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[Home]Balfour Declaration 1926

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Statement of the October-November 1926 Imperial Conference of British Empire leaders in London to the effect that the United Kingdom and the Dominions "are autonomous Communities within the British Empire, equal in status, in no way subordinate one to another in any aspect of their domestic or external affairs, though united by a common allegiance to the Crown, and freely associated as members of the British Commonwealth of Nations".

The statement (not to be confused with the 1917 Balfour Declaration by which the British government favoured a Jewish national home in Palestine) is named (like the earlier document) after the Earl of Balfour (Aurthur James Balfour, 18481930), Lord President of the Council in the British government and chairman of the Conference's inter-Imperial relations committee, which drew up the documant preparatory to its approval by the Empire premiers at their sitting of November 15.

The Declaration formally accepted the growing political and diplomatic independence shown particularly by Canada since World War I. It also accepted that the Governor-General, the King's representative as head of state in each Dominion, should no longer serve automatically also as the representative of the British government in diplomatic relations between the two countries, foreshadowing the appointment (1928) of a British High Commissioner in Ottawa.

The conclusions of the Conference were re-stated by that of 1930 and incorporated in the December 1931 Statute of Westminster by which the British Parliament renounced any legislative authority over Dominion affairs except as specifically provided in Dominion law.

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Last edited December 15, 2001 9:12 pm by Taw (diff)