chapter  9
3 Pages


The Commonwealth consists almost entirely of countries which were once part of the British empire. (It is a voluntary association; Burma, on becoming independent, chose not to join.) The old Dominions were confirmed in their independence by the 1931 Statute of Westminster. India and Pakistan became independent in 1947. The ‘decolonization’ of other dependencies followed, and by 1965 the Commonwealth member states numbered 22; by 1985, 49; and, in 2006, 53.