Trudeau succeeded in getting his Australian host to “hold high-level consultations,” it seemed clear that Australian officials and politicians were not enthusiastic about Canada and its new prime minister. Under the terms of the 1931 Trade Agreement, Canada obtained the benefits of Australia`s British preferential tariff on 425 of the 433 australian customs items.17 Canada also secured significant concessions on timber and agricultural equipment. In return, Canada extended the benefits of its own UK preferential duty to Australia and increased the preferential margins for Australian raisins and currants. The impact of the bilateral trade agreement has been dramatic, but one-sided. Between 1931 and 1935, Canadian exports to Australia almost tripled and Canada`s share of the Australian market increased from 2.3% in 1931 to 5.7% in 1935. Not surprisingly, Canada opened a second office of a trade commissioner in Australia in 1936. The war put the dominion governments in an uncomfortable situation. Although they remained responsible for the nature of their national contribution to the Allied cause, Britain retained full control of strategy and high politics. At the beginning of the conflict, when it was thought that the war would last only a few months, this situation was quite acceptable. But when the war took time and its terrifying scale became evident, a number of Dominion prime ministers became restless and agitated. During a visit to London in 1915, Borden began campaigning to force the British government to keep the Dominions more informed of the course of the war.
Early the following year, W.M Australia`s new prime minister joined “Billy” Hughes` crusade. After a brief meeting in Ottawa, the two agreed on goals largely similar to Dominion. Borden and Hughes proved to be an impressive team. They gladly convinced the wise British Prime Minister David Lloyd George of the need to put in place formal mechanisms to facilitate consultation between Britain and the Dominions. An imperial war conference invited dominion prime ministers to address the general problem of imperial relations, while an imperial war cabinet gave them a direct voice in the war. . . .