What led to the Statute of West Minister (1931)?

1 Answer
Oct 10, 2016

A dust up between the King's Representative in Canada and the Prime Minister of the moment led to the Statute of Westminster which further defined the British Government's role in the Dominions.


A complex situation arose because of a minority government. The largest number of seats was held by the Conservative Party but the Government was formed by a coalition of the second largest, the Liberals and the smaller Progressive Party.

Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King wanted an Election and requested the Governor General, Lord Byng of Vimy to dissolve Parliament. Byng refused to because he felt the Conservatives should be allowed to form a Government. The Conservatives attempted to form a government but it was short lived. The Liberals achieve a plurality in the next election and King as then Prime Minister requested an Imperial Conference to determine the role of the Governor General. The Balfour Declaration of 1926 was the result and stood as part of the Statute of Westminster of 1931.