HC Deb 20 November 1912 vol 44 cc303-4W

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what were the circumstances which prevented Her Majesty assenting to the Act passed by the Canadian Legislature in 1843 for the better securing the independence of the legislative independence of the province; whether any protest was made by the Government of Canada against the refusal to give Her Majesty's Assent, to the Act; whether the Governor acted on his own responsibility, upon the advice of Ministers, or as the result of instructions from the Imperial Government, and, if upon instructions, were such instructions general, or special instructions in respect of this particular measure; whether the law has since been amended; and, if so, in what way were the objections met which prevented the Act receiving Her Majesty's Assent?


The Bill passed by the Legislature of Canada in 1843 for the better securing the independence of the Legislative Council of the province failed to receive the Royal Assent because the Law Officers of the Crown in England advised that the Bill interfered very materially with the power vested in Her Majesty by the Imperial Act, 3 and 4 Vict., chap. 35, with reference to the appointment of the members of the Legislative Council, and it was not, therefore, competent for Her Majesty to assent to the enactment. The Bill was reserved by the Governor on the advice of his legal adviser in accordance with his general instructions as to the reservation of Bills and in view of the fact that it wasultra vires the legislature. I am not aware that any protest was made by the Ministry. By an Act of 1856 which was rendered valid by an Imperial Act, IV and 18 Vict., chap. 118, the constitution of the Legislative Council was altered, and in 1867 the Province of Canada was re-divided into two provinces which became parts of the Dominion of Canada with new Constitutions which are laid down in the British North America Act. The exact terms of the Bill of 1843 were not, however, re-enacted.