No. 481 NAI DFA Unregistered Papers

Concluding speech by Patrick McGilligan to the 1930 Imperial Conference

London, 14 November 1930

Mr. McGilligan: Mr. Chairman,1 at the close of the Conference on the Operation of Dominion Legislation last year I used phrases to this effect; that as constitutional obstacles were being removed so was the way to co-operation being made easier. The results of this Conference will not be seen for some time. They will only become apparent as things work out and it will be for us to determine as we see the results how far our willingness to co-operate will be as I expressed it last year or will be somewhat weakened.

The adjournment of the Economic Section to Ottawa2 postpones economic discussions for some time. Much may happen between this and then, and if we have then to view these matters in a somewhat aloof and detached way, we shall nevertheless look with interest to see whether climatic conditions can bring about the reconciliation of the many views that in this climate appear to be so irreconcilable.

I would like to add one expression of opinion which may not have been said previously in open Conference but which certainly should have been given in this way. May I express to the other Delegations our tremendous appreciation of the friendship and the sincerity that we have met from them all? We have made real friends at this Conference, friendships that are going to be much more enduring than for the period of the Conference.

I join with what has been said by everybody else in regard to the amazing kindness and the unstinted hospitality shown to us by the British Government. To speak at length on that would be only to mar the effect of what others have said.

To you, Sir, in particular, I feel very grateful. With everything Mr. Bennett has said in relation to the long list of those who have helped to make this Conference, to all he has said I willingly subscribe and I willingly join in particular with what has been said about yourself. I would wish to add this one thing again, not to mar the effect of Mr. Bennett's words but to add something to them - I do not think that from all the welter of conflicting views any man living other than yourself could have brought about the success which this Conference has achieved.


1 Ramsay MacDonald.

2 This conference took place in July 1932.

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