No. 48 NAI DFA EA 1/26

Memorandum on the 1926 Imperial Conference for a meeting of the Executive Council on 12 October 19261

Dublin, undated


The only resolutions of the Imperial Conference referred for formal sanction were those on the negotiation, signature and ratification of treaties.We agreed to the resolutions with a reservation as to the form of ratification. The Dominions ratifying in a single instrument were to be formally included by name.


Apart from the £1,000,000 given by the British Government for the purpose of advertising Empire products as a substitute for preference duties, there has been no tangible sequel to the numerous resolutions passed at the Economic Conference.

The most important British Memoranda are those on defence questions. Detailed comments thereon are supplied by our Department of Defence. The general lines suggested by the latter department are those of close but independent co-operation. This is also the main principle inspiring the Attorney General's Memo. on Merchant Shipping2 which, it is suggested, should be sent to the British Government in reply to their query for further information about this item inserted on the Agenda at the request of the Minister for Industry and Commerce. Further Memoranda are being supplied by the Departments of Defence, Justice (on nationality questions), and Finance. The main element of danger running through all the British Memoranda is the tendency towards unity instead of uniformity of commonwealth organisation. Their desire to create an imperial general staff, both naval and military, is one example. The suggestion put up to group all the armaments of the Commonwealth as a unit for the purposes of the disarmament conference is another. The Memoranda will require to be studied in detail as the questions arise. We have so far no knowledge of the order in which the various subjects are going to be discussed.


I. GENERAL POLICY - e.g. Expediency of manifesting desire for closer cooperation in all questions of common (mutual as between us and Great Britain) concern while pressing for constitutional right of giving independent advice to His Majesty on all questions.
II. DATE OF DEPARTURE - Invitations to be accepted. Invitation to Dominion Premiers to come to Dublin - when is it to be extended?

1 The Executive Council met on 12 October 1926, but there is no formal record in the minutes of the meeting of this document being discussed (see NAI G2/5 (C2/292) for details).

2 Not printed.

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