19 JUNE 1953, Page 17

Commonwealth and Empire

SIR,—Has the phrase "Commonwealth and.Empire" any political or logical reality at the present time ? The use of the two terms implies a perceptible differentiation; but, if such a differentiation does actually exist, what is its nature ? These are questions frequently asked, particularly by visitors from overseas. It is pointed out, for example, that the Queen is rightly styled Queen of certain territories and, in general, Head of the Commonwealth; but her titles do not include that of Empress,• a title that would necessarily be hers if any part or parts of her Dominions were administered and recognised as imperial territory. It is also observed that our great daily newspaper retains as the heading for overseas news the words " Imperial and Foreign "•,' while an equally well-known Sunday paper uses the form " Common- wealth and Foreign." Furthermore, the phrase " Commonwealth and Empire " was used by Her Majesty herself in her broadcast speech after the Coronation; it is also used, perhaps nostalgically, by persons eminent in contemporary politics. But the term " Imperator " had

• disappeared from our coins, our seals and our medals, by 1950; for, - historically. the term was only applicable to India, which is now a unit of the Commonwealth. Can you, Sir, or your readers, explain what seems to be a slightly bewildering anachronism ? It may, of course, be a great deal more' than this. I ask only for enlightenment—an enlightenment, I may add, which I have been unable to obtain from an offidial in our colonial administration.—Yours faithfully, West Horsley, Suorey. C. E. VULLIAMY.