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1921 Imperial Conference

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Host country 23x15px United Kingdom
Dates 20 June 1921
5 August 1921
Cities London
Heads of Government 6
Chair David Lloyd George
(Prime Minister)
Follows Imperial War Conferences
Precedes 1923 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 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
23x15px United Kingdom David Lloyd George Prime Minister (Chairman)
Austen Chamberlain Lord Privy Seal
Arthur Balfour Lord President of the Council
The Marquess Curzon of Kedleston Foreign Secretary
Winston Churchill Secretary of State for the Colonies
23x15px Australia William Hughes Prime Minister
23x15px Canada Arthur Meighen Prime Minister
Charles Ballantyne Minister of Naval Service
23x15px 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
23x15px New Zealand William Massey Prime Minister
23x15px South Africa Jan Smuts Prime Minister
Sir Thomas Smartt Minister of Agriculture
Hendrik Mentz Minister of Defence

See also


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