Rahul Sharma (Editor)

1902 Colonial Conference

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Dates  30 June–11 August 1902
Heads of Government  7
Cities  London, United Kingdom
1902 Colonial Conference
Chair  Joseph Chamberlain (Secretary of State for the Colonies)
Follows  1897 Colonial Conference
Precedes  1907 Imperial Conference

The Colonial Conference of 1902 followed the conclusion of the Boer War and was held on the occasion of the coronation of Edward VII. As with the previous conference, it was called by Secretary of State for the Colonies Joseph Chamberlain who opened it on 30 June 1902.

Chamberlain used the occasion to resubmit his earlier proposals made at the 1897 Colonial Conference for an Imperial Council made up of colonial representatives which would act as a quasi-Imperial Parliament and make decisions for the colonies on imperial policy. This proposal, along with Chamberlain's idea for a unified imperial defence scheme, was rejected by most of the colonial prime ministers. While New Zealand proposed that each colony provide a special force for imperial defence in the case of war, Canada and Australia both believed this idea undermined self-government.

Chamberlain also proposed an imperial economic union or customs union with free trade within the empire and tariffs against goods from outside of it. The colonies, however, passed a resolution rejecting imperial free trade. A resolution in favour of imperial preference as proposed by Canada was approved and Chamberlain agreed to bring the idea to the British government. However, this plan was not implemented until the British Empire Economic Conference in 1932.


The conference was hosted by King Edward VII, with his Colonial Secretary and the Premiers of various colonies or their representatives and members of their cabinets:


1902 Colonial Conference Wikipedia

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