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Commonwealth Day

Volume 606: debated on Thursday 4 June 1959

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asked the Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations what liaison there has been between his Department and oversea Commonwealth Governments regarding the recent celebration of Commonwealth Day; and whether he will make a statement.

As my hon. Friend will know, this was the first occasion on which Commonwealth Day was celebrated in the United Kingdom. Before the new name was decided upon, there was, of course, full consultation with Commonwealth Governments. To mark the day, my noble Friend sent a message of goodwill to all Commonwealth Governments. I will arrange for the text to be circulated in the OFFICIAL REPORT.The extent to which Commonwealth Day is celebrated within a Commonwealth country is, of course, a matter for the Government concerned. Except for the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, it is not officially observed in other Commonwealth countries, but I understand it is marked by unofficial celebrations in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Malaya.

Text of message from Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations to Commonwealth Governments

On the occasion of this, the first Commonwealth Day may I send to you and your people our best wishes from Britain, and express to you my belief that in a world torn by dissension and conflict the Commonwealth has more than ever before to offer in the cause of peace and prosperity. The ties of friendship and co-operation which bind us are, I believe, growing daily stronger—and our association more fruitful.