Oral Answers to Questions — Commonwealth Day

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 10th May 1956.

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Photo of Mr John Biggs-Davison Mr John Biggs-Davison , Chigwell 12:00 am, 10th May 1956

asked the Prime Minister whether he will consult with the other members of the Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference about the desirability of celebrating as Commonwealth Day throughout the Commonwealth and Empire whatever anniversary is most appropriate and generally acceptable.

Photo of Mr Anthony Eden Mr Anthony Eden , Warwick and Leamington

It would not be right for me in any way to anticipate the discussions of the forthcoming Conference of Commonwealth Prime Ministers; but I know of no widespread desire for any addition to the days which are already celebrated as anniversaries.

Photo of Mr John Biggs-Davison Mr John Biggs-Davison , Chigwell

While fully accepting what the Prime Minister said, may I ask him whether, as in this changing Commonwealth Empire Day is no longer universally celebrated, he would consider it desirable that some common anniversary should be fixed in order that the Commonwealth idea can be given at least as much expression as the idea of the United Nations, which is fully celebrated throughout the Commonwealth?

Photo of Mr Anthony Eden Mr Anthony Eden , Warwick and Leamington

We have our own ways of proceeding in the Commonwealth. I am not sure that uniformity is necessarily best. I find, on looking the matter up, that there is a wide variety of arrangements. Canada celebrates Empire Day as Victoria Day and so does South Africa. I am not sure that other Dominions do, even "down under." Everyone has his particular method.