Courtesy Reuters

THE devolution of the British Empire into an association of sovereign states has left the periodic Commonwealth Prime Ministers' conference as the most important organ of coordination among the members of the association. These conferences are meetings for consultation and exchange of views; they are not summoned to meet particular emergencies and they have no formal agenda. They are not meant to produce binding agreements or to commit the participating governments to a definitely formulated joint policy in any field of world affairs. They nevertheless do involve a degree of mutual influence and adjustment in policy-making which goes far beyond

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