In the far distant Dominions, cable communication is a matter of great importance to the community; and increased facilities and cheaper rates are much desired. Some of the recommendations we made to this end have since been adopted.
Improvement in Commercial Practice
This presented a large field for inquiry; and, after much investigation, we made recommendations on Trade Intelligence; Trade Commissioners and Correspondents; Consular Service; Improvements in Statistics; Conference of United Kingdom and Dominion Statisticians; and other matters, all of which we considered were of practical necessity.
Lastly, the need of creating an Imperial Development Board engaged our serious attention. Early in our Inquiry we had been impressed with the necessity for the appointment of some board or body whose constant duty it should be to consider questions affecting Imperial trade and development, from the point of view of the interests of the whole Empire. We took some evidence on the subject, discussed it with leading men in the Dominions, gave the question much thought, and finally recommended the establishment of a new Imperial Development Board, which should include not only representatives of the United Kingdom and all the Dominions, but also of India, the Crown Colonies and the Protectorates. In the course of our work we had been much impressed with the inadequacy of existing organisations to deal promptly and efficiently with such matters as the following:—
Telegraphic, cable and shipping communications between the various portions of the Empire
Inter-Imperial mail services and postal rates
The development of harbours and waterways on the great routes of commerce to meet Imperial requirements
Migration as a factor in Empire development and trade
Legislation affecting the mechanism of trade, such as that on patents, companies, copyright, weights and measures, etc.
The application and better utilisation of capital raised in the United Kingdom and other parts of the Empire, towards promoting the development of the Empire’s resources
The systematic dissemination throughout the Empire of news bearing upon Imperial questions and interests
The preparation and publication of Imperial statistics
Better organisation for handling and for disposal of the produce of various parts of the Empire
These, and subjects of a similar nature, we considered should be assigned to the proposed Board as its ordinary work; and to the duty of advising the Governments on these matters would be added that of collecting the necessary particulars bearing upon them, involving research not only into the conditions prevailing in the Empire, but into the methods of rival trading countries.