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Normalisation, Early 1960Smid-1970S

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Chapter Summary

Consular work focuses on the protection of a state’s nationals who are abroad, and on their being conveniently provided with a number of technical services; it also seeks to promote a state’s commercial and economic interests. Among the Commonwealth’s peculiarities was the fact that it had no secretarial support of its own. At its prime ministers’ regular meetings the Commonwealth Relations Office (CRO) organized things and Britain’s cabinet secretary traditionally acted as secretary general. The idea of a Commonwealth secretariat had occasionally been floated, but resisted as superfluous or too much like a step backwards, towards centralisation. During the Second World War the daily meetings of high commissioners in London provided a useful forum for discussion and passing on information, and high commissioners were, in overall purpose, united. The title ‘high commissioner’ had started life in relation to territories which were self-governing but not sovereign.

Keywords: Commonwealth Relations Office (CRO); Commonwealth secretariat; high commissioners; second world war; self-governing territories



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