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conferences of representatives (usually prime ministers) of Great Britain and the dominions.
First convened in 1911, imperial conferences were evidence of the growing independence of the dominions. Properly speaking, the imperial conferences were preceded by the colonial conferences of 1887, 1894, 1897, 1902, and 1907, which were attended by representatives of Great Britain, the self-governing emigrant colonies, and certain crown colonies. The imperial conferences were held in 1911, 1917, 1918, 1921, 1923, 1926, 1930, 1932, and 1937; discussions primarily concerned questions of the foreign policy of the British Empire. A resolution on the participation of representatives of India in future imperial conferences was adopted at the conference of 1917. The conference of 1926 officially recognized the complete independence of the dominions in questions of domestic and foreign policy and affirmed their equality (in the state law sense) with Great Britain. The resolutions of this conference, confirmed by the imperial conference of 1930, underlay the Statute of Westminster (1931). After World War II consultations and then conferences of the prime ministers of the Commonwealth came to replace the imperial conferences.
I. A. LEBEDEV