Leaders of British Empire Countries in London
The film opens with a title explaining what is happening, a gathering of leaders of the Empire to discuss a range of issues. This includes India, Canada, South Africa, Newfoundland and the Irish Free State. British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin strides along Downing Street. Empire leaders and journalists are shown gathering there.
This newsreel clip was shown in 1926, reporting on a meeting of the leaders of the British empire countries. By this time Canada, South Africa, New Zealand, Ireland and Australia were all ruling themselves. However, the leaders of the empire countries met regularly to discuss important issues. The leaders for the countries at the meeting were: Britain: Stanley Baldwin (Prime Minister) India: Edward Frederick Lindley (British Governor General of India as India did not gain self-rule until 1947) Canada: William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister) South Africa: General J.B.M. Hertzog (Prime Minister) Australia: Stanley Melbourne Bruce (Prime Minister) New Zealand: J. G. Coates (Prime Minister) Irish Free State: William T. Cosgrave (President). The Irish Free State (now called the Republic of Ireland). It gained independence from Britain in 1922.
Interesting or important points about the film
One of the most interesting features of this film is the way in which it is similar to modern news reports of gatherings of important leaders. It is extremely tempting to speculate what the leaders might be discussing and also to speculate from their body language whether they are agreeing or arguing. Today such scenes would have a voice over from a TV reporter.
Please note that this video is silent.