1957 Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference

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9th Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference
Host country  United Kingdom
Dates 26 June–5 July 1957
Cities London
Participants 10
Chair Harold Macmillan
(Prime Minister)
Follows 1956
Precedes 1960
Key points

The 1957 Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference was the ninth Meeting of the Heads of Government of the Commonwealth of Nations. It was held in the United Kingdom in June 1957, and was hosted by that country's Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan.

The new Canadian prime minister, John Diefenbaker, proposes the intensification of trade relations within the Commonwealth. His call for an Empire Trade Conference were resisted by the British government which has an eye towards the UK developing stronger trade relations with Europe and the newly formed European Economic Community; the impact of the UK joining a European free trade area and its possible consequences on Commonwealth trade was a matter of concern. A Commonwealth Trade and Economic Conference is called for the next year.

The aftermath of the Suez Crisis and invasion of Hungary of the previous year were also discussed with the Commonwealth leaders calling for the strengthening of the United Nations as an instrument of peace. The Suez Crisis had badly split the Commonwealth resulting in India, Pakistan and Ceylon considering leaving the organisation; Canadian External Affairs Minister Lester Pearson told the Canadian House of Commons that the Commonwealth faced dissolution over Suez.[1][2] Multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations were also discussed.

This was the first Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference attended by Ghana, which had attained independence in March 1957.


Nation Name Portfolio
 United Kingdom Harold Macmillan Prime Minister (Chairman)
 Australia Robert Menzies Prime Minister
 Canada John Diefenbaker Prime Minister
 Ceylon M. W. H. de Silva Minister of Justice and Leader of the Senate
 Ghana Kwame Nkrumah Prime Minister
 India Jawaharlal Nehru Prime Minister
 New Zealand Tom Macdonald Minister of External Affairs and Defence
 Pakistan Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy Prime Minister
 Rhodesia and Nyasaland Sir Roy Welensky Prime Minister
South Africa South Africa Eric Louw Minister of External Affairs