EST. 1903 - Presenting global influential leaders from business, labour, education & government through events
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The speeches are free of charge but please note that the Empire Club of Canada retains copyright. Neither the speeches themselves nor any part of their content may be used for any purpose other than personal interest or research without the explicit permission of the Empire Club of Canada.
The speaker begins by indicating exactly what he will cover: A brief survey of the development and application of the principle of Dominion self-government in respect of our domestic affairs; an indication to what extent each Dominion has already assumed the direction and control of all those external affairs which exclusively concern each such Dominion; describing the radical changes in the Imperial structure which are now contemplated in order to carry into effect the declarations regarding equality of status, which were endorsed by the recent Imperial Conference; urging that all Canadians who are in favour of maintaining the political unity of the British Commonwealth should insist upon the cordial co-operation of our Dominion Governments with the Government of the United Kingdom and the Governments of the other five Dominions for attainment of their concerted action in all matters of common interest and concern. A political description of the British Empire. The constitution of the British Empire. Dominion autonomy. Recognition that the permanent well-being of the Empire is best conserved by promoting the education of the peoples of the British Dominions and possession in the exercise of the privileges of constitutional self-government and self-restrained enjoyment of civil liberty. This complex issue is addressed under the following headings: Autonomy need not involve political independence; Treaties between the Dominions and foreign states; Appointment of Dominion Ministers to foreign states; Concerted action necessitates continuous consultation; The supremacy of the Imperial Parliament challenged; Limited jurisdiction of Dominion Parliaments to be extended; Paramount importance of proposed constitutional changes. Throughout, details are given as to decisions and constitutional developments and how they affect Canada. Summary and concluding remarks indicate that the "ultimate solution of the problems, which the Imperial Conference proposes to solve by the investigation and report of its expert committees, will affect every phase of our political commercial and social life" with example. Words from Mr. Ramsey MacDonald address the consequences of the break-up of the British Empire. The speaker's conviction that it is "certainly the paramount duty of each and every Canadian citizen to scrutinize carefully the constitutional developments which are now in progress, and to exert, each in his own sphere, however restricted it may be, all the intellectual, moral and political influence at his command, so that these constitutional developments may be directed toward the ends, which he conceives to be most consistent with the future well-being of our beloved country, Canada."