1894 Colonial Conference
|1894 Colonial Conference|
|Dates||28 June–9 July 1894|
|Venue(s)||Senate Chamber and
Office of the Minister of Trade & Commerce
(Canadian Minister of Trade and Commerce)
|Follows||First Colonial Conference (1887)|
|Precedes||1897 Colonial Conference|
The Colonial Conference of 1894 was called by the government of Canada to continue discussion begun at the First Colonial Conference in 1887 on a proposal to lay a telegraph cable at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean to create a communications link between Canada and Australasia and, by extension, to the rest of the British Empire as part of what became referred to as the All Red Line network of cables throughout the Empire.
All self-governing British colonies were invited to send delegates with the exception of Newfoundland Colony. Western Australia and Natal Colony did not send representatives due to domestic priorities. The colony of Fiji was also invited due to its geographical location on the proposed route of the cable but declined. Delegates were sent to the conference by Canada, New Zealand, the Australian self-governing colonies of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria and the South African colony of Cape Colony. Unlike other colonial conference, the colonial delegates were cabinet ministers or legislators or government representatives rather than Prime Ministers.
Resolutions were proposed to the conference and it was agreed that decisions would be made on the basis of "one colony, one vote" but the resolutions were not binding on the British government or the Colonial Office.
In addition to discussing telecommunications issues, the conference also approved a resolution favouring preferential trade within the Empire, however, this resolution was opposed by Australia's largest colonies, New South Wales and Queensland, who were suspicious the Canadian initiative seemed designed to undermine Australia's protective tariffs. The proposal would be made again to the 1897 Colonial Conference but was not agreed to and would not be acted upon until the British Empire Economic Conference in 1932.
The conference was hosted by the Dominion of Canada with representatives of the governments of various colonies in attendance.
- Imperial Conference
- All Red Line – the telegraph network that eventually spanned the British Empire.
- The Cambridge History of the British Empire, Volume 4. Cambridge University Press. 1929. p. 409.
- Imperialism at the Inter-Colonial Conference [microform