PART III: THE SUN NEVER SETS….
LONDON, MAY 13- Yesterday, Her Royal Highness, the Princess Elizabeth, the Heiress presumptuative to the British throne, married Prince Philip, formerly of Greece and Denmark. The wedding took place at Westminister Abbey, and was atteneded by many members of the British and German Royal Families, as several of Phillip’s sisters are married ot German noblemen.
The service was the first Royal event to be broadcast live via the BBC, and was estimated to have been watched by nearly ¼ of the population of the British Isles.
-“Royal Wedding,” Frankfurter Zeitung, May 13, 1949.
BRITAIN TO EXTEND MANDATE IN PALESTINE
JERUSALEM, APR 13- His Majesty’s government announced today that it would be extending it’s mandate in Palestine for another 15 years, to expire in 1963. During this time, the government will bring together Jewish and Arab leaders to create a workable government to rule the territory.
There have been proposals for separating the territory between the two religious groups, but the Prime Minister stated he hopes to help the Jews and Arabs create a single, stable state in the Middle East.
-“Britain to Extend Mandate in Palestine,” The Times (London), April 14, 1943.
Britain extended the Palestine Mandate to end on January 1, 1963. The plan was to have a stable, operable state set up by 1960, and gradually wing the territory off of Imperial control. On April 4, 1947, leaders from the Jewish and and Arab communities met in Jerusalem and began the Palestinian Constitutional Convention. Two months later, in June, they announced that a constitution had been created.
In short, the new nation would consist of a Jewish and Arab state, the Jews concentrated in the north and the Arabs in the south. They would control internal affairs in their own lands, and the national government of Palestine would handle defense, foreign affairs, trade, and other such issues. The capital would be located in Jerusalem. Final details were completed by 1950, and in September of that year, the first Palestinian Senate and House of Commons was elected. The Prime Minister was a Jew, and the President was and Arab. The Palestinian Army was consituted in 1951, and was trained under British military leaders.
In 1960, the learders of Persia, Egypt, Jordan, and Syria meet with Palestinian leaders in Jerusalem to sign the Jerusalem Accord, which had all the Middle Eastern nations present legally recognize the Union of Palestine, and also marked the beginning of the phase out of the British presence in the area.
-Rosendahl, Dr. Chaim. Modern History of the Holy Land. Jerusalem: Hebrew Univerity Press, 2005.
BRITISH PM CALLS FOR EMPIRE-WIDE CONFERENCE
LONDON, AUG 4- The British Prime Minister has called for delegates from throughout the entire British Empire to meet in London in May of 1952 for the “Conference on Imperial Governance”. The Prime Minister stated that the goals of this conference would be to find “innovative ways to restructure the Empire so that it could better handle the pressures of the modern world.” He went on to say that, “with few exceptions, we have been running things from London in the same manner that our grandfathers and great-grandfathers ran the Empire. This must change, or our system will not survive the century.”
There have been numerous riots in the various colonies of the Empire, many started by successionist groups seeking full independence for their homelands. While the Prime Minister has not elaborated as to what kind of “restructuring” he intends to propose, many in the British capital speculate that the some sort of federal model could be adopted, granting much more autonomy to the individual territories of the Empire.
-“British PM Calls for Empire-Wide Conference,” The Washington Post, August 4, 1951.
CANADA ANNOUNCES PLANS FOR INDEPENDENT AIRSHIP SERVICE
TORONTO, NOV 12- A group of businessmen have succesfully convinced the Canadian government to begin it’s own airship building program, borrowing knowledge from both the Americans and the British. By an act of Parliament, the Canadian Airship Works have been established in Toronto, and work is set to begin on the first Canadian airship sometime in early 1952. The current facility will be a repair yard of the British Airship Works, to be used unti a new facility can be built for the CAW.
Canadian officials announced that this CR-1 will be used by the Canadian Army to patrol the coasts. In all, the Canadian airship program calls for the construction of 4 military airships, along with 3 airships similar to the US-built Heartland class airships for the newly formed Canadian Airship Service.
Officials from the British Airship Works and from British Airways believe that this new Canadian program will not greatly infringe upon their own business in any noticable way, but will instead be filling a niche market in Canada alone. The airship giant Zeppelin-Goodyear International echoed the British sentiment. Knut Eckener, company chairman, stated that he believed that this would be good for the industry, as “more innovation from more sources will greater refine the craft which we labor to build and perfect.”
-“Canada Announces Plans for Independent Airship Service,” The Times (London), November 12, 1951.
BRITISH PM PROPOSES IMPERIAL “COMMONWEALTH”
LONDON, MAY 7- The British Prime Minister has proposed what he has named the “Imperial Commonwealth of Great Britain” to be formed between the British colonies, dominions, and the United Kingdom. Essentially, the dominions would be free to act as independent countries, as they have been able to do so since the 1930s, and the colonies would be given much more local autonomy. South Africa and India would be raised to Dominion status. All Dominions could choose to continue to use the UK’s Pound Sterling, or adopt there own currency, and there would be an Imperial Commonwelath Bank set up to regulate the differences between commonwelath currencies. The Commonwealth would be a free trade zone for all member nations as well.
In addition, there would be a Commonwelat Executive Council, which would consist of one representatvie for each member, and would be headed by the Commonewealt President. This Council would regulate all disputes between member states, as well as operate the Commonwealt Foreign, Defense, and Internal Ministires, which would help orchestrate the actions of all commonwealth states for the benefit of the Commonwealth itself.
The Dominsion of Australia has spoken favorably of this plan, as has India and South Africa. The Dominion of Canada is a little more standoff-ish at this point in time.
-“British PM Proposes Imperial “Commonwealth,” The New York Times, May 8, 1952
TREATY OF LONDON SIGNED
LONDON, MAY 17- His Majesty’s government today announced the signing of the London Treaty, which hereby establishes the Imperial Commonwealth of Great Britain, or the British Commonwealth for short. The Commonwealth consists of the United Kingdom, the Dominions of Canada, Australia, India, and South Africa, along with all the colonies of the British Empire. The Commonwealth Executive Council will conveen in July, and elect the first Commonwealth President from among their members. All of the Colonies and three of the four Dominions have decided to use the British Pound Sterling as their currency, the Dominion of Canada opting to keep their Canadian Dollar. The heads of the militaries of the UK and the four Dominions will be meeting in August to form the Commonwealth Defense Council.
-“Treaty of London Signed,” The Times (London), May 18, l952
AUSTRALIA TO PURCHASE AIRSHIPS
SYDNEY, APR 4- The government of the Dominion of Australia has announced that it will be purchasing 3 “Cross Class” airships from the BAW in Cardington, along with 2 “Heartland Class” airship from ZGI. The 3 Cross Class vessels will be built for the Australian Navy, and will relieve the HMS Southern Cross that the British Royal Navy has had stationed at Perth since it’s launch in 1948. The two American-built craft will operate a trans-continental service between Sydney and Perth.
The Australian Parliament has officially instituted the Australian Airship Administration, which is to handle all civilian airship traffic within the Dominion. AAA is set to take over the Sydney and Perth Air Harbors from British Airways later this month.
-“Australia to Purchase Airships,” The Honolulu Star-Bulliten, April 4, 1953.
CONFLICT IN INDIA
DELHI, JUNE 14- The Government of His Majestey’s Dominion of India has reported today that the western portion of the Dominion was up in revolt against the government in Delhi. The muslim-dominated “Pakistani” region of western India resents the Hindu dominated government in Delhi, and is asking for independence. The Commonwealth Internal Relations Minister Winston Churchill, formerly the Prime Minister of Great Britain, is currently en route to India aboard the RAL Bombay, to try and work out a peaceful end to the violence. Currently, some 200 Indians and another 150 Pakistanis have been killed in rioting in the region.
-“Conflict in India,” The Times (London), June 14, 1955
PAKISTANI DOMINION TO BE CREATED
DELHI, AUG 9- A peace deal has finally been reached in the Indian Dominion after months of negotiating and fighting between Hindu India and Mulsim Pakistan. Tomorrow evening, the Treaty of Bombay will be signed, which will in effect create the Dominion of Pakistan, the 5th Dominion of the British Imperial Commonwealth. His Majesty King George VI will become the first Sultan of Pakistan.
The Dominion will be governed by an interim council until a formal consitutional convention can take place and a formal government for the Dominion can be established.
-“Pakistani Dominion to be Created,” The Times (London), June 14, 1955.
BRITISH KING DIES OF LUNG CANCER
LONDON, SEPT 19- His Majesty King George VI of the United Kingdom passed away late last night, surrounded by his family and close friends. His Majesty had been suffering for sometime from lung cancer, first discovered by doctors some two years ago. For the last 6 months, the King had not made any public appearances, and has been bed-ridden since late July.
His daughter, Princess Elizabeth, will soon be crowned as Queen Elizabeth II, and take over as head of state of a society going through many cultural changes, as the shift from Empire to Commonwealth slowly continues.
President Rogers has announced he will attend the funeral in London, which will most likely be sometime within the next two weeks, along with his wife and the Secretary of State. In addition, Kaiser Louis Ferdinand has stated that himself and has family would also be in attendance.
All over the Imperial Commonwealth, flags have been lowered to half-staff, from the Canadian Maple Leaf over Ottowa to the Southern Cross over Canberra, as a state of mourning settles in.