from the first world war, is accordingly the appropriate starting-point for an enquiry into the reasons for, and the manner of its subsequent transformation. There was an imperial, as well as dominion-nationalist, premise to the Commonwealth conclusion.

Keywords

Economic Crisis Manifold Europe Shipping Assure 

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Notes

  1. 1.
    A. B. Keith, The Constitution, Administration and Laws of the Empire, London, 1924, pp. 21–34, examines the continuing limitations on dominion sovereignty in this period. See also the same author’s The Dominions as Sovereign States, London, 1938, chapter I, for an historical appraisal of developments in their status. There is a brief but cogent unpublished analysis in the Government of India, Home Department Special File No. 94/29 on the Constitutional Growth and International Position of the Dominions, prepared for the information of the viceroy in 1929, which has also been consulted by permission of the Indian National Archives, New Delhi.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
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  3. 8.
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Copyright information

© Nicholas Mansergh 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicholas Mansergh
    • 1
  1. 1.St John’s CollegeCambridgeUK

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