HAS the British Commonwealth of Nations been fundamentally weakened since 1939? Certainly it has suffered contraction of territory through the secession of Burma. Its military position in Asia has been weakened by the transfer of power in India, and its position in the Middle East has been damaged by the withdrawal of troops from Egypt and Palestine. It has sustained heavy loss of economic resources by destruction in war and by expenditure in the waging of war. These are injuries, some of them formidable in character, whose final consequences cannot yet be foretold. But not all are to be taken at their face value. Was not, for example, a discontented India as much a liability as an asset to the Commonwealth in 1939? Moreover, the lasting consequences of wartime changes on the position of the Commonwealth are best judged not by an analysis of economic or territorial loss, but by their impact upon its essential nature. The Commonwealth's contribution, said Field Marshal Smuts, "in human qualities of balance and moderation, good sense, good humor, and fair play are of a very special character. They are worth more than scores of divisions and without them divisions must ultimately fail." This may seem paradoxical at a time when the thoughts of men are again preoccupied with the analysis of tangible material strength. But it remains true that no assessment of the position of the Commonwealth in the postwar world can neglect these human and political factors, for it is on them, for good or ill, and not upon its organization of power or its capacity to wage war, that the Commonwealth is founded.

The drafters of the historic 1926 Report on Imperial Relations implicitly recognized that a Commonwealth whose member states "were autonomous communities within the British Empire, equal in status, in no way subordinate one to another in any aspect of their domestic or external affairs," could not be a centralized Commonwealth. Its unique character emerged only with the transfer of power from the center to the circumference. Thenceforward coöperation has depended not upon the working of central institutions designed to produce it, but directly upon the existence of a common sense of purpose, a common outlook among the member nations. It was because of this fundamental reliance upon an indefinable sense of community that the 1926 Imperial Conference remained of the opinion that "nothing would be gained by attempting to lay down a constitution for the British Empire. Its widely scattered parts have very different characteristics, very different histories, and are at very different stages of evolution; while considered as a whole, it defies classification and bears no real resemblance to any other political organization which now exists or has ever yet been tried."

But if the Commonwealth has had no constitution and no common council with powers sufficient to produce a concerted, still less a common foreign, economic or defense policy, this is not to say that the existing central machinery, mainly advisory in character, has had no important rôle to play. On the contrary, it was for long the accepted view that the underlying unity of the Commonwealth would be sustained and find expression through frequent meetings of the Imperial Conference. But in fact no Imperial Conference has met since 1937, and the tide of opinion in the Dominions is not wholly sympathetic to its revival. Is this to be interpreted as a sign of the weakening of the fundamental Commonwealth link? Some Empire statesmen, notably Mr. Menzies, leader of the Opposition in Australia, believe the answer to be in the affirmative. To them, lack of formal consultation at the highest level is the ominous symptom of a drift toward disruption.

This question of cardinal importance, though not susceptible to a categorical, factual answer, may best be approached from a rather different angle. It was the confident belief of the makers of the new Commonwealth that no common cause would suffer through the exercise of full sovereign powers by each of the member states. How far have events justified their confidence? Since the end of the First World War the Dominions have played an ever increasing rôle in foreign affairs. If their separate representation at the League of Nations in 1919 was questioned, none doubted when the United Nations came into being that they were fully sovereign states pursuing their own foreign policies in the light of their own interests. In the original list of signatories to the League Covenant the Dominions were grouped together in order of seniority; while in the Charter list this grouping was discarded as if to dispose of any idea that the Commonwealth countries comprised a unit in foreign policy. But what is really important is not the superficial change in practice, but the spirit that lies behind it.


To understand the attitude of the Dominions toward separate and collective responsibility in foreign policy, it is useful to remind ourselves of one or two of the stepping stones on the road to full decentralization. The first and familiar one was the Locarno Pact of 1925 when the United Kingdom undertook responsibilities from which the Dominions were specifically stated to be free unless they wished otherwise, which none of them did. Ten years later, as the menace of Nazi aggression loomed ever larger, the attitude of the Dominions toward Britain's policy in Europe remained the same in form. There was, on their part, a studious determination to undertake no formal commitments or responsibilities, but it was coupled with a growing conviction that in the event of war they would be ranged on the same side as the United Kingdom because their interests as free peoples coincided and because, too, they shared a deep sense of community.

The Imperial Conference of 1937 was the last meeting of the Prime Ministers of all the Dominions (except Eire) before the war. Their attitude toward formal responsibilities in Europe remained unchanged, but as a result of what they heard in London their predisposition toward isolationism was profoundly modified. The new approach may best be summarized in the words of Mr. Mackenzie King, who remarked that Canada would take part in any war "against the forces of evil," not as part of the British Empire, but because the British Empire was ranged on the side of "the forces of good." This view of imperial relations, with its implication that the issues on which the Commonwealth was united were issues which transcended specifically Commonwealth interests, was one which still enjoys general acceptance throughout the Commonwealth, finding expression today in a devotion to the ideal of the United Nations that has survived every disappointment. But if in the prewar period Dominion opinion distinguished more clearly "the forces of evil," after 1937 their view of the right policy to be pursued was no different in essentials from that of the United Kingdom. This is a point of some importance. Today the argument is often heard that if the Commonwealth had had a common foreign policy in 1938-39 the war might not have taken place because Hitler, confronted by such an array of force, would have hesitated to attack Poland. This is extremely doubtful, but even more dubious is the assumption that a common foreign policy for the Commonwealth would have differed in any material respect from that of the United Kingdom. There is no indication that any of the Dominion Prime Ministers pressed Mr. Chamberlain to take a more resolute line toward Germany in 1937, or later, nor that any of them challenged the wisdom of pursuing a policy of appeasement to all reasonable limits and beyond. On the contrary, it seems that General Hertzog, then Prime Minister of South Africa, greatly encouraged Mr. Chamberlain in his chosen course. The signature of the Munich Pact was hailed with general acclaim in all the Commonwealth countries. Taking the picture as a whole, therefore, it is clear that had the Commonwealth pursued a common foreign policy involving specific commitments for all its members, it would have differed in no fundamental respect from that which the United Kingdom pursued upon its own responsibility.

The course of events in 1939 did, however, expose some weaknesses in the machinery for the discussion of foreign policy which have not since been wholly removed. The guarantees given to Greece, Rumania and Poland in the spring of 1939 were not underwritten by any of the Dominion Governments. About the all-important Polish commitment, which was hurriedly entered into to check an imminent onslaught on that country, the Dominions were informed, but not consulted, because time did not allow of that being done. Yet as the sequel showed, the guarantee to Poland involved a decision which was of as great concern to the Dominions as to the United Kingdom. This incident, not without parallel, prompted misgivings, particularly in Australia and New Zealand, where it is still felt to have exposed a serious defect in the machinery of intra-Commonwealth consultation. It lies behind the Australian desire to obtain a greater voice at the formative stage in policy and not merely to be confronted with the necessity of dealing with consequences.

The separate responsibility of the Dominions in foreign policy has been more widely extended during, and particularly since, the war. One reason for this has been the great expansion in their diplomatic representation overseas. So long as Dominion representation was confined to one or two foreign capitals, the Dominions were hardly in a position to interpret events independently of the Foreign Office in London. The position, however, is very different now with Canada represented in 24 foreign capitals and Australia in ten. The more active Dominion participation in foreign policy, coupled with the existence of more effective machinery for putting individual Dominion policies into practice and taken in conjunction with the decline in formal coöperation at the center, has sharpened doubts about the continuing strength of the sense of common purpose. Not merely is there no common foreign policy, but even on important issues like Palestine there are conflicting policies. Nor are the Dominions, despite their relatively increased strength, any more prepared than before the war to undertake specific commitments of an exclusively imperial character. Their formal obligations of a general character are undertaken by them as U.N. members.

All this was convincingly illustrated in the debates on the revision of the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty in 1946. It may well be that the Mediterranean, which in Bismarck's day had been, in his words, "the spinal cord" of the Empire, is so no longer; but nonetheless, and with good reasons, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa have displayed a marked interest recently in the balance of power in the Mediterranean area and particularly in the disposal of the former Italian colonies in North Africa. There the troops of all the Dominions campaigned in the World War, and there, if anywhere, it might be supposed that they would be prepared to undertake explicit responsibilities. But what happened? As Mr. Attlee explained in the debate in the House of Commons, the Dominions were consulted about the revision of the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty and, with the stated exception of Canada, they commented upon the proposed policy of the United Kingdom Government, which took their comments fully into account. But they did not record any formal views or decisions about the policy to be followed, nor were they asked, nor did they wish, to share the responsibility for it. That rested with the United Kingdom Government alone.

Dominion aversion to formal responsibilities is widely misunderstood both as to cause and consequences. But by itself it is liable to give a most misleading picture of the measure of Commonwealth coöperation. It is indicative of an approach, of a political psychology, not of an ultimate objective. It is not because relations within the Commonwealth are so loose, but because they are so intimate that specific commitments, recorded views, and even formal consultation are felt to be so wholly out of place. What happened in 1939 was a most remarkable testimony to the unity of outlook and purpose which informal consultation can achieve in the face of a threat transcending exclusively Commonwealth interests. In the light of that experience the view is strongly and, in the opinion of the writer, rightly held that to state the extent of mutual obligation in written or specific form would seriously weaken the connection between the United Kingdom and the older Dominions and reduce its value to each one of them. Definition could only restrict the area of coöperation. As things stand, there is no formal obligation on the part of any Dominion, except Ceylon, to come to the assistance of the United Kingdom in the event of unprovoked aggression. But no one for a moment doubts that in such circumstances the aggressor would be confronted by a united Commonwealth, as in 1939.


To judge the cohesion of the Commonwealth, however, only by its ability to unite effectively in common resistance to the challenge of a powerful aggressor is not enough. Its effectiveness in day-to-day coöperation, its contribution to the maintenance of peace, must also be taken into full account. And it is here that a new approach to Commonwealth affairs, which bears closely upon the question of its inner cohesion, most clearly emerges. The dominant trend in the later war years was a growth in regional responsibilities. The breakdown in the communications on which the Commonwealth so greatly depends, the isolation of some parts of it -- particularly the Pacific Dominions menaced by the Japanese while United Kingdom and many of their own forces were heavily engaged in other theaters -- all served to reinforce the conviction that the nations of the Commonwealth must play a greater part in formulating policies of direct regional concern to them. This view was provocatively expressed by Field Marshal Smuts in his self-styled "explosive speech" to the Empire Parliamentary Association at Westminster in November 1943, when he commented on the difference in approach toward the self-governing and the non-self-governing Empire. The fact that decentralization in the self-governing parts of the Empire went side by side with a high degree of centralization in the dependent Empire seemed to him an anomaly. He felt it could be best corrected by encouraging the Dominions to assume greater responsibilities in relation to the colonial territories lying within their area of interest. If for South Africa itself this policy has always presented many difficulties, now enhanced by Dr. Malan's doctrine of "apartheid," which accentuates the fundamental differences in the approach of the Union of South Africa and of the Colonial Office toward the African peoples, the area of regional interest remains, and must remain, continental. Whether imperialist or nationalist, South Africa thinks in terms of economic expansion to the north just because she is so vitally concerned, in view of her predominantly African population, with economic and political developments in African colonial territories administered by European Powers. What happens there must sooner rather than later have its repercussions within her own borders.

In the Pacific Dominions, Field Marshal Smuts' words were assured of a cordial welcome. The Canberra Pact of 1944 expressed the determination of Australia and New Zealand to coöperate not only in defense, but also in all problems of common concern in the southwest Pacific area. It is not too much to say that it embodied a new concept of the Commonwealth, a concept in which the Dominions will play a decisive part in the formulation of regional policies, and, as a result, have a much larger voice in the framing of Commonwealth policies as a whole. Dr. Evatt's view is that Australia should be the spokesman of the Commonwealth as a whole in the Far Eastern area, just because she is the member of the Commonwealth most interested in the future of that area. The 1947 Commonwealth Conference, held at Canberra to discuss the terms of the Japanese Peace Treaty, represented a notable endorsement of this view, for it was the first time that a Commonwealth conference on an issue of major importance had been held in the capital of one of the Pacific Dominions.

What has happened in the Pacific finds a parallel in North America outside the Commonwealth. By her adherence to the North American Defense Pact in 1940 Canada entered into formal regional commitments on the North American continent, and by the renewal and extension of it in 1947 she made this a permanent feature of her policy. This was partly because, as Mr. Mackenzie King explained, with the coming of polar warfare Canada had not, as hitherto, to look only to the east and to the west, but also to the north; and there her interests and those of the United States coincide.

The emphasis placed on these regional interests of the Dominions throws into relief the widely dispersed nature of their responsibilities in the postwar world. Even if one thinks only in terms of the older oversea Dominions, leaving aside for the moment both Eire and the three new Asian Dominions, it is clear that geography makes impossible any close coördination of detailed policy. There are, and must continue to be, many matters in which a Dominion has a particular interest but in which few, if any, of her partners have any direct concern. More important, there are obviously issues which because of their regional character affect the Dominions in different ways and therefore make it difficult to secure a coincidence of view. This is an important fact, for it suggests that it is not any weakening of the sense of community but the rapid development of the power and responsibilities of the Dominions which accounts for their more independent postwar contributions to world affairs. A comparison between the predominantly one-voiced Commonwealth of prewar years and the many-voiced Commonwealth of today is fatally easy yet profoundly misleading.


There remains the question whether a growing concentration on widely dispersed regional interests, even if it springs, not from any lessening of the sense of community, but from an extension of the power and responsibilities of the Dominions, will weaken the Commonwealth connection. And that brings one back to the natural counterpoise which the central or common institutions of the Commonwealth might be expected to exert. But do they? As has already been noted, no Imperial Conference has been held since 1937, though there have been several conferences of Prime Ministers. Fundamentally, the Commonwealth depends upon the sharing of common ideals and fundamental common purposes. If they did not exist, the whole system would break down. But on the assumption that they do exist, clearly there must be some machinery through which they may be fertilized and ultimately find expression in action. That machinery is a highly elaborate system of informal inter-government consultation, vastly improved during the war years. By means of it, an opportunity is given for full and frank discussion on any issue in which the various governments are interested. Its apex, once the Imperial Conference, has recently been provided by the more informal Dominion Prime Ministers' Conferences. One was held in the spring of 1944, another in the spring of 1946, and another is due to take place in October 1948. Throughout, the emphasis has been placed on their informal character. The assembled Dominion statesmen had come to London in 1946 to have an informal exchange of view; they were not concerned with reaching decisions on particular points, but rather with reviewing the whole field of imperial relations, of foreign policy, and of defense, with a view to formulating their own policy in the light of the discussions in London.

Of the value of these informal discussions there seems no doubt. Mr. Mackenzie King, in an address delivered to both Houses of Parliament at Westminster in May 1944, remarked that while the Commonwealth had not a visible war cabinet or council sitting continuously in London, it had "what is much more important, though invisible, a continuing conference of the Cabinets of the Commonwealth. It is a conference of Cabinets which deals from day to day, and, not infrequently, from hour to hour, with policies of common concern. When decisions are taken, they are not the decisions of Prime Ministers, or other individual Ministers, meeting apart from their own colleagues, and away from their own countries. They are decisions reached after mature consideration by all members of the Cabinet of each country, with a full consciousness of their immediate responsibility to their respective Parliaments." This endorsement of the existing machinery was coupled with a warning against any attempts to improve the machinery of Commonwealth coöperation, in such a way as might appear to limit the freedom of decision of Commonwealth countries, or of forming a separate Commonwealth bloc. "Let us beware," said Mr. Mackenzie King, "lest in changing the form we lose the substance; or, for appearance's sake, sacrifice reality."

Mr. Mackenzie King's satisfaction with the existing machinery for Commonwealth coöperation was shared by his colleagues at both the Dominion Prime Ministers' Conferences, but has not passed unquestioned. During the war and since, the opinion has been voiced that, in a world where the Great Powers are becoming greater, the Commonwealth countries simply cannot afford the luxury of uncoördinated foreign policies pursued in the light of their own individual interests. This theme, developed against the broad background of world affairs by Field Marshal Smuts in November 1943, and by Lord Halifax at Toronto in January 1944, was related more specifically to the practical problems of Commonwealth coöperation by Mr. Curtin before his visit to London in 1944 and, more recently, by Mr. Menzies. With his eye always fixed on the Pacific area, Mr. Curtin advocated the formation of a Commonwealth Consultative Council, served by a Commonwealth Secretariat drawn from all the member nations of the Commonwealth. His proposals aimed to coördinate the foreign and defense polices of the Commonwealth more closely, so as to enable the Dominions to have a say in the formative stage of policy. But to this plea for a superficially modest improvement in machinery, and even more to the spacious pleas of Smuts and Halifax for the grouping of the Commonwealth countries so that together they might form a third Great Power, coequal with the United States and the U.S.S.R., there was a cool response. In Canada, indeed, it was definitely hostile, for the feeling prevailed that any steps toward a more centralized Empire were steps along "the road to yesterday." So strongly was this felt that Mr. Mackenzie King at Ottawa firmly repudiated the proposals which Lord Halifax had put forward. He argued on the one hand that the formation of a closely integrated Empire bloc would be not an aid but a barrier to the achievement of world peace; on the other, that the competition in power between the great victor states was likely to produce, not peace, but a third world war. Fundamentally, he opposed all measures toward Empire centralization on the ground that they would limit the freedom of action of the Dominions.

All this is worth recalling because it is easy to lose sight of political realities in discussing the precise measure of Commonwealth coöperation that is possible or desirable. One of those realities is the fact that any degree of centralization would serve to make the Commonwealth relationship a matter of acute internal controversy both in Canada and in South Africa. After all, however well devised, machinery is of little value unless it is suited to the outlook of those who have to work it. That is why, for the past quarter of a century, the Commonwealth countries have consistently placed their faith in decentralization. It has been their belief that by this policy the broad supranational basis of the Commonwealth may be preserved; the greatest contribution by its member nations to the building up of a world order made possible; and the sense of Commonwealth community deepened by free coöperation for purposes that transcend strictly Commonwealth interests.

This emphasis placed by the older Dominions upon the need for decentralization has been accentuated by the entrance into the Commonwealth of the new self-governing Dominions in Asia. Their addition to the number of member states has materially strengthened the predominant centrifugal forces, and it is difficult indeed to conceive of a centralized Commonwealth in which they would form an integral part. To what extent in other respects they will tend to modify the character or structure of the Commonwealth can hardly be judged yet. It is, however, likely that these new Dominions in Asia will bring to the surface certain constitutional problems.[i] For India and Pakistan, dominion status was used as a device by which the transfer of power might be quickly effected. But in the longer view, it may well be questioned whether the forms of dominion status correspond with the political realities of the relationship that at present exists, and is likely to continue, between the Asian Dominions and the rest of the Commonwealth.

A quarter of a century ago, Mr. Lloyd George, confronted with the task of reconciling Irish national aspirations with the unity of the British Empire, decided in favor of dominion status. The history of those intervening 25 years has suggested that the decision rigidly adhered to by the United Kingdom Government was not the correct one. Like India and Pakistan, Ireland is a Mother Country which had not evolved toward dominion status, but had reached it in one revolutionary step. The symbolism of dominion status was not congenial to her, for it was a political concept appropriate to circumstances and traditions quite other than those which prevailed in Ireland. Conformity to a dominion pattern, in which there existed no appropriate place for a nationally self-conscious Mother Country that felt no spontaneous loyalty to the common Crown, has resulted only in straining relations between the United Kingdom and Eire. Of more far-reaching importance, it also modified the whole pattern of the relationship between the overseas Dominions and the United Kingdom in a way that may not have been altogether helpful. With these lessons in mind, therefore, we may conclude that, if the Union of India and Pakistan decide to remain within the Commonwealth, some form of association may be adopted, similar to that external association which is now, in fact, the link between Eire and the British Commonwealth. It would correspond most closely to political realities. If so, they will be nations associated with the Commonwealth, not using its symbolism (for that is something that lies outside their national tradition), but sharing in its broad common purposes and participating in that process of discussion through which they are given effect. And whatever may be the precise relationship between the Commonwealth and the new Indian Dominions, the precedent established in the case of Ceylon suggests that both parties will welcome a greater degree of definition than exists between the older member nations of the Commonwealth.


The emergence of the new Indian Dominions in place of an Indian Empire whose external policy was controlled from London underlines the redistribution of power that has taken place within the Commonwealth itself since 1939. The United Kingdom has been relatively weakened both by the losses sustained during the war and by the development of new weapons which make her more vulnerable than ever in her history. On the other hand, the overseas Dominions, and particularly Canada and Australia, have been correspondingly strengthened from the impetus given to their industrial development and agricultural production by the pressing needs of the war and postwar years. This redistribution of strength should rightly carry with it a redistribution of responsibilities. Here there has been a time lag. Both the Dominions and the United Kingdom have been preoccupied with their regional responsibilities, and that has led to neglect of some matters of common and urgent concern. The recognized need is now for concerted action, taking into account the strategic resources and position of the member nations, and stimulated either by a Commonwealth Conference or by a series of conferences between the member states interested in particular regions. Dr. Malan has proclaimed his preference in principle for such regional conferences within the Commonwealth, and it is easy to see that in practice a series of conferences covering issues of regional concern could serve a most useful purpose, though their full success would seem dependent upon a concluding general conference at which all the member nations are represented. The realities of the postwar position and their implications for the Commonwealth as a whole have still to be assessed. Some such assessment will be the broad responsibility of the Commonwealth Conference now expected to assemble in London in October. It will be given particular urgency by the need to consider in some detail the attitude of the Commonwealth toward Western Union.

When, in 1943, Field Marshal Smuts originally advocated closer association with the democratic states of Western Europe, he underlined as a fundamental condition the retention and maintenance of "our sovereign status." This emphasis was in full accord with thought in the Dominions, which conceive most naturally of a union in Western Europe leaving each member state master in its own house. But in actual practice it may well be that, as the number of coördinating authorities in Western Europe multiply, what is natural and appropriate within the Commonwealth is not in all respects well suited to this new relationship. Central machinery for coöperation may prove essential when coöperation is in the early, formative stages, as it is today in Western Europe. And the reverse holds good too. Just as the informality of the Commonwealth system may as yet have little relevance for Western Union, so too the formal instruments for coöperation in Western Europe may have few lessons for the Commonwealth. Developments in the institutional field in Western Europe are, therefore, not likely to be paralleled by corresponding developments within the Commonwealth; and this in itself suggests that the Commonwealth system may not be one that can usefully be imitated at this stage in building up a world order. Where fundamental unity of outlook does not exist, but has to be deliberately and carefully created, it would be overoptimistic to suppose that the assistance of well-devised machinery can be dispensed with.

The underlying strength of the Commonwealth is that it is united by a conception of a world order which transcends exclusively Commonwealth interests. It is this, reinforced by a will toward friendly coöperation, that constitutes the most impressive assurance of its present and future cohesion. For whatever the appearances at international conferences may seem to indicate, the Commonwealth countries are probably more closely knit today than at any other time in history. The Communist challenge is something which no Dominion is prepared to disregard. Even those groups, like the Nationalists in South Africa and some sections of French-Canadian opinion, who questioned whether the war against Hitlerite Germany was not another "imperialist" war, will have no such doubts about any future war brought about by Communist aggression. Their own interests and their own way of life are too closely and evidently involved. All this is relevant, also, to Eire, who decided to remain neutral in the 1939-45 war, but who now participates as one of the 16 nations under the European Recovery Program and has always been profoundly anti-Communist in outlook.

But while common resistance to aggression is indispensable, it is not enough. The Commonwealth countries recognize that the first aim of their policy must be the preservation of peace, and they have welcomed Britain's participation in Western Union because they recognize that the building up of a league of free peoples within the broad framework of the United Nations is the most practical means of attaining it. Inevitably, any union with Western Europe which would involve loss of the United Kingdom's freedom of action overseas or leave it unable to fulfill the rôle outside Europe which it has played in the past, must raise profound misgivings for the Dominions.

Yet to regard the crystallization of Britain's dual personality in international affairs as bringing to the surface an acute tension between the rival claims of the overseas Dominions and of Western Europe is to see the whole in a false perspective. Some immediate difficulties may loom large, but what is fundamental and what makes a solution at once desirable and practical is the fact that the consolidation of Western Europe could only safeguard the Commonwealth by building up a barrier against any aggressor on the Continent. Here its interest coincides with that of the United States. This is a final and all-important factor in the position of the Commonwealth today. As a result of the war and of its aftermath, the Commonwealth countries and the United States are more closely linked than ever before. The development has been helped by the existence of a common language, but it is conditioned by more fundamental considerations, and enhanced by the challenge which now confronts both alike.

[i] These are considered in detail in my article on "The Implications of Eire's Relations with the British Commonwealth of Nations," International Affairs, January 1948.

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  • NICHOLAS MANSERGH, Professor of British Commonwealth Relations at the Royal Institute of International Affairs; author of "Britain and Ireland"
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