A series of agreements on tariffs and trade between Britain and its dominions. They were concluded at the Imperial Economic Conference, held at Ottawa, and constituted a system of imperial preference to counter the impact of the Great Depression. They provided for quotas of meat, wheat, dairy goods, and fruit from the dominions to enter Britain free of duty. In return, tariff benefits would be granted by the dominions to imported British manufactured goods. The economic gains were helpful but not massive. After World War II the benefits were steadily eroded, and, with the prospect of British entry into the European Economic Community, the agreements became increasingly dispensable: although seriously considered during the 1961–63 discussions, they played little part in the entry negotiations of 1971–72 apart from the question of New Zealand dairy products.
Subjects: World History — Contemporary History (Post 1945).