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By W. McIntyre

This lucid advisor meets the necessity for an up to date evaluation of the modern Commonwealth. It has a succinct part on its historic historical past and provides realization to symbols and to the "People's Commonwealth" of voluntary enterprises, activities, and enterprise. It highlights severe questions of stability that experience emerged among the relative roles of governments and legitimate organizations, voluntary institutions, and personal company.

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He was not sure what a secretariat would do; indeed, he feared it might develop into an African pressure group. But when the Commonwealth senior officials had a first look at the proposals, Garner said Britain should welcome the proposal. He enunciated two principles that he would stick to tenaciously: the Secretariat should pool and disseminate information, but not be an executive or policy-making body. All the officials favoured the idea. When Sir Burke Trend, the British Cabinet Secretary, sent their report to Douglas-Home, he added his private view that although Britain could not oppose the idea, they should realise that it did represent a major landmark.

Its policies were quite explicable in those terms, but they invited considerable condemnation, which blighted Britain’s whole attitude to the Commonwealth. By the mid-1990s with the incubus of UDI and apartheid resolved, Britain was free to rediscover the Commonwealth without the burden of an imperial hangover. This page intentionally left blank Part III Symbolic Commonwealth This page intentionally left blank 7 The Head of the Commonwealth During the Edinburgh Chogm in 1997 the British hosts perpetrated a minor coup by getting agreement in principle that the Prince of Wales would succeed to the Headship of the Commonwealth.

Commentary on the Queen’s role must make, at the start, the vital distinction between the two symbols, Crown and Headship. In the member countries where the Queen is Head of State (16 of them), the Crown is the metaphor for sovereignty, authority, in effect, executive government. By the 150-year-old conventions of responsible government, the Crown acts on the advice of ministers. Thus in Britain, the Queen herself, and in the countries retaining allegiance, the governors-general (her vice-regal representatives) are the symbols of the sovereignty of their respective nations.

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