This volume of documents on Australian Foreign Policy draws on unpublished records from Australian and United Kingdom archives to document Australia's relations with the United Kingdom from 1960 to 1975. At the outset of the period covered, Australia's diplomatic ties were largely conceived of in terms of a global continuum of British culture, interests and peoples notwithstanding earlier crises in the relationship during the Depression, the Pacific War and the era of post-war reconstruction. By the end of the volume, into the mid-1970s, these deeply held assumptions about Anglo-Australian community had been replaced by a more hard-headed conception of Australia's distinct national identity and new regional priorities.
The volume documents how these changes came about. It covers defence relations (in the context of the implications for Australia of the withdrawal of British forces from East of Suez); economic relations (again in the context of the implications for Australia of British efforts to join the European Economic Community); the Australian responses to a succession of British Immigration Acts; the transfer of responsibility for Australia House in London from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet to the Department of Foreign Affairs; and, finally, constitutional relations between the two countries, and more general relations, which for Australia especially raised symbolic issues of national sovereignty.