British Empire Economic Conference
|1932 British Empire Economic Conference
Imperial Economic Conference
|Date||21 July 1932–
18 August 1932
|Venue(s)||House of Commons chamber, Parliament Hill|
|Chair||R. B. Bennett
(Canadian Prime Minister)
Imperial preference, tariffs, monetary standards
The British Empire Economic Conference (also known as the Imperial Economic Conference or Ottawa Conference) was a 1932 conference of British colonies and the autonomous dominions held to discuss the Great Depression. It was held between 21 July and 20 August in Ottawa.
The conference saw the group admit the failure of the gold standard and abandon attempts to return to it. The meeting also worked to establish a zone of limited tariffs within the British Empire, but with high tariffs with the rest of the world. This was called "Imperial preference" or "Empire Free-Trade" on the principle of “home producers first, empire producers second, and foreign producers last”. The result of the conference was a series of bilateral agreements that would last for at least 5 years. This abandonment of open free trade led to a split in the British government.
The United States was annoyed by the implementation of Imperial Preference as it affected them economically.
It was the last Imperial Conference that any Irish government ever participated in.
Heads of delegations
The conference was hosted by the Governor General of Canada, The Earl of Bessborough, representing King George V and included the Prime Ministers and other leaders of the Empire and members of their respective cabinets:
|Canada||R. B. Bennett||Prime Minister (Chairman)|
|Australia||Stanley Bruce||Assistant Treasurer of Australia|
|India||Sir Atul Chandra Chatterjee||Viceroy's representative|
|Irish Free State||Seán T. O'Kelly||Vice-President|
|Newfoundland||Frederick C. Alderdice||Prime Minister|
|New Zealand||Gordon Coates||Finance Minister|
|Southern Rhodesia||Howard Unwin Moffat||Prime Minister|
|South Africa||Nicolaas Havenga||Finance Minister|
|United Kingdom||Stanley Baldwin||Prime Minister|
- "Imperial Economic Conference". Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica.
- A. Dobson, "Economic Diplomacy at the Atlantic Conference", Review of International Studies (1984) 10, pp.143.
- British Empire Economic Conference, Time magazine, July 25, 1932
- Barry Eichengreena and Douglas A. Irwin, "Trade blocs, currency blocs and the reorientation of world trade in the 1930s", Journal of International Economics, Volume 38, Issues 1–2, February 1995, Pages 1–24
- Robert A. MacKay, "Imperial Economics at Ottawa", Pacific Affairs, Vol. 5, No. 10 (Oct. 1932), pp. 873–885
- Maxwell Slutz Stewart, The Ottawa conference, Foreign Policy Association, incorporated, 1932
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