HC Deb 13 March 1911 vol 22 c2027W

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies (1) whether at any time during the last five years the Governor of the Commonwealth of Australia, or the Governor of the Dominion of New Zealand, has refused to act in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth or Dominion, respectively, or has even offered manifest delay in acting in accordance with that advice; and (2) whether it is now considered to be the established usage in Australia that the Governor-General of the Commonwealth shall act on the constitutional advice of the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth, irrespective of what might be his personal opinions or sympathies; and whether the Government of the Commonwealth possesses the means of terminating any deadlock arising from the refusal of the Governor-General to accept the advice of the Prime Minister?


It is the established usage in the Commonwealth of Australia that in all matters not affecting Imperial interests or involving a breach of law the Governor-General shall act in accordance with Ministerial advice, unless he is prepared, in consequence of a refusal, to accept such advice, to replace his Ministers by other Ministers ready to accept responsibility for his refusal. I am not prepared to give an answer to the second part of the hon. Member's question, nor to his further question. It would not be consistent with public policy to make any statement on the points raised.