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“If the heart of the Empire was threatened, all the members were threatened,” said Joseph A. Lyons, the prime minister of Australia, at the last Imperial Conference of the interwar period, emphasizing that war for Great Britain meant war for its dominions. His words laid bare expectations about the Empire as well as fears for its fate. Lyons' auditors included leaders from the principal dominions - the prime ministers and large retinues from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Canada. They gathered in London between May 14 and June 15, 1937, ostensibly to celebrate George VI's coronation. Their attentions were claimed, however, by less glamorous problems - Japanese expansionism in the Pacific, Italian Fascism, and German Nazism, all of which threatened imperial security. The conference was a crucial step in the British government's efforts to mobilize the dominions for strategic support in case of war. As had been the case in similar critical circumstances in 1911, British claims to leadership in the Empire conflicted with the demands of some of the dominions for greater autonomy in international affairs.