§ 30. Mr. HURD
asked the Prime Minister whether it is proposed that, simultaneously with the Imperial Conference of June next an accessory Conference of Ministers of the Empire shall be held to deal with matters of imperial defence; and whether it is intended that this accessory Conference shall proceed on the lines of the Imperial Defence Conference of 1909 which sanctioned the policy of Dominion fleet units?
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
As there appears to have been some misunderstanding of the answer given to the hon. and gallant Member for Huntingdonshire on 11th November, I should like to explain that the meeting of Prime Ministers summoned for June, 1921, will be a meeting on the lines of the Imperial War Cabinet meetings which took place in 1917 and 1918, to deal with the many urgent problems of common interest which call for the coordination of policy and action by the different Governments of the Empire. It will not be the special Constitutional Conference contemplated by Resolution IX. of the Imperial War Conference, 1917. The Agenda will, of course, be a matter for subsequent settlement with the Dominion Ministers. There is general agreement that Imperial defence matters will require joint examination in the near future, but I am not yet in a position to say precisely what arrangements will be made for their discussion.
§ Major O'NEILL
Are we to understand from the right hon. Gentleman that the very important question of the readjustment of the constitutional relations between different parts of the Empire will be debarred from being discussed at the forthcoming Conference?
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
No, Sir. We have been in negotiation with the Dominions on this matter. There has been a good deal of interest in regard to it, and there is a general feeling that it would not be right to press it at present.