1921 Imperial Conference

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1921 Imperial Conference
Host countryUnited Kingdom United Kingdom
Dates20 June 1921
5 August 1921
Heads of Government6
ChairDavid Lloyd George
(Prime Minister)
FollowsImperial War Conferences
Precedes1923 Imperial Conference
Key points

The Imperial Conference of 1921 met in London from 20 June to 5 August 1921. It was chaired by British prime minister David Lloyd George.

The Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom and the Dominions met at the 1921 Imperial Conference to determine a unified international policy, particularly the relationship with the United States and Japan.[1] The most urgent issue was that of whether or not to renew the Anglo-Japanese Alliance, which was due to expire on 13 July 1921.[2] On one side were the Prime Minister of Australia, Billy Hughes, and the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Bill Massey, who strongly favoured its renewal.[3] Neither wanted their countries to be caught up in a war between the United States and Japan, and contrasted the generous assistance that Japan rendered during the First World War with the United States' disengagement from international affairs in its aftermath.[4] "The British Empire", declared Hughes, "must have a reliable friend in the Pacific".[5] They were opposed by the Prime Minister of Canada, Arthur Meighen, on the grounds that the alliance would adversely affect the relationship with the United States, which Canada depended upon for its security.[6] As a result, no decision to renew was reached, and the alliance was allowed to expire.[7]

This was the first Imperial Conference to which the colony of India was invited, though it was still a colony and not a dominion. However, it was primarily represented by the British cabinet minister responsible for the subcontinent.


The conference was hosted by King-Emperor George V, with his Prime Ministers and members of their respective cabinets:

Nation Name Portfolio
United Kingdom United Kingdom David Lloyd George Prime Minister (Chairman)
Austen Chamberlain Lord Privy Seal
Arthur Balfour Lord President of the Council
George Curzon Foreign Secretary
Winston Churchill Secretary of State for the Colonies
Australia Australia William Hughes Prime Minister
 Canada Arthur Meighen Prime Minister
Charles Ballantyne Minister of Naval Service
British Raj India Edwin Samuel Montagu Secretary of State for India
Khengarji III Maharao of Cutch
V. S. Srinivasa Sastri Member of the Council of State of India
New Zealand New Zealand William Massey Prime Minister
South Africa South Africa Jan Smuts Prime Minister
Sir Thomas Smartt Minister of Agriculture
Hendrik Mentz Minister of Defence


See also[edit]



  • "Conference of Prime Ministers and Representatives of the United Kingdom, the Dominions, and India (Summary of Proceedings and Documents of the), Held in June, July, and August, 1921, at London". Journals of the House of Representatives. New Zealand. Session II Appendix, A-04. 1921.