Empire into Commonwealth: The Chichele Lectures Delivered at Oxford in May 1960 on Changes in the Conception and Structure of the British Empire during the Last Half Century

By Attlee | Go to book overview

II

IN THIS lecture I propose to deal with those parts of the British Empire which are either inhabited by people of European stock or are predominantly so. While there were certain small territories that came under the rule of the Home Office, before 1925 all colonies, whether self-governing or not, came under the Colonial Office. It was not till later that a separate office, first called the Dominions Office and later the Commonwealth Relations Office, was established. At the beginning of the century the Colonial Office, the importance of which had been greatly exalted by the dynamic personality of Joseph Chamberlain, ruled over the major part of the Empire.

Canada was then the most advanced. It is not my purpose in these lectures to deal with earlier history, but reference must be made to the famous Durham Report, from which sprang the great constitutional advance in Canada, and the creation of the Dominion under the leadership of Sir John Macdonald. Canada was by far the most important part of the self-governing colonies, though the West was not developed. Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan had still to come into existence. It was notable that in Canada there was a great French- speaking population, and at the end of the nineteenth century for the first time a French-speaking Canadian, Sir Wilfred Laurier, was the Prime Minister. Australia was not yet federated. It was a group of small colonies,

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Empire into Commonwealth: The Chichele Lectures Delivered at Oxford in May 1960 on Changes in the Conception and Structure of the British Empire during the Last Half Century
Table of contents

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  • Title Page iii
  • I 1
  • II 13
  • III 28
  • IV 44
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