The Imperial War Cabinet was the British Empire's wartime coordinating body. The Imperial War Conferences of 1917 and 1918 were a series of meetings held concurrent with the Imperial War Cabinet to co-ordinate governance of the British Empire during the war and prepare for the post-war situation.
The Imperial War Cabinet was created by British Prime Minister David Lloyd George in the spring of 1917 as a means of co-ordinating the British Empire's military policy during the First World War. Its creation was the result of a recognition by Lloyd George that the increased contribution by the dominions to the war effort necessitated increased consultation with dominion governments on the conduct of the war.
The body met through 1917 and 1918
|United Kingdom||Lloyd George||Prime Minister|
|Lord Curzon||Leader of the House of Lords|
|Bonar Law||Chancellor of the Exchequer and Leader of the House of Commons|
|Canada||Robert Borden||Prime Minister of Canada|
|South Africa||Louis Botha||Prime Minister of South Africa|
|Jan Smuts||Prime Minister of South Africa|
|Australia||Billy Hughes||Prime Minister of Australia|
|New Zealand||William Massey||Prime Minister of New Zealand|
|Sir Joseph Ward||Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand|
|Newfoundland||Edward Morris||Prime Minister of Newfoundland|
|India||James Meston||Lieutenant-Governor of the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh.|
|Ganga Singh||Maharaja of Bikaner|
|Imperial War Conferences|
|Dates||21 March 1917 – 27 April 1917
12 June 1918 – 26 July 1918
|Cities||London, United Kingdom|
|Chair||David Lloyd George
|Follows||1911 Imperial Conference|
|Precedes||1921 Imperial Conference|
Imperial constitutional arrangements, Imperial Federation, international relations and treaties
The Imperial War Cabinet existed concurrently with Imperial Conferences (or "Imperial War Conferences") which were held from 21 March to 27 April 1917 and from 12 June to 26 July 1918.
In April 1917, the conference passed Resolution IX which resolved a conference was to be held after the war in order to rearrange Imperial constitutional arrangements "based upon a full recognition of the Dominions as autonomous nations of an Imperial Commonwealth", and should give the Dominions and India "a right... to an adequate voice in foreign policy and in foreign relations." This was the first instance in which the term Commonwealth was used officially. The Imperial War Conference acknowledged the importance of the whole empire in defence policy by admitting India, not yet self-governing, to future imperial conferences.
In 1917 the Imperial War Conference also passed a resolution regarding a future special Imperial Conference to readjust the relations of the component parts of the Empire. That readjustment should be based upon the full recognition of the dominions as autonomous nations of an Imperial Commonwealth, with an "adequate voice" in foreign policy.
Australian prime ministers Robert Menzies and John Curtin campaigned for the creation of an Imperial War Cabinet during the Second World War that would include representatives of all four dominions. British prime minister Winston Churchill was unenthusiastic as he felt the concept was unwieldy and since he was tepid towards the idea of sharing authority with the dominions.
Australia was unable to secure the support of the other three dominions: Canada, South Africa and New Zealand. Canadian prime minister William Lyon Mackenzie King was concerned that the idea would be a step towards Imperial Federation, which he opposed, New Zealand's government was satisfied with Churchill's conduct of the war and saw no need for change while South African prime minister Jan Smuts was already a Churchill confidante and similarly saw no need to change the way the war was run. It was also felt impractical for dominion prime ministers to spend extended periods in London instead of in their own capitals and that dominion ministers appointed to sit in an Imperial Cabinet would lack the authority to make decisions.
Instead of creating a separate Imperial War Cabinet, Churchill invited Smuts and Menzies to sit in and join the deliberations of Britain's War Cabinet whenever the leaders were in London. (These meetings of the British War Cabinet have sometimes been referred to as an Imperial War Cabinet.)
Stanley Bruce, Australia's High Commissioner to London, was delegated by his government to sit in on meetings of Churchill's War Cabinet. However, Churchill found Bruce's advice to be contrary to his own priorities and, as a result, Bruce found he was often not told when meetings were being held.
The 1944 Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference was called to obtain Commonwealth agreement to the Moscow Declaration of war aims and to co-ordinate Commonwealth efforts in the concluding years of the war and prepare for peacetime reconstruction and restructuring.
None of the audio/visual content is hosted on this site. All media is embedded from other sites such as GoogleVideo, Wikipedia, YouTube etc. Therefore, this site has no control over the copyright issues of the streaming media.
All issues concerning copyright violations should be aimed at the sites hosting the material. This site does not host any of the streaming media and the owner has not uploaded any of the material to the video hosting servers. Anyone can find the same content on Google Video or YouTube by themselves.
The owner of this site cannot know which documentaries are in public domain, which has been uploaded to e.g. YouTube by the owner and which has been uploaded without permission. The copyright owner must contact the source if he wants his material off the Internet completely.